Hi All. I think this forum probably is more appropriate for my questions than the behavior forum.
We adopted Cocoa, a female longhaired tortoiseshell cat from a local organization in December. She's approximately 3-5 years old. We nearly passed her up because the photo of her on Petfinder made her look angry, but in fact, she's far from it.
What we know of her background is the following:
She was found in a neighboring town, on the streets, living in a colony I believe late October/early November of 2012. She was being taken care of by a woman who fed the colony regularly. There was some abuse from youngsters in the neighborhood. From there, a gentlemen took over her care (I've met him) because they discovered she was friendly, although prone to hissing, but once you got closer and touched her, she turned into mush, craving the physical attention it seemed. He was a friend of the rescue organization, and called them about her, and from there, they brought her in for adoption. He had her for about 1 week.
She was then vetted, spayed, and fostered from November until we adopted her in December. I've gotten friendly with one of the women who run the rescue and she told me that our kitty was rather docile, but got lost in the shuffle in her home, needing more personal attention most likely - a home with no more than 1 cat would be better for her than her foster home with many. We, only had our one resident cat so that was a good situation for her.
We suspect, she may have been someone's pet, at some point in her life, mainly because she loves being groomed and I just can't believe a truly feral cat would ever tolerate a comb or brush on it that quickly. However, I also believe she has been on the streets for quite a long time, long enough to have become shy around people, untrusting to some degree.
We did all the right introductions between her and our resident cat, putting her in a safe room for a few weeks until we felt she was ready to come out and that the two of them would get along (that, is going rather well at this point).
However, she still spends much of her time alone in the house (not her safe room at least - she has moved out from that area for the most part), removed from our company. It's a stark contrast to our other cat, who is by our side constantly, if he isn't napping. She does come out way more for me - she is "my" cat for sure. When I come home from work, she'll greet me, talk to me, etc. She does not run off from me the way she does my BF any longer. But, as much as she loves being pet, she does not solicit it at all. She's like a flash of lightening at times. Still skittish. Getting her to settle and eat meals can be a challenge; it's gotten to a point where I can't have my BF anywhere near her in order for her to eat. She bolts as soon as she sees him. She also does that burying thing with her empty bowl - as if she's trying to find a way to save leftover food; she came to us slightly underweight and we've been trying to get her to eat more. She eats really good, but doesn't seem like she understands "meal time" yet.
There are a lot of other small odd things which I know are related to her living on the streets, having several homes in the past few months, and being recently spayed also. Potentially, she also went through Hurricane Sandy I realized also. She has been through a lot in 3-4 months,
But the one thing which I think is causing the most friction here, is the hissing. My BF, just can not understand why after her being here for nearly 2 months, she has not acclimated to him yet. He's always been a cat lover and has had many cats in his life and none have been this way to him. He's taking it kind of hard and no matter how much I explain all the reasons why she might still be doing this; all of which most likely have nothing to do with him specifically, it still hurts him somewhat. She clearly likes him, enjoys him grooming her, they take naps together at times, loves his scritches, he plays with Da Bird with her, feeds her (that's a challenge for him), cleans her box, etc. He's home during the day when I'm not, so he's really involved with her and from angle, you'd think the hissing would have stopped by now, but it hasn't.
So, all of you feral gurus, is there something we're missing here? Anything else he/we can do to help Cocoa feel more comfortable living here? Something my BF can do? Are there ways to help her incorporate more fully into the household at this point? She really only comes downstairs later in the day, and we'd love to see her interacting more freely. Or, is it a case of just time will take it's course and we have to patient? I really feel bad for my BF, he wants to be able to have more fun with her, to not feel like he's upsetting her.
BTW, We did have a Feliway plugged in for a long while, but I can't say that it did or didn't help.
Lastly, I don't think there is anything "wrong" with her at all. When I think back to the timid, scared cat that arrived at our house 7 weeks ago, the change is remarkable. I, am thrilled with her progress
Edited by sivyaleah - 2/8/13 at 6:14pm