We adopted an older cat earlier this month. She was quite shy to start with and gradually started coming to us to be stroked etc. We started moving her bowls out of the room we set for her, as our hope was she would start going outside to use the toilet, and she seemed fine with that. We have another cat, and their interactions have not been particularly friendly so far, but no huge fights.

A couple of weeks ago I carried her downstairs and she seemed fine having a bit of a nosey - she hadn’t been down on her own, but we had showed her the downstairs area when we first got her. Our other cat came in from outside and the new cat went back upstairs - she walked up, didn’t run. Since that point she’s been VERY skittish. Won’t come to us to be stroked and if we go and sit by her she is looking for an escape almost. She will come on our bed at night but other than that doesn’t want to be around us. She’s eating fine and using the litter tray fine, although she sometimes goes over the edge. She does have a scabby bit around her chin/cheek which we aren’t sure where it’s come from too, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering her - no scratching/excessive cleaning.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? We are worried she’s stressed living with us and would love to get her more comfortable again.

Thanks for any advice.

  • is the cats spayed/neutered and how old are your cats,have the cat been to the vet after you got her. Dec 31, 2018 at 22:27
  • Hi the newer cat is a 14 year old female and hasn’t been to vet but she was checked over by the sanctuary vet before we took her home. The one we’ve had a while is 11 and male.
    – Ashlieghb
    Jan 1, 2019 at 0:42
  • Thanks. We were worried that she seemed to have regressed but that’s probably due to mistakes we made. The room her safe space is in has a desk and shelves but she doesn’t really jump other than to get on our bed so not sure she’d jump up to an elevated area? Thanks for your help, I just need to be much more patient!
    – Ashlieghb
    Jan 1, 2019 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


I think the best thing to do is to give her time to explore the area on her own, not to carry her to new places in the house.

You can call her but try not to force her to explore the house. Just do your usual things and I guess she will get curious and come to you.

It can be overwhelming for a cat to come to a new house and even more so if there is another cat there. The scent marking of the other cat is everywhere in the house, and she can not smell her own scent until she has rubbed against objects, and often (multiple times).

The good thing is she comes to you at night and she eats and uses the litter box, so she is adapting to living there.

It is not unusual for a new cat to get scared, but this is just an experience for her, and she will get over it in a short time.

If my cat gets scared by a dog outside, she will be careful the next time she goes outside the house. If she has been very scared, she will wait a day or two, but she will not stop going outside.

One of the things you can do is to give her an elevated resting area so she can see what is going on in the house and still feel safe from the other cat.

I did adopt an adult feral cat, and it did take a month before he came out of hiding in the daytime. He was only out at night eating when I was sleeping. I had to teach him to use a litter box.

This cat was more than ten years old when I got him and had never lived in a house, but he ended up being the most loving cat I ever had.

If your two cats do hiss at each other, they are only giving a warning to the other cat. It does not mean they are about to fight.

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