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How can I get my cats friendly with people?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok my cat Angel was born to a mom that was semi-wild and a father that was wild. Angel is my favorite and the most sweetest affectionate cat I ever had. Last year she gave birth to three kittens, one died, the girl I gave to my ex-mother-in-law and the boy I kept. Both Angel and Black Diamond have been spayed and neutered.

Because of my decision to divorce my husband, I moved from Washington to Colorado and currently living with my parents while I work to save up money to buy my own place. Angel and Black Diamond came with me from Washington. (I drove and they did great.)

When they arrived to my parents, they quickly got used to my parents small dog and enjoyed exploring the house. But the minute my parents would speak or appear, the cats would scatter. They both were declawed a week after I arrived from Washington.

Angel is coming out when my parents are around, but she will not allow them to approach her or pet her except when she is in my arms. Black Diamond, on the other hand, will only come out from under the bed when I either force him or when my parents are either asleep or gone from the house.

I do believe BD (Black Diamond) may be suffering depression, Angel is her normal self, but BD is not as jumpy and active as he used to be. Since my parents' deck is about 8 feet off the ground, I let the cats out on the deckl only when I am out there. Black diamond almost seems to be his normal self when he's on the deck. (In Washington they were outdoor cats, here they are indoors. Angel is fine being inside while BD I am not sure about)

How can I get my cats to become friendly with people? How can I help BD with his depression? (I do try to play with him as much as I can and give him a lot of love.) Thanks :-D
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
btw they came from a 6 cat home to a home with one small dog and no other cats...Plus Angel mated with her wild father and that's how BD came to be.
post #3 of 9
Cats sometimes change personality after being declawed. The surgery amputates the first joint of their paws and they have to learn how to walk again. More likely to get arthritis etc as well and some develop litterbox problems because it hurts their feet to scratch in the sand.

Anyway your cats are in a new place with new people, they've gone through a very painful surgery and recovery period. They're feeling vulnerable and scared.

Their odds of becoming loving and confident around strangers again would be much much higher if they hadn't just been declawed. Basically you just have to give them lots of time. Don't force BD out if he doesn't want to it'll only make him feel even more vulnerable and he might start biting out of fear.

You can try and have your parents just sit in the same room as he is in while ignoring him completely but still talking and making some noise etc. to try and let him get used to them. You could also try having them give him treats. If he won't take the treats or come out, leave a treat on the floor somewhere on the path between his hiding spot and them etc.

Anyway some cats never recover psychologically after being declawed and your cats might be
permanently scarred after this. It's one of the reasons I wish no cats would ever have to suffer through that mutilation. It's illegal for example in most of Europe because it's seen as animal abuse. It's recently been explicitly listed as a criminal offence here in Scotland as well for example (it fell under general animal abuse laws before).

ETA: Oh and since BD is declawed making him an indoor/outdoor cat again is not an option at all for the rest of his life. He'll be defenseless against other animals and unable to climb to safe his life if he gets attacked or lands in trouble. They'll both have to stay indoors only.

Another thought as well, how long ago was the declaw? If it was a short time ago it might not have healed properly yet, it can take a while and that might be a part of the reason for BD's depression. If it was a while ago, it's worth checking out his paws etc. he could also be in pain from a partial claw regrowth which can happen if the surgery wasn't done properly. He'll need another surgery if that's the case.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes I agree with you...they had laser surgery so it was less painful for them. But now I regret getting them declawed, it hurts me when I see them walking differently and other things. If I had known about the "soft nail", I would have done that instead of declaw. They are outside with a harness on and with me by their side the whole time, they are never left outdoors by themselves. Angel is her normal self, BD is not and I feel just sick about it. They were declawed a month ago. I regret it, if I could I would give them their knuckles and claws back.

You are right about not forcing BD out from under the bed, I have chosen to leave him be. Thank for your advice and I welcome more
post #5 of 9
Yep, that's why I try to grab people when they're thinking about having their cats declawed to teach about soft paws etc. and other alternatives like that.

Anyway in your case that's in the past so the thing to do now is just to take as good care as you can of your cats now. It's good that you can spend time with them outside while they're safe on a harness. Especially since they used to be outdoor cats.

It really varies with cats how well they cope with different things and on the bright side it's good to hear that Angel is coping well. As for BD like I said before I think you just have to give him plenty of time. With luck he'll come out of his shell when he feels more secure and used to the house and the people in it.

You might want to see if you can create safe hiding places for him around the house. I.e if a cat is feeling insecure they often feel better if they know they have a safe spot just a short distance away. So the more hiding places he has the more likely it is that he won't be in one. Does that make sense?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
yes it does make sense, that's a good idea. I will start doing that now. Thanks Yeah I found out about the soft-nails here on the site today, I was amazed and mad at the same time about my decision. I hope BD does better, I almost planing on getting a 3rd cat from the humane society. So we will see about that...
post #7 of 9
IMO its so many changes in a short time. I think they just need more time. Declawing can change the personality. In a few months time, maybe take them to Petsmart or Petco and have people pet/hold them (the store clerks) - I did that with rex kittens - they loved it and one girl fell in love with Tommy and let him help check out items on her counter as people came thru.
post #8 of 9
I can understand how a person may not know better, but I will never understand how a vet (who is supposed to have an animal's best interest their priority) will agree to declaw an adult cat. At the very least, the vet should be warning pet owners of the potential problems they may encounter.

Anyhow, my suggestion is to have your parents offer the cats treats (often). Maybe they will learn that your parents will not hurt them and good things come from them.
post #9 of 9
mabey bd is missing your husband if he liked him and mabey your mum has something that mabey scaring him like something rattling.

It could also be they dont know your mum so bd needs to smell your mum to get its scent.

good luck
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