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Discussion Starter #1
I'm worried about my baby Yoda. She is so different from the other cats we have - sometimes I think that she is not the typical cat.

She is very shy quiet cat (doesn't meow much, doesn't do crazy stuff like the other cats), she likes to stay in quiet environment and she comes to my lap sometimes and she loves to be petted! She is a purring machine!!!

I love her so much but I'm not sure what to do about her behaviour.

There were 3 things which happened in the past (she is 9 months now):

1. At 4-5 months we took our cats to my parents in law. My brother in law has a dog and he wanted Yoda to get close with the dog. The dog was scared, Yoda was scared... He took both of them on his lap and both were trying to escape. The dog got out , Yoda tried to escape (he wouldn't let her go) and scratched him in his face and ran away from him.

2. At 6-7months we went to parents in law again. There were many people (we were celebrating something). My gf (who has a cat at home) was holding Yoda on her lap (Yoda saw my gf many times in our home and was ok with her). Yoda didn't like it and almost scratched her in the face - then my gf let her go and Yoda ran away from the room.

3. The same day, my father in law took Yoda on his lap. She did the same thing - she was even hissing at him! The truth is, she saw him only few times in her short life.

4. Few days ago-me and my husband were trying to clean Yoda's ears. She was about to scratch him in his face...We let her go and didn't want to continue.

5. Yesterday, our cats were at the vet cleaning their ears because of ear mites. The vet had problems with Yoda, she wouldn't stay still.

I know, all of these actions happened when she was extremelly stressed - the first 3 and last one didn't happen at our home.

She is a very good cat and normally very friendly - at least to us! Why is she suddenly agressive? I also think she doesn't have much courage and is affraid of anything. Is she aggressive because she is scared?

I would like to also say that she knows how to be disciplined. If I say "no" to her she understands and listens to me - the other cats usually ignore me. Yoda reminds me of DOG. :) She has very special part in my heart because she is a special cat!!!

Our other cats are very energetic cats, sometimes bite (friendly bites) and they never hurt anybody. They are very courageous cats.
I would expect them to be the bad cats - but they are not!

I would like to help Yoda to be a better cat... :( Is there anything I can do? How are your cats?
 

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My cat Ashley is very shy and timid. Yoda sounds a bit like her. However, Ashley was horribly abused the first few years of her life. Yoda sounds like she may be naturally a timid cat, and I'm sure being stressed out all those times added to her shyness. When cats are scared, they DO sometimes act out aggressively....you should probably try your best to keep her stress free for quite awhile, and don't try to force her to socialize....when she is more comfortable and secure, she will probably improve a great deal :)
 

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It's not entirely clear from your post...was Yoda being physically restrained or held in place during all of these events? Assumpta hates physical restraint, so we always try to do claw trims, medications, and the like after she's been sitting/relaxing on my husband's lap for a good long time; it seems to work better if we don't try to corral and restrain her all at once...instead, we bring the "bad" thing to her when she's already relaxed instead of trying to chase her down and hold her. If Yoda's aggression seems to center around being restrained, it may help to time your actions to her schedule when it's possible to do so.

When Assumpta came to live with us (as an adult cat, abused and dumped in the woods...in the dead of winter), she acted really aggressively when something scared her (and she was scared of a LOT of things...dogs, kids, women, feet, hands, brooms, sticks, tin cans, you name it). Instead of running away and hiding, though, she'd attack. It just took her a really long period of deconditioning to get over it (and some stuff I don't think she'll ever forget). She spent a lot of time learning what "no paws" and "no bites" meant, mostly during play sessions. I also spent a lot of time trying to communicate with her from across the room with slow blinks and yawns to calm her down when she got agitated. Mostly, we just tried to let her set the pace and we tried to not force new situations or people on her. She still much prefers a quiet environment without a lot of people or excitement, and she'll only tolerate being held by someone other than us for a few minutes. I watch her interactions with other people so that I can intervene and remove her when I see she's first starting to get annoyed or tired of their attentions...it's easier on everyone that way.

Just based on my experience with Assumpta, I'd say that anything you can do to reduce Yoda's stress level and intervene *before* she gets aggressive might be helpful. If you can pinpoint just what sets her off, then you can try to very slowly decondition the aggressive response in a controlled environment where she feels safe and not overstimulated.
 

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Absolutely right, Gudewife. All your points are excellent. Restraint does cause many cats to become frightened because their escape route is cut off; anything else added on to this becomes intolerable. She is only defending herself. Best just not to put her in this position, ever!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for all the replies!

I understand your point and I do agree with you.

We don't restrain her at all - except the stayes at my parents in law.

She is always fine with trimming her claws (compare to the other cats) - belive it or not, she purrs and lets us to touch her paws - she never had a problem with that. She also let me to brush her and stays still - the other cats like to run away. :)

I believe we treat her really well. She always let us to pet her and she stays on our laps - she is very loving towards us.

When we had only her and her sister Dunga, we called Dunga the leader. Yoda always follows after Dunga - which means, Yoda never starts doing something by herself (e.g watching fish, etc). She is definatelly not a leader type of cat.

She also likes being in the car...she usually sleeps while we are travelling. The other cats hate car!

I think she was probably stressed because she was in a different environment when we took her to my parents in law.

I remember, when my gf came to our apartment, Yoda came to her and slept on her lap. On the other hand - at my in-laws, the same gf kept her on the lap and Yoda didn't like it. I think it was all because of the stress - many people, noise.... I don't have other explanation.

I was surprised when she was aggressive when we tried to clean her ears though.... She usually lets us to do anything to her. I'm thinking maybe she didn't want us to touch her ears because she had ear mites and felt uncomfortable about it???

Me & my husband know that she really doesn't like stress and we try all the best to keep her out of it.

And, no, nothing bad happened to her in the past. We have her since she was 7-8 weeks old and we took very good care of her since then.
 

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I agree that expecting her to sit in laps at other people's houses or be friendly to dogs is too stressful for the poor thing. I'm imagining what my shy Lemur would do in that situation, and it makes me shiver.

If I had to take Lemur to someone else's house, I would probably give her her own room so she could be alone if she wanted, and let her come out if she wants to. Heck, she even hides at our house when people come over. I wouldn't force her to be friendly if she doesn't want to. It's just going to make her even more afraid.

As for the ear thing, I agree it was probably painful for her. My poor Lemur goes still and miserable when I clean her ears. Poor thing. If Yoda gets too upset, I suggest swaddling her in a towel first. That will restrain her safely and will probably calm her.
 
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