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Shy Kitten (doesn't trust my husband)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here! My husband and I adopted a 4 month old maine coon mix from a shelter 3 weeks ago.

We've had to have a lot of patience with her and have been training her to not bite and claw us when we pet her. She's very skittish, but she's really come a long way with her training. She still throws her paw up at us when she gets irritated, but it's much better than claws or teeth.

My problem is that she's warming up to me much more quickly than my husband--and whenever my husband has a day off, she doesn't really want to hang around me either (she hides under the futon and gets grumpy). I'm at home almost all the time, while my husband works 40-50 hours a week (depending). While my husband goes to work she often loves and rubs up on me, purring and sitting or sleeping quietly beside me. Whenever he gets home, she will rarely even let ME pet her. Does anyone have any ideas on how we get her to trust him and be comfortable with both of us at home?
post #2 of 15
she si still adjusting... have your husband give her food and treats and play with her when he is home
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well, he plays with her a lot when he is home, and is a treat giver about 1/5 of the time. Maybe it will just take more time for him since he is gone all the time. I truly hope she warms up to him soon--he loves animals, and I know it bothers him that she is so jumpy around him.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
anyone else have any suggestions?
post #5 of 15
I've just started seeing someone who came to my house the other week.

Sophie is a love bug and will go to anyone, where as Rosie (my tortie girl) is always wary of strangers.

I warned Gil about the way she is with strangers and said just to leave her because of this and at first she hissed at him but he ignored her and 2 days later we were sitting and up jumped Rosie onto Gils lap, something she's never ever done with strangers!

Like Sharky said, get your husband to win her over with treats such as giving her a couple when he comes home from work, and that way she'll know that she's getting something from her daddy as soon as he comes home.

Give it time and he will get there with her
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I hadn't even thought about him immediately giving her a treat when he gets home! I think we will do that!

My hubby was home the first half of today and we were both cuddled up on the couch quietly. Seth jumped on the couch (which is rare when he is home) and walked around on us, sniffing his feet and hair. Then she jumped down and went about her own business.

I can tell she's curious about him, but I think she's unsure of him. We decided to start having him read a few paragraphs out of a book or something every night while near her just in case she is afraid of his voice.
post #7 of 15
I agree with Susan. She will come round eventually. Have him do the treating.

Lovey didn't like my BF and Rocky was skittish and indifferent to BF until he started feeding them sometimes. Now, Rocky just loves BF and will often lay with him more than me (though Lovey is always in my lap so there isn't much left for Rocky anyway )
post #8 of 15
She'll come around and plus once she's spayed she should be a bit more calm etc..
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
She's already been spayed. She was spayed a week before we adopted her I believe.
post #10 of 15

Does he talk to her? or like play with her or anything?
post #11 of 15
Is there a chance that there was a male who maybe mistreated her? I know its common for dogs to be skittish around the sex that was abusive toward them. I think the only thing that will help her is time with him. Him giving her treats when he gets home is good too.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
My husband is not a very talkative person, but he spends a lot of playtime with her (she doesn't have a problem with playing fishing pole with him). I've been trying to get him to talk to her more and say rewarding things to her (and he's been working on this since yesterday). I think it's very discouraging for him being pushed away when he's being so nice to her.

Phenomsmom, it IS possible that she was abused. Her past is very sketchy to us, but we are willing to be here for her no matter what. We already love her dearly and consider her our family. We will get her through this!
post #13 of 15
One of my cats is a spazz too - he doesn't really trust my husband. I've found that it comes and goes, even though my husband does everything he should. Some cats are just like that - esp. those who have been abused, and (I'm guessing here) socialized ferals.

My cat in question was rescued by me only because he was very sick and couldn't run as fast as the others at this nasty barn full of cats. I guess he's always going to be a bit "off," since he started off HATING people. He's come a long way though.

Cats are a lot like humans personality wise in some ways. They are all just gonna be themselves, and some of that is permanent.

I do hope your situation improves though - both in your cat's trust and you and your husband's feeling about this problem. It'll be OK>
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm. I seem to see a recurring theme with a lot of cats not trusting men... Coincidence or something else?

Thanks for the kind words. I really hope we can make her a happy kitty.
post #15 of 15
I think a lot of it has to do with the cats' previous experience as well as their living situation. Think of it realistically too - we women are more likely to dote on these kitties than men are (for the most part). That said, my precious and very skittist little girl is absolutely Daddy's girl. It (was) a bit frustrating to me because I was the one who spent every evening in the room with her as a feral kitten, I was the one who worked so hard to gain her trust. But I also think that had something to do with it. I TRIED everything with her, and he spent his days in the computer room, basically ignoring her most of the time. So, she didn't feel threatened by him at all.

Basically, there are two things your husband can do to win the trust of this little girl - either work on associating himself with good things, i.e. wet food or treats, or ignore her completely. IF she was abused by a male and that's why she doesn't trust him, ignoring her will prove that he's not a threat. When she came up and sniffed him up and down while you were snuggling on the couch, it sounds like neither of you were paying attention to her at all. So she felt safe in approaching him.

This is just an idea. Ignoring the cat is what we tell people with very scared ferals. Curiosity really does rule in the cat world, and if you aren't paying attention to them they want to know why. But it does sound like he's making progress with the treats, so if that's working I wouldn't change it. If it isn't working, though, here's an alternative he can try.
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