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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I recently got a new cat and I understand that it does take a little while for them to warm up. My concern is his currently hiding spot.

It's now been about two weeks. I first kept him in the bathroom with his things with the door open. He didn't seem to venture out the first couple of days but I know that can be normal. The problem is however shortly after he found the he could fit into a spot under my kitchen cabinets and now pretty much stays during the day until I go to bed. I actually did not know where he was hiding for over a week until I caught his little legs sticking out as he was scrambling back in.

At night he'll go back to the bathroom area (litter box) and sit in the sink. Once or twice he also might also sit in a corner of the living room till morning and then back to under the kitchen.

If I catch him out at night he does let me pet him and his eating and litter habits seem back to normal but he seems to have no interest in toys or scratch posts. Tempting him with treats or toys does nothing during the day.

The problem is this - the spot where he's hiding is quite dirty and I can't get my vacuum in there to clean (when the place was built I think the contractors swept up all the concrete dust and shavings into it. I'm going to see if I can block it but that might also be a be difficult.

I am wondering if it might be better to go back to confining him to the bathroom for a few days then try opening up the rest of the apartment again or just leave him. My concern is that he's getting that stuff on his fur and then cleaning himself. I'm assuming the hiding is because he is still unsure about the place.

I might have also had a bit of a setback today because I tried to take him to the vet and that did not go well. He got out of his carrier and currently back in his hiding spot. This is also another reason I want to keep him in bathroom for a bit - this is the second vet visit I had to cancel because he's hiding all day and he's due for a checkup.

Thanks
D
 

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Hi!

Do you know how your cat acted before you got him? Is he a kitten or an adult? It’s very normal for a cat in a new environment to be hiding a lot. For some cats it takes days, for other weeks or even months before they warm up to you. If you confine him to the bathroom again, he might still be afraid and hide when he comes out of there because the rest of the place is still a new territory for him. I understand that the hiding place under the kitchen cabinets could be a problem. If it’s possible - try to cover that spot up as much as possible, maybe you can place a piece of cardboard over it or place something in front of it? And instead add another better hiding spot right next to it. This could be a little box or an igloo cat bed.

Try to have routines and don’t move around his stuff, this could make him feel more safe quicker. Don’t force him to come out of his hiding spots, but you could place a treat or something right outside of it to make him feel like it’s safe.

I really hope he warms up to you soon!
 

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How long have you had this cat?
How old is he?

I suggest that you do not confine this cat at all. doing so will only increase his anxiety. Block off the entrance to the place you don't want him to go and place some enticing hiding things around the house in corners and out-of-the way places. Like, a paper bag and a cardboard box and so on. See if maybe he will use one of those.

He just needs time to settle in. don't rush him. Just be patient and in time he will understand that you are not dangerous and will warm up to you.

the vet thing is unfortunate, but it has to be done. don't feel bad, because it is probably better that you did that early on rather than waiting until he started to trust you and then had a setback from going to the vet.

Don't worry, he will come out on his own time.

You could use an old sheet or blanket stuffed under the cabinet to block off that space. He will find a different hiding place.
 

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My suggestion is block off his cubby hole so that he can't hide out there. Feed him meals, don't leave down any food for him to eat on his own. I feed my adult cats 2 main meals morning and early evening when I'm having dinner. They also get a snack at lunch time (often 1/2 can of Fancy Feast) and before I go to bed at night a few treats. y cats are not overweight and are healthy, one is almost 18 yrs, and the other is 7 yrs. Often if cat feels hungry it's an incentive to be more friendly, and it certainly makes it clear to the cat to know who's feeding him and most cats like to eat! Of course, if you're working outside the home , I would give him a larger meal in the morning feed. Hope these suggestions will be helpful. All the best!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for suggestions.
For further info - he is 9 months and I've had him about two weeks now. He actually did stay out a little bit longer so I'll see how things go.

I will see what I can do about blocking - it's a little awkward because while the opening is small it's the length of my kitchen.

I'm not sure about the set meals as he's been use to free range up until now - He doesn't eat much either (may be due to lack of activity or just that he's still a small cat) I don't want to take away his food if he doesn't eat at a set time right now. I have been giving him treats when he is out and also left a couple in places I was hoping he would hang out instead - Like cat bed and boxes. He eats them but doesn't stay there.

Thanks
 

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Thanks for suggestions.
For further info - he is 9 months and I've had him about two weeks now. He actually did stay out a little bit longer so I'll see how things go.

I will see what I can do about blocking - it's a little awkward because while the opening is small it's the length of my kitchen.

I'm not sure about the set meals as he's been use to free range up until now - He doesn't eat much either (may be due to lack of activity or just that he's still a small cat) I don't want to take away his food if he doesn't eat at a set time right now. I have been giving him treats when he is out and also left a couple in places I was hoping he would hang out instead - Like cat bed and boxes. He eats them but doesn't stay there.

Thanks
If he has only been there two weeks, then I wouldn't worry about this at all. Some take longer to settle in than others, but it is very likely that he will come around in his own time.

I agree with you to continue to free feed him. Right now you don't want to add any sort of stress on top of what he is already feeling, and changing to making him come out at set times for meals would be stressful for him. Plus, what if he didn't come out? then you'd be back to leaving it down anyway or forcing him out or making him go hungry.....none of which is good. So you are on the right track there.

You are on the right track also in my opinion with the treats, giving them to him and hiding a few in other places.

As for that long opening, maybe a thrift store would have six or eight old sheets or blankets you could get really cheaply that you could roll up to use to block it even though it is so long. I know if it were where I live I could get enough cloth to block it off for maybe $10 at a thrift store. When you are done you just donate them back. It would only be for a little while, I think. Failing that, get creative. Bricks? Rocks? Pieces of scrap wood or cardboard?

I actually would not even suggest clocking it off except that from what you say it sounds dirty and potentially dangerous for him in there.
 

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I agree that the area in your kitchen needs to be blocked as soon as possible. That contractor's dust under there can be harmful for both pets and humans whether it's ingested or breathed in. Until it can be permanently covered, old sheets and towels will help. They also sell under-furniture blockers on-line.

You could create other safe hiding spots with cat condos and cat caves in other areas around your home, like a quiet corner in a room or in a closet. Some cats are more comfortable up high while others like to be down low, so have a variety of things for him to choose from at different levels and let him get used to them on his own. A good way to get him to explore the rest of the house is to put a cat tree in a window or two. Cats love to look outside and are more comfortable with something that's just theirs. The key is to let him go at his own pace. I suspect that when he's less anxious, treats and toys will be more appealing. For now, a cat-safe teddy bear for him to cuddle up with might help him to relax.

I know this may sound harsh and others may disagree, but before anything else, he needs to go to the Vet for a thorough physical and dental exam, and to discuss neutering if not already done. You could make a morning appointment if you can, close him in the bathroom that day, bring in the carrier, pick him up quickly and firmly, put him in the carrier and go to the Vet. Yes, he'll be mad when you get home, so spend as much time as you can with him just by being nearby and talking softly without any attempt at interaction on your part unless he comes to you. It may take a while to rebuild his trust, but behavior issues can be dealt with, while his health is a priority.

Apparently I'm going to edit this post to death. Would it be possible to set him up in your bedroom with a litterbox and water instead of the bathroom?
 
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