How to find a shy kitty

So, this weekend, my husband and I picked up my cat from my parents. I’ve been living here for more than a year, but wanted to wait until we were in bigger house before bringing in a second cat, and my parents adore her, anyway.

I adore her, too, but the object of my adoration is currently hiding in the house. I suspect she’s in the crawlspace, which is attached to the utility room, where the litter box is. Our other cat has been sort-of cautiously inching towards there and then running off. The crawlspace is pretty finished, so it’s not unsafe for her to be there, but I want to get her out of there so that I can at least see her.
Just looking through the crawlspace isn’t going to work; it’s too big for me to see all at once, and the Mag-light is currently in my husband’s car (he’s at work). How do I get my cat out of the crawlspace?

(Note: my usual trick, which is rattling the bag of food, hasn’t had any success).

I’ve never had a cat that didn’t hide a lot for a few days after moving somewhere new. I bet she’s sneaking out when you aren’t looking to eat or whatever. And since there’s another cat already that’s another thing for her to adjust to.

Maybe you could try putting a dish with some super-yummy kitty treat (tuna or something) nearby and keeping an eye out to see if she comes out to investigate? It’d be worth a try, and not be traumatic for her.

Awww…new kitty!

I recently got a new kitty, and he also went into hiding. I coaxed him out eventually with some toys, now we’re best pals. Give the cat some time, then give him a reason to come out and be with you.

Well, FWIW, I found the Zipmeister–she was hiding behind the washing machine. And, as long as she’s not trapped somewhere, I’m okay with that. I was just worried, because I’ve never seen her hide for that long.

Still, though, how do I help her adjust? She’s not a new kitty; she’s been my baby-cat* for over nine years. She’s only ever lived at my parent’s house, though, and this is the first time I’ve moved a cat. About how long before I start approaching?

  • The one thing that can make me talk in disgustingly cute terms is Zipper. I’m so glad she’s here.

My cat, Lucky, was a hider. Still is, really. He likes small dark places on the ground. One GF dint even realize he lived here for over a year we were dating.

My suggestion is to get one of the little cloth house things with the fake lamb-fleece bedding in it and put it in your closet or bedroom. Then bring Zipper into the bedroom and shut the other cat out. This will let Zip establish some territory, while leaving her in a space where she can’t completely disappear. When she needs to hide, she will find the little kitty house.

I did this with Lucky. I blocked space under the dresser, behind the headboard, etc. and let him have the bedroom. The other cats had the rest of the house. It took some time (Lucky was an adult when I got him, so his habits were pretty firmly engrained), but today Lucky sleeps out in the open. He still hides when I have company, until he recognizes a voice. Then he is fine.

Also, if Zip likes to be held and petted, do so as much as you can while crooning her name. Cats are susceptible to positive reinforcement just as much as any other animal, and I’ve found that hearing there name and “good girl” over and over while they purr relaxes them. Eventually, when you call them they come out of their hiding spot because they now associate hearing their name with being petted.

Avoid dragging the cat out of her hiding spot, tho. It just makes them find a new one.

just my $.02