or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › help with a VERY skittish kitty
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

help with a VERY skittish kitty

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
i apologize in advance for the novel, but i don't know what to do anymore our cat bailey is reaaally skittish. we've never really understood it because we've had him since he was born. he has ALWAYS been loved and cared for, and i can't stand seeing him like this.

at one point about 3 years ago he dissappeared, and we were heartbroken. finally, 8 months later, he returned emaciated, and in horrible shape. after we nursed him back to health, he calmed down quite a bit and finally started trusting people again, only family though.

about 5 months ago, we ended up moving to another house and we had to transport him in a cat carrier and it was an absolute nightmare, and hasn't been the same since. we got him to the new house and slowly tried to acclimate him to it and that lasted for about 2 days, until one day he was roaming around the house and hid behind the couch in our living room, and when my sister went to go out back he took off and hid under our deck for almost a week. as the months have passed, he finally started coming up to doors as if he wants to come in but he's too scared. he actually has come inside on his own a couple times, but stayed right next to the door just incase he had to run back out. we never pushed him to come in more, because we didn't want to scare him. but now that it's fall and it's raining, what can we do? i don't want him outside in the cold. is there ANY way we can help him? i have these tablets that i got from petco for my other cat when i adopted her(who he likes a lot)to help reduce her stress while she got used to her new home. should we bring him inside and sneak some into his food?

i'm just really afraid that he'll never trust us again. ahhh i wish there was some way humans could speak cat language! lol. but yeah, any help would be so appreciated, thanks for taking the time to read my post.
post #2 of 4
This is my thoughts and others will come along with ideas as well. I would bring him in as soon as possible.

Put him in a room with the door closed, maybe a spare bedroom. Put his food and water in there and a litterbox on the other side of the room ar at least away from his food/water.

Let him have places to hide whether it be under the bed or cardboard boxes turned on end.

By staying in one room for awhile he will have a chance to get used to the house again and get his scent in that one room. This can become his safe place.

Take care of his needs on a schedule. Clean the litterbox, bring food/water, etc at the same time each day so he will feel secure in knowing what to expect.

Spend time in the room with him on the floor even if he doesn't come out from hiding. Drag a string or toy around but don't force him to play.

There are many more things to try but this is a start.

added: Feliway plug in difuser and Rescue Remedy might help.
post #3 of 4
I think putting him in his own room for a little while will probably be good but I had a idea you might think strange.

What if you put a small radio in there and leave it on low for a while. This will get him used to the sound of people talking and different noises going on all the time like you might expect in a house full of people.

People might not scare him so much after that. Using the Feliway spray might also help calm him down and putting the medicine in his food could also have a calming affect.

Good Luck!

post #4 of 4
My entire household of cats were born feral, and while I wouldn't classify yours as one, the things you do to socialize a feral cat can also work on very skittish cats. It comes down to learning to speak their language - behavior things that they can relate to.

Skimble offered great starter tips. I'll add to that list.

Cats are afraid of things that tower over them. When you are in the bedroom with him, sit on the floor.

Cats are intimidated by a stare down. If you catch your cat's eye, slowly blink your own eyes. This is a sign of greeting amongst cats.

Don't push yourself on him, but let him come to you. Work on his schedule, not yours.

While sitting on the floor with him, bring a good book and read it out loud. This will reacclimate him to your voice.

If he finds a good sleeping spot in the room, place an article of clothing that you've recently warn (a t-shirt that you've just exercised in is a great choice) and let him reacclimate himself to your smells.

If you are going to play music for him, find harp music. Don't ask me why this calms them down, but it does. I've had feral cats in traps calm down in my car when I've transported them with harp music playing.

And remember that every cat is different and set your expectations of him accordingly. I have 1 boy that made my bedroom his "safe zone", and has more or less lived in there for the last 3 years. He loves when I love on him, so I make the time to give him love where he feels safe. If I forced him to leave that comfort zone, I would lose ground with him.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › help with a VERY skittish kitty