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Hi, I just re-homed my dear friend's cat of eight years, Tipsy. Within the month she has been here, she has become the queen of the house. She demands her food at mealtimes, fresh water when she needs it, her litter box to be scooped twice daily, and her "spot" next to me to be available (when she deems me worthy to sit with). I call her, Your Royal Meowness, Miss Tipsy-Lou-Rue (her previous owner had numerous pet names for her with Lou and Rue in them).
Tipsy is a very skittish cat. She jumps at any unexpected noises/movements, whether they are loud/sudden or not. Naturally, she is not fond of children. My four year old son loves animals, and knows how to treat them. However, Tipsy barely ever allows him to pet her, and most times walks away whenever he walks toward her. When she does allow him to pet her, although he does is gentle and goes in the right direction, after a few moments she will hiss or bat at him. She doesn't usually hurt him, but he is totally crushed nonetheless.
Beyond that, Tipsy is a wonderful cat. She is clean and very affectionate, and has no real behavioral issues. She seems happy here, and I am happy to have her. But I need to help her learn to like children, or at least mine. I don't think it is fair to my son to have a "family pet" that wants nothing to do with him. Please tell me how to help my fraidy cat form a bond with my 4 year old!
 

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However, Tipsy barely ever allows him to pet her, and most times walks away whenever he walks toward her. When she does allow him to pet her, although he does is gentle and goes in the right direction, after a few moments she will hiss or bat at him. She doesn't usually hurt him, but he is totally crushed nonetheless.
My cat treats me this way most of the time, and I feel the same way your son does about it. :(

Maybe others will have some advice, but some cats are just aloof, either with everybody, or children, or whoever else they've decided isn't worth their time.

There are ways to teach her manners in regards to not hurting him, but if he's in her space when she doesn't want to share it, she's going to react. However, you could try something I saw on Jackson Galaxy - have your son take control of Tipsy's feeding and treats (if you give her treats). That way she will associate him with yummy and good things and may be more accepting of his touch.
 

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Two of our three cats are the same way with my 3-year-old.

I highly recommend doing as Jacq suggested - let your son give treats/food. It's also helped us a little to have our daughter come around when we've got one of the cats in our lap. They seem to feel a bit more at ease when we're there.

Neither one of them has completely accepted her yet, but at least they don't run full-speed out of the room like they used to!

Good luck!
 

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Thanks, I have already instituted the food/treat routine, My Cat From **** is mine and Tipsy's favorite show:) So far it hasn't had any real effect.Tipsy is not at all a lap cat, she's more of a pillow/furniture arm beside you cat. I have tried to have her pet him when she is snuggling up to me, and it does not seem to help :( Hopefully I can find something that works, or I will have to rehome her again, to a child-free home. I know my friend would be devastated, as would I, Tipsy and I have formed a special relationship. But my son comes first.
 

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That may sound really bad, and under different circumstance it would not be the case. But my son is going through some pretty rough stuff right now, and doesn't need anymore rejection. When I got Tipsy, though she is technically supposed to be my therapy pet, I was hoping she'd be good therapy for my little man as well.
 

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The first thing we need to know is how long you've had her. It can take a few months for a cat to settle in, and longer for a nervous cat.

Does she like toys? Things like laser pointers and wand toys would really help, because Tipsy and your son could play together without having to be in direct contact.

One thing to consider very strongly is that you have a four year old. To a cat they can be really scary if it isn't something they're used to. Kids are loud, they move fast, they cry or throw things...it's a lot for a cat. If you try to show Tipsy that your son can be quiet and calm around her you will probably see dome changes.

So start by talking to your son about the sort of things kitties like and don't like. If she's not a fan of him and he walks towards her she might feel like she's being chased! Have him sit on the floor and feed her treats a few times a day. Even one or two treats regularly will build a good association.

I'd suggest talking to your son about why she's shy, that it's a lot of change for her and she misses her first family. Why not make it into a lesson on being kind, gentle, and patient? I don't know your son, but I have yet to meet a child (or many adults TBH) who wouldn't benefit from just taking some time. You could also get him a stuffed kitty to 'show Tipsy how nice you can be to a kitty'...might buy some time, lol.
 
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