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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay... a few months ago, a man at a flea market was giving away kittens (only 6 weeks of age at the time) and I took the last two he had left. I've never had pets before, but instantly fell in love with these two.
A friend of mine came for a visit about six weeks ago, and decided that she loved my cats and to get one of her own. She went out and purchased a kitten from a pet shop, and took it home. I visited her the day after she got this kitten, and it was the most adorable, loveable kitten. She told me that this cat had not even hidden, just ran around the house exploring her new home.
This morning, I went to visit this friend again. The cat is basically skulking around the house. If my friend approaches the place that this cat is in, it runs and hides from her. It seems afraid of this girl, and as I said I have very little experience with pets of any kind (grew up with a mother allergic to animal hair). How do I tell if this is a situation where the animal is being mistreated?

I forgot to mention... something just didn't settle right with me when I was there.
post #2 of 4
The cat could just be depressed about the change. Have you talked to your friend about the change in behavior? It could be something simple - like your friend vacuumed that morning and it freaked out the kitten.

I would keep my eyes open if I were you. If you can hold the cat, look for signs of abuse, broken bones, over sensitivity, limping. I would also consider telling her vet. I would think they would be able to spot signs of abuse.
post #3 of 4
It could be abuse but it could also just be the cat's personality. Often, young cats are much bolder than older cats (probably they just don't know better!) As cats get older, they become more wary of things like trips to the vet, company or people in general. This may just be a normal behavior for that cat. Also, as the above post mentioned, the cat may be adjusting to its new territory. Cats are extremely attached to territory. A move can be as earth shattering for them as learning we have a serious illness can be for us.
post #4 of 4
It is absolutely normal for a cat to be scared in a new home. My cat explored the house boldly for the first few hours. Then he spent most of the next three or four months hiding under the bed, or sitting in one spot in the bedroom he felt was "safe."

The behavior you describe doesn't remotely suggest abuse to me.

It's important to remember that animals don't think or behave like people. Cats are highly territorial. Them being brought into a new environment is like their whole universe has changed... new food, smells, sounds, people. It takes a long time for them to get comfortable and feel like it's home.

Your friend should follow the usual steps for a new cat in the home. Namely, don't go to the cat or try to pet it and pick it up. Let the cat come to her in its own good time. Just talk gently to the cat when you're in the room, and maybe leave a few treats for it.
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