My Traumatized Cat


I caught little Puka about 6 years ago. She was living under a house with her kitten brothers. I also caught one of her brothers and he lives with us, too. They were about 10-12 weeks old when I caught them. Puka was covered in ticks, had diarrhea, wouldn't eat or drink, staggered and fell over when she walked and some of her brothers seemed to be trying to kill her. She seemed to be on her way out, either way.

I nursed her back to health and she has been an indoor cat ever since. Her brother, Danny, is skittish as any former wild cat might be. He hides from strange voices and sounds, etc.

Puka, however, is an absolute wreck. She was always afraid of people and sounds but I'm starting to realize how much happier she was when we didn't live in an apartment and she couldn't hear other people. She's going nuts, jumping a mile at every sound. She has taken up living inside of the hide-a-bed in our apartment and emerging only at night. She won't even come out at night to see us unless we are sitting down or better, yet, laying on the floor.

We have only been here a few days and I am trying to take that into account but she wasn't doing so hot in Portland, either - better than this but not so hot.

We are in the market for a rental closer to my husband's work and I'm going to make a solid effort to ensure that it's a single-family situation. I'm also going to Petsmart to get some more Feliway tomorrow as I think my plug in may be out.

I had a physical therapist who had a cat on anxiety meds. I keep asking myself if it's time to consider that even though I find the whole thing a little uncomfortable. Granted something to knock her out for the next move wouldn't bother either one of us, I am sure.

I just feel bad for her. This whole moving thing has taken a bigger toll on her than I had anticipated.


Thanks! I bought a refill for my diffuser a couple of days ago. I am also keeping a towel under the front door to hide the shadows of people walking by. She isn't as jumpy when she comes out but is still spending most of her day in hiding. It's progress ?


It's been a few days? I think it takes time. Little by little she'll get braver and explore and realise the environment is safe
My cat is a rescue cat. Semi feral. Jumps at anything. Sometimes she gets stressed out and it really hard to work out what it is. She also, when she's feeling vulnerable, likes it when we lie down and are at her level. It reassures her.

But I think for your cat: time will work.


If we we to lay on the floor all day, Puka would be so happy! ? Poor girl. It's hard because this is not our final destination. We still have to move again as soon as we find a place. I know she's going to have to do this all again. We have moved our bed, so she is able to sleep with us, again. I think that ought to help, too.


It's hard because this is not our final destination. We still have to move again as soon as we find a place. I know she's going to have to do this all again.
Conversely? It’s good practice! She gets to learn that wherever you three may be, you two are with her. Territories can come & go, but her family stays with her.


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Cats are extreme creatures of habit and hate change - such as moving. As hard as it is - I perfectly know - try not too comfort her too much when she's scared, it will reinforce her anxiety. In general, try to act as normal as is at all possible, as if you've already lived there for years. Provide hiding places ... cats love boxes. Maybe keep a closet open where she can hide?

Try the diffuser - they also make collars. I have no experience of them working (they didn't make a difference for us), but others report of success. It's worth a try, if anything it won't hurt her. But it may take a few days.

And I second Friday, it kind of is good practice. Be there for her, but try not to have your anxiety/worry about her transfer onto her. Cats are extremely sensitive to their people's emotions and it can become a vicious circle very fast.