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I was just really realizing yesterday how different we humans are in size compared to little kitties. How are they able to be so calm around us, and even fall fast asleep? How are they not always, even a tiny fraction, afraid? How are they able to trust us so much??

I also thought about now tiny they are compared to us and was just adoring their cuteness, but then i thought about it that other way - what must they think to be so calm and cool aorund humans?

hmmm....
 

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I was just thinking of that too! Especially when we're walking and they'll walk next to us, we must be like giant moving mountains to them!!! Cats are just awesome :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was doing the same thing when i thought of it! lol. walking next to my tiny little 7 pound maybe half a foot tall (on all 4) baby Boo! lol.
 

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lol funny.. I actually had that cross my mind earlier when I went into the kitten room and one of my fosters kept looking up and up and up.. the fell on her tail trying to look up.. (I am almost 6'3) and she was right beside my foot.

one of the others will run over and jump on the play table just to be that much taller so I can pet her...
 

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How do they see us

I was just really realizing yesterday how different we humans are in size compared to little kitties. How are they able to be so calm around us, and even fall fast asleep? How are they not always, even a tiny fraction, afraid? How are they able to trust us so much??

I also thought about now tiny they are compared to us and was just adoring their cuteness, but then i thought about it that other way - what must they think to be so calm and cool aorund humans?

hmmm....
I adopted a cat yesterday who was abused by a group of boys, she came with her two sisters who were equally traumatized by the car ride to my house. But it seems like the abused cat is coming around more then her sisters so far. :?: I have never seen a sweeter face, not that her sisters aren't cute either. The abused cat is scared but a little curious around me. I've never dealt with abused animals before and I could use some advice? :kittyturn
 

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The abused cat is scared but a little curious around me. I've never dealt with abused animals before and I could use some advice? :kittyturn
Really, I think that all you can do is be gentle and kind and let the cat take the lead in the relationship. Don't try to push things.

I don't think Missy was abused as badly as Zenobi, but she's nervous most of the time; perhaps jumping when I move my foot.
 

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Missy says we can be noisy and clumsy especially when we bring out the terror machine and push it all over the place. She says that when I get one of these fits, it's best for her to hide until I calm down.

She also says that we can be downright stupid by not obeying or following instructions. Why, for instance, when she asks for chicken does she get some yuck out of a can, or crumbs from a bag.

Some of us also tend to be vocal. Yak, yak, yak. Then express susrprise when she walks away. And then there's making funny noises that she suspects are supposed to resemble her speech.

Still, there are the good points like providing shelter and a comfortable bed, plus stroking with the lucky ones getting brushing.

So all in all, she says, it balances out, giving a far better life than being locked in a cage, or left to fend for oneself on the streets or in the wilds.
 

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I don't think MowMow realizes he's smaller than I am, either that or he just doesn't care.

When he's laying in a doorway and I want to leave I have to step over him and he never seems concerned that I'd step on him. The few times I've stumbled over him he objects (loudly) but never runs. He seems to have no problems falling asleep belly up under my head or in my arms and always seems ok with me picking him up and manipulating him. It seems like it doesn't occur to him that I might drop him by accident... he just trusts...
 

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When I was bonding with the furkids one of the tricks I used that I heard from people who work with feral cats is to get small when you approach them till they learn to trust you. It took a long time for Mia to be comfortable with me looming over her .
 

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If a cat has been raised with people its whole life it's learned not to fear us since we've given it nothing to fear... however, a feral cat or cat that's been abused is totally different, they don't want you near them and the way to attempt to tame them/get close to them is to keep low to the ground and make slow movements.

I think all cats know we're bigger than them (unlike some dogs...) but it's their experiences with humans and a building of trust that make the difference.
 

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The abused cat is scared but a little curious around me. I've never dealt with abused animals before and I could use some advice?
It sounds like they're doing great if it's only been a day! An abused cat can take ages to come around... a cat in general that's never been abused can take weeks getting used to a new location, even. The best thing for them is to keep them in one room and if you think they feel safe in there allow them access to larger parts of the house for short periods. Some cats are always a little skittish, though.

When I tamed Blacky (took a year until she'd allow me close enough to pet her, after that breakthrough it was all - slowly - uphill) I thought it was all fairly straight forward in how to approach it. Imagine what you would do if you were faced with something akin to a towering grizzly bear. Now, imagine you're that bear in the cats eyes. You should stay low to the ground when interacting with them, make no sudden movements, don't make any loud noises, don't make eye contact, speak softly, and don't force things. If a cat is withdrawing from your proximity, don't keep trying to move forward (you wouldn't want that grizzly bear touching you either!). It'll take a little time but they should come around as they slowly build their trust around you. Sometimes cats take years to have their full personality emerge.
 

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The best thing for them is to keep them in one room and if you think they feel safe in there allow them access to larger parts of the house for short periods. Some cats are always a little skittish, though.
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind keeping the cat in one room. If it's already scared, then might it not feel trapped? If it's given the run of permissable areas (rooms) then if it gets scared it has more room to find somewhere to hide. Cats also tend to be somewhat inscrutable when they're afraid. How is one to judge if they feel safe in that one room? Cats love their freedom and it's possible that confinement will lengthen their period of adjustment.

Of course, all cats are different.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind keeping the cat in one room. If it's already scared, then might it not feel trapped? If it's given the run of permissable areas (rooms) then if it gets scared it has more room to find somewhere to hide. Cats also tend to be somewhat inscrutable when they're afraid. How is one to judge if they feel safe in that one room? Cats love their freedom and it's possible that confinement will lengthen their period of adjustment.

Of course, all cats are different.
I think you confine them to one room with safe hiding places because you wouldn't want a cat to hide just anywhere in your house. Many of the hiding places a cat might choose are dangerous, for example behind a washer machine/dryer (or heaven forbid inside of the dryer itself!). Another reason is that you want to have access to the cat. What if your cat is so scared that they don't eat for days? You need to know where they are AND be able to catch them in case you need to make a vet visit. Lastly, if you confine the cat to one room, then the cat will be forced to become acquainted and dependent on you for social interaction and food/water.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the reasoning behind keeping the cat in one room. If it's already scared, then might it not feel trapped? If it's given the run of permissable areas (rooms) then if it gets scared it has more room to find somewhere to hide. Cats also tend to be somewhat inscrutable when they're afraid. How is one to judge if they feel safe in that one room? Cats love their freedom and it's possible that confinement will lengthen their period of adjustment.

Of course, all cats are different.
That's just it, all cats are different. You're thinking in terms of a cat that will walk out of its box, sniff around the house, and then curl up in your lap. Queen/King of the castle from day one. For these cats, the run of the house almost immediately is fine, and so there really isn't a slow down of progress to them adapting to the whole house, as you'll be able to tell the cat is relaxed in the house and with your presence nearly right off the bat.

For a cat that's timid/had bad experiences/semi-feral, it doesn't work like that. The cat is out of the box and under the couch. They may not come out when you're around. It's hard to get a cat used to you when it's terrified of you and its new environment, in a huge home where it can have a million hiding spots. These cats may never come around properly if given the choice. You need to monitor these sort of cats, to make sure they're eating, using their litterbox, and so you can force interaction with them; they can't be five rooms over hiding behind the desk. Moreover, it's suggested for cats that are very shy that they don't have a large hiding spot, no going under a bed or something like that. A small cubbyhole-like space where you can reach in and grab them at any time if need be.
 

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Just going to add (geez, I never double post and now I'm doing it twice in one thread?!) it might sound like I was contradicting myself when I first said "don't force things" and then said in another post "You need to [...] force interaction with them"... the difference between the two is when I said "don't force things" I mean in the sense of actual contact. Don't just corner the cat into doing what you want, it won't appreciate it, could lash out (it might do this anyway from time to time), and might become submissive even though its terrified - forcing yourself like that when its frightened doesn't get you anywhere, it sets you back.

For example, don't keep moving your hand towards it to pet when it is showing signs that it doesn't want you to, leave your hand where it is, and then after a time just slowly withdraw the hand and try again in a few hours, repeat, repeat, repeat until the day when it doesn't mind your touch.

However, forcing your presence on the cat is crucial. By making it acknowledge that you're in the same room you're thereby making it spend time with you and this is how the cat will learn that you're not going to attack it, the cat can't get the notion its outsmarting you by hiding under the bed ("You don't know I'm under here! You can't reach me!") or spending time in another room ("I out ran you! You don't know where I am now!")... confinement is the method used to tame feral cats and kittens, so even when a cat is several steps down from feral this is still a very good method to start out with just to make sure you start on the right foot.

With Blacky, the taming took place outdoors... so it was a lot different, and likely took a fair bit longer due to this. But not only was I unable to get close enough to catch her until a year of working at it but even after that she was freaked out indoors and needed to adjust to the hose on her own terms. Some people think all taming/socializing should be done on the cats own time and I agree that this is ideal but realistically this may not have desirable results when a cat has been abused or feral.

With Blaze, who was a feral kitten, we just dumped him in the apartment, we were naive. He stayed curreld up on the couch in his bedding for weeks and would hiss when we approached - he was submissive though. He wasn't eating much at first. The apartment was around 700 square feet yet him being willing to walk close to the hallway of the building was something that took a year or more; I'm pretty sure he didn't like the voices out there. If his litterbox had been in a location he was scared of, that would've gone over really well. In fact, who knows, maybe that's why he's in the habit of peeing wherever he likes. If he'd been in a safe room he very likely could have been a happier more adjusted cat in a far shorter time. He warmed up to us in a few months, but even two or three years later we were seeing his personality change for the better, relaxing and becoming more affectionate in ways we hadn't expected.
 

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With Zenobi and her terrified hiding after she'd used her litterbox, it wasn't until I started ignoring her at those times that she started to relax. Talking to her in a soft calm voice when she hid did nothing. How was she to know what I was talking about and if my voice was threatening or not? After three months, and a lot of careful watching as I scooped the litterbox, she stopped being afraid.
 

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I think you confine them to one room with safe hiding places because you wouldn't want a cat to hide just anywhere in your house. Many of the hiding places a cat might choose are dangerous, for example behind a washer machine/dryer (or heaven forbid inside of the dryer itself!). Another reason is that you want to have access to the cat. What if your cat is so scared that they don't eat for days? You need to know where they are AND be able to catch them in case you need to make a vet visit. Lastly, if you confine the cat to one room, then the cat will be forced to become acquainted and dependent on you for social interaction and food/water.
I did say permissable places. If your house has dangerous places even a placid cat might get scared and go hide there at times. Washing machines should always be checked because I think cats see them as nice little caves. Cats are always getting into dangerous places no matter how they feel about their human(s).

I think food and water should always be available (dry food to avoid spoilage).

You see, I view cats as companions/friends with people as guardians/caretakers. Therefore I try to treat them as friends, not as something that is owned and must be forced into something. If I'm sharing my house with a cat that doesn't want (doubt this would be the case) to have anything to do with me, then that's the cats choice and should be honored.

Unfortunately Missy doesn't view me the same way and I am pushed to do things when I'm not in the mood. Like 4am feedings. :p :kittyturn
 

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The deer are waiting for me in the morning (0500) as are the foxes, sitting in the driveway like dogs. Midnight, the wild cat, is there too (he is on the porch waiting for me to open the garage access door). Why? Because I am the FOOD GUY! :p

Hence, Buttonhead number one:



And his offspring!



Then there is Mr. Squirrel. He runs up to me and sits until I give him a peanut. (that's right,I carry peanuts!)

This is what happens when you are an old retired guy. :p
 

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You see, I view cats as companions/friends with people as guardians/caretakers. Therefore I try to treat them as friends, not as something that is owned and must be forced into something. If I'm sharing my house with a cat that doesn't want (doubt this would be the case) to have anything to do with me, then that's the cats choice and should be honored.
Err, I view them as friends too. But sometimes they don't feel the same way because of bad experiences and/or never having known humans. In these cases, like I said, the cats might not come around themselves given the choice. So, if you want to live with a cat that's always going to be terrified of you and hide all day long, that's your business... but I don't think that's fair to the cat if something can be done about it. I think it's best for these cats to learn sooner rather than later (or never at all) that you aren't a threat. It's great that your cat came around after three months but this isn't always the case. It may have taken less time if confined to one area of the house, too. Confinement isn't a cruelty to a cat like this, and it's not a long-term solution, but for a few months in a windowed room I don't think this is a problem. It's also impossible to monitor where a cat runs and hides, you may think a location is secure but the fact is cats can squeeze into just about any location, even if it's as uncomfortable as anything.
 
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