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need advise/help with aloof cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
we adopted ruby back in february, along with her cage mate roxy. they couldn't be two more different cats.

ruby is *just* getting to the point where she wants to be petted...but only on her terms and where she chooses.

this is fine...i understand that some cats are more loners, less trusting, etc. that's fine. i want to give her space. i want her to come to me for petting on her own terms.

tonight, we attempted to clip claws.

but clipping claws was literally a battle. we've tried doing it nicely in the past. we've tried the kitty burrito in the past. tonight we covered her face with a towel while dh held her down and i clipped. it was awful. dh actually had to chase her and grab her...she was MAD! but those claws are sharp! and they needed to be clipped.

i've worked with her every day for months, petting her when she wants it, taking one paw at a time and pressing the pads to extend the claws. she doesn't like it, but she submits. and then i go back to petting, and she seems to be fine. (i've tried clipping one claw by myself, during the day when she's calmer, and she freaked out and twisted and ran off...took 2 days before she let me pet her again.)

can anyone help me? any insight? dh tonight suggested the possibility of declawing her, but that is the last thing i'd do (and him, too, honestly...he was just frustrated). pls don't flame me for even mentioning it...i only did so you'd realize how frustrated and concerned we are.

i'm posting this here because i think it's more of a behavior issue...she really doesn't want anyone restraining her in any way. and, well, that's going to happen sometimes, unfortunately.

*sigh* i can't wait to try to get her into her carrier to go to the vet's office.

honest...we don't beat this cat. she just thinks we will.
post #2 of 15
Awww seems very frustrating ..... on a good note its nice to hear you are accepting of her personality.
Some suggestions I have ....... try clipping her when she is asleep ...... I have to do this to one of mine ..... but it takes me a week to do so ........ while hes sleeping .......I just get his paw, extend his nail, and clip and thats all I get to do until the next time ......just repeating the proceedure.
Also Feliaway has a way of calming cats .....perhaps spray some in one room acording to directions .... let her in that room .....and after a bit ......when shes calm ..... start clipping .......
I wouldnt, however hold her down ..... I would think that would tramatize a skittish cat....... maybe some others can give you some advise on what worked for them. Good Luck.
post #3 of 15
I've given up trimming my cats' claws. I'm too slow or they're impatient.
So, I leave it up to the vet. They behave at the clinic.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for the help!

on a positive note, ruby came to me this morning, arching and stretching (her signal that petting would be allowed). she led me to "her" ottoman and allowed several minutes of petting, stroking and scritching of the chin!

i think, for the next few months, we may just have the vet do the clipping, until we can gain her trust enough to let us do it without a fight.

the feliway is a great idea...totally forgot about that. perhaps i could spray my clothing? or the blanket that i keep on my lap when clipping?

as for clipping in her sleep, this cat is always on the alert. she could be in the deepest sleep (or so i think) and wakes up as soon as she hears anyone in the surrounding 10 feet (and immediately pulls her paws in).

not sure what caused this distrust (she was a feral, brought into the shelter at 3 mos), but for whatever reason, we'll deal with it. she's my ruby, afterall!

thanks again!
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspotts66 View Post
thanks for the help!

on a positive note, ruby came to me this morning, arching and stretching (her signal that petting would be allowed). she led me to "her" ottoman and allowed several minutes of petting, stroking and scritching of the chin!

i think, for the next few months, we may just have the vet do the clipping, until we can gain her trust enough to let us do it without a fight.

the feliway is a great idea...totally forgot about that. perhaps i could spray my clothing? or the blanket that i keep on my lap when clipping?

as for clipping in her sleep, this cat is always on the alert. she could be in the deepest sleep (or so i think) and wakes up as soon as she hears anyone in the surrounding 10 feet (and immediately pulls her paws in).

not sure what caused this distrust (she was a feral, brought into the shelter at 3 mos), but for whatever reason, we'll deal with it. she's my ruby, afterall!

thanks again!
I have to say what a wonderful meowmy you are, I can tell you are frustrated, but still much in love with your Ruby. I think the feliway is a great suggestion, you can spray it anywhere. We work with rescues at times, and our vet will give us a mild sedative to relax the cat, and allow us to do what we need to get the cats claws trimmed, or if comes to us with mats, ect. I don't know where you or the majority feel about sedating a cat, I am not a big fan either, unless I have no other choice for the comfort level of the cat.
As for helping Ruby come out of her shell, so to speak, just keep up what you are doing. You sound like a very patient, caring, person to Ruby, and it sounds like she is beginning to trust you. You may try going to her more and giving her love on your time as well, even if it is just a holding her or giving her a small amount of attention as you are passing by. Pick her up and give a yummy treat to her so she starts to associate being picked up and loved by treats, and she may just surprise you. She also may always be more reserved from the time she has spent in the shelter, but my guess is with consistency and patience like you are giving, she will become more affectionate and tolerating of things needing to be done.
Good luck.
post #6 of 15
My kitten is 5 mos old and I have been cutting his claws once a week for about 3 weeks.

It is not easy. He squirms and cries like I am killing him. It makes it difficult to examine the nail when I am cutting to make sure that I am doing it correctly. After each one I let him down for a yummy Whisker Lickins Salmon treat. Then back on my lap for clip.

He only weighs 4 lbs now and it is managable -- but I don't know if I'll be able to do it when he weighs 12lbs or more.

How much does the vet charge for this service and how often do you have to go?
post #7 of 15
At our Petsmart in Oklahoma, I would take our puppy for the first few sessions of toenail clipping to learn exactly where to cut, as he had some black toenails......I would pay 11 dollars, and I think they threw in a cologne spray and bandana. My assumption would be a cat would be a little cheaper than a 40 pound puppy, but I really don't know. It sounds like you have really worked on familarizing your kitten with trimming, hopefully he will get better at accepting it. You may try getting help, and of course staying very calm with help, as the kitten may pick up on your reservations. As well, I think your idea of bribing with treats during each nail trim may make him associate treats with nail clipping and begin to look forward to his sessions, but only give him this special treat during nail time, so it stays special.
Good luck.
post #8 of 15
My cats allow me to cut their claws to a point. Sometimes they won't let me finish the second foot so I have to get it later. I always approach them while they are sleeping and "have my way with them". I use people clippers, big heavy duty ones. It is much easier thatn that circle thing.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gailuvscats View Post
My cats allow me to cut their claws to a point. Sometimes they won't let me finish the second foot so I have to get it later. I always approach them while they are sleeping and "have my way with them". I use people clippers, big heavy duty ones. It is much easier thatn that circle thing.
Is the "circle thing" like a guillotine clipper? I don't like using those either. I got nail clippers, that resemble scissors. They are small and fit in my hand very well. They work very well for me and cats/kittens. Here is a link to the clippers I am speaking of.
http://www.petsmart.com/global/produ...N=2025565&Ne=2
I hold my kitten or cat in my left arm (I am right handed), and I use my arm and side to hold the cat in place, and then use my left hand to gently press the claws out and clip. I am probably making it sound way to easy... , it isn't, but it gets a little easier.
post #10 of 15
i tried using regular people clippers and even though it definately was easier and faster, i didnt like how they worked on the cats claws, they seemed to crack them a few mms up the nail, and if you want them short, it would crack up the quick and be a very bad thing so i went back to the cat clippers.
post #11 of 15
I don't think the problem is to do with Ruby being 'aloof',You already know she came from a rescue,but sometimes the past details of cats aren't always available to help people to understand what the cat has been through.
Sometimes the traumatic and abusive past that animals have been through is only and could only ever be known to the cat.

"" ( we've tried the kitty burrito in the past. tonight we covered her face with a towel while dh held her down and i clipped. it was awful. dh actually had to chase her and grab her...she was MAD! ) ""

I have and I'm sure everybody else has read stories like this one here
Please take the time to read it.
http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/4096/MD/US/



This cats problem is a lack of trust,by making her do something she does not want to do is only going to make her distrust you more and she will just start to associate you with the person who abused her in the past.

You need to disassociate yourself with the nail trimming and leave it to the vet,that way when the 'nasty vet' has done the clipping and you 'nice mommy' will be there to comfort her when its all over

You do not have to have the vet do the trimming,you can make a nurses appointment
which will probably be about 6-10 dollars,which is a lot cheaper than having the vet do it
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryferals View Post
I have and I'm sure everybody else has read stories like this one here
Please take the time to read it.
http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/4096/MD/US/
ummm.... i had never read any story like that before..... very disturbing
post #13 of 15
I made one attempt to clip Swanie's claws, and it didn't go well (to put it mildly) Then I started to research to see how necessary it was to clip, and found out it was more for my (and my furnitures') benefit than the cats. So, I got a bunch of scratching posts, trees, those cardboard things, etc. and let them take care of their own claws. Works out fine for all of us
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you all for taking the time to read and respond to my questions.

i've talked w/ my dh, and we've decided that letting the vet clip her claws once a month will be the ideal solution.

to the pp who mentioned letting the vet be the "bad guy", you're absolutely right. as it is, ruby doesn't go anywhere near dh. and to have him chasing her around the kitchen, well....i don't want her to go through that again.

i'm guessing that for the next year or so (until her trust in us builds to a higher level), a 5 minute vet visit will be better than taking one step forward and two steps back in regards to how ruby views dh & me.

now...how do i get her in her carrier!? LOL don't worry....that i can do (well, i've done it before...we'll see how it goes! hehehe).

thanks again for all of the help!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilytimeRags View Post
I really don't like that type. It might have been the brand, but I bought a similar type for my first rabbit. Even though she was tiny and had teeny tiny nails (much thinner than a cat's), it didn't cut cleanly. It squished and broke her nails more than it cut them and she acted like it stung a bit even though we weren't anywhere near the quick.

This is what I have now. It works great on both cats and rabbits, and it cuts very cleanly. I've been using it for a year now.
http://www.petsmart.com/global/produ...N=2025567&Ne=2
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