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Ghost Cat

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm hoping somebody can help with our situation.

My flatmate and I recently got a new cat from the cat protection league, a 6 year old black and white female. She seemed to be quite happy with us on her first day, sitting very close and even purring. However when I took her into the kitchen and put her down she took off and dashed into a cupboard which has no back and leads under the floorboards. She has now been under there for four days, the only time we've seen her has been when we crawl into the cupboard with a lamp and shine it back using a mirror to see her ... She doesn't seem scared of us at all (probably because she realises that we can't get down there!).

Last night when I got home I couldn't see her at all, it seems as though she's managed to go even further back. She came out during the night for food and water...

Do you have any ideas on how we're going to encourage her to come out?
post #2 of 21
Chances are that the kitten is coming out at night to eat. So what you might want to do is to set up a humane trap with a bowl of really smelly food (like tuna) in the trap. When she comes out at night to eat, she will be trapped. Then, carry her (in the trap) to a small room and let her out. When she is in the room, board up the opening where she was hiding. You can probably borrow a humane trap from the local RSPCA.

Good luck!
post #3 of 21
I had a cat who lived in my rafters for a year before he trusted us enough to come down.

Keep providing food, water and litterbox and have patience.
post #4 of 21
I would just give her some time. Make sure she has a litter box and food. put the food outside the cabnet. My feral ashton hide in a cabnet for about week and then he finally started to come out when I went in to feed him she won't stay there for ever!
post #5 of 21
Hi there!

i read several articles about kitties hiding behind furniture.

It takes time for them to get acclimated to the new environment. Also, it takes time for a kitty to establish trust.

Daisy hid under my bed when she first arrived. i teased her with a yellow feather interactive toy. She did come out, and even played quite abit after. She was hailed from a household of male kitties, chasing her around till she hid a lot.

i was wondering if you could tease your kitty to get her out of her shyness with an interactive toy (great time to bond as well?)

With patience and time, i am sure this kitty will come around!

Smiles and cheers!
post #6 of 21
There is the posibility that she may have been spooked a little. Somthing as small as going into a nother room, even to a cat who has been living with you for a day can be spooky for them. When I first brought Hobo home, she was scared of everything ((including her own shadow)). I gave her lot's of love, stuff to chase, food to eat, a litter box, and some treats to lead her out of her hidey hole ((wich was my traveling backpack Ironicaly enough)).

Live everyone has been saying just let her be, if she's ready to come out, she will. Something I would sugest is to keep the noise level down, because that might just cause her to go running again.

Hope this helps, and best of luck...

~ Salem
post #7 of 21
I have found with all my ferals that quick movements and loud noise freaks them out. I tamed mine by playing with them and spending as much time around them as I could untill they could understand that I wasnt going to hurt them. You said your cat came from a shelter...most likely that cat never had good experiances around humans. Also do you have any other animals? Mine still freak about a dog or a stray cat. They get so scared they get confused and mistake the stray for one of their brothers..The trap idea works. Especially if you release the cat where it cant hide under stuff as far back as that one did. My uncle took one of my ferals before it was tame at all..and left it alone and after a week it came out and slowly decided it was safe. Good Luck and keep us posted.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, they've been very reassuring, except for the thought of waiting a year!

She's still under the floorboards and we've not seen her since Monday, but she came out last night for the first time in two nights. She ate all the food we'd left out and used the litter tray twice, so it looks as though she was out for quite a while, rather than what we've imagined are very quick trips in the past, so hopefully that's a good sign.

I've rigged the door with a piece of cardboard so if she knocks the door at all it will close, as it did last night ... unfortunately on her way back into the cupboard, when she'd be less cautious. I didn't think it would work straight away, I think she'll have to get confident about coming and going through the partially open door, as previously it was wide open.

We hope to see her some time soon ...
post #9 of 21
Hi. I've been reading this thread with interest. Please keep us informed on your progress. I'm send good thoughts your way.
post #10 of 21
I got Pete out of the rafters finally by enticing him with catnip. Perhaps you can try that? I sprinkled some around his food bowl when he came down to the second floor to eat. He got so wrapped up in the catnip, that it relaxed him to the point I could sit on the floor near him and talk to him. After that, he stayed on the second floor instead of in the rafters. I guess there were to many cats downstairs for his liking.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks to all of you for your suggestions.

We're getting a bit worried as she's not come out for the last four nights now and we've not actually seen her for over a week now, nor have either of us heard her at all, in the past we could hear her scurrying about a bit.

I'll try the catnip, hopefully it will draw her out, or at least bring her close enough under the floorboards so we can at least see her and know that she's ok.
post #12 of 21
Here's my "How I Got My Cat Out of Hiding" story.

Diesel was hiding behind the ice chest outside the Texaco I worked at. After three hours, a few ounces of turkey, and a stealthy grab, I had him in my car, ready to go. Thankfully, I was working with my best friend at the time - Without her help, I never would've gotten this spooky foofer out of that crevice.

He was a positive dream the entire drive home... Until I pulled in front of my house. He pooped on the floorboard.

I put the car in park, right in the middle of the street (I work nights, so this was about 8am on a Sunday - plus, I live in the sticks.) So I ran in the house to grab some Resolve and paper towels... By the time I came back, my friend Jamie was staring under my front porch, cursing under her breath.

After about three hours of calling, begging, and throwing kitty treats to his general vicinity, I gave up and went to sleep. I had left an old salad tray from Wendy's full of food under the porch.

I woke up, and relayed the story to my parents. They believed me.

Three days pass. I hear my parents saying, "Pssh, there's no cat under there. He's long gone, and a stray's eating that food."

A week passes. No sign of him. Oh well, then there's no use feeding the neighborhood strays, is there?

A week and a day later, as I'm walking up the stairs, a little black foofy comes running out from under the porch, meowing up a storm.

My vote - Diminish his food supply. It's not the nicest thing to do, and I certainly don't condone starving the poor cat to death.. But if a little hunger leads to a lot of love, it's the best thing to do. (As long as nothing else works, as this isn't a very friendly method.)
post #13 of 21
Any Update??L Have u seen the cat recently yet?? If u do see her, do try to get her out from wherever she's hiding and put in another room so that way u and she can get used to each other..

Good luck and pls keep us posted!
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
We finally got hold of the lady who we got the cat from and she came around two nights ago and set a cat trap.

No luck with this device and we're pretty sure now that she must have somehow got outside over the weekend!

She's not eaten for six nights which leads us to the above conclusion. However we're not giving up. Tonight we have somebody coming over to lift some floorboards where we think she could possibly be ... we've certainly not heard or seen her for at least four days for sure and it could have been our imaginations that we heard her earlier.

We now think that my trap must have worked the first night, last Wednesday and she was hiding in the flat and made her escape out the back door over the weekend. I heard a cat meowing last night, so I'm quite keen to put the trap outside, but I think we're more likely to catch a fox than a cat...

I'll update you tomorrow after the floorboards come up.


post #15 of 21

You must be so stressed over this. I feel so bad for you and for the cat. I hope the trap is successful.

post #16 of 21
Oh dear.

I wish you the best of luck with your cat and the floorboards.
post #17 of 21
I wish you luck as well. If indeed the cat hasn't eaten that long, and is still under the floorboards, it could be in pretty rough shape. Please let us know
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Dear All

Well it seems as though the cat did indeed get out over the weekend as it's definately not under the floorboards, which is a relief, but of course worrying that she's out there somewhere.

We moved the trap outside last night but didn't catch a thing. We're hoping that she's found somewhere she feels safe and is finding food ok.

I'm going to put up signs locally but she's so shy I think the chances of somebody seeing her are quite remote.

I'll let you know if there's any more news.

post #19 of 21
Good luck with that. You are defiantely in my thoughts and prayers.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
About midnight on Sunday we heard a sound we didn't think we'd hear again, a cat meowing!!!!

Sure enough when we moved a skirting board in the kitchen there was Daisy. The smell was awful, we think she'd been in that spot for at least 2-3 days but must have spent the rest of the time roaming the building.

She spent the night outdoors and in the morning I gave her a bath, which she enjoyed, just sat there purring, even when I turned the shower nozzle on her... She also enjoyed the drying process and was happy sitting in my lap, upside down and whatever position I put her in, still purring away. As long as she was contantly with me she was happy, as soon as I left her alone the terror seemed to set in and she'd hide somewhere and I had to start all over again getting her confidence.

We phoned the lady from the cat protection league and she agreed that we weren't qualified to look after Daisy and she came and collected her on Monday evening.

I have to say I was sad to see her go, we'd bonded throughout the day but we just didn't have the right home for Daisy. She needs somebody with her all day I think, somebody that is happy to make her the centre of their life. I can't help but feel like we've let her down but I truely believe she will be happier with a more suitable home. We both work all week, often very long hours and I don't think at this stage that Daisy could cope with that lifestyle.

We have asked that the CPL let us know what happens to Daisy next.

Very thankful that I have a happy ending to post.

post #21 of 21
I am glad you found her, I was really worried about her. Lets hope that she will be able to overcome the trauma she suffered and be a normal cat soon.
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