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Help...new Cat! New Mom!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
OKAY Maybe I'm overeacting, but here it goes. Just got a new Kitty yesterday, 6 yrs old Male, named Franz, Maine Coon mix. He was in a foster home, not a caged shelter for about 8 months. He is scared silly. Last nite, he hid under my kitchen sink...impossible to get to. Earlier in the day he was under the bed. His foster mom who knew him, said....dont let him stay hidden force him out, otherwise he will stay there forever. That was fine when he was under bed. For quite a while I had him next to me in the cubbyhole of my pullout computer draw. He seemed comfortable there. I talked to him, praised him etc. Every hour or so, I picked him up, he was scared but soooo docile, no hissing, no scratching, but not a purr or peep our of him. Eventually last nite he found the purrfect hiding place behind/under the kitchen sink. Couldn't get him out with all the coaxing, or food box rattling in the world. I finnaly let him be. This AM he was under my bed. He ate a tiny bit from his dish during the nite and peed in the litterbow during the nite as well. The sink area is now blockaded, better than a WWII POW camp, so he can't go there. He has spent most of the day in his computer cubbyhole, resting on his pillow. His pupils are dilated like saucer. When he is on my lap, I give him the chance to bolt, if he wants, but he seems okay. When he's had enough and his tail starts to swish, I return him to the cubby. I brought him to his box earlier, don't think he went (pee). Now I have decided to let him do what he wants, he scooted under the computer desk and is sitting on the phone book. Probably trying to look up a helpline # through osmosis. What am I worried about (finally) is his refusal to eat and drink. I am afraid he will get dehydrated. Any ideas? It's been many years sine I had a cat. How long will this last, should I be worried. I go to work tomorrow and I know I will worry all day about him PLEASE HELP!
post #2 of 21
First welcome to the site.

Cats do take various amounts of time to adjust to a new home - both of mine are rescues. Has he been checked by a vet recently? If not then it would be a good idea to have him checked out to rule out any health problems he may have esp. if he isn't eating and drinking (he shouldn't become dehydrated - say 24 hours without water is of concern[could be wrong here] and a day or two without food).

I'm sure others would have other advise. Hopefully they'll pop up and offer some.

Good luck.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you so very much for your response. Yes, he has had a clean bill of health from the vet. Just a little while ago we had some long lap time..he seemed quite relaxed, not purring yet, but not frightened. Last nite he did eat/drink some (when I went to bed) so I'm hoping for the sme tonite. I'm going soon, so we'll see. I'm a nurse, so I worry about these medical things, start thinking the worse...maybe he's picking up on my anxiety. Would love to hear from anyone with a similar experience. Smooches to you all!
post #4 of 21
Hi mom of franz-

Please just let this kitty decompress, honest, he won't stay hidden permanently! Let him feel secure in his new home. He has new sights, sounds and smells to get used to. Pursuing him will just make him more agitated and afraid of you. If he is eating, drinking and using his litter pan the fastest way to gain his trust is to just ignore him. As hard as it is to do, it will be the quickest way for him to relax around you. As long as you know he is healthy, leave him be, and if he comes out, just don't look at him, don't make eye contact with him, if he stays out, simply lower yourself to the floor, get on his level, and still ignoring him, just sit there, looking nowhere near him. If he leaves, let him go, don't follow him or try and force him out of his hiding hole. Cats are very social animals, he needs you as much as you need him- he just doesn't know it yet!

I am putting this into behavior for you so others who have been there and done this, can chime in-
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy for the sage advice...guess I took his foster Moms advice to heart. Right now he is grooming himself, first time he's done that, so I think he is feeling more comfortable. In the meantime, patience is a virtue!
post #6 of 21


I wouldn't worry about your new kitty too much. He'll warm up to you and come out eventually. Just give him some time!
post #7 of 21
Also about him not eating and drinking, if you have some dead chicken in the house, throw it in a pan with water and boil it up. Shred the meat, take the broth and make a soupy meal for him, he should scarf that right up. If that fails, go to the grocery store and buy a few cans of baby food turkey or chicken, bring them home, add a little bit of water (not a lot) and offer that to him to eat.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy...Great idea about chicken and baby food. We don't have too many live chicken running around Brooklyn...I'll stick with the dead ones! Thanks I really needed that chuckle!
post #9 of 21
Hope everything is going well. I agree with the majority - Franz will come out in his own time. It must be pretty confusing - new sights, new smells, new people, I think I'd hide too.
ps Welcome to TCS
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks all you guys, you've been great. I called the vet just now that I plan on using. She said prety much the same thing you all said. However, if he isn't eating/drinking by Friday to bring him in. He must we drinking a wee bit since he has used the litterbox a few times. No BM yet, but that is probably stress related. Last nite he meowed for the first time...at first happy meow, then it was more like "Help I'm a captive can't anyone hear me!" And I think another good sign is I found him grooming himself for the first time, not excessively like a stress situation just normal (I think). I'll keep you all posted, and if you have anymore helpful hints just holler!
Smooches to you all!
post #11 of 21
I'll talk to mine a lot during their transition so that they get used to my voice. If you run out of things to say, pick up a book and read it out loud to him. Most of mine start responding to my voice very quickly.

And yup, patience, patience, patience! LOL

You are an angel for taking in this shelter boy!!
post #12 of 21
I agree with MomofMany...while you are sitting in the room with him, talk to him. Even if you read the website you are currently looking at. I used to sing to my 2 boys. When I'm feeding my colony, I read from whatever magazine I have.

Once Franz becomes comfortable, you are going to have a wonderful companion. I had a Maine Coon for 14 yrs . They are extremely devoted cats.

Sandy
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi Momofmany
I think the book idea is GREAT. Let's see..."A TAIL of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The Cat in the Hat, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, War and Peace, Moby Dick (yum, yum! He does seem to like music, played some CDs real low last nite...he like the Franz Liszt (distant cousin). Thanks for the great insight and info! By the way I'm a nurse at a family homeless shelter, so a shelter cat came naturally!
post #14 of 21
If you can make it thru War and Peace without both of you falling asleep, my hat is off to you! LOL
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey Mom,
We are going to read the Cliff Notes version...hell we may just rent the movie instead!
post #16 of 21
Also when you put his food out, sit down on the floor near it and when he comes out to eat, just talk to him softly. He had company as a young kitten everytime he ate with his littermates and his mom, and he may just want that contact again to reassure him.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Will do Hissy...Thanks!
post #18 of 21
That really works! I read often times right before I go to sleep and I had read somewhere else on this site that it's good to read out loud to your kitty. I tried reading out loud and sure enough Dori laid down on my lap and actually looked like she was listening to every word I said. It was good bonding time for us.
post #19 of 21
THe ignoring him thing will really help. I did that finally when I had a long transition with a cat and it worked. It did feel funny, but it does make them seem to get more comfy.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
FRANZ AND I ARE DOING SOOOO MUCH BETTER. LAST NITE HE GOT ON MY CHEST...STARTED TO PURR (A FIRST) AND STARTED KNEADING ME! HE STILL WOULDN'T EAT LAST NITE, BUT I COOKED UP SOME CHICKEN BACKS, AS ONE OF YOU SUGGESTED AND HE TOOK SOME BY HAND...MOSTLY THE BROTH/GRAVY BUT A FEW BITS OF REAL FOOD.THIS MORNING HE DRANK QUITE A BIT OF WATER FROM HIS BOWL, BUT STILL IGNORED HIS PROPLAN (CANNED) THIS IS WHAT HE WAS EATING PRIOR TO COMING TO ME. HE MIGHT HAVE HAD A NIBBLE LAST NITE, HARD TO TELL. THIS AFTERNOON, HE WAS MUCH LESS FEARFUL...NOT WALKING AROUND IN A LOW TO THE GROUND POSITION, A BIT MORE ERRECT. HE LET ME BRUSH HIM AND HE LOVED SOME BELLY RUBS TODAY! CAN'T GET PETTED ENOUGH! HE ALSO ATE ABOUT 6 PIECES OF POUNCE SHRIMP FLAVOR! TOMORROW IS MY FIRST DAY BACK AT WORK, HE IS SLEEPING NOW IN HIS COMPUTER CUBBYHOLE WITH A PILLOW AND AN UNCLEAN T-SHIRT OF MINE. SO I WILL LEAVE HIM THE T-SHIRT WHEN I'M GONE TOMORROW. I'M GETTING HIM A SCRATCHING POST FRIDAY NITE...HE HAD ONE IN HIS FOSTER HOME. DO YOU THINK THE SISSEL IS BEST...ANY SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT BRAND ETC WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, YOU HAVE MADE ME FEEL SO MUCH BETTER! SOON AS I GET A PIC, AND FIGURE OUT HOW, I WILL POST ONE OF MY LITTLE (15LB) FRANZ!
post #21 of 21
To TCS .

My congrats on your new baby Franz sounds like a very sweet boy to me .
If you get a cat tree I would recoment one with sisal , that helps with scratching and keeping his nail filed . If you can pay for a big tree that would be great for him to climb on . In case you get a small tree , make sure it is stable and not easy to fall over . Remember cats like to run and jump and when doing so and jumbing on the tree it could very easy tip over . You also can get him a few catnip toys for him to play so when you are gone at work he can play with them . Yes , let us know how things go with Franz
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