Last year I found a tiny kitten (about 4 weeks old) stuck in a bush. He is now a healthy, castrated adult and very loving (named Alfie). I decided to find him a companion and adopted a 2-year male, castrated cat from a rescue shelter (Vinyl). At home, I set up a room for him with litter box, cat tree and food before introducing him to Alfie. Vinyl didn't eat for 3 days or even urinate or do his big business. He was ill (Corysa) and I had to take him regularly to the vet and he even was hospitalised for a few days (I later found out from the shelter's vet that he had a long record of illness). But he did let me tickle his tummy and caress him. When his health had stabilised, I wanted to take him back to the vets for the vaccination the shelter had forgotten to do - impossible to get Vinyl into the carrier and since then he won't let me touch him although he does sleep on my bed ! Vinyl and Alfie have become the best of friends and Vinyl now eats etc. with a good appetite. My question is how do I regain his confidence in me or was it just because he felt so poorly that I could touch him ?. Vinyl now moves around my apartment without any problems and seems to be enjoying his new life (apparently he never left his bed in the shelter to join all the other cats). He does come closer to me and I think touched me last night for the first time. I suppose it's a matter of patience (love the little critter), but if anyone has a way of regaining the confidence of Vinyl, would love to hear about it. Thanks so much, Marion
How long have you had your cat Vinyl? rescued cats (especially rescued adult cats) can be shy and slow in trusting their new human (due to past trauma).
So the best strategy is just to go slow and be patient. With time, you should regain his trust. Take slow and small steps. For example, sit from him 5 feet today, 4.5 feet tomorrow, 4 feet the day after, and only move closer if he doesn't move away. Also try to spend more time with him if possible. Even if just sitting at the desk working on your laptop. Be in his presence calmly (no sudden movements), he will learn that you mean no harm and that he can trust you.
Although keep in mind that, because cats have excellent long term memory (but bad short term memory), they likely won't forget the past trauma they've experienced (esp. with rescue cats you don't know their history), so it's likely they will always be a little cautious, a little shy, a little timid. With time and patience your relationship with Vinyl can definitely improve but just don't expect that he will turn into a gregarious cat. Cats, after all, do have their own personalities. Good luck!