How Do I Get Satin To Warm Up To Us? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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How Do I Get Satin To Warm Up To Us?

You all probably remember the many posts I've done about my bengal girl Satin - she and Tuffy are by now getting along very well, with an occasional scuffle, but I think it's mostly done in play. Tuffy has some issues with jealously but I expected that since he was my baby from the time he was seven weeks old, he doesn't always like to share the attention.

Satin will now let me pet her, ONLY on her terms though, it has to be when she comes up to me and asks for it - usually she just sits in front of me on the floor (when I'm sitting in the chair) and meows til I pet her. She's actually really cute about it.

HOWEVER I would so love to get her to trust me abit more, even to the point where I could pick her up without her freaking out. I'm just not sure how to go about it.

I've noticed when I'm petting her, she does NOT like her belly touched, I sometimes let my fingers just graze underneath and it always makes her walk away from me and cringe when she feels my fingers underneath her. My question is - do I avoid touching her there, or keep doing it so she gets used to it?

In the last month she has started letting me touch the top of her head, she used to hate it and run away if I tried to pet her, now when I'm sitting on the chair (or toilet - LoL - I dont' know why but she loves to be petted when I'm on the toilet) she will come and head butt my leg and does allow me to pet it - always again at her innitiation.

I know she will probably never be the cuddle bug that Tuffy is but is there anything I can try to make the trust issue better? I hate that she darts away if I move to fast around her. I don't like to feel that she's scared of me because I would never do anything to hurt her.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 09:48 AM
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It doesn't sound like she's afraid of you when you move suddenly, some cats just have what I call a "quick startle response". It's really an instinctive thing, as well as learned. Feral cats that don't have one, don't survive very long. Even cats that have been well raised since birth and handled lots, there is the odd one that will have this kind of response. So I would just ignore it, or say, "Ahhh, did I scare you?" She might not understand the words, but will from the tone of your voice.

Satin does sound like she's made good progress with being petted. I think the toilet thing is that they know you're not likely to get up quickly and do more petting (lol). As far as petting her is concerned, do let her come to you on her terms. Some cats can get turned off receiving affection or petting if you force them, grab them, or even snuggle them when cat doesn't want it. A technique you can try with petting is use your index finger, and in short strokes (simulating licking) going against the lie of the fur. This reminds them of being licked by momacat, and a cat that doesn't tolerate being stroked or caressed by the palm of the hand usually enjoys this technique. I would stay away from her tummy, as she's doesn't like it. Some cats are very sensitive or ticklish there and can't or won't tolerate any touching. I think Satin will continue to progress. Let us know how it goes.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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She even comes running back to the bathrooom if I get up at night to go to the bathroom - she never misses a time -makes me laugh - LoL
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 12:05 PM
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Satin reminds me of Muffs. She will tolerate petting these days, but I have to move very slowly or she'll run away. I wouldn't think of it as a matter of trust...as catloverami said, it's more of an instinct.

I find it helps if, before I pet Muffs, I just slowly offer her my hand without touching her. After a few seconds, when she's used to my hand being there (and she'll often come to sniff my hand), I then slowly move my hand closer to pet her. She especially loves to be petted around the ears. Also, if Satin doesn't like you touching her belly, I wouldn't do so. She has lots of other places you can pet her.

Good luck...but, at the end of the day, it will just take time. Muffs is a lot better than she was initially, but I've had her for almost two years now.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 12:17 PM
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I've had my Leo for two years(in October) and only now am I able to pet him from a standing position (only in certain places). I'm also able to pick him up and move him a few feet (like from one side of me on the bed to the other. But I can't hold him for too long or carry him any sort of distance because he starts howling and scrabbling. If he thinks the carrying has to do with being crated for a car ride, he pees (lovely huh?) Work with her slowly. If you want to push her comfort zone a little bit, I would try petting her at feeding time. Leo is a food hog, so he will put up with just about anything while he is eating. I'm planning on sitting next to him while he is eating and playing with his feet so I can finally clip his claws.

Best of luck!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I do the hand holding thing for Satin - she sniffs it abit and maybe head butts it sometimes and then she turns her back to me- she LOVES her butt scratched! LoL
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 01:45 PM
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Genie behaves exactly like that. Only wants to be petted on her own terms, similarly obsessed with the bathroom and never misses a chance to be petted while I'm sitting on the toilet! I haven't figured out how to deal with it but I feel for you - the only time I can get her on my knee is when I wiggle my fingers under a blanket. They may grow out of it. How old is Satin? Genie is about 14 months and I've lived with her for 5...
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:36 PM
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Play hard to get and give her reasons to feel jealous. That's what works for me. As I always say, cats are like men.

Also, progress with cats is never gradual, it's always in leaps and bounds. And it's always darkest before dawn - meaning when you are totally sure that there's no progress with a cat anymore, bam! they surprise you with a leap forward.

Cats are (like humans) highly influenced by the behavior of other cats (cats are copy-cats). Seeing you pet other cats makes them both jealous and more trusting of you, and they want to try what the other is getting.

Cats are not stupid and they know when you're after them to pet them / give them attention. Then they're very picky about how, when, how much, where, etc. If you just don't for some time, they'll soon come begging and will be a lot more flexible and trusting.

This is all from my experience with my strays and former stray.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Satin is three years old... and I've had her since November.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan View Post
I find it helps if, before I pet Muffs, I just slowly offer her my hand without touching her. After a few seconds, when she's used to my hand being there (and she'll often come to sniff my hand), I then slowly move my hand closer to pet her. She especially loves to be petted around the ears. Also, if Satin doesn't like you touching her belly, I wouldn't do so. She has lots of other places you can pet her.
Yet one more thing Muffin and Rochelle have in common. This is exactly the way I have to approach her as well. Rochelle also loves her ears and her ruff petted.

I sometimes play hard to get with her. I'll intentionally ignore her and she'll eventually come over to see what I'm doing. She loves to come over when I'm reading.
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