May asked in PetsCats · 2 months ago

Why is my cat hiding?

So, my sister is gave me her cat yesterday and she came out last night during the night. She seemed okay, but if I moved around too much she would bolt right back under the bed. Before coming to me, my sister said she was cuddly, but steadily started to draw herself away and be more standoffish. She's over a year old. With me, I can see that. She doesn't seem to look at me like she's terrified, but she doesn't want me touching her. She hasn't eaten or drank anything yet and just...hides. I hope she eats when I'm asleep at least. I bought some catnip spray that I misted her bed in to attract her to it, so I hope that works, but that remains to be seen. Not interested in treats or playing either. I have a dog, but it's a small animal and will sometimes even go under the bed with her and she doesn't mind. I just don't know what's wrong or how to fix it. It's stressful because I want her to be happy, so I know I don't have to worry...She isn't fixed, but I can't do anything about that until she lets me grab her and I'm afraid that getting her fixed will make her lose all the (hopefully) gained trust and she'll go right back to hiding. I guess I'm at a dead end and I really don't want to give her up...I catified my entire room for her with a huge cat tree, food, water, toys, catnip and a bed, but none of it appeals to her aside from the bed. Please, give me advice, I'm really lost. Does she just need time? Should I leave her alone? I really need someone more experienced then I am.

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    At the moment this cat is terrified.

    She has lost her safe home and moved to a strange place with a new owner and a dog.

    Ideally, only one of these things dhould change at a time.

    Gove her some time and space.

    Can you spend some time away from the room, taking the dog with you? Give her a chance to explore ALONE.

    Expect it to take a week to 10 days before she starts to feel like this is "home".

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  • PR
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    The cat is hiding because she does not consider herself "your cat" yet. You just got this cat, yesterday. She just left the only life/home she knew. She is confused and upset, and does not know why she is at your house, instead of the house where she was raised. Animals don't automatically adjust and start playing and fitting in like a robot. 

    This kitty will take time to learn who you are, and to trust you. She will see that you give her food, comfort her, and talk to her. Give her time to adjust, and consider she may appreciate a couple visits from your sister to make the adjustment easier. She has been "dumped" in her mind and is quite disoriented. 

    Besides that, if she is not used to dogs, this is another adjustment she will need to make. Keep her in your room for awhile, so she doesn't need to contend with the dog, for now. 

    Our daughter has gone on a short vacation and we are caring for her cat - at the cat's own home. This cat is beside herself with concern and fear. She doesn't know what has happened to her "family" and is hiding. I have had to pull her out of her hiding spots a couple times and take her to her food. The third time I did not pull her out, because she obviously did not want that. You should not force this cat to come out. She will do this in time, and when she feels safe.

    Cats will come out to eat, when ready, but do not let her go without food for more than a couple days. Set her meals out in small portions so you can easily keep track of what she is eating. If you find she is not eating, call your sister, or call the vet. A cat cannot go without eating for more than a couple days without declining in health. She should eat twice per day. Consider feeding a mix of dry/canned/and water. This may be tempting for her, and is best for the digestion.

    Be patient with kitty - she misses your sister, and is not at all used to you and your home yet. Don't take it personally - she just doesn't know you, yet. Ask sister to come and visit and reassure her.

    You also say the cat was drawing herself away from your sister. This can be a sign of illness and a cat should always be taken to the vet if personality or habits change. I would take her to the vet as soon as you are able. 

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  • 2 months ago

    She does need time. At the moment she doesn't know where she is or why she's been removed from her home. You can help by being quiet around her, move softly and get down on your knees to her level and talk soothingly to her. Don't try to grab her and force her out of hiding.  If left quietly alone you'll find that eventually she'll ooze out of hiding and start to explore, this'll probably be at night when no-one is around.  It takes time, patience is the key. Always keep food, fresh water and litter tray to hand, she'll use them when she feels able.

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