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My cat has Hated me since the day I got him.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've had my cat "Emo" since the last week of august.

That's over 2 months now. He lives in my house, eats the food i give him, and sleeps wherever he wants.

He wont let anyone touch him. He'll hiss and spit at you untill you back away and if you try to pet him, he'll run away as if his life depended on it.

I can't even get a hold of him to put a collar on him, let alone take him to get his shots or get fixed.

I've had him for a long time now and I'm getting pretty frustrated.

I got him as a kitten - he was about 2 months old when I adopted him. There might have been some trauma in his past...

I've got no ideas.

Any help before I resort to drastic measures?
post #2 of 20
Was he like this when you first got him at 2 months? It sounds like prior to you getting him he wasn't handled at all. It might be worth checking into how people tame ferals....not that your kitty is feral but there are techniques to gaining a cats trust and letting you pet them. It might take time but you might have to retame your kitty.
post #3 of 20
Welcome to TheCatSite!

I think that perhaps you are trying too hard. It sounds like your littly kitty is a little feral, so he will take longer to warm up to you than the typical cat.

What you want to do for now is to simply ignore him. (Feed him of course!) Just act as if he isn't there. Don't try to pet him or get him to come to you. What will happen if you ignore him is that he will stop feeling pressured and will, out of curiosity, start wanting to spend more time with you so he can figure out what is going on. Eventually, he will ask to be petted and loved.

Ignoring him will be difficult, but it truly is the way to go!

Good luck!
post #4 of 20
I hate to ask but what is your drastic measures you are talking about? Your cat sounds like he was either abused, or living on the street. He is acting typical of many cats that arrive here. Your best bet is as Renae says, to just flat ignore him. Don't worry about petting him, about putting a collar on him, see to his food, his water his litter pans and other than that, he does not exist. Set up your day as a schedule so he can count on you to have food and water at certain times each day, and do not surprise him. It takes time, but it can get done. The bond can be reached once you take your desires of what you want him to be like out of the picture and accept him for what he is today.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
wow, thanks a lot for all the quick responses.

I'm a canadian living in Japan, so i wasn't able to get any background information on the kitten. All they told me was that he was in a large litter. The people I got him from were a volunteer organization which rescues(?) cats and finds homes for them on the internet. my co-worker set it all up for me.

when i was given him, he immediately leapt out of my lap and ran to the nearest darkest corner. and hissed as the volunteer lady reached for him and dragged him out by the leash attached to his collar. i took the leash and collar off him when i got him home because i thought it was cruel to drag him out from wherever he was hiding by the leash.

i've done the ignoring thing for quite a while... i guess i'll continue.

does anyone have any links to reputable sites which deal with training feral cats?

there's a homeless guy who's always taking care of cats who i know of. recently someone translated the sign on his basket and it says he accepts stray cats. so if i can catch emo (which probably will NOT happen) i might just take him to this guy and let him take care of him.

but i'm not about to do something like that yet. My girlfriend is in love with him and i like him as well (he's my first cat, and i've ALWAYS wanted a cat) so i'm going to try and go the distance with him....

but honestly, its pretty frustrating not being able to touch (and barely look) at him without being hissed or spit at.

he spits so violently that you just jump back by instinct. he's done it to almost everyone who's tried to coax him out from under wherever he is.... it really gets your heart pounding when he hisses at you - he kind of lurches forward and swats his paw at the ground at the same time.

its frustrating to care for a cat so much and get so freaked out by it at when you're just trying to show it affection.... *sigh* oh well. i'll just do the ignore thing for a while.
post #6 of 20
Yah he sounds a bit feral. Just remember eye contact is seen as a threat. So even when you want to look at him just look out of the corner of your eye. I don't know any sites but I know there is a forum here for feral advice (I'm don't know anything about the subject). I'm sure there is a wealth of information about taming ferals though if you look on google.
post #7 of 20
He doesn't hate you, he is just scared. Think of him as a little baby deer or bunny, he is just afraid.

One tip is to not leave food out all the time, but feed him at regular times so he associates you with the food. Start by sitting 5-10 ft from the food bowl when he eats, and as he adjusts, move closer and closer until he is comfortable eating up close to you.

If you are standing, you are way more scary than if you lay down. Between you and your gf, I think you can bring this kitten around. He may never be a cuddle bug, but he will bond to the two of you and learn to trust you.

One other tip-direct eye contact is a threat to cats. Stop looking at him! (Easier said than done!) Just look next to him. If you are caught looking at him, just blink your eyes slowly and that is like a smile. (If he blinks back, it means he loves you, too!)

If he stays totally wild, maybe you can consider getting him neutered and having his shots, then turn him out to the homeless man. But you won't know that for a few months, because earning his trust will take time. But one of these nights, I suspect he will crawl in bed with you!
post #8 of 20
You asked for recommendations of reputable sites with information about handling feral cats. There are excellent resources right here, in the Cat Site forums, in the section called "Caring for strays and ferals".

I must also comment on your thought that this has taken a long time. 2 months is not a long time for a cat. It would take a perfectly socialized cat at least a month to feel comfortable in a new home, and this apparently feral kitty might take a year or more to really get used to being with you.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
heh alright. i'll just give him some more patience and time.

i'm going to do some reading about socializing feral cats (this forum is a great resource, i've already learned a lot of things i had no idea about), and get to sleep.

thanks for all your help.

glad i found this board.
post #10 of 20
Glad you found this board too, DK!

It feels awful to have a pet acting like they don't like you, but as other posters have given their great advice above, you know this isn't the case.

When I first got Lovey, he was an on and off stray (not feral) with a sketchy background. He spit and hissed for days and would actually act like he was going to attack at first.. It was very scary and I thought he would never love me.
Though I know its been awhile in your case, I would give him time.

After 3 months, my Lovey (he didn't fit his name at first) gave me kisses, jumped in my lap, snuggled and eventually turned his belly up (only to me) to skritch.. You would think these were two different cats. But he has come along way from hiding and spitting and hissing from a corner.
Today after 9 months together, he is my absolute baby.

I hope Emo comes around soon. Just have some more patience!
This site helped me ALOT. Welcome!
post #11 of 20
I will be glad to help you. You can reach me via email or PM off this website. Really, your cat sounds quite typical of the cats that come here. There are a lot of things you can do to put this cat at ease and the first thing is stop showing fear (jumping back when he spits and hisses) He will feed on that and use it as a weapon to keep you away. He simply believes you are going to hurt him, and you have to show him that he is wrong. It is a long process, it can take months, it can take years. I am not one to believe you can train or tame feral cats unless you break their spirt. You can socialize these wonderful cats, no matter what age they are.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the suggestions... a year with a hissing cat doesn't sound too good, so i hope he comes around after 3 months like Lovely did. I'm going to continue feeding him like normal and trying to play with him.

i'll just forget about trying to touch him. In the past i've touched him when he's close enough but not paying attention to me because he's eating. he reacts as if an electric shock has run through him, jolting and running away at top speed.

and jumping away when he spits and swats is an instinct. I'm a guy, and i hate to show any kind of fear ... by instinct - but its really hard not to jump away when he hisses and spits.... (hissing i can deal with - but the spitting.....)

he's meowing at me right now because he's hungry so i'll get him his breakfast.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dk_-
he's meowing at me right now because he's hungry so i'll get him his breakfast.
Well that right there is a step in the right direction! I wouldn't even try to play with him yet. Or try once with a string and stay out of site and see how he reacts. If he freaks out then forget that idea for another month or so. If he plays with it then keep at it but slowly make yourself visable. First a hand then an arm then a leg. I am thinking like if he is under the bed, sit on top the bed and drape the string over, then let him see that the string is attached to an arm, then maybe swing your leg over the bed slowly. All this over a long period of time and SLOWLY.
post #14 of 20
Jen has it right. Its going to take patience on your part.
Don't attempt to interact with him AT ALL. Just attend to his food and his litter.
Try just sitting in the same room with him (on the floor) and read a book or other activity. Hissy has recommended even reading out loud so he gets used to your voice
(I think it was Hissy...forgive me if not).
If he comes near you, ignore him and let him take the initiative.
Don't attempt to reach out and pet him for a long while (after several of these sessions)
I SO hope he comes around..
post #15 of 20
If the cat is an exferal, you must let him come to you in his own time.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks for all your advice.

a bit of an update:

he's taken to sleeping in my bed when i'm not there, which is nice, but he takes off at top speed if i'm standing in the room.

he jumps up and hangs off of curtains for a lot of the day. doesn't bother me, they're cheap curtains.

i've built him a cage because that was recommended by some feral cat people. so i'm going to keep him in a cage soon.

recently his poo has become SUPER stinky. before it didnt smell at all - now its really bad. Also he's had diarreah on a few occasions. one of the feral cat guides recommended giving plain yogurt to cats with diarreah, so I did that, and he threw up.

he constantly meows at me. he has food, he's used the litter box, he's warm, he's fine. but he's constantly meowing at me. if i approach him he'll hiss. if i try to play with him, he'll run away.

what do you think he's meowing for? thankfully i'm a heavy sleeper so he can't wake me up.

he loves laying in front of the kerosene heater. unfortunately i only run it when in the house, while awake. so he only gets a few hours of that a day. and he loves sleeping in my bed when i'm not looking. if i'm looking at him, he's looking back and preparing to jump out.

he'll jump and hang off my matress as well.

i made a bit of a toy for him, with which he played with for about an hour. its just some tough material cloth on the end of a rope... but the next day he ran away from it and he wont go near it anymore. do i constantly have to go out and buy him new toys? he seems to enjoy playing by himself more than with me anyhow.

last week he escaped outside for a good portion of the day. i was pulling in laundry and he darted past me. i went outside to call him and he just ran away. so that night i left the door open and he came back at around 5am to eat. i closed the door again and haven't left it open since. i think he's really curious about going outside..

his cage seems quite small to me, i don't know if i should make it bigger (add a 2nd floor) or just put a box in it for him to sleep in....

i have cat nip (powder form, and small piece form) but i dont know how to use it, and i think it gives him diarreah....

thanks for all your feedback and advice!
post #17 of 20
There's a thing called "comfort zone" check it out, i've heard nothing but good things about it. It helps calm cats...It's a tad expensive, but i hear it works AWESOME!

I had a feral cat one time not too long ago, in fact he just ran away a couple days ago. The little week and half story is here....LOTS of good information on there on caring for feral cats...

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70251

Here's the link for comfort zone info...it is ALSO called feliway, feliway is the spray bottle with the stuff in it, "comfort zone" is the thing you plug into the wall that just constantly gives off the feliway stuff.

http://www.catfaeries.com/feliway.html
post #18 of 20
I would not recommend a cage for him. Just let him be in your home and just give him time to get used to everything. They really do come around if you stop demanding that they act a certain way and just accept them for what they are. Trust me, I do this all the time, and I have been doing this for over 20 years now. Just let this kitten be for now. Set him up on a feeding schedule and stick to a routine with him and he will come around.
post #19 of 20
Just a quick reply - you have been given some good advice but I had to hate that no cat "hates" a human. You are ascribing him an anthropomorphic characteristic that he simply does not have. He is scared little kitten who needs you to simply be patient and give him time to adjust to you and the new surroudings!!

Good luck!!! Give him lots of love and he will come around! Heave knows what he has been through - and kitties are easily stressed. Give him time, TLC, food, toys and let him come to you at his own pace and hopefully, things will turn out fine. Good luck!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Glad you found this board too, DK!

It feels awful to have a pet acting like they don't like you, but as other posters have given their great advice above, you know this isn't the case.

When I first got Lovey, he was an on and off stray (not feral) with a sketchy background. He spit and hissed for days and would actually act like he was going to attack at first.. It was very scary and I thought he would never love me.
Though I know its been awhile in your case, I would give him time.

After 3 months, my Lovey (he didn't fit his name at first) gave me kisses, jumped in my lap, snuggled and eventually turned his belly up (only to me) to skritch.. You would think these were two different cats. But he has come along way from hiding and spitting and hissing from a corner.
Today after 9 months together, he is my absolute baby.

I hope Emo comes around soon. Just have some more patience!
This site helped me ALOT. Welcome!
post #20 of 20
My parents have 2 that are brother and sister and they don't even let you pick them up and if you go near they run away and hide.. They both go to my mom, .. she talks all soft to them with her hand out and they let her pet them and thats it.. They also, will sleep with her ..

She's had them both since like about 6-7 months old..They were born out on her deck.
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