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Am I being irrational?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just got over mourning the loss of my beloved cat Harriet who died at a very young age. She was the ype of cat who always wanted to be in my presence, whether it be sunggling, playing, falling asleep in my lap or just being in the same room as me.

I've moved on to adopt two little sisters who are only 5 months old (Just about a week ago). They are very cute and play with each other all day long. They also loved to be pet when you get them, however this is the problem. They are incredibly timid and run from you at all times. They are incredibly smart and quick and getting a hold of them is borderline impossible. They are not hostile as they do not bite or scratch. They are just incredibly scared. Their history is that they were stray cats who survived the winter by snuggling to keep warm and sharing food. They were then trapped and kept in foster care for about a month, where they progressively got friendlier, however they are still terrified of anything human. They shelter told me that within 6 months they should be used to me and will not run from me, but I am not so sure.

No doubt these girls are very sweet, but its hard to go from a cat that literally followed me from room to room, to cats that dont want any part of me. Would it be irrational to move them to another home and get a cat (or 2) with better people skills? I do care about the 2 I currently have and dont want them to ever get separated. I feel like I am going overboard and hopefully someone will talk some sense into me.
post #2 of 10
You haven't had them that long - it takes awhile for them to get situated. You could do a few things - play more with them using interactive toys. Spend time just being with them. Sit on the floor, read to them, ignore them and allow them to come to you. Give them a chance to get used to you.
post #3 of 10
I don't think you're being irrational per se, just maybe a bit hasty. A week is not long enough for them to become used to anything, let alone develop the kind of bond that would have them following you from room to room. I think you should give it a chance for at least a few months. Don't chase after them, just lure them to you by sitting quietly and offering treats and fun toys. Don't restrain them at all, because it will make them take longer to trust you. I have a nervous cat, Lola, who is a scaredy cat when you approach her, but a huge sucky lovebug when you let her come to you. It may just take time for your girls to become comfortable enough, but I'm sure it will get better.

Don't start shopping around looking for a cat with the same personality of your Harriet, because she was certainly irreplacable. Holding a new cat against her as a measuring tape will always be disappointing. Instead, work on forming a new relationship with these girls for who they are and, even though they're not and never will be Harriet, I'm sure you will be glad you did.
post #4 of 10
Wait a while before considering adopting them out. Give them time to get used to this new lifestyle. They have had a hard life alone with nothing but each other. Now all of a sudden they have so much ahead of them and everything is so much easier for them. With time they should learn to trust you. They might not follow you but they won't run from you either. They are just like us. They fear things that they don't understand. And since they spent their lives together learning to trust and rely on each other, they don't really understand what people are all about.
post #5 of 10
They need time. Don't give up on them yet.

Semi feral/skittish cats may always have a little behavior or two that gives away their past, they may not ever like strangers or you walking up on them too quickly. But they can and will bond with you given time. In fact they maybe become only your cats.

Time, getting down on their level, making sure they have their hiding places, irresistible toys (fur, feather, and catnip toys), and maybe adding some Feliway diffusers should help.

Keep your voice sweet and gentle, cats really seem to respond to this. (I baby talk cats... maybe that's why they're always drawn to me?)
Oh, and treats. This can mean actual cat treats or just wet food.
post #6 of 10
Hello, I think you should stay with them. You and they have a lot of love to give but that takes time. Also, I think once they do realise that they are going to be taken care of and that they can trust you they will put a big importance on you. I am sorry to hear about your last kitty and I understand the sadness and comfort that goes when they do. I feel that if you search for a kitty that is the same as your last that you are only going to be dissapointed. Moving on is hard sometimes and just as they are getting used to you, you are still getting used to them and understanding their personalities and likes. Stay with it as I think it would definately pay off. They have had a hard time so far and what you have to offer is just what they need. I would suggest that when they are together just sit close and talk to them in gentle tones and become part of it. Get them used to you being with them and then play and 'join' in. Be patient and I think it will work. Good luck
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Sit on the floor, read to them, ignore them and allow them to come to you. Give them a chance to get used to you.

Like you've said their scared, so this is a perfect way of getting them to trust you and they will give you some attention back eventually
post #8 of 10

Everyone has had some very good advice, listen to them. I particularly can relate as my siamese cat passed away after being my special kitty after 17 years. I have adopted two formerly stray kittens who are also brothers and were rescued by a special lady on this site, Eilcon. It took quite a while for the orange kitty, Deacon, to trust me, and he still only will trust myself and roommate. He runs every time someone comes into the house and I believe he will always be that way. But, he has come a long way in the 9 months we have owned him and both he and his brother have totally captured our hearts. With these type of cats, you must let them come to you at their own pace. Just be available and talk in soft tones, interact with them with toys, etc. This is a whole new world to them and you will be their lifesaver.

Helene, human owned by Lady, Douglas and Deacon
post #9 of 10
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
Sit on the floor, read to them, ignore them and allow them to come to you. Give them a chance to get used to you.
Agreed! Getting down to their level is the easiest way for them to check you out. Let them climb all over you and sniff you and such. Then just lie there...be a part of their 1ft high world.

When we first got Whtey he was not a cuddler at all. It took 2 months before he came and sat with me.

Now he's Fiance's bestest buddy. He'll cuddle with Fiance without much hesitation.
post #10 of 10
Think about it. They spent the winter outside (poor sweeties!), then were put in a home, but only for a month. Then they were taken out just as they were getting comfortable and put in a new home with a stranger. If it was me, I would be scared to. I know it's hard but I wouldn't try to find them a new home yet. You want cuddles and headbutts...and believe me, the first time one of them comes up to you looking for cuddles (and it will happen, given enough time) you will melt! Gaining the trust of kitties like this does take time, but it is well worth it in the end. Once they realize this is their home and relax, I think you will have 2 completely different cats on your hands. Good luck!
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