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Young Cat always Hiding 7 months old

March 1st, 2009, 10:33 AM
In the last 2 days we have picked up a young cat for my parents, this cat had been previously a stray near death in the cold. It has been to the vet, etc.. This cat is very nervous, it likes to hide all the time. Only comes out at night to eat/drink/bathroom, during the day it stays in any small day place it can find. What should my parents do? Let it come out eventually on it's own or should they be getting the cat and trying to get it socialized, if it's on your lap and there is a noise it just wants to get down and go find a dark place?


March 1st, 2009, 10:41 AM
I would let the cat call the shots for right now. If he was a stray up till now he is used to hiding from any strange noise. It was his way of protecting himself. Let him decide when it is time to start exploring, trusting people, be petted, etc. It may take a while but I am sure within time he will come around. Within time could be quite some time though.
Maybe to encourage him to come out and play your parents could get a laser light (at most dollar stores I think) and shine it at the wall near where he is hiding, moving it around. This might encourage him to come out and play with it. They could also sit in the same room as he is, talking quietly, and wait to see if he comes out to see what is going on.
This little fella has had a rough start. Thank your parents for taking him in. :thumbs up

March 1st, 2009, 12:20 PM
In agreement with 14+kitties, let the cat decide the pace of his socialization. Forcing the issue will only stress him out more. Here is a previous post with some tips on how to slowly get a shy cat acclimated to his new environment:

March 1st, 2009, 12:25 PM
Your parents are wonderful people for taking this little cat in.

I agree with 14+. This cat has had a rough start, so it's going to take a little time until he/she begins to trust people.

I adopted a stray last year. For about 3 to 4 months, I had her in the kitchen separated from my other 4. I'd say for at least the first month I had her, she never came out of this little pyramid bed I had in there for her. It was her safe place, and she was in there constantly. She only came out to eat or use the litter.

I would sit in the kitchen with her nightly for a little while and just talk to her. Little by little she'd come out and sit with me.

It takes time for cats and dogs to fully trust us. They don't have the same reasoning ability we have, and many times they don't realize we are not trying to hurt them but help them.

My girl eventually started spending more time outside her bed, and pretty soon I was able to let her socialize with the others.

I'm sure your parent's little stray will get bolder as the days pass. It's only bee 2 days after all so just give him/her a little time to get used to their new surroundings.

How about some pictures?