Need cat help:
Adopted a 3 year old neutered female from an owner. She is indoor only, previous owner had her since she was a tiny kitten, this is basically the only other place in her life she has ever been.
She arrived on Friday, immediately hid under the wardrobe. Normal, I know. EXTREMELY shy, we never had a chance to pet her.
We never invade her space, or reach under the wardrobe at her. We have ignored her as much as possible, only talking to her sometimes from a distance in a smooth tone.
It is now almost a week later, she has not eaten once. She is used to both dry food and raw meat, both of which we have provided for her - both of which she won't touch. We are beginning to get worried.
She is using the litter tray but ONLY at night. She will ONLY come out from under the wardrobe if she is sure no one is around at all, even the tv being on in the other room means she won't come out.
My boyfriend goes in and sits with her before work (around 5am) and she will meow, but never come out.
I am terrified she will starve to death or that something is wrong. The previous owner seems a bit shady so we can't ask for advice. Ideas?
Don't mean to hijack your thread or anything, but I also need cat help. Mine chews off all his fur, I took him to the vet, and the vet gave him a steroid, it didn't really help him he kept on chewing after about a week. I saw some stuff online that said maybe anxiety, anything I can do for him? I'd prefer not to medicate him if I don't have to, but I'm getting tired of his auto cannibalism and him looking like a zombie.
You fucked up.
What you should have done is designated a cat room and locked the cat in for about two weeks.
You need to start over.
You will also be able to tell exactly how much your cat is eating (and pooping) by restricting his movements. Then in a few weeks let him out to explore the house. The cat room will be his safe place, and he will return to it when he feels afraid.
Pick a place where she can't "hide" that well. Like in a spare shower (w glass box) with blankets and tall pillows, a large crate in a corner, think closed container but open view.
The thing is, you want her to get used to normal human presence. There must be a corner in the living room or bedroom where she can see you but without much going on around her (no tv, other pets, etc).
She needs to get exposed to noise and people until she realizes they're not directed at her, they will happen regardless of her being there.
By allowing her to hide like that you say "as long as I'm here the world is far away" which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Do not allow her to be alone outside her enclosed space/room, cats will kill themselves trying to escape from any place. They trash around and destroy things when scared.
She's under the wardrobe at the minute, she has about 20cm height to peak out from. When we go in we always sit on the floor so she can see us. Do you think we should try to move her to a box with a hole in it in a corner instead?
Could also be an reaction to an allergic reaction. Maybe wheat, some source of meat, or something added to the food is causing it, maybe flea, maybe something else entirely. Try to eleminate one possible reason after another and/or get her tested.
I had two cats who were loosing fur and the most common reasons are:
>using plastic bowls for food/water. Switch to metal.
>food allergy - grains and poultry being the most common.
If he is eating any of that or eating/drinking from a plastic bowl, stop that and I bet it will go away. If those are not the reasons than sorry OP, I got nothing.
You need to get rid of ALL the hiding places until she gets used to people. It'll take months but you need to plug up every God damn hidey hole. Otherwise she's always going to stay skittish.
Start with the bathroom or something. Where there's no where to hide.
After that when you leave the house have some sort of talk radio or podcasts on. This way human voices don't man danger.
Eventually as she gets used to the house and you, you'll want to socialize her. Find a food that she LOVES. Feed it to her ONLY when people are visiting. Slowly start feeding her closer and closer to the people who visit. This will get her more used to people visit. Took my cat two years of this to become an attention whore for visitors.
You need to block off her hiding spots. A cat that can hide all the time and feel safe will never expand beyond that. Not saying to force her to set on the couch with your but just block off all the holes she disappears into. Perhanps find her a perch up high where she can feel safe and be able to watch everyone.
If the cat's personality allows that then thats best.
The best advice I can give you is your feed if at certain times instead of free feeding. Cats will hold off on eating if their life changes like it did with your cat.
My cat is more attached to me than fleas to a stray. I've moved twice and both times he held off on eating for days.
We tried timed feeding at first, but it didn't work. Free feeding doesn't work either.
The cat is very shy, but she is non-violent. Should we block off? Or allow her to stay under? She isn't co-operating at all hiding underneath, but we don't want her to have a break down and fuck it forever by forcing her out.
How long did your cat not eat for? Over 3 days?
Block off most of it.If she can get a foot under the bed thats fine. Try and get a toy she can play with to lure her out gradually. Small fuzzy things with feathers on wands with a long string work best. Or maybe if you cat prefers it, just a plain string.
There's other things that you can do to make a cat feel safe without them resorting to being under a goddamn dresser.
OP wants different approaches, I gave one. The hiding approach obviously isn't working.