Cat Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, as some of you know we brought a two year old cat, Hanna, home two and a half weeks ago. She had some health issues, which we treated and now she's out and about in the house. I have a two year old daughter, who is VERY gentle with animals. She's good about soft touches as we have been diligent about watching her and teaching her how to respect animals... Our cat Red (and Boober before he passed) never minded her petting them. She gets a bit rambunctious with the dog every once in a while, but he likes it and we always watch her. Anyways, tonight Hanna was lounging on one side of me on the couch, and my daughter was snuggled in on the other side. Then my kiddo starts giggling and talking about Hanna, and I told her to touch her gently (which she did), and to my great surprise Hanna turned around and swatted her with both paws on the head/face.

Thankfully there were no scratches, and my daughter seemed okay (it scared me more than her), but I'm uneasy about Hanna around her now. Do you think she reacted like that because she's so new? She's just been out of quarantine for three days now. Is it likely and possible that she will warm up to my daughter? It wouldn't bother me so much if Izzy had been being rough with her, or pestering her, but like I said, she was very gently reaching out to stroke her and I was right there. Is it possible that she will always be like that with Izzy? I'm not comfortable with an animal in the house that is aggressive towards my kid, especially when I am present and she wasn't provoking her...

Thoughts?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,383 Posts
I think it's too soon to tell...a 2 year old cat that has not been exposed to young children is naturally going to be very nervous about the situation.

A question...when your daughter patted Hanna...did Hanna see it coming? I'm trying to envision the positions you were in, combined with your comment that Hanna "turned around"...I'm wondering if maybe your daughter reached over and touched Hanna from the back? If so, one recommendation would be for your daughter to always approach Hanna from the front, allow Hanna to sniff her hand first and then "invite" your daughter to pet her by rubbing her head against the hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Maybe the cat is nervous of your daughter not because she has treated her badly or in a rough way but because kids will be kids and most of the time that means fast and noisy she has been spooked.

I'd give her more time and if you are really nervous try soft claws so that if she attempts to scratch, there will be no damage done. You have to remember that the cat will lash out if she feels threatened and this probably won't be the last time it happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,478 Posts
I don't think Hanna has had enough time to be comfortable with your daughter and it was just a reflex action. For a few weeks I suggest you tell your daughter that Hanna should not be touched at all. Have your daughter put down her bowl of food for all her meals (no free feeding with food left out all the time). Give your daughter the job of giving Hanna all her treats, say a couple several times a day. Have your daughter pull a cord around so Hanna and the other cats can follow it. You want Hanna to view that good things happen with your daughter. Let Hanna initiate any affection, and if she comes up to your daughter and rubs against her then your daughter can stroke her gently briefly. It's must be Hanna who decides to be friends with your daughter, and it's not something you can force, but she's more likely to try if she finds all interactions pleasant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,896 Posts
Nothing to add except to say that I thought Catloverami's advice was wonderful! I also felt it was important that no contact was "sudden" as suggested by other posters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the comments and suggestions, guys.

I don't know if Izzy startled her or not... I thought Hanna was aware that she was there, and I had been petting her as well and she was happy with that, but I suppose it is possible.

I've just been telling my daughter that we need to be quiet around Hanna, and not to touch her for now. I like the advice about trying to get them to interact in positive ways, and Izzy did offer Hanna treats tonight, which she gladly gobbled up. I'm not so sure play time will be great for the two of them, as she has a hard time playing with cat toys without accidentally bonking kitties in the head, and she doesn't like to hold the far end of the string or stick that the toys are on. I will try to have her give food and treats.

Also, I'm definitely going to give it more time, as I know there is an adjustment period for everyone, and I wouldn't want to make any hasty decisions... that's why I ask the questions here, haha! I'll keep up with the suggestions and hopefully it won't be too long before the girls can get along :)
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top