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Cat used to be teased!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My grandma's seven (?) year old cat is a mean little thing. My brother used to tease her, which made her really hostile. I was young, maybe 10 years old, and I would join in on the teasing.

Now, she's horrible! She won't let anyone touch her, and she'll growl at people. Occasionally, if I let her sniff me, she'll let me pet her, or even kiss me.

Because nothing has worked with her attitude, I still tease her sometimes. By swatting at her paw (not hard enough to injure her, mind you!) when she's swatting at me. I'll pick her up when she's asleep and hold her so she won't bite me, then I'll set her back down in her spot.

If there's anything that would definitely work to gain her trust back, then I would never ever tease her!

That sounds horrible.

Also, are some cats the kind that won't, no matter what, come up to you and want to be petted or climb onto your lap?
post #2 of 6
Unfortunately, teasing is terrible for a cat's disposition.

To turn her around, there has to be a NO teasing rule laid down for everyone in the house.

Let her do the approaching, and don't move when she's around. You've taught her that movement means an attack, and I'm sure she's learned it well. Instead, use your voice to say nice things. If she responds by rolling onto her back and showing interest, make your voice happier because she is responding.

Don't pet her unless she rubs the body part onto your legs or hands, and even then simply move the body part she has picked as little as possible.

At all costs you don't want to remind her of any body moves that accompanied the teasing. If it means that for a few months you have to sit quietly and let her come to you, so be it.
post #3 of 6
Sorry but I doubt that the cat will change just cause you've matured. She remembers the teasing and probably will be a grumpy cat who doesn't want to be handled by anyone!

Unfortunately you've seen the results of what teasing can do and can prevent it in a future cat. BTW she probably will get even worse as she ages cause older cats tend to get grumpy anyway - just that she will be worse cause of the early teasing by your brother and you.

Question - how old is your brother now and does he also realize what he did to the cat and won't do it again.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
My brother is now 24 years old. And I don't think he cares about the cat at all. He wouldn't HURT the cat, but he's not around to deal with the grumpy kitty. Are you sure there's no way to show Charcoal that I mean no harm?
post #5 of 6
There are ways to show Charcoal that you mean no harm. Wearbear --- who is always full of good advice --- already took the time to recommend a few things. It's up to you to follow that advice.

Feliway and/or Rescue Remedy might also be helpful but in any event your interactions with her need to be 100% positive from this point on, because there's no doubt that she associates you with unpleasant things, and you need to break that association. Do not tease her under any circumstances, not even once, or you’ll run the risk of negating any progress that you might be making when you’re behaving appropriately.
post #6 of 6
You are correct in wondering about some cats simply not being lap cats, though your kitties past, to be honest was abusive, has a direct effect with her disposition now. I applaud you for seeking advice and being honest about the situation. What you really need to do is make her feel safe and try to show her you understand her fears and distrust, and your sorry. Maybe this sounds ridiculous, "oh please".....but think about how you would feel if it was you.
a friend of mine rescued a 1 1/2 year old kitty, April, who was locked up in a bathroom all the time and abused by her owners. They hit her, threw things at her, yelled at her constantly, if living in a bathroom wasn't bad enough! Shes about 5 now and very defensive. She hisses, growls, won't let her pick her up, will sleep next to her but run if she touches her. I suggested some toys she could play with her with and simply reminded her how messed up April's trust issues are. Every day there is a little more progress, she lets her pet her, not for long, but does.......It just takes time
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