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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
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Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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I have a cat that hides all the time except in the evening,

Resolved Question:

I have a cat that hides all the time except in the evening, noone but our family ever sees her but she loves us.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Hi Audrey,


How old is she?


How long do you have her?

Has she always done this?





Customer: replied 7 years ago.
she is a little over 1 year old, we got her when whe was 3 months old

she hid under the bed for about 1 month except of eating and using her box, she has always done this from the time she started comeing around the house, if anyone comes his runs and hides and then it takes her about 2 days to act as she usually did with us. She is not afraid of our dog she chases him and plays with him. It is just noises and strangers, my son says she is a frigent of my imagination that we do not have a cat.
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Hi Audrey,


Some cats are very high strung and do not trust straangers and noises. Sometimes it helps to get anotther kitty that is outgoing. Many times the resident cat learns from the others fearless nature and will come out more.


The other trick is to start with one person and get him or her to offer the cat food.To a cat - food is love and they CAN be bribed. Let the stranger offer a piece of chicken or fish. Once she takes the tasty item from the from your guest she will get more use to people nice, kind and trustworthy.


I even trained my cats to accept small children via this method.


In addition get a feliway plug-in to calm her down:


Please let me know how things are going.I hope all will be well.


Sincerest best wishes,




Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was wondering about a new kitten but I am afraid she will be afraid of that also. I cannot get her out so anyone can try to feed her I will try a felway plug in Do you think she will accept a new kitten.
Expert:  Terri replied 7 years ago.

Hi there,


I think she will welcome a new kitten after the initial hissyfit cats have when a newcomer arrives.Make sure to get a friendly, playful,and outgoing kitten, though.




Dont worry a bit about hissing - it is completely normal.

It is absolutely normal for your resident cat to vehemently object to any newcomers. All her hissing means is:" Hey, who are you? You smell different!! I don't recognize your scent and I am head cat around here - so watch it!!!"AND the baby will know that and expect it.

This is the way cats act when they are first introduced.They have a specific language the use to communicate with each other.

You do not need a behaviorist for cats. They are really quite easy to understand.

They do not rationalize, nor are they capable of in depth thought or reasoning.

Everything they do is basic, logical (to them) and makes perfect sense.

In a cat heirarchy a strong kitty will always try to take over and assume the head cat position. In addition, that is always subject to changes if cat one senses weakness in cat two. Cats DO work things out in their own way and they could care less what humans (or behaviorists) think. They only respond to the energy of another animal be it feline, canine or human. Punishment is useless and counterproductive because they simply do not understand being hurt - they would just try to avoid the hurter in the future but it would not teach them anything.(except fear)

Cats do not follow a pack leader the way dogs do but they do sense their human parents energy and respond accordingly - so if you are nervous, they will be nervous. If you are stressed, they are stressed as well.


Introducing A New Friend
Conventional wisdom tells us to hide a new feline family member away in a room for a few days, or even a few weeks. The theory is that the resident cats and the newcomer will get used to each other's scents before they're formally introduced. But most cats don't buy into the conventional wisdom on anything -- including introductions. And it's possible that all that time in isolation will make your new cat edgy and nervous about the enemy on the other side of the door. This is the way my cats and I like to welcome newcomers to our home, and it's never let us down.
-Set the new cat up in her own room with food and water, a litter box, toys and comfortable places to nap. The room should have a sunny window. Shut the door, and give the cat time to adjust to her new surroundings.
- After a few hours, open the door. Let the cat venture out when she's ready. If she wants to spend several days hiding under the bed in "her" room, let that be her choice. Chances are,
Thinking about adopting a cat? Here are some things to consider.
Creating Friendships
Here are some ways to help your original cat and a newcomer become friends.
- Make the original cat feel special. Give her the most praise and attention, even if that means ignoring the newcomer. The new cat will understand. Her feelings won't be hurt!
- Do fun things. Help the cats associate pleasant experiences with each other. Play with them together. Or feed them together.
- Don't Force Things. Never force the new cat to come out of her room or associate with the other cats. She'll do these things when she's ready. It may be weeks before she's ready.
- Set A Time Limit. Decide how long it should take for a new cat to begin feeling comfortable in your house. If after, say, three months, she's still not fitting in, it's time to look for a new home. It's better to end the relationship before the new cat forms a strong bond with you. Try to place the cat yourself, or work with a cat rescue group.
your resident cats will respect her space and leave her alone. If you feel you must keep the cats separated, put a screen door at the doorway to the new cat's room so she and the resident cats can see each other and get acquainted.
- When the cats meet, they'll hiss and growl. But most neutered cats
hate to fight and will avoid confrontation at all costs. Watch their body language. If one starts grooming, yawns or turns her head away, she's giving the other cat an opportunity to leave the "battleground" without losing face.
- Be patient. It could take days, or even weeks, for the cats to work things out and for the newcomer to learn the house rules. Meanwhile, the cats will pick up on your feelings. If you act like having a newcomer in the house is perfectly natural and not a big deal, the cats will probably agree.

Tip: Let the new cat explore on her own. Don't pick her up and put her down in a different room. Cats leave signposts for themselves with the scent glands in their paw pads and cheeks. Without the ability to create signposts for herself, the cat could become frightened because she'll think she won't be able to find her way "home" to her room



Please let me know how things are going. If you have questions along the way I will always be here for you.


Warmest best wishes,



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