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Scaredy cat

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I know nobody can answer this without knowing her background, which unfortunately don't know either, but here goes...

I'm trying to figure out my baby Lily. She's about 6-7 months old now and a scaredy cat. With the help of Feliway she has settled down a lot, but it's the places she's scared which I think is strange.

If we're lying on a bed (our bed, or the bed in our spare room), she's miss love bug. Snuggly, cuddly, meows at us until we pat her, and then mews and purrs contentedly while we give her pats.

Away from the bed though, she runs in fear when we try to pat her. She's ok in our bedroom, and will generally let us pat her when she's in there, but still often freaks out when we go near her.

Anywhere else in the house, she'll generally run when you go near her. If she's sleeping and we approach her slowly and quietly, she'll let us pat her, and enjoy it. If she's running away from us, and we manage to get hand on her back, she'll stop, and purr and remember that she likes pats, and stay while I give her attention.

Apparently she'd travelled about 30 miles under the hood of a car when the car owner found her dehydrated and scared to death when they got to their destination.

I chose her because they weren't taking her out of her cage at the shelter to play in the play area because it was a busy Saturday and too scared, but when I put my hand in to pat her, she purred and rubbed against me, then came to the front of the cage cautiously to get more pats. She had that look of fear in her eyes, yet she trusted me to give her pats. I fell for her immediately.

It's just so weird that she completely trusts us when she's on the bed, but so scared the rest of the time. She plays happily with the other kitties, and generally seems pretty happy otherwise, but I can't think of what could have possibly happened to her when she was little to make her like this. Does anyone have any ideas to the possible cause of this behaviour? We got her at about 3 months old from the local shelter.
post #2 of 3
A lot of stray cats and even kittens are not treated so nicely out in the cruel world, she could be holding on to those fears of people chasing her away or trying to kick her. Our stray (that used to be a pet) has been with us a year and she'll still randomly spook at odd things.

When you're laying on a bed your in a very non-threatening position, and on her level, but when you're standing up moving towards her, it can be very scary. How long have you had her? I'd give it some more time, the more comfortable she gets in your home, the less skittish she'll start to get.

Good luck!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
That's the thing though - hubby and I will lie on the floor and slowly approach her while trying to stay lying on the floor, and she still runs away. So not only do we feel like idiot, we still don't get to pat her She is just the most loving cat at night time, and it breaks my heart to see her get so scared.

We've had her a little over 3 months now. I mean, there's no way we'd give her up, and I will continue trying to reassure her and approach her slowly, and I'm sure she'll get better, I would just love to know what sort of events could cause this.

I never thought about people trying to chase her away - as a kitten that certainly could leave a lifelong fear of people.

If the cats are on the dining room table, we generally clap our hands loudly and say NO and OFF to them. If she was chased away as a kitten, I guess that sort of method for getting her off the table may cause fear in her rather than succeeding in keeping her off the table.
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