Or Register for FREE!




Welcome to our Cat Forums!
Welcome to our CatForums!
You are seeing this message because you are viewing our cat forums as a guest.

You can continue to browse our many cat related areas as a guest but you are more than welcome to register and join our friendly community of Cat Lovers! ... And for free!

Doing so will also remove this message and some of the ads, such as the one on the left.

Please click here to register.

Reply

New Member
 
Cats owned: British Shorthair
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1
6hnf7hlyv is Male
19-10-2014, 01:19 AM   #1

First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


I have had Olive (adult, female British shorthair mix) for about 2 months. I had to move apartments about two weeks ago, and that was scary for her. I adopted Olive from a local shelter - she had been picked up wandering along the side of a highway. She is EXTREMELY shy and skittish and spends much of her time hiding. I have been petting her as often as she wants to be petted (although I am still learning to read her body language and she does not set very strong boundaries so sometimes I unwittingly pet her for too long), and over the past week I have gotten her to play a bit (only for ~5 min. at a time, and halfheartedly at that). She is eating and eliminating regularly, has seen a vet and is more or less medically healthy. At the old apartment she lived with another cat who was mean to her, but now it is just her and me. She is definitely more comfortable than when I first brought her home, but not by much. She only lets me pet her when she is in her "safe zones," she has NEVER approached me to seek affection (or anything else, for that matter), she is scared to be out in the open (she needs to have her back to a wall and if I walk into a room where she is out in the open, she gets terrified and bolts off to a hiding place) and she is still reticent to play (and the little bit of play that does happen only happens in her "safe zones"). I have given her plenty of cozy hiding spaces in every room of the apartment, a scratching post in every room (which she uses) and a cat tree (which she does not use). To complicate things, she HATES to be picked up or restrained, and protests with much hissing and occasional violence, but though I respect her preference, I had to restrain her to give her medication for a gum infection for her first few weeks at home, and may have to do so again in the future (I do not have to pick her up for any reason presently). Should I be doing something differently? Should I stop approaching her and ignore her until she comes to me? I love her immensely and I just want her to feel safe and happy and loved, but this is my first cat and I am not sure what to do. Please help.



Reply With Quote


pamela81's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 2 domestic short haired
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cumbernauld, scotland
Posts: 3,188
19-10-2014, 09:10 AM   #2

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


My Skye is very shy and hides when the door goes, hears loud noises or when people come in. She also doesnt like being lifted. Over time though with plenty of attention when she let's you, build up her trust and start lifting her for a few seconds at a time making sure when you put her down, it's gentle and controlled so that she's not jumping or panicking and run your hand along her when you put her down. Through doing this, I can now lift and hold Skye for about 10secs which for her is great. I'm still continuing to build it up with her and I've had her nearly 4 years. Long slow process but she will get there. I also never forced attention on her, I let her come to me, she nows sleeps on my legs at bed time and she curls up on me during the day.

Congrats on your new rescue aswell!!



Reply With Quote


angieh's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Magnificent moggies
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 21,718
19-10-2014, 10:29 AM   #3

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


Very good advice from Pamela - just try and be patient and go along as you are doing. I like it that you've provided her with hiding places in your new apartment. Sounds like she's lucky to have found you.



Reply With Quote


Catsey Senior
 
Cats owned: Colourpoint persian, and moggies
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 686
19-10-2014, 12:06 PM   #4

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


Welcome to Catsey. Your Olive is indeed very fortunate to have such a caring owner that is sensitive to her needs. It's early days yet so just be patient, respect Olive's feelings and I am sure she will come round. It sounds as if you are doing everything right.



Reply With Quote


Phoenix's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 2 cats - one black and one tabby
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Somewhere or maybe nowhere
Posts: 4,295
19-10-2014, 12:31 PM   #5

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


Keep doing what you're doing and let her decide what's the right pace for letting you hold her



Reply With Quote


PoshPuss's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 2 beautiful rescues.
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
Posts: 3,667
19-10-2014, 05:20 PM   #6

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


Hi, my three girls are all rescues or strays and each have their issues. Cats are pretty aloof anyway, so it seems you are reading her right. Olive will let you go so far into her affections but it sounds like she'll never be a cuddle bunny. Pearla will let me pick her up but stiffens and jumps down as soon as poss, Pandora can't abide being handled and will yowl, Phoebe resists handling but loves being smoothed. You will be lead by Olive for now, don't rush things.



Reply With Quote


Catsey Senior
 
Cats owned: 4 moggies and 1 ragdoll
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: lancashire, UK
Posts: 806
19-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #7

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


Looks like you are doing well with Olive giving her lots of space and time. I had a rescue cat that had been tormented by children and hated being picked up so i never picked her up unless I absoutely had to. I let her do her own thing and let her come to me when she wanted to. She would only be stroked with one hand and would run off if I put 2 hands on her so I didn't. I had her for about 12 years and eventually she came to sit on my knee and sleep on the bed. As long as Olive feels ssafe she will come round.



Reply With Quote


timber-'s Avatar
Catsey Senior
 
Cats owned: not sure
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 285
19-10-2014, 09:13 PM   #8

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


I found that playing and giving lots of tasty treats like baby food helped bring Devon out of his shell. He will now let me pick him up and doesn't panic while being held and often takes a nap on my chest on the couch.



Reply With Quote


New Member
 
Cats owned: domestic short hair
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Carlisle ,UK
Posts: 1
23-04-2015, 10:16 AM   #9

Re: First time cat owner with very shy cat - need help!


You might have a hypersensitive cat. A visit to the vet to give her something to calm her dwon. As quick rmedy try catnip. My tomcat is shy and he loves it . He is relaxed and calm for 2 hrs after. Catnip fish toys or catnip pure is available in bags. Lots of patience after what your cat has been through. Do not give up!! Love Jutta



Reply With Quote

Reply