Is this normal behavior or am I doing something wrong?? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Is this normal behavior or am I doing something wrong??

Hello Everyone,

Within the last couple of days, our cat Cortland is allowing us to pet him. We adopted him about 2 1/2 months ago. But his beginning has been a little rough. We sold our house after the 1st month we had him, needed to have someone foster him for a month until we got settled. We've had him back now a couple of weeks. We also recently added another cat to the house. Regardless, if we waited longer or did it like we did, this cat was coming.
But the behavior I'm concerned about is his affection. Like I said, we can now pet him and he purrs a storm when we do, he's also meowing way more. When Cortland comes for attention, he throws(pushes very hard) himself at us. We can pet him a few times, but then we start to worry because he starts to claw/scratch at us. While we are petting him, he is kneading. Occasionally he nips at us as well. We know that we've stressed him out as of late. But since he is our first cat, I just want to be sure we are on the right path with him.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 06:22 PM
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You could be overstimulating him with the petting.. my girl used to get like thst... stop petting when his tail wags

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 06:27 PM
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Wow that is a lot for a new cat to be put through. Since he's letting you pet him now I think he's adapting.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by throwing himself at you. I'm wondering if you are talking about head buts? Sasha does that. She will push her head into my hand as I'm petting her. Sometimes quite hard even. If that's what you're talking about that is not unusual. Kneading is also normal and I always take both as a good sign.
Sasha will also nip me if I'm not paying attention and do something that she doesn't like. She doesn't do it hard enough to hurt but enough to let me know that she doesn't like what I'm doing. Oddly enough I take this as a good sign too. When we first got her as a feral 4 month old the only tool she had was to hiss. Now she can let me know with a nip that she doesn't like something. That means that she is secure enough to know not only will I not harm her for doing it but also that I'll listen.
To me that is huge!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:18 PM
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Maybe it's the way you are petting him. Some cats don't respond well to the long body strokes we tend to do with them. Try keeping your petting sessions limited to his face and cheeks. As he gains confidence and learns to trust you he will tolerate more body petting. You may have officially "owned" him for two and 1/2 months, but those 10 weeks have been a doozy for him. He is relearning how to trust again. This may be a very long process. Please be patient and let it happen on HIS terms. Short, small petting, short, small interactions. He'll let you know if he wants more. You should see progress in short segments. I've had Lacey since January and she still concerns me if I pet her too long. Watch the warning signals: swishing tail, ears back, lack of purr, etc.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:26 PM
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He is probably stressed out a LOT, not just a little. Cats are very adverse to change, and he's been adopted to your family, then fostered with another family, then back to your family, add in a new house, and add in a new family member. That's a lot for a young cat to go through! As everyone else mentioned, it sounds like he's overstimulated. He is being affectionate, so that's great, you'll just need to work on gaining his trust again. Just be patient with him. In addition the other recommendations, I'd dedicate some quality one-on-one play time with him (with an interactive wand toy or something) for as much time as you can give him. That will help him burn off some energy and release endorphins/stress.
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