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Am I doing this right? (long)

post #1 of 2
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I have a lovely little DSH named Pearl that was horribly abused as a kit. She is now 2.5 years old, and I have had her nearly 2 years. She has spent most of that time under the bed or in the closet. In the past month or so, she has started socializing with us a good bit. She will come up to be petted, and snuggles with me in bed next to my tummy. She really seems to be enjoying her petting, snuggling, and even playing with the other cats. She loves the heater wnd will lay on her back and wave her little paws in front of it. The thing that concerns me is she will not be picked up or held. This only concerns me because in case of emergency or vet trip, I may not be able to catch her to get her to what she needs. I am trying little by little to remedy this. I would like some opinions on what I am doing. If she is in front of the door when I need to go out, I pick her up and gently put her down immediately on the couch. This freaks her out. When she cuddles next to me at night, I encircle her, not hold or restrain, with my arms. I started out 2 weeks ago just laying my arm beside her. I draw a little closer every few days, and she seems to be ok with it. Sometimes she still squeals and runs away. I do not ever expect her to be outgoing, but I would at least like to be able to do right by her and meet her needs. She gets so upset by the carrier, that she wets herself every time I have to put her in one. I have no idea where to begin on that one! I keep one open in the house, but she will not go near it. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. I am willing to be patient with her, but I fear something will happen and I will not be able to help her. We thought we were going to have to evacuate for a hurricane once, and that was really scary!
post #2 of 2
You are doing all the things right with her. Some of my cats I can't pick them up unless they want me to. I did just what you are doing when they first came here, I picked them up gently and quickly and put them down immediately, and even sometimes got scratched. But, as you said it is always helpful to be able to capture them in an emergency situation.

About the carrier- first off completely wash it down in a mixture of bleach and water, let it air dry. Bring it back inside and pile it full of soft bedding- make a thick padding for her there. Take some pipecleaners and attach toys to one end, take the other end and twist it around the inside slats of the carrier- turn it into a kitty playground. Place it in a secluded section of your room and cover it so only the sides are covered and not the front of it. Spray some catnip spray all over it, and then just let her discover it for herself.
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