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Do animals ever "get over" abusive past?

July 31st, 2007, 11:07 AM
We have two adopted cats, both of whom were abused. Our first kitty only lived about a year on the streets and she has recovered quite well. Our second cat was very badly abused and was a stray for about 5-8 yrs (according Vet's estimation of age) in one of the worst cities in America. She has some physical remnants of the abuse but I worry that she may never forget her past, eventhough we have given her a wonderful home. She is loving, affectionate, responsive to praise and she adores her "sister" kitty - they love to groom eachother. Anyway, we have had her about a year and I still wonder if I am doing everything I can to ensure she enjoys life now. Thoughts?

July 31st, 2007, 11:21 AM
I doubt they ever get over it, but I do think in time they may adapt to a new situation.
If your kitty was on the streets for years you have to be doing something right to have her allowing you to touch and brush etc her so soon. :thumbs up :D
My sister took in three felals that lived under her back step for the first four months of their lives and now after three years as indoor cats and very pampered they still are not loving types and don't react to kindness. Although they didn't have an abusive type past they sure don't forget their roots and they are always on the lookout for something that will make them run for cover. But for every story like that there are also equal stories of abused animals that recover and flurish in a loving environment.
Continued good luck

July 31st, 2007, 11:22 AM
I'm sure in your loving home she is most definitely enjoying her life and very happy. :goodvibes:

I too have one that was very abused and neglected. He is the most affectionate and lovable cat. I do still see the remnants though, the scarrage rears its head once in a while. If I happen to touch him the wrong way or hold him too long or even sometimes not paying attention to him when he wants it, he has turned on me scratching my face biting my nose and pulling off my glasses. He panicks easily and really hates and attacks socked feet or anyone who tries to nudge him however good naturedly with their legs or feet. I know a lot of the abuse he was subjected to (locked in a bathroom cupboard when the owners went out so he wouldn't wreck things, squeezed and carried around by kids too young to know they were hurting him, and kicked and thrown for hurting the kids who provoked him, thrown through a basketball hoop by the neighbourhood jerks- we witnessed this personally and took him the next day from the owner, he had three owners and all that abuse all in his first year!:sad: )So I try to tell others so that they don't inadvertently provoke him.

Usually though he is the one who jumps into laps and gives head butts to all our visitors. There is just that odd occasion that reminds me how rough he must have had it before we took him.
I think they definitely get over it. It takes a lot of time and a lot of loving, but they do learn to trust people again. The resilient nature of animals always amazes me.

July 31st, 2007, 11:32 AM
Believe me, she's in paradise, and her past doesn't haunt her like it haunts you. I spoil my guys for the same reason, so I understand where you're coming from. Animals quite naturally live in the moment - hence their purity - whereas we have to work at it!
I'm sure she has everything her heart desires, thanks to you. Food, love, companionship, vet care if she needs it: paradise.

July 31st, 2007, 12:06 PM
I think, like others have said, that with abused animals you can expect the fear response to rear its ugly head from time to time when something (however innocent) triggers it.

Jim Hall
July 31st, 2007, 12:47 PM
It sounds like your two cats are doing wonderfully
I adopted and abused cat from a rescue about 3 months ago and it took a month to actually have her come out from under the bed
At this point she will come over for a pet but only if i am on my sofa and
she still wont come up on the sofa or the bed
I thonks that cats are extremely resilient strong creatures and rebound from horrifing situations wonderfully

Your cats are doing fantastic and will only get better as time goes by
Bless you for having the heart and the courage to accept a diffucult animal into your home and heart .

July 31st, 2007, 01:17 PM
Thanks, everyone :cloud9: I just can't imagine how anyone could hurt an animal... really makes me angry and upset. So when I see one of my critters looking depressed or lonely it breaks my heart because I know it's a direct result of someone's hatred. But yes, they do have paradise here (even if I am a neurotic and paranoid kitty momma!!) I just hope they know it's a permanent situation and they'll never again be out alone.

Jim Hall
July 31st, 2007, 02:29 PM
even if I am a neurotic and paranoid kitty momma!!) I just hope they know it's a permanent situation and they'll never again be out alone.

oh me too called a worry woart by the recue group my g friend and a few vets :lovestruck:

July 31st, 2007, 03:42 PM
Jim and Littlemomma,you are bth doing wonderfully,any kitty is lucky to call your home,home.
I just read Toronto Humane Society has 700 cats,I look at my 3 spoiled,very much loved cats and wish that all lonely kittys could have a wonderful life,it's sooo sad.:frown:
Your cats were the lucky ones:cat: