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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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I have had my cat from a kitten he is now 6 years old. 3 months

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I have had my cat from a kitten he is now 6 years old. 3 months ago we took him to the vets as he went missing all day and was found in a neighbours garden with bruising to his face. He now won't come in our house at all or near me or my husband, he was coming in for food at first but he went 3 days without food because he wouldn't come in. when we have got him in the house he goes wild and is so distressed we have to let him out again. He rarely comes near us now and we have to feed him in the shed, I have bought a pheromone plug in for the house, I'm not sure whether to try and get him in one day and keep him in but he's so distressed it upsets me. He will sometimes just come in the house if its just me but he will go no where near my husband which he has never done before. his behaviour is getting worse and it's really awful to see him run from me, I'm not sure what to do anymore.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in pet behaviour. I'm sorry to hear of this incident.

If you continue to leave your cat outdoors and feed him in the shed, he is likely to become more and more wild. We will never know what happened to him to cause those bruises, but whatever it was, it terrified him. I would get him into the house by whatever means you need to. Once he's in, don't let him out again. Keep his litter pans, food, and water in the place they have always been. The pheromone plug was an excellent idea. If your house is large, you may want to have more than one plugged in. You might also want to discuss with your vet the possibility of giving Minty a mild sedative (hidden in food) for when you first bring him in. I would also provide a hiding place that will help him feel safe. You can buy one of the cat dens that are sold in pet stores, or make something from a cardboard box with some soft bedding in it.

Once Minty is in, we can't expect miracles. It's going to take time and patience to get him over this. He may hide for some time. If he does, provide food near his hiding place because it is essential that he eat. If he doesn't eat his normal food, try something more tasty - tinned food, if he's used to kibble, or a little bit of canned tuna. Other than that, leave him alone. Don't try to get him to come to you or try to get close to him. These things will have to be on his terms. Try to maintain the normal routine he was accustomed to before this happened. After a few days, he should stop running wild in a panic. He may hide after that. Once he calms down, try sitting on the floor or a low chair (it makes you seem less intimidating). It may take awhile, but sooner or later, he is likely to come to you. Just give him plenty of time. Once he starts approaching you, you can offer him a treat, but don't try to pick him up or force him onto your lap.

This is going to be a difficult process, and I wish I could give you a quick way to get Minty over these new fears. Unfortunately, this is a situation where there is no quick solution. Patience and time are key. If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope Minty won't take too long to return to his old self.

Anna

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Anna, Teacher, writer, biologist
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