A stunning calico, Kora, was a “Wallflower cat.” She liked to hide and didn’t feel comfortable in the open. After a year, she still wasn’t coming out, and her family surrendered her to the Orange County shelter. Kora’s story is a good example that Wallflower cats need extra time and insight on the part of their family to feel safe in the open.
Like people, each cat has a unique purrsonality, and they need their family to be patient and understanding. Unfortunately, Kora’s family decided it was easier to ditch her rather than earn her trust.
And, it’s possible this cat may never be very outgoing. But that’s okay, too; she still needed her family to accept her needs and love her the same. They didn’t, and that’s their loss.
“The owner only had her for a year since she was a kitten and decided to just give up on her. We want to let people know that cats are not like dogs and you have to earn their trust,” said Harris.
Kora Gets a Second Chance
Once at the shelter, Kora met an ally, Albert Harris, who knew that she needed a spotlight. Using his storytelling and video skills, he showed Kora’s tale on social media. As we know, one of social media’s best qualities is that it instantly connects people and their future furbabies.
And wonderfully, that’s what happened for Kora! After telling the calico’s story, someone scooped her up from the shelter immediately, giving her the home she deserved.
And how could they not? She’s gorgeous and so lovable. All she needed was to catch the right person’s eye, and now she’s at her forever home. This time, her family will understand that Kora needs time to feel safe, especially after being abandoned.
Video via Facebook/Albert Harris Photography
Cats Need Time for “Cat TV”
Even in the best of circumstances, it can take months for a newly adopted cat to feel safe. Generally, with cats that haven’t suffered from abuse or neglect, it takes at least three months to fully adjust. It’s the 3/3/3 rule we’ve shared before by Feline Training and Behavioral Specialist Molly Devoss.
Briefly, the 3/3/3 rule goes like this:
3 days to chill out, hiding in the home
3 weeks to study your every move (Cat TV) from a distance
3+ months for a cat to feel at home
But some cats need much more time, like the Wallflower Kora. As Harris shared, even given ideal circumstances, it can take over a year before something magically clicks, and the cat knows everything is okay.
“Even with my own cat it took more than a year to finally get comfortable with me and others in the house. Patience is indeed key,” Harris shared.
Wallflowers prefer to hide as they observe everything around them. During this time, don’t think they are simply hiding. They are studying every detail, figuring out your schedule, your quirks, and behaviors. Every detail.
Cats love watching ‘Cat TV’ from a distance, and you’re the star of the show. Not only are they watching during the day, but often late at night while you’re sleeping. Once a cat knows the routine and everyone’s specific traits, a blossoming can happen. However, if there are multiple loud, boisterous people and pets, well, Cat TV time will take much longer.
However, there are also many easy ways to encourage an always-observant Wallflower cat.
Bringing Out the Wallflower Cats
If a cat isn’t coming out of hiding, rather than abandoning them, there are many alternatives to try. Talk to a veterinarian, a rescuer, or a cat behavior specialist. Watch some free Cole and Marmalade, Jackson Galaxy, or other cat videos for insights into keeping cats happy. But don’t give up on them!
In the great video below, Galaxy notes that playing with your Wallflower cat is “incredibly important.” Through simple play, you can gradually desensitize the shy kitty to things that scare them.
“If we interactively play with our Wallflowers, getting them moving around a little bit, and hopefully at some point, away from the wall, then that teaches them confidence,” Galaxy explains.
Over time, the goal is to show a Wallflower that they can own the middle of the room, not just the wall.
How to help shy and scared cats gain confidence by Jackson Galaxy: