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C2005-47

Dear Christopher Cat

Two months ago, my friend and her cat moved into my large, two-bedroom apartment. I bought treats, toys and a scratching post, hoping they would help the cat like me.

Unfortunately, she still hasn’t accepted me. She hides all day, venturing out only to eat and use the litter box.

The veterinarian recommended moving the food and litter box from my friend’s room to a communal area. The cat responded by refusing to eat until they were replaced.

We tried to get her accustomed to my smell by placing one of my shirts in her bed. She reacted by using my shoes as a litter box and vomiting on the furniture. When we removed the shirt, the misbehavior ceased.

What else can we do to help this cat adjust to her new home?

Christopher Responds

Nothing. We cats respond in our own time.

My sister Claire is a scaredy cat, too. She hides when anyone other than our family is in the house.

She is very affectionate with our mom and dad, but I doubt that anyone else will ever catch sight of her. That’s just the way she is.

Your friend’s cat might never accept you – or maybe she will in time.

If you are intent on speeding up the process, you can try filling her food bowl each day or leaving cat treats near her hiding place.

If that doesn’t work, your friend can talk with her veterinarian about prescribing an anti-anxiety medication to help ease the transition.

Or just leave her alone, and let her come to you when she is ready.

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