New adopted cat painfully shy...advice?

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Member Since
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 11:30am PST 
I adopted a beautiful 3 year old male from a foster home a week ago. I'm being very patient but he only wants to hide in my closet, only coming out for food and treats and to use the litter box.

He does let me pet him and rub his belly, but every chance he gets he runs back to his hiding spot.
He has no interest in playing with me either.

If he does come and sit with me in the living room, he quickly runs away at any noise or if I move to get up.

Do you think he will ever come out of his shell? I love him but didn't get this dear kitty so he could hide in my closet the rest of his life!!

Ralphie & Randy

Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 12:27pm PST 
A week is a very short time, and he is understandably anxious about his completely new environment. He needs time to adjust, and lots of love! Stop thinking about yourself and the reasons YOU got this cat, and start thinking in terms of what HE needs at this time, which is apparently a safe hiding place! What he needs most from you is PATIENCE and LOVE. It will take him time to get used to you, your home, all the new sights and smells, and to realize that this is HIS home too. Don't try to force him to interact with you, or you're likely to frighten him and make him even more anxious. Let him decide when he's ready and for how long, and if he needs to be in his safe space, let him be.

When Ralphie came to us as a stray kitten, he was also very shy and reclusive. We set him up in a room with all his essentials, and it was several days before he wanted to even leave that room at all. When he did decide to go out and explore, he was very nervous and skittish and would dash back into his room if anything frightened him. We let him go at his own pace, and always made sure he had easy access to his safe room if he needed to run away from anything.

Ralphie is now a happy, cuddly, affectionate cat who has free roam of the house, and is happy to take advantage of it. To this day, he still runs to his safe room if anything startles him. He doesn't like visitors or loud noises, and he will probably always be shy and cautious, but that's just who he is.

I wish you the best with your new cat. Just be very kind and patient, and he'll be just fine!

Orange Ruffy

The Baboo Kitty- has Spoken!
Purred: Tue Jan 17, '12 1:18pm PST 
You are describing my now angel cat Kimberly Ann.
Kimberly Ann came from a shelter where she lived for 2 years.She was adopted by a woman who meant well, but simply was looking for a different kind of cat. Kim had come from a situation where she was frightened of new people, and slow to adjust.

I took Kim (when the shelter she came from stated they were going to put her to sleep becuase they considered her 'unadoptable'....one of the reasons I no longer work there-to me if you say you are 'no kill' then you are!). But I went up and got Kim from this lady. Bear in mind, Kimmy knew me. But some cats adjust slowly and take time in a new house to learn they are 'safe'.

For 2 weeks Kim ran, hid, came out at night, and I rarely saw her unless I peeked under a bed and lay there and spoke with her softly. I let it be.

One day, when I was sitting at my desk, Kim came out, rubbled my legs, and wanted petting! Eureka! It was as though she had always been friendly, and began to seek out and socialize with both the other cats and me and my sister and mom.

My Andycat was the same way. He hid behind the fridge for 3 weeks during the day. Then, he began to forget why he was doing that. He was in the kitchen, so the smell of food cooking bought him out. When he went to the food bowls with people around he got fed! And he was happy with that.

Many cats take time to adjust. From what I understand, Hazel Lucys beloved Hazel Mazel took some time to come around too! Many cats do, they need time to figure out new environments and new people.

Some people put the cat in a small room, and start them off there. We used to when I worked at the shelter suggest people put the new cat in the bathroom for a couple days. That way, it's a small space, and they don't get too overwhelmed and lost and have settling in time. Some people find it useful, and some cats appear to feel much better in small, enclosed places.

All the best, and many blessings to you with your new arrival!

Holly- Weilhammer

Houdini of the- House
Purred: Tue Jan 24, '12 10:56am PST 
My cat is hiding all the time too. It was nice to read that it wont last for ever.