So we adopted two cats at the clear shelter event lady and little mama. Upon bringing them home and getting them settled in their new environment we noticed little mama was extra extra and then add another extra skittish. About everything and anything. Even if the wind blows. It took us a little over a year and a half to get the ability to pet her then she started climbing into our laps and begging for what we call a Love session where she just get petted forever and then she would look back at you like it's the first time she's ever seen you in her life and take off like a rocket. So during year three we ran into covid we decided to sell our house and that ended up turning into a nightmare and we ended up leaving the state during the pandemic. While looking for a new place to live we had to temporarily stay with my partners mom which during the drive they were perfectly fine and quiet and calm no meowing no craziness except when we had to stop off to a hotel room and reload them back up into their pet cages but once back on the road they were fine. So once we got to the mom's place we got them acclimented there and they ended up being okay she was still scared but she would let us touch her and wouldn't affiliate with the parents until maybe like 3 months down the line so then we ended up finding a house. Which then caused us to have to leave them with parents for about 2 months with zero contact with us coming back cuz we had to fix up the house in order to move into it. Once we moved in got the house set up to live in we then got the cats brought them back to the new home. we've been here for about 3 months now with them in the house at first she took to it pretty well but then the last I want to say 3 weeks she's been like a handbag you put her in a spot she'll stay in that spot all day all night just right in that same like 2 ft of area in the hallway and if we pick her up we have to put her in the cat tree she'll stay in the cat tree until we take her out of the cat tree. She won't use the bathroom or eat or drink unless we basically put it with her or put her to it like if we take her out of that hallway then she will not move from the spot when she's in the hallway she'll go up and down the hallway but she won't go in a room. And every doorway she acts like it's lava or there's something invisible in the doorways that scare her from going into each room. I know lady who is the older cat sometimes go after her and bullies her and weird we tried different methods of trying to keep her from going after her because in the end they'll start out playing but then it'll turn a little ruff and she'll start hissing like she doesn't want to play but lady still wants to play. I'm at a complete loss as to how to deal with this situation as I know all of the moving around has probably not helped but we're pretty much done with the moving things so we're trying to figure out now how to adapt her to her new environment and to get her to calm down but don't know how to go about doing this. We've been removing everything that she fixates on or anything that looks like it makes her an easy but at this point it's like we're literally going to have to move everything out of the house.
[Solved] Rescue cats lots of issues!!
Thank you for your patience and apologies if the feedback is a little general in nature since I’m not able to meet both cats in person or evaluate their environment.
Unfortunately there’s also no history of both cats including little mama’s early experiences as a kitten or the early socialization period, sounds as though she is most likely a fearful skittish cat.
The love session with quick take off may indicate a sense of conflict between pleasure and danger when she becomes too relaxed, leading to the sudden need for immediate escape because of inborn survival mechanism in case of a threat.
Unfortunately, the Covid pandemic has hit us all hard. Despite your best intentions the continuous environmental changes through house moves along with different human contact may have triggered her anxiety and fear response. When the fear-anxiety system is intensely stimulated, cats tend to flee a situation. With weaker stimulation, cats tend to exhibit freezing behavioral responses. From what you describing, I suspect little mama is experiencing a freezing response. Cats that freeze are usually very quiet, however they experience a high level of fear and vulnerable to reduced well-being. With the freezing response comes the behavioral inhibition of urination, defecation, eating, playing, grooming and exploration. Sometimes inhibition is temporarily, for example when a cat moves to a new home, it may not eat daytime when people are present, however may eat overnight.
To reduce the level of fear, it’s important to provide little mama lots of hiding places such as boxes, tunnels, bags, igloos to help her cope in the new environment including escape routes from lady when there’s conflict. When she is less fearful, add high perching spots with bedding on top of bookshelves, additional cat trees and a cat-walkway.
To minimize inter-cat conflict and bullying provide all resources in this formulation: ‘one per cat plus one’ positioned in different locations to limit rivalry. Designate numerous areas within the home as feeding stations to avoid intimidation plus add puzzle feeders to mimic foraging behavior. Increase number of scratching posts – both vertical & horizontal. Warm beds are also worthy of defense so the appropriate number should be available to avoid disputes in separate locations. Barrier separation such as baby gates, cardboard, or plastic boards can also be useful to block view of each cat when conflict arises. I would also increase lady’s mental stimulation through play. Play mimics predatory behavior and minimizes boredom and play aggression. Provide minimum 2 play sessions per day in the morning and evening.
Lastly, I would also encourage you to have little mama vet checked and consult with an animal behaviorist in your area: https://m.iaabc.org/consultant/
Hope this helps, please keep us posted
Apologies, forgot to mention.
I also recommend purchasing a Feliway since it may help in reduction of inter-cat tension and habituation to a new home.
All the best