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Help needed for traumatised cat

(13 Posts)
Bubbaloo Mon 18-Aug-08 23:36:01

We have 2 cats(11 and 3 yrs old) and moved to a new house 5 weeks ago.They stayed at the cattery for 3 days when we moved and we kept them in for a few more days when they came home.
Anyway,the first day we let them out our youngest cat jumped the fence into next doors garden and was greeted by their pitbull dog.I have never seen her move so fast as he chased her to the top of a conifer and hung on for dear life.
She was petrified and after trying unsuccessfully to get her down,I ended up with 8 firemen and a relieved cat but since that day she refuses to go out.She'll gulp down her breakfast before ds2 spots her,then spends all day upstairs in the spare bedroom.I have tried leaving the back door open for as long as I can to tempt her to go out and yesterday she ventured onto the patio,so after a few minutes I shut the patio doors.A couple of minutes later there was an almighty noise and saw it was her clinging onto the outside of the stable door,trying to get back in,not realising it was closedshock.
She used to be out all the time when we lived at our other house and I can see she really wants to go out,but is still so scared.It's now been 4 weeks since the incident and seems so miserable.Once the children are in bed she comes downstairs and spends most of the evening looking out of the patio doorssad.
Just wondered if anyone had any advice/tips on trying to get her back outside again.

CapnTaLcY Mon 18-Aug-08 23:44:45

Don't know if it's helpful in your case, bub, but my vet suggested a plug in pheremone [sp?] spray.

Apparently it can work wonders!

beanieb Tue 19-Aug-08 00:04:05

I would try the softly softly approach. She's had a shock bless her but with a bit of time and encouragement she could become brave enough to start going outside, she just needs to learn how far is safe.

Try feeding her outsideon the patio and stauing with her, coaxing her out. It may take some time but once she realises she is not in immediate danger she should start to become more curious and brave.

Bowddee Tue 19-Aug-08 00:10:00

I don't think I'd want to go out after a shock like that!

Poor little thing.

I agree with beanie, but I'd offer treats rather than feed her. Then do what Supernanny does with kids at bedtime! You know the bit where the parents sit in the room and move further away? Try that, but on te patio.

Bubbaloo Tue 19-Aug-08 10:39:37

Thanks-sounds like a very good idea to try and feed her/give her treats etc outside on the patio.She had her breakfast around 7am this morning and has been hiding in her usual spot upstairs,wedged between 2 packing boxes in the spare room since thensad.
Might see if I can bring her downstairs when the children have their nap and make a big fuss of hersmile.
I just hope our other cat doesn't try going into next door's garden!

beanieb Tue 19-Aug-08 12:34:45

Does she mind being picked up generally?

I found with my cats (when I moved) taht just holding them by the back door, then slowly moving outside with them helped them to get used to it while feeling secure. If they struggled I took a step back in until they were calm again.

Cats are pretty wise really and so if they know there's a big angry dog next door they won't keep trying to go in there.

Bubbaloo Tue 19-Aug-08 13:42:57

No,she's fine with being picked up and being stroked etc...
I brought her downstairs about an hour ago,she's had something to eat and now she's sitting by the patio doors,looking out.I had had the doors open for a fair while but it's rather windy here and the fences are making quite a racket,rattling away which I'm sure doesn't help.Will carry her outside later,if the wind eases upsmile.

bethoo Tue 19-Aug-08 13:48:33

i think all you can really do is give her time. make sure she has her own quiet spot in the house and leave the door open, once she has regained confidence she will eventually go back out.
are you sure it is a pit bull as they are illegal in uk (is t hat where you are?, if it is a pit then she is very lucky indeed.

Bubbaloo Tue 19-Aug-08 14:09:41

Hmm,that's interesting as someone else told me that about pit bulls.
I'm not a dog expert but it does look very much like one but it could well be another similar breed.I can't see the dog from my garden,so the only time I've managed to see it has been from the back bedroom window.The only thing I'm definate on is that it's white in colour and rather noisywink.

barey Tue 19-Aug-08 14:16:13

We have used the spray that CapnTaLcY mentioned. It is called Feliway and it really calmed our cat down - he got stress related cystitis when DS was born. Would really recommend it

Bubbaloo Tue 19-Aug-08 14:20:58

Ooh,we've got a can of Feliway in the cupboard.I think we bought it from the vets a while back when one of our other cats started weeing indoors.Will have to dig it outwink.

Bubbaloo Tue 19-Aug-08 14:23:41

Have just found the spray but it expired 3 years agoblush.

mymblemummy Wed 20-Aug-08 00:58:48

Oh poor puss. Be patient, that must have been absolutely terrifying.

Try going outside and pottering about the garden yourself. She's more likely to join you than go out on her own.

I had a lovely but very timid cat, and she only went into the garden when one of her humans was already there.

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