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Thread: Shy Cat Help

  1. #11
    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
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    It sounds like this cat is not feral, but not completely socialized, either. I rescued a stray like that many years ago. He knew what the sound of a can opener meant, and he seemed to want to get petted, but he also couldn't stand human touch.

    If he's coming out to look at you, he is slowly getting used to you. A lot of patience will be needed.

    One thing that helped greatly was interactive toys. Anything where you hold a string or a wand and make the toy move. Have one with you when you are reading in the sitting room. When he comes to the doorway, don't look at him, but make the toy move0--bounce it, wiggle it on the floor. Eventually, he will pounce.

    Don't make too much eye contact--that can be seen as a threat. Remember, to him, you are the Human Predator. He needs to learn to trust you. And that could take some time.

    When I said patience--it was 10 months before he got into my lap. He stayed there for about 20 seconds that first time. But eventually, it got to the point where he could tell that I was going to settle down and read a book, and he'd hop in and out of my reading chair until I sat down, and then he'd curl up in my lap and prevent the other two cats from getting anywhere near us. Reading time was his lap time. But I think that took another year or so to happen.

    There's an organization, Tiny Kittens, that works with a lot of feral cats and has even socialized some of them. If you contact them, they might be able to give you some pointers. http://www.tinykittens.com/

    And Maravel and Neelix are two of the feral cats Tiny Kittens rescued. Neelix is having a much slower time adjusting to humans than Maravel. You can find out about them here: http://www.tinykittens.com/cases/maralix and follow their continuing adjustment to indoor life on Facebook, where it is clear that Maravel is fast becoming an indoor cat and Neelix is much more hesitant about trusting humans, but is slowly getting there: https://www.facebook.com/Maralix-Tak...9357103741252/ (Yeah, I look at a lot of cat cams on the internet. I can stop any time. Honest.)

  2. #12
    Senior Member Cypress's Avatar
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    Update on shy kitty.

    He's still keeping his distance from me. He is settling into the house and does have fun. I can hear him rolling around and playing with toys upstairs when I am out of the room. So, he's active and playful. When I try to engage him in play, nope, won't go. He has grabbed my toes when I am walking by the bed twice now. That seemed playful to me.

    I moved all his food downstairs last night. That's been happening gradually and he understands where the food is, but won't come out until I am out of the house. I installed a Felliway in the kitchen and hope it helps to relax him. It's been a full month now.

    I did speak to foster Mom Saturday night, apparently, he does like to be petted and she was able to touch him from the start. She encouraged me to talk to him and interact in small ways, kind of like what's been suggested. I do these things but it's making me feel rejected.

    He sleeps in the living room on one of three chairs. I almost touched him last night where he was lying. He is okay with me walking by the chair in the dark but I wondered if touching him would cause a bigger problem. This is my first ultra shy kitty. I just wonder if I had to catch him for some reason, I don't know how.

    I also thought of taking away the bed frame and putting the box spring and mattress on the floor so he cannot hide under there. The foster Mom talked about taking away a hideaway bed and giving him a cozy cardboard box to be in for security.
    Here is a link to my blog page http://francesannwy.wordpress.com/

  3. #13
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    "I just wonder if I had to catch him for some reason, I don't know how."

    My SIL has a cat that started out a lot like yours. She was worried too, because they live in an area prone to wildfires. How would she get him if they needed to evacuate?

    She blocked off access to under the bed, and put a hard sided cat carrier in the corner of the room. Sure enough, he found it straight away, and started sleeping in it in the daytime, and would retreat there when scared! Problem solved, all she had to do was close the door.

    But the big surprise was that he would just stick his head out and allow her to pet him! After a few days of that, it was only a few more days before he joined her on her lap if she's at her computer or watching TV!

    Her theory was that he lived in a carrier before being rescued.

  4. #14
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    I have two cats - one a male stray we took in when we think he was around 2 and another that was a tiny kitten taken from a feral colony. After five years with these two, the male stray is as loving/social as can be. It took him about two years to come out of his shell. The formerly feral one still prefers to stay in one room and comes out only to eat. We believe that her wariness might be hard-wired.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Cypress's Avatar
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    Many thanks for your support.

    It's supposed to be wicked cold on Saturday so I will take the bed frame away and remove the hidey place underneath. He did come home in the carrier with a baby blanket. He stayed in that carrier when I first brought him home from about 3 p.m. until I went to bed. Sometime at night, he came out, used the potty, ate and migrated to under the bed.

    The Feliway aromatherapy is having an affect. He has been downstairs the past two days laying around on a chair in the living room. When I come in the door, he jumps off and gets behind the chair. I tell him he's been lovely and offer a little treat. He looks and looks at me but runs back to the bedroom when I leave the room. So, that's a positive shift.

    I can set up the carrier in a corner in the bedroom and see if he goes back into it. I'd love to be able to pet him and make friends. He is a funny little cat. He dragged one of his toys under the bed. I couldn't find the pole with long string and three noisy balls on the string. I guess he liked it as I had to fish it out from under the bed.
    Here is a link to my blog page http://francesannwy.wordpress.com/

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