View Full Version : New cats and some questions (pic added to post 15)

05-05-2008, 02:13 PM
Over the weekend I went out looking for a new cat or cats. Yeah! I've been cat-less since February.

Anyway a co-workers son's cat had kittens and we looked at those. All of them are black and we are getting a girl. She will come home in 2 weeks. My former cats were de clawed but I would like to avoid that this time. I am going to try these http://www.softpaws.com/ Has anyone used them before??? According to the website they should fit as early as 4 months. One of our local pet stores sells them but not the kitten size.

I intend to keep this cat indoors and it has to learn to live with and not attack a 20 y/o parrot. My old cats did well with the bird and if a kitten grows up with a bird in its home it should be fine.

Meanwhile I saw an ad in the paper that someone wanted to find new homes for their adult cats. Both de-clawed, one in door only, both fixed. So I went to have a look. The qualifications sounded pretty good again because of our bird.The indoor/out door one I never saw, reportedly the two cats were not buddy-buddy so the owner did not mind separating them. They were parting with the cats because they have a Jack Russel terrier, not brand new but annoying and the cats counldn't walk across the room with the dog around. (I know there are dog lovers here, but I am not one of them. I cannot for the life of me figure out why the dog didn't get confined more or put out or have a kennel built or taken on more walks to give the cats some space. Nor can I figure out why they would favor the dog over the cats) The indoor only male was very timid of me and was also hiding from the dog. The female that goes out was out when I was there so never met her. If she goes out it seemed at least she gets away from the dog. The male is 4 years old and I decided to bring him home. I felt sorry for him having to put up with the dog. The owner seemed both concerned about her cat and anxious to part with him. So now I have Simon as they called him. He is very beautiful white and gray but very, very scared. He hid under our bed the first afternoon and night and did not leave the room yesterday, Sunday. I was very worried last night because he did not eat drink or pee for over 24 hours. But last night we put him in the bathroom, a smaller closed in space, and he finally used the litter box last night. I'm still not sure about the eating or drinking. He let me brush him yesterday and I got rid of some mats he had in his fir. He has long hair. I've read various articles on line about people adopting strays or other timid cats and it sounds as if the hiding can go on for a week or more. I can handle it if he rarely comes out but I really want him to eat and drink! The former owner reports that he is a real snuggly lap kitty which I liked the sound of, but evidently he will have to get used to his new home and us before I will see any of that. I had no idea he would have such a hard time adapting. I've had cats all my life and I have had cats that were scared, but usually their curiosity has helped them over come the fear. I cannot help but wonder if besides the dog this cat had some other traumas. He is very clean and healthy looking other than the matted hair and it wasn't a lot. No fleas, clean ears. Good teeth and bright eyes. He is a bit over weight but maybe an indoor cat cannot exercise much if it spends its time hiding from a dog. Has anyone else here dealt with a timid cat like this? What seemed to help?

I have already promised to take the new kitten, and my daughter is very excited about it. I hope the cat comes out of his shell a bit before the kitten arrives because I'm sure that will be a set back.

The odd thing is that today I realized that even if Simon needs special care, and I have to have a litter box in my bathroom, and he won't snuggle with me, I am so happy to have a cat in my house again!! I'm sure he will come around and be a nice quiet kitty soon.

05-05-2008, 02:27 PM
Good for you for taking that kitty! I know that cats that are timid can take a bit longer to adjust to a new home but just give him some space. I would make sure he's got food and water (which you are doing) and just talk to him when you are in the same room. Trying to force him to come out will only freak him out. Once he sees he is safe there with you, he will come out and make friends, I am sure. And you know, little treats may help as well... good luck and thanks for rescuing Simon! :muah:

05-05-2008, 02:43 PM
I'm sure he'll be fine. Just give him time to settle in.

Different story to yours but an example anyway. I have 2 cats and I used to live in Darlington UK. I've moved in with my fiance who lives in Wallsend UK. About 30 miles away give or take. Anyway my cats aren't the timid type with me and when I moved with them they both went into hiding. I could see that they were eating and using the litter boxes but I didn't see them for about a week and a half.
They soon came out of hiding after that but if they got spooked by anything they were back into hiding.

Now you can't stop them from thumping about when playing.

05-05-2008, 03:23 PM
I agree, it's a matter of time. That's how they get comfy in their new home. I adpoted 2 cats from a rescue 3 years ago. First Nania and a month later, Sybil. Nania went under the bed as soon as I opened her kenel. But the first night she jumped on my bed to kneel (sp?) and purr (awwwww).... Sybil spent like 2 weeks under my bed getting out only when she thought it was save to sip some water, eat and use the liter box. She seemed very scared, much more than Nania. I used to go under the bed when she was hidding there and talk to her, let her smell my hand, touch her and even give her some toys. But never forced her to come out. I did it gently and for brief periods at a time... a few minutes or so, a couple of times a day. She slowly came out and spent more and more time around my apartment. Nowdays, both own the bed, the couch, the chairs, me.... everything LOL.... Good luck with your new kitties!!!!!!

05-05-2008, 05:00 PM
Glad to hear you have a new kitty around the house! My older cat was very timid, she came to us from the street and was very nervous. Later on we brought a dog and a young kitty and though she acted as if she was hurt, it actually brought her out of her shell - she's much more playful and brave now.
Please don't de-claw the young kitty - it's one of their only defenses. I clip my cats' claws. If you'll get her used to it early, she won't mind. I just pay attention not to clip on the part with blood vessels. you can also buy or make a special mat for the kitty to "do the nails".
Good luck!

05-05-2008, 07:23 PM
What a wonderful thing you have done!!! :muah: That poor kitty was being tormented.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things, especially letting him get comfortable in a smaller space first. Once he becomes more accustomed, he can expand his 'domain' in your home. Just do the best you can not to accidentally startle him, and visit with him in the bathroom often, so he does not feel that he is being punished by the lack of socialization. The fact that he let you brush him already is a great sign!

Good luck and kudos to you for providing two kitties with a loving, safe home. :hug:

05-05-2008, 09:59 PM
Aww! And let me just say, I adore the name Simon, it's my son's name ;)

But yeah, just give that sweet baby some time to adjust. He'll definitely come out when he's hungry or thirsty but it may still take some time for him to get used to the new family. My mom and dad had a cat who hid out for like a month or 2, but, she finally came around and she was the sweetest little cat! It was almost too much, actually, everywhere ya went, she HAD to be right there! lol

Good luck with your new babies!

05-05-2008, 10:07 PM
and she is THE BEST CAT i've ever had! She's the most lovable and loving cat-she my furbaby angel. :heart:


So glad you're adopting kitties into your home. As much as I wish I had no fur in the house, I can't imagine not having my cat and dogs.

05-05-2008, 10:51 PM
:cheering: :cheering:

Congratulations!!!! That is so wonderful!!! It will take a very long time for your Simon to adjust. You just have to be patient, which I know you are. :wink:

We adopted our 2 boys from the shelter when they were about 6 months old. The one cat is as friendly as can be and took to us right away. The other one was scared to death. We kept them separate for about a week or two and the one who was so scared stayed under our bed for a week!! It was awful. I felt so bad for him, but we just kept the door closed when we weren't in there and put the litter pan in with him and food/water and went and sat in the room and talked with him all the time and eventually he came out. Mind you, he was a kitten and this scared. So I can only imagine how an adult cat must be extremely terrified to be removed from the only home he's ever known.

He'll calm down in time and will know you love him and that's all that matters. Just keep him confined until he doesn't run under the bed everytime you come in the room and slowly introduce him to the family. Everything will work out just fine. And try not to make any sudden moves or loud noises at first. I had never seen a cat jump so high in my life! :teehee:

I'm so happy for you! I just love hearing about a new addition, it gives me goosebumps! :teehee:

05-06-2008, 06:01 AM
Imagine having to go LOOKING for a cat, in my case they just show up. Our latest found-in-the-ditch baby has just been spayed, and has been bossing around the others since she moved in.

Our other female (we also have 5 males) was and still is a scaredy cat. She hid for about 2 months, and it took me years to get her to come out of her shell a bit. In the house, she will now come up to me and snuggle, and even "attack" me when she wants a snuggle and I'm not noticing, but she doesn't do it to anyone else. She is definitely my cat. Outdoors she just looks at me with those great big eyes and stays away. Weird, but I've gotten used to her, she is a doll.

Re those nail things, I have never heard of them before, they are hysterical.

05-06-2008, 08:33 AM
I agree with the others - just give the kitty time to get used to you and to the surroundings. My cats stayed at my parents house for about 6 weeks when I was moving once. I visited on the weekends, but I know my Walter spent a good deal of time hiding behind the bookcases.

I front-declawed my older cat and swore I'd never do it again. I clip Walter's claws (he's only patient enough for me to do 2 paws at a sitting) and I also got him a BIG sturdy scratching post, and I praise him a lot when he uses it. (Look for a sisal rope scratching post that it at least 36" tall - cats like to stretch when they scratch. If you get one with good structure, you can replace the rope when it wears out. They have it at Lowes.) I don't have problems with him using the furniture instead, though he will occasionally accidentally claw me or the other cat (when they're "playing"). This is pretty close to the one I got for Walter: http://www.cattreestore.com/B5701.htm

05-06-2008, 09:05 AM
I've used softpaws!!! they're great... as long as you have someone help you put them on!!!! After a few months the kittens started chewing them off, so I stopped using them, but they helped save some furniture when they were still in the "jump and dangle" stage.

I have 4 cats, and all 4 have front and back declawed. They do not go outside for *any* reason, ever.

05-06-2008, 01:05 PM
Thanks for all the good encouragement. Simon really made progress yesterday, Monday. He likes the bathroom. I went in hourly to visit and talk to him and if I sat on the floor he would come right up to me and purr and rub up against me. He seemed lonely yet perfectly content to stay in there alone. He likes to have his ears and chin scratched, he rolls on to his back to have his tummy rubbed. He would pace around the bathroom in circles and then come back to me. He would then retreat to his corner and then I would leave. If we sit on the floor and are quiet he responds like this to all of us as long as it is one person at a time. Since I've spent the most time with him he is less startled by my movements when I'm doing other things near him. He is eating and drinking much better.

The bathroom opens up into the bedroom. So today I have left the B.R. door open! "Oh my" Simon Says. He has retreated to behind the toilet where he can't see the door way. His hiding is more relaxed and he doesn't squeeze himself up tight in a corner any more. He did approach the door when I sat with him for awhile. Then he watched me straighten up the room. But when I left to do something down the hall he went back behind the toilet. When I'm not in the room I'm leaving the bedroom door shut so if he should decide to venture out he will feel a bit more secure. He also is very concerned about the sound of our parrot whistling and talking. He lives down the hall and Simon hasn't explored that far. But his ears twitch when he hears him and I can see he is wondering what that sound is.

He is a beautiful sweet kitty :heart: and I think he will like to snuggle once he is comfortable here. I want to take a picture of him but will wait till I can get one of him when he is not in the bathroom!

Becky Morgan
05-06-2008, 06:02 PM
Soft Paws work, and unless you have an immune deficiency or something similar, you won't always have to use them, only until they forget they can shred anything. When you give them a clawing post (bought, or just a honking big hunk of firewood with the bark on...makes an amazing mess, but they love it!) they'll tackle that instead of most other stuff. For furniture you don't want clawed, rub a little matching spice into the fabric--cinnamon for brown, red pepper, etc.--anything harmless but annoying so that if they do haul back on the fabric and let it fly, they get a faceful of sneeze. I've never had one grab treated furniture a second time, and it makes the house smell good.

Another thing that can help, although it'll set you back twenty or thirty dollars, is a can of Feliway spray. It's synthetic cheek marking scent, and it signals the cat to relax and consider himself among friends. Our vet always sprays the carrier with it when we take any of ours home from surgery, etc. and they'll argue over who gets to sleep in the carrier that night!

05-06-2008, 06:36 PM
Feliway! I've never heard of it, I wish I had known about it for one of my previous cats. I wonder if it would calm down my new little fraidy cat? I will definitely try it to keep the new kitten from scratching.

Anyway, my Simon was checking out the bedroom today and I got a few nice pics, so attached is a photo of this cat that I've been talking about.

05-06-2008, 07:27 PM
What a handsome cat! The name Simon suits him. Glad to see he is coming out of his shell a bit. He'll be taking over the house any day now!
You did a good thing taking him in. I can't imaging why his original owners would favor one pet over the others like that!

05-06-2008, 09:40 PM
Oh he is so pretty!! I am so glad you took him in. i can't imagine choosing one pet over the other. so strange. My first cat hid from me for a week but would sleep with me but as soon as I woke up back to hiding he would go. then all of sudden he was all over me. no idea what i did. I got my second cat when my first cat passed away. my second cat fell asleep on my lap when i took her out of the box. and my third cat chased my second cat around. so she felt right at home immediately. but i think it was more that she was a kitten and she wanted my older cat to be her mom.

05-07-2008, 10:39 AM
Aww, he's gorgeous!

05-07-2008, 01:53 PM
What a sweet face!

Wanda Witch
05-07-2008, 03:17 PM
What a darling and sweet face. He is lucky to have you in his life now. Before long he will no doubt be the king of the manor.