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so i adopted my 7 months old kitty last month and the 1st couple of days when she got home, everything was great. she's very good, very friendly, very cuddley. now, lil by lil, i dunno how, she's starting to isolate herself from me. I live by myself and she's the only pet in the house. she will hide under the bed or under the futon the whole day. only comes out when she's wants to eat or poop. sometimes she's ok when i pet her, but only the head most of the time. anything towards the back and tail, she'll start growling and runs back under the bed/couch. or times she'll start growling and tries to scratch and bite me. if i try to lure her out, she'll growl and hiss. sometimes when i see her out and walk towards her, she runs to hide. the only time she's nice to me is that when the food bowl's empty or 4-5 in the AM when she wants to play. on top of this, she won't use her scratching pole, so i got her the turbo scratcher, scratching pad w/ a groove around it w/ a ball in it. she won't use that either. she'll just scratch on the carpet at any spot. I've put catnip on the pole and the pad, but she still won't use it.

today, she was all over me in the morning cuz the bowl was empty. so i put the food in the bowl and tried to pet her after she's done eating, she growls at me again. i got mad and chased her into the bathroom and locked her in.

at this point, i'm so mad, i dunno what to do anymore. how can i make her to become more friendly and not hiding the whole day? if she wants to vegged out, i would rather her do it in the open instead of hiding the whole time. and how do i make her start using the scratching pole?

sorry for the long post. hope you guys can help me. (i'm a 1st time cat owner too)
 

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Well, I'm wondering about how you acquired the kitty. Did you get her from a friend, a shelter, a shop, or was she a stray? Depending on what type of life she had prior to living with you, you may be looking at a long adjustment period for her in order for her to feel comfortable in her new surroundings...many cats don't adjust well to new situations, and others are quite adaptable. It doesn't sound like she trusts you quite yet...but don't get discouraged. And don't chase your kitty down the hall!!! This is giving her a reason to distrust and fear you...a gentle, loving attitude will work the best.

While I certainly wouldn't force any interactions between you that she doesn't seem to be ready for, I would attempt to entice her with some interactive play several times a day...maybe with a wand toy or a cat dancer toy. I would hold off on petting her (as difficult as that sounds), as she doesn't seem to be receptive to that at this time. And talk softly to her while she's in her hideout...if she growls or hisses, back off, and try again every hour or so. You could try coaxing her out of her hideout by holding some really stinky treats in your palm, and offering to feed them to her by hand. As far as the scratching goes, observe where her favorite place is to scratch on the carpet...and lay down a flat cardboard (or sisal rope) scratcher there...sprinkle some catnip on it (to make it more enjoyable, if she responds to it), and each time she uses it, praise her and offer a morsel of food or a treat. Or, if she persists in using the carpet, each time you see her scratching it, gently pick her up, and scratch her paws on the scratcher, while murmuring "good kitty...good girl." Then offer her the treat.

Cats can be quite independent, and many prefer to be left alone...they will often need to be the ones who decide to approach you. Give her a chance...I'm sure she's a great cat, but needs some extra encouragement. I also wouldn't rule out the possibility of getting a friend for her, preferably a younger female (that tends to work fairly well)...if you do, be sure to drop by here on suggestions for how to introduce them properly.

There is also a wealth of information on using flower essences that will help calm her and reduce any anxiety she may be having, so it may be something to look into.
 

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I agree. Unfortunately, she is already somewhat stressed by the change in her life, and it might take longer now to win her trust. Cats really hate to be chased. Try to make sure all interaction with you is pleasant. Cats take time to adjust to new situations. Good luck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i guess the best i can do is to leave her alone and play w/ her a few times a day w/ her wand toy (she chewed the string into pieces, i'll have to get a new one). i've tried to lure her out with some frisky salmon treats and she won't come out completely. she'll come 1/2 way out and go back in. what other kind of treats (brand, flavor, etc) should i try w/ her?

as for the scratching, she's really random. it's bascially around her chill out spot under the bed or couch. so i don't wanna put the turbo scratcher underneath my bed and i'll hear the ball rolling around all night long. I've tried the catnip/scratch her paws on the pad method, doesn't work. so i guess i'll leave it for now.

thanks for the input guys. keep them coming :D
 

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Don't chase your cat, it will take longer to get them to trust you. Trust me, I've been there with one of my cats. You have to be patient b/c in the long run it'll pay. The cat is not ready and you can't force it to do something it doesn't want. Eventually in time, your cat will come to you or come out from hiding. Good Luck :D
 

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A couple things:
1. Has your cat been spayed? This may be unrelated to her behavior, but at 7 months, she definately needs it done or else she will go into heat periodically and drive you crazy!
2. Definately be very gentle, walk slowly towards her, make any movements toward her slowly to avoid scaring her. Talk to her softly and tell her what a good kitty she is when she comes out. Even if she won't come all the way out, you can put the food inbetween her and you and just talk to her softly when she comes up the food and talk to her as she eats.
3. Try to put the scratching post somewhere where she likes to scratch. When you catch her using it, tell her what a good kitty she is and give her a treat. At first, my Stormy started to run away when I saw her at the scratching post...she thought all scratching was bad because I had yelled at her for scratching the carpet. But after praising her and giving her treats, she finally learned that the scratch post was an acceptable place to scratch.
4. She may get overstimulated for you petting her or just may not want to petted yet. Hold off on the petting and when you do start to pet her, just pet her head for now. Even now, my cat Stormy does NOT like her back feet touched. It's just one of those things I guess.
5. Cat dancers, wands, toy mice are great for cats to play with. String or ribbon is NOT good for cats (even though a lot of people assume they are). They can swallow the string or ribbon or get tangled up in it. Best to avoid those toys.
6. If she was feral or had an abusive home before she came to you, it may take extra time to get her used to you and your home. It kind of sounds to me like these are possibilites but you didn't say where you got her. You may want to try Feliway, it is a spray that can sometimes help to relax cats when they are stressed out. You can get it in a mist that will go throughout the room or a bottle to spray on furniture and stuff. It can also help to keep cats from scratching on furniture! http://www.feliway.com
7. Welcome to the world of cats! :D I'm sure in time your kitty will adjust and all of this will be worth it when you have her purring and being sweet to you. Just be patient. Be sure and keep posting to let us know how she is doing!
 

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Great suggestions from the group! The only thing I can add is that if you're pissed at her, she'll know it, and that will only hinder your relationship. She's not doing this on purpose, so don't take it personally!

If you really can't help being mad, there's a great technique called EFT that can help you get rid of that anger baggage--see www.emofree.com . There's a free manual and all sorts of helpful stuff.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Just a suggestion about toys, those laser pointers you can get at the drugstore for three bucks, my babies love those, they jump 4 ft up the wall trying to get the red dot. (just be careful not to shine it directly in their eyes).

Sometimes if you ignore them, they will come to you after a while.

Sang
 

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Hi Chinisimo and welcome!

First off, congratulations on your new kitty and I hope you have years of shared love with her.

The first step for you to take is to relax. Let your baby find her "balance" in her new home. Even if she came from the most loving home, she is still in a foreign place and nothing is familiar to her. She is just trying to settle in and she has her own timetable for doing that. Don't even imagine that you are going to be able to force your timetable on her :wink: , because she is the cat!

I just adopted a kitty from a rescue, about 5 weeks ago. She is still investigating things and testing the waters. I drove the biggest part of 500 miles (round-trip) to get her and when I was driving home, all I could think of was how wonderful it was going to be to have this little bundle of fur on my lap. We still are not to that point! :) She has her own ways of spending quiet time with me and I enjoy every second of them, but she is not ready to be a lap kitty.

If your baby hides under the bed, go in the room and just sit down and talk quietly to her. Move slowly and calmly in her presence. Take in a book and read aloud, so she can hear your voice and get used to it. If she likes certain toys, take them with you and if she feels up to playing, then go for it. Take some treats for her, so you can praise her for sharing time with you. If she refuses to come out and join you, then just ket her be. Don't force yourself on her. Leave a treat where she can see it so she can come to associate you with good things. Remember that you are trying to establish trust and that takes time.

Patience, patience, patience is the key. It might take you several days of this before you will see her venturing out, but she will come out when she is ready. I know how badly you want to hold her and pet her, but that time will come, as soon as she learns that she can trust you. Don't get frustrated, OK?

Keep us informed as to your progress with her.

Peace,
Mike
 

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I agree with all the advice you have recieved. These things take time...she must of had a hard life until you came around. She WILL get better! I also agree that you should get her spayed.
GOOD LUCK! Keep us up dated!
 

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Wow -- I had so much to add at first and then I read other people's replies, and they took most of the words out of my mouth. lol. But I *will* throw in my support -- I hope that you are able to work through the anger. Your cat will always know if she's in trouble, and what you're working towards is trust. You can never force a cat to trust you -- you have to be patient and let *them* come to YOU. And all you can do is keep waiting -- because if you get frustrated and try to force it, you'll have to start from square one. When she goes to hide, let her. And in the meantime try to associate yourself with good things like treats and toys -- but again, don't go to her and shove toys and treats in her face. Let her come to you. That's all I have. :)
 
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