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Some Advice

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! Long story short I took in a female who was my indoor/outdoor cat's girlfriend. I got her to the vet..spayed/shots. She has been indoors since June and has been living under my bed. She comes out at night to play with Olly and they run around the living room. If I move an inch she will run back underneath my bed.

Things have been improving...she has been sleeping on my desk chair until I get up in the mornings and then...back under the bed.

Well the other night I left my bedroom and shut the door...I didn't know she was in the living room until she ran head first into the door to get back into my room. She laid down and let me pet her but was scared.

This is the only time she will let me pet her or come near her.

Should I try for short periods of time to shut my door when she is out in the living room and then try to get her used to me by petting her?

I just worry that with her continuing to be under my bed that she isn't getting socialized at all.

Let me know what you think!! Thanks! Clare
post #2 of 4
Hi Clare -
No, don't close the door, she needs a safe place to go... Living outside she could just run from humans; now in this whole new inside world, she needs a place to hide too in order to build up her confidence and trust.
IMO, the best thing to do is to give her time - let her come to you on her own terms... however, this whole process needs your help too.
Sit next to the bed with plenty of treats, and just hang out there - talk to her in a soft voice, read a book out loud... Also get a wand to play with her - you can stroke her cheeks gently with the wand - this will help her to release happy pheromones. Spend as much time as you can in there with her - it really doesn't matter what you do... Talking gently is the best; I used to go on the internet with my laptop and just read the pages outloud... If I were working, I would read my work to her... Talk talk talk.
You can also buy a feliway diffuser - it imitates pheromones that calms cats down...
No matter what you do, don't force yourself onto her - you want her to come to you because she wants to... Trapping her will just frighten her, making her even more afraid of you and the home.
Be patient, the rewards of her coming around will be priceless!
post #3 of 4
I agree with the previous poster. Pansy is a scardy cat. I have had him for 4 years, and it is just the last year that he will jump up on my lap while I am at the computer. Can you sit on the floor in the room where she is under the bed, and just read a book, eat some ice cream? Let her come out and check youout, but don't grab her or reach for her. talk sweet to her tell her how pretty she is? She will come around but it takes a LONNNGG time.
post #4 of 4
Also try sitting as close as she will let you when you feed her. Eating is a very personal thing for cats, wild cats (feral & big cats) take their prey to a secluded area to eat and only their closest 'family' members are with them while they eat.

When you feed her sit as close as she will let you, do not face her, have your side facing her, it's less intrusive than face on. Slowly work with her, it takes time & alot of patience. Eventually start touching her (not on the head just yet, start with her mid-back) & progress to petting her nape of her neck & head. It's sort of an association thing, food=yummy, food=getting petted, so surely getting petted=a good thing.

Also try hand feeding her. Get a hand full of dry food and see if she will eat it out of your hand, if not that is ok too. Get a can of tuna and hold it, she might just eat it like that, it's really a bonding experience. The more she associates good things with you, the sooner she will let you mess with her more.

Find some treats she loves, have them in your hand and set them far enough way from you that she will come eat them, over time move the treats closer to you.

Even setting treats in front of her and walking away, that way she learns to not run when you aproach her.

Always be super gental and do not make any quick movements around her. If she seems interested in anything you have, hold it out for her to smell.

Put a shirt that you have wore (has your scent on it) and put it in her favorite hiding spot, this way she gets use to the way you smell & she doesn't have to approch you to smell you & check you out. Change out her scent shirts every couple days.

I doubt you will be able to do all this every day, but that is ok. I've tamed a few ferals doing things like this, it really takes time and patience.

Good luck!
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