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Help! My cat won't settle

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have recently brought home a 7 month old British smoke black shorthhair. He is a a lovely cat and I have now had him for 3 weeks. Problem is is that he is just so frightened of us (me and my wife). He will come up for a smooth but when you put your hand out to stroke him he backs off. If we move when he is in our presence he runs away and hides under the bed and may stay there all day. He doesn't eat at regular intervals, but is eating. What do we need to do to make him feel more at home? How long can it take for an older cat to get used to us and his new surroundings?

Please help anyone

post #2 of 4
You called him a 'smoke black shorthair' - is that the actual breed name given by the sellers, or just what you're calling it - I ask because if in fact he's a medium-darkish purpley gray, with greenish eyes, he could be a Russian Blue (or mostly) of which I have one and which are known to be very skittish - takes quite a while them to trust anyone. Mine only allowed me to touch him x 10 yrs, and now at 14 will just barely let my husband pet him a couple of times in a row! Jumps at every quick or unexpected movement, etc. etc. The best thing is to just ignore him as much as possible til he starts to feel at home. Be there, talk a lot, but try to avoid sudden noises and especially movement. Only ever present the back of your hand (no wiggly fingers) to him - it's less threatening, and don't try to pet him at all til he loosens up a lot - but the method will allow you to get closer faster. DO play with him, throw little (1+") balls for him to chase, knot a 4-5' cord at both ends and drag/jiggle under a sheet of newspaper, get a Da Bird toy (stick with feathers on the end) or a laser pointer so he can chase the light around the room. Make sure he doesn't dislike his litter and give him variety at meals. Let him make the approaches and don't let children or strangers try to grab him, etc. .
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. He is a Black Smoke sorry. He is a pedigree and is part of the British shorthair family, related to the British Blue, only he is black. But thanks for the info
post #4 of 4
He probably simply needs bit more time to settle in and get used to you. Don't push the petting, but talk to him in a soothing voice. You could try sitting on the floor and reading aloud to him. When he approaches you, slowly blink your eyes at him ("I mean you no harm" in catspeak). Offer a treat, and some play, e.g., with a wand toy like Da Bird, or a Cat Dancer.
Are you familiar with Feliway? It's available at vet's offices as a spray or diffuser, and will fill your home with a scent (undetectable to humans) that creates a "comfort zone".
Three weeks isn't a long time for a cat to settle in, even one as young as 7 months, so you'll probably see some progress soon.
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