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Do you know what this could mean?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, we did it. We adopted another kitten about a year old. I'm a little nervous about it because I want it to work. Javier, our resident kitten, is about 7 months old. He is Mr. Confident. He can play very aggressively, and we learned that getting another kitten may give him an outlet and a friend. I have been looking for another kitten for months, and yesterday an opportunity opened up for us.

I couldn't resist. This poor kitten has had such a hard life so far. First her owner died. Then she went to a shelter. Then the shelter sent her to a program at the penitentiary where "lifers" work with animals. She got really sick there and almost died from a respiratory infection. She was sent to foster care to recuperate. Then someone adopted her. This person now wants to rehome her after 2 months because her 6 year old cat hates her. Also because she is so skittish and cannot stand to be around any feet. She must have been abused or kicked sometime in her previous life because she is terrified when people walk around her. She is okay if she is on something high, like a bed or a couch. But otherwise she slinks away and hides. She will fall to her side, and sort of slide up a bit and then flip to the other side. She keeps doing that. And sort of semi showing her belly. It seems like she wants to be petted, but I can't really tell. Do you know what this means? Is it just submissive? Since yesterday we have had her in the bathroom with lots of stuffed animals, soft blanket, her litterbox, and food. She will lie on her side, and curl up next to us and purr. But she seems to curl in on herself all the time doing that flipping thing. It's heartbreaking. And her tail is down between her legs.

I knew I wanted her when I saw how the previous owner's 5 year old daughter was treating her. Not out of malice, but just her age. She was holding her in this really awkward position on her back, and flipping her tail back and forth really fast. And scratching her really hard on the head. And the kitty just took it. And her mom didn't say anything. I couldn't stand it anymore. I said, we'll take her. She is so gentle and passive. The previous mom said that this kitty loves other cats. She wanted to play with their older cat, followed her around, but she just hissed at her. So I'm hoping she and Javier will like each other.

I let her out of the bathroom into my bedroom tonight wondering what she would do. She explored a bit as long as myself and my two daughters were sitting on the floor. But as soon as any of us got up, she freaked out and slunk back into the bathroom. I was feeling guilty because she got on my bed and did her rolling around thing on it and now I'm worried Javier will smell her on my bed. I feel like a traitor. Should I keep her out of the rest of the house except the bathroom until they meet? How does this work? He knows there is a cat in there because he will stand at the bathroom door and meow. And her previous owner left me his carry kennel thing, and Javier explored it and fell asleep in it. So her scent doesn't seem to bother him.

I'm sorry if this post is too long and confusing. I guess I'm just looking for some advice and support. I couldn't sleep all last night wondering if I had done the right thing. She seems so emotionally damaged from her past. I hope she can get better. Actually today, she was playing with a toy and for a few minutes she walked around and her tail was straight up. So there is hope. (As long as nobody stands up around her!) I guess we just need to have patience and she and Javier just have to get along. Thank you for reading all of this!
post #2 of 10
I think you've done a really good deed for this little kitten, rescuing her from a traumatic start in life! And it sounds like your other cat has reacted ok to her presence so far, and that you've picked a submissive type of kitten so hopefully Javier can be top cat.

I'm sure you will win her over in time, as it sounds like you will be very patient and thoughtful with her. Good luck, and keep us posted!
post #3 of 10
Please don't leave them alone together at any time for a long time - make sure she's in a safe place before you go out or anything. It may work out, but I'm concerned that her 'weakness' will trigger Javier to prey on her.
post #4 of 10
Thank you for taking in that sweet little kitty! I would suggest that you take the introductions sloooooww and steady. Let them smell each other, but not see for sometime. Your cat is already firmly entrenched in his territory, so any introductions need to be done very slowly (over weeks not days) and always with your supervision until you know he either won't attack , or she can handle herself.

Also, sounds like that little girl has already had a lot of trauma, she may be skittish for a very long time (if not always). Don't force anything and make sure she associates you with treats and pets and good stuff.

Good luck and enjoy your new kitty!!
post #5 of 10
Poor kitty has had a rough life in a relatively short time! The good news for her is it sounds like she's got a great new home.

The behavior you describe sounds like submission. One of my cats does this to our alpha cat when she wants attention from him.

I would, as another person suggested, take things very slowly with her. Take your time when petting her. Offer your hand and let her come to you. If she backs away, let her go. Try to create an enviornment where she begins to feel as though she is in controll of what happens to her, possibly for the first time in her life. If you hold her only do so for short sessions and when you set her down, make sure you put all four paws gently on the floor and pet her for a few moments after. Once she knows what to expect from your behavior she'll relax more.

Your other cat can actually be useful in developing her confidence. He can "show her the ropes." It sounds like there is a nice balance of personality between them so that's encouraging.

Please let us know what else we can do to help assimilate the new girl into your family!
post #6 of 10
Wow, what a wonderful person you are!

The best thing for this kitten is that you are going to give it a home. Obviously its going to take time, but Im sure you will be a wonderful mum to it and Im sure it will realise that.


post #7 of 10
That's so nice of you! I'm sure everything will work out okay.

Maybe you can take a pillow or blanket Javier has laid on a lot and put it in the bathroom for the new kitten and and vice versa so they can get used to each other scent before they meet personally.

It sound to me as well that she's being submissive which may have been a behavioral coping mechanism she developed. I know it's a different animal, but my sister's dog Jinx had a somewhat rough start (less rough than the kitten) and became submissive in order to get along.

post #8 of 10
That is lovely of you and the kitty sounds so sweet.
My parents adopted a cat who had been kicked in the face by some awful person and the kitties jaw was broken. When my parents brought the kitty home he was very very shy and nervous and wouldn't be around anyones feet.We were all very careful about scaring him, bless him. After a while, a while being three to four months he started to calm down and was alot more relaxed because he was aware of the people around him and that nobody was going to hurt him. Once bitten twice as shy! He has had a rough time and he is vunerable at the moment. Lots of love and care and patience, I think he will be a happy kitty. All the best
post #9 of 10
Sorry, I had to add something else!! Just a thought!
My little kitty Alan and I have a game. He instigates the game which normally works on me running up the stairs and when I go to come down the stairs Alan is waiting at the bottom lying down, eyes just peering over the step as if hunting!! I realised that this was a game and this sounds silly but I crouch down at the top of the stairs and then hide and just peer round. When I hide Alan makes a run for it up the stairs and I peer round before he gets to the top as if I am another cat scaring him off. We do this about ten times until he dares to come all the way to the top!!! Sounds silly doesn't it? When he comes to the top I just sniff him like he does to me. But he kind of signals the end of the game when we play around the house like that by rolling onto his back on one side then the other!!! Thats when I change mode and stroke him. It's like saying game over, he's showing me that he isn't in hunter mode anymore and just wants a cuddle!!!
post #10 of 10
I'm so glad that poor kitty found you! I think you're just what she needs. Don't worry about Javier smelling her on your bed -- as others have mentioned, letting them smell each other's scents is part of the long, slow introduction process that will help ensure they get along well.

Since this little one is so afraid of feet, maybe it would be a good idea for everyone to wear socks or soft slippers around the house, at least for awhile... less noise, and less potential trauma if she accidentally gets in someone's way.

It sounds like this kitty has come to exactly the place for the tender loving care she needs. Please give her a smooch from me!
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