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Need Help!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello All!! I am new to this site, I joined because I desperately need help with some issues that I am having with my cat.

I got a cat from a rescue in late August, it took some time for her to warm up to me but within a few days she did. I then had to move and eventually she started to warm up to me again. If I called her (her name is Toast) she wouldn't come to me but if she was ever sitting in a window sill she would let me pet her and pick her up. (I would only pick her up after she was comfortable enough)

I had to move again and I have been in the same house since October. In this house she absolutely hates me most of the time. When I call her name she completely ignores me. When I go near her she runs away and hides under something. Even if I'm not going to pet her or even paying any attention to her she will run away from me.

When I took her home with me for Thanksgiving (I'm a college student) she LOVED my parents house. Even though I have 2 dogs and another cat there. She was very comfortable, comes when I call her name, will let me pet her etc.

I was originally nervous about bringing her home but she was so well behaved.

When I returned back to this house it was the same old thing where she did not like me or me being near her.

I have 2 other roommates and my boyfriend, she will come to my one roommate and will often times spend the night in his room. He has a cat as well here and they are best of friends.

When I recently brought her home for Christmas break she did the same thing where she was very friendly and affectionate to myself and my family members. Became good friends with one of my dogs and was just a great cat, a normal cat.

Today I came back to my house at school and she is doing her same old thing. I'm really very unsure as to what to do. I have tried many things, giving her a treat every day and just talking to her, but she still runs away from her.

I even tried when I came back from thanksgiving all together letting her stay in my room only away from the other cat here for a few hours so she could get readjusted.

I thought also maybe she liked that her food was in my room at home. So when we got back today I put her food and water dish in my room.

She was nice to me once since I have returned, but since she jumped off my lap she is extremely skiddish.

I really don't know what to do!
I'm open to ANY suggestions! I just want my cat to love me like she does when I am at my parents house for vacations!!!!
post #2 of 11
I'm glad you found TCS! I hope we can help.

I gotta say - this sounds really strange! Most cats are territorial, and being taken to a new place - like your parents house - is kind of traumatic for them.

I'd recommend a few things. Keep the food and water in your room.

Purchase some Feliway spray. It is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats' cheeks - it helps promote a sense of calm and comfort. If you can afford it, I'd buy the plug-ins, but they are expensive. If you get the spray, use it in every room - the bottle has directions - and spray it every three days.

I'd also consider purchasing Rescue Remedy flower essences. These may help her as well. Both can be purchased here: http://www.catfaeries.com

In the meantime, get a two or three t-shirts really good and sweaty. Put one under her food dish. Each morning, and each evening, put treats down for her on another one. And if she has one place she really likes to hang out and snooze, put the third down there. These will help her come to associate you with things she loves.

I'd also consider a good 10 - 15 minutes of interactive play time with her at a very regular time - each morning or each evening, whichever you'll be able to be most consistent about.

....and while you're dousing the house with Feliway, getting her to associate your scent with treats and such, apart from the scheduled play time every day, for a week or two I'd consider otherwise ignoring her - unless she comes to you. With our feral rescues, when we went to seek them out, often they'd just run away. When we started ignoring them and acting like they weren't there, nothing made them want attention more after a couple of days.

I don't know if this will help, and others may have more suggestions. But I'd give it a try.

Thanks for adopting a shelter kitty!

Laurie
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the great tips!

I'm a little worried about leaving treats and such.

My roommates cat is a very feisty little thing that loves to play and most of all eat food.
I was just trying to give Toast some treats when Layla came over and sat for them as well.

Would it be confusing for Toast? Especially if Layla is eating all of her treats?

And she has been chowing down on the food that I have left out for Toast.

Toast makes this fantastic noise when she's happy, its like a really loud purr but high pitched? She hasn't been making it at all since she has been back here, but made it all the time at my parents house.

I don't want her to be unhappy.
post #4 of 11
I'd take Toast into your room, close the door, have a play session with her, then put the treats down for her on the "scented" t-shirts. This way Layla can't access them.

And that really loud purr but high pitched, we call "trilling." They do make that noise when they're really happy.

Is it possible to keep Toast in just your room for a week or so and see what happens? If you spend a lot of time in there and she's alone without Layla around, what happens?

Just a thought.....

Laurie
post #5 of 11
Wait - you said Layla and Toast are good friends, so maybe the separation isn't a good idea.

Try giving Toast "alone play time" each morning and evening in your room with the door closed, and put the treats down for her after that play session. See if over a couple of weeks this helps.

Laurie
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all of your help I really appreciate it!

I went out and bought the spray but toast won't even smell anything I put it on.

I got her one of her favorite toys, one of the sticks with the feathers on it and played with her for a little while. But she was very hesitant about playing and you could just tell she didn't feel 100% comfortable.

I got her a new bed (her last one got ruined) I spent a half hour in the store trying to find the perfect bed for her. I sprayed that bed as well, I figured if she liked the smell she would be attracted to the bed, check it out and sleep in it. She didn't even smell it. I even put treats in it which didn't check out at all.

We also did this all without Layla in the room, with the door closed. Every chance she got she ran to the door and tried to get out.
After a little while we left her in here by herself to check everything out after we had sprayed etc. while I cleaned the rest of the house. She spent the whole time unhappy sticking her paws under the door.

Eventually we let her out and I haven't seen her since.

She also has her favorite toy, its a little green mouse that we gave her when i was at home at my parents house that we call her baby. When i was there we would be like "toast where is your baby" and she would find it and bring it to us, it was pretty adorable. But since we've been back she hasn't even gone near it.

I'm afraid she just simply hates this house. When I am at my parent's house she absolutely loves me and plays with me every chance she can get. I don't understand the difference between the two houses.
post #7 of 11
The feliway isn't something she's going to actively go sniff - it's a scent in the air that will/should have at least a calming effect to make her feel more comfortable.

It is possible she's just not comfortable in the house. There may have been pets there before - and their smells may still be around to her sensitive nose. It may be an overall atmosphere she senses that is somehow just different. It may be a combination of these things and who knows what else? Maybe someone was hurt in some way in that house before you all lived there, and she senses that? Cats are amazing creatures, and there's just not necessarily a way to pin down the problem.

I really don't know what to suggest from here.

Unless others come along with other ideas, it seems to me you have two choices.

1) Keep working with her - getting her to associate you scent with good things, giving her lots of attention, and just giving her time to see if she comes around;

2) Do your parents want her as a pet? Since she's so happy there - maybe you can see her on visits, and when you're more settled after finishing college, she can move back in wherever you are then. Maybe she'll be happier there and then. ????????? Not the answer you're looking for, but.....

I'm so sorry I can't think of anything else to try. My heart goes out to you. If she wasn't obviously so much happier at your parents, it wouldn't be such a dilemna for you.



Laurie
post #8 of 11
Welcome to TCS!! You surely do have a very unusual situation I like all of Laurie's suggestions, and I think that there must be some scent in the house or something that is putting Toast off like that.
does she let you scritch behind her ears & give her tiny strokes about her eyes and face (like a mama-kitty licking her baby) ? Those are reassuring gestures to a cat.
Sending {{{{prayers and vibes}}}} that Toast gets over her slump very soon & that you two will soon be enjoying your time together immensely. Because she travels well & adjusts to your folks' place easily, I am sure that it's the place & not you Please keep us posted!!
post #9 of 11
[quote=LDG;2119297]
It is possible she's just not comfortable in the house. There may have been pets there before - and their smells may still be around to her sensitive nose. It may be an overall atmosphere she senses that is somehow just different. It may be a combination of these things and who knows what else? Maybe someone was hurt in some way in that house before you all lived there, and she senses that? Cats are amazing creatures, and there's just not necessarily a way to pin down the problem. QUOTE]


When I was reading these posts I was thinking the same thing.
Cats have a knack for sensing things that we can't see or feel.
I agree.....it is not YOU but the place Toast doesn't like. She knows something about the place that nobody else knows They can be very "psychic" sometimes
Maybe there is a certain scent that reminds her of her sad past...........
Sounds like you have really tried to remedy the situation but Toast is obviously not happy in your place for whatever reason.
Would it be such a bad thing to leave Toast at your folk's home where she is happy? You could still see her on visits..................at least she would be happy.......
Good luck and good on you for rescuing Toast

KittyCoo xx
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Toast is doing a little bit better.
Normally I keep my door closed at night, the two kitties love to run and play which includes all over my boyfriend and I when we sleep. 2 nights ago she woke me up by making her noises outside my door and i let her in and she just slept on the bed nicely. I did the same thing last night, let her in when she wanted to come in and she slept for a while, along with the other kitty.

This morning she let me approach her in the kitchen and continued with her trilling noises that she makes all the time when she's in a good mood.

I've never been able to approach her when she's in the kitchen before.

She's been spending a significant amount of time under my bed, i spray the spray as directed on the bottle and it seems that right after i spray it she'll come out for a little while.

Normally, she's very scared of me but will let my boyfriend approach her. This is the opposite now, everything my boyfriend does scares her a lot but she seems more comfortable with me.

She isn't however, the same as she is in my parents house. There she's super friendly and hardly ever really skiddish like she is in this house.

I would leave her at my parents house (which I already asked my mom before I came back here to go back to school) but the cat there isn't too fond of Toast.
Toast has a habit of following around other cats until they become best friends. My cat there Kitty Kitty has been an indoor cat by herself for 6 years and is not being accepting at all towards toast and just hisses at her, bats at her and runs away. Toast will follow her everywhere trilling at her trying to make her, her friend.

They fight a bit and so my mom won't let her stay there for a long time.

I find this situation weird though because here she has Layla who loves her and they play constantly which you would think would be some sort of comfort for her. While at my parents house Kitty Kitty is not so nice to her yet she loves it there.

I'm hoping I can keep working with her and she'll be okay. I've been trying to ignore her unless she comes up to me making her noises and that seems to work. Although my boyfriend always tends to drop something or manage to do something noisy to ruin the moment.

Thank you everyone for your help. I really appreciate all the tips and just everything, thank you so much
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kct4304 View Post
I'm hoping I can keep working with her and she'll be okay. I've been trying to ignore her unless she comes up to me making her noises and that seems to work. Although my boyfriend always tends to drop something or manage to do something noisy to ruin the moment.
Isn't that always the way?

I'm so glad things are going a little bit better and she's a little happier. Just keep plugging away. She'll come around.



Laurie
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