Terribly Terrified Kitties??? :O( - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Terribly Terrified Kitties??? :O(

After our elderly four-legged family passed we decided to take a break from pets. After a couple years we decided our home needed some fuzzy ones in our laps, waking us up in bed and running around our legs while we walked around. Also felt it best to adopt some rescue cats so looked all around. Found a pair of 4-year olds that were sooooo loving but after much discussion decided to go with kittens and start with little fuzz balls. After a couple weeks of searching we found two beautiful rescue girl kitties at a reputable local service, one a black and white one (Breeze) with a crooked tail and a tortoise mottled brown one (Torts) who acted very shy. Met them, loved them (as we love all fuzzy ones) and brought them home February 8th.

When we got home with both in a carrier, placed the carrier on the floor and opened to door. Breeze basically went to sleep in the carrier while Torts immediately darted out of the carrier and hid in every crook she could find. Was a mess even trying to get her. Had them together in a spare bathroom first night but then prepped and had them in a spare bedroom that we had decorated with scratching posts, climbing towers with high sleeping spots and toys. They were both scared of us and wouldn't let us get near them let along touch them. Kind of felt we just need patience and take it slow.

After a couple weeks in the room and them still avoiding us at all costs, we left the bedroom door open allowing them to explore. Breeze would explore, Torts would fight her way into the smallest hiding spots often under furniture and behind cabinets. They also discovered the low tiny space under the bed frame and seemed to either be under there or tucked away back in their room. We blocked off the majority of their hiding spots, at least the ones that we were worried they would get stuck in, be they were still in 100% avoidance mode.

Breeze will come out in the evenings and play with a laser pointer, or balls or little toys but won't let us touch her or get too close. Torts rarely comes out of the room. Tried to hold them to get them used to us and brush them and although it gains us the chance to see what they feel like, they don't tolerate it long. Tried bribing them with tuna and canned cat food but although they come out to eat, they'll run from the dish if we get too close. Breeze will hang out near us, Torts wants her food and then run and hide.

Now after two months, it's getting a little frustrating. If we get out the brush, Breeze will let us brush her and she'll push on our hands and arms, roll around on her back purring and grabbing us, but then when she's done, she's off. Torts will allow us to brush her and although she purrs, she has a lower tolerance level for interactions with humans.

In the mornings, they want their food but as soon as they're done, they run from us like we're chasing them with a chain saw. After a little while Breeze will hang out in the house but Torts will be hidden somewhere.

So we're reaching out to real folks with real cats to see what can be done. We like having cats but when you can't even touch them or interact with them it's like watching them on TV. They eat, they poop, they sleep, but we have to watch from a distance. At this point in our lives we're really getting stressed. Not saying we're giving up but we both work more than full time and have busy lives, was hoping we would be enjoying our kitties and they would be enjoying us. Not liking just seeing them at a distance and having them act like we're attacking them just walking around.

Any help or advice???
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, the photo was when we first opened the carrier when we brought them home. They haven't looked that calm since then.... :O(
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:46 AM
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It sounds like they might still be a little feral. Also, the risk in taking in two kittens is that they have each other and don't need you as much. When I brought the twins home, they would rather play with each other than me. I think maybe you should back off and wait until they come to you. Patience is not one of my virtues, but it does take time sometimes. They are so flippin' adorable! Also, let them hide, they need safe places. Imagine being brought into a strange house with huge monsters (from their point of view) they don't know. Hopefully more members will chime in with better advice.

My Cali also has a little crooked tail - more obvious when she was a kitten, now her long hair mostly hides it.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 01:39 PM
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They are gorgeous. You mentioned that you work long hours. If they dont see you for most of the day you have to be more patient with them. Your probably still a stranger to them. Keep giving them a special treat that they like to eat. Lie on the floor with them. My little one likes when Im on the floor vs sitting on the sofa. Its a hassle sometimes but I do it to make her happy 😃.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 09:03 PM
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Your doing all the right things. You might want to use some Feliway diffusers in the rooms they hang out in. Or a CBD product...in addition to oils (which I doubt they would eat) there are treats and transdermal gels for cats....look at Treatibles and Earth Animal.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:41 AM
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Honestly, they've made a lot of progress in two months. Also, often kittens don't have time for the hugs and pets that we would like to give them - they're too busy. They're just beautiful and they just need more time.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks to everyone for the comments. We're already using the ThunderEase Multicat Calming Pheromone Diffuser. Are the Feliways better? We have used some of the Bach Rescue Remedy Pet drops in their food and need to keep using that. Might try the CBD drops. We're trying to be patient but as many have said, they're soooo cute. And extremely hard to resist petting them.... :O(

Thanks again.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Update on the kitties. They continue to improve and when it's time to feed them they are all over us, pudding on our legs, happy as they could be. We can walk near them now and they just watch us pass. They both use the whole house to play in, with toys and each other. If we get out the magic brush they come and let us brush them. They roll around, push again us, stretch out, purr like crazy. BUT that's where it ends. Regardless of the circumstances or their activity, if we move a hand towards them even slow as can be, without a dish of food or the magic brush, they bolt like we're getting ready to attack them. And often after eating the torty one retires to her perch and if we walk anywhere near her, she hunches down, eyes get big, breaths fast and she hisses.

They're better but can't even get our hand near them without them zipping away at warp speed.

Any suggestions???
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for the update.....You have done very well with your gorgeous kitties. Breeze and Torts have made great progress since you adopted them almost 3 wks. ago. They are eating very normally and playing very well. Being "hand shy" is a bit of a problem, but I think with bribes you can change their minds that hands are good and not to be feared. Try and make a point that every time you reach out to pet them, that you have "something" on your finger (eg. a smear of butter, chicken grease), and waft it quickly under their nose, which should interest them if they get a whiff of it, then hold you hand out still in front of them and let them lick it off your finger. Repeat this several times during the day. When they get to the stage where they are coming eagerly to lick your finger, with the other hand gently caress the top of their head and neck while they are licking, and after a while try to extend the time in caressing gradually. As far as Torts is concerned, she may be a bit stubborn.....they don't called it "tortitude" for nothing! Torties have always had a special place in my heart and are very devoted and loving most often to one person they've chosen in a family.

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