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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I just got a new kitty from the Toronto Humane Society (they had a 650 cat surplus!). I am a first time cat owner and I have been reading this board religiously as well as Dr. Jean's excellent advice but I have some issues I would like to bring up and see if anyone has any comments or suggestions.

My kitty (I think I will call him Karma) is black and was only at the shelter for a few days before I adopted him. The Humane Society staff informed me that he is shy and a timid at 10 weeks of age, but should start moving around after 2 days or so. Lo and behold, by the 2nd day, he came out to eat and use the litter box (Yay! He hasn't had an 'accident' yet!). From the start he allowed me to pick him up and by the 3rd day when I pet him he would roll over sideways and let me rub his tummy while purring and licking my hand, however, he would never come up to me for attention; I would always have to go to him. He lies in his kitty bed all day pretty much unless I bring him out.

The only time when he comes out willingly is when I feed him before work and when we have our nightly play session at about 9-11pm. I always make sure to praise him in pets and verbally whenever he comes nearby but as I said, he's not an attention seeker. That said, when 9-11pm comes around, he goes pretty crazy with 'da bird'! After his play session I sit in his room and he nimbly walks around, over to the inclined scratcher (that he never uses but sniffs it for the catnip) and behind me, seemingly doing his own thing.

I've experimented a few times, just sitting in his room waiting to see if he comes up to me for pets but he never does; he just kind of looks at me curiously but would back off if any noise is heard BUT if I leave, he meows and yowls and mews until I return. When I let him out of his room, he quickly finds a shaded secluded area and hides there. I've tried just sitting in the room (for hours) doing my own thing but he would not come out until I decide it's time for him to return to his own room and escort him there.

I know he enjoys my company, he purrs and gazes (lovingly :wink: ) into my eyes with his half shut, licking my hand and cuddling in pleasure. He has never tried to leave my lap once I place him there (who would, infinite pets!), however, I don't think it has clicked in his head that he has to come to me for attention.

Am I giving him too much attention? Should I let him be attention depraved for a while so that he has to come out to me? How can I help him get more comfortable with exploring the house without hiding? We do have very high ceilings, which I read that kittens might be scared of. Do any of you think the Feliway Diffuser would help?

I would like to think that time alone would help but what do I do during that time; keep doing what I'm doing or wait for him to come to me? I fear that as time passes (as I've mentioned, 10wks old already), his socialization period will go farther and farther away and it will be harder to bond with him.

Whew :) Any comments or suggestions or questions will be well appreciated!
 

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I think you should give him as much love and attention as you want to. If he gets sick of it, he'll eventually leave. He may even realize its sooo nice to be with you that he'll start coming to you. He's probably still a little unsure.

Also, Addison cries a lot when he's by himself, and I usually call him out where I'm at or go in and see why he's whining. He usually just wants me to be there... don't have to pet him or anything, just be in the room. I'm starting to think that if I come to him every time he cries, it'll teach him that all he has to do is make some noise and I'll appear. So I'm trying to get him to come to me instead of crying.

I'm also a first time cat owner and just trying to do what I think seems right. Hope it helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm trying not to come every time he calls but it's hard, expecially knowing that he hasn't learned he can come to me yet. How old is Addison and how long as he been with you?

Today I lured Karma out from behind the sofa with 'da bird' and as he was heading back to his hiding spot, I gave him a firm 'No.' and he stopped and didn't go back in! It seems he responds very well to 'No'. When he was in my room playing with my computer cables and heading for the space behind my bed (where I can't reach), I told him 'No' and he didn't go back there again nor go near my computer cables!

It seems that my kitty is far FAR more social at night, but I can't play with him that late every night, I have to eat and shower and prep to go to sleep (job starts early) so I hope there is some way of helping him adjust to my time table. When I play with him after work (around 6pm) he usually won't be interested but at around 9pm (nightfall) he is very chipper and meows for my attention a lot.
 

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It doesn't sound very nice, but you can teach him to follow your schedule. Atleast you can modify his a bit. If you wake him up for a few days and play with him each time he's sleeping during the day...he'll be more tired at night and eventually his sleeping patterns will change. It took about 3 days to convert my kitten to a night sleeping pattern, however she does wake up at about 5am and is ready to go!
 

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Well the thing with that is that I never catch him sleeping! I suspect he sleeps at night but every morning at 6am he's awake. When I come home at 5:30pm he's awake but not as energetic nor playful nor social as later that night when the sun sets.

This is very odd. I don't think he sleeps while I'm at work because if he wakes up when I come in after work, wouldn't he be extra energetic? Very odd. And to avoid any confusion, he doesn't sleep between 5:30 and 9pm either.
 

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You sound like you're doing pretty well so far.

Sometimes body language can get your point across, as well. When you're sitting there and he's looking at you curiously, try adopting a non-threatening, approachable manner. Yawn. Instead of looking him in the eye, look over his shoulder and just past him, or even up at the ceiling. If you look him in the eye, blink slowly (close your eyes for a full second and slowly open them again...and yeah, you'll feel as silly as I did). He may be wondering why you're looking at him and be hesitant to approach a direct stare. I used to read to Assumpta while she was curled up on my chest because she seemed to really like the vibrations (I still do this when she's sick, and she puts her nose right up against my throat, so cute). But she was full-grown when she came to us, as well.

He's probaby still adjusting to both a new home and being without littermates and other cats (or at least it sounds like he is). He might start feeling more comfortable in the rest of the house if you can coax him into playing there occasionally...nothing makes new surroundings less scary like a good mousie-toy does! Just make sure that you're not taking away his little hiding place by always telling him "no" when he wants to go there, it can be really unnerving to not have a "secret hideaway." You can try standing at the door and talking when he cries instead of going in, and gradually start to call gently to him from the next room instead, so that the sound of your voice can reassure him (and eventually, he may start to come and find you instead of just crying).

I have NO clue how to reschedule a cat...I've never been able to find Assumpta's reset button, so I get a paw up my nose most mornings at 4AM. :lol:
 

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Addison is about 3, according to the vet. It seems about right I guess. I've had him for almost 4 months now. He spent a lot of time hiding at first, but he's really opened up lately and is getting braver. He's not even afraid of the dog anymore! I think she annoys him more than anything, with all the sniffing and nosing and running around him.

Cats are creatures of night. Mine used to want to play when I went to bed, and would take the time while I was sleeping to explore the deepest corners of my closet. Now he pretty much sleeps all night. Either that or quietly walks around the house, I'm not sure. He still wakes me up really early, but I try to ignore him.

Does he have a lot of toys to play with while you're not there? Most cats sleep all day, mine does too. At least if he's got toys, he may use up some of his energy. Within a month or two you'll both find your ways of living together happily.

Oh, I love the name Karma too, I meant to tell you that earlier but forgot :)
 

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Hehe my kitty kisses me on the nose and lips now when I'm petting him and I lean down. I'm a little concern because it seems like he has developed a cold. He's sneezing a lot and has a stuffy nose.

Every day it seems he's making more progress, getting used to his new environment! Today when I came home, he came out and walked around me meowing, wanting me to pet him on my lap and watch some tv. When I put him down tho he still likes having something over his head (lying under a table, desk, etc)

I still keep him locked in his room when I'm not home or when we're sleeping so I have no problems with being waken... yet.

Yup Karma has two catnip balls and a stuffed squirrel which he never plays with as well as 'da bird', his favorite pen and a ball of paper. It looks like catnip works already at his young age but he doesn't seem to be expecially attracted to it. I know it works though because he goes to sit on the inclined catnip treated scratcher at night to get high before we play catch da bird.
 

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Yay it has been a week since my kitten has been here and he's coming out now, and acting like he belongs :p I bought him a 3 tiered scratching post and he LOVES it, expecially sitting on the top floor so he can see everything that happens without moving.

Thanks to those who replied for their wisdom and insights! I'm sure Karma will get along just fine now.
 
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