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Thread: I'm afraid of my cat. What do I do?

  1. #21
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Cats are not pack animals like dogs who are dying to please you and they will do it on their terms only. Dogs are looking for a master cats are their own master.

  2. #22
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    I would guess that her previous owner was a man then, it's the type of human she feels safer with. She stares at you, because of fear and caution. So you sit in the room and sit with your husband quietly, you don't stare openly back. As j.man suggested slow blinks then you look away.

    Make sure you're the one to provide the treats, so to speak ignore her other than these little reassurances. She will adjust, but it will take time. My favorite kitty was afraid of boys when I rescued him, so he was terrified of my son. It took a lot of love and patience for my son to win him over, but he did with the treats and just in general simply being in a room with his attention focused elsewhere.

    It's only been a week, so this is still all new for her. And like I said I think her previous owner was probably a man OR she was somewhat mistreated maybe by a woman. However this can be overcome with patience and getting her to associate you with treats and good things.

    Keep following the excellent suggestions everyone here has given you. Even now my mom's cat will go through skittish periods with us, she didn't like anyone but my mom when we had to move her and my mother into my house. She now love bombs me on a regular basis, but even so she will never be Mr. Drooly Loves His Mommy the way my little rescue is.

    Make sure you both spend time with her too together, to give her the feel of being part of a family. They did a study once that found that barn cats are most similar to lions, they form "prides" and interact in ways that are very similar to lions. And I think that's true, because my cats have formed a "pride" with me and other members of the household, so to speak.

    Keep working, this isn't an overnight thing. Staring at you is something cats do when they're scared OR trying to figure things out, not that they're going to have a go at you. She'll be fine, but like I said make it a point to spend time in the room and get her used to your voice and smell.

  3. #23
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    my adult cat was at the shelter for about a year when I brought her home. She hid for the first 2 weeks, slowly but surely she came out of hiding but she is naturally a jumpy cat and just about anything scares her. You just have to let her adjust, she is an adult cat so she will take longer to adjust then a kitten. Some cats feel more towards men or women also so maybe that's it and she can probably sense your fear, so relax around her make sure you're doing all the feeding for the first while if you can! She will open up towards you with time

  4. #24
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    Thank you. Yes, it is a look that seems to be telling me "I can shoot lasers through my eyes and melt your soul so stay away from me human." She has not bitten or hissed at me. She did however growl a bit when I touched her. I get the feeling I'm going to wake up and see that she's trying to eat my hand off. I suppose I'm interpreting her behaviors incorrectly. I searched for Jackson Galaxy on the Animal Planet, but couldn't find any episode that related to my current situation. All the posters here are keeping me a float right now, so I appreciate all input. Thank you again.

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  6. #25
    Member GingerMay's Avatar
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    Thanks for your responses. Yes, I remember seeing this lounging kitty. I'm taking a deep breath, and taking all good advice.

  7. #26
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    She is just a scared cat not a voracious man eater.

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by Victoria66
    She is just a scared cat not a voracious man eater.
    LOL. So true.

  9. #28
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    Maybe this will help? Jackson has an entire series of handling anxious and scared cats on YouTube. And yes, I use them a lot when I'm dealing with rescues.

    [video=youtube;QDH57ytvu7U] ]

    P.S. Play the videos that follow as well too, they're great!

  10. #29
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    Also this episode will help you understand more of what to do with a cat that loves one partner before the other.

    EDIT: Realized this isn't the full episode. But this is Season 2, Episode 1: Terrorizing My Clients and if you can find the full episode, play that as it may help. Amazon has the episode for sale online here:

    In your case your kitty is not scratching you, so I think you're ahead. But episodes where a cat will get along with one individual, but not others in the household is probably what you want.

  11. #30
    Gold Member treesandbees's Avatar
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    Could give her little treats when you meet her in whatever room so you are then associated with something good and something that she likes and in time she will warm, hopefully. Does she just avoid and stare, no hissing or pouncing you? My shelter cat would go hide behind the washer and dryer and behind the sofa when she first came home after while she took more out in the open spots after getting a feel for things and me. Could there be a scent you wear that bothers her that he doesn't use that could affect her wanting to get close to you over him?

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