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Emily's strange attachment issues.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Emily was a stray in foster care. We met her (I can only assume) sister at an adoption event. We payed the adoption fee and waited to hear from the foster "parent" that she was in the vet's office and would be ready to pick up soon.

We picked her up the day she was given her follow-up shots, an exam and fixed. The kitten we payed for was part Manx with just a little nub of a tail, barely any tail at all. The cat we brought home from the vet had nearly 4 inches of tail. Hmmm... So we were duped. The foster mom didn't want to give up sweet little Missy who was the only kitten to purr in my arms the day of the event. Ok, no big deal. We named our little impostor and love her to bit regardless.

Emily seems to have some strange issues though. I've been suspecting maybe she was kept doped up with one of those calming agents or something like that, as a kitten. Her behaviour was awkward for a 3 month old; more like a 6 week old, in fact. She was also terribly skinny. Her hip bones and ribs were clearly visible. A few days of love and regular food and she started fattening up and by the time she had her stitches out, she was a healthy weight. The vet was pleased.
Regardless of the healthy weight, Em still tends to wander around looking for food constantly. She's getting better but god forbid her bowl empties for more than an hour!

Em also seems to have very strange attachment issues. Unless she's actually sleeping (which seems rare for her considering she's a cat) she's usually following my boyfriend and I around (especially me) or doing things to get our attention. Playing for hours doesn't help much. She might wear out a little but she still has to have our attention, even if pooped from playtime. She will get more persistent if she doesn't get what she wants. Redirecting doesn't work most of the time. She ignores the toy after about 10 seconds and goes right back to trouble-making.

If she wants attention but doesn't want to play, she won't put up with play attempts. Her natural instincts may kick in briefly but after a few minutes, she flicks her stubby little tail and stalks off to find something to get into. Usually trying to knock something off a table or dresser. Nothing is safe! Not even the TV.

We may think she's tuckered out from playing, she lost interest and started laying about ignoring the toy, but the second we get comfy for a movie or to watch a favorite TV show, she's up on the TV table; sniffing this, poking that, scratching the screen!....

I think she might be hungry, so if it's about the right time, I'll dish our her daily portion of canned food. Even break out the treats (careful not to over feed, always) but she only gets more agitated. And at times it requires a time out in the bathroom to quiet her down as nothing else works. Once in a while, just grabbing her up and cuddling her works. She might fuss for a few seconds but usually, if it works, she's a puddle of purring fur within less than 5 minutes.

I'm baffled. If she were a dog I would just assume she had separation anxiety but for a cat it seems awfully strange. She had a clean bill of health from the vet. She's up on all her shots. I don't get it.

Now my boyfriend's been out of town since Tuesday and she's been glued to my hip or shoulder or feet, depending on where I am. If I try to step out onto the porch, she jumps onto the computer chair by the door so she can grab my arm and if I resist she tries to grab on with her teeth and both paws. LOL She's not trying to hurt me but she really doesn't want me to leave! She usually cries at the door when one of us leaves, even just to get the mail.

I've never seen this kind of behaviour in a cat before. I feel like I have a dog. LOL I've had kittens want to chase my feet for a game and thus make going to work a pain, but never this kind of attachment. It's not 24/7, thankfully. I think I'd lose my mind but it's the better part of every day. Usually into most of the night. She used to get worse at bed time but time outs helped until she only escalated with time outs at bed time and we made her a bed and set her up with food, water and toys for the night in the bathroom (the litter is already in there). A few nights, here and there of camping out in the bathroom seemed to get it across that attacking mum and dad all night was not cool.

That's about all I can think of. She's an absolute doll-baby but she can get super demanding and resort to claws and teeth or getting into things to get her way. (If we're trying to watch a movie, she goes for the TV or crawls in onto the DVD player and hit buttons. If I'm reading, she attacks my fingers behind the book, jumps on the book or goes after things on the bedside table. If my boyfriend is on his lap top, she's on the desk next to him, knocking things down or walking on the lap top.)

What do you do when it's an attachment issue and not an aggression issue or boredom issue? Or maybe she's just easily bored and has a short attention span? I am SO lost with my little Manx baby.
post #2 of 10
don't know if you can swing it [$$ or room or time-wise] but she might do better w/a companion cat? perhaps an older kitten - 6-8 months or so? i bet you could find a lovely playmate at your local shelter...

of course, i'm one to talk - i have 5 but things really improved around here when i got Java to keep Cable occupied [& off Pixel's nerves ].
post #3 of 10
Some cats are just little clingons. She might have had a lot of playmates when she was younger that kept her busy and now she only has you to pal around with. This is why a lot of people adopt kittens in pairs (hint), so that they can keep each other occupied and out of trouble (NOT).

She sounds adorable. I was owned by a Manx and they really have a lot of catitude!!

Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
don't know if you can swing it [$$ or room or time-wise] but she might do better w/a companion cat? perhaps an older kitten - 6-8 months or so? i bet you could find a lovely playmate at your local shelter...
(great minds think alike! )
post #4 of 10
I was also thinking she might like a playmate.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Would that I could get her a playmate right now. We're hoping to move into a bigger place soon so then it would an option.
Honestly, we got her mostly to keep me company since I'm home alone a lot and it was almost unbearable. She's been a real life saver in that respect. The "cling-on-ness" is a bit of a pain but as long as it's not something I should worry about it's worth dealing with. (Rather a "cling-on" than stand-off-sh kitty.)
I just found out she has worms though. EEWWW. Calling the vet first thing tomorrow! Ugh. I'm so creeped out by parasites. I hope they can get her in asap. Like Friday afternoon! Yikes! Wish me luck.
post #6 of 10
I adopted my boy when he was 5, and he's a "cling-on" just as you describe.
However, that was 6 months ago, and he's getting better, although I just left for my first vacation, and now he's back to totally clinging.

I don't want a second cat, but I considered it for him. However, my vet advised against it because he says that the cat is "human bonded" and another cat won't cure that problem.

It isn't much of a problem considering what a lovely, affectionate boy he is, but now I hate to leave him. When I was gone, I had a live-in sitter and a neighboring teen who came daily to play with him, but that apparently wasn't enough because he was overjoyed when I returned and hasn't left my side in the 3 days that I've been home.
post #7 of 10
I agree with the suggestions about another cat. My Spooky exhibited this kind of behavior when I moved out of my parents' house (and away from their two kitties). Eventually he drove me insane so I gave in and got him a buddy and the behavior stopped almost immediately upon introducing him to Mulder. Now they are both very affectionate with me, but also don't feel like they have to have my attention every minute. Also - I live in a one bedroom apartment with my two boys and they do just fine in the space. Best of luck with her!
post #8 of 10
I have a cat who's very clingy. He has a questionable past. I found him when he was itty bitty at a barn where I ride horses. He had teeth marks on his back leg where something had carried him off and presumably planned to eat him. He's unbelievably squirmy and I suspect that's how he got away. Anyway, I don't think I could stand him if it weren't for my other cats. The males in particular are very good with him and will let him cuddle up to them. I know it helps but then we already had three cats when I found the kitten so I don't know how much of an adjustment it would have been to get another cat after him.
post #9 of 10
My cat Panther is also pretty clingy and she loves to get into things when she doesn't get her way. Although she doesn't seem as bad as your cat, she is pretty good at getting me and my BF frustrated (such as when shes hanging from the bird cage). She pretty much follows me everywhere and runs between my legs when I try to walk around. Whenever I use a harsh tone with her she does this little whiney meow/pout and runs off and gets into something. So I think your cats behavour isn't really so different than a lot of other cats, although I got her from a shelter at a year old so there could be some connecton with her needyness.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, I just realized that because the foster care giver gave us the wrong cat, our cat probably didn't get any of her shots! We have the medical papers from the cat Missy we meant to adopt. Our Emily is technically a no-name impostor with no history and since she has worms... probably hasn't had her shots.
*Sigh* What a mess. That poor kitty.
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