17 answers

4 Year Old Cat New to Our Home Still Hiding

I took in a sweet four-year-old female cat last week, and she's still hiding behind the water softener. She does come out to use the litter box, eat and drink, and get petted (usually only for my husband or me, not the kids). Otherwise she does not come out. She has also growled quite a few times when she hears my husband clear his throat or move his squeaky chair in the other room.

I know it's only been one week since she's been with us. Should I just hang on with hope that she will come around and be more friendly, or... what should I do?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

She will come out eventually. Back when I was 23 and bought my first condo, I was single and someone said I "needed" a cat. Well, I got one that was about 3 yrs old and I swear, the first 2 MONTHS she hid behind the fridge! She did eventually come out full time and was my best buddy! :o)

I would be patient, offer treats and petting as often as you can, and give her more time. If she's using the litter box, that's a good sign. If there's a door you can close to help her feel safe, you might want to do that for just a few days.

More Answers

Are your kids young and active and loud or rough or young?
She is not comfortable in her new home yet.
Scared.
Nervous.
Not at all comfortable yet.

Was it from a shelter?
maybe it was mistreated? Hence, it being very introverted and nervous about mingling?

If it was a stray... well then it can take time. She was previously a 'wild' cat. It takes time to tame one. They have to build up 'trust' of their new surroundings.

1 mom found this helpful

Cats are all about their environment. Dogs are happy wherever their owners are but cats are generally only happy in their own environment. That's why you can take your dog with you to visit at your friend's house but you don't take your cat along because they would be miserable in a different environment. So even though this kitty now has a better environment, she doesn't think like a human - so she's not thinking wow, cool, I just got a better gig, she's thinking oh no, this is all different! When you first bring an adult cat into your home (or even when you move your cat to a new house), you should keep them in a confined space, like one bedroom or even a bathroom. Put the litter box right with her. Shut the door and visit her periodically. She will feel safer. Feed her in the safe room. After a couple of days, leave the door ajar. She'll explore the new environment at her own pace and eventually adapt to it. The last two rescue cats I brought home wouldn't come out from under the bed for a week. Then one came out, but wouldn't leave the safe room even if the door was ajar. After 2 weeks, the bold one was creeping into my bed at night and sleeping on my head, the timid one was still under the bed. After 3 weeks, the timid one was out and about. She'll be fine once she adjusts but she's growling because she is scared. Make her a safe room and she'll come around.

1 mom found this helpful

Give her some time. Our cat took a month or so to warm up to us.

I can relate. I adopted my cat Sophie in 2002 she was about 3 years old. She hid for about 2 weeks, She would come and sit in the same room and even sat at the other end on the couch from me. She never sat in my lap and would only let me pet her on her terms. When I started dating my now hubby he came over to the house and was sitting on the couch and she came out and jumped right into his lap. This was 4 years after I got her, she had not even sat in my lap. She spent the last 4 years sleeping at the foot of the bed bewtween mine and my hubby's feet, Sadly she passed away about a month ago.
Give her time and be patient with her. She will come out when she feels comfortable with her new surroundings and family. Hopefully it won't take 4 years for her like it did my Sophie. I am sure that once she is comfortable she will be a loving member of your family.

Took our seven month old kitty about a month to stop hiding under the bed and growling at us. Now he purrs and follows us all over the house. A week is not enough time for a cat less than a year old so I'd assume that it would take an older cat longer than that as well.

Our cat was born feral but rescued as a kitten by my sister when she found him up under the wheel well of her car. She took care of him and had him fixed, gave him his shots and he lived with her for most of his kittenhood. She gave him up to me when her boyfriend put his foot down and said get rid of it so I said I'd take him so she'd stop fretting over it.

I agree with the give her time advice. In her life the whole world just turned upside down and she has a very small brain to process this with! Just continue with patience and I think she will come around. We have had some neurotic cats in our life and even they can be lived with if given lots of love and patience. We had one cat that we just had to pray would never get sick bc seriously, she only hung out in my mom's room or the closet, that was it. She had issues, but she was a good cat all in all. Since she is letting you guys pet her, I think she will be OK in a little more time. She may be the skiddish type, but she will adjust.

I would be patient, offer treats and petting as often as you can, and give her more time. If she's using the litter box, that's a good sign. If there's a door you can close to help her feel safe, you might want to do that for just a few days.

Our cat was desperate for love, but very shy. His previous owners were good folks, but were a newly combined household, and there were some larger dogs that scared kitty a lot, to the point where he was living under their bed most of the time. Being "out" and exposed may not feel safe for your new cat, so give her some time to settle in. And you might consider keeping the kids and busy-ness away enough to let her venture out. Our cat has been with us for over six years and is still very unsure about our four year old; if our son gets too close or moves too fast, kitty's down in his basement cozy corner quite quickly.

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