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Discussion Starter #1
Prince is still spooked by outside / inside noises in our home. I thought this would've passed after such a long time... He also doesn't yet feel at home, far from it. How do I know?

1. He reacts paranoid with every little sound from outside / inside
2. He will rarely be in a room if I'm in another
3. He often goes into covered corners and stays there till he calms himself
4. He goes into hiding if something falls or if he drops something
5. He hasn't yet explored everything in the house (though each day he will explore the same places more and more in depth)
6. He only sleeps at my feet, and will wake up if I so much as move

How to help my cat feel more at home sooner?

Thank you in advance for all comments!
 

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I hate to tell you this, but he may always be this way.
Nebbie I got from a rescue group, and while I don't know her background, I'm pretty sure she was abused. Even though she was "domestic", she was still very skittish. The first couple months, I couldn't even get within reach of her. Finally she would stop running, but would still flinch/'freeze' when I put my hand out to her. Now she's okay with being petted...if she's in the mood. Still has the "I can touch you, but you can't touch me" attitude.
Paizly I rescued as a feral kitten, but my (now ex)-husband teased her and took advantage of her skittishness, so she's also still a bit cautious about people.
Nebbie is 3 years old, and I've had her for about 2. Paizly is 10 years old...

#1 - Paizly will growl when somebody comes to the door upstairs!
#2 - both will be in the same room as me, but off in another section to keep to themselves
#3 - Paizly stays in "her" corner 20 hours a day! Comes out to eat and use litter box, and that's about it. Ever so often she'll brave a climb up on the bed with me
#4 - if it makes a big enough ruckus, I think most cats do this
#5 - he's taking his time making sure various places/things are safe... don't try to rush him, or he may get suspicious about stuff
#6 - Nebbie does this. Paizly will snuggle up beside me, but leave if I move at all

Basically, he's just getting used to things slowly... I know a month seems like a long time, but some cats just let caution override curiosity - which can be a life saver!
 

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Our third cat, Forte, was not truly comfortable in our home and with us until 3-4 months after we adopted him (truly comfortable meaning he could totally relax). He still jumps at loud noises sometimes.
 

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It took Rochelle around 5 months to really become comfortable around here, and not hide, flinch, or flat out run away from you or any little noise. She still gets scared sometimes from noises, but she has really come a long way, and I am so proud of her. Time and patience are your best friends. I wish you and Prince all the best of luck in dealing with this. Don't give up!
 

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For whatever it's worth, when Murphy gets scared of new noises in our house, I look at him and in the most reassuring voice possible say, "It's okay." That really seems to help. When we got our new refrigerator with the ice dispenser on the outside of the door, Murphy was afraid of the ice noise (which does make a racket), and the "It's okay's" really seemed to help. He doesn't flinch now.
 

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I think it is just a matter of time. My mothers first cat wasn't even willing to start venturing out of her safety room until 9 months. But it's been 2 years now and she has no fears or anxieties about the house and goes wherever she pleases. And my mother will emphatically tell you that it was worth the wait.

Cats are creatures of routine. So when that routine is changed in addition to new surroundings being added in they tend to not be happy cause they resist change. Because each cat is their own unique personality they all adapt to change at different rates. However, this is a good change for Prince and I believe he knows it. He is just taking the adjustment to it at his own special pace :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the very reassuring and warm insights and stories !! I didn't know that it was a normal process! I thought it had to take them a couple days!
 

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Blaze (we got him as a 6 month old feral kitten) took over a year of living with us before he was willing to explore the "scary area" that lead to the hallway of the apartment building. He was scared of it because of all the noisey people outside he could hear. Eventually the closet right against that very hallway became his favourite place to sleep. It took two years or more (working on a rusty timeline since he's 15 now) to see his proper personality, we thought he was great, and then we realised he just kept getting better. He does still have his psycho warrior moments of attacking without cause, but it's usually avioded since I can see the signs - a dilalated fixated stare...?! Make sure you let him know you're on to his plan of attack and he'll back off. He's still scared of strangers, grabage truks and plastic bangs, though. Otherwise, he's a talkitive purring loving sweetheart.

The same with Blacky (semi-feral cat), although she wasn't scared of noises, she was scared of sudden movement and unsure of her place in the house for a long time. I had to repeatedly carry her up to my room until she got the message that I wanted her in the room and it was safe to stay in it for more than 10 seconds. Now I can't get her out of my room, it's pretty much the only place she sleeps.

Patients is key. I imagine he'll keep getting better. It's not a guarantee, but I think you will continue to see him relax.
 

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He's still scared of strangers, grabage truks and plastic bangs, though.
Just think it's for the best if I clear up, plastic bags are what I mean. I'd be scared of plastic bangs too! And garbage trucks instead of grabage truks.

Yeah. I think I should stop visiting this site from my iPhone.

I think reason he's scared of those noises (and not most other sounds) is because he lived by dumpsters until he was caught, and who knows what he dealt with living there. Could some of the sounds Prince is scared of relate to previous experiences?
 

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"Just think it's for the best if I clear up, plastic bags are what I mean. I'd be scared of plastic bangs too!"

I think we should all be scared of plastic bangs 8O Lol, you crack me up!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Carmel, that's a good question. He's totally inconsistent in his fears. He can chase a dog, or become so afraid of a dog that he'll only want to go back home... Just now he was spooked by simply my slippered foot moving near him, an instant later he was lying on his back sleeping peacefully with his belly up...
 
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