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Hi everyone,

So I'm new here and incredibly out of my element. I'm used to raising lizards and lizards only, but a few days ago my roommates and I rescued a 3 year old cat out of a really bad situation.

Basically, her previous owner started beating her with a broom and was going to send her to the shelter, but we intervened. Now I never really saw myself as a cat person, but I refused to just send this cat to her death.

She's very sweet, and has come very far in the past few days, but every time I stand up or move too fast, she attacks me hard enough to draw blood. She's so sweet and I know she has love in her, so I can't just give up on her. I can't.

That being said, I know nothing about cats. I'm not even sure I want a cat (I just lost my emotional support lizard of 6 years) but she really has nowhere else to go other than a shelter. I guess I'm just looking for advice. I'm going to try taking her to a vet soon, but I really don't know how else to help her. I just want to do what's best for her. She came up to me when we first opened up her cage and just...started purring. I know she's fighting to be okay. I want to try and fight with her too, I'm just very overwhelmed.

*Also I'm calling her Ladybug. Her previous owner called her Jinx, but since that means bad luck I wanted to rename her something happier :)
 

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Stanley (aka lanky teenager) Alfie (aka terror of the house) Smudge (aka first of many, RIP)
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Thank you so much for taking her in.

Taking a cat in with baggage can be overwhelming, as you've already noticed. Try and remember its only been a few days. She doesn't know that you aren't going to hurt her. She's in a strange place, with a complete stranger, and the last home she was in taught her that people mean pain and terror. The fact that she has shown you even a little of her sweet side already speaks volumes, she will come around eventually.

Animals are all about body language. When you stand, you are making yourself bigger, which in cat language comes across as a threat. When you move quickly, she can't predict what you are about to do and so tries to defend herself. This is why she attacks you at those times and not at others. She is saying that if you don't harm her, she won't harm you, but if you threaten her she will give you heck.

I think for now you might have more success with an avoidance technique. Basically this will teach her that you can both coexist without any harm coming to her at any time, and it will create a respectful relationship. The way you do this is basically pretend she doesn't exist. Don't approach her at all. Move slowly when she is in the same room as you, especially when you are standing up. Give her a wide berth when you walk past her. Also try to avoid loud noises, such as pots and pans clanging, vacuum cleaners etc.

This technique will give her some time to get used to her surroundings, and used to your presence before you try to work on your relationship.

Cats are curious creatures. She should eventually creep closer to you while you are sitting down, or come to meet you when you put down some food for her. When she starts doing this, you can offer your hand for her to smell. If she will accept a treat out of your fingers, even better. Once she is content to sniff at your hand and then continue about her business, you can try moving very slowly and give her a little pat. Build up to bigger pats and eventually cuddles. Please keep in mind this process I have outlined should occur over a few weeks, not a couple days. A slow transition means lasting results.

Something else you might like to try is engaging in play time. I would start with something like a wand toy, so you can interact from a distance. This way you won't be imposing on her space. As before, move the toy slowly to begin with. Build up to a different toy that you can drag along the ground at closer proximity. Again, transition gradually. This way she can begin to associate your presence with positive things, like a fun game.

It really is a patience game. Its tempting to rush to the next checkpoint when she shows improvement, but its important you don't. Rushing things can cause relapses, and back to square one you go. And make sure to let out your frustration from time to time too. You can always seek advice or even just rant on a site just like this one. We here to support you, and we have been where you are. You are not alone.

Best of luck, and please update as you progress!
 

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Excellent advice from StanAndAlf, it doesn't get any better... time and patience are your allies here, and the avoidance technique works wonders! Once that beautiful cat realizes you're not a threat, the situation will rapidly improve. :sneaky:

Here's a shot of some of the cat toys I keep handy for my 'roommates'---see that one at the bottom of the 'pyramid' of toys? I call it "the tail thing"---it's a great starter toy, but it's important NOT to flick it directly AT the cat, or over its head (until it knows the toy better). What I did with my adopted Phoenix & Tiger, who were very shy due to being feral when they were young, was simply to cast the tail off to one side in a low-key manner (keeping arms low and just casually flicking the tail out), then slowly "reel it in" so the cats took interest in it. :whistle:

Sand Recreation Wool Event Woolen Body jewelry Mixture Sand Art Jewellery

I'm throwing in another shot of "the tail thing" so you can see what it is... a fake tail attached to a plastic wand. If you can't find one of these in a nearby store, just MAKE one, it ain't rocket science, lol. Start gently at first with the motion, so as not to frighten the cat... after awhile, the cat will relax and focus upon the toy, not upon you as a perceived threat. Just my $.02, I've had "the tail thing" for years now, and it's torn up in places from various cats abusing it, but it works! The other toys are just your run-of-the-mill cat toys: jingle balls, catnip mice, a pull-cord vibrating 'hamster' that looks like a skunk, etc. :oops:

StanAndAlf, your advice is spot on, and OP, Ladybug is a fine name, y'all won't have to worry about the Jinx anymore... like some ancient Egyptian curse, lol. Keep the Jinx name and next thing ya know, there'll be mummified cats cruising around your home, chanting ancient Egyptian rites... yeah, best to go with Ladybug! ;)

Good luck to ya, Ladybug sure is one beautiful cat! You'll get past this stage, trust StanAndAlf... just remember, "Patience is a virtue, Grasshopper!!!" Lol. Cheers!!! :cool:
 

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Andy and Bugsy, best buds!
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We had a cat, Sasha, that we adopted from a shelter at an early age. She had clearly been abused because she was always skittish but she turned out to be one of the sweetest cats we've ever had. Give it time!
 

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I completely agree with what everyone else is saying. You just need to give her time. She needs to learn that you are not like the other humans and you will not hurt her. Another thing you might want to remember, when they get scared it's either fight or flight. Let her choose flight, meaning make sure she always has an escape route. Try not to let her feel she is trapped. Try to make sure she has a "safe place" either under or on a bed, a certain room, whatever. Just some place she can go where no one will disturb her. Poor thing is just going through some stuff. Good job taking her in. You won't regret it.
 

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You don't have to think of yourself as a cat-person. The fact that you care enough to take in somebody who needs help makes you a kind and compassionate person, and that's what counts. My three cats all had difficult lives before they got here with issues on top of issues, and even though I'm an experienced cat-person, I had no idea what to do! But with time and effort it all worked out well and now I adore my little beasties, Rest assured we'll help you through it as much as we can.
 

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So awesome that folks here know about such situations & actually care!!! Y'all need to pat yourselves on the back for being the GOOD PEOPLE that you are... I'm one of those folks who do the right thing REGARDLESS of what anybody thinks, lol. :unsure:
 

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Uh-oh, looks like I was drunk yesterday, lol... I went ahead and edited that post. Meh, a man has to have SOME kinda stress relief, otherwise he'll wind up going postal, 10-4? :oops:

As penance for my transgressions yesterday, I'm posting a pic of Tiger in me dear departed mum's old rocking chair, that cat sure likes the chair! He's a goofy cat... I'm throwin' in a shot of cool clouds seen yesterday, early evening. :whistle:

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Great replies above. I'd add 0.15ml of CBD oil twice a day. It really does wonders to cats mental health
 

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Lady Silver Belle The Destroyer, Of Clan Grey Tiger
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Ladybug is a beautiful cat!

Get your cat a cat condo with plenty of scratching surfaces.

Give your cat places it can look out windows. Look up "Cat TV".

Put your cat on a feeding schedule. Feed it three times a day, if you can. Your cat will associate you with food, a good thing. Play with your cat before feeding.

Always act confident. Never be afraid of your cat. Be calm. Cat will reflect your emotional energy.

Changing your cat's name to something positive was brilliant.
 
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