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The cat and the kid

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My niece came this weekend and we had a great time. Thanks to everyone for the movie suggestions!

We did have a little trauma involving Gracie right before my niece went home. Although the other two cats tend to hide when she comes, Gracie was out and about as usual. She's never let my niece pet her, but does get close enough to sniff her. That's about all Gracie will do for anybody but me. I've always told my niece not push it and just let Gracie come to her. She seemed to be making progress yesterday morning and was trying to play with Gracie when she accidently hit her in the nose with a toy, not hard, but enough to startle her. A few minutes later, when she reached her hand out to Gracie, she hissed and nipped at her, although not enough to leave a mark.
This resulted in tears from my niece who had her feelings hurt more than anything. She said, "I'm never going near your cats again!" and then "No cats like me!" I tried reassuring her this is how Gracie is with everybody, but she wasn't buying it. I also reminded her how much the kittens in foster care liked playing with her.
I just feel bad because she so badly wants my cats to respond to her and it's just not happening and can't be forced. She loves animals but doesn't have any pets of her own. I just hated seeing her so upset!
post #2 of 3
Awww...poor thing. It's hard to explain to them the nature of cats when they just want to love on them so badly!
post #3 of 3
I try to remind my kids that even a friendly cat doesn't want you walking towards him (or her). If a kid takes a string or shoelace, and walks down the hall away from the cat, most cats will follow.

My kids like to go catting-its like fishing for cats. You get a toy on a string, and throw it out into a room. You can throw it near a friendly cat, or just in the same room as a non-friendly cat. Then when you pull the toy in, often the cat will attack it! Then the kid is playing with a cat without any physical contact. If you get real creative, throw it over a coffee table, etc, it can get very fun. You can even dangle toys behind a couch for a really shy kitty. And remind her of the eye contact issue, not to look the cat straight in the eye without blinking or winking.
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