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How long does it take for cat to get used to new home?


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#1 Moniksca

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:27 AM

We have a new cat!
We brought him home Wednesday night. He's 10 months old and was born in the wild. The couple we got him from domesticated the whole litter and says he's been a great pet who enjoys playing with their grandchildren. Our cat's litter box/food has been in the basement away from our dog, but he is just hiding under our couch. We left him alone for the first two days and now we made some short visits and left some items of clothing with each persons scent and the dogs down there to get him accustomed to us. How long will he keep hiding for? Is there anything else I can do? My dh just wants to pick him up and says he'll be reassured by his petting but everything I read says to leave him alone.

#2 Love2Smile

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:32 AM

awwww...how sweet of you to adopt a kitty!
Since he is only 10 mos and still a kitten technically he'll come around fast, give it at least a week!

#3 Moniksca

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:56 PM

A week is what I'm told as well, the kids are sure getting anxious to play with him though. I hope things go well with my dog.

#4 Jann in TX

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:04 PM

He hid under our bed for the first 5 days---and then hid in the laundry room for the next few days. About a week after we brought him home he joined us (and our 2 large dogs) in the family room--he marched right up to our largest dog and stuck his 'hiney' in the dog's face and closed his eyes! The dog just sniffed it and went back to sleep! They were best friends after that!

It was a few more weeks before the cat started to be more comfortable--especially with us petting him. I did purchase some cat treats--and this bribery worked wonders!

Mr Neelix has been a wonderful part of our family for the past 10 years!

#5 Mejane

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:15 PM

Our new kitten hid under the couch for about two weeks. She only stayed out when someone was holding her. I would say it took a month for her to begin to feel comfortable and safe around us, longer for my husband because he's just. so. loud. :D

#6 SapphireStitch

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 01:56 PM

Our first kitten was very shy. He spent most of the day hiding under furniture and then would sneak out at night to eat the food we left out for him.

I read somewhere that feeding time was the best opportunity for socializing a kitten. So we stopped leaving the food out at night, and instead gave him 3 or 4 small meals a day. DD was only 5yo at this point, so I had to insist that she sit down on the floor and hold still so she wouldn't scare the kitty when we called him for his meals.

It took a few days, but he warmed up to us very well after we started doing this. My favorite memory of his kittenhood happened during this time. He was so tired one evening, but he kept wandering around and not lying down to sleep. I picked him up and held him and he fell asleep in my arms immediately, but would wake up every time I put him back down. I needed to do something on the computer and couldn't figure out how to hold him and type at the same time...DH told me I needed a kitten sling. :) So I grabbed one of DD's old blankies and tied it around my neck to make a little kitten hammock so he could sleep on my chest while I typed.:)

#7 kalanamak

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 02:00 PM

Our cat's litter box/food has been in the basement away from our dog, but he is just hiding under our couch..



I'm a good cat-tamer, of good cat-taming stock. I would get everyone else out of the room, lie down on the floor by the couch, and start softly saying its name in a "good kitty" voice, sweet and mellow. Then put an arm slowly under and reach out a finger and then hold still and off "free pets", and make soft purring noises and the "mah" sound. Maybe mew a bit. Let it come up and rub its face. If it has been tamed, it will remember just how good that feels. If it is still shy, a bit of tuna juice on the fingers helps. Trick is, shut everyone else up....no thundering feet. And move little and slowly. Since it is young, you could drag a string by, as well. Catnip is an idea, too.

#8 Pippen

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 02:07 PM

Most kittens can't resist chicken baby food!

#9 Moniksca

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 05:10 PM

So after the kids went to bed I decided to feed my cat his wet food myself instead of leaving it out. I put the plate underneath the couch and slowly moved it out as he ate, he let me pet him a few times but then retreated back to the back of the couch. He did come out for 3 seconds to look at me then ran back in. I guess it will just take some time.
Thanks for the advice.

#10 Teachin'Mine

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:05 PM

It can take some time. The more secure they feel, the quicker it will happen. Generally they like small spaces - say a small room rather than an entire basement. And the dog is probably completely new and intimidating still to the kitten. Try to each go and spend some time in the kitten's secure space. Bring a nice fuzzy blanket and sit on the floor with the blanket on your lap. Introduce some irresistible cat toys and you'll have an immediate friend. Play as long as the kitten wants to - they still sleep a lot even at that age. Try giving time to rest in between visits, but definitely have each family member spend time every day. Eventually you can take that irresistible toy and drag it up the stairs and kitty will follow. Try to have the dog either outside or happily occupied with someone to make sure their introduction is "controlled". They'll be best friends in no time! Or they'll be highly entertaining at the least.. :lol:

Another thought is to get a cat bed and put that in their own space. Then when the cat is introduced to the rest of the house, bring the cat bed up and put it in a quiet corner. Let's the cat know there's a safety zone. Cat towers are also great for their amusement and to have a place to go and watch things from a safe distance off the floor.

Edited by Teachin'Mine, 15 March 2010 - 09:08 PM.


#11 Mergath

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:07 PM

The last cat I adopted took a good month before he felt entirely comfortable in every room of the house. With cats, I always just leave them alone in their chosen hiding place until they feel comfortable enough to wander out. I've never once had a cat who lived his or her life under a bed.

#12 LauraGB

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 09:21 PM

It can take some time. The more secure they feel, the quicker it will happen. Generally they like small spaces - say a small room rather than an entire basement.

:iagree: When we brought our cat home, we kept him, his litter box and his food (far away from the litter, of course) in the laundry room - a smaller space. We let him out for short spurts, spent time with him in there, introduced the dog, etc, but always he could go back to that small space and feel safe. After about 3 days, he started to feel comfortable heading out, but happy to head back in knowing there was no threat in that room.

Two years later, he is the boss of the entire household and my laundry room is his office.

#13 Moniksca

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:46 PM

The only other room available is the bathroom in the basement which is small. I left him there the first two days, then I left the bathroom door open and he settled under the couch in the basement, his litter/food is still in there.
After the kids went to bed yesterday, he decided to venture out of the basement where he startled my dog who barked at him giving him a pretty good scare.
How are you suppose to introduce a dog to a cat that doesn't come out of his hiding space?


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