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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Scared cat

Hi, so I thought I would see if anyone knew why this is...

Marley is a really scared cat, he is completely fine with me, my partner and my child but anyone else he is so scared off, if someone comes into my house he will hide and won't come out until he knows for sure there gone! I went on holiday for 10 days and my nan and auntie were feeding them for me while I was gone and they didn't see him at all! Not even once! In fact they thought he had died and tried looking for him and didn't even find him! If I get him while there is someone else in the house he will fight me and run, I mean it's a good thing that he isn't to friendly with strangers then I know he is safe when his out, he has never bit or scratched anyone and like I said he loves cuddles with us and is not like it with us, he doesnt really like to be picked up even tho we still do, we can only pick him up for a min or two and he wants to get down, so I was wondering if anyone would know why he is so scared of other people and won't let them near him. When he was a kitten missy was only 4 months older than him and they played all the time and didn't really want any effection from us! I'm thinking maybe it has somthing to do with that??
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:01 AM
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I'm not sure, it could have to do with handling from when he was young. I also know that some kitties are just naturally more aloof then others. Mirage has been handled since she was born. Yet of all my cats she is the most fearful about strangers. She will NOT let them touch her and will spend the whole time hiding until they are gone. As soon as they leave she comes back out happy as can be. This as compared to Kent who didn't start interacting with people much until he was 2. He is now always the first to greet new people in the home. I kind of think of it like people. Some are bubbly and will make you their best friend instantly, and they have like 500 best friends. Other people are shyer and don't like to interact with strangers much, but have just a chosen few that are their precious people. Perhaps Marley is just the type of boy that won't throw himself at any warm lap that walks through the house, but wants a relationship first
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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he got handled when he was a kitten but just preferred to be with missy! Missy is so friendly, if someone comes into the house she is there on the ponce for a cuddle! Even I it's a builder she will have her nose into his tools! Lol and my neighbour found her asleep on his bed!! I mean I would be happier if she was like Marley so I know she won't follow anyone home or get into the wrong hands! Shes even got in the back of a delivery van! She way to friendly! I thought that her behaviour would show marley that there isn't anything to be afraid of but hey as long as his happy and isn't like it with us then it doesn't really matter
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 04:24 AM
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I think it's either just your cats personality - some cats are more scared of humans than others. All cats are different. Or, he didn't have a lot of socialization as a kitten with people or learned to distrust people. The things a kitten learn when young can carry with them their whole life.

One of my cats was a 6 month old feral kitten caught living by dumpsters. He's very loving to us but runs and hides and cowers from anyone he doesn't know - it takes a long time (a year of more than once a week visits I'd say) for him to even start warming up to someone. On top of that, he's terrified of the sound of plastic bags and garbage trucks. He's 15 but these traits have never left him.

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Last edited by Carmel; 02-19-2011 at 04:28 AM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 07:58 AM
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When I first adopted Muffs, she too was very scared of strangers. She would run under the coffee table and wouldn't come out. She's gotten a lot braver over the past year. She still hides a bit when people first arrive, but she'll generally come out to investigate after about 20 minutes or so. I agree with the other could just be Marley's personality, or he might not have been well socialized when he was born (before you adopted him).
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 08:23 AM
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Paizly is scared of people, too.
I live in the basement of my dad's house, and when somebody comes to the upstairs door she'll growl and go find somewhere to hide (her growl sounds like E.T.'s nervous trill/purr... it's cute!)

I went on vacation last summer, and had my sister take care of the cats. My sister was worried that Paizly was sick and/or dying! She found vomit every day (but that's not unusual for Paizly), and then got worried because she didn't SEE Paizly for the last 3 days. Thought she went off and died somewhere in a hidden corner.
Well, she WAS in a hidden corner, but alive and well - just being wimpy. I had some boxes of junk behind the couch, and a blanket over them (to make them look presentable, as my couch is in the middle of the room - not against a wall), and Paizly had decided to hide in the little 'cave' between the boxes and under the blanket.

However, if somebody visits, and they are calm and quiet... such as if we're just sitting around and having a conversation... and ignore Paizly, eventually she'll come out to investigate. Ever so often if my sister is slow about it, she can put her hand out and Paizly will sniff it, and a couple times my sister got to pet her... but then Paizly decides she doesn't like a strange person touching her, and skitters off again.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I think it must be just him, when we first got him his was fine people were coming round to see him so I guess it just happened as he got older, at least there's no problems while his out cause we know he won't trust anyone else
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 02:08 PM
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From the time kittens are born they should be gently handled every day. From 5-11 weeks is an important socialization period where they roughhouse and wrestle with their litter mates and learn to control their bite and claws. It's also a time when they should be exposed to new people, kids, dogs, travelling, carriers, nail trimming, and grooming so that they are accustomed and used to lots of experiences. Even so, sometimes it does happen that a well adjusted cat is shy and this may be genetic. Some cats, like babies, can go through a period around about a year (11-12 mos.) when they may be shy of strangers, but will grow out of it. One way of getting rid of shyness, is to have cat confined to a dog crate when visitors come over so it can't run away and hide in another room. Visitors should ignore the cat unless cat shows signs of wanting attention. This can gradually desensitize a cat to being afraid of strangers. Good luck!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think locking him in a crate and forcing him is the right thing, it's not a problem I was just wondering why he is like it, locking him in a crate would cause him stress and there's no need for that. He never used to mind strange people when he was a kitten so I guess it just came with his personality,
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