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new kitten hiding under couch, hasn't eaten

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
We brought home an 11-week old male kitty today, and after we let him out of the carrier, he ran and hid under the couches. We have the door to the room shut, and he has a litter box and food and water, but he has not come out to eat, drink or use the box. It's been about 18 hours and he's only come out once to eat some wet food (about 8 hours ago, when we had to leave the house for a bit). There's nothing in the litterbox. I'm afraid he has found a way up inside the netting of the couch, because when I look under and behind everything, I can't see him anywhere. My worst concern is that he's up in the couch and can't find the hole to come back out.

I'm worried because I don't want to cause more stress by trying to lift the couch and open the bottom, but if he doesn't eat or drink, he can get really sick. He just won't come out

Any advice?
post #2 of 16
obviously you need to get him out as you say. it's not unusual for kittens not to eat much in the first couple of days in a new home. milo was nervous for a good couple of days and ate very little, whereas shinobi ate as soon as we got him home!

what i did do was get a small box that the kitten can retreat into if they feel overwhelmed. i put a little blanket in there and made sure that if they went in there, i would speak to them but not get them out.

i would be prepared to spend as long as it takes to get your baby out. have a bowl of wet food beside you and then just sit and sweet talk him out. make sure you have his new box ready for him to go into too. while you're doing this keep the room as quiet as possible. if you have any other animals i would keep them out of there at this stage.

good luck, it is a huge responsibility bringing home a new baby but i'm sure you will all be fine!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
After I wrote my post, I went back into the room, and after a few minutes of searching, I noticed him on the arm of the love seat under a pillow. I talked to him quietly and said it was okay to come out. As I started to crawl towards him with the bowl of wet food and he bolted under the couch again. At least I know that he is not up inside the couch. I then tried a string to entice him to come out, but he wouldn't. So I left the food and water by the couch, hoping he'd come out and eat some. I slept in the room all night, but it appears he still didn't eat. I'm going to try again.

He was so playful and happy and the shelter. I hope bringing him home didn't upset him so much that he'll never be the same.
post #4 of 16
My first two kittens were just like that. I brought them home and they bolted behind the refrigerator. They never came out either the first day. Never used the litter box, didn't eat, didn't drink. I Finally had to go behind the refrigerator to get them out, it was dangerous back there. There was a fan in the refigerator inside the bottom where they were hiding. I got them out and blocked the openings so they couldn't go behind it. I put them in my bedroom, they ran right under the bed, they hadn't gone to the litterbox in 2 days, finally I shoved the water bowl and food dishes right under the bed with them and eventually they ate. I'd sit on the floor and swing a little stick with a rubber spider on it. Eventually they came out to play very carefully. Just give them time. Good luck.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Good news..... i was able to get him from under the couch. I sat him on my lap and petted him and told him it was okay. He actually started purring , but when my husband came near, he got nervous again. He wouldn't eat from the dish, but I put a little on my finger and he licked it off. I moved him to my spare bedroom which is much smaller and has less crannies to hide in. He seems like he'll be okay, but boy is he nervous. He's under the bed now, but at least I can see him, and I have food and water there.

I do have another cat, who is a year old, but I've kept her separated completely. He was in a cage at the shelter with other cats, I wonder if introducing them slowly would actually help?

I'm going to leave him be for a little while, hopefully he'll eat some more and use the litter box. Then I'll try playing with a string to see if he'll come out.

Thanks for the responses. I feel a little better now.
post #6 of 16
all cats are different. One of mine( Brady) didn't eat or use the litterbox for at least 2 days. The other one I let out of the carrier and he acted like he had lived here all his life. Brady would hide behind the bureau in his safe room for 3-4 weeks if any one came in. He slowly came out of his shell. I still laugh at those first days and what a scaredy cat he was. Your kitty will be just fine.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by typix View Post
.

He was so playful and happy and the shelter. I hope bringing him home didn't upset him so much that he'll never be the same.

Pretty soon, he'll be that way at your house. Don't worry. This is just how some cats act temporarily when their domicile changes.
post #8 of 16
Awww......

Poor little guy is scared. Cats are territorial, so best to keep the door shut (make the territory small at first).

Think of it like this, maybe this will help. Imagine that you're three years old, you don't know what happened to your parents, but you're flown on a plane (which is scary) to China. You don't know whether or not your new family wants to eat you, use you for medical experiments or what. Everything looks different, everything smells different, everything sounds different. You're terrified. You need some time to adjust, to get used to everything, and to come to trust the people that have adopted you.

That's all that's happened. Spend as much time in the room with him as you can - a lot of it just being in there, doing something else. Be at his level - sit on the floor. Fold laundry, knit, sew, read out loud - just let him watch you and get used to you.

And wand toys with feathers wiggling about (though he may be scared at first, so don't force it) or baby food as a treat (held out on a spoon - we use Gerber's meat baby foods, like chicken or lamb) will work wonders.



Laurie
post #9 of 16
What Laurie says is right. His whole world is upside down and he didn't even know there WAS another world! The fact that he eating and coming out already, even for short periods, is good. I have had cats who hid for weeks before I saw them. Get him used very slowly to your voice and smell. Put food/treats on a smelly towel or T shirt and leave them for him. Read aloud and stay down at his level. Don't try and force him onto your lap and don't look him direct in the eyes - this is aggressive to cats. Blink lots when he is out and look away. That means you are not a threat and you like him. Before long, he will probably blink back and you will be on the road to a wonderful partnership.
post #10 of 16
When we first brought Hannah home, she was isolated from our other kitty due to illness for 6 weeks. I spent countless hours sitting on the floor in her room talking to her, reading to her, playing with her, singing silly songs to her, and just letting her get to know me. I would go in there and lay on the floor and read my book. She would crawl up on me, lay down, and sleep. (She still likes to cuddle with me to this day.) I ran a Feliway diffuser in her room to help calm her. If I was doing it again, I'd put a radio in there and play classical music for her.

Give your little one time to get to know you and he'll be fine.
post #11 of 16
If you cannot see him, chances are he is up inside the couch and you carefully have to tip it over and get him out. That's why a lot of people use the bathroom to confine a new cat/kitten for a few days - they can't get under anything.

He needs to get out now.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Think of it like this, maybe this will help. Imagine that you're three years old, you don't know what happened to your parents, but you're flown on a plane (which is scary) to China. You don't know whether or not your new family wants to eat you, use you for medical experiments or what. Everything looks different, everything smells different, everything sounds different. You're terrified. You need some time to adjust, to get used to everything, and to come to trust the people that have adopted you.
plus, your new family are all GIANTS!
sounds like things are going a bit better - he'll be at 'home' before you know it!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
An update! He's is doing MUCH better! I have him confined to the spare bedroom, which is much smaller and more open. I have slept in there the last 2 nights, one night on the floor, and he's been eating and using his box. I've been able to get him to come out for some wet food, and to play with some new mice! Last night, I even got him to sleep next to me on the bed! He is a little love bug when you start to pet him... he does love to purr and have his belly rubbed.

Thanks so much for the advice... I was so nervous at first, but I can see that this will be slow, but that eventually, it'll be ok!
post #14 of 16
Woohoo!! He just sounds a little skeptical. Patience will win him over quickly, I'm sure!

Stephanie
post #15 of 16
My husband and I adopted two kittens in July--male and female--Sam & Sarah. When we brought them home, they did the same thing...hid under the recliner. Sam was scared of everything. I thought to myself..oh crap what did I get myself into. Our last cat, who passed away in June, was afraid of her own shadow. I did not want another skittish cat

Fast forward to now and both cats are as happy as can be and are completely people friendly. Heck, Sam who I thought was going to be my problem child is actually the most easy going cat I have ever seen(and hes only 5 months old). He loves being held, petted, anything. HE LOVES ATTENTION.

His sister, Sarah, is more independent yet a sweetheart. I am so glad we got both of them as I am currently under treatment for breast cancer and those two knuckleheads have kept me company while I am not able to work since I am doing chemo right now.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by typix View Post
An update! He's is doing MUCH better! I have him confined to the spare bedroom, which is much smaller and more open. I have slept in there the last 2 nights, one night on the floor, and he's been eating and using his box. I've been able to get him to come out for some wet food, and to play with some new mice! Last night, I even got him to sleep next to me on the bed! He is a little love bug when you start to pet him... he does love to purr and have his belly rubbed.

Thanks so much for the advice... I was so nervous at first, but I can see that this will be slow, but that eventually, it'll be ok!
That's great! We have to remember its a big world for a little kitten and it can become overwhelming. Slowly introducing him to your world, and his new world, but supporting him and familiarizing him with you as much as possible at the same time is the best way to build a loving, trusting relationship!
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