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Thread: Skittish Cat Help Needed

  1. #26
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I had 2 kittens, sisters. One Issy was afraid of nothing. If she wanted to sit on my knee, along she would come past the three dogs and jump up on the lap. The sister was just the opposite and kept to herself in there bed. Issy just disappeared one day. Sister decided she was going to stay outside. I know Issy is not about her meow was so loud I would hear it.
    Mi now have 2 different dogs younger than the cat and they are all about the same size. Outside they play hit each other and appear to chase each other in some kind of game.she will come in the house but does prefer outside.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  2. #27
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Cats tend to have their own personalitites even if you tame here she will still have a little bit of that side of her that she was born with. My cat has been fearful of everything since she was a kitten and while she love all of us. She is still skittish of strangers 13 years later and I have had her since she was 2 months old. I never changed her personality despite how I worked with her with strangers, she was still fearful. Studies in the vet industry actually show that about cat that are born feral. You may be able to calm her enough that she can be handled by you and the time it takes may vary from animal to animal. But they will never be the same as a cat that was not born feral. Also their crucial socialization period is also in the first months of their life and plays a big role in how they are when they are older. I just went to a vet conference a few months ago that talked a lot about this and it was very interesting to see how early the crucial socializing period of dogs and cats were. Also interesting was the nature vs. nurture role in how cats behave, and how nature plays a big role in it.It is the same with aggressive dogs. If the mom was aggressive the likelihood of the puppies being the same way is high despite what you do.
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  3. #28
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    And aren't they beauties! Very luck to have you and you to have them. You know how cats are...whatever they offer is what we graciously accept! Nice going.
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  4. #29
    Senior Member suzanprincess's Avatar
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    I had a kitten that did not like to be petted, and learned that some cats are ultra sensitive, and petting is actually too stimulating for them. I was patient and gentle with him, and eventually he loved the petting, and became quite a lap cat. Another cat, adopted as an adult, liked to be near but never close, and not to be picked up. It took several years, but she too eventually became very affectionate. Every cat is different, so I try to be patient, appreciate their individual talents and traits, and just love them as they are.

  5. #30
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    For the past 30 years I have had 4 feral cats....three have crossed the rainbow bridge and so I have one remaining who is 18 years old. Each of them had different temperaments and different lengths of time before they became more comfortable. I never forced them to do anything. I would talk to them and have food available. Sometimes I would walk around the house leaving a trail of treats then sit on the sofa with a treat 3 feet away. When the cat became more comfortable I would place the treat closer to me. This process did not happen overnight . It was a journey of two years. At the beginning of the third year, she would come to me and lie down and expose her belly for a rub. She never liked being picked up. That was something I respected. She always had to be the one who determined when she would come closer. By the time she was 9 she would sleep at the foot of my bed every night.

  6. #31
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    be sure their litter pans are kept clean. use some baking soda in it too. and maybe even change brand of litter. good luck. I hope it works out for you.

  7. #32
    Super Member JoyjoyMarie's Avatar
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    I had to respond to this one, since I have been around a few cats in my time. You've already had a lot of good comments, but I have a couple more very specific suggestions. The first has to do with making friends with your cat. If it was ferral or raised by a ferral mom, it probably was making do by hunting. I had a cat that we got from the shelter when she was a wild "teenager" cat. We kept her in an enclosed room (the laundry room) for a while until she knew she belonged to us. Then she was allowed further into the house. She really was quite frightened of both of us. My hubby used to say she wouldn't warm up to him. The thing she missed the most was "catching her food" I figured this out when she adopted a length of binding tape (about 24") from my sewing room and every night she play with it and drag it down to the kitchen beside her food dish. The next morning, I'd put it away (on the floor of my sewing room) and then she'd repeat the gig the next night. Then, I started playing with her with the binding tape, and she had a great time. So when hubby said she wasn't warming up to him, it was because he never played with her. When he started relating to her on her terms, they became fast friends. Only later was she able to accept petting and other affection, as she gained a trust in us.

    The second issue is the one about the litter boxes. In my younger years, I thought that the important thing to clean from the litter boxes was the poop, but I read in a book, and it made sense to me that the urine is also so important to keep out of the box. Animals do use it to mark their territory, and if another's urine scent is there, the area should be avoided by another cat. The author suggested that the urine forms a little mountain shape in the box, with the top of the mountain at the point of entry, and the base at the bottom of the box. She suggested keeping the litter box somewhere you pass often, and just check it and clean urine up as soon as possible. I found that clumping litter really makes this process very much more easy. And when we had two cats, it was helpful. I also did find that they did better with each their own box - still cleaning about as often as we flush. A small price to pay in labor for the great companions they have become for us. Good luck!
    KEEP CALM and CARRY ON!!

  8. #33
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips JoyjoyMarie and from everyone else. I have been playing with her with a strip of flannel. She will play for a few minutes then loses interest. Her mother was a feral but I think at one time she must have been tame. The person I got them from said the mother tamed up quickly. The kittens were feral for about four months. Mischief acts like she wants to get closer but will run when I try to pet her. She keeps getting closer to me when I'm on the sofa. I think Fluffy, her sister, is part of the problem too. She is a very vocal cat and has a very loud meow that sounds like she's saying "hello".

    I've been using Kitten Attract litter. It's supposed to be guaranteed no accidents. It didn't work with Mischief. I just changed one box to Tidy Cats to see if that would help. One box is covered the other is open.
    Margaret

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    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

  9. #34
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    when you go to pet her, close your hand a bit. meaning no fingers stretched outward. they feel safer. then when you have your hand on her head you can pet her head as usual. Good luck!!! cats are worth all the trouble.

  10. #35
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    NativeTexan, I hadn't thought about that but you're right. It works the same for dogs too.
    Margaret

    "If the devil could dance in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine."

    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

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