The new cat is hiding, skittish and scared and you want to help, but kitty doesn’t quite trust giant you quite yet.
First of all, don’t chase after the cat. This is particularly important of a feline introduced to a new home. Give him/her some time to get used to the environment. If the cat finds a cozy nook under the bed where he/she resides most of the time, don’t reach out to grab him/her. The cat will assuredly feel cornered and you might find your hand the object of claws and teeth. And it will take even longer for kitty to feel safe and secure.
Put out a food and water bowl near the perimeter of the cat’s hiding spot. If the feline has chosen a certain room to hide in, place a litter box in the same room. If you have other animals, close the door to this room and make it off-limits to them.
Situate some toys around the area of the cat’s hiding haven. Cat toys like plush balls, feathery birds and catnip stuffed mice may attract the cat to come out and play. You may even choose to add a catnip plant to the room. Don’t anticipate kitty playing with you right away, fun as that may seem. Merely leave the toys out for when the cat feels like playing with them.
Start a scheduled routine. Refill the cat’s food and water and clean the litter box every day at the same times,. Sit down on the floor in close immediacy to the hiding place and spend some time gently speaking to the cat. This will make your voice recognizable, and in time, win the cat’s trust.
Entice the cat out with a delicious treat. Many cats respond quite positively to something such as tuna fish. Place a little tuna out on a plate several feet from the hiding place as you exit the area. Don’t move toward the cat when you see that he/she is out enjoying the treat. Rather, get into the habit of putting down the treat when you leave the cat’s space. In time, you can introduce the treat while staying next to the plate. When the cat is confident that there is no danger, it will come to get the treat with you there.
Appeal to the cat out with a cool, cat toy. After the cat has had time to adjust to his/her surrounds, lure the cat out of hiding with a feather-tipped wand or a bell in a ball. When the feline has warmed up to you, you may find yourself with an energetic little buddy.
Be patient. Every cat that goes into hiding has his/her own unique personality. The key is to be tolerant, because no set amount of time for the cat to feel at ease. Getting mad at the cat or yelling is a stupid approach and will always have a negative effect. Not to mention, you will have defeated all you have accomplished and will have to wait even longer