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I have recently adopted a 7 year old cat who was (at his old home) been an incredibly affectionate Lap cat. He has been in our house for 1 week now and we let him out of his safe room on day 4. since than he has been hiding under the bed all day however sleeps next to me all night (just on top of my bed next to my legs or chest.) We are very taken back that he seeks no affection at all and are wondering if that is normal or if he has a problem?

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    Cats are different, we had one that only after half a year or so climbed on my lap. Another did that on day one.
    – Berend
    Sep 19, 2022 at 8:43
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    Not exactly a duplicate, but the answers to this question are probably applicable and useful for your situation. I suggest never looking the cat directly in the eyes but doing the "slow cat blink" at them instead.
    – Elmy
    Sep 19, 2022 at 9:15

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This all sounds pretty normal. If the cat is hiding all the time, that's an indication it's still anxious. If it's too absorbed in being anxious, it's not going to feel very affectionate. It's also only been one week, so it's not really unusual for the cat to still miss its old home and people, and not feel very bonded to you yet. But there are things you can do to try to speed up the process and establish habits that will hopefully lead to the relationship you want.

Improve your hiding spots.

Though cats like hiding under furniture, it's not really a good idea to let them do that.

  1. While hiding under there, they are pretty inaccessible, so it's very difficult to bond with them.
  2. It's a safety problem because you will not be able to get them easily in an emergency.
  3. If they decide they just want to stay under there, you can't really do much to change their minds.

So block off under furniture (there are even products made specifically for this purpose), and instead get things like cat caves. With good hiding spots like cat caves, you can adjust the hiding spots to suit your needs. They can be placed up high, which makes it less intimidating for the cat when you approach. You can place it in the room your cat is hiding in the most. It can then be gradually moved to gently force the cat into new spaces. This way you can get the cat to come to central socializing areas such as the living room.

Lure the cat out with treats and play.

Now that the cat is in hiding spots that are much more accessible to you, it's more possible to lure it out using treats or play. Be careful to not invade its space, but rather use these things to see if you can convince it to come out. The more the cat comes out of its hiding spots and has only positive associations, the more it will become relaxed in the new space. It will also help to get the cat more attached to you.

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    If you place the hiding space on a higher level, the cat can oversee a wider range and so get used better to yozr routines. If your behavior starts to be predictable because the cat recognize patterns seen before, then it will start to feel safe Sep 19, 2022 at 18:04

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