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Davidson's afraid :(  

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ever since we brought Davidson home, he's never liked John. He's really afraid of him, and we have NO idea why. John has never hurt him, yelled at him- anything. He's really quite sad that Davidson is like this around him, since he's supposed to be 'his' cat. Whenever John comes home, Davidson will run and hide under the bed, he won't come near me when I'm with John, its really quite sad

He's tried talking to him in calm voices, holding out his hand to let him smell him before he pets him- but we're at a loss- is there anything that we can do to hopefully change Davidson's outlook towards him? Its so sad!!
post #2 of 27
Tomas didn't like anyone else but me at first, I'm still his favorite

He likes my husband now and tolerates him picking him up when before he would struggle, he even jumps up in his lap for a bit of petting. The secret, Tomas LOVES his wet food so I make my husband feed at least one of the wet food meals to the cats everyday... or at least thats the excuse I used to make him feed the cats. It's too bad I can't use that for an excuse to make him scoop the litter box

Is there anything Davidson loves that could be used to help overcome his fear?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
I told John he should feed him their wet food, but he's not home when they usually eat- and they are on a pretty strict eating schedule. He won't eat treats, he just doesn't like them. I have no idea what to do. Davidson is SUCH a momma's boy, he's permenantly attached to my side!
post #4 of 27
Your best bet is to have John feed Davidson his daily wet food-every single time. That means that you can no longer feed him the wet. Lily has always been terrified of my dad, but after he started feeding her wet food, she now likes him.

Or else John could feed Davidson treats? Have you tried plugging in a Feliway diffuser(I know it's expensive if you're on a budget). What you really need to do is have Daidson make a positive association with John. Maybe have John play interactively with Davidson....

ETA: Sorry...didn't see your post before I posted! If you can, carry Davidson to John & have John pet him. That's my last idea...
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Your best bet is to have John feed Davidson his daily wet food-every single time. That means that you can no longer feed him the wet. Lily has always been terrified of my dad, but after he started feeding her wet food, she now likes him.
I think we might have to start donig that. Maybe every night before supper John can do that... I need to do something, I want them to have a good relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Or else John could feed Davidson treats? Have you tried plugging in a Feliway diffuser(I know it's expensive if you're on a budget). What you really need to do is have Daidson make a positive association with John. Maybe have John play interactively with Davidson....
I don't think a diffuser would work, not since we're on a tight budget- and Davidson doesnt' eat treats- he's a bit picky! We've tried having John on the floor playing with both Harley & Davidson (Harley adores John) and Davidson will just sit back and hide behind the chair watching with big eyes, looking terrified! I don't know if its because I'm home all the time and he's just not used to John being around as much? Which shouldn't matter because he's been around since Davidson was born!

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
ETA: Sorry...didn't see your post before I posted! If you can, carry Davidson to John & have John pet him. That's my last idea...
I've tried that before too, and he will FREAK out- he will arch his back and claw the heck outta me, I don't want him to associate being afraid with John anymore!
post #6 of 27
Maybe look at some of the tips for taming ferals? It couldn't hurt. Could you wear John's shirts when holding Davidson? Maybe smelling him on you, someone he loves and trusts, could help get Davidson used to him a little. Also, no heavy walking, loud shoes/boots. That startles Tomas and has bothered cats I've had in the past. Strange as it sounds, just the way certain people walk can spook a cat. Maybe they think they're being chased?

My BIL lumbers around, Tomas runs from him.

Do you feed only one meal of wet daily? I feed a morning and night meal. A can split between the two each meal. Since my husband comes home a little after 11pm I let him get the night meal and it's helped make Sho and Tomas both look forward to when he gets home, they start looking around for him at 11.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Maybe look at some of the tips for taming ferals? It couldn't hurt. Could you wear John's shirts when holding Davidson? Maybe smelling him on you, someone he loves and trusts, could help get Davidson used to him a little. Also, no heavy walking, loud shoes/boots. That startles Tomas and has bothered cats I've had in the past. Strange as it sounds, just the way certain people walk can spook a cat. Maybe they think they're being chased?

My BIL lumbers around, Tomas runs from him.

Do you feed only one meal of wet daily? I feed a morning and night meal. A can split between the two each meal. Since my husband comes home a little after 11pm I let him get the night meal and it's helped make Sho and Tomas both look forward to when he gets home, they start looking around for him at 11.

They get fed a meal at noon everyday and then again around 7PM.

I've worn Johns shirts around before, and it doesn't help any

I'm just at my wits end here, I guess the one thing we'll have to do is have John start feeing them their night meal, its worth a shot anyways.
post #8 of 27
Let John feed them ....
post #9 of 27
hmm, Well sounds kinda like heyu only person allowed to touch or pet her is me. No one else. WE finally got her to stop running from dad & itta. Even after a week or so in the hospital she she would not let itta more then a few feet near her. The one thing we were going to try before itta went back to indo is have itta give her a little tuna.

maybe John could try that also. but having him take over at least one wet food feeding sounds like the best bet rightnow.
post #10 of 27
I'm wondering what kind of work John does. I ask because of what environmental smells he may have clinging to him when he comes home.

Is he a large man? Prone to sudden movements? Very deep or loud voice?

I know that many times a lot of my cats will get spooked easily by my house-mate because he tends to be louder and faster moving than I. Wearing shoes can also make a difference.

One of our cats always bolts if Steve coughs when in the same room, whereas I can cough and he will just lay on my lap. It sometimes bothers Steve that some of the cats will spook so easy, but for the most part they love and trust him almost as much as me.


The feeding may help, but I think it's important to keep his profile low and his movements slow and quiet. Try not to feel anxious about wanting the interaction because that will only add to Davidson's level of stress.

Most times the tact of ignoring them and they will come to you works over time.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru View Post
I'm wondering what kind of work John does. I ask because of what environmental smells he may have clinging to him when he comes home.

Is he a large man? Prone to sudden movements? Very deep or loud voice?

I know that many times a lot of my cats will get spooked easily by my house-mate because he tends to be louder and faster moving than I. Wearing shoes can also make a difference.

One of our cats always bolts if Steve coughs when in the same room, whereas I can cough and he will just lay on my lap. It sometimes bothers Steve that some of the cats will spook so easy, but for the most part they love and trust him almost as much as me.


The feeding may help, but I think it's important to keep his profile low and his movements slow and quiet. Try not to feel anxious about wanting the interaction because that will only add to Davidson's level of stress.

Most times the tact of ignoring them and they will come to you works over time.

John works in the Body Shop (car repair) business- he's a tech that works on cars. He doesn't do any sudden movements around him, and doesn't have a super deep voice either.

He does smoke tho (cigarettes) maybe he just associates the smell with him b/c he doesn't like it?
post #12 of 27
It could be the way he smells. Do you wrinkle your nose at him when he comes home? If the smell bothers you at all it's sure to offend some kitties.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
It could be the way he smells. Do you wrinkle your nose at him when he comes home? If the smell bothers you at all it's sure to offend some kitties.
No, I think he smells good

John doesn't go near Davidson until he's showered either, so I have no idea what his deal is!
post #14 of 27
Aside from making him feed the cats, I'm out of ideas.

Leave him on the floor covered in catnip? tuna? or a new blend of catnip, tuna juice, and feliway cologne?
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Aside from making him feed the cats, I'm out of ideas.

Leave him on the floor covered in catnip? tuna? or a new blend of catnip, tuna juice, and feliway cologne?
Thats quite the combo!!
post #16 of 27
This is very common (though each cat will react more strongly or less so than others) and I think it's a recognition in a male cat's eyes of the 'man of the house' (relative to you, his female), which makes the cat afraid of him. A lot of my males have done it, some almost not at all, others more obviously, and there's little 'the man' can do but be consistently very gentle and slow moving around the cat, not push for pats, etc., and accept the cat's built-in feelings. Now, female cats may not give you the time of day, but snuggle like mad with your husband and play up to him! Apparently neither gender has read any politically correct feminist books lately!
post #17 of 27
Mackenzie Sophie is exactly the same when Gil comes down and i've no idea either because Gil would never shout or hurt my two in anyway (pfftt he wouldn't dare!)

When he comes down Rosie's all over him, but i always put it down to her being used to having a male in the house from her being a kitten when i was with my ex.

Like Davidson, Sophie is a mummy's girl through and through but it's so funny when Gil comes down because while she walks past him she looks at him as if to say "Are you still here!!"
post #18 of 27
I don't know what to tell you to do any different, maybe Davidson is just afraid of John because he associates him with the vet?

I am sending some prayers and hugs from Mississippi for Davidson that he will learn to love John.

post #19 of 27
I think you've been given some great tips here, and I don't have anything to add. I just wanted to wish you the best of luck, and I'm sure Davidson will come around
post #20 of 27
Oh no, I am so sorry things are like this!
I really hope little Davidson comes around. Maybe it is the cigarette smoke he doesnt like, if thats really the only thing he does thats different to you.
I hope John feeding him does the trick!
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSULOVER View Post
I don't know what to tell you to do any different, maybe Davidson is just afraid of John because he associates him with the vet?
I don't know why he would do that, John's never taken him to the vet- and Davidson's disliked John WAY before we even took him for his 1st checkup
post #22 of 27
Missy 'flirted' outside with my husband for several days before he brought her inside, she never came up to me outdoors. Once she was in she wanted nothing more to do with him.

Since I've been on vacation and DH is the one giving the food she has really come around, even sitting on his lap and purring.

Hopefully you'll get similar results if John starts feeding Davidson
post #23 of 27
I missed how you got Davidson. Was he a rescue?
Karma was like that for the first 6 months or so with my DH. She would very never go near him and would attack him for no reason. We found out shortly after rescuing her that the couple who owned her didnt treat her very well. The woman liked her and was nice to her but the man did not. He would yell at her, through things at her and was just basicly mean. Because of this she did not trust men. She still doesn't trust any other men but my DH. She was force into trusting him when I got a job outside of the house. If she need food or anything while I was at work she had to go to him. She still has some issues with him but likes to cuddle him now and is not attacking him as much. I started having him interact with her more. He would play with her stuffed tiger with her and play fetch with her. She still won't eat if her feeds her though. For some reason she thinks only I know how to feed her. He changed her litter for the first time yesterday and she flipped out. I was at work but he said she kept running up to him and was bitting and punching.
I say give them alone time. Have him play Davidsons favorite games. He will come around. It just may take some more time and a bit of pateince.
post #24 of 27
Mackenzie, does John wear shoes or hard soled slippers in the house? From what I noticed with my lot (the girls, mainly) they disliked men who 'clumped' around in their shoes - I can understand how scary that could be at their size!

Does John try to get Davidson's attention? Maybe if he ignores him and doesn't try so hard, it will help Davidson to realise that John isn't so scary. Play with Davidson near to John and entice him closer each time (take it slowly though)

With that and John feeding Davidson, it might just work

I have my fingers crossed for you all
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmasMom View Post
I missed how you got Davidson. Was he a rescue?
Karma was like that for the first 6 months or so with my DH. She would very never go near him and would attack him for no reason. We found out shortly after rescuing her that the couple who owned her didnt treat her very well. The woman liked her and was nice to her but the man did not. He would yell at her, through things at her and was just basicly mean. Because of this she did not trust men. She still doesn't trust any other men but my DH. She was force into trusting him when I got a job outside of the house. If she need food or anything while I was at work she had to go to him. She still has some issues with him but likes to cuddle him now and is not attacking him as much. I started having him interact with her more. He would play with her stuffed tiger with her and play fetch with her. She still won't eat if her feeds her though. For some reason she thinks only I know how to feed her. He changed her litter for the first time yesterday and she flipped out. I was at work but he said she kept running up to him and was bitting and punching.
I say give them alone time. Have him play Davidsons favorite games. He will come around. It just may take some more time and a bit of pateince.

Nope, not a rescue, he was a litter from John's Mom's cat- Harley's 1/2 brother anyways. When Davidson was an itty bitty baby, he didn't have problems with John... I don't know what triggered this reaction!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar View Post
Mackenzie, does John wear shoes or hard soled slippers in the house? From what I noticed with my lot (the girls, mainly) they disliked men who 'clumped' around in their shoes - I can understand how scary that could be at their size!

Does John try to get Davidson's attention? Maybe if he ignores him and doesn't try so hard, it will help Davidson to realise that John isn't so scary. Play with Davidson near to John and entice him closer each time (take it slowly though)

With that and John feeding Davidson, it might just work

I have my fingers crossed for you all
Nope, he doesn't wear shoes in the house...

Today I had John feed the boys their wet food. At first Davidson was right up near him like he is with me when I feed them, meowing, and then John put the bowls down, and he was able to pet him for a good minute, and then he got scared and ran off So I had to coax him out and then he ate alright.

He hides whenever John is home, and if I'm on the couch near John, he won't come near him, even if I try to play with both of the boys near him. Its so frusterating!!
post #26 of 27
Awww kenzie- it's ok It's actually not too uncommon for a kitty to cling to one person and be a scardy cat around the other. Isabella is exactly the same way. She is petrified of everyone except my mom and I. Even Colin! And his home is the first one she was ever in as a kitten when i first started fostering her. He is the first person who could get her to play (she was soooooo several abued by her breeder that she was even scared of toys! (that's a whole other story)/ She is still scared of just about everything - but she has gotten a bit better. I'm sooooooo not looking foward to a few weeks down the road when i move the girls into Colin's house. I know without a doubt she is going to freak out and go balistic. She doesn't adjust well to change. So we're setting up a guest bedroom just for the kitties and we are building a massive kitty gym with lots of hide away places on it and good height to it so she'll feel a bit more comfortable. I tried feliway- never worked around her....so i don't suggest wasting money you don't have on it unless you think it will work. What has helped is getting her slowly adjusted and used to household sounds and other animals. She still hides away and runs at the slightest sound or loud noise. I've gotten used to it.....i just make sure that when she gets nervous she has a nice quiet spot that she feels comfortable in to go to. I never chase after her or pick her up when she's scared (i don't want to reinforce that behavior.) / I did notice that she does really well around my siamese Jasmine. She is like her baby- and since Jasmine has "adopted her" she has done much better. I know harley and davidso are already bonded -so that helps a bit. / The best thing to do for now is let John perhaps help feed them....very slowly and gently and just be patient. He will come around eventually. He may never bond with John...but hopefully he will at least get accustomed to him and not run off as much. Good luck sweetie.
post #27 of 27
It could be the cigarette smoke. Our cat sleeps on the bed with us, except when we've been out for the evening, when he won't come anywhere near us. Neither of us smoke, but think it's the smell of other people's smoke on us that he doesn't like.
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