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Little bit of background. I just adopted a pair of 11-month old cats, brother and sister. Up until they moved in with me, they were living in a foster home along with their mother. Upon arriving at my house, the female cat darted under my bed as soon as I opened the carrier door, though the male hung back in the carrier for a little bit to figure out what was going on.

When I presented him with food, he sniffed the air for a bit and got curious enough to come out and nuzzle my hand before going under the bed to lay with his sister and comfort her, I presume.

Since then, he has been very sociable, coming out to hang out with me and give me affection almost instantly. The female, however, is another story. She stays under the bed all day and comes out at night to prowl around the room with her brother, but will not let me approach her without darting back under the bed. Last night she was squeaking and meowing quite frequently, first trying to get into my fireplace and then meowing at the door as if she wants to get out.

Is this behavior normal? I can't even really see if anything is wrong with her because I can't get close to her without her running away. Last night, for the first time, she came out into my room at night and looked at me, which is a breakthrough, but was still meowing as if in distress. Physically, she looks fine from a distance, but I'm not sure if I should be worried about her acclimating to me and the house, in general.

Thanks, in advance, for your responses!

  • Can you specify for how long exactly you've had the pair? – Stig Tore Apr 18 '18 at 11:05
  • Stig Tore, I've had them since Sunday afternoon. I feel like she might be experiencing separation anxiety, but I'm not sure. They lived with their mother for pretty much all their life. Their mother left the home they were in on Saturday night and they were driven to me on Sunday afternoon. Just now she came out from under the bed during the day and looked right at me while at her bowl which is about 4 or 5 feet from my chair. However, when she walks away to the other side of the room, she meows occasionally. – BrooklynCats25 Apr 18 '18 at 16:30
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    Are they spayed and neutered? – Harry V. Apr 19 '18 at 15:49
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This sounds like perfectly normal cat behaviour. Cats will take anywhere from a few days to a few months to get used to a new place. Young cats from active households will usually take less time than older cats or non-hand-raised cats.

As they become more familiar they may become more or less vocal, this depends entirely on the personality of the cat. She's probably communicating both with her brother, considering his presence comforting, and learning to communicate with you. And there will of course be a certain level of separation anxiety, not to mention cats are not very fond of changes in environment. But this will pass over time as they get more familiar and confident in their new home.

Just make sure she's healthy, fed, and hydrated, and things should settle down fairly quickly. To make things go faster try not to startle the cat with sudden moves, or by cornering her. If she likes treats try handing them out to her at a decreasing distance over a few days.

  • Thank you very much! I just introduced them to a second room just now. I hope that alleviates things a bit, I know the female was pawing at my sliding doors and meowing trying to see what was in the other room. I am just wary about introducing them to the whole house too quickly. – BrooklynCats25 Apr 19 '18 at 9:26
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    That's generally a good approach, introduce new cats slowly to a room at a time as their confidence builds. Also remember to be careful with rooms where there is a danger of falling off high ledges, stairs, etc, as younger cats seem to have less of a sense of self-preservation when it comes to heights. – Stig Tore Apr 19 '18 at 12:32

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