Cat Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got four, stray, anxious kittens. They've been living with us since 20th Sept which is over 3 weeks now. For a place to hide and sleep in, we got a box, cut out a little hole in the front, filled it with comfy blankets and placed it in the corner of our living room. They very rarely use it though, choosing to spend most of the time in our sofa, or, in the kitchen units. Unfortunately the units are on legs, so the kittens can crawl under and somehow manage to squeeze through tiny gaps cut for the pipes, and sit in our cupboard with all the cleaning stuff in.

I have thought of the following two solutions and would like to know your opinion of them:

1) Try to block off the entrance to the cupboard, which will be extremely difficult and fiddly.

2) As they like the cupboard so much - let them have it! I could just take out all our stuff and lay down some blankets.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,806 Posts
I'd let them have the cupboards. :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
1) You can put magnetic closer things on the cupboard doors to keep them from going in that way, but you say they are going in through the back? You could put sticky tape around the pipe openings and maybe they would learn that isn't fun.

2) Or let them have the cupboard. It will look better than the cardoard box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
I agree--let them have their cupboard.
I volunteer at a cat sanctuary, and there are some cats who just love to be shut inside closets.
And when Ritz and her three litter mates were rescued (around 4 months old, abandoned, survived a 20 inch snow storm....), the foster parent cleaned out her medicine cabinet. The four were small enough, and the medicine cabinet deep enough, that they could all fit in and sleep. It was their safe haven.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
My first choice would be to keep them in a different room, a bedroom maybe or even a bathroom - someplace where they cannot hide out of reach but can still spend time with people and feel secure in a cozy - but not out of reach spot. In my experience kittens that can get out of reach seem to socialize with people more slowly than those that are 'sharing closer space' with people, basically with no out of reach place to hide.

If a different room with less out of reach hiding places isn't available I would probably let them have the cupboard for awhile but take off the doors - maybe take one off and leave one on. Actually taking off the doors temporarily may encourage the kittens to spend less time in the cupboard on their own.

The box is a good idea - any chance of cutting a second doorway on another side since it sits in the corner? with multiple kitties they 'might' use it more if there is more than one way in & out....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree--let them have their cupboard.
I volunteer at a cat sanctuary, and there are some cats who just love to be shut inside closets.
And when Ritz and her three litter mates were rescued (around 4 months old, abandoned, survived a 20 inch snow storm....), the foster parent cleaned out her medicine cabinet. The four were small enough, and the medicine cabinet deep enough, that they could all fit in and sleep. It was their safe haven.
My first choice would be to keep them in a different room, a bedroom maybe or even a bathroom - someplace where they cannot hide out of reach but can still spend time with people and feel secure in a cozy - but not out of reach spot. In my experience kittens that can get out of reach seem to socialize with people more slowly than those that are 'sharing closer space' with people, basically with no out of reach place to hide.

If a different room with less out of reach hiding places isn't available I would probably let them have the cupboard for awhile but take off the doors - maybe take one off and leave one on. Actually taking off the doors temporarily may encourage the kittens to spend less time in the cupboard on their own.

The box is a good idea - any chance of cutting a second doorway on another side since it sits in the corner? with multiple kitties they 'might' use it more if there is more than one way in & out....

Thanks for your input everyone! The main reason why I was having difficulty with this situation is because there does tend to be conflicting views about the 'safe haven' option. As with Ritzpg, some sources say it can be good for socialisation because, as a prerequisite, they need to feel 'safe' in their environment in order to feel comfortable around people.
Then there's the other view, like Nora B's, that a safe haven impedes their socialisation as it gives them the option to 'opt out' whenever they feel like it.
For the time being I'm letting them have the cupboard, then after a couple of days, may start leaving one of the doors ajar before leaving it open completely.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
I would block off access to the cupboard (you've already have some good suggestions how to do that). Set up a cat carrier as their safe haven instead, and cover it with a dark blanket, half draped over the entrance. Get them used to it by feeding treats and their food in it. This way you give them a safe haven and get them used to a carrier, so that you can take them to a vet, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would block off access to the cupboard (you've already have some good suggestions how to do that). Set up a cat carrier as their safe haven instead, and cover it with a dark blanket, half draped over the entrance.
I modified your suggestion with the blanket and draped one over the entrance to their box so there's just a tiny gap at the bottom and they spend time in it now:)

My first choice would be to keep them in a different room, a bedroom maybe or even a bathroom - someplace where they cannot hide out of reach but can still spend time with people and feel secure in a cozy - but not out of reach spot. In my experience kittens that can get out of reach seem to socialize with people more slowly than those that are 'sharing closer space' with people, basically with no out of reach place to hide.

If a different room with less out of reach hiding places isn't available I would probably let them have the cupboard for awhile but take off the doors - maybe take one off and leave one on. Actually taking off the doors temporarily may encourage the kittens to spend less time in the cupboard on their own.
We've come to the decision that they would be better off confined to a smaller area so they're not allowed in the kitchen now - cupboard problem solved. Also, as an experiment we're also going to separate each one from the litter for a week at a time when they will live in the bathroom and only have contact with us. We reckon they're holding each other back and might start bonding with us if they're not so dependent on each other!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,618 Posts
Good idea to separate them. These kittens need a lot of socialization, and the more they are with people, handled and played with the better pet they will make. At minimum 20 mins/2x/day they should be held and cuddled, handled (do a mini-exam of eyes and ears (clean if necessary) and groomed gently with a comb), give treats afterward, and then interactive play with a cord or fishing-pole type of toy (like "Da Bird") . This will go a long way to raising a kitten grow up to be a sociable confident cat and a wonderful pet. Good luck!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top