Trouble bonding to a kitten? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble bonding to a kitten?

Has anyone ever had this? Lately I find myself extremely disconnected from Sera. I'm good with Tsuki but with Sera i just find myself not caring one way or the other or even avoiding her. She still jumps in my lap daily and things like that but it's more of a robotic thought process on my end. Today she has been basically cowering down when I attempt to pet her. It's been three months and it's just getting worse now. I don't get it since I don't have this with Tsuki at all the bond there has gotten stronger instead. I find myself yelling a lot at Sera too.

At times I find myself hating Sera and wanting to avoid her 100% it's so screwed up I've never had this before. Not even sure if this is the right place ugh.

Last edited by Tsukiyomi; 02-18-2015 at 08:04 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 08:33 PM
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Female cats are slower to bond to their humans than male cats. Not sure what Sera did for you to have this feeling but if you are to a point yelling at Sera and want to avoid her I think its best to find her another home. Its also in her best interest because now that she's cowering she is showing signs of stress that she's afraid.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 08:57 PM
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Sadly, I agree with Deanna...
Cats are emotional sponges, and no doubt, Sera feels your feelings for her...yelling at her, and avoiding her, are only going to make the situation worse...
Cats and stress are a combination, that do not go well together...

What exactly, do you not like about her?
What started these feelings towards her?

I do want to say, I'm glad you've got the courage to come here and talk about your feelings...
I truly hope we can help you understand your feelings..and...maybe re-homing her...won't have to happen...
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 #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 09:10 PM
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I had this problem a lot with Book when he was growing up. It hit it's worst right after my stroke and he was about 10-12 months old. I was really struggling and thinking I should rehome him. I even contacted the rescue he came from.

Then I felt bad, I know he wouldn't think exactly this way but i kept imagining him back there wondering what he had done wrong and feeling so bad because I knew it was my fault, not his that we weren't bonding. I make a concentrated effort to spend more time with him and lay off him. I was WAY more strict with him than MowMOw and I really tried to stop being that way.

All I can say is that now he's 3 and with Neelix here I can't imagine ever being without Book. He's an awesome big brother to spastic crazy Neelix and MowMow has so many ... issues... it just feels good to have someone chill who just wants to lay there and be pet without being as demanding as Neelix and MowMow both are.

I say TRY and find something positive about her and grow from there.

ETA: I do agree with the above that if you can't move past this, then find her a loving home where she'll be appreciated and won't be living in fear. It's not fair for her to live her life like that.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 02:50 AM
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Sorry you are having trouble bonding with her. Is there something about her that you don't like? Or something you can't define?

Maybe try to just put whatever has bothered you about her aside and try to start fresh. Try to look at her with new eyes. And look at your behavior. Try to catch yourself when you find yourself treating her differently than your other kitty. And set aside special time to bond with her. Try to find what you like about her.

But as previous poster's have said if you don't think you can look past it then maybe the best thing for her would be to find her a new home.

Hugs. Being honest with yourself about your feelings towards Sera is a brave thing, I think.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 07:52 AM
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I understand what you mean. We had a cat, Maggie that I had since she was 2 days old. She was never sweet and snuggly and I just could not bond with her but she was ours and a commitment is a commitment in my book. We were committed to her for 12 years until she dropped dead of a brain aneurysm (at least we think that is what it was). I never cried when she passed. Never really missed her. Sad testament but I'm being honest. That cat was a difficult cat for me to love and a lesson in commitment.

If I had it to do all over again, I realize I should have tried to spend more quality time with her. She liked sitting near me but never on me. I would have engaged her in quality one on one play, pet her more and talked to her more. Sometimes we need to really SEE the beauty of something to appreciate it. I don't really even have many pictures of her. Kinda sad really.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 08:52 AM
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I am new to cats. But what the others have said is true. Early days, Happy was super sweet and snuggly, while Panther was very aloof and not fond of cuddles at all (they are brothers from same litter). He was also a lot more mischevious and would push my buttons constantly. I never hated him, but I did find I had less patience with him and didn't feel as much of a bond as to Happy.

I think the turning point came when I used to see Panther sitting away and looking at me while Happy would be getting all the cuddles on my lap. Even though he doesn't like cuddles, I felt really sad for him and sensed that maybe he really wanted the love but just not in a cuddly way, and felt he couldn't compete with Happy so he just didn't bother. So I made a special effort to spend more time with him in the ways that he likes.. being cheeky, playing pounce, giving him pats just little bits at a time. Slowly slowly we bonded. He is still not a lap cat and he is still super cheeky, but I don't sense him feeling sad and left out (unless I am fussing over Hap and see him looking all wide eyed... and then he gets lots of kisses to which he says muuuuum how embarrassing).

I say, as have the others, step back and think about why things might not be working. Adapting to each others personalities can take time, but recognising it and trying to work on it is a great thing. I hope it all works out
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
She still jumps in my lap daily and things like that
For sure focus on "things like that". For example, trying not to compare (but failing miserably) none of our cats jump on our laps but each one does things which are unique which makes them...loveable? I say focus on uniqueness!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanna79 View Post
Female cats are slower to bond to their humans than male cats. Not sure what Sera did for you to have this feeling but if you are to a point yelling at Sera and want to avoid her I think its best to find her another home. Its also in her best interest because now that she's cowering she is showing signs of stress that she's afraid.
Actually she had no trouble bonding to me shes always been an attention seeker in fact since her sister has been sick since has become more needy than ever.

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Originally Posted by 10cats2dogs View Post
I truly hope we can help you understand your feelings..and...maybe re-homing her...won't have to happen...
Sharon
I know how she feels than since my own extreme stress lately has been a big cause of my problems. I think it would have been more accurate to say I was disconnected rather than having trouble bonding.

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Originally Posted by MowMow View Post
All I can say is that now he's 3 and with Neelix here I can't imagine ever being without Book.
Awww good for Book though Sera is quite demanding and her sister has shown lots of problems no breaks here overall lol. But it is what it is. The stroke thing made sense having chronic illness and than having to worry about every other area of my life (general health, university, insurance, money, etc). Having Tsuki get sick and Sera get into everything (I've been around kittens but never seen one like this).

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Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
I understand what you mean. We had a cat, Maggie that I had since she was 2 days old. She was never sweet and snuggly and I just could not bond with her but she was ours and a commitment is a commitment in my book.
If I felt it was as impossible as your situation sounds truth is I would end up rehoming her. A commitment to a situation where it sounds like both parties are displeased isn't good.

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Originally Posted by happy_panther View Post
I say, as have the others, step back and think about why things might not be working. Adapting to each others personalities can take time, but recognising it and trying to work on it is a great thing. I hope it all works out
Things have been mostly ok thankfully though sometimes I have to catch myself. It was difficult to not get irritated today when I woke up and was trying to get dressed having to rush out for a meeting to get something done at University (something big enough to make the difference between pushing forward and dropping out) only to have her keep trying to climb on me when told no and having to keep removing her but what really did it was finding a mess of dial dish soap on the carpet. I didn't have time to spend cleaning it up so I was forced to pick her up and put her in the bathroom where one of the litter boxes is since I was trying to separate her and Tsuki to see if she was eating (Tsuki didn't eat much but she did use the box at least once).

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Originally Posted by 21Rouge View Post
For sure focus on "things like that". For example, trying not to compare (but failing miserably) none of our cats jump on our laps but each one does things which are unique which makes them...loveable? I say focus on uniqueness!

Like her sister she is loving she just gets under my skin sometimes it's not her fault I've been really disconnected as of late. I mean lately I was having periods where I basically blanked out when at University and by the time my mind came back a few minutes had passed.

Right now things are ok I think she is a little timid at times which isn't good but it means I have to work on it. Usually though she seeks me out rather than the other way around. It's funny though if I get annoyed with her she will cling to me well if anyone does she will haha.

Last edited by marie73; 03-03-2015 at 03:38 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
I know how she feels than since my own extreme stress lately has been a big cause of my problems. I think it would have been more accurate to say I was disconnected rather than having trouble bonding.
Stress could be a major factor in your lack of connected feelings. IME people have a harder time doing anything with the 'lighter' emotions when under stress.

I'm bad for this one, stress makes me want to 1) buckle down and just get through it, which leads to me ignoring my SO more than I should 2) pick up a book and read for 8-10 hours straight....Yay coping mechanisms, lol.

You may find that as your stress reduces (here's hoping it does) you'll have more emotional energy left for bonding with Sera. To give you an idea of what I mean check out this article: But You Dont Look Sick? support for those with invisible illness or chronic illness The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino - But You Dont Look Sick? support for those with invisible illness or chronic illness I know it's designed for illnesses etc, but I think it works for stress too.

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Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
Things have been mostly ok thankfully though sometimes I have to catch myself.
The fact that you're aware of it is actually a bonus in my books. It's much harder to address and issue if you aren't even aware of it happening.

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Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
Like her sister she is loving she just gets under my skin sometimes it's not her fault I've been really disconnected as of late. I mean lately I was having periods where I basically blanked out when at University and by the time my mind came back a few minutes had passed.
There's two points I want to address to this comment, so bear with me as I try to work it out in a coherent fashion...

It's a simple fact that beings bond easier with some other personalities than others. We have four cats, and while I love them all dearly, I have a stronger bond with Doran and Jitzu. I make a conscious effort not to play favorites, but I'm also aware that sometimes it IS a conscious effort. It works out well, since my SO is closer to Muffin and Torri, so we have balance, but it can lead to issues when we disagree on which kitty is the problem causer at that moment. A side effect of this closer bonding is that I have more patience for Doran and Jitzu's foibles than my SO does, and vice versa. So when Doran starts up his spraying in the spring my SO reaches boiling point WAY before I do - leading to problems we have to work through.

Secondly, I'm a big fan of the saying 'you get out what you put in'. In this instance what I mean by that is that the more affection you spend on Sera the more you will feel for her. When I'm working with a client who has been dealing with behavioral problems in their pets one of the things I always tell them to do is pick something fun and silly to do with the pet. In order to have a bond you need to work on it, you need to find ways to have a special connection with Sera that maybe you don't have with Tsuki.
I do this by having special cuddles with only Jitzu sometimes, Torri is the only cat allowed in our room - and therefore the only one I sleep with regularly, Doran...is the one I bond to easiest as he's my cuddle-baby, and Muffin gets to do extra training and playing (which also helps curb his naughtiness, as a bonus).

Pick something you will only do with Sera, what it is doesn't matter and it doesn't need to be completely exclusive, but make a point of spending time only and specifically with her. Put Tsuki away and focus on spending some time with Sera. You might be surprised what a difference it makes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsukiyomi View Post
It's funny though if I get annoyed with her she will cling to me well if anyone does she will haha.
THAT is a fairly common behavior pattern that will build up to attention seeking behavior. Generally these are behaviors that are annoying, irritating, and push our buttons. This happens because the animal figures out that you will ALWAYS respond if you catch them doing X thing. (Scratching the couch, bullying another animal, biting you, pushing over the TV, etc).

The way to stop this is to ignore her until she does something you like, and that can be as simple as sitting/standing nearby and not yelling at you - at first. When she stops fussing you praise her and give her some attention, then follow that up with a fun toy she can play with by herself. This will teach her good things happen to patient and quiet kitties.

Last edited by marie73; 03-03-2015 at 03:38 PM.
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