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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my cat Milo has lived with me for almost 2 years, and he's coming up on being 3 years old. I lived in a studio apartment by myself for the first year, then with a roommate and her cat for the 2nd. Milo was always curious about her cat and she hissed at him at first but then they eventually became best friends.
I've just recently moved back in with my family (who has 3 dogs and 2 cats.) The litterbox and food is typically kept downstairs (my room is upstairs) where all the other animals typically reside. After some discussion, I was able to put his food and litter in my bathroom next to my room.
This being said, Milo rarely ever leaves my room and when he does he runs back in at the slightest noise. (Note I have a 6 year old brother who is rambunctious to say the least)

It's been almost a week, and while Milo has made improvements, I still sometimes find him cowering in my closet or running under my bed if someone makes a noise outside my room.

I don't know what to do, if I should wait it out or lock him out of my room to force him to explore. Please give me any advice and tips to help throughout this process.
 

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Hi there, and welcome to the forum.

Please under no circumstances should you lock him out of your room of force him to do anything. This is a huge and strange change in his life and he has no idea what is going on. If you put yourself in his paws you will understand why he is fearful. Forcing an animal into situations that frighten them (such as locking him out of his safe place) doesn't end the fear; it makes it worse. In addition, doing that could easily damage the relationship you have with your cat, because right now he is trusting you to protect him and you would be betraying that trust by, from his perspective, thrusting him into a dangerous environment without protection.

A week is no time at all in terms of adjusting to a new place and new cats and new people. Plus, it sounds as if, with hissing cats and people he doesn't know and on top of that a rambunctious six year old child, there's good reason for your cat to be fearful; in fact he is probably terrified and you cannot blame him. Let him settle in and get comfortable in your room and bathroom alone. give him lots of attention and reassurance that you are there for him, and don't even suggest to him that he should venture out into the house until he, by himself, indicates curiosity about doing that. If he never does, so be it.

And, if he ever shows you that he actually wants to meet the other cats, please do the introduction slowly and carefully. You can look up the best way to do that online, and people here can help with that as well.
 

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You have quite a houseful there! It's not at all surprising that Milo is going to take time to adjust, just as I imagine you did. It's hard to go from someplace familiar and quiet to lots of noise and activity. And I had brothers too when I was growing up so I can relate!

Right now, your room is his safe place and letting him stay there is a very good idea, but locking him in could make matters worse so let him be. Cats are often startled by the least little noise and over time get used to dealing with it, even though they may still startle now and then. You could put his own cat tree by a window in your room, with his own bed and a few cat-safe toys like a stuffed animal that's just his. Rub a cloth or toy on Milo and let the other animals sniff it, then rub something on the other animals and let Milo sniff it, so they all get used to each other scents.

This may be hard to do, but the next step would be to let him explore your home when no other cats, dogs, or family members are around even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. Once he's comfortable, while Milo is in your bedroom with the door closed, bring the other animals to the door and give them all treats on opposite sides. It's much easier to do if you're on the inside with Milo and a family member on the other side.

Also, cats like routines and several designated play times a day burns of lots of energy and helps them to relax. There's a whole lot more after that, but most of us here have been through it and will be happy to help. Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your advice! I keep my door cracked at all times in case Milo ever does decide to roam around, which he typically does during the night while everyone is asleep. I'll keep my room as his safe space and slowly introduce the other animals and family members as he gets more comfortable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You have quite a houseful there! It's not at all surprising that Milo is going to take time to adjust, just as I imagine you did. It's hard to go from someplace familiar and quiet to lots of noise and activity. And I had brothers too when I was growing up so I can relate!

Right now, your room is his safe place and letting him stay there is a very good idea, but locking him in could make matters worse so let him be. Cats are often startled by the least little noise and over time get used to dealing with it, even though they may still startle now and then. You could put his own cat tree by a window in your room, with his own bed and a few cat-safe toys like a stuffed animal that's just his. Rub a cloth or toy on Milo and let the other animals sniff it, then rub something on the other animals and let Milo sniff it, so they all get used to each other scents.

This may be hard to do, but the next step would be to let him explore your home when no other cats, dogs, or family members are around even if it's just for a few minutes at a time. Once he's comfortable, while Milo is in your bedroom with the door closed, bring the other animals to the door and give them all treats on opposite sides. It's much easier to do if you're on the inside with Milo and a family member on the other side.

Also, cats like routines and several designated play times a day burns of lots of energy and helps them to relax. There's a whole lot more after that, but most of us here have been through it and will be happy to help. Keep us posted!
Thank you so much, I will definitely try that approach when introducing him to the rest of the animals! It's nice to know this isn't a new scenario and that there is a possibility of him becoming comfortable enough to roam freely without being scared or anxious. Thanks again for the great advice!:)
 

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You're very welcome. Yes, some cats adjust very quickly and others take a really long time, but since you can already leave the door cracked open and Milo's roaming the house at night suggests that things are already progressing well.

When we got Katie, there were only two of us humans in a relatively quiet house, but she was so scared she hid in the bedroom for 2 weeks before we even saw her. So when we got Coco, I read everything there was about introducing cats, learned more than I ever wanted to know about kitty litter, sat through hours of cat-expert videos, set her up in her own room with everything a cat could possible need, and planned The Grand Introduction. She arrived at night, and in the morning when I went in to feed her, she flew out of the room before I could stop her and went right up to Kate and said "howdoyado". Meanwhile, I'm standing there with a bowl of Fancy Feast trying to decide if I should panic or not. but the only thing Kate was concerned about was getting her breakfast as soon as possible, so she gave Coco a quick sniff and started meowing at me. Then Coco started meowing at me, so I put both bowls of food down and that was the end of The Grand Introduction!
 
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