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looking for reassurance - found cat a home, now she is hissing!!

March 14th, 2009, 05:01 PM
hi all.

a few weeks ago, i rescued a stray cat that wandered into my yard. she is just a baby (about 8 months old). she was cold, hungry and scared, but she took to me quickly - i fed her and she showed great appreciation (purring, rubbing up against my legs, etc). i couldn't keep her (i already have three of my own), so i called my brother and asked him to foster her until i either found her owner or got a new home for her. he agreed (bless his heart).

anyway, i finally found a home for her, and brought her to her new owners yesterday. she had been at my brother's for two weeks, so she was quite comfortable with him (and me - i saw her a few times each week over there). she is a beautiful, friendly animal (loves to lay in a lap and purr).

the first nite at my brother's, she was understandably scared, and was vocalizing and doing a bit of hissing. by the next day, she was fine, and remained that way until i took her to her new home (last nite at suppertime). well, at the new place, she again exhibited that behaviour (growling and hissing). i assured the new owners that by today, she would likely have settled down, just as she did at my brother's after that first nite.

today, she is still hissing, and i'm hoping that it's just going to take a little longer for her to settle down this time, as she was so relaxed at my brother's because she probably felt like that was her new home. my question is, do you think she will settle down again? i feel so bad for her, poor baby. she's been thru such upheaval in her short life (first being lost, then going to my brother's, then being moved again to a whole new place with new people).

is there anything else that we can do to relax her? i went over to the new place today to try to provide a bit of consistency in her life. she was fine when i first arrived (happy to see me, jumping in my lap, purring, etc.), but by the time i left, she was even hissing at me! :sad:

what can we do to reassure her and calm her down?

thanks :confused:

March 14th, 2009, 05:13 PM
That poor baby has been through a lot in the last few weeks. I would probably be hissing too!!
Thank you for helping her. That's wonderful. :thumbs up Thank your brother too for fostering her.
Now...... she has been moved to three different homes in probably as many weeks, no? Who knows what happened to her before you found her. :sad: So the new owners should expect some resistance. She is feeling unsure, doesn't know if she is going to be able to stay at this house or if she is going to be moved again, is maybe afraid to get comfortable in case she does get moved........ get the drift? It is going to take her some time and a little extra loving from her new family. Extra loving does not always mean hugs and kisses. It could mean good food, fun new toys, someone to play with her interactively; like dragging a string behind them for her to "catch" or a laser light or something like that, catnip, etc........
Other questions..... Are there other pets? Are there children where there wasn't any before or visa versa? Has there recently been an animal in the house that she may still sense? Has she got her litter box in a place where she has complete privacy? Questions go on........

Couple of sites to check out also......

Good luck and thanks again for looking out for this sweetie!!

March 14th, 2009, 05:21 PM
Moosedry,thank you for helping this kitty.
I am not surprised she's hissing,so would mine if I left them somewhere strange.
I would tell the new owners,to give her space and time,like 14+ said,play with her,give her good food and talk to her.
They should not try to pick her up,she has to do everything in her own time,I hope they don't give up on her:fingerscr
She will eventually come around once she feels secure..
If there are little kids that are bothering her,maybe they should be told not too,some cats(mine)are scared of little kids.

March 14th, 2009, 05:29 PM
thanks so much for responding, 14+!! you made me feel better just reading your reply. you're right, she has been thru a lot! three different homes - including the one she originally came from, where god only knows what happened to her, to terry's (my brother) to cathy's (her new owner).

i will advise the new owners of your response, for sure. the good news is, lucy (the kitty) is a lucky little girl to have gotten cathy as a new owner. she's a sweetheart, and a real cat lover - she has all the patience in the world! she had to have her 14 year old cat, buddy, put down back in january due to incurable illness, so lucy probably does smell another cat. however, my brother has two other cats that were relegated to another level of the house while she was there, so i can't see the lingering presence of buddy being to blame. there are no kids in either house, but cathy does have two lovebirds (safe in a cage, of course) that lucy has run at a few times. the birds aren't afraid of her - they just scold her and move to the middle of the cage.

a really good sign is that she has already peed and pooed in the litter box, and she is eating. she will even come over around cathy and rub against her, etc., it's just that if cathy tries to touch her at all, she hisses and swats and runs away from her. i'll mention to cathy to just let her continue to come near her and hold off on the petting for now.

she hasn't gone near the upstairs of the new house yet for some reason. at my brother's, she slept with him every night (and with me on nights that i stayed over). she's such a loving cat, it's so unusual that she also displays this hissy behaviour...

hopefully, she will calm down over the next few days. i'm going over there again tomorrow to try to provide some consistency, like i said. maybe if she sees that she hasn't been just completely abandoned by us, she will start to warm up to the new situation...

thanks again.
will keep you updated as to what happens. here is a pic of lucy:

March 14th, 2009, 05:33 PM
hi chico.

thanks so much for the concern. i am still holding out hope for your situation with the kitty you are trying to trap. i love this board - so much support from people who truly care about the animals!

i promise i'll update y'all on lucy's situation. she's such a little sweetie, i hope she comes around. i feel kind of bad because i was telling cathy about how she just likes to lay in a lap and purr, and now she is just hissing at her a lot!!

take care. will post again soon. all ideas for this situation are appreciated!

tracy :cat:

March 14th, 2009, 05:34 PM
Awww,she's a beautiful girl,it sounds to me like Kathy knows and loves kitties,I am sure Lucy will eventually realize,she's a very lucky girl:cat:

March 14th, 2009, 05:39 PM
She is adorable! Looks like a little cow with the spots. :cloud9: That is great she has such a wonderful new mom! I am sure given a couple of weeks she will come around. If she is using the litter box that's a great first step!

The kitty that I have in my small cat house outside loves to rub up against me. I give him a few pets but if I am persistant he swats and tries to bite so she is not alone. He was a rescue by krdahmer and brought here. It's hard to say what he went through too. It all takes time and patience!

The lovebird thing is funny! I have a couple of them too. The cage has ended up on the floor a couple of times. :frustrated: Silly kitties!

As chico said, she will need some time and space. She will come around.

March 14th, 2009, 05:52 PM
thanks again, 14+ and chico for the kind words. you guys on this board always make me feel so much better. i'm sure you're right, lucy will likely settle down with time.

i can't wait for cathy to get to see the real lucy - the one who stole my heart on that dark, cold thursday nite. poor little angel was trying to break into my blue recycle bag because she was so hungry! i stepped outside, and she ran from me (about 15 feet away). after about 5 minutes of coaxing, she made the leap of faith and came running to me.

poor little thing had a collar on it with a bell! so, not only couldn't she even hunt if she got hungry enough, that bell was going to be like a dinner bell for the raccoons and coyotes that reside in the woods behind my house!

she was soooo skinny i could feel her bones. she ate a little too much canned food a little too quickly those first few days, and ended up with diarrhea. we switched her to dry food and slowed down the feedings and it cleared up easily. she seems fine, health-wise (bright, clear eyes, no evidence of uri, no ear mites or other parasites, other than the bout with diarrhea is expelling normally, etc.), so cathy is going to delay the vet visit until she at least settles down a bit. then they intend to take her in for a complete physical and to see if she needs to be spayed. i think cathy is wise to wait a little on the vet visit. the poor little thing has just been through so much, i don't think she needs any more upsetting things happening to her!

anyway, that's her story. i wish i would have been able to keep her, but i had promised my husband a long time ago that i wouldn't ask to have more than three cats at a time, which is of course, how many we have now. i would have 10 if he'd agree, trust me!!

hugs to all for the sound advice and for caring!

tracy :lovestruck:

March 14th, 2009, 05:56 PM
That all sounded great till I hit the dry food bit. Now you know you are gonna get some flack for that, don'tcha? :D Wet is so much better for her. Maybe try giving her a bit of both till her belly can handle the wet then cut out the dry all together. It is normal if she wasn't getting any food that she get diahhrea. A good quality wet will get her chubbed up in no time!! :thumbs up

March 14th, 2009, 06:11 PM
hi 14+. sorry, i wasn't clear about the dry. we switched her to it for just a few days until the diarrhea calmed down (was worried about dehydration, especially since she is really just a baby who needs lots of nutrition and can't afford to lose that much fluid). she was put back on a diet of wet and dry right after that, and has been fine ever since. she gets mostly wet now and is doing fine. i'm a big fan of wet food for my cats (they get canned in the morning and at nite, with a handful of dry at lunchtime).

sorry about the mix up! :laughing:

tracy :cat:

March 14th, 2009, 06:14 PM
:thumbs up All good!! :D

March 14th, 2009, 06:27 PM
here's another picture of lucy kitty. isn't she beautiful?

March 14th, 2009, 06:30 PM
She is certainly one very beautiful lucky lucy! :cloud9:

March 14th, 2009, 08:49 PM
Lucy is fine looking young lady. She's got a lot of soul in those eyes.....

she had to have her 14 year old cat, buddy, put down back in january due to incurable illness, so lucy probably does smell another cat.

Do you know what the illness was? Although Lucy's hissing is most likely a stress-response to all of the upheaval in her life, another factor might be that she smells the previous cat's medical problem, which could be adding to her unease. That will also likely wane as time goes on, so either way, patience is the key (along with interactive play-time and yummy treats!). All the best to Lucy and her new forever home, and to you for rescuing her.

March 14th, 2009, 10:14 PM
i believe it was some sort of cancer. i'm leaning towards her nervousness being caused by all the upheaval, tho. i'm going to go over there again tomorrow and take some toys that my cats loooove (little furry mice that rattle - i have some new in the package), plus some treats that are a sure fire winner. i think lucy will get better with time (or at least i hope so - she certainly did at my brother's place). poor little angel. rips my heart out to think of all she has been through. i think she was lost for at least a few weeks before i found her, and the weather here has been horrendous (extremely cold, lots of snow). she was very skinny, so she must have been very hungry, too. hopefully, as the days pass, she will settle down. will keep you all informed.

thanks again.
tracy : )

March 15th, 2009, 08:24 AM
MD,Lucy is very,very pretty:lovestruck:
Feel free to pat yourself on the back,you saved a little life from probably a slow death of starvation:grouphug:

March 15th, 2009, 09:08 AM
i called over to cathy's just now. lucy is still being hissy, although she finally ventured upstairs into their bedroom last nite. she jumped up on the bed a few times, but then jumped down immediately. i was very encouraged that she is finally starting to explore a little more. i told cathy of all your suggestions, and i am going over there this afternoon armed with some toys and treats sure to please. perhaps because lucy is still basically a kitten (8 mos, approx.), perhaps they can appeal to her in that way. i'm also going to take my carrier back over there for her to sleep in. i had left it at my brother's to see if she would warm up to it for the trip to cathy's (we left it open, on the floor). she took to it nicely, and started taking naps in it. maybe that will help to calm her.

thanks for all the advice, you guys. i sure hope we can get the old lucy back, because she is just as sweet as the day is long. this hissing, nasty side of her is not her usual personality, that's for sure!

cross your fingers for her. at least she has patient new owners!

tracy :cat:

March 15th, 2009, 03:17 PM
hi all.

just got back from cathy's, and things improved by the end of my visit. i stayed a few hours. as predicted, she loved interacting with them with a fishing rod toy i brought over (it has a toy mouse at the end of the line). they had been trying to just give her her space, so they weren't really getting to bond with her. i think she is used to the space enough now (she's been there two full days) that it's okay to start trying to get her to warm up. you guys had a great suggestion with the toys. she loves them - she's so playful!! also, she was sleeping in the carrier again during my visit, looking quite relaxed (they intend to get her one of her own eventually). by the time i left, she was tolerating them patting her without hissing (a very good sign, don't you think?).

i was very encouraged after leaving there today that everything will work out. thanks for all your help, guys. will update again as the days go by. lucy is one lucky little girl to have landed such kind, patient people!!

thanks again!
tracy :lovestruck:

March 15th, 2009, 04:19 PM
That's great MD:thumbs upit won't be long until she feels secure and loved,thank's to you:grouphug: