We are both experienced cat owners. In November, our beloved Tigger passed away; in December, we got three black cats from a shelter. Two of them are socialised and friendly, the third is not. (We knew this and we were willing to take the chance.)
Third cat was raised in the house of a pet hoarder, who let them inbreed; he lived there with 65 cats (!) for 6 months to a year, and was then seized and brought to the shelter, where he stayed for a year and a half.
How normal and happy can we expect this cat to turn out over time?
The cats are getting along reasonably well, there is playing and mutual earwashing and the occasional snarl. No actual fighting and no one gets hurt. All three cats are around 2 - 3 years old and spayed/neutered.
Everyone eats and uses the litter box; everyone seems healthy. There are two males and a female. The female is tiny and dominant.
spent the first three weeks in a closet, then started coming out when we began using Feliway. He's now out and about most of the time, allows us to pet him several times a day, and observes and learns normal cat behaviour from the other two. So things are definitely looking up, and even if this is how it's going to be from now on, that's okay.
However, he is still very very skittish; for example, we've not been able to put a collar on him yet, and I'm wondering in how far he will improve over time.
He's been here for less than two months now. Surely that's pretty short?
Does anyone have anecdotal evidence of cats that are very skittish initially, but keep learning to trust over months or years? Or of cats that don't?