Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
 
WhiteKitties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 992
Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

When we adopted Fern and her sister last November she wasn't very interested in physical contact with us, but over time she's gotten used to us and follows us around like a little puppy.... We've noticed that lately she's gotten really affectionate, which has surprised and delighted us. She never used to be interested in jumping on my lap, and now she'll follow me around meowing at me to sit down so she can jump on me and get attention!

So do cats normally take months to adjust to a new home when they're adopted as adults? We got them when they were about a year and a half old, and I expected that it would take a while for them to adjust. It just surprises me so much that Fern has become more and more social in the last couple of months, and I'm hoping the trend will continue. She still prefers 'Daddy' over me, but I was honored with a head-butt for scritching for the first time this morning!

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
WhiteKitties is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 09:36 PM
Cat Addict
 
katlover13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 2,247
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

It's good to hear that Fern has changed so much for the better. Have you done anything special with her to get her to change that way?
Your situation gives me some hope that some day Juno will become more loveable.

Sue



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
katlover13 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
 
WhiteKitties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 992
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

All we did was love her as much as she would tolerate and let her decide how social to be with us. All animals like my husband more than me, so I knew right from the start that I should expect the same with our girls, and I've never pushed them. It was interesting, because Fern was very social at her foster mom's house, and we didn't know what to think when she was so shy at our house. But we never had a problem with her being too shy to come for her food once we gave them the run of the house, and she would let us pick her up for short periods of time, so we just figured we'd let her warm up to us at her own pace. If she had been super shy or antisocial we would have tried some of Heidi's methods for socializing kitties, but she was never that bad. I'm just so delighted that I'm finally getting an occasional kiss and head butt!

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
WhiteKitties is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 12:22 AM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 12,679
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

I think some cats just take a bit longer to "warm up" to their environment. I can't say that we've had any that took forever. Well, I guess I need to take that back! Malibu and Pretty *did* take fairly long amounts of time to get used to us and our way of handling them.

Comparing Malibu and Pretty, Mallie caved in quickly while Pretty was a tough nut to crack. The turning point for Malibu, who was fine with being petted but didn't particularly care for being held or snuggled, was when she became deathly ill and I had to be very aggressive in saving her. She developed Hepatic Lipidosis and because of $ issues at the time, I had to treat her at home. My vet was not very confident she would survive and was very happily surprised (astonished, more likely) that I pulled Mallie through. It took about a week and a bit of me force-feeding her and visiting her fairly often through the day, just to let her know I cared and loved her and wanted her to fight to live.
That week of such close contact really bonded her to me.
I was certain it would drive her away from me, but it actually had the opposite effect. After that, she became *my* cat and would follow me around, be sure she was relaxing in whatever room I was in and would sleep with me every night. When I'd lay on my stomach and read in bed, she was curled into the crook of my side/arm and usually had her head on my shoulder so I could turn my head and kiss her nose. After my surgery it isn't comfortable to lay on my tummy and read, so I lay on my side and she curls up against my belly and sometimes lays over my hip. To sleep, she either sleeps ON my head. (I know, but it's nice/warm in the winter) or up against my belly and I cover her with my covers and both our heads stick out. I usually also wrap an arm around her and stick my nose into the fur of her neck or shoulder. Lately, she has become very 'bossy' and demanding (yowling/crying at me) to come to bed both at afternoon nap-time and at night-time bed-time.

Pretty was *very* feral and took a very, very, long time to socialize. We lost Dusty at the first of the year and she became a little lost. We also had to force her to stay inside as a tomcat moved in and would try to fight with her. She began to bond to me, and then to Floofy...and though Floofy enjoyed the attention at first, he is now a little wary of her because she can kick his butt in a wrestle-match! My husband began a campaign to win her over and she is now becoming VERY comfortable around him, and that is nice to see. My husband said she snoozed with him (against his legs) when he fell asleep watching TV this afternoon. She is turning out to be a well-rounded and relaxed cat and will even let company approach and pet her.

I am fairly aggressive when working with socializing foster cats/kittens because I need to get results quickly. I need to get them to as high a plateau of handling that I can get them, as fast as I can, and keep them there to reinforce that kind of handling and give them plenty of time to trust and then get that relaxed and trusting behavior stabilized and part of their 'normal' before they go to the adoption center. My own cats, I tend to handle in the same ways, but it isn't as critical that I get the fast results. So, while I don't work through the steps as aggressively, they still do get worked through them with our everyday handling of them. It just happens to be how I handle them and it is only with the fosters that I really stick with any regimented 'program'.

I bet your continual handling of Fern helped cement in the facts that you both are caring and can be trusted. Also, the constant handling, and handling only what she would tolerate at that moment, probably helped her to relax and realize you wouldn't force anything beyond what she wanted to do...but by continuing to always handle her, when she finally *did* relax and give herself up to your handling, you didn't miss it because of being stand-off-ish and letting her completely call the shots...the frequent handling allowed you to keep close and monitor her levels of tolerance so when she did allow more, you were able to notice it and build on it. I'd say you guys did a great job with her!



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 01:38 AM
Cat Addict
 
RachandNito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,178
Send a message via AIM to RachandNito
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

Quote:
Lately, she has become very 'bossy' and demanding (yowling/crying at me) to come to bed both at afternoon nap-time and at night-time bed-time.
Oh boy do I hear it when I'm late coming to bed. Nito let's me know of his displeasure with loud yowling, and if I'm still occupied he'll crawl into my lap and shove his muzzle into my nose or ear purring, giving me the shivers!
RachandNito is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
Cool Cat
 
WhiteKitties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 992
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

Thanks Heidi, I appreciate your insight. A couple of months ago I was about ready to ask you for your write-up of how you socialize cats, because I was getting tired of waiting for Fern to come out of her shell. She must have sensed that five months was long enough and my patience was wearing thin, because before I got around to asking you she suddenly jumped up on my lap one day, gave me a kiss and curled up for a nap!

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
WhiteKitties is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2009, 11:32 PM
Senior Cat
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 709
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

Five months isn't that bad at all! Glad to hear your adopted baby is getting more loving!

We adopted a 4 year old female cat, who was described by the owner as "a cat that hates attention and pets, is not affectionate and doesn't play with toys". We were okay with that attitude! Some cats prefer to just be looked at, not touched.

WELL...

Forward two years! Penelope is 6 now, rubs her face on our heads if she's sitting above us and purrs. Insists the SO picks her up for love-cuddles and face rubs (he uses his scratchy face to itch her head, she loves this so much you can hear her purring rooms away). Cuddles with the SO in bed after I leave for work. Plays with the other cats. LOVES all sorts of toys.

So this horrible cat they warned us about adopting, turns out to be this demanding cuddle monster! Sure, she took her sweet time to warm up to us (and I don't ever hold her right, so no cuddle time for me ) but she is a wonderful cat. I think sometimes, it just takes the right family. Obviously, you are Fern's "right" family.

Kelly

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Muzby is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:51 PM
Cat Addict
 
RachandNito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,178
Send a message via AIM to RachandNito
Re: Fern's changed so much - is this to be expected?

Kelly, I am so glad you adopted her. A cat like that would be euthanized quite quickly at the shelter in my home town, where they have a 5/3 euthanize/adopt ratio, and numerous animals arriving daily. Only the most loving, adoptable pets last long there, it's so totally sad.

I'm glad Penelope has a good life with you! I am also glad Fern has warmed up so much!
RachandNito is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome