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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I adopted Sebastian 4 or 5 days ago from the animal shelter. He's been such a complete cuddle bug! He wants me to constantly coddle him and love on him and he purrs and purrs and purrs and does the sweetest things to get my attention. He's slept with me throughout the night every night since I brought him home, but something recent has me a bit worried and I don't know if my worrying is necessary. I was playing with him earlier and I accidentally spooked him a little bit (he was playing with my feet under the covers and then he got scared of them and jumped backwards off the bed, quite odd because he loves this game). After that he was asking for a tummy rub (he adores them, quite odd, as well), so I started rubbing his belly. He kept kicking my hand. As advised I yelped loudly. It didn't seem to help, so I tapped him lightly on the nose (also advised) then he became terrified of everything in the room. I felt really guilty, so I left him alone for a while. He seemed fine after an hour or so, and he approached me, purring and rubbing his face against mine. I reached out to pet him, which he welcomed for a few minutes, then suddenly looked at my hand and freaked out and ran off. I left him alone for an hour and approached him. He purred as I pet him for a few minutes then jumped slightly at my hand again - I immediately left him be. He's seemed a bit odd for the past hour or so. I'm a little worried about him. Could this be some sort of behavioral problem? I realize now that I should not have tapped him ever so lightly and I will never tap him again. But, I'm a bit paranoid that this might have permanently damaged our trust. Am I worried over nothing? Should I talk to the vet about this when I bring him in to be neutered a couple of days from now? Or, is this something he will more than likely get over given a bit more time? I have OCD :eek:nekitty so its probably just me obsessing for no reason. Any input would be more than appreciated.

Thank you :kittyturn
 

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I wouldn't ever bop him on the nose...that's just my opinion though. I don't like the idea of my cats EVER thinking I'm going to hit them on the face.

If it were me, if he gets too rough I would say something like "OUCH!" and cease all play and interaction with him and walk away. COMPLETELY ignore him. He'll learn that if he's rough play stops and his fun is over.

I doubt it will permanently ruin his trust, just one incident. HOwever if he keeps getting bopped on the face he will learn to fear it (just my opinion).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I realize that now. I didn't even really tap his nose that hard. It was really more of a pat. Like, the way you'd lightly pat a dog on the head when giving him affection, but it really freaked him out for some reason. I feel really awful about it. Do you think he'll fully get over it soon? I feel really guilty about the whole thing. I've been trying to give him his space to hopefully bring him back to his usual, cuddly, inviting self.
 

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You didn't break him. :patback

Just take things slow and let him come to you. Try not extending your hand straight towards him or from above. Put your hand on the floor and let him walk up and sniff and lick it and get to "trust" it again. No quick movements.

I know you were doing as you were advised, but a tap on the nose to a kitten doesn't really teach them, at this stage (at least, in my experience). He's so tiny, imagine what a giant you must seem to him! Everything will spook him for a while until he feels more comfortable and confident.

I think some playtime and a couple treats may help. Otherwise, it sounds like you two are bonding nicely. :grin:

Any pictures you can share with us?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes! I do have a picture of him. Its not an absolutely great one. My camera kind of sucks. He's absolutely precious though, the pic really doesn't do him justice. And yes, he's completely jet black.
 

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He's adorable! Black kitties ROCK!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aww, yeah, they really do. I was so happy when I found him. I knew he was the kitten for me almost immediately. I wanted a black cat so badly, and as soon as I picked him up he went limp and purred and put his head on my shoulder. I felt like he was just begging me to bring him home. The poor thing had been in his cage at the shelter for a whole month with his almost identical brother. I could tell the difference though, it was very slight but they almost gave me the wrong brother several times. If I weren't in college and were confident that I could completely support and have the time for two kitties I would have taken them both in a heartbeat, but I knew that just taking Sebastian (he didn't even have a name until I brought him home) would be the more responsible thing to do. The shelter doesn't euthanize, so I know his brother will find a loving home soon.
 

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Marie is right, he isn't broken. :D

Just give him time and try to take it slow but don't fawn over him and make a big deal out of it.
I bet by tomorrow he'll be fine.

He is beautiful :) but then, I'm biased about the pure black kittens :wink
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Haha, yeah I'm pretty partial to any kitten that's a solid color. I had a pure white cat growing up named Tabitha. She was PERFECT. We adopted her from a shelter when she was 6 weeks old. She knew her name, she'd come when called, and she was so forgiving to the little 9 year old that I was. I miss her so dearly, she passed away tragically when I was in high school and I still get sad about it sometimes. She was my first cat, and I was so ready to adopt another when I got my own apartment. This experience has been built up in my mind for a while, so I've been very attached to Sebastian even though its only been a few days. I'm doing my best to stay back a bit, but its very difficult for me. I think he'll be okay though, he's napping on my bed sort of at the moment. He's calmly watching me, I think he's understanding that I won't hurt him. He just gets spooked very very easily. I think he feels a bit overwhelmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmmm... this situation still kind of troubles me. I pet him, he seemed perfectly fine, then I sat my hand next to him and he was okay. Then he looked at it...and looked at it...and then he drew back away like he was terrified of it and then touched it lightly and jumped back. So I just left it there and spoke softly to him. After a minute, he calmed down and let me pet him again, but he still acted kind of weird.
 

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Aw, I think he's just being a kitten. When I brought Little Bear home from the shelter as a kitten he did similar things. He would be in cuddle mode, but then something in his head would flip on and he'd just going into kill mode. Not play mode, he was all about killing whatever was moving and near him (usually my hand).
He's not a kitten anymore. He doesn't do this anymore. Basically, just let him do his thing. Don't draw attention to it. When he starts acting weird ignore him and put him farther from you. I don't advise continuing trying to pet him or give him too much attention while he's doing that, because he'll get it into his head that that's how he can get attention and it'll be an ingrained behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you everyone! He seems to be fine. As soon as I woke up in the morning he ran to me purring and meowing. Now I just have to figure out how to keep him from trying to eat my food and everything will be perfect. If only there were a physical door between my living area and sleeping area in the apartment and not just an archway...
 

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How about if you give him his canned food while you are eating? That's what I do with my kitties. I plate mine and JUST before I sit down I feed them their evening canned.

By the time they finish eating and then check out each others bowls...and then groom themselves, I'm just about done eating.
 

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Our kitten STILL does that "I'm going to bat at it because I don't know what it is/don't trust it/it's a different shape/moved in the room" behavior--he's about a year old now. If I throw a pair of pants on the floor, or a sock, or put something where it doesn't belong, he comes to investigate, sidles up to it until he gets close enough to give it a WHACK and then jumps, raises his hackles, does it again and then walks off, completely ignoring it. I don't think it's anything but kittenish behavior, even if it is sparked by your hand--if he were truly afraid of it, he wouldn't let you pet him at all!
 
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