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not wanting to be held

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Topanga came to live with us about 4 weeks ago at the age of 5 weeks.
She is a wild kitten my hubby found at work under the hood of a car.
She's been to the vet and has had her first set of shots. Vet said she's very healthy and is now 2lbs.

First 2 weeks I kept her in the bathroom, now she is in the large study. She still doesn't like to be petted a whole lot and runs and hides when anyone enters the room or at loud noises. She will immediatly come back out, but spooks very easily.

When I pick her up she bites and paws my hands. Should I just stop trying to pick her up?? I want her to be comfortable being picked up. I try to spend as much time as I can with her, but I also have 2 dogs that want my attention when I come home. Topanga has seen the dogs thru the puppy gate and seems very interested in them and not afraid of them at all. I want her to be bigger before I introduce the dogs to her. Both my dogs are terriers.

I know she has bonded to me because she will jump up into my lap, but doesn't really want me to pet her. She did fall asleep in my lap on Sunday and allowed me to pet her for a long time then.

Do you think she will ever become "unwild"??
post #2 of 20
I takes time, read the stuck threads in the forums: The story of lucky, of Pengie, of Cyclone, every cat and kitten has their own time line. To rush them, to force them to accept you to pet them doesn't work for the ones that were born not knowing the touch of human hands. She is scared, she is healthy, leave her alone. See to her needs, keep to a schedule, but otherwise, just leave her. She will bond with you, when she understands that she is a good place and no one is going to hurt her. I would also be sure that when you go to her, you have fresh clothes on and have taken a shower. Don't smell like the other dogs, at least not yet=
post #3 of 20
Mocha was that way. He is now almost 8 months old. In the very beginning when we found him at about 4 weeks everything scared him. Noise, people anything that moved too fast.

I was so frustrated thinking I was doing something wrong. In reading everything here on how to handle him and letting him come to me when HE was ready is SO TRUE. This doesn't happen over night or even in a week. It takes a long time.

Mocha now comes when I call him. He will let me pet him and he will walk back and forth across my lap. He has only snuggled up with my youngest son on the couch who was under a blanket at the time. He absolutely HATES to be picked up and carried. There are also times when loud noises or too fast movement will startle him into going back under the couch.

The number one thing to remember is let her do it on her own terms and in her own time frame. We tried looking at this way, that we were ignoring Mocha even though every time he came out of hiding we wanted to rush over and love all over him. By ignoring him it made him curious and comfortable enough to come and check us out.

Good luck and be patient.
post #4 of 20
What kind of terriers? That would be my biggest worry, as terriers (even little ones) are hard-wired to chase and catch small animals, and just because she wants to make friends, doesn't mean they'll feel the same way - don't mistake their eagerness to meet her for wanting to be friends. I'd speak to a behaviour expert before ever letting them get together. As far as you go, just let her grow up more, and keep your hands and toes from waggling anywhere near her face because to her they're just something to pounce on (like fluttery birds). Aren't instincts a drag? She'll be OK when she's older, but it's like keeping knick-knacks off the table when babies are around.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Larke
What kind of terriers?
both Tabitha and Teona are female Cairn Terriers.
Tabitha is now 7, but her first 4 years we had a cat, PJ. (sweet PJ passed away almost 3 years ago at the age of 12 from cancer) So, Tabitha grew up playing with PJ. She is also very submissive.

Teona is alpha dog at 1.5 yrs old. She does have a strong prey instint, but plays with the cats when she goes to the groomers every 6 weeks.

Both dogs only have the run of the back half of the house. The entire front half (hall, extra bedrooms, formal living and dining, study and utility room) is permanetly gated and off limits to them. Topanga would always have a place to go to get away fom them. The dogs are also crated during the day while we are gone and sleep in crates at night.

here's little Topanga

and here's my other girls
post #6 of 20
Just give her time to adjust to her new place. Also send some pictures....
post #7 of 20
Oh, that's terrific (now I'm wondering when the dogs get to be uncrated :-)! And they are so small after all - she'll probably be terrorizing them in no time! I'm sure everything will work out. We've got 2 Samoyeds restricted to about 1/3 of the house plus outside, as much because we had a blind rabbit until last year, but our (now) 3 cats appreciate it too, though one is drop dead in love with the biggest dog, and if they don't have their little get together in the a.m. he's miserable!
post #8 of 20
I have a now 5 week old kitten that I'm pretty sure is from a wild mama. He's very attached to us and comes up to us when he wants attention but he definitely doesn't like being picked up and he doesn't like being held or petted unless he's very tired. Our best interaction with him has been getting down on the floor with him and meeting him on his terms instead of expecting him to like our terms of being picked up and petted. My kids say he wants none of that lovin' and cuddlin' stuff right now...he reminds me very much of my boys when they were toddlers.
post #9 of 20
That's right - they don't want to be fussed by Mom, that's only for sissies :-)!
post #10 of 20
keep in mind that some cats don't care to be petted or held. They are independant and only want attention on THEIR terms! Good luck with this though!
post #11 of 20
I have a kitten who was born outside, and is rather wild. Jasmine was held and petted starting at about 10 weeks. After about a month, with TCS help (especially from Hissy and TNR1), I changed the whole taming process from "I approach kitty" to "kitty approaches me".

I was already hand feeding them, and kept that up. All food initially came from my hand...as she tamed, there was dry food left out all day, and then once or twice a day canned food from my hand. It would be pretty funny to see my tame piggy cats eating moist food from a bowl, while shy Jasmine came and ate from my hand, right next to them!

She still doesn't like being picked up...once or twice a week I lift her off the floor and set her down again quickly. She now rubs against me every morning as I awaken the kids (cats really DO love routines!)

Another idea besides hand feeding, is to play with a string toy. Anything tied on the end of a long shoelace is fun! I do not believe a kitty can play and be terrified at the same time, so engaging them in play is great.

I would totally stop picking her up. If you need to for some reason, scruff the back of her neck like a Momma cat, then she should fall limp and just hang, rather than fighting and biting. Mostly just consider her a lovey kitty who doesn't want to be picked up.

Go check the caring for feral cats thread, too. You will find lots of great advice there.
post #12 of 20
I Too Had A Cat That Seemed Wild, She Was A Purebred And I Bought Her Sight Unseen, Time And Patience Has Made Her A Wonderful Cat, She Is Still Timid With Strangers But Doesn't Run Anymore, Handfeeding Seemed To Be The Best Approach And Also Following Her Lead (she Would Flop On The Stairs) That Is When We Started To Pet Her And Soon She Was Coming To Us But It Took 6 Months
post #13 of 20
Topanga is adorable!!! And the dogs are cute too! But hey, I know you wanna just pick her up & cuddle her to death...I would too! Time & patience is the only thing that will make her feel comfortable. You never know with wild kittens what's happened to them in the past...maybe they were terrorized by dogs, or got kicked or smacked or swatted at by humans... very traumatizing stuff. She's lucky to have found someone who is so concerned for her welfare... just be patient... and try playing with her...she won't be able to resist that! Then maybe food out of your hands... little by little, then maybe try to get her on your lap while feeding her, and so on. Good Luck!!!
post #14 of 20
My two Katie and Black were born feral to a stray underneath my house that left them to survive on their on.

It has been about a year now and they still don't like to be picked up and held. I try, but they persist on getting down. As far as petting, like has been said, it is on their terms. My lil Katie is still very skiddish around my husband and will run from him every time. But hopefully that will change in time. Everything takes alot of time and patience.

post #15 of 20
Buffy was hand-raised since she was 4 weeks old (was a stray until her mother and siblings got sick and died) and she doesn't like being held. As a compromise, she loves to perch on your shoulder instead and you can walk around with her up there. I personally think it's one of her most endearing qualities, lol
post #16 of 20
I haven't got much to add since your kitten is so little, but, do bear in mind that some cats are more 'earthbound' then others...no carrying at all even if they are with their preferred humans...
post #17 of 20
We have had KittyBear for 2 years now. She came to us from a shelter, but I suspect she was either a feral or had very little interaction with humans. Since the beginning, she has not liked to be picked up. She does come to bed with us each night and loves to get her belly rubbed. She will then give us a massage, curl up and sleep with us all night.

Be patient, and she will show her affection for you in her own way.
post #18 of 20
Trout doesn't like to be picked up either..It breaks my heart cause I want to cuddle her all day but she won't let me..It sucks.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone for making me feel better.
I have only been picking her up in the mornings when she wakes up. At this time she is very cuddly and like me to rub the sides of her face. When she starts the biting I put her down and get on the floor with her. She will continue face rubbing all over me then she's in play attack mode

If I'm on the floor or in a chair she wants to be in my lap. I do see an improvement and I think when she's biting, she's really playing (just rough)
I've been letting her roam the house, but I always seem to find her just hanging out in the study.
post #20 of 20
Give her time. I've had "wild" babies who as they got older and neutered, became the most loving cat.

Females sometimes tend to be more standoffish then a male. Ling was brought inside at 5 weeks and she still has the personality of not wanting to be held like the males do. She tolerates about 5 mins of "cuddling" at the most and then wants down. She decides when she wants to be petted.
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