PLEASE HELP! Very depressed new cat....making me feel so sad too :((12 Posts)
Hi everyone, please help, I'm feeling so down...
I'm a lone mummy, just moved into my big new house on my own & expecting my baby in December. I really wanted some companionship, so have just got a 2 year old neutered male Birman cat from a breeder...
He'd only ever lived in a cage his whole life, without many cuddles or anything. Now in the new house, he's completely overwhelmed, hiding away etc. In the first few days I had him, he hid behind the sofa constantly, hissed whenever anyone entered the room & would only come out for food. This was exactly what I was expecting at first, & at least he would let me go get him & cuddle him for 5/10 mins a day...
But NOW he's got far worse. He's moved from the sofa to the furthest corner of the living room, where he's actually wrapped the curtain right round him & turned his back to the wall, burying up to it like he's trying to make himself invisible. He won't come out at all, pays no attention if anyone enters the room & if I go to him & pick him up he just scrabbles away & runs to hide again now. If I lie next to him & try to stroke him he glares at me with complete disgust, doesnt purr now or anything. & he doesn't seem to be eating/drinking/using the litter tray or grooming himself....hasn't done since yesterday. His eyes are completely listless, he's just the utter picture of a cat that doesn't want to be there or even live. & he absolutely HATES it if the tv's on or I have guests round etc...
what the heck do I do??? How long do I give him to see if he gets better?? My mum reckons he's never going to adjust to this life, & I'm worried that even if I can win him round he'll go to pieces when baby arrives in a month or so, with all the crying & visitors etc. It's making me really really sad, especially as I had my heart set on having a companion to help me with my loneliness etc since the split
advice please & thank you for reading!!!
Can you find a smaller room and confine him to that for a few days? If he's been stuck in a cage his whole life, he needs that security.
Could you put a cat carrier in the corner as a bolt hole for him? He may feel more secure ina smaller place for a while?
How about getting a feliway (or something like that!) diffuser? It can help to calm cats down.
Don't approach him or pick him up.
I have now had 2 homed cats, 2 strays and 3 ferals, and they are all different.
Put his food where they he can see it.
Chat out loud to them so he gets used to your voice.
Get a cardboard box and pop it somewhere that can be his special place.
Get a catnip toy for him.
See if he responds to a piece of paper tied to a string and trailed across the floor, this is how I got close to my ferals...
Don't hassle him if he seems indifferent.
Let him come to you.
One of mine took 2 years before she sat on me.
One I've had 5 years and still will only let me stroke her when she is on the bannisters (don't ask).
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I would have a trip to the vets first just to make sure he isn't ill. Unfortunately pedigree are quite neurotic and often don't move well.
Maybe try one of those Feliway diffuser thingies (get them from your vet) -- they are supposed to give off hormones which help de-stress cats.
Otherwise, lots of patience and quiet is required. My old cat took weeks to stop hiding (we would find her in the oddest corners) and even then she only bonded with me and would run a mile from anyone else. Don't try to pick him up, give him a quiet corner of his own, give him a quiet stroke when you take his food in so he associates you with something nice.
If he still isn't eating/drinking I would also get him checked by a vet, though.
If he has been in a cage for 2 years the I think unfortunately you cant expect him to behave like a "normal" cat.
Try to find a little place where he can feel secure - maybe a carrier, of a cardboard box.
My newest cat spent 2 days sitting in a cupboard before she felt safe to come out.
Give him time. Even a cat who is used to being out and about needs time to adjust to a move, and his whole world has just changed drastically.
I definitely think he is scared of this new big place.
He needs a box, bed, basket where he can hide and also if you still have the cage leave that for him to go to if he wants.
It might not work out with the baby coming so soon though. Poor cat.
try all the things suggested, of course. Yet don't get yourself so upset by it and stressed that it's taking over. You have alot happening soon, and the cat will prob get even more ditressed when the baby comes.
Sometimes things just aren't meant to be. Give it a try, but if it doesn't make anyone happy, then think about the sort of home he would like. It's alot to take on. We had a siamese, when my dd was about 1. This cat came from an establisehd home, but the owner's dh had died, and this puss wasn't getting the attention it needed. The owner thought a new home would be best.
We tried for two weeks, but this poor cat was miserable, and prowled and howled the place down. my nerves were in tatters, and i also felt we had let her down. We contacted the owner (she had 3 kids and 3 other cats too!) and she had her back. The cat settled back in and perked up.
Maybe the cat needs more than you will be able to give.
When dh & i first moved in together we got 2 feral kittens, they had never had any human contact what so ever, it took time and alot of patience.
Try confining him to a small room, and leave him with food etc of course, potter around him but don't fuss him or anything, let him get used to the noises of the house and you being around.
It will take time, but he will come round, if he has been kept in a cage he isn't used to having the chance to roam around etc. It may be that he will always be a timid cat (one of mine is.. not one of the ferals). One of my feral kittens ran away, i still have one, but they were/are the most friendly cat (s) you will ever meet, i do have a timid one but she is one i got from a house funnily enough.
Jabs (feral) is 5 now and is so chilled out he is unbelievable! really friendly and socialible.
You may find because your cat is older it will take longer.
Poor love, he's probably so scared (not your fault, just because he hasn't been socialised by his previous owners. Follow Miggsies advice - he's acting like my ex-feral and that is how I deal with him. I really feel for you, it's upsetting to see them like this.
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