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jmc
March 23rd 08, 07:54 AM
Poor Meep. We have friends over this week, and she's all upset about
it. I'm a bit worried about her, as she's been spending pretty much all
the last three days under our bed. First 24 hours or so, she wouldn't
even go out to eat, drink or use the litterbox. I had to leave food
under the bed. This is a kitty with cystitis so that bothers me a lot.

She also has bad hips so I worry about the constricted space and the
inactivity.

At night, with the doors closed, she's now at least coming out onto the
bed with us. We have food and a litterbox in our bedroom, and she'll
use them now, but she's not going far past the bedroom door, even though
there are sufficient doors closed to "protect" her from the evil
visitors. And she only comes out from under the bed after dark, and is
back under there before we get up in the morning.

Am I just reinforcing her fear by leaving the box and food in our
bedroom (something like, "all my stuff is in here, so it must really be
dangerous out there"? Should I have kept everything normal to "force"
her to go out to use the litterbox and eat her food?

We're all leaving tomorrow morning on an overnight trip, so I'll put
everything back to normal then, but then of course we come back.

So looking for advice: Is it better to just leave stuff in the bedroom
where she feels safer, or leave them in the normal locations so she can
get used to the idea that she's sharing space with strangers (who will
not harm her, guaranteed), and "get over it" as it were?

What's the best way to help a scared kitty deal with her fear? She's
clearly lonely and wants to come out, but is too scared to go far. And
yes, we're both spending some time in the bedroom with her, but since we
have guests that's not much time.

Thanks for any advice.

jmc

cshenk
March 23rd 08, 01:29 PM
"jmc" wrote

> Poor Meep. We have friends over this week, and she's all upset about it.
> I'm a bit worried about her, as she's been spending pretty much all the
> last three days under our bed. First 24 hours or so, she wouldn't even go
> out to eat, drink or use the litterbox. I had to leave food under the
> bed. This is a kitty with cystitis so that bothers me a lot.

The cystitis is the only part that worries me a little.

> She also has bad hips so I worry about the constricted space and the
> inactivity.

I wouldnt worry on that one if it's just a few days of less activity.

> visitors. And she only comes out from under the bed after dark, and is
> back under there before we get up in the morning.
>
> Am I just reinforcing her fear by leaving the box and food in our bedroom
> (something like, "all my stuff is in here, so it must really be dangerous
> out there"? Should I have kept everything normal to "force" her to go out
> to use the litterbox and eat her food?

No, you did right. What you can do if you have the materials, is set a
second litter pan and food bowl etc where the old ones were. She will
wander then to them in the night. (I've made an assumption the guests are
all 2 footed here).

Indoor cats are more prone to this sort of 'fear-adjustment' behavior and
it's very normal for a scaredy cat to act that way. Can take a week or
more.

Daisy doesnt come out much in daytime at all yet. Once the sun is down and
Cash is snoozing on the sofa, she will wander. She now will come out to the
sofa when he's on it. She has a preference for his water bowl (but has her
own in her safe-room). This is at 2 weeks after comming home.

> We're all leaving tomorrow morning on an overnight trip, so I'll put
> everything back to normal then, but then of course we come back.

Smile, and put things back in the bedroom if you dont have a secondary set
and the guests are still there.

> So looking for advice: Is it better to just leave stuff in the bedroom
> where she feels safer, or leave them in the normal locations so she can
> get used to the idea that she's sharing space with strangers (who will not
> harm her, guaranteed), and "get over it" as it were?

Generally 'forcing' a scared cat makes them more scared. Treating it as
'blaise normal behavior' makes them decide 'gee, what was I worried about'?

> What's the best way to help a scared kitty deal with her fear? She's
> clearly lonely and wants to come out, but is too scared to go far. And
> yes, we're both spending some time in the bedroom with her, but since we
> have guests that's not much time.

Calm voices and a short 'kitty break' of a few mins belly rubbing (hourly if
you can?). How long will the friends be visiting? Do you have the door
ajar enough that she can get out if she wants to?

Oh, Cats that are socialized more often, tend to get over this faster til
you end up with one who will just look up at a stranger and purr, but that
isnt something that will happen overnight.

mc
March 23rd 08, 02:27 PM
On Mar 23, 8:29 am, "cshenk" > wrote:
> "jmc" wrote
>
> > Poor Meep. We have friends over this week, and she's all upset about it.


JMC... I am sorry to hear your poor kitty is going through this, but
I, too, think you are doing everything the right way. You just can't
force these things.

Good luck.