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Cat Training and Behaviour Discuss cat training and behaviour problems in this section. Are you having problems with your cats behaviour? Then submit your problems and get help from other members. Do you have some excellent cat training advice? then submit your details here to help others.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2011, 07:19 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

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Originally Posted by Emma2011 View Post
Thanks again, this is all very encouraging! In case it helps anyone reading this chain in future who is in a similar situation, here is some advice I received from the rescue centre:
"I would also suggest putting food in lots of different places around the room that he is in and provide him with alternative hiding places in that room too such as boxes with blankets in so that as he becomes braver and chooses to explore a bit more of his environment he will be rewarded with food treats and also have alternative places to hide which will help him move from one hiding place to the other. This is something that you can also adopt once you start to introduce him to other areas of the house."

Hopefully over the next few weeks (or months, eek!) I have will have good news to report.
I've had my two naughty boys a week and a day. They were incredibly timid and hid as soon as their foster mum left. Anyway I installed them in my loft bedroom and they hid under a chair and would only come out when I wasn't there, wouldn't even come out for food. On saturday I moved them downstairs as one is a phantom pooper and the cleaning was driving me mad as that room is carpeted. I put them in the hall and bathroom that adjoins my kitchen, it has glass doors onto the kitchen. I did it for the sake of the mess not thinking it would make any difference to their behaviour. Anyway all day saturday I talked to them through the door while I cooked, cleaned etc. Then all of a sudden it's like they are different cats. They miaowed to come out yesterday and explored my kitchen. They are currently under the table by me as I type this play fighting and trying to pull my table cloth off the table. The timid one has turned into a little monster he jumped up under my arm this afternoon to try and steal his food as I was making it. It's amazing. So my advice is talk to your cat as much as possible, sit with it and let him know that you are his friend. Hopefully he will respond. My monkeys certainly have. I'm no longer a guest in the cat bedroom they are interracting with me and it's wonderful!

Just have to fix the poop issues

You obviously can't rush things but I would definitely make sure that you spend some time in the same room as him even if you are just reading or doing something else in there rather than paying attention to him.
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:33 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

You seem to be doing all the right things and being very patient, which is what's needed. I think you might take heart if you read this recent thread started by me! How long does it take a cat to settle?! Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:52 AM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

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Originally Posted by Drewa View Post
You seem to be doing all the right things and being very patient, which is what's needed. I think you might take heart if you read this recent thread started by me! How long does it take a cat to settle?! Good luck!
Wow, I just read your thread. You must be so chuffed! Hopefully Thomas will come around just like Reuben did!

We are on day 15 of our adventure now... Last night, I spent a couple of hours in his room, mostly sitting quietly or reading aloud to him (he will be a very well read cat at this rate). He was also, for once, under the bed in such a way that I could really see him clearly when I lay down beside the bed. I did lots of yawning and looking away, and when I tried some slow blinking, Thomas gave me some slow right eye winks back. Hopefully winking is nearly as good as fully blinking, and we're making progress!

I didn't leave the door to his room ajar last night (wanted to leave the bathroom door open to let it air fully after cleaning, but he hasn't had access to that room yet). At 1.30am, I woke hearing him pushing against the door, clearly wondering why it wasn't open. I climbed out of bed and gently opened it for him, speaking his name, but he was back in hiding by then. It seems he does like to leave his room for a bit of a wander at night...

Also, following the Battersea advice, while I gave Thomas his favourite smelly wet food in the usual place (disappeared overnight, as usual!), I also hid some little piles of dry food in little folded pockets I made from kitchen roll in various places in his room (inside cat carrier, on top of cat carrier, on top of bedsite cabinet, windowsill). All gone when I woke up this morning! He is quite the little adventurer at night

He is such a sweet cat, if I can bring him out of his shell even just a little bit, I'll be so happy
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:30 AM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

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Originally Posted by MaryA View Post
This may go against the grain, however, I would never consider using a spare room for introducing a new cat/kitten. My thinking is, if I was going to live with a new family, I wouldn't want to be shut in a room all on my own away from everyone, so why should my cat.

Each time we have had new cats, we have used a giant dog crate, suitable for a great dane. We put it in our main room on a large waterproof sheet. We put a rug on the floor of it. Cat litter tray, water and food all go in too. We also put a box in with a hole cut in it for a hidey hole come nest box and a blanket covering the back and side of the crate. The cat has a safe and enclosed place, but also some company. We can keep an eye on it, sit and talk with it and it can get used to us.

This method has always worked for us. The breeder we got our ragdoll from almost hugged me when I said this was the method we used.
I would have hugged you as well

Kepp going, its early days but i would also suggest a very large crate in the lounge.
Good luck
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:16 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

Firstly thank you and bless you for giving a poor older cat a lovely caring home. You are clearly doing your best and giving him the time he needs.

Thomas must feel strange as his owner died and I expect he's missing them and everything is new and odd. Have you tried a catnip or valerian toy? My cats can't resist them, especially culpepper catnip and Kwayzee Katz Valerian toys (on ebay I think, they stink of feet but cats adore them!). I think it helps them relax a bit and although the effect isn't long lasting it certainly can be quite dramatic.

He will come round in time once he is used to the new smells and sounds, sometimes it takes longer with older cats and you never know how he was with his previous owner or what may have happened to him in his previous life.

He is eating which is a very good sign and it sounds from your last post as though he is gradually getting his confidence back.

You sound such a lovely caring person, he is a very lucky boy to have you. Good luck with him.
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Old 13-02-2011, 01:49 PM
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Cat allergies... Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. We've had Thomas for 6 weeks now and, though he is still hiding, he has taken a few positive steps in the past week, such as coming out to eat while we're in the room and even on one or two occasions (while still hidden and feeling safe), eating some cooked chicken from my hand.

Which is why the next bit is so difficult... I've just the result of a cat allergy blood test back (my breathing has been a bit wheezy and that winter cold seemed to be lingering quite a while, so thought I should check). The test is positive with a reading of 6.44 KU/L, which puts me in "Class 3" (from a possible Class 1 to 6) according to the lab report. The cover letter my doctor sent me didn't really have anything to help me interpret the result - is it ok/tolerable/really bad??

Obviously the proof is in the pudding, but given that Thomas is hiding, it's hard to know just how affected I could be by this. If it stays as it is, then I could live with it and would keep Thomas. If it gets much worse, well, I don't know - question whether that would be fair for either of us. Poor lamb hates the vacuum cleaner and I don't have a chance of getting him to let me brush or wash him.

My worry is that, if I am allergic and have some symptoms already, then it's only going to get worse as Thomas becomes more brave and explores more of the flat. We have carpets throughout and it's a rental property, so there's really not much we could do to help in that way. I would hate to return Thomas to the rescue centre now, after we've just started to make progress and he's begun to settle in, but what if it becomes much worse - it will be even harder on both us and Thomas then. So confused and worried.

I'm going to make an appointment to see my doctor and chat through this with him, and might also speak to someone at the rescue centre to get some advice. But given how helpful everyone in the forum was with my initial query, I wondered whether anyone else had any knowledge of cat dander blood tests...

Any thoughts appreciated xxx
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Old 13-02-2011, 02:03 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

You have had some really good advice so far Emma . Just 'bumping' to see if anyone can help with the Allergy issue . Keep going, I'm sure he'll respond to all your care eventually. Lol xx
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Old 13-02-2011, 04:06 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

My answer probably won't help much. Both myself and Marc have an allergy to cats, his a lot worse than mine to be fair. We have had Dante for about a week now I think, I have had a few moments of itching and he has wheezed a bit, I made him take some anti histimines for a few days. A week later we're both okay. Now I am not saying this works for everyone, and our allergies are maybe not as serious, but for us, the more time we have spent with Dante, the less allergic we seem, if that makes sense.

I have also seen the same before with someone else I knew, but as I said, this was not a hugely serious allergy. We hoover every day too, Dante was terrified at first, but one of us sat with him and just talked to him and now, he still doesn't like it, but he tolerates it. We just put him in our room, where he feels safe. Though the other day we did notice he was bashing the hell out of the hoover while it was turned off.

I just wanted to say that it sounds like you are doing really well and this new development must be worrying. Only you can know how serious your allergy is and how it will affect you. x
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Old 14-02-2011, 09:58 AM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

As far as I can see, you're doing everything right. My own cat which I got as an adult rescue cat, took about two solid months before he stopped hiding and it took another six months before he started approaching us voluntarily. Now, three years later, he is the most lovable, confident (only with us) and affectionate cat you can imagine. Be patient, it will come.
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Old 14-02-2011, 12:36 PM
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Re: Our very shy rescue cat is still hiding under the bed, any advice appreciated!

Good advice from Candyapocalypse above. I would not dare to take an allergy test as I am sure I would score highly for cat hair....well I do ingest my own body weight in cat hair each year!
I definitely react to cats....I suppose I had got used to my old 4, but when I brought Mitzy home I broke out in a rash and my lips swole ( sp? ) up from kissing her! It calmed down after a week or so but both she and Milo shed tiny soft hairs which irritate my eyes some days.
I agree that he will have to get used to the Hoover, and you may want to consider keeping him out of the bedroom and off the bed ( inconceivable for me I am afraid )
Good Luck.
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