Skittish kitty!! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Skittish kitty!!

Back in February/March of this year, we rescued a kitten that was about 5 weeks old from the freeway. He was starving, VERY skinny, he had been shaved (with clippers) from his neck all the way down his back, and down to his tail. His whiskers had been cut off, and he had cuts all over him. Someone had done this baby WRONG.
Since i'm a vet assistant and know how to acclimate cats and kittens, we broguht him in. After a few days of gradual contact with our other 7 cats, it was as if he has always been here. He cuddles, cleans them, plays and chases them, etc.

Now he's filled out very nicely, he got all of his shots, he's healthy, his fur has grown back, and his whiskers have grown too, but not quite grown in yet.
When we brought him home, he was VERY skittish towards everything and everyone. He's been with us for almost a year a year now, and is just now getting to the point where he'll come into our bedroom. And he only does once he's POSITIVE my fiancee is gone.

He loves me, and purrs at me, sleeps with me, etc...but he' still a bit wary of me, he still know i'm "momma" and he doesn't see me as a threat.
My fiancee on the other hand, when he even hears his voice, he takes of and hides. He has clawed a huge hole in the side of our couch (boy was I pissed) and now he hides and sleeps in there day and night and only comes out when he's sure my fiancee is gone. When he's in the same room, he won't take his eyes off of him, and either hides behind me, or tries to bury himself under whatever he can. It really irritates me fiancee, so much to the point where he doesn't like him anymore and wants to get rid of him because "he won't have a cat that doesn't like him".

Now, why is he like this to everyone and everything? Even me, he's still skittish with, but he's learning to be so sweet to me, and you can FORGET about trying to get him to go out of the house...or even near the door for that matter.

Any input?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 09:47 PM
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How wonderful that you took this poor baby in. My guess is that a boy or man did this horrible thing to him and that's why he reacts to your fiancee the way he does. I think it's a little harsh of your fiancee to want to get rid of him, especially after all these months, but I can understand his feelings must be hurt to not be trusted after all this time.

Does your fiancee give him treats or try to very slowly get closer with him? I'm sure other members will have much better advice. I think, even though it's already been many months, it'll just take time. They may never be buddies, but surely your fiancee must be friends with some of the other cats.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by marie73
How wonderful that you took this poor baby in. My guess is that a boy or man did this horrible thing to him and that's why he reacts to your fiancee the way he does. I think it's a little harsh of your fiancee to want to get rid of him, especially after all these months, but I can understand his feelings must be hurt to not be trusted after all this time.

Does your fiancee give him treats or try to very slowly get closer with him? I'm sure other members will have much better advice. I think, even though it's already been many months, it'll just take time. They may never be buddies, but surely your fiancee must be friends with some of the other cats.

Well, since my fiance has decided to hold a grudge, he pretty much ignores him now. We have 7 other cats who love us both very much, but he's pretty much given up on TJ.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 09:09 AM
 
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It is possible that a man hurt him before you found him... hence the condition he was in. Obviously, someone has abused him... and if it was a male, your kitty may never trust any male. However, over time, that could change... but your fiance would also have to work with the kitty to gain his trust.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 09:59 AM
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I'm sorry, but your fiance does not sound like a very compassionate person, to me. Please know, I understand why his feelings are hurt, but what I don't understand is why he is holding it against the cat when it is not the cat's fault.
Your fiance is holding an immature (you-don't-like-me-so-I-won't-like-you) grudge against a cat who is only reacting to his well-founded fears due to previous experiences. It would be nice if your fiance would change his attitude, because with the attitude fiance is currently holding, the cat surely won't change his.

As to fiance wanting to get rid of him, I'd tell him "tough nougies" and to just suck it up and accept it.

Some cats have personality traits, learned behaviors or ingrained fears that just cannot be changed no matter what is done. We had a cat, got him from my Mother when he was about 6 or 7 months old. He was never abused at their home, never abused at our home, but he would cringe every time we walked near him or reached to pet him. We didn't understand his behavior, and he was very snuggley at other times, but it was just part of who he was as a cat.



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q
Some cats have personality traits, learned behaviors or ingrained fears that just cannot be changed no matter what is done. We had a cat, got him from my Mother when he was about 6 or 7 months old. He was never abused at their home, never abused at our home, but he would cringe every time we walked near him or reached to pet him. We didn't understand his behavior, and he was very snuggley at other times, but it was just part of who he was as a cat.
So true! When I got Emanon and his sister, Miss Grace, they were the shyest, most skittish little cats and the lady that owned their mother was very nice and had taken good care of them. It's just who they were. And Miss Grace didn't like anyone...it took months to get her acclimated to me and I had to be very, very patient and not push her. Most of the time I just made myself available, made it clear I was the one providing the food and treats, and let her be around me without fearing that I was going to force pet her, pick her up for long periods of time, etc. Eventually she came around but she never warmed that much to my husband, and it would take a much longer post to tell you all the things she put him through. Once he rescued her from the neighbor's balcony and she repaid him by clawing him and then being furious with him for weeks. He put up with it not because he's a cat person (he's not, although he loves ours) but because he knew that's just how she was and you can't expect a cat to be any more than a cat. And mostly, he put up with it because he loves me, I had the cat before I had him, and he wanted to make me happy. Hopefully, your fiance can put up with a little frustration because the cat is really helpless to change their own nature and to get rid of it for that could be a death sentence, which is very unfair. It is really wonderful that you've taken this little guy in-he needs you. Good luck and keep us updated!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q
Some cats have personality traits, learned behaviors or ingrained fears that just cannot be changed no matter what is done. We had a cat, got him from my Mother when he was about 6 or 7 months old. He was never abused at their home, never abused at our home, but he would cringe every time we walked near him or reached to pet him. We didn't understand his behavior, and he was very snuggley at other times, but it was just part of who he was as a cat.
So true! When I got Emanon and his sister, Miss Grace, they were the shyest, most skittish little cats and the lady that owned their mother was very nice and had taken good care of them. It's just who they were. And Miss Grace didn't like anyone...it took months to get her acclimated to me and I had to be very, very patient and not push her. Most of the time I just made myself available, made it clear I was the one providing the food and treats, and let her be around me without fearing that I was going to force pet her, pick her up for long periods of time, etc. Eventually she came around but she never warmed that much to my husband, and it would take a much longer post to tell you all the things she put him through. Once he rescued her from the neighbor's balcony and she repaid him by clawing him and then being furious with him for weeks. He put up with it not because he's a cat person (he's not, although he loves ours) but because he knew that's just how she was and you can't expect a cat to be any more than a cat. And mostly, he put up with it because he loves me, I had the cat before I had him, and he wanted to make me happy. Hopefully, your fiance can put up with a little frustration because the cat is really helpless to change their own nature and to get rid of it for that could be a death sentence, which is very unfair. It is really wonderful that you've taken this little guy in-he needs you. Good luck and keep us updated!
Yeah, that's what I did when I was trying to get TJ to get used to me. You just have to be real patient with him. Even me still. I was just telling my fiance the same thing this morning- that he just had to give him a chance and gradually show him attention, give him treats, show him that he's non threatening. Even after all this time. He really is a sweetie. I'll truly have to post pictures of my clan. TJ has grown so much and is much healthier now. Here is an intro slideshow:



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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 02:19 PM
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I've had Cleo since February 15th and she still doesn't like being touched very much. She'll be two years old in a couple weeks. She always likes being near me, she's my little shadow and my buddy, but for the most part, I'm only allowed to scratch her little face. She has issues from where she was before. She HATES being picked up. Absolutely hates it. I don't know that she'll ever change, but the other night, she let me put my thumb under one of her paws and my forefinger on top of it, and I fell asleep "holding her hand." I'm sure it was a one-time thing, but very sweet.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 02:56 PM
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I have a half-feral (Pretty) who I trapped/spayed one winter and released her back to my property. I fostered her litter of kittens, whom I trapped at about 10-11 weeks old. It took 14 months before she would let me TOUCH her. Probably a few weeks more before she realized that my petting and scrubbling felt good. It has been a LONG, SLOW process.
Malibu took about 5 months before she'd let me touch her, but she is now a housecat. Probably a year after she was trapped/spayed before she started coming inside. Pretty will come inside for a few minutes, but she hangs out near the door and wants to go out quickly...she may never feel comfortable inside.
Some cats, it is just their nature...or their life-experiences...dictating how they behave. They can't help it.



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