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Cat Hates Us?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

We have two cats, a two year old persian named ralphie and a 15 week old domestic long hair (Nisi) that we adopted from a shelter about three weeks ago.

The problem is this: our cats play fine together, and ralphie is very affectionate towards us (as he always was). However, Nisi is terrified of us. He runs away whenever we walk into the room, and when we try to pick him up, he hisses at us. I have no idea what to do! How was can socialize Nisi to be more friendly to people? Please help!!
post #2 of 6
You can't 'force' him to like you. Obviously, the kitten's a little shy and you're a lot bigger than it. Give it time to learn that you're not a bad animal and even can be good to it at times, and they'll come around more. Some cats take a long time to become approachable. The fact you have a good relationship with the other cat will show the kitten you're good and it's monkey see monkey do after that.
post #3 of 6
Your kitten might have been a former feral - the behavior you describe is very typical for them. I have 10 former ferals, and they do take a little more time than a kitten raised within a human household. Mine all love their mom dearly (at least I hope they do), and all came around within 30 days or less.

Don't force yourself on the kitten and don't try to constrain him. He will come around on his own terms once he realizes that you love him and you are his regular source of nourishment. He might have had a tough start and needs to learn that he can trust you. Think of him as a formerly abused child that needs to learn about love and security.

Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Yep I agree with Amy- most shelter cats are owner surrenders or strays. He could have gone through some pretty tough things at the hands of humans before arriving at the shelter.

If you know he is healthy your best bet is to just ignore him. I know that sounds difficult to do, but if you chase after him when he runs- you will only trigger his flight instinct, or you could make him feel so threatened he will turn around and fight.

Make sure he has fresh water, good food, a litterbox and just give him time. Feed him at the same time every day, in the same place, in the same bowl. Give him a routine he can count on and he will relax and you will end up having a really neat cat. Just give him time to adapt and adjust. Sometimes it takes weeks, months, and even years!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies, everyone, I need all the help I can get!

Here's what I know so far of his background: we got him when he was 12 weeks old, he'd been living in the bathroom of a foster mother's house, but before that he was a stray, living outdoors and just roaming around with his mother, brothers and sisters.

We had him checked out at the vet a few days after we got him, he's negative for FelV and leukemia, he had a little ringworm that we cleared up and last night he just got his last deworming treatment....he's due in about two weeks for his last distemper shot.
post #6 of 6
Stacey, I was in a similar situation when we got our first cat, Ophelia. She was only about 5-6 weeks old, but had a very similar response to me that your Nisi is showing. Ophelia is now 4 years old and a wonderful kitty, totally Daddy's girl. (Just to give you some hope!)

I spent a lot of time in the room with her (and our other kitty Trent, who we got 2 days after Ophelia), much of it just watching TV or reading. I played with Trent a lot, and it didn't take long before she realized that the toy was safe. As long as I didn't move toward her, or try to touch her, she was OK with playing with the wand toy. This built up trust, she realized that I was feeding her, playing with her, and that I had never hurt her. Even with the little bitty 5-6 week old kitten who was just distrustful of humans (we were the first people she saw, I'm pretty sure), it only took about a month for her to let me pet her the first time.

Mary Anne's and Amy's advice is great. Don't force yourself on Nisi, allow him to slowly gain trust that you are OK. If you have the patience with him now, you will be rewarded ten-fold for the rest of his life.
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