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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post here and it will be long. My apologies for the length...

About 6 months ago I took in a stray Russian Blue female that some friends saved on I-10 Arizona freeway miles from just about anything. She was an obvious roadside dump. :mad: She has been a work in progress to get her healthy and accept humans again. I spent well over $500.00 getting her several vet visits, shots and spayed. She finally actually looks healthy and not the skin and bones like when I got her.

I'm now a sick old man and have had only 2 cats before. I never considered myself a cat person until Roxi came along. She's absolutely gorgeous and downright regal looking. She's also very smart. She learned her name quickly. I've taught her to sit, stand and lay down. I know she can learn more and seems to like the training. I recently bought a 2400sqft house a month and a half ago so she has tons of room to explore and play. Lots of toys too.

Now here comes my "problem" with her:

#1. I have lots of windows and large windowed doors with outside views. She loves to sit and look at the great outdoors. Since only accross the street is the Sonoran desert she would become a coyote snack in less than an hour. I bought a nice non constrictive harness for her so I could take her outside on a leash safely. She is having none of the harness. She claws and bites me like she NEVER does. It breaks my heart to watch her wishing she could be out there to explore and I can't make it happen safely. Above all I want to make this happen for her.

#2. She has become super clingy. Like that psycho ex girlfriend we've all had. I'm not complaining though as I love having her near. She's crazy funny, rubs, licks, bites (gently) and follows me everywhere. She also knows a thumbs up from me means "good girl". If I take a shower and close the bathroom door she cries incessantly while I'm in there. If I leave and come home she's in the window waiting for me. She doesn't meow a lot, mostly trills. It's funny because when I tell her NO or something she doesn't want to do she trills in an obvious displeasure. I'm beginning to think she actually understands English language. LOL.

With all of her clinginess I can't get her to lay in my lap or let me hold her. The last few days she has laid on me twice for just a few minutes but looked scared the entire time. I'm guessing she was abused before I got her.

If I can get her to lay with me and let me pamper her I think it'll make both of us very happy. I just don't know how to make it happen. All manor of treats have been ineffective so far. Any suggestions will be appreciated!

Joe
 

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I had a part Russian Blue for 16 yrs., and he was fairly "independent" in his personality, not really as much of a lap sitter as my Manx, who followed me about like a dog. He was a smart cat. He's obviously very attached to you, so I wouldn't force her to sit in your lap. Maybe put a treat there and let her come and get it.....she may decide to stay for a while. As far as going outside, you might consider a catio for her. There are all types from ones for windows, etc. I would forget the leash, but you could take her for walks in a pet stroller. My cats love theirs and it gives them a sense of patrolling a territory. Get a carrier with mesh so that the cat is zipped in and can't escape; some of the open pet strollers are more suited to dogs. Thank you for rescuing this wonderfull cat. All the best!

 
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#1
I'm 63, have had cats most of my life, until around 2000 we'd let them out during the day as much as they wanted (small farm, far from roads). Then I got a cat that was terrified of being outside, and I'd heard of the multiple problems with outdoor cats, so I made the switch to strictly inside cats. Now the closest they get to outside is a screened in porch, they love that. Even a cat that is scared to actually be outside will love looking out the window. If you place a bird feeder or something else to draw wildlife where the cat can watch that's very stimulating to them.

I feel one of the benefits of not letting a cat out is that it is less likely to zoom out as you enter/leave the house.

#2
Roxi has gone thought a lot of changes in the last six months, her rate of change will likely slow, but even senior cats will still change habits including becoming more affectionate etc. I don't know anything magic you can do, especially if she associates being on a lap with abuse in her past life.

Do you watch TV, read etc while sitting on a couch? Does Roxi have a favorite pet bed etc? Put that next to where you sit and otherwise relax near you.

I highly recommend Jackson Galaxy's and Kate Benjamin's books:

Plenty of exercise including above floor level helps a cat to relax and I love watching them.
 

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This is Gloria, my 2ish year old shelter kitty, solid grey though I doubt she's much of any particular breed, just a lucky roll of the genetic dice. The Catification books talk about cat superhighways, starting 3 years ago building cat infrastructure has become my hobby lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks folks. Being a lap cat is what I want her to be. It's obviously not what she wants. :cry: It's easy to tell that she wants to go outside in the worst way. Sometimes I sit with her at the back door to see what she sees that's so important to her. So far I've seen a small snake and a skunk cross my back porch. She was like a young kid at Christmas. No telling what has come through the back yard that I haven't seen but she has. Did I mention that I live on the very edge of the Sonoran desert? There is nothing south of me but open desert until you get to Mexico. If I can get her to accept the harness and leash there is an insane amount of exploration we both can do. Don't worry. I'll have a .38 Special on my hip to protect us from dangerous critters. Just about all of us in Arizona carry guns. LOL.

Joe
 

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Give Roxi time, wouldn't surprise me if she figures out the comfort and joy of a lap.

A cat on the other end of that spectrum:
One August I was given a 4 week old feral kitten, a mackerel tabby I named Hopper. I let my house get chilly in the winter and that first one he was still on the young/small side. To help him stay warm I'd stuff him into my half zipped fleece vest. He liked that so much that even as an adult he'd ask for it. I'd zip half down, he'd go in to the left and sort of do a half summer sult, would sleep curled with shoulders at belt level and his pelvis under my chin lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've tried just about everything for lap acceptance so far. No luck. It's kinda weird though how she MUST be near me at all times. When I go to bed I have to keep my left arm at 90 degrees so she can snuggle up into my armpit and sleep there all night. She get's a little pissed when I roll over and she has to get comfortable on the other side of the bed. She's trained me already. Now when I roll over I make sure the area that she would want is clear. She will nap on top of the couch but she will not lay on the comforter or anywhere else on the bed unless it is the bottom sheet at the top of the bed. I'll give here space for a while to see if she comes around. Aside from the lap thing I have zero complaints about her. She's an angel.

Let's go back to the harness/leash discussion. I know most cats will hate a harness but it's the only way I'll let Roxi outside. If I let her roam she'll become a coyote snack in 15 minutes! Can't let that happen. Still, she spends so much time looking outside and I can't do anything for her that she will allow me to do...

Joe
 

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@catloverami mentioned a catio, a cat patio, is that a possibility for your situation? Doesn't need to be fancy, just posts, wire mesh etc.

I've heard of other people having success with walking a cat on a harness, but I haven't tried it.

You say Roxi is playful? Something I like to do with kittens might help Roxi have a more positive attitude about laps. Sit on the floor with your back against something, your legs out straight. A toy she likes, like a toy on a string on stick, have chase the toy back and forth over your legs.
 

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Her sitting in a catio wishing is far better than keeping her locked inside or letting her wander outside until she's snatched up by a coyote. It's healthy for cats to look out windows or from a catio and wonder. It stimulates their mind.

Our cat Belle loves looking out our windows at the birds, rabbits, chickens, horses & cows outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Trust me, I'll never let her wander outside. I'll get her used to the harness and THEN I'll take her out on a leash. It'll take a while but I'm retired and have nothing but time.
 

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What an interesting thread!!
Joe, if you makes you feel any better, EVERY CAT i know loves to stare out the window. All of them. It is like watching Tv for them, i guess. It may or may not represent they want to get outdoors. like You might like watching a tv show about a desert, that may or may not reflect that you want to go into a desert. Kind of the same thing if that comforts you any?
ALL cats stare out the window if they have somewhere to sit to be able to!!

Joe, some cats do not like laps. I know 2 people whose cats have never ever been in their lap. Ever.

My indoor feral does not yet like laps either, BUT i have been able to lure Kiki to stand on my lap (that is as far as we got so far...is she stands on my lap...but we are slowly working on it...)
by luring her with Orijen treats. She will NOT step onto my lap for Temptations treats!! 😆 now she will only step onto my lap for only Orijen treats. The 3 pack on amazon is cheaper than the 1 pack.... like you said, she has ME trained.:ROFLMAO:
Every week, she does something new, so maybe next month she will sit on my lap, who knows. I can wait.

I agree with the others that you might want to consider a catio.
I am currently cat-proofing my patio with plastic chicken wire (ordinary screen is Not cat proof...and chicken wire will rust, so plastic mesh it is!!! ).
tons of ideas on the net on building a catio. Your cat will love a catio. Or, you can buy a ready made catio, but they are not cheap.

SOUNDS LIKE your cat is Very lucky to have landed with YOU! yayyy!!!
 

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Have you tried a different style harness? Mine likes the H style harness but hates vest harness. There is a lot of advice about harness training on adventure cat sites. It can be a very slow process where first you just let your cat get used to the mere sight of the harness and gives treats and praise to make it positive. If the negative association with the old harness is really strong, you might want to pick up a new one. (I had to do that with the cat carrier. He HATED it and we had to struggle to shove him in it this the bad experience. I got a new carrier and slowly acclimated him to it. He’s ok with the new one and with the backpack but still avoids the old one.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again everyone.

Kiki's Mom: I've been using Feline Greenies dental treats and just today received 3 different Temptations treat bags from Amazon. Roxi loves all of them! As far as a "Catio" I live in southern Arizona and the temps are already hovering near the century mark. In another three or four months or so it'll be solidly in the 110-120 degree range. Not fit for man nor beast! I've learned how inquisitive she is and it's easy to tell she wants to go outside. Remember, she was a dumped off stray living in the Sonoran desert before I got her. The vet guessed her age at the time at 6 months. She's crazy smart and loves to learn new tricks. Next trick is to get her comfortable in my lap.

Maxinibble: My harness is an "H" design. I'm now considering the vest type. I don't think she'll like it any better. I never force her to do anything. I try to slowly work her into it. All the tricks I've taught her so far were quick and easy. She just doesn't seem to want to be a lap kitty. I'll keep working at it VERY slowly. I know she'll come around eventually.

Joe
 

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Be careful what you wish for. My Smokey is in my lap as I write this. If I sit here all night he will be on my lap, all night. If I am sitting and doing something on the computer or eating, he will sit and wait, impatiently I might add, for an opportunity to sneak in and get comfy. He has a new tree that he will lay in for minutes at a time (biding his time mind you) and play on during his more active times but in my lap is his favorite place to be. I am always covered in hair, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Roxi is more demanding when it comes to computer time. She just has to be on the desk in front of me blocking my view of the monitor. That's why the first thing I taught her was to "lay down" so I could see the monitor. Now if I'm moving the curser around a lot then all bets are off. She go's on the attack. I even tease her at times and run YouTube videos of cat's. She seems to love that!

It's just amazing that as possessive as she is of me she won't hang out in my lap. Crazier still is that she absolutely MUST sleep next to my head and does her best to snuggle into my upwards folded arm and snuggles into the inner elbow area. She's a keeper no matter what.

Joe
 

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My kitty never looks at the tv or computer. Doesn't seem to even see it. He will even sit in front of the tv and bath himself and the flashes on the screen never get his attention. I do open the front door now that it is warm and have a big bar chair that he will sit on for hours at a time and watch through the screen door.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Roxi is just the opposite. If I'm at the computer desk she just has to be between the keyboard and the monitor. I've taught her to never lay on or walk on the keyboard and she's become a master at that. I've also taught her to lay down so I can see the monitor. She lays down no problem UNLESS the curser is moving a lot or I show cats on YouTube to her then she ignores me. Same with the TV. She loves to watch on the 55" TV. Doesn't have to be kitties either. If there is lots of movement she'll watch an entire movie with me. She was glued in place during John Wick 2. LOL. Oh and music. I've tried playing all kinds for her on Alexa but she definitely prefers Yanni. I guess she finds it soothing. I swear this cat is a reincarnated hooman.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OMG! Roxi learned to play fetch all on her own. Blew me away. I have several small catnip "mice" that I toss around the house for her to play with. Today she decided she wanted to bring them to me and drop them. I throw them out into the living room and she retrieves them. She now loves to play fetch. This was all her doing with no help from me. I'm beginning to think her intelligence is boundless. I think I'll start playing YouTube calculus videos for her. LOL.

Joe
 

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Lol, my daughter's cat also watches TV, but ONLY animals. Smokie has zero interest in humans on tv, just only animals.
And i have photos of Smokie doing this.
Now, if the animal on tv is birds or mice, etc (as in youtube videos for cats) well, Smokie will get RIGHT UP onto that tv screen. My last dog did the same thing, even tried to Smell the animals on the screen, lol.
BUT
if the animal on the screen is a dog? well Smokie will back up and sit across the room and watch. Oh, she will still watch the dogs, but not right by the tv, only across the room for dogs on tv!! Too funny!
I have photos of the cat right up on the screen for birds on tv
and
across the room for watching dogs on tv! too cute.
 
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