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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I rescued a 2 mnth old kitten from a Lowes garden center. she has been fixed and had shots. she is now about 6 mnths. the problem is we cannot get near her. she will follow us, but if we try to touch her, or even walk in near her, she bolts. any ideas on how to make her warm up to us?
post #2 of 8
Thank you for rescuing this kitty!

This is very normal behavior for a rescued kitten.

Socialization is solely about building trust, and there are definitely things you can do.

However, is she indoor only or outdoor only - or indoor/outdoor? My answer is different depending upon which one.

post #3 of 8
You had her four months already, with only partly success? Yes, I understand you want advices how to proceed.

First and most important. If she follows you, she is in all essential tame. If she was a sheep, cow or anything, the books would call it for the definition of being tame.

Second. Not all cats do like to be petted. Quite many must be learned to enjoy this. Also some homeraised homecats. Although these homecats usually accept to be touched - hovewer shortly.
post #4 of 8
I know you haven't checked back in yet, but I just wanted to add this.

The key to socializing a feral/rescue kitten/cat is twofold.

First, just being around them and completely ignoring them is paramount. Not trying to interact, not reaching out at them. Being completely non-aggressive. Looking at their foreheads or over the top of their heads is important. Reaching out and looking in their eyes are both signs of aggression (until they already trust you).

Second, getting them to identify you with good things is next. Food is a great motivator. And a regular schedule if outdoors helps with this. If indoors, a schedule helps as well - but if free-feeding dry food, getting a t-shirt really good and sweaty and putting it under the food dish can really help kitty identify your scent with something it loves.

But whether indoors or outdoors, the more time you can spend near the cat but acting like you don't care about the cat, the quicker she'll come around, by understanding you want nothing from her. Happiness comes later.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. she is stricly indoor...there is another cat in the house to keep her company (were three, just put my 20 yo down Sunday)

they get along well.....the new one thought the 20 yo was her mother and would always hang around her, but no more

several times i was able to pet her when she was eating, but thats about it
post #6 of 8
several times i was able to pet her when she was eating, but thats about it
For us, this is where it all started. We have three former ferals who we have had for about six months now (how time flies...). Paddington and Conor are totally tame now, and it all started with me being able to pet them whilst eating. I made sure that I was there for their wet meal, sat with them the entire time they ate and pet them as they allowed. We got this to be a routine - they realised no harm was going to come of my petting them. After a few weeks of me petting them every night at meal times, we gradually started petting them while giving treats and then it just seems like one day out of nowhere they allowed both my husband and myself to occasionally pet them outside of meal/treat times. Now, however, both of them demand to be petted, allow us to scoop them up and just generally cuddle bugs. Our little Steve is not quite there yet (he is getting there - just quite shy), so you do have to remember that some are just harder nuts to crack. It sounds like you are making good progress though.
post #7 of 8
We have a cat that we rescued at about 4 weeks old. We found him in our barn, no mother around. We bottle fed him and raised him. He is now almost 2 years old, and we still cannot touch him very often. He's never been abused or mistreated in any way, but still runs and hides from us. On rare occasions, he will come to us for attention, but for the most part still acts completely feral. We've tried everything we can think of, but it's just his personality.
post #8 of 8
I'm so sorry you had to put down your 20 year old - but she lived a full life!

Yup, sometimes it's just their personality. But I'd take Wendy's advice and run with it. If you free feed dry food, I'd start giving them either "breakfast" or "dinner" - whichever is most convenient for you - but make it a meal of wet food. Stay with them while they eat - but sit on the floor with your side to her. And when you reach out to pet, do it slowly and palm down.

I'd still get a t-shirt really good and sweaty and put it under the dry food dish.

You can also consider purchasing Feliway. It's a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" markers in cats' cheeks. It may help calm a scared kitty.

You can also consider purchasing a Bach's Flower Remedy - either Calm & Serene or Rescue Remedy. Add a few drops to the water dish after you clean it every day.

Both are available here: http://www.catfaeries.com though I'm sure Feliway can be purchased cheaper other places, and sometimes you can find the Bach's Flower Essences at health food stores.

Also, baby food (all meat - we use Gerber's chicken) is a great treat. Most cats can't resist it. At first, put it on a spoon and hold it out. Try petting while she's eating the baby food.

But basically spending as much time in the same room she is - down at her level, sitting on the floor and doing stuff - working on a laptop, reading, knitting, folding laundry - whatever you do or whatever you can do - and letting her just check you out will help too. Sit with your side to her and just ignore her! If she comes up to check you out, just keep ignoring her, and limit the pets to treat or dinner time.

She'll come around!

We have one kitty we rescued that took a year before we could pet him. Then it was just one stroke on the cheek. Six years later, he's a total love bug.

It's just that each cat is different, and there is no schedule for any of them.

But they are contrarians. Even now, the more attention we give them, the less they want. When we start ignoring they're around, they all want love.

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