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Please help... terrifyed kitty won't come out from under the couch.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, long story short: I am helping out a friend by taking care of her cat for a few months while she is out of the country. I have 2 cats of my own that are both a little over a year old, both energetic and playfull.

So I followed the procedure from the articles online about how to introduce a new cat to the household with other cats. She was kept isolated for 2 weeks, I fed my cats by her door, exchanged towels between cats, gave them all catnip, etc. Then I let her out to meet my cats. Except for a few hisses here and there, there wasn't much of an initial aggression between the cats. Now, it's been about a week since they are in the same room, but the problem is, my friend's cat spends all day and all night long under the couch in the living room. My cats have gotten used to her and ignore her, they now even sleep in her kitty bed! But she just won't come out, except for maybe to use the bathroom. I put a bowl of dry food and water for her behind the couch and she eats it if she gets there before my cats do, but I am worried about her. She clearly seems unhappy. She is an older cat (over 10 years old), she doesn't like to play, runs away from toys and lazer beams, the only two things she likes are catnip and to be pet.

Is that behavior normal? Is there a chance she might eventually come out and socialize with other cats?
post #2 of 10
Could you set her up in another room, (maybe your bedroom), with food and litter box and her bed so she would have what would be a "safe haven". Then she could move around and maybe look out a window or some such thing and you would both feel better about her being there.
post #3 of 10
Aww, poor girl. I think she will eventually come out. It takes more time for an older kitty to get used to new things.
post #4 of 10
Aww, it does make you worry when one of the bunch is unhappy

Maybe you need to start the whole introduction process again, I agree with Yayi it can take time for an older one to settle and of course, its all still very new and your two cats are the territory holders - younger and full of beans which will make the older one a little unsure.

Well, with a little more time - you´ll get there !

Good Luck
post #5 of 10
i got my kitten from the local rescue center..she hid under a blanket for about 3 or 4 days..soo scared even if we lifted the blanket to check on her so we left her and now she runs about like a mad cat..we look back at those days and laugh..i guess its like humans uve gotta feel comfy were u are before u relax..im sure given time yours will be the same ..we also have 4 others
post #6 of 10
I think the worst thing you can do is fuss her or be upset - she will read that as thinking htere is something out there to be scared of. Let her come out at her own pace, and I do think too that if you can give her a room of her own again for a while that would encourage her to come out and get to know you.
post #7 of 10
I recently brought a 7 month old kitten into our happy home (4 others), and she spent the first week under a dresser. Like you, I put food & water nearby so she didn't even need to come out if she didn't want to. I actually had to coerce her out the first couple of days to take her to the litterbox!
She's been her 2 1/2 weeks, and she still hasn't socialized with the others. I would imagine a 10 y/o cat would be extremely stressed by all the upheaval. I think the best thing you can do is just give her time & space. She'll come out when she's ready. In the meantime, try to give her all the attention that you can; she's got to be missing her owner & her former way of life.
Good luck with her.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys so much for your support and understanding. Yeah, my friend told me that she is very shy and hiding is her usual behavior. When she was staying in a separate room, she was in hiding most of the time. But she would come out every now and then when I was there to let me pet her. She seemed to enjoy it very much.

The good thing is that she does come out about 2-3 times a day and quickly runs to the storage room where the litter boxes are and uses them. But she does it so fast, it's hard to notice sometimes. There are also signs that she eats and drinks her water. Good signs. So I just let her be.

She also used to be an iside/outside kitty when she was at home, but my cats are inside only and I don't let any of them out.
post #9 of 10
Have you tried Feliway? I had a different situation in that I got both my cats at the same time. Swanied unpacked the first night and went looking for dinner. Cindy hid whereever she could, usually under the bed. We talked to her a lot, but it wasn't until I heard about Feliway, bought one, and plugged it in next to the bed that she finally came out. And has stayed out. I understand Feliway doesn't work for every cat, but it sure does wonders for mine.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys,

I am having another problem now. One of the cats is being naughty and poops on the litter-box entrance outside of it. It also came to my attention that there was blood in the poop.

Ok, so last night I went ahead and bought feliway. It did make her a little more comfortable but not much. I then put my cats into the storage room and they stayed there for overnight. Eow still remained under the couch but she seemed to be very happy when I came by and reach my hand over behind the couch to pet her. She would come out and hang out in that little area behind the couch where I have her food and water. We had 2-3 petting sessions that she enjoyed very much, but as soon as I step out she goes back under the couch.

When I go to sleep at night, I shut the door to my bedroom so that cats won't disturb me. Last night when I came out to check on her, Eow was walking around the room and as soon as she saw me, she ran back under the couch! So she does walk around the room at night! I checked her litter-box that I placed for her by the window, she's been using it very well last night and her poop looks healthy.

Now which one of my cats is the trouble-maker? When I went to work this morning, I let Chichi out of the storage room and put a round-dome litter-box for her in my bathroom. I decided to have Wesley stay in the storage room with the automatic litter-box for the day.
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