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I still don't know what to do

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So it has been about 2 weeks since I got Mo, I adopted him at about 3.5 months of age. I don't think he is scared of me? He just isnt very social with humans (he has no problem playing with the other two kittens). The vet in charge of the shelter told me that he used to get pinned by his mother and sister while trying to play and eat.

While sometimes he is ok with me holding and petting him it is extremley rare (maybe once at the vet). I am trying to make this work with him,
when I pet his back he pushes his back to the ground and runs away. How should I handle this? Should I seperate him from the other two kittens and allow him to only socialize with me?

Please give me advice, I am trying to be patient. Sorry if this seems fragmented I just wanted to include as many of my concerns as I could in a short area. The shelter told me I should MAKE HIM let me pet him, does that mean if hes struggling to get away I shouldnt let him? For how long should I do this?

FRUSTURATION!
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
What I did tonight was I took all of my pillows and blocked off every little place he could hide (you should had seen him trying to crawl in between my legs cause he thought he could hide there!) Is this a good thing to do?
post #3 of 22
I am no expert, but reading what I see on here tells me that you shouldnt make him do anything. That is only gonna scare him more, and let him come to you when and if he ever wants pets..

My squiggles and squeeky arent friendly at all!!!!!!
They dont bite or scratch, but they dont want to be around you either..
Usually when I go pet them they run off too..I can usually get a few in before that though..

Squiggles was a stray, a pregnant one..Who then had Squeeky. He was handraised by us, etc. But as soon as he started walking around, he acted just like her. Must be in the genetics..

My other 2 wont let me put them down. So it might just be the way he is. And he "might" come around as time goes on
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I really feel right now that I just got myself into a fifteen year obligation as opposed to a fifteen year relationship.
post #5 of 22
Ya I know how you feel, because they were my "first two"
I have it alittle easier, because...Garfield and Bella want so much attention, I still feel loved I guess...
But it still breaks my heart everytime I go near them that they leave..

I really dont know what to tell you, but I really dont think you can MAKE them do anything. He will probably be more stressed..Like when I have to medicate them, just going near them and holding them down. For weeks after that when they see me they instantly run off. So they do remember..you know what I mean??
I can honestly say though, I have NEVER seen a cat like my Garfield, he doesnt let me put him down AT ALL...
So I guess I just lucked out..and the sad part is, I would have never taken him in except for I felt so bad for him..Now he is my "husband"
We sleep together every night
post #6 of 22
Did you ever end up getting another?? I think that was you
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
It was, my roommates each got one the same day (brothers) they are complete sweeties, and I feel terrible for saying this, but I almost regret getting Mo (his picture is up on the new cat on the block thread). I feel like maybe I got him because I was upset that my application got usurped twice by the humane society for my top choice (I was out of county) both before and after I got mo. So now Mo is just mine, but the other two may be able to hold me over until i move out when I can get a more friendl kitty and just let Mo have free run of the house. So much for companionship .
post #8 of 22
I know how it feels , trust me..
I used to have one that bit and scratched too. Wasnt that fun..Feeding and living with an animal who acted like he hated you. But maybe he will come around, and realize your a good guy, and that you feed him, etc..
It really might have either been taught, or in his genes. Though Im sure that sounds crazy, but the way my two are. I think it was passed on.

I was gonna say to get another one, not that its a definite way to fix it. I have found that most orange tabbys are the sweetest, though I might just be crazy once again. That way they could play, and hopefully your second wont be as distant..But it could backfire and you have 2 that dont like to be petted..

Aww I feel so bad, if it wasnt for my 2 huggers, I would have been sad myself
post #9 of 22
Where are you located??
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
In maryland just outside of DC
post #11 of 22
First like someone said, Dont block off his hiding places that is just going to make him more scared. yes if you pick him up and he wants down let him. My cat used to fight like mad to get down. so i let her. now when i go to pick her up she does not hide
or run she knows i will put her down when she is ready to be put down.

If he was the runt and picked on, it will take him some time to come around.
my cat(heyu is about half the szie of a normal cat)_ spent the first 2 week in the house, hiding under the bed, before she came.it took a month before i was allowed to touch her. I cant say she is a lap kitty. but you can tell she happy when i get home, and upset when i leave now. Along with being right next to me 95% of the time when i am home. The ony time she jsut seems to love held is when i first go to bed, or first wake both times she gets on my chest and and lays down there how i pet her... but that has taken 7 months.

so dont give up hope, there is more to having a relationship.then a lap cat.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I find it all fascinating that people are very against making cats do anything they don't want to do. I have had two vets tell me that it is appropriate? I don't think putting pillows at the bottom of the couch is inhumane. It makes it easier for me to access him so he can see I am not a threat... For example: right now he is sleeping up against my leg, something he rarely does, and I am willing to bet its only because he cant get under the couch,
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
What about keeping him seperate from the other kittens, atleast when I am home? They are not littermates.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeper130
I find it all fascinating that people are very against making cats do anything they don't want to do.
Making cats do what they don't want to do is not the way to go about building a good relationship with your cat. If he wants to hide, let him hide. He'll come out as and when he wants to. The more you try to force him to be a lap cat, the more he's going to get stressed and not want to be with you. You've only had him for 2 weeks so please be a bit more patient - he's still settling in and he's only young. Many kittens don't want to be held and petted but this often changes as they get older. Let him initiative contact with you. It's not fair to try and force a cat to fit your image of the ideal cat - they all have their own purrsonalities. Just love him as he is.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
So if all of his hiding places disappear he is going to associate that with me and hate me? When I do block his hiding places he usually does come to me and curl up next to me, instead of under the couch... seems like a start?
post #16 of 22
The boys favor my husband over me, so it hurts my feelings sometimes when I want some kitty snuggling and they only have eyes for him. I only get attention from them when he isn't around and I've learned to deal with that.

I've always believed that making a cat do anything he/she doesn't want to do is like trying to nail jello to a tree. I don't think making him do anything is going to help. You could try bribing him, maybe by holding some really yummy-smelling treats and see if he comes to you to get them.

I know it's hard to be patient, because you've brought this wonderful furry little creature home and you want companionship, but I think it's better for the long-term relationship with Mo if you give him some time.

Good luck!
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeper130
So if all of his hiding places disappear he is going to associate that with me and hate me? When I do block his hiding places he usually does come to me and curl up next to me, instead of under the couch... seems like a start?
But do you want him to be near you simply because there's nowhere else for him to go? Love and affection means little if it's not willingly given - that applies to cats as much as to people. If he wants to hide there will be a reason for that (like he's feeling nervous and wants to be somewhere he perceives as safe) so I'd just let him. He won't want to hide forever and it's much nicer to have a cat who's sitting next to you or on your lap because he wants to be there.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeper130
So if all of his hiding places disappear he is going to associate that with me and hate me? When I do block his hiding places he usually does come to me and curl up next to me, instead of under the couch... seems like a start?

I agree with you somewhat. When I brought home my kitten he spent 2 days under the couch. I finally blocked out it with blankets and he came around. I think if you do nothing, nothing will change.

The other thing I want to say is that I read somewhere on the net (do a search for "making a lap cat") that you have to make sure that all good things come from you. Kill em with kindness. I don't know any cat that can resist Whisker Lickins Salmon treats (just make sure to wash your hands after - yuck!). My husband laughed at me cause I used to lay on the couch with smelly salmon treats on me. Dewy would climb on me and eat the treats then walk away. But at least he learned that he can come on me and I won't restrain him in any way. Now he does sit on my lap when the conditions are right for him (mostly being my young children are in bed!).

If you do the search I mentioned above, there is an article about how to help a reclusive cat. Good luck! When they are kittens they are certainly more changable (to a certain extent) then when they are adults.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
I strongly hope many of the posters reconsider some of the advice they give. Blocking off the couch and the bed has worked great. And maybe he is 'forced' to come to me, but curling up next to my leg and purring is hardly a bad thing, if you do it enough, he wont even remember the couch, after all... he thinks like a CAT not like a human.
post #20 of 22
Be patient, he will most likely come around. I had the same problem, I posted it, "he won't let me hold him" or something like that. As he is approaching his one year birthday, tomorrow, he has really made a lot of headway and I have had him since he was 8 weeks. He was always such a timid guy, in fact I named him Pansy. Now he always jumps up on the couch or the bed and leans against me, but he has yet to cuddle on my lap. He always rubs up against me and follows me around,but he still doesn't want to be picked up. I don't push him, I just have to test the waters every other week or so to see where I stand. I find the less I test him, the more he trusts me and he is more willing to be with me. Offering food is always an incentive too. He loves me to give him a snack of turkey when I make a sandwhich. He comes running when I am in the kitchen. don't give up, he might just turn out to be the sweetest in the bunch, but he has to learn to trust you, which means you have to respect his decisions and don't push. I wouldn't do anything unusual like separating him from his buddies, you will turn him into a nut case.
He will come around, give it time. Play with him with a long tie or tail from the pet store. In fact you should do that with all three, then they will realize you want to have fun too.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeper130
I strongly hope many of the posters reconsider some of the advice they give. Blocking off the couch and the bed has worked great. And maybe he is 'forced' to come to me, but curling up next to my leg and purring is hardly a bad thing, if you do it enough, he wont even remember the couch, after all... he thinks like a CAT not like a human.
The veterans on this site have a great deal of experience and know what they are talking about. Most of them have been successfully dealing with scared, feral and shy cats for many years so don't just assume they don't know what they are talking about. If you force the cat out from hiding or force your attentions on the cat, you WILL be hurting your future relationship with this cat.

Our Mika was a litter runt and tends to be more "scaredy" than Bijou. There are times she will "ask" to be picked up and be quite content. Other times she is very nervous and does not want to be held. We respect her wishes and as time goes by she is becoming far more comfortable with my husband and me and asks to be picked up more often and rubs herself against our legs when she wants up. She is actually our daughter's cat and our daughter had a roommate before she moved in with us who forced themselves onto Mika and made her very uncomfortable. The roommate thought they knew what was best for the cat and also tried to feed it a raw diet but didn't bother adding any of the important ingredients like taurine. I'm glad Mika is now in our home.
post #22 of 22
Hi, right now he is busy growing up, figuring out his place in the world (both human and cat), and deciding what's safe, what's fun, who's who, etc. and when he's grown up some more may turn out to be a lot 'easier' all around and want a soft place to rest... like you. You can't force affection though, and may just have to wait it out til he's older and more stable. Good luck.
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