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Need Help with a 2 year old cat

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I am farely new to these boards, but have found so much helpfull info.

We adopted a Ragdoll male, Andy is Dec and he is now 8mths old. He had always been around cats and dogs and when he came here he fit in so well. We have 3 pugs and 1 terrier and they can be "interested" at times, but never harmfull. Andy put them in there place and now they are great friends. But at night he seemed bored...running around, purring, talking. We decided to find another ragdoll to adopt. I called all the breeders in the surrounding states to see if they had any retired breeders. I found several choices, but then one breeder gave us a lead for one of her customers. She needed to rehome her 2 year old female ragdoll because her baby is allergic. She had been around another cat up until 6mths ago (that cat passed away) and was also with a dog. We decided to go for it...she had her up to date on shots and checked out by the vet once more and we picked her up yesterday.

She is terrified. I know she is sad to be in a new home and this may be too much for her, but what do I do to get her use to us and this house? I know she is 2 and always been with her old surroundings. Right now, I have her in out bedroom/bathroom with her food/water/litter box. Yesterday she hid behind the bureau for the whole day. She came out at night and laid in the sink, but when she sees us she growls and hisses. She does let us pet her, but she is scared. How long does it take cats to adjust and what else can I do to help her?

Sorry so long....

post #2 of 2
I have no first-hand knowledge, but just the other day I was listening to Warren Eckstein (pet behaviorist) on the radio, and a man phoned in with a similar problem. He had adopted a Maine Coon from a shelter and had no knowledge of the cat's past, but his cat is reacting similar to yours.

Eckstein said (what you've said) that the cat is frightened, and the best thing to do is isolate the cat in one room and then spend some time with the cat by simply lying on the floor (to be at the cat's level), allowing the cat to either ignore you or approach. He advises repeating this as often as possible. He also said that feeding the cat reinforces your caring relationship--i.e., every time you put a plate of food down, the cat is getting the message that you are to be trusted.

He added that it's important NOT to force anything but to allow the cat to dictate the terms of every encounter.

I hope this helps.
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