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My cat won't let me near her

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I adopted Sabrina and Daisy who were about 8 months and 4 months respectively in January. Both were ferals that were found at separate trailer parks and had been with their foster mother for only about a week before I adopted them. Sabrina, the black and white one, was always just as sweet as can be. However, Daisy, the Siamese mix, was super timid and was quite the darter whenever she managed to escape from her foster mother. But as you can see from her picture she's just the most beautiful little kitten and I just had to have her. Her foster mother was apprehensive about adopting her out so soon because of her shyness, but decided living with me would be ideal for Daisy since I lived alone, and have lots of experience with cats, since I have two who are 17 and 14 living with my parents.

At first Daisy was doing great for being such a timid kitten. She immediately wanted to be best friends with Sabrina, though Sabrina didn't really want to have much to do with Daisy at first. Of course, Daisy was hiding a lot in the first couple weeks - mostly under my bed - but when I would lay down on the floor and feed her treats she would allow me to very slowly reach out and touch her. Then once I touched her, she'd immediately start purring and would rub up against me to be pet as long as I didn't make any sudden moves. But about the time that Sabrina finally warmed up to Daisy, Daisy no longer wanted anything to do with me.

Now Daisy is the most perfect, sweet, well behaved cat except that she doesn't want me near her. She's very playful, loves to cuddle with Sabrina, has a healthy appetite, doesn't have any litter box issues, she's not a very vocal cat like most Siamese, and she doesn't hide anymore. She'll even sleep within a couple feet from my desk chair, but the second she hears me move she wakes up to make sure I'm not approaching her. In the few times I've had to capture her to take her to the vet, she's never tried to scratch me and I've only heard her hiss once. She'll usually just let out one or two sweet kitten meows...never anything threatening or very scared sounding.

So I guess my question is, is it normal for her to still not want me near her after being with me for 3 1/2 months? Should I just give her more time? Should I try something else to socialize her? Is it just her breed? I know she's not doing terribly, but she hasn't really progressed any in about 2 1/2 months. Please help. I'd really like to pet my adorable little kitten.
post #2 of 6
She's lovely Jenna. It sounds very positive that she has such a good relationship with Sabrina, and that she wants the attention and closeness from her- she clearly does have an enjoyment of affection and attention and it isn't that she's by nature someone who doesn't like or want it. Jazzie was a very timid kitten when she first came, and Jake had a real understanding of that, he does a lot of 'mothering' of her and her relationship with him is closer right now than her one with me so I've had to work on her. One time I do find is a good one to work on that is before mealtimes. we have set times and about eight pm when it's time for dinner she's waiting around me to be fed- that's a time she's purring and wanting to climb over me and I can get some good contact in followed by the reward of food. I also did a lot of hand feeding her when she was very timid, little snippets of cold meat which she loves and which got her to believe my lap was a nice place to be. I hope some of the behaviour experts can give you some good ideas to help Daisy, she looks a sweetie.
post #3 of 6
It's perfectly normal, and if she could talk, she would probably tell you stories that would curl your hair about what people tried to do or did to her when she was outside. Trailer park living is hard on cats, they have to fight for everything they can get, and they are consistently terrorized by cowards and bullies.

Curb back your desire to want to pet and hold her. Let her make the moves on you. Really just ignore her, besides feeding and making sure she has clean water, fresh litter in her pans. Don't make eye contact with her, and if you do want to stare at her beauty remember to blink slowly several times to reduce the threat that direct stares mean to cats.

Petting is something we desire. Cat's just get used to it, ferals and strays take a bit longer, because usually in their history, when someone started to pet them- they ultimately got grabbed and then hurt before being re-released. She does not trust you. Ignoring her, takes the pressure off. You don't expect anything of her, and she will come around a lot faster-
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, not that I ever pushed Daisy to let me touch her, but I would definitely look at her and talk to her. But the past couple days I have been trying to ignore her and I kind of saw how it may help. Sabrina and she were playing right next to my feet a couple days ago and i looked down and caught her eye and she immediately ran off. So i can see how that could work. However, yesterday, SHE PLAYED WITH ME. I was playing with sabrina and one of her toys on those long elastic bands and Daisy came over and started tracking it so i moved it toward her and she started batting at it. Normally,she wouldn't have even come over if i were playing with Sabrina. So we're getting closer but I'm going to still try and ignore her unless she initiates the contact. thanks!
post #5 of 6
You are welcome, and if she gets into a staredown with you- just blink your eyes slowly several to take the threat away. Direct staring at a cat is a challenge for attack- Good luck!
post #6 of 6
At least your siamese comes out once in a while. I've had mine for 5 months and he is still scared of me. I consider you very lucky.
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