How long before a new cat comes out of hiding?

  • I adopted a two year old Maine Coon. She has been hiding for almost 3 weeks and will only come out when I am sleeping. When she sees me she runs and hides again. What can I do to get her to feel safe around me?

  • Hi there Bonnie, I am Linda, a small animal vet.


    I'm sorry you've been having this issue with your newly adopted cat. This sort of thing is very common, especially in cats who have perhaps had an inconsistent start to life or spent time in a rescue.


    The fact she does come out when you're sleeping is a relaly good sign; many nervous cats won't even do this. It suggests she is most nervous of you (not unsurprising as she has yet to get to know you) but is becoming confident in the home. This is a great start.


    I'd invest in a plug-in adaptor called 'Feliway' which can be plugged in the wall and will release 'Happy cat pheromones' to encourage calm feelings.

    I'd also consider giving her a few weeks of calming supplements in her food to take the edge off. These are safe, all natural products that can really help. Examples of brands include Zylkene and Nutracalm, though there are lots out there.


    Try to tempt her by playing with fun toys (laser pointers, wind up mice, string) near her but do not look at her or approach her; let her come to you when she feels confident enough.

    So, you basically play by yourself while she is near. Do not look directly at her or try to get her to play. The hope is that she will choose to join in on her own term. It may take a few days or weeks before she does join in. There is no rush here.


    Some cats are very food orientated so it can be worth 'bribing' her when you come in the room by putting down something she really likes, like a piece of cooked chicken or some Dreamies. This way, she associates you with good things happening.


    As much as possible, keep her environment calm and predictable. Try to avoid being too loud or making unpredidtable movements. Where possible, keep the same routine each day (with regards things like feeding time and when we clean the litter tray).


    Do ensure she has her own space where only she can go and she would not be distrubed there. This is really important; a sanctuary where she can have alone time.


    Hopefully it won't be long before she is settled in and your bond starts to grow.

  • Th+is is great info. I have adopted a 3 y.o. male .he was in the MCSO MASH  for exactly one year to the day that he became my FUREVER BOY.

     He is hiding  under my bed ,i haven't acknowledge him for a full week now. He does love to eat and drink. I don't know where he goes potty.

    You have answered ALL my ??

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