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Old 11-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can I repair a bond with a cat?

Lately I get the feeling that my cat Molly doesn't like me anymore. We used to be "best friends". I got her a little over a year ago. At the time I was unemployed and having a hard go of things for various reasons. I spent a lot of time at home and was almost always with her. We developed a very close bond very quickly. Then things changed.
We moved into a new apartment, and a few months later we got a kitten, and then my boyfriend with whom she also has a close bond went abroad for three months. The week he came back I started studying full time and am away for 8 hours everyday. I'm no longer the one to feed her, and I have hardly any time to spend with her anymore. I try to give her attention, but the now 6 month old kitten is always there so we don't get much one on one time.
I have to also admit that there have been a few situations when I worry I've damaged the relationship further. Molly has litter box issues. She always poops on the floor. She (almost) always has. We're going to work on that soon and we have a few ideas how to fix the issue. She'll sometimes pee on the floor, too, and she has terrible timing. It feels like the few times she does pee on the floor, it's right before a new friend is coming over for the first time. I don't think she's doing it because of that because she can't possibly know that someone is coming over as I don't do anything different that would signal that, and she does it other times, too, when there is poo in the litter box (the kitten's). But when she does do it, I get really angry and yell at her. I know she doesn't know why I'm yelling and I really regret doing it. But then she sits outside the bathroom watching me clean up her pee and it makes me angrier and I think she can sense that.
I've been trying to bond with her in ways that we have in the past but I can feel there's a difference. She doesn't really "smile" at me anymore. Do you know what I mean by a cat "smiling" at you? She doesn't run up to me with her tail up, giving me her weird little squawk/meow greeting. She doesn't bump her head against my hand when I hold out my fist to her (I call it a "cat dap"). She hardly ever cuddles with me anymore. I can't really get her to purr anymore, even when she does cuddle with me. She doesn't even really seem to enjoy it when I pet her now. I've also tried giving her the slow blink, and she doesn't return it.
I haven't asked my boyfriend if anything has changed between the two of them. He's not as sensitive to stuff like that anyway. I know he loves the cats, but I'm not sure he thinks of having relationships with them the same way that I do. Also she has bonded with the kitten. She doesn't like it sometimes when Frida (kitten) is really wound up, but otherwise they're friends.
Is there anything I can do to repair our bond and get it back to the way it was before? Or could something else be going on here? Any advice and/or insight is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I also want to add that she still sleeps next to my head every night, just not like she used to. She used to lay curled up with her belly up and her front paws out, but now she lays with all her paws tucked under her, not really seeming to be relaxed, and she doesn't seem to like it when I try to pet her to cuddle.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. i feel like i'm going thru a bit of the same situation myself since we are trying to introduce another cat and it's not going well. i'm afraid my little baby doesn't feel totally comfortable and safe in her own house anymore because there is a stranger living here now. and she sometimes doesn't trust me either because she can smell the stranger on me.

i hope others on the forum can give you more encouragement, but i personally would certainly encourage you to hang in there. i look at this period as my baby's teenage years (when human teens can't stand their parents), but eventually we hope she will adjust and learn that we love her just the same as always even though she has a sister now.

do your best to be patient with her just like a child. try not to scold her anymore, and i will also do my best not to get frustrated myself when my baby hisses at me or the other cat. they don't understand. they just know mommy is yelling at them and they will learn to stay away from us. i think we just have to keep showing them as much love as possible thru thick and thin. good luck to us both.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Give it time. She has been through a lot in the past year... kitties don't like change. Try and set a daily routine where she can expect the same things everyday... including scheduling a play time in a different room away from the kitten. Entice her with treats, play with wand toys, laser pointer, etc. Also when you give the kitten attention, give her attention as well. She will be close to you again, it may take awhile but do not give up, you are doing great!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3furbabies View Post
Give it time. She has been through a lot in the past year... kitties don't like change. Try and set a daily routine where she can expect the same things everyday... including scheduling a play time in a different room away from the kitten. Entice her with treats, play with wand toys, laser pointer, etc. Also when you give the kitten attention, give her attention as well. She will be close to you again, it may take awhile but do not give up, you are doing great!

^^^ this.

But also..you need more than one litter box. Add two more, so she has three to choose from, and keep them very clean.

Install some feliway plug in diffusers to help with stress and territorial feelings.

Re-evaluate her diet. Diet plays a very important role in behavior. Feed a high quality low carb canned diet, if you aren't already.

A check up at the vet, including a urinalysis, to make sure she isn't ill. Cats hide illness so well, sometimes the only clues we have are behavior changes. And stress, the kind of stress from a lot of change in her life, can make cats sick.

Good luck, and have patience, the bond will come back.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice and support everyone. I think she must have been ill or something, because she's all back to normal. She peed on the floor twice since I started this thread, but I kept my cool, closed the door to the bathroom, and cleaned it up quietly. We just bought a shallow 20x30 inch storage box to replace the litter box in the bathroom, so hopefully I won't have to clean up anymore messes and get frustrated with her anymore, and we can go back to having a healthier relationship again.
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