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Hey everyone!

I posted here a few days ago after bringing a 4 month old kitten, Tibbers, inside in the hopes of taming him and giving him a happy life. He was doing very well when he was confined to the bathroom. He would come out and let me pet him and seemed generally happy. I decided to move him into my room where he'd get more socialization and could interact with the other cat. Since moving him, he seems to have become more wary of me. I thought it might be the other cat making him nervous, but every time she comes into the room, Tibbers brightens up and walks right up to her. Whenever he sees me now, he hisses and retreats to his hiding place under my bed.

I'm sure that he just needs time, but I'm worried that he's only going to get more skittish. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do now? I can tempt him out with food and once he comes out, he does enjoy me petting him. Should I just keep that up? Should I move him back into the bathroom until he's absolutely 100% comfortable with everyone?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

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I think moving him into your bedroom was a good idea, however, since he's so skittish you should probably block off access to under your bed. When he's under there he's not really interacting with you or becoming more social. I would have an area that he can hide more like a cubbyhole, something you can easily reach in and grab him from.

Maybe something like this:


Spend lots of time in your room, moving quietly and slowly, talking to him softly. Try and get him playing with wand toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's probably a good thing to do. Though, I'm not sure how I'd be able to block off the area under my bed.

He also does really enjoy wand toys already. He behaves like a normal cat besides the fact that he suddenly wants nothing to do with me.
 

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That's probably a good thing to do. Though, I'm not sure how I'd be able to block off the area under my bed.

He also does really enjoy wand toys already. He behaves like a normal cat besides the fact that he suddenly wants nothing to do with me.
You can go to a local store and get cardboard boxes and tape. You can tape the cardboard to the bed and floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh thank you Scottd, that's a great idea. I actually recently moved so I have plenty of cardboard just lying around. Hopefully that will keep him from hiding away!
 

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And don't get discouraged, I don't know how long it's been, but my two very friendly cats hid for days to a couple of weeks before they started acting normal, and now those two follow me like dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for the advice! I blocked off my bed using cardboard and within 5 minutes it seems to help. His first instinct when he sees me is to try and hide, but a few seconds after his fear subsides he walks right up to me for pets. And now that he doesn't have an out-of-reach hiding spot he has no choice but to calm down. Thanks again guys!

Jadis, it's only been about 2 weeks but I haven't done anything like this before and it's really difficult to not be discouraged. I'm always worried he's never going to overcome his fears and since I live with a person who isn't exactly a fan of cats, it's just too easy to psych myself out.

Thanks so much to everyone though! Even just hearing encouraging words helps : )
 

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That's really great news! From your description I would say he'll become a great cat. He is still a kitten, they adjust faster. He's come a very long way in just two weeks, everything considered. Give this time.

One of my cats was a feral kitten, he lived on the couch curled in a ball for the first few months. It took around a year until he felt safe walking near the door of the apartment (there were strangers and foreign noises out there!!) ... I remember even a few years in seeing him pick up new (more relaxed) traits. Eventually he became really tame and loving around the people he knows, though. He wants to be the ultimate lap cat and loves having "meowing" conversations with us. He's always been terrified of strangers, but oh well.

I also tamed a feral cat from outside... took a year until she'd let me pet her! When we first brought her inside she flipped and escaped out a broken window, she thought the indoors were going to kill her, basically. She (Blacky) became a fantastic cat eventually, loves following us around outdoors - even on walks - and sleeps curled up on me in bed at night. Best thing I ever did was tame her, she's brought so much joy, and when you really work towards taming them, they don't forget it. You get a special bond from it, so don't lose hope.
 

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Oh yeah, thought I'd add, Blaze (the feral kitten I mentioned) came to love sleeping in the hall closet right beside the "scary" door at the apartment, it was his sleeping area! Likewise, Blacky at first was a ticking time-bomb, touch her the wrong way she she'd bite and kick, she got over it after a few years, trust needed to build up though. Now we can scratch her stomach (a danger zone in a lot of cats even if they weren't feral) and she enjoys it, no threat of biting.

Another thing to suggest is to sit close to your cat while you feed him, maybe petting him a little is good too. It's a bonding experience, they're going to warm up faster to the one that gives food. ;) And handing out some treats when he comes over to you never hurt either.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Carmel, thank you so much for the kind words! It's really really helpful to hear that it's possible for him to adjust even though it takes time. When I found him, I was really seeking some feline companionship and took him in on a whim really. The only other cat I took in was about a week old and so she adjusted to people really well and with no troubles. I probably had higher standards than I should have when I took Tibbers in, but hearing about your cats I definitely have hope for him. Especially since he seems like he adjusted more quickly than your cats hahah

They both sound like wonderful cats though! Blacky seems especially wonderful. Plus she is so pretty, wow!!
 

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Hey again everyone!

Tibbers is doing much better. He occassionally jumps up into my lap now and just sits for awhile. He's still not totally comfortable with me and gets nervous if I approach incorrectly or move too quickly. He's coming along well though.

What I wanted to ask today is, how do I know when I should let him out of my room to explore the rest of the house? He seems to get along with the other cat here, but my roommate has a large puppy that has a real problem with chasing cats. I was thinking I'd start by letting him roam the house at night while the puppy is crated. I'm pretty worried that he's going to start hiding again once I let him out though. Is there anything I can do to keep him from hiding away once he's got the whole house to hide in? Or is the hiding-away-for-hours thing just a process he needs to go through in order to adjust to life indoors?

I'm thinking maybe the best thing to do is just keep him in my room until he's much more comfortable with me, but I'm curious what you guys would suggest!

Thanks for the help!
 

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hello!, I am in a similar situation - I brought Ben in (trapped) a month ago, she is doing good, I still don't touch her, but she rubs up against me. I have her in a room we made for her with a screen door, and I don't plan on letting her out until she is totally comfortable with me, and I know that could be months! Hope that is the right thing to do???
Sally
 

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About the first little cat--sometimes noises or smells spook any cat. Even my old calico spooks sometimes and runs for the closet when one of my cousins comes in. I think she doesn't like the smell of cattle. Just keep talking to her and pet her whenever she is comfortable.
 

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Glad to hear Tibbers is doing better. :) I like your idea of letting him out while the puppy is in the crate. Another idea is to get a pet gate with a cat door. This is one that we have and it works perfectly. We have it at the door to her room and it gives her a place to get away from the dogs, but they can still see and hear each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I've started leaving the door to my room open but he still hasn't ventured out. The dog is temporarily not staying in the house so he has every opportunity to explore at his own pace. I did start letting Tibbers approach the dog while she's in the crate though. He hissed and spat but he was comfortable enough to sit pretty close and eat some food (though the dog was NOT pleased to have to sit and watch the cat eat treats).

That dog gate looks pretty interesting! I'll see how the two of them do together once the dog is back and if they don't do well, one of those gates might be a good investment. I'm not sure where I'd put it though, but maybe I'll figure something out. Thanks for the suggestion!

I'll try and post a good picture soon. I only have a few that I took using my phone. The first one here is maybe a week after I brought him home? The second one was taken a few minutes ago. You can see how much he's filled out already I think!





On a side note...He has so much ear fur!! I'm amazed hahaha
 
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