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Scaredy Cat!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'am a first time mother, never raised a kitten before so i'am unfamiliar with their ways and habits.

So my 3 month old kitten Zion is a little afraid of me!
I adopted him when he was about 2 months, and he was very affectionate. He used to climb into bed with me and cuddle. He used to "massage" me with his paws as he sat in my lap...
NOW, its like hes so DISTANT!!?? Is this the usual kitten behavior?
For example, he "creeps" into bed with me. He walks very slowly and if I catch him (or look at him), he makes a noise and runs away!! Like hes scared or something? He also HATES it when I pick him up to hold. He always bites at my arm!

post #2 of 7
It could be. Are you yelling at him loudly? He might be afraid of a loud voice or think that you're going to yell at him again. Can you try to talk to him very softly and in a cutesy voice when he gets near you for love, that way he associates the cute soft voice with love.
post #3 of 7
in what way do you scold him ? what does he do?
post #4 of 7
3 months is awfully young for a kitten to start distancing itself already
It could be because you spooked him somehow, either from the scolding or maybe you made a loud noise. Dropped something that scared him, could have been carrying something he didn't like. Maybe even a smell on you recently that upsets him.
You could try cat treats, give him one whenever you pet him and pick him up. Don't restrain him either when you hold him, this might be why he is biting. Try changing how you scold him and focus more on redirecting him to what he should be doing. Not all cats respond to scolding the same, some get very upset over it. Right now your kitten is young and probably thinks mommy is mad at him.

Oh and it's possible he can sense if you're upset or frustrated, and is responding to this as well. Remember, don't get mad at him for his behavior, no matter how bad it is he's just a baby.
post #5 of 7
If you have been scolding him with a loud voice, it probably scared him. I try not to scold my little ones with any loud noises. Depending on what the situation is, I am persistant in stopping them from doing whatever they are doing. I don't have any kids but I guess it's similar to how you want to punish your children. You want them to be afraid of you or be affectionate with you? For example, my kitties love to jump on the counter. I either will say "no no" or take them off the counter and ignore them. After a while, they stop doing that, at least while I'm around.

Good luck! I hope Zion will turn around. Not sure whether it helps but I talk to my cats with a cutesy voice all the time.
post #6 of 7
For such a scared kitten, maybe you are better off "making friends" with him before picking him up again. Get down on his level and play, pet him gently, always let him have an escape route if he wants it, lure him out with cat treats or bits of cooked chicken (no bones!)... Just basically baby him like the kitten he is.

Discipline... Well, cats are more consequence-oriented than people-oriented. When you discipline a dog, the dog knowing you do or don't want it to do something is a big part of training. But a cat isn't a pack animal like a dog is; so the big thing for a cat is the good or bad consequences of its actions. The best way to train a cat, then, is to find ways for things to "automatically" reward or punish it. For example, if your cat goes up on the counter, you could put sticky tape on the counter--cats hate the feel of it on their paws. Or if he scratches the couch, you can put a blanket on the couch, so when he puts his paws on it, it just comes down on his head. Positive "automatic rewards" work too: Rubbing catnip into a scratching post to teach a cat to use it; or giving a cat a treat whenever you call it, so that it will learn to come when called.

Anyway, you've probably just got a skittish kitten, and will have to be more gentle with it than with more tolerant cats... that means mostly positive training, no yelling, and going slowly with affection and interaction. Actually, just redirecting a kitten's attention works pretty well; if he's doing what you don't want him to do, just dangle a toy in front of his face, or pick him up (if it won't scare him) and put him someplace acceptable, or show him the proper place to scratch... etc.

Best thing to do with a kitten like that is just to be really predictable. Cats thrive on predictability, both in rules and routine.

Don't worry though... follow your instincts, go easy on the little guy, and you should be fine
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your advice!
I have such a BAD HABIT of yelling automatically, which I need to stop!
Ill try all these tips and Zion should be loving me again in no time
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