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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Aggressive newbie :(

Hello...

I took a new kitty in on Thanksgiving Day. She is young, about 1 1/2 years old. My brother has had her since she was a tiny kitten. She was found with his dog that had been missing for 2 days, in an abandoned shed - so he took her home with him. She did fine at his house with the 2 med. sized terriers and his two pre-teen boys The boys and the dogs are pretty hyper. My brother says she was always really sweet, she slept with him, would sit on his lap, ride on his shoulders, played with the dogs and went outside with them too. In the spring she ended up getting pregnant, she had 3 kittens in the summer. He was able to find a home for two of the kittens and had one left at the house with momma. He had been asking me to take her in, I decided I would do so when I heard she had gotten pregnant (He is a single dad and doesn't have the money to get her fixed.)

I have her setup in a spare bedroom, she has everything she needs in there. I spend time with her in the evenings when I am home from work (admittedly, not as much as I'd like though.) Last weekend I opened the door to her room while my other kitties were sleeping in my bedroom with the door closed. She came out for a little bit but was pretty skittish - she'd run for her room at the slightest noise. She wasn't out for long before she decided to go back in her room under the bed. Later that evening I opened the door again while my kitties were in the living room sleeping - she came out from the bedroom areas into the kitchen and crept around a bit before my Main Coon (Milo) spotted her and decided he needed to smell her. She ran to her room and hid, Milo followed and was very excited, he was meowing at her - not aggressively at all - like he wants to meet her - he's a very friendly cat. He seemed to have his feelings hurt when she hissed at him - lol. I have another cat, she's a senior girl and can be really aggressive with strange cats - so far she has not expressed any curousity about the new kitty and only wants to get into the room so she can use new kittie's litterbox (typical) but Milo just can't wait - he just wants to see her so badly. (he is such a sweetheart! My first Main Coon and I am smitten.)

I guess what i am trying to say is that she has had a limited amount of time outside the room, after Milo went in there the first time it has been really hard to get her to show any interest in the new world beyond the door. I tried to pick her up and take her out for a bit and she attacked me, she growls and hisses and just attacks my hand. When I spend any time with her in the bedroom, it's touch and go. She will come out when i sit on the bed, or play with toys, but sometimes she gets upset while I am petting her and, without warning, will spit hiss and attack my hand. I even sleep in there with her for a few hours each night, she sleeps on the bed next to me, seems to enjoy being pet and everything seems fine. I desperately want to take the next step with her and try to get her to expand her horizons and come out of that room. I am able to block off the hallway so that if the door is opened she has 2 other rooms to explore without being bothered by Milo. So far, no luck. Just tonight I went in there while the door was opened, she came out and I picked her up thinking i could walk her out of the room and maybe she'd get curious... as soon as i crossed the threshold, she spit, hiss and attacked my hand, jumped out of my arms and turned toward me, lunged at me (hitting the door fram with her swats) and was pretty upset. I am dumbfounded.

I've had cats my whole life - I've gone through the assimilation process with resident/new cats and have never seen a cat as aggressive (probably scared) as she is. I am beginning to think that she might be one of those cats that just won't accept being in a new household with strange cats. She can't be a room cat - that's not fair to her. I guess I am wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this while trying to bring a new kitty into their family. I know for a fact that she did not endure any abuse at my brother's house - they are all big animal lovers there.

Any insight, or suggestions on how I can help this girl get more comfortable and less aggressive would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 10:14 PM
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Suzie,
WOW! Thats a lot for the new cat to be dealing with!
She's in a new place, new sounds, new scents, new cats...AND shes pregnant! Poor girl! She's very scared with all of this!
You are going to have to take introductions VERY slow!
It is of the utmost, that she feels SAFE! She thought the one room, was her Safe Room...until Milo charged in there!!

Is this the original mama cat that got pregnant the first time....or the kitten of hers, that's now pregnant?

If your brother still has the mama (?), maybe a Christmas gift could be a gift certificate for a vet to get her spayed...so more kittens don't happen!

I'm sure some others will have some Great advice for Introductions in this case!
Hang in there!
Sharon

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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No, she had her babies - they are about 6 months old now. I took her so that I could get her fixed and give her a good life with us. My brother has one of her kittens - it's a boy and my Christmas gift is a gift certificate to the vet to get him up on his shots and neutered, lol. (trust me, I was very upset when I found out she had gotten pregnant - I know there's already too many unwanted babies in this world. )

I agree, this is a lot for her to handle, Milo is disappointed - I can tell that he thinks she is a "friendly" I have never seen a cat that wanted to be friends as bad as he does... I thought that maybe that would help a bit - if he was not aggressive maybe he could break the ice a bit - but after their first encounter I realized that it would not be that easy.

I've switched up the toys, to exchange smells... given them catnip on both sides of the door... nothing helps so far.

Going to get feliway this weekend - I hope this helps.... I know it's only been two weeks but i am not seeing any progress with her at all, she seems to be getting more aggressive with me - although my cat-illiterate fiance seems to have much better luck with her, strangely.)

Cats are usually drawn to me - this is the first time I have been near cat that seems to dislike me. I've read stories where people and certain cats just don't ever bond, I hope this is not the case with her, she is sweet to me at times.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 10:46 PM
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You said, "She can't be a room cat - that's not fair to her." Yes she can. Right now this is what she wants and needs....to be a room cat. She is not ready to meet your friendly Maine Coon or other cats. Two weeks is not a long time, and because you forced her to leave the room and she didn't want to go, that's why she attacked you. She's very afraid and unsure. Leave her be, and keep the cats away from her until she's had her kittens. In the meantime, you will have to be very gentle with her; she doesn't trust you now. Don't push yourself on her or try to pick her up. Give her lots of yummy treats, play with her if only if she wants to, let her approach you for any petting, and then only do a little and if she attacks, stop, as some cats get too overstimulated and will strike out if they have too stroking. You will have to earn her trust. Gradually she may become more friendly to you if you're nicey nice, don't force her to do anything she doesn't want done, and when you come into the room have a yummy treat for her and sweet singsong words for her. Hope you can change her mind, but you will need loads of patience. Good luck!

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzieqt001 View Post
Hello...

In the spring she ended up getting pregnant, she had 3 kittens in the summer. He was able to find a home for two of the kittens and had one left at the house with momma. He had been asking me to take her in, I decided I would do so when I heard she had gotten pregnant (He is a single dad and doesn't have the money to get her fixed.)
Sorry for the confusion... She is not pregnant any longer, she had her babies about 6 months ago.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 11:28 PM
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LOL! OK! That clears that up!!
If you use the forum 'Search' function and type in Cat Introductions, it will come up with a lot of threads that will help you!

CatloverAmi is still right with the rest of what she posted though!

It does sound like she was trusting you to start with, but big exuberant Milo threw a wrench into things!
Start over again and be patient with her!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
You said, "She can't be a room cat - that's not fair to her." Yes she can. Right now this is what she wants and needs....to be a room cat.
Right, what I meant is that I will not be comfortable with her living in a bedroom for the rest of her life. I'd have to find another home for her if she absolutely will not adjust. I am fine with her being in the room during her adjustment. It just seems that she is not making any progress, and is getting worse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
She is not ready to meet your friendly Maine Coon or other cats. Two weeks is not a long time, and because you forced her to leave the room and she didn't want to go, that's why she attacked you.
I understand, Milo is not allowed in there. I have a gate up now so that he cannot possibly sneak in when I go in there to feed her, or spend time with her. There will be slip-ups though - I don't want to push the issue with any of them as I understand that it is crucial for them to start off on the right path if they are ever to share the house in the future.




Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
In the meantime, you will have to be very gentle with her; she doesn't trust you now. Don't push yourself on her or try to pick her up. Give her lots of yummy treats, play with her if only if she wants to, let her approach you for any petting, and then only do a little and if she attacks, stop, as some cats get too overstimulated and will strike out if they have too stroking.
I was, and she had gained a level of trust with me. I am not trying to push her. It seems as though she gets aggressive without warning. She did not complain when I picked her up or walked toward the door, but when I crossed the threshold, she immediately became aggressive (Obviously, I won't be doing that again, I want her to succeed - not fail.) I am very gentle with her, as I am with both of my cats. I would not have it any other way.
I am not poking at her, I assure you that I have been very careful with my approach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by catloverami View Post
You will have to earn her trust. Gradually she may become more friendly to you if you're nicey nice, don't force her to do anything she doesn't want done, and when you come into the room have a yummy treat for her and sweet singsong words for her. Hope you can change her mind, but you will need loads of patience. Good luck!
I talk softly, give her treats, play with her, give her chin scratches (she does not like to be pet on her body) and I stop as soon as I sense she has had enough. I spend time in there just being in there - giving her space and exposing her to me being in the same room.


I guess it sounds like I am handling her a lot - I am not. I am also very careful about the tone of voice i use around her, I don't make a lot of eye contact and "slow-blink" at her when she makes eye contact with me.


I wonder if having kittens changed her behavior somehow. I also wonder if she had a negative experience with a woman before she was found. Like I said before, I have had cats my whole life and I have never experienced aggression like I have with this one.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 12:04 AM
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Suzie,
It sounds like she didn't start acting "aggressive" until AFTER the Milo incident...
She decided she wasn't ready to come out yet, but you tried to 'force' it by picking her up and carrying her out!!
She did the ONLY thing she could do...which is hiss and swat at you, so she wouldn't have to go out there!! That's Fear aggression! Not Fighting aggression!
Keep spending time in the bedroom with her, and don't try and make her go out!
She isn't sure now about you touching her or picking her up because of what happened...

ANY cats that I've added, I've just figured on a months time for Intro's, some have been shorter, some longer, every cat is different, and you have to work with the cat's comfort level, not yours!

Get one of those wand toys with feathers, "Da Bird" is a really good one! Get her playing, then feed her! Generally, a tired out, well fed kitty is a Happy kitty! Or, at least, more relaxed!
Sharon

"A Cat must have three different names:
An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-15-2014, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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We had our first big breakthrough. Kiki has been asking to have the door opened so she could explore and tonight I was able to get her playing with a string toy while the the door was open. Milo came by and he was playing too. I was so excited that I had to come on here and clear her bad name. Obviously she needed a little more time to settle in before she was ready to start expanding her horizons. This gives me hope for a smooth transition. I am not pushing it though.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 06:42 AM
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See, I knew if you were just patient enough with her and not force her to do anything that makes her uncomfortable she'd start coming around. Some cats just take a ridiculous amount of time before they are comfortable. My Abby took WEEKS before she would leave her room then MONTHS before she was ready to come downstairs and even more MONTHS before she let me rub her belly (about a year total from adoption to belly rubs). Only after the first year was she comfortable, but only in certain rooms. She would always run away from the living room for some reason. Some cats are just not trusting right out of the gate and they need time, love and plenty of patience.

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