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Nervous / Mistrustful Cat's

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Themis, May 24, 2010.


  1. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    My kitten Dixie still runs away about 70-80% of the time when I approach her. It can be a bit disheartening at times because I feel like she doesn't trust me. There are times when she will come up to me and be friendly but she still likes to keep her distance a bit.

    She is also very nervous and hides behind the sofa when people come around.

    Both Cat's are going into the cattery for the first time next month and I'm worried that the experience is really going to stress Dixie out. I took Poppy, my more fearless kitten, out onto our balcony on a harness yesterday. I wanted to get them a little bit used to the outdoors since half of the cattery pen is sort of outside. Dixie was so afraid that she went and hid before I had even approached her with her harness. So I had to abandon the idea of taking her out since I didn't want to terrify her.


    So, is this something I can help her to overcome or is it just going to be how she is?


    Also, what are people's opinions on taking indoor Cat's out on a harness? Does it encourage them to want access to outside? This is not possible where we live and my OH say's that by taking Poppy out on a harness I'm encouraging her to want to try and get outside.
     
  2. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    Thanks. She's nearly 7 months old and I've had her since January. So she is very used to me.

    I tried Feliway once before and it made no difference but maybe I'll look into the others you mentioned.
     
  3. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    My bagpuss is the same - he tends to run away when you approach him and he doesn't like strangers either (he hides or looks on from afar). When he runs away I just talk to him encouragingly so that he stops and turns around. He comes to seek us out when we are sitting quietly.

    I think our cats are just timid - and i doubt very much that feliway, zyklene or anything else is going make a huge difference.

    He is deeply suspicious of anything new - he nods his head like the Churchill dog as he tries to figure out what it might be. :lol:

    Re the cattery, I think she will be fine as long as your other cat is there with her (as well as her scratching post, blanket, toys and other paraphernalia) . She will be mightily pleased to be back home though!
     
  4. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    Her scratching post is my bed so I'm not sure I can take that. :p

    She became very affectionate for a few days after her spay so maybe going to the cattery will do the same.

    Interestingly, Dixie will come when she is called despite being timid. Poppy, on the other hand, is very friendly but will totally ignore you calling her.
     
  5. jeblee

    jeblee PetForums Junior

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    My cats are the same, I can call for hours on end for my little one but don't even get a response, this is a cat that is very demanding and will quite literally sit on my face, but my other cat who is more of a 'love on my terms' kind of cat will come pelting over to me the first time I call.
    I think cats just have very distinct personalities, it also depends on their priorities in life, some cats I can coax in only with food and others with attention. I think their shyness may have something to do with their relationship with their mother. My cat had kittens, one of which was very timid at first, it became obvious that this was down to the way mummy was treating him, he would constantly want to feed and her response was to snap at him, it just became a cycle where he would get snapped at for even coming close to her. It was really difficult to get the shyness out of him and I don't think he ever became as confident as his sister, it will just take time and lots of patience but ultimatly the shyness is a part of their personality.
     
  6. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    When I went to collect my kittens I had said that I wanted the 2 girls from the litter. Out of all 5 kittens Dixie was the only one sitting with her mother and not off playing like the others. So I guess that was a clue that she wasn't particularly boisterous.

    I don't mind, she is very sweet. I couldn't handle two as rambunctious as Poppy so it's a good mix. :)
     
  7. bevstretton

    bevstretton PetForums Member

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    Hello Themis

    try sitting in the same room as your cat without anyone else, it may take mins or even hours, but sit and whisper to them
    They will come to you in the end.
    when they do, carry on whispering and slowly start to stroke their neck & back, do not attempt to touch their face just yet.

    In time you will be able with finger & thumb run down their spinal cord, make small circular movements around their ear lobes, this will totally de stress them

    As l said it may take time, but worth it in the end, you are starting the gentle touch therapy

    So good luck
     
  8. Themis

    Themis PetForums Senior

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    Thanks but she always comes to me when I call her and lets me stroke her.
    Its only if I approach her she runs!
     
  9. dharma66

    dharma66 PetForums Senior

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    Have you heard of Felifriend?

    It's from the same people that make Feliway, and it's a different pheromone from Feliway, and is one that emphasizes bonding. You spray it on yourself, and it makes you smell friendly:)

    I only came across it the other day, and have no idea if it works, it might be worth a go.
     
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