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Rescue cat is terrified

(112 Posts)
Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 13:19:27

We picked up our new little girl yesterday! She is from a Romanian shelter and apparently she was in a van for over three days before she got here so she is not a happy girl at the moment! She has been here for just under 24 hours and has been hiding behind various bits of furniture basically the whole time. She has eaten next to nothing, and has used the litter tray once. I don’t know if she’s had anything to drink since she’s been here.

Feliway is arriving later on today, and I’ve been playing relaxing music for cats to try to calm her down confused. What else can I do? The lady at the shelter has been in touch to check on her and has been helpful. I’m freaking out a bit that she’s traumatised and will hide forever.

OP’s posts: |
user1471462115 Tue 21-Jul-20 13:21:38

Nothing.
You can’t do anything else.
She will be fine.
Just be normal and don’t try to see her. She will come to you when she is ready.
Could take a week or more.
She is cute.

Toilenstripes Tue 21-Jul-20 13:23:33

She will be fine. She’s been through a lot but will soon understand that she’s safe. Have you sat nearby and talked to her? I would try that. Just calmly tell her that she’s safe and you have some nice food for her, let her hear your voice. Btw, she’s beautiful!

Pelleas Tue 21-Jul-20 13:25:48

It's normal. My last rescue cat took 3 days to use his tray and almost a week before he came fully out of hiding.

Try to be in the same room as her doing normal, quiet things so she gets used to your presence, without approaching her directly.

thecatneuterer Tue 21-Jul-20 13:29:09

It's completely normal. They often don't eat, drink or use the tray for 3 or 4 days, and sometimes hide for over two weeks. I agree with Pelleas's advice.

SleepingInCompost Tue 21-Jul-20 13:29:52

Leave her to settle. Don't fuss over her or try and entice her out. It'll take time but if you give her space and leave her to her devices, offer treats from your hand if you feel appropriate for her. She'll come round.

We so opted a fluffy fella last year and it took him months for him to truly settle in. He was very highly strung and uncomfortable with being handled, cuddled, stroked. He's now a big fluffy bag of love

Good luck!

RHOBHfan Tue 21-Jul-20 13:30:22

Our rescue hid under the bed for 3 weeks.

He’s now the softest thing

Give her time.

thecatneuterer Tue 21-Jul-20 13:34:06

If she's already eaten something and has used the tray then she's already doing better than most.

MonsteraCheeseplant Tue 21-Jul-20 13:36:58

Are you in Romania?

Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 14:18:10

Thank you all so much! Our previous rescue cat settled really quickly so this is a bit of a shock! The children are very loud and unfortunately she’s hiding in the living room where they play so I don’t blame her for hiding hmmgrin

No we are in the UK, I didn’t realise she was from Romania until I went to collect her and they told me about her journey over!

OP’s posts: |
Toddlerteaplease Tue 21-Jul-20 18:22:59

One of mine hid under ye kitchen units for 8 days. I left her too it and she cane out. One day after dark.

Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 20:09:03

Stupid question but how long can they go without food/water/needing a wee?!

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Pancakeorcrepe Tue 21-Jul-20 20:39:03

If you can do tell the children to not be too noisy, because that will be making it worse. Don’t forget cats have very good hearing so what is noisy to you may be excruciating for them.

Pelleas Tue 21-Jul-20 20:41:53

A healthy cat can go without food for quite some time but will seek water within a few days. They do have an amazing capacity to manage on limited fluids - you sometimes hear of cats that have survived (albeit with severe dehydration) for two weeks trapped somewhere, licking condensation. It won't come to that with your girl, though - she'll come out for a drink soon although probably when you're out of sight.

My little chap managed 3 days without food/drink/toilet while he was hiding. The next morning (to our relief) we were greeted by an enormous poo in the litter tray and signs he'd both eaten and drunk overnight but it still took him several more days to emerge with a human in the room.

I'll add that now (18 months later) he is a hugely chatty, friendly, attention-seeking cat although shy of strangers (he will hide on the rare occasions we have visitors). He'll snuggle up, tolerate being picked up, demand tummy-tickles, shake hands and 'sit up and beg' at the sight of a Dreamie. smile

SecretSquirreI Tue 21-Jul-20 20:45:04

When we adopted my girl 15 years ago she hid for days.

I would sit near her and talk quietly. But then leave her to herself.

Luckily she was in a room we didn't use.

Eventually her cat-nosiness took over and she'd slink about the house when she thought no one was looking.

Then one day after about maybe a week she jumped up onto my lap and purred and fell asleep.

She's my best friend, a very old girl now, and the most affectionate, gentle, amazing animal I've ever known. These ones who take the time to gain trust really do love you hard once they know you're their family.

SecretSquirreI Tue 21-Jul-20 20:45:12

When we adopted my girl 15 years ago she hid for days.

I would sit near her and talk quietly. But then leave her to herself.

Luckily she was in a room we didn't use.

Eventually her cat-nosiness took over and she'd slink about the house when she thought no one was looking.

Then one day after about maybe a week she jumped up onto my lap and purred and fell asleep.

She's my best friend, a very old girl now, and the most affectionate, gentle, amazing animal I've ever known. These ones who take the time to gain trust really do love you hard once they know you're their family.

Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 20:45:56

This is giving me hope! Thank you!

The children are in bed and I can hear her eating the Dreamies we offered earlier! Exciting! grin

I know she must be terrified of the kids and I have tried to keep them out of the house for as long as possible today. They are 5 and 3. Planning a full day out tomorrow so hopefully she’ll come out with just DH in the house.

OP’s posts: |
Jaxhog Tue 21-Jul-20 20:49:27

Don't worry they're often like that. We had one stay under the spare bed for 2 weeks, and one of our current furbabies took a month before he'd let anyone touch him without extreme growling and biting (he was a feral kitten). He's lovely now btw!

Just make sure she has access to fresh water, food, and the litter. And let her come to you when she's ready.

Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 20:49:31

She obviously knew I was talking about her as she has just emerged! She’s headed towards the kitchen so hopefully she’ll eat/drink/use the tray before going off to hide again! It’s taking all my willpower not to follow her and spy on her!

OP’s posts: |
Pelleas Tue 21-Jul-20 20:50:51

That's a great sign - if she's eating it means she's feeling more comfortable already. She may well come out properly if it's just your husband in the house tomorrow.

These ones who take the time to gain trust really do love you hard once they know you're their family.

I couldn't agree more with SecretSquirrel on this point.

Jaxhog Tue 21-Jul-20 20:51:08

P.S. They'll do ANYTHING for Dreamies. Really.

vanillandhoney Tue 21-Jul-20 21:01:58

I'm sure she'll settle soon!

We rescued one of ours from an abusive home - he was kicked/hit/thrown about and it took him six months to stop hissing and lashing out at DH! We didn't hear him purr for nearly a yearsad

He spent about a week hiding behind the wood burner when we brought him home! Now he's the softest cat (with me - he's still iffy with DH) - likes ear scratches and will even beg for pick up cuddles 💕

When a nervous animal trusts you it is the best ever feeling and it's so worth the wait.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 21-Jul-20 21:21:38

She won’t know English. 3 days in a van would be really traumatic for any animal.

Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 22:30:51

Update! She’s come out from behind the sofa, eaten a whole pouch, had a wee and then sat about 6 feet from me on the floor, looking fairly peaceful (obviously quite jumpy whenever I shifted position etc). We had a chat and she liked the salmon. She’s disappeared again now but it’s a step in the right direction!

OP’s posts: |
Squaretoe Tue 21-Jul-20 22:32:20

Fluffycloudland77

She won’t know English. 3 days in a van would be really traumatic for any animal.

Oh yeah I can’t imagine how awful it must have been sad she looked broken when I picked her up yesterday.

OP’s posts: |

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