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Cat behavior

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all, this isn't really a problem, but just wondered if anyone could help clue me in on something, or perhaps someone else has a cat who behaves like this too. 3 years ago, I got a 6 week old tabby female kitten- who is my problem child. Now I know 6 weeks is quite young really, but when I went to look at the kittens, I did not know how old they were until I got there. I saw the environment these kittens were in, and although it wasn't that bad, it wasn't ideal. I don't think the kittens got very much human contact. The family had a dog who was pestering the kittens, and so they put mom and babies outside in the shed...luckily it was summer time! All the kittens seemed to really shy away from us. I picked out one, feeling sorry for her and thinking that her staying in that environment for another 2 weeks or so, was not going to do her any good, so I took her home. We named her Sydney. We did think she was a bit strange even then. She didn't like being held, not even for a second, and she wasn't keen on sitting on your lap, BUT, she does like the sit on you when you are in bed. She was also a bit temperamental. A year later, a friend of mine had a litter of kittens, part Maine Coon, part ordinary cat, and I picked out a male because I really wanted one, and I thought maybe Sydney would like the compnay being an indoor only cat. He was the prettiest of the bunch, cream colored fluffy fur, we named him Toby. When I brought him home at 9 weeks old, he was lovely. So good natured and he took to me straight away- he is a real mommy's boy. I can't say enough good things about Toby. He is well behaved, and loving. Lets you brush him everyday, is easy to medicate etc. My friend gave him a lot of attention in his first weeks, so I think that made a lot of difference. Sydney, however, hated him. Her behavior got worse. She was more temperamental than before. She would sometimes swat him, but I could see she didn't extend her claws, so she didn't mean to hurt him, just make a point. About 2 months later, I brought in another kitten that was found as a stray by a friend of mine. They couldn't keep her because they already had 6 cats and really didn't want another. So after a week of trying to see if she belonged to anyone, my husband suggested we take her in. The vet said she looked about a month younger than Toby. She is a tabby like Sydney, but darker....we named her Tabitha. Sydney's behavior didn't seem to get worse after this really, Toby and Tabitha became great friends, so that took the pressure off Sydney a bit. Sydney has always treated Tabitha better than Toby....not sure why. She seems to hate Toby, but just dislike Tabitha. Tabitha has her own issues, she is mommy's girl for sure, she hasn't really taken to anyone else but me, and she is so needy and chatty all the time. My other cats hardly meow, although Toby loves to chirp. Tabitha also has a bend in her tail, which you can't see, you can only feel. The vet said she probably got her tail shut in a door.
Eventually, Tabitha decided she didn't want any more to do with Toby, why I don't know.
So Sydney is still temperamental, she will lash out if she's angry enough (like when you try to medicate her). I have been scratched and bitten quite a few times by her- she hates to be controlled. She is naughty in comparison to the other cats. She has never had a toilet problem, fortunately- she always goes in her litter tray. What she likes to do is jump up high on things, like the stereo speaker on the wall, which comes crashing down with her. I fear she will get hurt, but luckily so far (fingers crossed) she hasn't, and luckily she doesn't do it often. Her favorites are jumping on tops of doors, jumping on the tops of the kitchen cupboards, places like that.
I think she has a split personality. She can be horrible, but extrememly loving on HER terms only. If you are sick or crying, she comes to you. I love her dearly, so I've put up with her, and learned to live with her issues. She does get slightly better as she gets older.
Recently I got 2 British Shorthair kittens, which Toby is loving it all. Tabitha ignores them really, and Sydney treats the male kitten worse than the female....seems she has something against male cats for some reason. She's never hurt any of the cats, she just growls and hisses at them, sometimes swatting them, but not with her claws.
Anyone know why she might be acting like this? I've learned to accept her the way she is, and I wouldn't give her up for anything, but it would be ideal if she was better. I didn't treat her any differently from any other cats, but she behaves so much differently. Just always wonder what causes these things. Also, when we first got her, she preferred me over my husband, now it's the other way around. I think that started after Toby came. Toby and Tabitha gravitate to me, while they ignore my husband, but Sydney seems to prefer him now.
If anyone has a similar behaving cat, I would love to hear from you.

post #2 of 3

First of all, I want to welcome you to The Cat Site. I am also new here.

Possibly the issues Snydney has do stem from her lack of human contact as a kitten. I had a cat, Midnight, who lived at a no-kill animal shelter from the age of 2 months until we adopted her at the age of 8 months. Living at a shelter, she didn't get alot of human contact either.

Midnight had some of the behavior issues that your cat Snydney has. Midnight wasn't as temperamental as Snydney, but she was still tempermental. Everything had to be on Midnight's terms. She didn't like to sit on laps or be held. Midnight liked to be in high places also, and on counter tops. From the very beginning, she was very loving and affectionate with me, but was afraid of other people. If Midnight heard anyone comming into our home she would run and hide, so she was seldom seen. People (usually my parents) would ask me what wrong with Midnight, and I would tell them I thought it was because of her difficult start in life as a kitten.

Four years after we adopted Midnight, we adopted a kitten we named Snowball. At first, Midnight had some problems accepting another cat, she would slap at Snowball and hiss at him. The longer the cats lived together, the more tolerant Midnight became, but she would still sometimes hiss.

Midnight eventually got over her fear of people, and the older she got the less evident her problems were. Syndney may also gradually improve with age.

I don't know if this helps you or not.
post #3 of 3
Sydney is so much like my precious Alex.

Alexander hates being touched if it isn't his idea, but is lovey and cuddly at night, but only with me. He has adjusted to my husband, but is terrified of anyone except Greg and I and my mom and dad. He barely tolerates my other cats. He growls,hisses, and swats if they get too close. He gets very jealous when I pet the others, even if he has just refused to be petted. He was even backing them down in order to get them to move away from my hands, but he isn't doing it as often now. Getting him in his carrier to go to the vet is a major undertaking involving blood loss and cursing. The slightest noise or swift movement startles him. He was born to a feral mother and until he was 6 weeks old (when I found him), had probably never been within 10 feet of a human.

I wish I had some brilliant advice, but I don't. I just let Alex be Alex. And I buy lots of Band-Aids.
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