New cat won't let me touch her - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy New cat won't let me touch her

Help!! I adopted my cat, Nutmeg, from the Humane Society two weeks ago. She had been there over a year, and is mainly accustomed to the company of other cats. She gets along wonderfully with my male cat, Arnold, and they truly love one another's company. However, when it comes to me it's a different story! No matter what she's doing (sitting, fast asleep, playing with Arnold), if I make a step towards her she darts away rapidly, and will not come to me for anything. Arnold is the opposite of this, and loves attention, and sits on my lap, purring...I was hoping this would teach her, but not so far. The only time I've been able to touch her is when I give them treats, then she'll allow me to pet her while she's eating. I would love for her to see that I'm okay, and enjoy getting pets. If anyone has suggestions I'd truly appreciate it!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2012, 10:45 PM
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Giver her time. Rescue cats can come from all kinds of backgrounds. It's possible she was abused by humans and feels very distrustful towwards them. She may have simply been a stray that never got properly socialised to be around humans and is just being cautious.

My sugeestion would be to cuddle Arnold around her so she sees you 're not a threat and won't hurt her. Slowly and gradually she will accept to be petted, but sometimes cats are just not that interested in as much affection as other cats.

The main thing is to not force or rush her. Is she feels pressured she will react against it and it will only make gaining her trust and affection longer and harder.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice...I think you're right, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, which is to let her have her space. On the plus side, she must be somewhat accustomed to me, as she's fine in being in the same room with me, but not with anyone else at this point. So I guess that's a step! Thanks again!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 12:21 AM
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Agree that time is needed and I'm so glad you are willing to let her adjust at her own pace. It took my shelter kitty months before she would even allow a gentle pet. Like your new girl, my girl got along great with the other cats, but she was completely unsocialized, as far as people. I never even heard her purr until she'd been here over 2 years.

Now she's been here almost 8 years and she sleeps on my chest, kneads and purrs with happy trills into my ears. But it took a long time for her to get there.

Totally worth the wait, I love her so much!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Traci63 View Post
On the plus side, she must be somewhat accustomed to me, as she's fine in being in the same room with me, but not with anyone else at this point.
Sounds like she's been mistreated, poor thing

She's lucky you rescued her, I'm sure in time she will reward you with love for your kindness. If there's one thing humans could learn from animals, it's appreciation.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 08:54 AM
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Oh, just give her time, she was probably hurt a lot by some careless humans.
It takes time for a cat to build a trust and relationship with you, it's not as easy as with humans.
I met cats, which were so mistreated, that they were unable to trust any human, they wouldn't even let you touch them and even after like 5 - 6 years of a normal care.
Just give her time, I am sure she isn't one of these cases.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:20 PM
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Two weeks isn't really long - it is brilliant that she has come so far in that time as far as your other cat is concerned. She'll come around.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 03:39 PM
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It's great that she's good with other cats, but that is a problem from your angle. She can depend on your other cat for all interactions and may not warm up to you, I've heard it happen so I'd be proactive about this. I'd treat her like any regular feral cat you're trying to tame. I don't know how safe she feels in your overall house, but she doesn't feel safe with you, so that means she's always going to be a little on edge in your house. Maybe this would go away with time, like other suggestions, but I'd rather force the issue a bit more. Meaning I'd personally separate her from your other cat and put her in a "safe room" like a bedroom or something, a place you're willing to spend a lot of time with her. In that room she should have everything she needs, litterbox, food, water. The food you should bring to her at set times. She shouldn't leave that room until she's more comfortable with your presents.

She shouldn't have a place to hide from you that's extreme, like under a bed. Her hiding spot needs to be a place where you can reach and touch her (or in her thought process, harm her) at any time, but that you are not. This will start to sink in, that you're not harming her. Spend time in the room walking and moving around slowly, talk softly to her, pet her when she's eating (or whenever she'll allow), try playing interactive wand toy games with her, don't make eye contact with her (if they don't trust you they see this as a threat), sit on the ground a lot. I mean a lot. That way you're not so scary. Do something simple, totally ignoring the kitty, like reading (aloud would be good so she gets used to your voice) or bring in a laptop or something. Give her lots of treats, coaxing her closer to you. I'd bring your other cat in for visits only when you're there and only after she's made a little progress in trusting you.

I have a semi-feral cat in the garage, I spend an hour or two in their daily and he's been there for three weeks. He's gone from a cat that wouldn't come out of his hiding spot (on top of a fridge) to a cat that would come down growling, hissing, attacking and being food possessive... and then again to a cat that would sit beside me, and then a cat that's a moderate version of all those things (we're working on it), for the last week and a half he's been seeking out pets and is far less scared of me standing or walking about the room as he gets used to me. He even allows slight petting while he's eating - considering how food possessive he is that's a milestone

A lot of progress can be made in a short time if you focus on improving the problem, and that's going to be good for the cat and for you.

Along with the dogs Tara and Coco.

Last edited by Carmel; 11-24-2012 at 03:43 PM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 04:51 PM
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Yup, time and patience. I have a skittish cat. He's been with us for over a year and since he was 12 weeks old. This is just his temperament. He was neglected as a kitten and never properly socialized. He can be very loving at times, but for the most part, he cowers away and hides whenever we have visitors. We have come to accept he will not be a lap cat. We just love him for who he is...skittshness and all!

That said, he has improved somewhat. He does occasionally take naps on a lap and has accepted a few close visitors enough to come out and check them out from a far, but I think that is as good as it's gonna get with him *shrugz*


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 05:00 PM
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Yes, have patience..It took 4 months for Lickorish to let hubby pet her, 2 months for her to be relaxed with me. You should also try playing, use a wand toy or something like 'da bird', toy on a string tied to a pole - looks like a small fishing pole. That always got Lickorish to come closer to hubby and she would have fun for a bit and forget to be afraid and get used to him being there. You may need to experiment to find her preferred toy - feathers, leather tassle, mylar tassles, etc.

food and treats too, as others have suggested.
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