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Hi. I adopted two kittens back in August. Both came with their share of problems, and I feel that I may have made them worse. Both kittens suffered through the feline flu, intestinal worms, and ringworm. From the age of 6 weeks (when I got them) until about 16 weeks they had to be bathed and medicated, processes which both kittens hated.

One kitten, which has been totally antisocial from the start (it hid in my closet for its first three days at my home,) runs from the sight of any other human being than myself. It recently was so spooked at the sight of a human that it ran directly into a child-proof gate and got its neck stuck. I have noticed a very slow improvement with this cat around me (it approaches me so its neck can be scratched, then it disappears,) but her behavior around everyone else has earned her the name Xena, for xenophobe. She spends most of her time under my bed or in the corner of my room.

So how was the problem with the above kitten worsened by me? I believe the answer lies in the behavior of my second kitten. This kitten was wonderful in the start. It was adventurous, curious, affectionate, and didn't mind being picked up. Unfortunately, medicating and bathing the kitten resulted in nothing but Herculean squirms and shreaking meows. It does not avoid people anywhere near to the extent of the other cat; in fact, it still wanders all over the house and plays with the dog. However, any attempts to pick this cat up without wearing gloves, heavy pants, a thick sweater, and a full mask would be a dire mistake on any human's part. Unfortunately this cat will lie in the center of my kitchen, and such comfort in public decieves people into believing that it will liked to be picked up.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I feel that these cats are afraid that somebody is going to harm them like we did before. (It took about 4 people to get these cats to take their medicine.) I never meant to do anything unconfortable, but there really was no option because they were dropping weight and losing all their hair. So what I would really like to know is if anybody has any advice on how to help these kittens get out of such antisocial tendencies before they become cats. They are about 7 months old now. I hope it isn't too late. I would appreciate any suggestions or recommendations that any member of this board has. Thank-you for your time.
Steve.
 

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Sounds like a troublesome situation but it's really not. Max, my monster of a Mau will not allow others to pick him up, they don't even try. I do not consider it a problem with Max's behaviour but rather a fierce loyalty to me. He will allow me to hold him until my arms tire, in fact Max doesn't even like to be petted much by strangers nor women with too much perfume....he hates that.

I am no pet Psychic, but I wouldn't worry about it, they will come around if you just show them affection and play with them each day. I try to spend time with each of them separately. It keeps them feeling "special".
 

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Dont give up! These little kitties have had quite a rough start. I would suggest being very patient and constantly reward each one every day, especially when you're playing, their being affectionate or brave. It will take time but I think they will come around. And keep in mind that like humans, cas have their own distinct personalities, and thats what makes them so special. Our Twinkles, (the kitty in my avatar) was very frightened too. It took her a long time to come around.....I really feared that she wouldn't want our affection like our little guy Snuggles who craved it. But slowly, she became more affectionate and less afraid. She is still very fearful when people knock on our door. She will hide and sometimes come out to see who is over but not all the time. She decides, and that's ok with me. Good luck let us know what happens.
 

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None of my cats are big on being held for too long. They don't freak out if they're picked up and they don't claw but they shift around in such a way as to let me know they would rather be on the floor (unless it's Nori being held up to the ceiling fan danglies.. she loves that). This doesn't bother me because they are all very affectionate when it's on their terms. They love sitting in my lap or in a chair beside my computer chair and they all sleep with my husband and I.

My best advice would be to give them lots of love and affection but do it on their terms. It will take a lot of patience but I believe they'll come around.
 
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