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MY feral kitten... I need help.....

post #1 of 2
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I just got my kitten two weeks ago she was 14 weeks old when i got her and she was shy as could be. She would let me hold her and i think thats the only time she felt safe, other wise she would hide and hiss. Now she plays with toys and will rub up on my leg. She will not let me hold her anymore or really pet her. She starts biting and attacking my hands, like they are toys and she wont lay in bed with me anymore and snuggle. I have been keeping her in my bathroom for the two weeks letting her out just in my bedroom to play but she runs and hides under the bed the whole time. My other cat who is 7yrs doesnt want anything to do with the kitten and hisses every time i take hem around eachother. I want a cat that will lay in bed and snuggle with me and i can pet and she will just be loving, I dont know what to do. I am fostering to adopt and Im on my last days now. I have to decide if i want to keep her and I am 50/50 on what to do. Is this normal behavior will she get better? Anyone please help me.....

Thanks, Jennifer

post #2 of 2
Kittens usually hit a stage where they are NOT snuggly. Five years later, Shelly and Spooky snuggle in bed with us, but that's two out of six. There's no real way to know in advance who's going to turn out snuggly and who isn't. The best thing to do is to find an older cat that needs a home that has a profile of being snuggly, if that's what you're looking for.

Cats are a roulette wheel, just like having children.

At 16 weeks, she's probably teething, and they get very "bitey." What you should do, and recommend to potential adopters if you let her go, is to scatter a box of bendy straws around the house (or in the bathroom and your bedroom - wherever it is she hangs out). She needs appropriate things to bite on. Any time she uses your hands or feet as a toy, you should blow a short, sharp puff of air directly into her face, say "NO" firmly, grab a bendy straw, give it to her to chew on and walk away. This way they learn what is and what isn't appropriate to chew on, that people aren't toys, what "no" means, and that inappropriate behavior gets her ignored, it doesn't get her attention.

Cats can take a long time to adjust to new cats invading their territory. Spooky takes six months before she stops hissing and swatting, and a solid year before she's good with the newbie. She's a little unusual as a formerly abused cat with problems, but that's just to illustrate. Two weeks is a VERY short period of time.

At 14 weeks, your foster was already traumatized from being homeless or abandoned, been through a shelter or whatever other home. Again - two weeks is a very short period of time for kitty to understand she's safe in a new space. Cats bond with people, and can be VERY loving and sweet - but they are territorial animals, and your home smells like another cat's territory. Time is the only ingredient here, and she hasn't had much of it.

If you decide to keep her or if you are going to foster another kitty, I'd immediately purchase Feliway, Rescue Remedy (both available at http://www.catfaeries.com), and I'd do scent swapping. Rub foster all over with several small cloths, and put one under the food dish of your existing kitty. Use the other one to put treats out on religiously at set times both morning and evening for your existing kitty. Do the opposite for your foster with the existing kitty's scent. This helps them come to associate each other's smell with good things.

Praising existing kitty to high heaven any time there's no negative interaction helps. Of course, separating the kitties for a few weeks or a month is the right thing to do. Then you put the existing kitty in the foster (or new) kitty's room, shut the door, and take new kitty out - using a wand to help. If a former feral, they won't roam and check things out. If they're too scared, it's too soon.

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