New kitten scared and hiding for long time – what to do next

It’s perfectly normal behavior for a new kitten to be scared and continue to hide, especially if it hasn’t had much socializing time with humans. When it does become a concern is if the kitten is showing no signs of coming out from its shell after weeks or even months of being introduced to its new home. Here’s what you can do to help your new kitty adapt to its new home.

Don’t force the kitten out

Whatever you do, let the kitten do things at its own pace. Don’t force the kitten out from its hiding spot. This will only cause a lot more stress and trauma. The last thing you want to do is to violate the one hiding space where the kitten does feel comfortable hiding in.

Find a smaller room

Kittens can become overwhelmed by new environments, especially if your home is big with multiple rooms. If there is one available, find a smaller room where you can confine the kitten until its ready to explore. This room should ideally have very few hiding places. It should also be a place where you can easily monitor the kitten’s behavior.

Use calming pheromones

A calming pheromone diffuser like Feliway may help your kitten adjust to its new home and feel less inclined to hide. It works by emulating the natural pheromones released by a mother cat to calm her kittens.

Entice the kitten with toys and treats

Help the kitten build trust towards you by enticing her with treats and toys. Again, let the cat act on its own accord. Spend some time everyday playing with the kitten. If the kitten doesn’t want to play then at least spend an hour or two being in the same space. Patience is key.

Alternate hiding spots

Don’t have a room to serve as a sanctuary? If your kitten is hiding in places that aren’t easily accessible, such as the space under the bed or sofa, then consider setting up alternate spots for the kitten to hide. This could be a covered crate or a cat cave. The alternate hiding spots should be set up in a way that allows the kitten to observe the space around it.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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