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How long does it take to adjust?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Our verly elderly cat recently died, and, feeling very lonely, last weekend, we adopted another cat -- a 5 year old female who was in the shelter because her prior owner went to a nursing home. We selected her because she seemed so friendly and loving, and that is the way she was on the first day.

Since then, each and every day she has grown significantly more reclusive. The 2nd day with us, she stayed under the bed but would come to the edge to play with us. Then she stopped responding to us, and moved further back, only to come out when we are asleep to eat and use the box. Two nights ago my husband accidently left the basement door open, and since then, and she has been huddled in a dark corner in the back of a closet under stuff. (It was almost impossible to find her.) My husband says that she isn't a bad "guest" because she is very neat (she is a neater eater than our beloved old cat), doesn't scratch, and uses the box. I am thinking that I didn't want just a guest and that she might not be the right fit for our household. I want a more interactive cat, and obviously she isn't happy being with us.

How long should it take for a cat to adjust to a new house, and given that each day is getting worse, is there any hope for this to improve? We do feel confident that she is healthy. She eats well, grooms herself, and, when we can find her, really does look good. Help.
post #2 of 3
Hmmm sounds like you bought her home and just gave her free run of the house - which is pretty overwhelming to any cat/kitten. Try confining her to one room with litter pan, food/water and let her do a room at a time.

Charlie has the library room cause he's a baby (for one) and it takes awhile to explore the house. When we let him out he followed the walls to the next room - bathroom and then slowly explored the living/dining room area. Today (3 day with us) he's done the kitchen and family room - tho the family room is still "scary" to him. We won't let him in the basement part for awhile - too many places for a baby kitten to hide.
post #3 of 3
Golden is right, you should confine her to one room, let her get comfortable in that space and slowly broaden her space. Let he come to you as she feels more secure.
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