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Is my cat a snob?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all.
New here..Great and informative site...!

I am a novice cat owner, just having been adopted by Lovey, a 1.5 year old beautiful adult neutered grey longhair..

He had been bounced around a few times in his life but has found a permanent home with me.

Our first couple of days together were stressful for him and after allowing him to approach me slowly, giving lots of love, play and bonding, he has seemed to developed some good trust (I have had him a week).

He seems to have adjusted, loves to play and be skritched and petted and cuddle..

My problem is he is the opposite of friendly with newcomers at this point.

When a stranger comes in, he may allow them to pet him, but may not. He hisses and swipes..He doesn't run away but says to them "who the heck are you and when are you leaving?"

He doesn't have to be adoring to everyone he sees, but I would appreciate if he didn't do the hissing and swiping..If they didn't see how he is with me (the loving boy), they would never believe he is a nice cat .

Will he grow accustomed to regular visitors (family/friends) over time? Or is it hard to tell? Is there anything I can do to facilitate him accepting people or anything I should NOT be doing??

Any advice appreciated.
Edited to add: Just thought I would add in that his attitude seems to grow more agitated with visitors...He paces (looks like a little tiger walking and goes from room to room...If they want to go to the bathroom, he waits outside and swipes at them as they go by). And heaven forbid, they attempt to walk over him if he is planted in a doorway. Its really as if he is saying "I am going to make it uncomfortable for you to be here.."
When they are gone, he seems satisfied with himself!

post #2 of 9
Welcome to TCS! I am glad to hear that he has found a "permanent home" with you and that your seeking advice instead of just tossing him to a new home. Bravo!

I would suggest you caution your visitors to ignore him and not approach him or pet him. When they leave, have them put down a treat for the kitty where they were. At least, thats similar to a suggestion I have heard for weary cats needing to build up trust mixed with a scared cat afraid of people... and I am no expert. I am sure you will get more advice, and most likey some even better soon. Good luck!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just started doing this yesterday..I got the guest to go and put a treat near him though..>He sniffed and walked away (though he doesn't always eat his treats right away even from me)...It was gone later on though....

I guess I just assumed that if a cat was friendly with one person and was safe in his home, he would react the same way with all people coming into that home...silly, I know..but I have handled dogs mainly and never dealt with any type of aggression.

Thanks again!!
I welcome all ideas..
post #4 of 9
Dushka is the most relaxed cat I have ever had - when it comes to me! I can pick her up from any position, carry her anywhere, stop her doing things, even give her pills, and she just accepts it and purrs. She sleeps on my lap, shoulder, arm, or tucked into my body. For more than a year though, she would not let anyone else come near her, let alone pet her or pick her up. Then she began to change, and now she will sniff guests, and as long as they are in the house and seem relaxed, she will jump on them and ask for a cuddle. Outside though, she is the same as always with strangers, and runs from anyone coming into the garden. Give it time, and there is every chance your cat will change, as long as there are no bad vibes associated with other people.
post #5 of 9
Nah... Baylee's a bit like your cat, though not as drastic. With me she'll chill and do her own thing, she'll let me carry her like a baby (on her back) from place to place... but if a cat comes in, she hides. Eventually she might come out but usually she'll stay a distance away. Every cat is different though - Max gets nervous at new people but he'll follow them around to see what they're doing.
post #6 of 9
when i fist got socks, he was exactly the same right up untill he was about 8 months old, i actully posted it on here about him, he would literally attack anyone who came into our home, hissing, swiping, he even gashed my best friend cheek, he would growl, follow them, wouldnt let them out his sight!
But as he's gotten older he's become more relaxed, maybe your cat is territoral(sp?) maybe he just isint for other people, socks is still mostly for me now, he wont let anyone else pick him up or he wont go and sit on their lap, but he will with me.
Maybe just give him time and see how he goes with this one.
post #7 of 9
Congratulations on your new family member:-).

One thing to keep in mind is that your cat may still feel a little insecure in her new home. She knows and trusts you, but perhaps her previous experience with strangers have been less than 'nice', so she is 'defending' her home by trying to warn strangers away. The best thing you can do is have your visitors ignore her and let her set the pace of the introduction. They could even have a treat near where they are when they are there and see if your cat will approach them and 'sniff' them out, then find the treat and feel 'reassured' that this is a safe person.

I have one cat who is so social it is ridiculous - I joke that he was a dog in his past life - plus one who 'watches' and then approaches. I have 3 cowards though, who run and hide whenever people are here. If we have visitors who stay overnight, however, they come out and are perfectly fine with them, playing and interacting and having a great time.

Your girl sounds like she should relax and be fine with visitors quite well since she stays out in the open, even if she hisses at them when they approach her. Once she realizes that the visitors are safe, she will become a lot less vigilant, and may even begin to enjoy their company.

Good luck
post #8 of 9
Your cat is understandably afraid of strangers. I am reading the best book right now called Outwitting Cats by Wendy Christensen. In it she has wonderful insights into the feline mind.One section called The Secret's of Your Cat's Mind says this:

"Your cat is a creature of habit. She craves routine, repitition and ritual. She dislikes and distrusts change of any kind, especially if it is not her idea. She's happiest in a peaceful, harmonious, predictable environment, over which she feels she has a large measure of control..."

Your cat has had several previous owners and lots of upheavals in her life. Perhaps she views these friends coming over, as someone who is going to take her out of her comfort zone (as has previously happened to her) someone has scooped her up and stuck her in a carrier and carried her off. To protect herself, she becomes Miss Hiss, a formidable opponent thus keeping her where she knows she belongs with you.

I would tell your guests to just ignore her. Once she realizes that you get a lot of visitors and no one molests her, she will calm down.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
Thanks so much for the suggestions and support!! Wow, I didn't expect all the responses..That is great.
I will give him some time and keep up with the treat thing.

I can also carry him around like a baby, pick him up whenever...and he comes when I call him!

He will swipe at me too, but claws are retracted and no hiss..Its just to get my attention as I go by...He will also pat my face if on my lap and I stop petting him.

He is suck a big suck and is not really living up to his name with anyone but me

Again, thanks, I will continue to stick around and see what else I can learn...I have had cats in my life and have done some research but have more to learn on specific issues.

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