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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help with scared but non aggressive kitten

Alright, first off I'm new to the forums.
Secondly, I just picked up a foster kitten today from another volunteer. The kitten showed up on a neighbor's porch when she was estimated to be 4 weeks. She is supposed to be about 10 weeks or so now. Maybe 12 weeks.
She is a very nice cat, however she automatically hisses when anything comes near her. I could be holding her for an hour, and she's molded to me, but I put her down and she hisses. I put her in a crate and she hisses. She never does anything past that. I just go up to her as she hisses and she will not do anything mean or aggressive.
How do I make her more comfortable? I have been holding her for an hour at a time and she seems content. If I can't get her to warm up to humans she will end up in a barn program. I really don't want that for her.
Any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:42 PM
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Keep working at it with numerous approaches and frequent handling. Eventually she should become desensitized. Perhaps offer her a treat at each approach and retreat where she has previously hissed. Try to offer the treat before the hiss to distract her from hissing.
Best of luck!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:44 PM
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She's just scared because she was moved to a new place today. Just give her lots of snuggles and keep things quiet and calm for her. She should be fine in a day or two. I'm assuming there's no other pets in the house, if there are, an introduction process should be followed.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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I know I have to keep at it, and i will. I've only had her for 6 hours now. But I see hope in her. I just wish she would relax some so she could get a home. The other foster mom couldn't get her to the point of no hissing, but she had a lot going on and a busy household.
She has not eaten yet. I offered her dry and canned. She seemed interested in canned but too distracted by things. She is looking around though, which is good to know.
Thanks.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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No, you missed the point. i have her now because the other foster mom couldn't get her to the point of no hissing for about 6 weeks or so now.
So it's not just because she is in a new setting.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 10:00 PM
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Is she out in the main part of the house? Maybe confining her to a room for a couple days will help her relax. Don't push her, just let her go at her own pace. I wouldn't really even try working with her for a few days as you have no idea if she's reacting to the move or if this is her normal personality. Even the most well adjusted cats get freaked out by a new home. My Holly came from a breeder where she was well integrated with the house. But leaving what she knew, her littermates and mom had her hiding under the bed for 2 days, the only time she would come out was if I was in the room or she wanted to eat or use the litterbox. As soon as I headed for the door to leave the room, she bolted under the bed. And when I came back in, no toys had been played with and she'd come crawling out, so I'm pretty sure she was under there the whole time.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 10:07 PM
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We were posting at the same time...so let me revise a bit...

I still wouldn't push her until she gets past the move. She needs some adjustment time before trying to re-mold her.

It may well have been the activity level at the old foster home, Can you provide her with a more quiet environment to see if that does it? What was so active about the other place? Kids, other pets? You may need to experiment a bit to see exactly what sets her off, before you can work to fix it.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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This is definitely a more suitable home than the other. Too much going on between young kids, various dogs and cats etc. Which is why I offered to take her in to see what I could do.
She is in a very quiet place and confined. I wouldn't have it any other way, especially not initially.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 11:14 PM
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Perhaps you could try feeding her on your lap. I would pet her as she eats. Try to make every interaction with human beings exceptionally pleasurable. This worked extremely well for me and a hissy barn cat I had. When she hissed, I moved the food. Then I'd put it back and continue to pet her as she ate. It took only a few days to stop the hissing. I hope this works well for you. Good luck.




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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-18-2008, 11:16 PM
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The product called Feliway (a plug-in diffuser) would help a lot, especially if you keep her in a small space, such as a single room or bathroom. Feliway is a synthetic cat pheromone which mimics the scent of a mother cat, sending the message that 'all is safe'. We used it when we got our new kitten, and she purred and purred from the very beginning...

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