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Can pet her with my feet NOT hands

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I recently adopted a 1 y/o female from a loving mother who had to give her away. Well, the cat is getting really comfortable with me except for a few things. She will only let me pet her with my feet. When I do, she purrs and loves it even letting me rub her belly. Then, I'll slowly lower my hands and sometimes she will sniff them, most times she will try to claw/swipe them and then start to back away and murr/lightly growl (saying a "hey..don't do that"). But she will come right back in a few moments for my feet again for more loving attention. I have a feeling this could be caused due to the last owner playing with her using her hands. It could be something else, I'm not really sure why.

Also, she is afraid to jump on my bed or lap to cuddle with me, but I can tell she wants to (she sleeps close to my bed and observes me at night...giving me a look of wanting love). She finally only explored my bed after I took another cat on it and petted the other cat to show this is a place for love. Her checking out the bed and smelling where the other cat was also shows her curiosity of the other cat, who she hisses at when I try introducing eachother.

She seems to be a mildly timid cat, very intelligent observing the scene before she lets it happen. I'm just wondering what I can do so she isn't afraid of my hands, I'm going to have to take her to the vet, and it would be hard to get her into a carrier with only my feet.
post #2 of 17
Do you use some kind of lotion on your hands? Do you smoke? All kinds of things may be putting her off that you can't imagine. Then again it may have nothing much to do with you really, just that hands freak her out in some weird cat way (previous owner problems?), but don't take it too personally, she obviously needs love and at least will accept some form of it from you.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Don't smoke...no lotion...sometimes she might be able to smell if I have touched the other cat in the house. However...her last owner(mommy) was able to pet her, pick her up, etc.
post #4 of 17
How long have you had her? Sounds as if she is still adjusting, perhaps?
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
yeah, she is still adjusting...its been about a week and a half. She seems to have stopped making adjustment progress in her seeking closeness from me and only wants love through my feet and lower body. When I go to feed her, she follows my feet and as I slowly bend down to put the food in the bowl she starts backing off in a defensive low to the ground stance and may do a weak type of growl or whimper almost like "get your hands away from my food bowl" or something.
post #6 of 17
Do you wear cologne? I've noticed that some cats hate the smell of it, and don't want to be around your neck/hands if you're wearing it.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
no cologne
post #8 of 17
Are you letting her sniff your hand first? When I first got Cindy two months ago (and still somewhat), if I approached her slowly with my hand palm up and let her sniff my fingers first she would let me pet her. If I reached down to pet her or toward her with my hand otherwise, she would flinch and run away.
post #9 of 17
Have you tried crouching down on her level instead of bending over to pet her? She may be more responsive to your touch that way. She may also enjoy some one-on-one play with you that might end with some good lovins' & petting.

Also, just give her time to settle in. If she came from a one-cat only house, she may be overwhelmed by the other cats. It took my Callie 2 years with me before she'd jump up in my lap and now that we've added Hannah, she seldom if ever jumps on my lap or sits beside me on the couch like she used to. I've been giving her some exclusive time with me where I groom her (she loves that!) and give her lots of pets and loves.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
yeah, I tried all that. She takes a very timid sniff of my hand and then usually slowly backs away in fear, sometimes scratching my hand. I've also tried sitting indian style with my hand on my kneees very still (yoga-pose) with my eyes closed to let her come check out my upper body and she shows no interest yet, only when I'm sitting on something with my feet dangling or while standing still, will she come over for some love from my feet.

Also, I've played with her favorite toy on my bed and she will only go as close as the edge of the bed. I also tried putting her scratching thing on my bed to see if she would use it there. No luck yet...
post #11 of 17
A week and a half is no time at all. Perhaps she's associating hands with being put in a carrier and taken away from her home. Give her time.
As far as having to take her to the vet's, I'd suggest getting a carrier that opens from the top as well as the side, as it's easier to get cats in and out, taking the door off her carrier and making it a "fun" space by feeding her in there, even if it's just a snack, and putting on gloves when the time comes to get her into it for her check-up.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
jumped on my bed to use the scratching thing behind my back...I turn around to look at her to see what the noise is about, and she jumps off as if she did something wrong.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Today, I put her food bowl on my bed and she ate from it there

Also, I was able to pet her with gloves on my hands. She did claw at the gloves a few times, but not nearly as bad as she was. I think she's getting more comfortable.
post #14 of 17
I'd try some Feliway Comfort Zone...it's a diffuser that runs about $35 around here (I'm in Chicago) and works like a dream. It comforts them and makes them more calm and docile and less on edge. I've introduced 3 cats into my household with it, including one unsocialized "high risk" kitty, who withint a week was a lap cat. I reccommend it.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I sprayed Feliway all around my room especially where the other cat in my house was clawing my furniture. I'm not sure if it helped my cat that much or not.
post #16 of 17
I'd like to also recommend the feliway plug in. Cindy was hiding under the bed after a trip to the vet and being forced by me to take meds. After 3 days, I got one and plugged it in, and she hasn't been under the bed since. I now have 3 of them in areas she frequents, and you would not know she is the same cat who was so timid. She also used to jump off furniture she was on if I came into the room. I figure she must have been hit/yelled at wherever she was before I got her, poor little gal. I've had her two months, so I would say just be patient and don't give up!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
well...I can finally pet her with my hands and she seems to like it. I'm wondering if it is because I had to grab her and pick her up to get her into a carrier to get her to the vet.

Still, she doesn't want to get on my bed unless there is food there. She hasn't used her scratching post since the other cat in my house scratched it while visiting. She seems rather submissive suddenly.
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