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Hello and Help!

689 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  cmasters
Hello, we are first timers to the forum. We have joined you here today because we have an urgent situation with our kitty and we need advice from the experts on how to handle. Fear not, I have already contacted my friend who is a vet and she assures me there is no urgent need to involve her, and she recommended I come to a cat forum to exchange ideas about how to trouble-shoot this particular problem. Anyway, what happened is as follow...

Our cat was just adopted 2 days ago. She is a rescue cat, about 8-12 months old having lived on the streets for most of her life. We are from Israel, so being a street cat isn't quite the same as it is elsewhere in the world; she had dozens of locals feedings and playing with her on a daily basis, and is a very sweet cat.

Anyway, after we brought her home we set her up with her carrying cage in the bathroom with a liter box, food and water. We wanted her to be in a small quiet space so that she could acclimate to our apartment slowly and get comfortable in her new environment. After about a 30 minute freak-out session where she jumped over and destroyed nearly everything, she discovered the space behind our washing machine and hid there for the last 36 hours or so. We would periodically come in to check on her and see if she moved, leaving out new food and water for her. Today we noticed that her food had been eaten even though she was still behind the washer, so that is good I suppose.

Unfortunately the situation got more complicated about an hour ago. I went into to see her and noticed the room smelled of urine and poop, and she had not used the liter box. She was apparently so afraid behind the washing machine that she just went back there and was sitting in her own filth. I wanted to give her more space so maybe she would come out, and I moved the washing machine forward. Apparently while I was doing so I had the machine tilted at an angle, and I wasn't aware that the bottom of the machine was not covered! The cat saw the opening and dove in, and is now hiding in the INSIDE of the washing machine. Obviously I immediately disconnected the electric and water lines from the machine so she wouldn't get hurt by them.

Anyway, we have no idea what to do, and we came here looking to get advice from the experts. We thank you in advance for all the help you can give us.
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When I got my kitten he was super friendly at the pound however the moment I brought him home he stayed under the bed and would not could not be coaxed out. He would come out to eat and use the kitty box but that's it. I just gave him his space or I would come in and sit against the wall and read and just ignore him. I think you're doing the right thing but just let him adjust on his own he will eventually get brave enough to come out and be social again. Just let him do it on his own terms the more you try to make it happen quicker the more resistant he will be. Have no fear, he's still coming out to eat so that's a great sign :) I wouldn't begin to really worry unless he's not eating or there is no evidence he's using the restroom. Hope this helps :)
Does he have a way of getting out of the washer on his own? If not, you are going to have to prop it up so he can get out. It looks like your cat is feeling trapped. The best thing you can do is get it out of the washer and do not allow it to go back into the washer of course. Then clean up the area and wait as the previous writer suggested for him to settle down and befriend you. It can take quite a bit of time. Push the litter pan back as far to him as you can to alleviate the mess, but keep the food and water as far away as you can where he will still come and visit the bowls.

Have one human go in at a time and just spend five minutes talking in a calm voice telling him you aren't going to hurt him and acclimatizing him to your voice and your presence. This will help him understand you are not threat to him.
Agreed with the above. This will take time. Get Kitty out of the washer, the back of mine has screws to take it off. Good luck with getting her out. If you can block off behind there so she can't go back. leave the carrier in the room with a towel draped over it hiding most of the door so she will hopefully feel that is a safer hiding place.

If you are home most of the day feed her small amounts during the day, which basically means when you check on her bring food. She will associate someone checking on her with something good then. I would not free feed during this time personally. She will not starve herself a long as you offer it often, just bring it in, talk with her and leave it a bit then return and clean up. this may take a bit.

Do not look directly at her, ignore! cat's like to be ignored when scared. If you happen to make eye contact try to look sleepy, and bored, give her a slow blink then look away. This assures them.

other then that I would carry in a book, laptop, sewing, whatever and just sit somewhere in the room, if you can, not directly in front of her hiding place so she will have to peek out to see you. since it is a small room if you can get it, I would also try something like Feliway to help relax and calm her.

I hope you have another spot to wash laundry :) it may take a bit to get her to relax. lol Oh yes, I already like your vet for sending you here. Welcome!
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It took my Little Pumpkin several days before she would come out from her hiding spot which was under the bed. I was concerned that she wasn't coming out to eat even though I put several bowls of food near the bed and even under the bed. Eventually, she came out and started sniffing around. She is still a shy kitty but she has come a long way. Be patient, talk/read to her in a soft voice, avoid direct eye contact, use slow blinking and eventually she will warm up to you. You can also try using treats and string toys to help her feel more comfortable interacting with you. Good Luck and Congrats on you new kitty!!!
My cat got stuck behind a washing machine once in our apartment complex. It was the only time he has ever escaped into the real world and he was terrified! We found him later that night waaaay back behind the washers. I just went and sat next to him and he came out a few hours later, poor baby.
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