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scared skittish abyssinian - 14 weeks old

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a new abyssinian male kitten - 14 weeks old, we have had him for 6 days - he was raised by a lil old lady who did not have time to handle him and his sisters much, so they were left pretty much on their own with a radio playing. Now he has to get used to a family of 5 (not a boistorous one I might add). we are keeping him in one room to get him used to things. We have to catch him to be able to pet him and he doestn like too many people in the room. Sometimes he spits at us. He does purr almost immediately when you stroke him, and does play with his toys as well. Will he be able to be socialized into a family and how long will this take? Some people tell me abbys need to be socialized well right from very small. Help!!
post #2 of 9
Yes, socialization at a young age for ANY cat is the best thing. Sometimes you can bring them out of it. He may be young enough that you can bring him out of his shell. It is going to take time and maybe upwards of 6 months. Just keep working and gaining his trust.
post #3 of 9
We had the same problem with our Simba (siamese/himalayan) cross.

We also kept him isolated in our bedroom with food and water and litter. He stayed behind the headboard of the bed for 4 weeks. We spent every evening and most of each weekend sitting on the bed talking to him. He finally let me touch him on the 4th Saturday. Then it was another week before he would allow my husband or daughter to touch him.

We were told not to force him - to let him come to us.

It worked - he is now the most affectionate and loving cat we have ever owned. He's a real lap cat. Maybe we were just lucky and that is his natural temperament. But what a thrill.

post #4 of 9
PS: Good luck.

Patience will win over.

I was so caught up in trying to get a little smiley that I omitted to wish you well.


post #5 of 9
Abys are naturally people oriented, curious and very active cats - give him a little time and be patient and he will probably come around. I have an 8 month old Abbysinian from Frannie (also on the cat site). He is the biggest mush - of course he was socialized since before he was born. Just give him attention, but do not overwhelm him. They love to play, so use a teaser and get him interested in playing so he does not think about being close to you. Good luck.
post #6 of 9
I know how hard it is to not want to pick up, hold and pet a kitten, so this might be kind of hard to do... but it may be that by chasing him, in order to pick him up, you're inadvertently scaring him. When we bring in a stray... the best way we've found to get them used to being with us, is to let them approach us. We keep them in a room seperate from the other animals. Then we take turns going into the room, one at a time so as not to overwhelm him or her. I think getting down on the floor, just sitting there talking to the kitten would do a world of good. Reaching out to pet him is fine I'm sure... but maybe not picking him up? Or at least not making an effort to pick him up, until he comes to you? I'd also suggest that at the first hint that he wants "down" to let him go immediately, so he never feels trapped while you're holding him. Let him get used to being around you... his curiosity will probably have him crawling in your lap in no time. It's just a thought and something that has helped us... hope it might help you as well.

Best of luck with your new kitty!

[Edited by blinc on 05-06-2001 at 09:50 AM]
post #7 of 9
Abymum, please read my reply in your first post. I did forget to mention (because it was very late) that I also would keep him (like the others have suggested) in a room by himself but not for very long only because he will then not get to know all of your routines. When you let him out of his room, you might want to keep a carrier in the living room just so he has a place to go to if he get nervous and then keep all of the other doors shut. Go about your daily routines and when you're relaxing, you'll see, he'll come around. I also leave a TV on for my babies or a radio when I leave for work. I can't see how somebody can't have time for them. I work a full time job, socialize my babies, judge cat shows and also help place retired greyhounds into forever homes. Then again, I don't have more than 1 or 2 litters a year and only have them when I know they are all placed. I also have the mom in a cage in my room about a week before she's due, up all night with her if necessary and her and the kittens live in my room until they are about 10 weeks old and then they can run and play with everyone else. At about 5 weeks, they run around my room with my door closed so we can play. If you want to e-mail me privately, please let me know and I'll give it to you. I'll help with whatever I can but I'm sure with your family's love, he'll come around in no time. Good luck.

post #8 of 9
Be Patient! I have a three year old "kitten" who is still very fearful - she had a hard first couple of months, as she was abandoned not even weaned! She is getting better - but a couple of things that have helped with her are
1.) Feliway spray (I think it removes other cats markings - the ones from their face and paws)
2.) NOT chasing her even when I would really like to love on her.
3.) not making her feel trapped - if she wants to leave she may - my husband has a very hard time with this one!

Good luck! I hope to hear other helpful hints so I can try it on Pandora and another semi-feral I have adopted


Heather V. Havel
Michigan - USA
post #9 of 9
I completely agree with everyone. Let the kitty come to you on its own terms. Chasing or forcing attention may only make it more skittish. I believe they learn to trust more if they feel they are free to go if that is their desire. Chasing or forcing makes them feel cornered.

I also have to control my urge to just grab Simba and hug him so tight! But I let him be the one to come to me and when he does (which is often) he is so sweet and lovable.

I'm sure you will win over your baby with love, understanding and finally all that affection.

Bon chance!
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