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We adopted a 3 year old male cat from a shelter(only cat) about two weeks ago. The problem we have is that he hides all day. We've tried to bring him out from under the bed but he just runs and finds another hiding spot. We've tried playing with him but it seems like he doesn't know how to play. It's almost like he's been in a cage his whole life and doesn't know how to act now that he has all this room. The other night I woke up because he was making a lot of noise walking around on the counter, when I got up and tried to pick him up he flipped out and clawed the heck out of my hand. then he ran away again. I had an idea that I would close all the bedroom/bathroom doors which would force him to stay around us in the living room or kitchen. I was thinking that he might adjust to us better if he's not hiding all the time. Does that sound like a reasonable thing to do or should I just let him be? Oh, I should also mention that we are away at work all day so he's alone in the house for about 10 hours a day, Maybe that's part of why he is having such a hard time adjusting.
 

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You could possibly keep him confined to one room for a while, so his world doesn't seem as big and dangerous. Once he's used to that one (and you guys) you can open up more areas for him to discover.
 

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Let him come out of his shell by himself, and in your case, it sounds like it will take some time. Forcing him to come out, or play, and closing off his hidey bedrooms is just freaking him out more.

And from what you mention about his flipping out when you tried to hold him, he's got issues. Who knows how he was treated before you got him, poor fella. Big
to you for rescuing him.

I like Bean's suggestion, can you put him in a guest room with all his necessities, a cat condo and assorted safe toys (catnipped)? That could help transition him better. Then go in there when you have time, but ignore him. Sit and read a book, reading it aloud, or just talking to him gently, to get him used to you. Bring treats so you can give him one when he comes to you, so he'll associate you with something good.

Later you can leave the door open so he can come out to where you are if he wants. Ignore him when you see him out and about, though, if you make a big deal he'll freak and run back. I'll bet he's exploring the house while you're away, since you found him on your counter. That's a good sign, and I'm sure he'll be happy and comfortable in his new home sooner than later. Keep us updated!
 

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My parents adopted a cat from a shelter that had been there for about six months. Although she was not scared and hiding as your cat is, it took a good 3 weeks or longer before she began to play and feel comfortable in their home. They said it was like she became a different cat at that point.

Yes you don't know what treatment the poor cat received in the shelter and I would compare it to a person being in prison solitary confinement-- being deprived of stimulation (limited human contact, playing, etc.). So, it may take a while for adjustment to happen. I'd give it a month or so and see what happens by then. Good luck!!
 
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