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kitten whom doesn't like to be held

October 1st, 2003, 10:15 AM
I foster kittens and cats until the local shelter has room for them, which of course gives them more human contact than at the shelter and makes them more adoptable. I just got a mom and two kittens and can't find out the history of this family. One kitten that is really friendly-follows me around like I'm its mom, but when I pick her up -she is okay for about one to two minutes esp if I am moving her somewhere and she knows it, however after the two minutes SHE GOES WILD!!! The first time she scatched me so fast and furious that blood went everywhere. Anyways there seems to be two thoughts about this- one let her be and be her friend and she'll either get better or not OR break her by wrapping her in a towel, making sure she can breathe okay and keep doing this until she realizes it that its okay to be held. What is the experience of others with this. I have no control issues- I just want to make sure she is adoptable to the right family (usually has kids which likes to hold kittens) HELP please.

Lucky Rescue
October 1st, 2003, 11:21 AM
Do not wrap her in a towel. Many cats panic at being forcibly confined this way, and this kitten is already panicking at being held.

What I have done with feral kittens who were terrified of being held is to bring their food in, put it down, and then pick up the kitten ( a few inches off the floor) and immediately place it in front of the food. This way they come to associate being picked up with good things.

Stroke and pet her while she eats, occasionally picking her up a few inches off the floor and putting her in front of the food again.
Get something really good,(like cooked chicken) then pick up the kitten with one hand, while holding the treat in the other hand very close to her nose - then put both her and the treat on the floor. Repeat these methods as often as you have time for.

This kitten may have been born in the wild, and these cats and kittens have never been lifted off their feet and usually take awhile to become comfortable with that. When you do hold her (with the chicken or whatever in front of her nose) make sure you hold her right against your chest so she feels secure.

But there are cats who will never enjoy being held this way. They can still be great pets for the right person. We have adopted out many who are like this.

Lots of patience is the key!:)

October 1st, 2003, 11:32 AM
The cat is not feral and is VERY FRIENDLY- getting her to take food from me is easy and she loves being patted. I think her mom was living with someone that had a small apartment with just a bed (she loves laying on the bed -not the couch,etc-just my bed). Something else is going on. Her sister doesn't mind being held and is not as friendly. I've tried distracting her while being held and "treating her), but she does not respond to this and it's been about 10 days. She hasn't changed one bit. I am wondering if she has vertigo or something? While I agree force isn't always the correct measure in many situations, I am wondering if this might be the exception. I hate doing it- you can hear her 10 miles away when she doesn't like it. It scares the heck out of me and I start to panic.

Lucky Rescue
October 1st, 2003, 08:25 PM
Hmmm...if she hasn't been checked out by the vet, I would do so. She may have something going on that causes her pain when she is held a certain way.

October 1st, 2003, 09:44 PM
Thanks for the advise- I believe that is the best bet!! And she thanks you also.