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Prince is a new acquisition and I don't know his history. He seems like an abandoned house cat. When he drops something accidentally, he automatically hides or retreats from me, until I come up and stroke his head and talk to him sweetly. I don't own anything at all of any value, so I don't see myself getting angry at him for dropping or breaking something. Is this a natural cat reaction when startled by something falling or could it be that he was punished physically for dropping things in his former life? If it's the latter, I'd really like to work on reassuring him that he'll never be punished. After all, if he drops something breakable, it's because I shouldn't have left it around to start with... It's also very noticeable that he will NEVER touch anything, even if it's obviously a cat toy, without looking up at me for permission first and until I encourage him to sit on / play with / touch it.
 

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My girls run like guilty little hoodlums when they knock down. Prince is behaving normally.
 

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Drop and don't dart

I'd keep on reassuring him, petting him, when he accidentally knocks something down. It's a behavior he learned in his previous life, now he has to unlearn it.
How does he react when YOU drop something?
If he was stray/abandoned/dumped cat, know that he may never get over certain behaviors or reactions. Ritz still crouches down in a fight-or-flight, scared position when I make a sudden move even after loving her for a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's something i'll have to check, indeed.

He's afraid of shoes and he strongly prefers women to men.
 

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I could be a learned behaviour or it could just be that they've become startled from the noise and run away due to that. It depends on the cat.

It's true that sometimes things learned when they were younger and impossible to break. For example, my cat was a feral kitten traped at six months with the rest of his litter. They'd been living as dumpster divers... to this day (15 years later) he is scared of plastic bags and the sound of garbage trucks but he can deal well with other noises, such as the washing machine and dryer.
 

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Pretty normal to run from a noise. But it's great that he comes to you after you reassure him.

My little Siamese use to run away from me if I walked up to her fully standing. It took almost a year for her to get over that. Within a few weeks she was all over me once I sat down but it took almost a year for her to trust me when I'm at full giant scary creature size.
 

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I don't own anything at all of any value, so I don't see myself getting angry at him for dropping or breaking something. Is this a natural cat reaction when startled by something falling or could it be that he was punished physically for dropping things in his former life? If it's the latter, I'd really like to work on reassuring him that he'll never be punished. After all, if he drops something breakable, it's because I shouldn't have left it around to start with...
Great philosophy. On the rare ocassions when one of the furkids nsharpens their claws on the carpet or couch I A) remeber their cheap crap and B) decide who I like better. The couch or the sweet little balls of fur.
 

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Great philosophy. On the rare ocassions when one of the furkids nsharpens their claws on the carpet or couch I A) remeber their cheap crap and B) decide who I like better. The couch or the sweet little balls of fur.

I absolutely love that! I've never thought about it that way. My cats have a little scratchy thing and only Athena uses it really but Checkers has this obsession with the rug, right at the edge of the hardwood floor. She's always scratching it and I don't even think about it now because the rug is so old. It's past it's glory days but she's not ruining it or digging up huge patches of rug. Plus, I prefer my checkers to my rug ;)

Athena was a stray and she has this obsession with being up high and getting an eagles eye view. As I type she is curled up on top of out coat cabinet, approximately five and a half feet tall. She is also deathly afraid of the outdoors. She ran outside once when she was little, froze dead when she got out there and hightailed it back inside and has never tried for the door again. We have a very cluttered counter, where we always put the mail, and Checkers sleeps up their at night when nobody can scold her for being on the table and in the morning I wake up to mounds of mail on the floor but like others have said, it's my fault for leaving so much crap up there when I know Checkers gets up there. Athena knocks stuff down, usually scares the crap out of herself and runs away but comes right back to check it out. She used to be very jumpy if someone moved to fast but she's not like that anymore but she still prefers to approach the person instead of the person approaching her. I chalk it up to her past being a stray and being near a parking lot with lots of cars and people.
 

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Oh I so want to edit this. It's barely readable. My kitties aren't cheap crap. the furniture is. Remeber, nsharpen

I want my edits back!!!

"
Great philosophy. On the rare ocassions when one of the furkids nsharpens their claws on the carpet or couch I A) remeber their cheap crap and B) decide who I like better. The couch or the sweet little balls of fur.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, punishing a cat for knocking stuff sounds (to me) like scolding a swimming pool for making you wet. You don't bring an animal into your home to expect him to behave like a "civilized adult human".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dave, I had to read it several times but I did understand it in the end :)
 

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Muffs was never abused, but she is a skittish cat. Abby was never abused and she's generally pretty easy going. But both cats will take off and, in Muffs' case hide, if they accidentally knock something down or if I accidentally drop something. They don't fear any consequences...they're just startled by the sudden noise.
 
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