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Rescue cat scared of visitors

(17 Posts)
tactum Wed 01-Mar-17 10:16:30

We got a rescue cat 3 months ago. She is beautiful and we all love her very much. She was very timid at first but has improved a lot with us 4. She's still not a lap cat, but will let you stroke her and lies on the bed etc. Still doesn't want to go outside.

Christmas completely freaked her out and she spent 4 days under the bed as we had people to stay/lots of noise etc. Since then we have been a bit hermit-like socially and she's been great.

My mum has come to stay for 4 days and she's got all freaked out again - hiding in cupboards, running away etc. I expected her to be a bit better.

Any ideas on what to do? We already have the plug in calmer thingys. My mum hasn't tried to stroke her or anything, just talk to her.

In anyone's experience is she likely to get better over time or will this always be the case? All we know of her background is that she was abandoned with her litter of kittens.


Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Wed 01-Mar-17 10:20:14

Have your dm tempt her with super treats!! Then she will learn to associate her with good things!! Even if dm has to lie with her arm under a bed holding some fish!!

Toddlerteaplease Wed 01-Mar-17 11:44:08

Mine are like this. Better now but too many visitors and they hide. I just leave them too it.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 01-Mar-17 11:45:13

They are fine with my parents now. And all over them But hid when a friend s me specifically to meet them. I've had them 18 months.

cozietoesie Wed 01-Mar-17 12:50:28

All I saw of Seniorboy for the first part of his life was this pale backside scurrying away from me down a corridor when I went to my Mum's. He's a bit better now but he still prefers home to be 'the same' which means the same people as well as the same routine. I'm like Toddler - just leave him to it. wink

mycatloveslego Wed 01-Mar-17 13:02:58

One of mine was like this when we first brought him home. We always made sure he had an escape route/bolt hole. Gradually, over time, he's got used to regular visitors like family and close friends. We've had him 6 years now. He still runs for cover if the doorbell goes though. We recently had some renovations done and I was really worried about how he would cope with the noise, mess and workmen, but as long as he could get to a place where he felt safe he was fine.
Give your cat time, allow them to hide if they need to and let them meet any visitors on their own terms and I'm sure you'll be fine!

NotAPuffin Wed 01-Mar-17 13:25:40

One of ours is like this. We just leave her to it; I'm not keen on being forced to socialise so I understand how she feels.

The other one is anyone's for a headrub.

They're all different, I think you just have to accept it. Make sure she has access to high places to watch from, that'll make her feel more secure, and ask visitors to completely ignore her and not even look at her.

SerialCerealKiller Wed 01-Mar-17 13:29:07

I would isolate yourself just for your cat. She will just have to get used to visitors or find herself somewhere to hide.
If you never have anyone round she will never get used to it.
Obviously don't go having massive parties now but having your mum round for a cuppa more often will actually help her.

Trustyourself2 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:09:51

My girl is like this. She's afraid of herself. She can be confident at times, but it's very short lived & seconds later she'll be terrified again. I've tried everything to calm her. My vet says she'll never change. I try to be very careful with her, but also try not to let her behaviour take over my life.

cozietoesie Wed 01-Mar-17 14:17:51

I've found that cats also dislike being ignored/left out of things. It's notable how often they'll come down for a 'look-see' if they're left to their own devices.

I just tell any visitors that we have an elderly cat but that he's 'anti-social' - and they just nod their heads and get on with things. If the cat does come downstairs they feel 'special'. smile

Allergictoironing Wed 01-Mar-17 17:48:10

Had my ex-feral rescues 9 months now and they are slowly getting used to occasional visitors - my friend came round the other day & not only did they both accept Dreamies that he put on the floor by his feet, but Girlcat actually allowed him to do a chin scratch after a couple of hours.

They are taking their time about it, but get better every day about people.

Icequeen01 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:02:26

My two rescue boys are incredibly nervous of other people and as soon as the doorbell goes they are out of the cat flap and are not seen until the visitor has gone. If they do pluck up courage to come back they shoot upstairs and hide in my wardrobe. It's such a shame as they are incredibly loving with me, my DH and DS but none of my friends/family have ever been able to even stroke them. I'm not sure they will ever change to be honest.

cozietoesie Wed 01-Mar-17 20:01:44

As long as they're fine with family, eh? smile

timtam23 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:24:40

Mine is very nervous of strangers/visitors, he is nearly 4 now but we took him in off the street as a tiny abandoned stray kitten aged around 7 weeks old and I think he has never quite fully socialised, although he is always all over me & DH. He also likes things to be the same and he gets quite spooked when we go away and a neighbour comes in to feed him. We can't be complete hermits but fortunately we don't have loads of visitors and he is getting better with people who turn up regularly (like my parents) although a lot of visitors have never seen him, particularly the DCs' friends. Hopefully yours will get used to the household routine & will relax a bit more around visitors.

Icequeen01 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:25:25

They are obviously good judges of character* Cozie* 😀

cozietoesie Wed 01-Mar-17 23:11:48


RamblinRosie Fri 03-Mar-17 00:27:11

After 5 years, most of my visitors don't realise we have a third cat. Little Missie does not do strangers, though she's great with us, her only exception is my neighbor's 8 year old daughter. Neighbor and daughter are my main cat feeders when we are away. Daughter is cat-feeder in chief, a junior cat whisperer !

Tell your mum to ignore her, but scatter a few Dreamies by her feet, it might not work on this visit, but 3 months isn't very long for her to settle, she'll probably be better by the next visit.

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