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Can't coax her out of her hiding place

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just got a new ragdoll kitten, she is 16 wks old and I was assured she was raised with people, ( I bought her from another area and bought her sight unseen) She is extremely afraid of people and hides really well, how can I socialize her or is it too late due to her age. When I catch her she is content to sit on my lap and doesn't lash out when I do find her and pick her up, but she hides really well and some times it is all day before I find her. On the plus side her and my himalayan took to each other in a minute. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 16
Here is some information I have gotten from Hissy (our resident cat expert) and others here at TCS:

Bringing Home a Scared New Cat

Preparing your home for the new cat

Select a small room where you can isolate the cat for a few days. A quiet bedroom works best in these situations.

Place the following in this small room:

• If possible, the kitty should have two litter-boxes, one to urinate in, and the other to defecate in and you should plan to scoop the boxes daily.

• Provide the cat with new glass or metal food bowls (plastic harbors bacteria). Never place food or water bowls near the litter boxes.

• You might invest in a ComfortZone diffuser. This emits a calming “friendly cat†pheromone that will make your cat feel more welcome in her new home.

• Make sure the new cat has a good place to scratch. The large cardboard scratching pads you can buy at PetsMart are cheap and excellent. (Adult cats need the wide scratching pads. The thin pads are best for small kittens.) Remember that scratching is a genetically based behavior. All cats (even those who are declawed) need to scratch, so make sure your cat has an appropriate place to scratch (scratching pad or post) so she does not use your furniture or rug when engaging in this normal cat behavior.

• Check your linen closet for an old blanket you don't care much about and give this to the new cat to lay on. Make a nest out of the blanket and place it under the bed or in a secluded corner of the room for the cat.

• Put in a few toys so the newcomer has something to amuse herself with.

Once you return home with your new cat

Seclude the newcomer in the small room, then just shut the door and leave him be for the first several hours.

After these first hours, while the newcomer is isolated, try and go in as much as possible and just sit on the floor and be with the new cat. Try reading out loud to your new cat. This gets him used to your voice. Read very softly to him for a minimum of 10 minutes twice a day (the more time you spend on the floor reading to the cat, the more quickly he will feel safe in his new home).

If kitty hides, just accept it, he will come out to you eventually -- don't ever chase him or force him out of hiding.

Once he becomes used to the sounds, sights, and smells of his new home, he will no longer be frightened and will soon be your best friend.

This process sometimes takes only a couple of hours, but it sometimes takes several weeks. Just be patient and it WILL work. Just remember to never force the cat to come out from hiding.
post #3 of 16
I rented a video on the ttouch massage and it changed my scaredy cat totally. It is definately not too late. My cats were years old before i finally learned this massage. There is a video and a book. Here is a link for the ttouch websight but they might actually have it at the library so that you don't have to buy the book or the video.

ttouch
post #4 of 16
I would just leave your little one to her hiding place until she's truly ready and comfortable in coming out and socializing. Sometimes it's just that your baby is scared of her new place, and just needs time to get used to it. If she's been with you for a while already (such as a month or two, or more) it could either be that she's just more comfortable in her spot, or that she takes longer than most.

Ultimately, she'll be much more comfortable, and come out much sooner if you just let her be, and maybe put food, water, and litterbox near her spot so she doesn't feel intimidated about coming out so far to do what she needs to. (I've known cats that were scared enough that they didn't come out, literally, except at night when everyone was asleep. They wouldn't even come out to meet their own physical needs.) Just talk to her occassionally, but don't go into her hiding place and bring her out...let her come out on her own.
post #5 of 16
Has she been vetted? Don't rule out health issues, stress can cause illness rather quickly in cats.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
We have only had her home for a day. I am going to make her a bed out of a large cardboard box and put it near her hiding spot and see if she will use it. When we do get hold of her she purrs and doesn't fight to get away. But the minute you put her down she tears away to hide. A separate room is hard but hopefully this will work.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia's Mom
We have only had her home for a day. I am going to make her a bed out of a large cardboard box and put it near her hiding spot and see if she will use it. When we do get hold of her she purrs and doesn't fight to get away. But the minute you put her down she tears away to hide. A separate room is hard but hopefully this will work.
Aww, Hun...don't worry yourself about it. It might take as much as a week for her to come out. Our Sunny is VERY social and sweet, and every time we've moved, she hides for at least two days before coming out. I've tried picking her up and showing her the house to make her more comfortable, while hugging her close, but she gets so scared, I just leave her alone to do it in her own time now.

Don't worry. If you're concerned about her nourishment, put her food, water, and litterbox near her spot, and let her adjust on her own. Just check on her every couple hours or so to be sure she's ok, but don't try to pick her up and get her out, or anything. It's best in the long run for her to do it in her time, as she's comfortable.

Take heart...she's just fine.
post #8 of 16
I have a Siamese Ragdoll and she is very skiddish and will also hide super well when stressed. We went to FL last Nov. and we had a friend of ours stay with her and our dog and she rarely came out because it was a "stranger" and then when we got back, she hid for 3 days without ever coming out to eat! Then she was terririfed of us for a good week after that. It was strange but the more we left her alone, the more she came around and started trusting us again. I'd just give your kitty more time to adjust to her new surroundings and family.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have tried making her a nest in a quiet spot using a large cat carrier, food and leaving a litter box just outside the door, which I have left open. She seems content now although she hasn't ventured out. But at least I know where she is!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia's Mom
I have tried making her a nest in a quiet spot using a large cat carrier, food and leaving a litter box just outside the door, which I have left open. She seems content now although she hasn't ventured out. But at least I know where she is!
Awww...so glad to hear it. She's just getting used to things. Good move, mama!!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm happy to say that Angel (or Rags) has started to come around. We are undecided on a name yet as you can tell. Using the box for her really seemed to help, I guess it made her feel secure. She is now coming to the living room as long as it is quiet and although we still have to catch her first to get her to lay on our laps she purrs and is quite content to stay there for a time. Then she abruptly gets up and runs and hides. Our himmie is trying desperately to get her to play but although she follows her she is reluctant to play but I guess that will come with time. All in all I think things are going to be O.K.
Thanks for everyones help
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia's Mom
I'm happy to say that Angel (or Rags) has started to come around. We are undecided on a name yet as you can tell. Using the box for her really seemed to help, I guess it made her feel secure. She is now coming to the living room as long as it is quiet and although we still have to catch her first to get her to lay on our laps she purrs and is quite content to stay there for a time. Then she abruptly gets up and runs and hides. Our himmie is trying desperately to get her to play but although she follows her she is reluctant to play but I guess that will come with time. All in all I think things are going to be O.K.
Thanks for everyones help
Yay!! I'm so happy to hear that she's coming out and is more comfortable now!! YAY!!
post #13 of 16
If she runs and hides, just go to the place where she is hiding and lie down. Then just stay there reasonablly still. Most of the time curiousity will get the better of her and she'll come to see what you are doing. Just let her sniff around you and hide your head away. She will take this as submission and may try to headbutt you (which is a great sign!). This way she will not percieve you as a threat and she will become more comfortable with you being around. Then start to move around slowly until she gets use to it!!

Good luck!
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia's Mom
I'm happy to say that Angel (or Rags) has started to come around. We are undecided on a name yet as you can tell. Using the box for her really seemed to help, I guess it made her feel secure. She is now coming to the living room as long as it is quiet and although we still have to catch her first to get her to lay on our laps she purrs and is quite content to stay there for a time. Then she abruptly gets up and runs and hides. Our himmie is trying desperately to get her to play but although she follows her she is reluctant to play but I guess that will come with time. All in all I think things are going to be O.K.
Thanks for everyones help
She will come around quicker if you just leave her be and don't capture her to put her on your lap. Also if she hides, let her hide. As long as you know she is eating, drinking and eliminating she will come out in time. Just be patient, she is telling you she is not ready to be the kind of cat you want her to be. Each cat is an independent being, let her find her way with you, not the other way around.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
She will come around quicker if you just leave her be and don't capture her to put her on your lap. Also if she hides, let her hide. As long as you know she is eating, drinking and eliminating she will come out in time. Just be patient, she is telling you she is not ready to be the kind of cat you want her to be. Each cat is an independent being, let her find her way with you, not the other way around.
Well said!
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Raggz is slowly coming around, she is fine while she is on the couch and will sometimes comes to us but if she is on the floor she drops down on her belly and runs away. she acts really scared and we can't touch her,(although she has never put her claws out of bitten) I am hoping time will make her less afraid of us.
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