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Adjustment going normally?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've had Harley since Saturday night, and I was just wondering if her adjustment to living here was going normally or not.

Ever since she's come in the house, she's been hiding under my bed. She does come out to eat and use the litterbox, and she comes out to briefly explore the house. But she seems like she is painfully shy.

She seems to do best if everyone either moves slowly, or sits still completely. Any sudden moves or fast walking and she is off like a shot back underneath the bed. She's also very reluctant to let me touch her, though I've managed to get a few quick strokes on her back when she's close enough.

She does follow me around the house if I call her, and she's been winding around my legs purring. She's also been rolling on the floor from time to time, and she's starting to talk to me. I've also gotten the slow blink from her if I talk to her when she's under the bed. To me, it's like she's trying to be friendly, but something is holding her back.

She's also not very interested in playing - I've seen her playing by herself with her catnip mouse, and I've heard her chasing jingle balls around the living room at night. But when I try to initiate play with her, she looks confused.

The woman we got her from had her all of her life (she's about 4). I know that it's hard on her to suddenly be put into what amounts to a house with 3 complete strangers, and I know that it hasn't really been all that long since she's been here. I can't help think that maybe I'm doing something wrong, or that there's something I'm not doing altogether to help her. Is there anything I can do to help her adjust better?
post #2 of 10
It sounds like she is doing great!! Honestly. Keep letting her go at her own pace and she will be your friend for life. It's been 9 months with my Rocko and I can still see changes in his behavoir that show me he keeps getting more and more comfortable as time goes on. It's great to see the trust being given to us.

Harley sounds awesome! She is already showing some affection which is wonderful.

Keep up interacting with her when she seems relaxed. Don't want to force her if all she wants to do is run under that bed! Have fun building a relationship with her. It's the best watching their love for you grow.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad that everything so far seems "normal". I've had two very outgoing cats before, and this is the first one I've had that's been so shy.

I did manage to pet her repeatedly before. She was walking back and forth underneath my hand (so in theory she was petting herself, but it was still more touching than she's been allowing). She also came up on the couch with me to look out the window.

I just feel bad that she feels like she needs to hide from everyone.
post #4 of 10
I understand that. I would be sad too if my cats hid under the bed.

I have not personally had to deal with it. Whenever I find it hard to swallow some type of behavior from my cats I just remind myself that they are individuals with their own special personalities and needs. Especially since two of my cats were not kittens when I got them and came from "who knows where!".

Thats why I have 3! They all are so different! It took me till #3 kitty to get a snuggly cat. Which was important to me. The other two are more aloof. But affectionate in their own way.
post #5 of 10
Harley sounds like she is adjusting, just at her own pace. When I got Tweety from his foster mom, he was 2 and was a feral kitten (had also been in 2 other homes). I was told he was very shy. That was an understatement. I was feeding and giving him water under the bed, though I know he was coming out at night and when I wasn't home. After about 3 weeks, he ventured under the table in the dining area, where, again, I put his food and water for another couple of weeks. All the time I kept spending some time with him, talking and making kissy noises, etc. Finally, he came into the kitchen to be fed like the rest of the family. When he and Aragorn finally made friends, he would watch as Aragorn and the other cats would come for attention and lap time. He finally followed Aragorn over so that I could pet him. He's now been with me for almost 2 years. He is still cautious, but he's getting better all the time. He will probably never be a lap cat, but he comes on the bed when I first wake up for his "special" time. He also comes up to me at other times, puts his paw on me to let me know it is "his" time. It takes time and patience. Once they trust you, it is the best.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everybody for making me feel better.

Harley had an awesome breakthrough last night - she got up in my lap! She was meowing and circling around my chair and the next thing I know she's sitting in my lap. As soon as I started petting her, it was like she just melted. She was even kneading my leg. She wound up in my lap on and off about 5 times before she decided she was going to lay next to me on the couch for a while. She even let my son pet her, which was an even bigger deal!

I also got her to play last night, too. Watching her roll around upside down on the floor with a catnip mouse between all four of her paws had me absolutely hysterical laughing.

She actually cried when I went to bed last night - she kept getting in and out of the bed looking for me to pet her!

She's still not all that sure about my husband, so now it's his turn to try to make friends.
post #7 of 10
Do you mind if I ask if he is a only cat?

Back at my parents house we had a cat who was very scared of everyone (though he came in from off the streets and he was a bit young to be away from his parents, about 6-8 weeks). After a year he is still that way but he loves Oliver (the cat he followed into the house). If he thinks no one is around he loves to pounce on him, groom him, even sleep next to him.

For what it's worth, it sounds like your cat is doing really well, much better then Yoda did at first. I hope things keep going well
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by othie View Post
Do you mind if I ask if he is a only cat?
Actually, she lived with an older cat before I got her. Unfortunately, we're on a limited budget and one kitty is about all we can manage at the moment, otherwise I'd consider getting her a friend.

She's actually doing really well today - she's let me touch her paws and mess with her toes. I really need to try to cut her nails, because she's got extra toes, some of her nails are awful.
post #9 of 10
Awww...thats so awesome!! Sounds like she loves you. I am so glad.

I have a kitty with extra toes and it is very important to keep an eye on them because they can grow into the flesh fairly quickly. Depends on how they are angled sometimes. I cut my cats nails every couple of weeks and just play with them so i can keep an eye on them and get her used to having them touched.

Congrats! Sounds like kitty is adjusting really well.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, last night I tried to show Harley the clippers. She decided she didn't want anything to do with them and got out of my lap in a big hurry, so I'll have to wait and try again. She does seem ok with me stroking her paws and pushing her claws out a little bit.

Harley's gone from hiding under the bed to being a real mush. She lays on me constantly, any chance she gets. She gets in my lap in a way that she puts her paws on my chest, like she's trying to hug me. Her other favorite spot is she lays on my hip when I'm laying on the couch and slowly "fluffs" the back of my pj pants. And let me not forget that if she decides she wants my attention now, she meows at me!
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