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Cat stays in one room

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  • Cat stays in one room

    So we have a 10 year old cat and she used to go all over the house. A year ago we moved from Arkansas to Florida and since then she stays only in the bedroom. At first I thought she was just scared and after a few weeks we took her to the vet to rule out health issues. She checked out healthy. Our other cat (who is 4) now foams all over the house and our two dogs (who are friendly to cats and were inside the house in Arkansas) also are completely comfortable. Is there any way to help the other cat? I feel bad after a year she still stays in just the bedroom. The door is always open and if we bring her out she just runs right back to the room.

  • #2
    A move can do this to a cat, some are very sensitive and take awhile and others bounce back quickly. You may think she isn't scared but chances are she is. This is a new home that she isn't used to and her fears are stopping her from accepting the change.

    Where is her food? Can you move it close to the door so she has to see the rest of the house when she eats? That might help her overcome her fear and cause her to try exploring. When you bring her out do you close the door to take the escape to the bedroom away? Try bringing her out and closing the door for 5-15 minutes then open it and let her go back in, repeat this every day increasing the time of the closed door slowly.

    My Billie Holiday came from a very bad life and she stayed in one room for well over a year with her own litter box, food, toys, cat house/tree. Slowly she got braver and would go on short pilgrimages to the bedroom next door and then run back to her bedroom. She would go down the stairs to the main level, look around then shoot back up the stairs back to her room. I never forced her and she was happy living in her own chosen space. We just relocated over 2000 miles away in August, I gave her the rec room/finished basement as her room so she could have her own private space like at the last house. Now she's like a totally different cat, she's playing more with the kittens now, she's doing huge zoomies that she never did before, she's not avoiding the other cats like she used to and she is running upstairs to the main level on her own accord.

    She would never let any of the other cats near her and would run and hide when they came close to sniff noses Today I caught her letting Ralph sleep next to her, that was a huge step for her.

    It was a big move for you and the animals, she might be afraid that if she comes out of the room you're going to put her in a carrier for another big move? Give her more time and lots of encouragement in baby steps.
    Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women


    • #3
      Definitely could try moving the food. Right now it’s in the back corner of the room far away from the door. I do feel really bad that she just hasn’t seemed to adapt to the move like all the others.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Countrygirl18 View Post
        Definitely could try moving the food. Right now it’s in the back corner of the room far away from the door. I do feel really bad that she just hasn’t seemed to adapt to the move like all the others.
        Do you feed treats?

        Put the treats closer and closer to the door every other day or so, then start putting them outside the door. Put her litter box part way to the door for a week or two then next to the door, then on the other side of the door. This will force her to see and smell the world beyond the door and hopefully one day she will see that it isn't so scary.

        A four year old is going to adapt a lot faster than a 10 year old. Most likely it was the long distance move that scared her and she's afraid if she leaves her safe spot you're going to move her again. Eventually she will catch on that you're there to stay and her fears will alleviate.

        Good luck!
        Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women


        • #5
          I've got a 13 year old cat that pretty much lives in our back hallway/mud room. She's got a couple choices of ledges to sleep on, food and water, and a littler box close by. The doors are never closed, and if she wanted to roam, she could. But she's happy, so I don't worry about it.


          • #6
            ^ agree with tinah ~ if she’s happy and healthy ..
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              When I moved to my farm the old rescue Persian decided it was so scarey that she took up residence in a kitchen cabinet.
              She'd stay in the cabinet except to come out and eat twice a day and then go back in. Mind you, she first had to teach herself to open cabinet doors and after a few months changed cabinets for no reason

              After some months I intentionally left the doors open so she could see the goings on around the kitchen and the rest of the living area. Gradually she adapted to staying out of the cabinets. And now she even go out for a few hours each day
              when it's not too cold or too hot. At her elderly age I have to try and think for her to keep her comfortable and feeling safe.
              "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


              • #8
                A friend of mine supported her cats with Adaptil (I think Adaptil, maybe something comparable for cats), nothing to loose if you try?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tinah View Post
                  I've got a 13 year old cat that pretty much lives in our back hallway/mud room. She's got a couple choices of ledges to sleep on, food and water, and a littler box close by. The doors are never closed, and if she wanted to roam, she could. But she's happy, so I don't worry about it.
                  I agree it's the cat's choice and as long as their healthy and seem happy then leave them be if you don't feel like or want to encourage them.

                  Mean Girls grow up to be Mean Women