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Cedar the scared kitty

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
this is a little long and I apologise - but I am in desperate need of some advise....

As some of you know Cedar is an extremley scared and timid cat. I do believe in the 12 months he has been with us he is getting better but sometimes he takes a step backwards.

Cedar is petrified of people when the come over, of dogs, of loud noises - even feathers that fall in front of him- anything different or unusual makes him shake with fear and head for a hiding place. I have never ever seen anything like this before. If I walk into a room he is in and isnt ready for it he will hit the roof and run away real quick. We always let him go and hide and then gently coax him out after time. Its taken a lot of work over the last 12 months, but he is getting better. It took 8 months or so before he even thought about coming up to me for a cuddle.

I know that Cedar is going to be like this forever. I have no idea what has caused him to be like this, but he is a shelter cat and therefore something has obviously happened before he came to us. The vet believes he has a bit of Abyssinian in him and originally believed that made him a little 'skittish' - maybe this is the case, maybe not, regardless, these issues need to be discussed now that we have a child on the way.

Tonight he took another step backwards. The boys were both outside and my mother came over - she stayed for an hour or so and then left... after this I brought them inside and instantly Cedar got nervous. Cedar obviously knew that she had been here and although he didnt see her (not that we are aware of) and has known my mother for a while, it took him 2 hours to feel calm enough to come out from his hiding place.

Fine - I have no problem with this hiding place or comfort place... the problem is his comfort/hiding place is under our bed.

Since the baby is just under 2 months away and will be sleeping in our room originally I need to change this comfort/hiding place of his to another place... is this possible? Do I need to close the our bedroom door so he cant go in there at all?
We have another room which is our 'junk/ gym room' - the boys love this room when we allow them in there but usually the door is closed... we would love Cedar to find refuge in this room - possible or not? How can we help him find another safe place? Our house is small so its not like we have numerous places or 2 levels for him to choose from.

I dont know where to go with this. Cedar is going to be so scared when this baby arrives and I am trying to minimise this for him as much as I can - obviously we adore Cedar and only want the very best for him...

any advise? thanks!!
post #2 of 26
I had, well sort of a simular problem "my babies" dug a hole into my bed and got inside well it goes without saying that we could have that continue. so we took the bed off the rails and put the boxspring and mattress on the floor apart from that i would say close the door.
post #3 of 26
Awww, poor Cedar!

I think it should be possible to change his safe place! Maybe create a little hidey area for Cedar and introduce him slowly! Maybe use some Feliway?!

Molly is a little like Cedar in her timidness! She used to hide under the bed (can't now as there's only an inch of space) I introduced her to my studio and has now found a new safe spot under my desk or behind my canvas in a tiny shoe box! (although, Cedar would destroy that)

Maybe you could try introducing him to the new place and sit with him in there so that he knows it's a nice place!

Actually, if Tipsy and cedar like your gym room, then maybe Cedar will find his own hiding place in there! Let him investigate and see what he finds! Worth a try!
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
we cant buy feliway here - we used to be able to but its been taken off the market. I will ask my vet again if its come back on the market. Buying it online from the US is expensive considering shipping - but maybe I really should have a look into this more seriously. Money is tight though especially with a baby on the way, although that shouldnt be an excuse.

I try sitting with him, but when he is stressed it just doesnt work - he wont let me hold him and he just runs away.

haha your right Cedar would destroy that box - but I am more than happy to give him a box to destroy every week if this will help him!!

I guess I am going to have to close the bedroom door (I know it sounds simple but I didnt want to close it as its the middle of winter and the only way to get heat in there is to leave the door open - but if I need to close it then of course I will) and I didnt know if this would help.

Cedar should know that this is a safe place, a safe haven for him - that we are never ever going to hurt him only love him - maybe I spoil him too much, over protect him to much? I dont know - but I just want him to be happy - we both do. And I just know how much this baby is going to stress him out...

awww Cedy we do love you
post #5 of 26
I assume you still have a difuser for the Feliway?! I could send you some Feliway, as it would be cheaper!

It's funny how you say that cedar will run away from you - Molly does the same! Yet, bring and outdoor cat/dog into the equation and she's hissing like a banshee!

Maybe you could build some sort of mesh door for your room - that would stop him going in, but keep the warmth?! Like a screen door?!

Poor Cedar - Auntie Sarah, Tibby and Molly send you lots of 'don't be stressed' }}}VIBES{{{
post #6 of 26
Aww Dan, I don't have any advice for you, but please know that Cedar is in my thoughts.

Cedar sweetie, try not to get too stressed out. Everyone worries about you when you do.

Lots of love and vibes from Auntie Linda and Cousins Ariel, Chester and Piper coming your way.
post #7 of 26
Is there a blanket or something you could put under your bed? That way, he would get used to it and it would have his scent on it. Then, you could move it into a hiding spot in the other room. That way, maybe he'll associate the blanket with the hiding spot and feel more comfortable.
post #8 of 26
Our Princess is skiddish. She was that way when we got her and we got her from a shelter too. In the three months we have had her she has come around alot. She still runs and hides under our bed but when it quiet's down she comes back out.

But.. is it really that bad that Cedar hides under your bed? Is he the kind of cat that attacks? It may not even be a problem that he is under there even when you do have a baby. If he is just hiding he will be ok. If he doesn't like the fact that there is a baby in there he will find a new hiding place on his own.
post #9 of 26
Awww, Danielle I know what you must be feeling.

The way you described Cedar is Lilly to a tee! Lilly is EXACTLY the same way. Of course I don't have a baby on the way right now (not yet anyways), but with our recent move to a new home I was just as worried about taking Lilly away from her comfort zone. I was scared about how should react and if we'd be right back at square one with her hiding out for hours and hours at a time.

What I learned from our move was that she trusted us and because of that the move wasn't nearly as traumatic for her as we expected. Lilly's favorite hiding spot in our apartment was also Cedar's spot, under our bed. We also had to put her food and litter box in our bedroom for so long because she wouldn't leave our bedroom.

Our first day in the new house We didn't put Lilly in our bedroom, we put her in our new "catroom". Its been funny to watch her the past three days. The first night I was amused because Lilly within hours came out of the catroom and immediately found our bedroom and hid out under the bed. She did the same the second day. But the past few days she's been out exploring and she's now spending more time in the cat room then in our bedroom and we've been able to move her food and litter to that room.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I just wanted to let you know I know what you are going thorugh. And to answer your question: I do think you can get Cedar aquainted with a new room. And if you start this early with shutting the bed room door and making him find a new comfy spot then by the time the baby comes he'll be adjusted to this new routine.

Good luck, when is the baby due again?
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
Maybe you could build some sort of mesh door for your room - that would stop him going in, but keep the warmth?! Like a screen door?!

Poor Cedar - Auntie Sarah, Tibby and Molly send you lots of 'don't be stressed' }}}VIBES{{{
Thankyou for all your help Sarah - its a good idea to build a mesh type door but I will just close the door if thats necessary. Thankyou again to you, Tibby & Molly for always being there for us
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester&Piper
Aww Dan, I don't have any advice for you, but please know that Cedar is in my thoughts.

Cedar sweetie, try not to get too stressed out. Everyone worries about you when you do.

Lots of love and vibes from Auntie Linda and Cousins Ariel, Chester and Piper coming your way.
Linda, thankyou so very much for caring about us - it means the world to us Scritches to Ariel, Chester & Piper as well.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
Is there a blanket or something you could put under your bed? That way, he would get used to it and it would have his scent on it. Then, you could move it into a hiding spot in the other room. That way, maybe he'll associate the blanket with the hiding spot and feel more comfortable.
thats a possible idea - thankyou so much for your suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j171978
Our Princess is skiddish. She was that way when we got her and we got her from a shelter too. In the three months we have had her she has come around alot. She still runs and hides under our bed but when it quiet's down she comes back out.

But.. is it really that bad that Cedar hides under your bed? Is he the kind of cat that attacks? It may not even be a problem that he is under there even when you do have a baby. If he is just hiding he will be ok. If he doesn't like the fact that there is a baby in there he will find a new hiding place on his own.
awwww I am sorry to hear that Princess is skiddish as well. I am aware that the timidness Cedar has is not uncommon on these boards - I also am aware that we are extremley lucky as he could of been alot worse.... I hope Princess continues to calm down in the coming months.

You ask if its really that bad that Cedar hides under the bed? Well I personally dont think so - but there are 2 people in this relationship. My DH, Chris, adores & loves the boys of course but he is terrifed that they will do something to harm the baby when we arent watching. No matter how many times we discuss this, his fears are still there - therefore I need to respect this and work out some solution that we are both going to be happy with.

As you said, I am hoping that he wont go under the bed once the baby comes home and will infact find a new place.

Thankyou for responding Sarah
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by berylayn
Awww, Danielle I know what you must be feeling.

The way you described Cedar is Lilly to a tee! Lilly is EXACTLY the same way. Of course I don't have a baby on the way right now (not yet anyways), but with our recent move to a new home I was just as worried about taking Lilly away from her comfort zone. I was scared about how should react and if we'd be right back at square one with her hiding out for hours and hours at a time.

What I learned from our move was that she trusted us and because of that the move wasn't nearly as traumatic for her as we expected. Lilly's favorite hiding spot in our apartment was also Cedar's spot, under our bed. We also had to put her food and litter box in our bedroom for so long because she wouldn't leave our bedroom.

Our first day in the new house We didn't put Lilly in our bedroom, we put her in our new "catroom". Its been funny to watch her the past three days. The first night I was amused because Lilly within hours came out of the catroom and immediately found our bedroom and hid out under the bed. She did the same the second day. But the past few days she's been out exploring and she's now spending more time in the cat room then in our bedroom and we've been able to move her food and litter to that room.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I just wanted to let you know I know what you are going thorugh. And to answer your question: I do think you can get Cedar aquainted with a new room. And if you start this early with shutting the bed room door and making him find a new comfy spot then by the time the baby comes he'll be adjusted to this new routine.

Good luck, when is the baby due again?
awww Lilly sweetheart you just continue to be brave little one - we are all thinking of you

As I mentioned before I know there are lots of kitties with the exact same problem and I am blessed that its nothing worse, but yes Lilly and Cedar do sound exactly alike. Its just hard when something "new" is occuring and you want to minimise this stress as much as possible.
I am so pleased to hear that Lilly is out exploring the new house more - thats just perfect and wonderful news... I didnt know you were moving though - gee I really am out of the loop here!!!

I know we need to let Cedar work things out himself, and give him the space he needs but its so hard - last night 5 hours after my mother left he was still walking around the house - this is so unlike him because usually he is sound asleep in front of the fire with a full belly of food.. he didnt even eat last night.
And again I repeat, that this is something that Chris is really really worried about. Cedar is also the 'unpunishable' cat, so to speak, he knows he is doing something wrong yet will continue to do it as soon as our backs are turned... he just will not learn the word NO - this is another issue I am trying to tackle at the moment *sigh*

Thankyou for replying The baby is due in 7 weeks - YIKES!!! It certainly is coming up quickly now.
post #13 of 26
Dan, I don't have any advice to add, but will be thinking of you and Mister Cedar as you try to work this one out. It's difficult to reassure a critter when you have to do it at arm's length. to you both. Keep us posted.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47
Dan, I don't have any advice to add, but will be thinking of you and Mister Cedar as you try to work this one out. It's difficult to reassure a critter when you have to do it at arm's length. to you both. Keep us posted.
thankyou so much for your love & support Fran - it means so much to us. Yes your right, if only i could let him know that he is ALWAYS safe with us then it wouldnt be a problem.. guess thats one of the reasons we love them so

I am sure at times Tipsy gives him a look as if to say "hey mate, calm down - we soooo have it made here and are treated like kings!!!"
post #15 of 26
Aww I never knew how scardey Cedar really was. I really hope he has a big improvment before baby comes.
post #16 of 26
You know we're always her for you!

How are things going? Have you tried to get Cedy to use the gym room? I hope he is feeling a lot better than last week!
post #17 of 26
I've just seen this now!.

Awww poor Cedar Rosie is the timid one in our house and i can never understand why?, because she's been with me from 6 weeks, and it's not as if i never have people over for her to get used?!.

Once she gets to know someone though she's fine, but as soon as anyone first walks in she's off upstairs like a shot!!
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
Aww I never knew how scardey Cedar really was. I really hope he has a big improvment before baby comes.
thankyou so much Sam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar
You know we're always her for you!

How are things going? Have you tried to get Cedy to use the gym room? I hope he is feeling a lot better than last week!
Thankyou Sarah

Things are going along ok, there has been nothing in the last few days that have caused Cedar to stress out too much thankfully. We leave the gym room door open but he hasnt had a reason to go in there thankfully.

I did manage to purchase a feliway diffuser this week - wow that most certainly was an effort though I can tell you!! The product isnt registered here and many forms have to be filled in to be able to purchase it, and not many vets carry it - but I found a diffuser thankfully... cant find refills but will worry about that when I need.
I will place the diffuser in the lounge area, which is the main area the boys are in at nights/ other than our kitchen/meals area. We do have an open plan living area, so I am not sure if this will work well or not. I will most certainly give it a go. Also they are outside during the days so not sure whether I should turn it off during the days so as to not waste it or not? will have to do some research. Thankyou for your support Sarah, it means so much to us
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
I've just seen this now!.

Awww poor Cedar Rosie is the timid one in our house and i can never understand why?, because she's been with me from 6 weeks, and it's not as if i never have people over for her to get used?!.

Once she gets to know someone though she's fine, but as soon as anyone first walks in she's off upstairs like a shot!!
oh I didnt know Rosie was so timid Susan. As I have said, I know that Cedy is no different to alot of other cats but it doesnt make it any easier.

The problem with Cedy, unlike Rosie is it doesnt seem to matter how many times he has met someone he just does not calm down.

to Rosie
post #20 of 26
I've probably heard just as many bad things about those diffusers as good things but I really hope it works for the boys, Dan!
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
I've probably heard just as many bad things about those diffusers as good things but I really hope it works for the boys, Dan!
thanks Sam. I sure do hope it works considering the expense of them. But if it doesnt work then so be it at least I know I have tried it and can eliminate it. Better to at least know i have given it a go than not know at all right?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by huggles
thanks Sam. I sure do hope it works considering the expense of them. But if it doesnt work then so be it at least I know I have tried it and can eliminate it. Better to at least know i have given it a go than not know at all right?
that's right Dan!
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
just thought I would give a Cedy update if anyone is interested...

We have had the feliway diffuser for a month or so now and there has been totally no change whatsoever in our baby Cedar he is still petrified of everything and its just something we will have to deal with.

We had friends over on Sunday with their 5month old girl and Cedar was beside himself as usual. The problem with this is that its hard to coax him inside after they leave - even 5 hours after they leave its hard to get him inside. And then he wont go to sleep all night - probably thinking that these scary people will walk through the door. You can just see how tired he is, but he just wont sleep. He is usually ok the next day though.

It tears me apart, but what can we do? He is our little boy and I love him to death. I just wish he knew how safe he was with us... but I will not give up on him.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by huggles
It tears me apart, but what can we do? He is our little boy and I love him to death. I just wish he knew how safe he was with us... but I will not give up on him.
I'm sorry you're not making any headway on the wee boy's anxiety, Dan. It's trying isn't it? I hate to say it, but you may just have to wait him out and let him make his discoveries of safety in his own way in his own time.

Suzy has always been on the spooky side, never very trusting, certainly not of "strangers". She wasn't even particularly affectionate with us. We fretted about it when she was younger, and then decided she had to be allowed to make her decisions, and maybe when she knew she wasn't being pressed, however lovingly, she would be able to see that she was loved and safe. I think it's working -- notice the present participle -- it's a work in progress, six years later. She looks for attention and affection now, and when she doesn't want to interact, she just disappears quietly. And when the "bogeyman" is gone, she usually appears within an hour or so, to collect a scritch or two. She still has her irrationally spooky moments, but they are far fewer.

I hope your boy doesn't take too long to realize how safe he is, and that no harm will ever come to him if you have any say in it. And you're right -- you just have to not give up. Hang in there!
post #25 of 26
Hi girly, sorry I didn't see this thread sooner!! So Mr. Cedar seems to be a tad bit spooked, huh? Hmm, I don't know how much help I can be, but I'll try.

I have used the Feliway Spray with Cody before for her behavior problems...and I definitely noticed a difference in her. Much more relaxed and not as mean. But that was for bathroom troubles! I sprayed it all around the house. Have you tried using a little cat nip with him? That always relaxes the kitties...especially now that he willl be hearing the cry of a baby soon!

Another thing to try is treats...does he like to get kitty treats? You could get a little cat house like I have...and only feed him his treats there. That way, he'll feel safe in a place that is ALL his and not have to go under your bed. Or if you don't have another room, even a closet would do...just put his toys and blanket in there and try to feed him treats there, and only there. He'll learn that is HIS place and therefore, getting him out from under the bed!! You may have to close the door to your bedroom while re-training. As long as he has somewhere to hide and feel safe, he won't totally freak out when the baby comes.

But for general timidness, I'm afraid that nothing really helps them besides unconditional love, affection and just plain 'ol meow time! As he gets older, he may relax a bit. Hopefully!!

Good luck with him!
Love from Cody and I to that little Cedar boy!! We're sending kitty vibes to him!
post #26 of 26
Danielle, I know it's a bit late to chime in on this thread. Sorry I didn't see it sooner!

One thing that came to mind is getting a tape with baby noises on it. That way he can at least get used to the sounds Baby Obes will make before he has the whole lot of different smells and such to deal with.
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