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I've adopted my cat from a shelter a few months ago and while she's shy, she has slowly adapted to her new environment. Until she got an eye infection which caused us to have to give her eye drops. It's really heartbreaking because she instantly crawls underneath couches,into cupboards and cries when we try to pick her up. We have tried everything to trick her into making it less difficult for her but she quickly sees through it and runs away even when we offer her snacks.
Does anyone know how to help? We haven't tried catnip or anti anxiety medication yet but we're afraid she's too smart and she'll see through that too
 

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I am so very sorry you are in this situation which must really hurt for you! I would hate it if I were in your place. Gee whiz!
One thing I would never do, though, is try to trick a cat (or a dog or any other animal for that matter). The result if you trick your animal is you lose their trust and when that is lost it is very hard to build back again and can take a long time, even months. This is what has happened here, so I suggest you stop that approach.

What I would do is wait until the cat is in a bedroom or somewhere that I can close the door. so there's no escaping or getting under the couch I would have a blanket or towel and simply go and pick up the cat, no fanfare, no talking, just matter of fact but gently of course, and wrap the cat up. then get those drops in as fast as possible and then let the cat go ang go away. Later on, after maybe an hour, offer treats and walk away again. You need to stop the association of treats with what the cat knows is a bad thing.

Also, Talk to your vet. Maybe there's nothing else you can use, but it sounds as if the eye drops sting, and I have had eye drops that sting and it is unbelievably painful. Maybe there's a different kind you can try that won't hurt as much.

The rest of the time, when you do not need to give her the drops, don't try to pick her up for now. Just let her be, but when you go by, speak really nicely to her and toss a treat or two in her direction. And if she ever comes to you, pet her and so on, but never use that as an opportunity to do the drops.

If the drops end soon you will need to build her trust back. If they go on for a long time, it would be helpful for her to associate only the blanket or towel with the drops, so that she eventually learns that unless she sees you with that she doesn't need to be afraid of you.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
 
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