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Abused cat in new home! Need Advice!

September 17th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Hey everyone I'm new to this site but really would like some helpful advice. I just recently ( about 3-4 days ago) adopted a severly abused kitten, he is only 15 weeks old. The shelter I adopted him from said they found a batch of kittens with all their right ears cut off, and they were going to be "set free." He is missing half of his right ear. This little guy is so adorable! He is absolutely pettrifed though! I know he was abused and it will take a lot more then 3-4 days for him to warm up, but I've never adopted a kitten that was so afraid of everything. I just want to help him out. Today was the first day he let me pet him. I named him Dexter, right now he is living under the couch and won't come out. I talk softly to him daily and pet him when he lets me. I also have another 5 month old kitten who was lonely, which is why we adopted the male. The female sits near the couch and growls all day at the poor little guy. Is there a way for me to help this kitten? Advice please, he just looks so tortured and scared! :-(

September 17th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Poor little guy. He's in the best place in the world right now, your place, and what a lucky kitten he is. It's just going to take time and patience. He's certainly young enough to come around.


Jim Hall
September 17th, 2007, 11:44 AM
Hi first of all welcome to the board

Can you segregate the cats for a few days ?

let them get used to each other'ss smells and gradually introduce thim over a few weeks

I had also assumed catship of an abused cat about 6 months ago and it took her about a month to come out from under the bed it can take a lot of time You are doing the best thing talk to her and sit down a few feet from her Just let her come out in her own time
make sure you give the other girl lots of love and att too she is probaly a bit jealous right now
the best thong you can do is not force anythong and just have some patience with him Are they bith neurted?

September 17th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Jim is right, You need fellow -especially with special needs - should have his own place. This is standard for introducing an new cats or kittens. Find him a room or separate space somewhere - sort of start over if you will. Give him lots of attention - even act as if he were a feral kitty. Let HIM come to you and explore his new surroundings so he makes it hi place! I assume he has been vetted for vaccinations and so forth and will be neutered.

He is really just a baby and needs you too so maybe a place near your bedroom would be good. When I brought home my baby Meezer (YY), I kept her in my bedroom and bathroom most of the time till she was used to that space and gradually worked up. Now she owns the house but that's another story Cats like a small space at first - too much in a new place is new territory they perceive as not theirs and they become fearful. Essentially, you have to speak "cat" to them.

Gradually make the introductions - it can take 1-2 weeks to do it well and properly. Let your cat in the home discover her smell because that is how cats find one another - one of the main ways anyway, not the only one. Use the towel and vanilla trick if you have to, Use a towel on your first kitty and then use it on the new one until they both are accustomed to each other's smells. Also or, dab a bit of vanilla under each kitty's chin and that helps to neutralize the smells. That way, neither seems "strange" to each other.

Since he was a abused (poor baby!!), he will take time but I have seen many horribly abused and neglected kitties come around and become loving, fearless cats. It takes time, patience, love and lots of kindness. Talk to him softly - play music, play a radio where he is so he gets used to human voices. Don't force him to do anything. Let him discover playthings on his own - teach him to play if he has never done so. He's just a kitten - it'll come to him or once he gets to know the other cat, you may find the other one teaching him stuff, :)

Good luck!!!

September 17th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Bless your heart for taking on this little guy! Along with the above great advice, here is a website with lots of info on scaredy cats:

An excerpt:

These cats need to stay in a small room for quite some time. While this may sound cruel, it isn't. Shy or feral cats feel safe in small spaces. They need to be introduced to larger spaces very gradually.

Shy cats need hidey holes and covered baskets to sleep in and to watch the goings on from.

Quality time with people is very important. Start out with:
- slow movements,
- a quiet voice,
- eye contact but blinking your eyes, don't stare,
- yawning and looking away to show you are no threat,
- be predictable and establish a routine.

To help the cat get used to the activities in your home:
- read a book out loud so the cat gets used to your voice,
- play a radio quietly so the cat gets used to background noise,
- lay on the floor and talk to them so the cat gets used to your company being no threat,
- show the cat any new thing that you bring into the room as they are curious.

To make life pleasurable for the cat, offer delicious treats with a long handled spoon - little bits of tuna or other irresistible smelly foods.

Start to touch:
- Use a wand toy, or a stick with fleece at the end.
- Let the cat see the pet wand.
- Start to touch the cat gently and slowly around the cheeks.
Perhaps that is enough for the first few days or even longer.
As the cat gets used to the cheek touching, continue rubbing with the pet wand and start to move over more of the body slowly.
Go slow and build on each day's success gradually. This routine will be slow going but it canít be rushed.

Patience is the key! Good luck, and let us know how Dexter progresses.

September 17th, 2007, 01:56 PM
Time and patience. And lots of love. And good hidey spots. It's a lot for him to get used to all at once, and you might want to introduce them properly (through a closed door) where they both feel safe and are allowed to sniff without actually touching or feeling threatened. Just remember it could take months for him to come around but when he does finally trust you, it will be the greatest reward.:lovestruck:

Bless you for taking the little guy in. And we'd love to see pictures of your little ones!:angel::D

September 17th, 2007, 02:44 PM
The two cats will become the best of friends in time. Growling means that "there is an intruder in the house", your cat will get over it soon. For now talk to the kitten softly and buy kitten toys, (feathers on a stick) it will make him come out from under the sofa and will distract him from being scared. Whoever comes to your house should handle the kitten, it will help socialize it. Bless you for adopting him. Keep us updated on its progress.

September 18th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Poor kitty, what a horrible start to life. Thanks for taking him in.

This kitty needs to feel secure and safe and should be in a small room by itself until you and he bond and he becomes comfortable with you. Lots of quiet cuddles and pats are called for in this situation. After kitty becomes more comfortable, I would then introduce your two kittys slowly and on their terms.

Before long the two cats will become best friends and your female will be glad for the companionship.

September 18th, 2007, 09:31 AM
One of my cats had been severely abused before I got him. It took a few weeks before he was really comfortable with the other cat in the home and it took even longer before he was comfortable with me. He would let me pet him but it was weeks before he would be out in the open and, even then, he still ran under the couch if I made any sudden movements.

It was a slow process with him. First he'd start coming out into the open, then he'd stay out in the open if I got up but he'd run if I walked toward him. I still remember the day he allowed me to walk up to him and pet him. To this day, he'll lay on my chest and let me pet him, but he doesn't like to be picked up and held.

It's all about patience. Take baby steps with him. I'm willing to bet that he'll end up being best buddies with your other cat once he gets used to his environment and realizes he's safe.

Adopting an abused animal is hard, but it's also very rewarding. I spent lots of time lying on the floor letting him sniff and nuzzle my fingers from his safe spot under the couch - now he's the most affectionate loving cat you could imagine. Just be patient and don't rush him.

September 18th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Thank you so much for all the advice!!!! He is a real sweetheart, I got him to finally start purring and lay on the bed with me. THank you again :thumbs up

Jim Hall
September 18th, 2007, 12:16 PM
hows the other cat reacting ? make sure you gove the other lots of attention too

September 18th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Sounds good and I wholeheartedly concur with Jim- make sure both kitties get equal amts of your time and attention!!!