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New Cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I just adopted a cat from the Humane Society. She is 7 years old and has human interaction her whole life. We got her this afternoon. I am just wondering what can I expect? How long will it take for her to come out of her hole? She stays under a table pretty much the whole day. What can I do to make this transaction better? She is going to vet tommorow and I am afriad she will resent us even more after. This is my first cat I have to admit I am not much of a cat person (I think they don't have much of a personality) But I wanted to give them a shot. I already love her I just want her to come out of her shell. Any help would be greatly appreciated .

post #2 of 5
Thank you!!! I'm a volunteer at a cat shelter, and I want to say thank you for opening up your heart and home to an older cat!!!

It can take up to a month for her to become completely comfortable. It really just depends on the cat. (Two of my cats took only 12 hours before they were sleeping on my head and ruling my house.) The best thing to do is to just stick to your normal schedule. Once she understands what your day is like, she'll become more calm. Don't throw any wild parties for a while, and if you do have guests remind them not to chase after her becuase it might scare her. (Some people love cats that much. I almost got into trouble with Mer because a week after I brought him home the pizza boy tried to chase him down. Sigh.)

The vet trip should be okay. She'll probably hide for a day or so after you get her back home, but that's normal.

Take time for interactive play with her. You can buy all kinds of toys on strings, or mice you can throw, or even rolled up balls of paper.

I personally like using treats, but it's something that she'll expect for as long as you have her. Positive reinforcement works great with cats. It's how I got my kitten to be more comfortable around stangers, and grumpy Mr. Hans to stop growling at me and the other cats.

Again, thank you! Older cats really do make the best pets, and I think it was a wonderful choice for a first cat. Give her time and I'm sure you'll come to love her personality, because believe me, cats have huge ones. They just don't always show them to strangers.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the reply. I fell for her as soon as we walked in the door. I have a huge heart and I want her to be happy. I think she will grow on us. Thank you very much for the reply and confidence.
post #4 of 5
Yes, it will take a few weeks for her to adjust. It's best to let new kitties adjust at their own pace. When we got Milo, he was about 3 months old and adjusted right away. Winnie was about 9 months old and stay under the bed for a few days and wouldn't come out of the bedroom for a week or so. Francine, we got about a year ago when my brother and SIL couldn't keep her anymore, she's around 13 and took the longest to adjust, she stayed in the bedroom for about a month, I think mostly it was because of the other cats and not so much the people though!
post #5 of 5
Congratulations on your new cat! Since she's 7 she'll have more experience in understanding humans. Be sure to talk aloud to her; she may not understand the words, but being intuitive she'll get the thought. Don't worry about talking aloud to an animal; she won't tell. I've had guests who spoke Spanish & German to my cats; they always understand. Also, study her body language. If you've been around horses, some of the communication is very similar. If not, I recommend visiting the website www.thedailycat.com - it has some excellent articles about cat behavior, interpreting their communication,etc. By the way, did you know that cats mostly meow to humans? to talk to the family dog, the other cat, etc. that tail & those ears pretty much say it all. (I wish husbands had tails & ears that perk, flatten, & swivel). If she seems aloof, try holding back her moist food, and offer it frequently. Pet her when she approaches it. You will be mimicking a mommy kitty and the soft strokes will be reassuring for her. If she draws back, tell her it's okay - after all, she went bye-bye once, and for some reason, landed in kitty-jail - that you're her "Big Cat" now! And if you feel that you saw her & just fell in love with her - well, I believe that she chose you. If she didn't want you, she would have turned her head away, denying eye contact, and other subtle cues. If you want to try an old wives' tale, rub a little butter on her paws - when she licks off the butter, she'll get the scent of your home ingrained in her system. Make sure not to turn your back on her; that's rude behavior to cats, dogs & horses. Be sure to explain on the way to the vet, that it's a trip to the vet & soon she'll be going home. Reassure her that you will stay with her and that she's part of your family now. If she does get mad at you tomorrow, try to play with her by pulling a feather teaser back & forth in front of her, just to whet her hunting appetite; she'll reach out if she feels like playing. Please let us know how she does after the vet!! Susan
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