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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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adolescent cat behavior questions

So my 8 month old adolescent cat is the most loving cuddle bug ever...but only with me.
I have people over at my house and it is always the same people (Mom, Dad, Sister, BF, a few friends) and he has known and seen all of these people since I adopted him.
He sleeps on me and will throw himself infront of my feet right onto his back and beg for tummy rubs, he lets me pick him up and purrs for me, and he is so attached to me that he even needs to be in my lap when I am on the toilet
When my mom comes over he is more than happy to play with her if she grabs his toys, but as soon as she tries to reach to pet him he runs off. When my BF comes over its the same thing. He will let him play with him and has actually let him pet him a few times but as soon as he realized it was my BF petting him and not me he darted off. Now when he sees my dad he just runs off, and my dad has never done anything to him he just wants to love on him too. I have tried giving them treats to give to Toby and Toby gladly takes them but still won't allow petting. When he was smaller my mom would sometimes be able to pick him up and also pet him too but now she can only play with him and he won't allow anything else.
Why is he acting this way I try really hard to socialize him and Stella loves the harness and to go outside and Toby is perfectly happy rolling around on the patio and won't leave the doorstep.
He was a "Foster Surrender" and ended up back at the high kill shelter we have here in town before I adopted him. Not sure if that is relevant at all but thought I would add that.
Is anyone else's cat this way? does he still have time to grow out of this or will it get worse? any suggestions?
The first pic is him this past week and the second pic was the first week I got him
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Last edited by marie73; 02-20-2018 at 11:00 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 05:50 PM
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My boyfriend has a cat, Gohan, who he adopted as a feral kitten and they are closely bonded like it sounds like you are with Toby. For a long time he told me that people didn't believe he even had a second cat because Gohan would hide whenever a new person came around. Gohan will sit in his lap, purr, come when he calls and truly relax near him but not for anyone else. When I first met him two year ago he was still pretty standoffish, but would let me pet him. Eventually we developed a little bond, and if my boyfriend is asleep he will deign to sit in my lap (for almost 30 seconds, lol). Now he's almost 7 years old, and he will come out while guests are over after about 10-20 minutes and will let most people pet him for short periods.


I'm no expert in cats, but I think some cats really stick to liking one particular person, especially if they were more wild as kittens. In Gohan's case, he definitely became more social as the years went on but I don't think anyone will ever come close to his first bond with his rescuer. Cats take an extremely long time acclimating to new experiences, and it sounds like you are spending a lot of effort helping socialize him with new people (which sounds great). He may just need more time and positive experiences. My only suggestion would be to make sure he is pet or handled on his terms, so he doesn't feel forced or trapped. Not only will they have a more positive experience, but people that are not staring at the cat and giving unsolicited attention will be seen by the cat as "polite" and non-threatening and he will be more likely to feel comfortable enough around them for attention.


Sorry for the long response, I get pretty verbose. He sounds like a wonderful kitty, good luck! I'm sure he'll come around to other people.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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The part about maybe telling my guests not to pay attention to him is a good idea! Because I think sometimes he likes that they try so hard to win him over (He's a cheeky little thing) So maybe if they don't try so hard he might be more open to putting in a little effort to make friends..I want him to be able to be around when people are over because honestly I feel so bad that he runs off and is all alone in my room I don't want him to feel left out!
But I will actually try that next time and see what happens! Thank you

Last edited by marie73; 02-20-2018 at 10:59 PM. Reason: removed HUGE unnecessary quote
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 09:52 AM
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Some cats are just like that. They are a one-person, or one-family cat. Sometimes they mellow as they age, some don't. i don't think that it was because Toby may have been feral. I was a longtime breeder of Manx cats, and I remember well a lovely cream girl I had who never liked being picked up, or liked strangers coming into the house. Her sire and dam were very calm, sweet and outgoing as were their kittens, except this one girl. I could never figure out why she was the oddball. In retrospect I think she felt overwhelmed with the other cats vying for my attention, because during a followup visit to her new home where she was the only cat of single lady, the two of them just doted on each other, and she loved being picked up by her, followed her about and slept in her bed, so it was the perfect home for her.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."

Last edited by catloverami; 02-21-2018 at 09:54 AM.
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