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Please Help... Any helpful info will be deeply appreciated

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
PLEASE if anyone can help....I have recently (Tues. march 27th) stopped by our local animal control. They had a cat which belonged to someone with cancer and could no longer care for their pet so they brought to the animal control facility for adoption. The cat has been spayed and declawed. I have been informed that when it arrived it was friendly and shortly after it's arrival it became viscous. I have the animal at my home now and today is day 5 the cat has not shown any signs of improvement. I have it isolated from my other house cats in my bathroom. It hisses and vicously bites if you try and touch her or get to near. It's body trembles with fear and it urinates on itself if you get to near. I try to speak softly and encourage it that I mean it no harm but I have been failing miserably. I am at my wits end. If the animal had not been declawed I would have released it at my barn. Being declawed I do not know what to do? PLEASE HELP WITH ANY INFO...I do not want to have it put down if their is any means to get through to it.
Sincerely, Duchune01 (Colleen)
post #2 of 7
Continue to keep the cat in a small quiet room (with hiding places like a bedroom) Keep the lights dim and play soft music. Buy a Feliway Plug-in from PetSmart or a similar store and do not approach the cat. Don't even look at the cat. Periodically throughout the day, sit in the room with the cat, read to it, talk softly, but don't look at or pet her until she approaches you.

That is really great that you rescued her, she is probably terrified going from her familar home to a place with cold cages and distressed animals, to a strange home with strange people.

She needs a lot of time, just be patient.
post #3 of 7
Have you heard of Rescue Remedy or Feliway? These probducts are supposed to help with aggression, but I have no experience with them...just something you may want to look into.

First things first, I would call the vet and ask for their help or experiences. Vets have usually seen every possible scenario. They really may be able to offer some good advice.

It sounds like this is going to take plenty of time and patience. And introducing yourself very slowly and using a method of 'one step at a time, on her terms'.

I would start by not trying to reassure her...the only contact I would make is to bring her food. Give her the food and then leave. This will associate you with something positive.

Then, when she seems to be used to that schedule of expecting you for the food and seems more calm when you bring the food, I would start talking gently to her while you are dropping off the food, but do not stick around. let her get used to that being 'normal'.

I would then move on to actually staying in the room for a few minutes...never getting close, but just getting her used to the fact that your presence is not a danger.

If you do not have the time or patience to form a relationship with her very, very slowly...I think I would try to take her to a no-kill shelter.
post #4 of 7
First off understand that this cat needs to be seen by a vet if she hasn't already. Make sure you ask the vet to examine the declaw site because sometimes they get infected, causing the animal great pain, and the animal lashes out.

My feeling is this cat is either in great pain, or it is scared and in mourning. Her entire world has changed and since she can't talk to you and let you know what is wrong she is acting out as cats do in body language. She apparently wants nothing to do with you for whatever reason.

Keep the household calm, no unnecessary noise, keep her isolated in a room with the room fairly dark. Put her on a feeding schedule and don't deviate, feed with the same bowls, at the same times each day so she knows instinctively when you are in the room. Schedule reading times as well. Go in sit directly on the floor and read to her softly. Do not make eye contact with her, do not expect her to do anything but be in the room. Keep this also on a schedule and before you leave after you get up off the floor put down mighty tasty meaty treats right where you were sitting, then leave.

It takes time to work through stress, mourning, terror, uncertainty in cats. Don't push contact with her, let her make all the moves on her terms. But please get her to the vet YOUR vet, don't rely on the shelter vets because at times they are not all that forthcoming about their rescued animals. My guess is she is in pain, and you need to find out why.

To capture her, you need a thick towel, a lot of patience and remember to work with her slowly. Corral her into a small room, then into a corner and using the towel, either herd her into a large carrier or scoop her up carefully and put her inside the carrier. She may not have all her claws, but her teeth can do a lot of damage. Do NOT make eye contact with her. Cats consider this a invitation of war. If you accidently meet her eyes, blink several times slowly then back away with your head bowed to remove the threat. Remove your shoes when you are around her, and try to stay on your knees as much as possible.

Good luck
post #5 of 7
Just wanted to say that hissy knows from what she speaks. She gave me invalluable advice on a very wild, traumatized feral that I was trying to socialize. The hardest thing for me is to have the patience, because it is a slow process, but now, every day, I see tiny signs of improvement. Now she will let me put food in front of her without hissing or backing off (even though she's in her "safe" place), she will now eat in front of me, and even has taken to walking out to my bedroom door when she knows I'm in there and meows at me (and I just meow back a couple of times, say hello while averting my eyes, or, "come on in, it's okay" and then go back to my tv, computer or whatever). Yesterday for the first time, Iand I know that if I keep following her advice, eventually this cat will come to me. In fact, last night when I said, "come on in," she actually leaned her body forward about 1/2" and then thought better of it. LOL

But considering the fact that less than two weeks ago all she would do is lay curled up in a cat bed with her head and face pushed down into it, go for anyone who came near her, and just peed and pooped wherever she was (including all over my stove), I consider this miraculous. I also know how hard it is not to try and pet and love them, at least until you begin to see the results.

The ignoring thing seems to work really well too.

And a lot of admiration and respect to you for being willing to take a cat like this into your home and give it that kind of unconditional love.

And if you read this, thank you Hissy!
post #6 of 7
I am thrilled to learn that you have made great strides with her. It does take patience, and if you are losing yours, then go for a walk and do some deep breathing and some deep thinking, then come in and start again.
post #7 of 7
I'm not losing my patience at all. This is one of the most rewarding things I've ever tried to do, and it seems that before I even get to the point of weakening patience or otherwise, I see the tiniest change and that motivates and recharges me to continue on just like you recommended, and just like I have been.

I hope no one feels I am hijacking this tread. Since it is a similar situation, i hope that sharing this will help you know what to expect, etc.

Even today, 2 things happened. She came over the bedroom door again (about a foot back from the doorway, the closest she's come) as usual, but this time stared right at me and meowed and continued to stare (before she would look at me, look away, meow). I knew this time she was trying to tell me something. I didn't get up, but I very slowly turned towards her, put my hand out palm up, and said, "pss, pss, come here sweetie. it's okay. I love you." She actually stretched her head forward a few inches, and looked left and right in the room. I just stayed perfect still at that point, and just averted my eyes.

She then backed up, turned and walked into the living room. But walked. Didn't slink, run, bolt.

The second was she was in the kitchen meowing, and I went in there and lay on the floor. She took the "bolt to my safe place" stance, but I just put my chin on my hands and stared straight ahead, away from her. Then Rocky came in and walked on me. She watched this, relaxed from her stance, and simply lay down, facing away from me. I couldn't believe it.

I stayed that way for a couple of minutes, and then slowly got up and left.

But you know, those tiny, tiny little things, to me, felt just as good as if she had run up and gave me a hug! That little stretch and look both ways at the door gave me all the motivation I needed to continue doing just what I've been doing.

Hissy, she will know who you are. I will make sure of it.

Oon't know if she'll understand, but I will tell her, and I think, on some level, she will understand.
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