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Any other anxious new cat owners out there?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by DigbysMum, Sep 26, 2019.


  1. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all - we adopted our first cat last weekend - he's called Digby and is about 8-10 years old. He seems to have settled in really well - he's very laid back and has taken to sleeping downstairs overnight with no issues, and spends most of the day in my study curled up having a snooze. In the evening he comes and sits on the sofa for strokes (even got on my husband's lap last night). So he'd basically perfect. However...I'm a wreck!! I really wanted a cat as I work from home and thought I'd love the company, but I'm so stressed out. I can't sleep which isn't helping at all. I've never had a pet before and
     
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  2. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    He looks lovely! If he is laid back, he should be a fairly easy going kitty. Is it worrying about him which is causing you stress, about keeping him healthy and safe, or worries about what to feed him?
     
  3. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    I suffer from anxiety and never react well to change. I think it's the responsibility that's freaking me out. I feel like I should be doing more - playing with him more or stroking him more - or anything really! I keep reading too much stuff online and getting myself worked up. What if suddenly becomes really naughty? What if I can't bond with him. I know it's silly but it's making me miserable which was not the point of having him!!
     
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  4. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    There are quite a lot of slaves on here with anxiety so if you hang around you’ll probably get a lot of response to this but it is perfectly normal to feel a bit ‘what have I done’ when you welcome a new member into your household. It will get better and you will bond and struggle to remember life without your new furry friend. I do empathise completely though as I’ve currently got fosters as well as my own, and my anxiety levels have been through the roof lately! Give it time. And congratulations on your new addition x
     
  5. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    I have anxiety too but I think you can begin to relax about Digby. From what you've said it sounds like he is a happy and contented chappy who has landed on all four paws! Cats of his age are generally quite settled in their behaviours and personality so it sounds like you've got an ideal first cat there :)
     
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  6. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    Hi and welcome! Awww your anxiety is quite normal! All of a sudden you are responsible for a new member of the family! A living breathing cat! You’ve taken a big step Lol! Just try to relax and take it a day at a time you will soon get to know each other and be at ease with each other try not to overthink things and enjoy him. He sounds lovely can we see some pics of him please? xxx
     
  7. Agha123

    Agha123 PetForums Junior

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    Hi. Suffering from anxiety is the new normal (hate to say it). I suffer from it too. I used to get moments when my cat curled up against me on the bed and would anxious and not want her there. Don't overthink it, which I know is easier said than done. Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, when your cat is doing that, try and carry on with your normal things. You need to try and distract yourself from looking too much at your cat, especially when it is sleeping etc. Over time you will find things get better!
     
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  8. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies - I go from thinking he's really sweet to wanting him to go away. I've just shut myself in my bedroom to have some time alone. He's not particularly demanding but he loves being stroked and will nudge you repeatedly until you do it. When you're suffering with anxiety it feels like a lot of pressure and I worry I can keep it up! I'm going to let him outside next weekend to tire him out a bit more as I do think he needs the stimulation. I don't have a cat flap though so I'll be on door opening duty! Not sure how I'm supposed to know he wants to come back though since he can't meow!?
     
  9. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    It is a bit soon to just let him out to be honest.
    Unfortunately a cat will want attention when it wants to, he’s wanting to bond with you and be friends but this will be on his terms not yours he sounds a dear sweet little boy seeking affection. I can’t see that he will just go out when you want him away from you that would be too much to expect from a cat.
    I might have misunderstood your post so apologies if I have. :)
     
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  10. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    Hello! I spoke to the vet yesterday who said 2 weeks would be fine, which will be next weekend. My garden is enclosed so I think it should be ok for a short period. He was abandoned by his previous owner's who just stopped letting him in the house so he may not be interested at all in going outside - time will tell. I think you might have misunderstood - I just meant that I had left him snoozing in the other room while I took some time to myself to manage my anxiety.
     
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  11. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I really hope that things work out! You never know having to focus on him might even have a positive effect with your anxiety.
     
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  12. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    If he is snoozing he must be very relaxed and feeling content. Yes he wants to bond and cuddle, which is great, but after 10 mins or so of your attention he should be ready to settle down for a snooze, so I wouldnt worry too much about any of his behaviours. Cats soon learn your routine and they can be very adaptable once they know when their regular times are for meals and human company :)
     
  13. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    Can I just suggest that if you suffer from anxiety then it might not be a great idea to let him out so soon. Yes, some vets and rescues will say 2 weeks but a month would be better. It gives you more time to get to know one another and him to learn where his home is. I would suggest this is particularly important as you do not have a cat flap and his last owners just shut him out. There is nothing more likely to induce anxiety than letting a kitty out for the first time. Unless I misunderstand and when you say enclosed garden you do mean fully cat proofed? I think he is probably just trying to show you how appreciative he is of you giving him a home. You’ve done a fabulous thing adopting him, just give yourself time. Perhaps have a room you do not let him in so you can have time to yourself. X
     
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  14. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    Hello! Yeah he's not allowed in the bedrooms so I just close the doors on those rooms and he doesn't try and follow me which is good. I think because I work from home I also feel confined at the moment - I'm so used to being on my own that I almost feel 'crowded' having the cat around. Is it cruel to limit petting so he doesn't get too needy?
     
  15. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    That could definitely be the reason you feel so overwhelmed. At least I get out for work, but then when I first got mine I was always anxious something would have happened to her while I was out. Can’t win! Maybe just try to get into a routine with him. For example, because I have fosters in my spare room, I have dedicated lap time with my two during breakfast and we have dedicated sofa and tv time in the evening. If they know when they get their cuddle time they are less under my feet while I do other things. X
     
  16. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I must be a softie! My cat can have what she wants when she wants! Lol! I wouldn’t have her any other way tho. :D:Catxxx
     
  17. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    @Soozi I’m much the same a lot of the time, I have to admit, but they have been absolute angels while the fosters are here and learned really quickly when their cuddle time is. And, of course, bed time is always cuddle time here!!
     
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  18. Moglets

    Moglets PetForums Junior

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    I agree that it is a bit soon to let him out. 3 weeks is the usual minimum. I always take new cats out a few times wearing a harness & on a lead, so I can be sure they know what the outside of the house looks & smells like. I fit the harness indoors & let them have a try in safety first. It might be too easy for him to get confused if he goes straight out.

    As you get used to him you'll be more relaxed about it. When you've had enough of the petting, you just stop noticing. After a few attempts he'll get the message. That's the way cats work.

    Is there any chance of getting a catflap fitted? That would solve the problem of him going in & out. You can get all sorts, from a simple flap to one which operates on his chip & won't let others enter. Most have manual locks, too, so he can be prevented from exiting when you want to keep him in.

    Enjoy! Believe me, there is nothing so traumatic as a kitten. Cute, yes, but I suffered so as they get into such tiny crevices I was forever worried mine would get stuck somewhere.
     
  19. DigbysMum

    DigbysMum PetForums Newbie

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    Hello! Unfortunately we've got a massive carved wooden front door and patio doors at the back so no cat flap options available. He's been very needy this afternoon but I'm hoping he'll chill out a bit the longer he's here. I just feel awful at the moment and not sure how much longer I can go on with this anxiety ☹️
     
  20. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry you are feeling like this it must be awful. I would rather see the little fella going back to the rescue than subject you and him an unhappy life. He obviously wants to be loved and if you feel you aren’t up to it right now it might be better if he goes to a home where he will get all the attention he craves. It is early days but imo it might be better he’s returned before he gets too settled and attached. He’s had one unhappy home so wouldn’t want him to have another. I am so sorry for you both.
     
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