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Neglected cat, ticked off cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I adopted a year old DSH in August, and three weeks ago I moved out of my parent's house and into my own place. I don't have any other pets. The problem is, my cat isn't used to being alone, ever.
When she was in the animal shelter she was allowed out several times a day to play with people and other cats and animals, in my parent's house, there were other people around, two other cats and a dog. Now, all of a sudden I'm gone 9 hours a day at work and she is going insane.
About a week after moving, she started getting agressive with me. She wouldn't really attack me, but she did it in the "play agression" type way. I ignore her and don't play with her when she does this, but I know part of the reason she's doing this is because she wants attention. I'm afraid that ignoring her whenever she's agressive is just contributing to the problem.
I engage her in play as much as possible, but sometimes she just won't let off attacking me and being agressive.
I don't want to spend all my time with her pushing her away or ignoring her, does anyone have any suggestions for helping her to cope better when she's alone so much, and how I can encourage her to play more appropriately?

post #2 of 6
First, Welcome to TCS! Second, congrats on adopting and providing a home for your youngster.
It's really common when a young cat in a very sociable environment acts out when placed in a radically different environment. A couple of things might be going on here, which you sound like you have a handle on already, and they are that your little girl is "starved for attention" and still exhibiting kitten play needs - which is totally normal - and that the trick is to play at the same time every day, consistently, so she knows when it's proper play time. Another issue is her loneliness. Is there any way you can add another young cat - a sweet boy, perhaps? I know this is a LOT to even think about, but just a far-reaching question..... and if not, what kinds of toys or things do you use to play? A good cardio workout with a fishing pole/feather to run her around is great, as is "tag" or things to make her jump. As for the psychological adjustment, do you leave the TV on during the day when you're working? Animal Planet? or soft music? as well, is there a spot by a (closed) window where she can hang-out and have things to watch and "think about"?

It will take some time. Smother her with love and play. You are right to ignore her but not punish or scold her outside of regular play times....and she is still very young.....

I'm sure this thread will receive other responses and I look forward to hearing from the TCS family here on other ideas and reflections. Keep us posted on your girl and post photos and her name!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I would LOVE to have another cat, but I'm not making too too much money at this moment, I'm going to be moving again soon and just can't afford it! There was a black and white kitten named Petey I fell in love with, but again, I couldn't afford to pay for him then pay for his vaccinations and neutering. He and Zoe really got along too...Once I'm settled for good I'll start checking out the Humane Societies around here.

I leave the TV or radio on during the day (unfortunately I don't get Animal Planet here). I have seen her watching TV, so hopefully that keeps her occupied. I'm in a basement apartment now, so there's not a heck of a lot to see outside. She does spend time at the window though.

Zoe's favourite toys aren't storebought cat toys, she never seemed interested in them at the animal centre. I've got a little fuzzy pink pillow that I've tied to a string. When I'm gone I hang it from the door handle, she likes that, when I'm here, I toss it towards her and yank it back while she's in midair. Her favourite toy is a straw, and she loves fetch as well. There's always something on the floor here for her to "kill". The problem is, I think she prefers to play with someone, I don't see her playing by herself all that often, she's more likely to run up with the pillow in her mouth.

I used to take her for walks a lot (she does incredibly well on her leash and harness), but the house overtop of me has two dogs, I don't want to take her past them and stress her out even more. The new place I'm looking at has a shared backyard and porch, hopefully I'll be able to get her out more.

As you can tell, I tend to babble about her, sorry if this post is too long. How do I post pictures though? I found the "insert image" button, but what do I do from there?

post #4 of 6
Here is a far-out suggestion but it is possible for your parents to take her back and keep her as their own? Then maybe you could adopt another cat (or two when you are able). Your kitty is probably so used to that house, those people and her friends that she may just be happier living out her life there.
post #5 of 6
This could be pretty far out there, but:

Can you foster a cat? There have got to be cats that don't like shelters, or that a shelter doesn't have space for, that you could take care of temporarily. The thing about this is that the price of the cat's vet care--the major expenses--are usually paid by the shelter.

If your cat doesn't mind other cats, then possibly a foster could give her the company she needs while you save enough money to get a new permanent-resident cat (which, knowing how cat lovers are, is quite likely to be the foster cat...).
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by inkl View Post
How do I post pictures though? I found the "insert image" button, but what do I do from there?
This link explains how to post pictures: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14474
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