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Self Doubt and Worry

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm a bit worried I messed up somewhere and I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advise on how to fix it.

When I first got Mai Sai I "met" him in the cat playroom in the shelter. He was playing with two other cats. When I took him home, he was happy and loved to meet new people. Now he runs and hides when new people come. Did I do something wrong with this? Should I have had him meet more people? He doesn't even seem to have as much interest in meeting new cats...Is there something I can do to fix it?

He used to be a very snuggly cat, sitting right next to know while I worked and whatnot. Now while he does like being in the same room, he tends to sit a bit away on the floor or loveseat. Now this isn't a all the time thing. At about 5:30 he will come and lay on me, or on my head and purr up a storm looking for love. This last for about half an hour. Aside from that he will only come up next to me when we are playing or he is getting a treat. I have to admit I miss having him close. Did I do something wrong? I do play with him atleast once a day for about half an hour. Is this normal or is the bond just not as strong anymore? Is there a way to bring things back?

Thanks for listening to me whine, please let me know if you have any ideas.
post #2 of 11
How long have you had him? Some kitties need more time and encouragement to settle into their new homes. Once introduced to a new open territory and a daily interaction can be overwhelming. Imagine living caged, only interaction is brief play periods in a non dominated space and constant changing human presence, then suddenly a home to feel safe in, loved and cared for. It may feel to good to be true to some, and any new presence could be a threat to this. Just keep giving encouragement and definitely play times every day are a must! The sleeping time curl ups are very positive, it means he is finding comfort and trust with you. Also hanging out in the room your in is another good thing. Just give him time, he's adapting to an actual safe, permanent home, and this can be difficult to believe is true!
post #3 of 11
Maybe he was extremely in need of more attention when he first came home, because at the shelter kitties can be deprived of the love and care they need. So when he first came home, perhaps he was just soaking up all the attention and love he could get, because he hadn't had that much in the shelter.

Now maybe he's settling in more and has realized that you're not going away and that he can get attention whenever he wants. Maybe he feels safer so he needs less reassurance?

Also maybe it's a certain person your kitty doesn't like. I know my cats will run and hide when my dad's friend comes over (he's really tall and has a low voice), but they'll be perfectly fine when my aunt visits and will curl up in her lap. :laugh:

I realize this is kinda opposite of what cheylink said, maybe I'm wrong, it was just an idea
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
How long have you had him? Some kitties need more time and encouragement to settle into their new homes. Once introduced to a new open territory and a daily interaction can be overwhelming. Imagine living caged, only interaction is brief play periods in a non dominated space and constant changing human presence, then suddenly a home to feel safe in, loved and cared for. It may feel to good to be true to some, and any new presence could be a threat to this. Just keep giving encouragement and definitely play times every day are a must! The sleeping time curl ups are very positive, it means he is finding comfort and trust with you. Also hanging out in the room your in is another good thing. Just give him time, he's adapting to an actual safe, permanent home, and this can be difficult to believe is true!
thank you for writing back.

I've had him for about three and a half months. I adopted him before I moved up for college, then took him with me in the car for 4 hours to my new place. We have been here for alittle under three months. Before now he was all but glued to my hip when I was home. I've had cats my whole life and before they were always distant to start out with and then becoming closer. It just seems alittle odd to find him doing things the other way around...
post #5 of 11
It's still a young relationship between you both. How old is he now? Even if they are altered at a young age,generally adolescent kitties go through hormonal changes from 4-5 months up to 2 years old, sometimes more.
KristyKitty also suggested some great ideas. It will definitely take time for him to realize he is safe and has a home of his own. If he is drinking, eating, and using the litter box regularly, then all other adjustments will eventually follow. These are the 3 basic laws of a healthy kitty behavior. If you notice him becoming overly fearful of guests, try talking to him when people are coming over, before someone enters, encourage him that he is safe and they are not going to take him away. He may be finally feeling comfort in a home but thinking guests are a threat to this, or simply uncomfortable with the presence of others.
Not that this is relative to your situation, but Maia is very shy of any visitors. The funny thing is that she is super curious to every person that enters the apartment building, actually runs to the door and listens. But if someone enters the apartment she runs and hides. Shes getting better over time though. I adopted her at 6 weeks and shes 2 1/2 years old now....
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
It's still a young relationship between you both. How old is he now? Even if they are altered at a young age,generally adolescent kitties go through hormonal changes from 4-5 months up to 2 years old, sometimes more.
KristyKitty also suggested some great ideas. It will definitely take time for him to realize he is safe and has a home of his own. If he is drinking, eating, and using the litter box regularly, then all other adjustments will eventually follow. These are the 3 basic laws of a healthy kitty behavior. If you notice him becoming overly fearful of guests, try talking to him when people are coming over, before someone enters, encourage him that he is safe and they are not going to take him away. He may be finally feeling comfort in a home but thinking guests are a threat to this, or simply uncomfortable with the presence of others.
Not that this is relative to your situation, but Maia is very shy of any visitors. The funny thing is that she is super curious to every person that enters the apartment building, actually runs to the door and listens. But if someone enters the apartment she runs and hides. Shes getting better over time though. I adopted her at 6 weeks and shes 2 1/2 years old now....
hehe thank you, that helps alot. He is about 8 months (the shelter said they thought he was 5 months when I got him, but they werent sure). He was fixed three months ago (when I got him). I think your right, it's just going to take some time.
post #7 of 11
Cats change over time, too. The fact that he's not so "clingy" now indicates that he has settled into your home and feels more secure, so he doesn't need constant reassurance.

However, the deal with strangers may just be that getting over being a kitten thing. He doesn't need to explore every new visitor.

My mother had a cat that I have pictures of, sleeping on my chest when he was a kitten. As an adult, we NEVER saw him when we visited her.
post #8 of 11
Rocko was 8 years old in February when I got him. He was super clingy, which I was delighted about because my other two are like teenagers and dont' like to hang out with Meowmy anymore!

But over the months I have had him he is more independant. Although it is sad I am glad because it means he has made this his home and instead of being so attached to me he is making friends with the other cats and my roomate.

He still comes for cuddles and is a lap cat for sure, just not as often as before.

Sounds like Mai Sai is finding a place in the home. That means you are doing a great job as Meowmy! Also, cats can be clingy one time and standoffish the next. It goes in cycles sometimes. Enjoy the cuddles and also enjoy being left alone....how else will we ever get the house cleaned if we can't get the cat off our lap??
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank you guys, I'm glad he's normal and I didn't mess something up along the way.
post #10 of 11
It sounds to me like you've done a lot of things right and that Mai Sai is a very lucky kitty! I think that the change you see in his behavior is the normal trend that a lot of young cats go through. When they're kittens they're fearless. As they age they learn a bit more respect (for lack of a better word) for the world. I've always found my kitties slow back down and get cuddly again when they turn about 2. For now, why not focus on enjoying his silly kitten antics? They go away far too quickly!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
It sounds to me like you've done a lot of things right and that Mai Sai is a very lucky kitty! I think that the change you see in his behavior is the normal trend that a lot of young cats go through. When they're kittens they're fearless. As they age they learn a bit more respect (for lack of a better word) for the world. I've always found my kitties slow back down and get cuddly again when they turn about 2. For now, why not focus on enjoying his silly kitten antics? They go away far too quickly!
well that makes sense. My first cat was a kitten when I was four, so I don't remember how she acted at this stage very well. Oliver was two when I got him, so he would have gone through this already. And Yoda was saved from off the streets so he has always been very scared of everyone and sadly probably always will be. I guess I still have alot to learn about it. Thank you for your kind words
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