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Do cats personalities change...

April 29th, 2009, 11:08 PM
after being homed?

When I was looking for my own cat since my b/f had his own, I came across an ad for a Bengal kitten. At the time he was 9 months old and his description was "Extremely social, outgoing, friendly, affectionate".

Now a year later of having Gizzy with us, he has never really been all these things that he was described for. He has always been skittish and jumpy and sometimes aggressive. He does talk a lot, hides from strangers, but only affectionate with me since November when I got laid off and have been home everyday.

Because he isn't registered, I highly doubt he is full Bengal. Especially for the price I paid for him. But past is past. I now know what a BYB is and have more knowledge to guard myself for getting a future pedigree cat.

Anyways, I have tried almost everything to alter his aggressive/skittish behaviour. But nothing really has shown a change. If I had the money, my next step would be an animal behaviorist.

I just feel like giving up on him to finally settle into the behavior that he was described as. If you've read my claw trimming thread, his aggressiveness has actually sky-rocketed since then. I am now afraid to even try to clip his nails now for fear that he will bite and claw me to death. Is it hopeless? Or should I start getting used to the idea that he will always be the cat who eats and sleeps here but never socializes? :sad::sad:

April 30th, 2009, 10:01 AM
First the claw clipping...have you tried clipping them when he is sleepy or after he has eaten? (sorry haven't read your other thread :o)

Second the behavior thing...yes, they do change...My Messina was hiding under her cat bed when I met her and Seth was easy to Messina is the social one and Seth would rather fall into a black hole full of vipers than let me touch him! :frustrated: You might want to check your kitty's mouth though, as I did notice Seth coming out of his shell a bit more after I got a sore in his mouth fixed. :shrug:

April 30th, 2009, 10:09 AM
Is it possible that the ad was not accurate? I am curious if the cat exhibited the behaviour when you first brought it home?

I believe that the personalties can change but not completly. I have been having a bit of trouble getting my 3 year old to adjust to a new kitten. Before we got the kitten, she was wild, and when played with would go crazy. The kitten is now taking away alot of her play time as my cat doesn't feel comfortable playing when the little one is staring or trying to come close. But every night around the same time I can get the cat going when the kitten is around. It makes me quite happy when I see this, and hope she returns back to the personality that makes her so enjoyable full time.

April 30th, 2009, 10:38 PM
I can't do anything to him when he's sleeping without him waking up startled and attacking claws out. He is on full-alert all day, everyday, never changes. He still runs from my bf and he's never done anything mean to him. You can't walk near him without him thinking you're gonna come after him.

Originally the ad on kijiji was for a bengal kitten 12 weeks old, and when I contacted the seller, she said that kitten was gone but had an older one. She lives in Kitchener and we were trying to set up a time/place to meet, but it ended up in a parking lot in Orangeville. I thought it was a little strange, but I was completely new to this and didn't know any better so I went along with it. When I held him that day, he was trying everything to get out of my arms. When he came home with us he hid for 3 weeks, and still continues to hide out under tables and small spaces but mostly when friends come over or the vacuum comes out.

I have 3 breeds in mind for future cat ownership, but this bizarre experience may hinder me from every having another cat in my life. Should I let it?

May 1st, 2009, 05:28 AM
Please don't let this stop you from getting a cat in the future. Most cats make wonderful pets. From the sounds of it, the person who sold your cat to you was probably a backyard breeder. He was probably not properly socialized, and it is possible that the ad describing him as friendly and sociable was a lie.
A properly raised kitten will be handled gently from day 1,(although not a whole lot until they are a couple weeks old) and will be confident and friendly around people. New situations will make them unsure, but quiet time to explore makes them comfortable again. I raised an entire litter that a stray I took in had. I was careful to socialize them and all of them are friendly (I got reports from the new owners.) the one we kept is currently rolling around next to my computer begging for petting, playtime, and breakfast. this is just to say that wonderful friendly cuddly cats are possible to find (purebred or not). If you get one from a breeder, meet the cats she has. Meet the mom, see the other kittens. If they aren't friendly chances are they aren't properly socialized and a kitten won't be either. (Although Mama may be feeling protective if the kittens are small) Try going to a shelter or a rescue. You can meet the cat and see how he/she acts before ever making a final decision.

May 1st, 2009, 07:45 AM
For future reference - Any time a "breeder" will not let you come to their home to pick up an animal ... run ....... fast!

Your cat probably spent his life locked in a small cage with no socialization with anything else, human or animal. Unless he was used for breeding purposes. Then he would have been taken out, allowed to mate, and put back in the cage. Is he fixed, btw? If he isn't please have him fixed. That will settle him a little.
It is going to take time, energy, and a lot of commitment to change your cats behaviour. In the end it will be well worth it.
A couple of sites for you to check....... Yes, one is for a feral cat. That is almost what you are working with.
Good luck. Let us know how it's going.

May 1st, 2009, 02:59 PM
Thank you for the advice everyone it means soo much to me! I love him soo much but he frays my patience. It hurts my feelings when he hisses at me when he's scared. :cry: Maybe I'm too sensitive...

Once I had found out the definition of a BYB and sent an email to ask for pix of his parents, I got a reply that she would "try to find some" but never got a response back, I figured it out then that she basically "washed her hands of me and the cat". So lesson learnt! Always pay full price for purebreds, and pay attention and ask lots of questions! SPCA will be an option as well. :)

And I'm part of this wonderful forum that I can share my questions with and you, the experts, can tell me what is evil and what is not! :thumbs up

He wasn't neutered when we got him, so who the hell knows what they were using him for. But we got him fixed asap! That did calm him down a bit, but the skittishness was still there. He didn't like being held at all, but I think now he tolerates it, but only when I'm holding him. I hope it is possible to re-socialize him. Thank you for the links! This behaviour he is exerting just SPEAKS feral cat, even though the pix the "breeder" had were of him from inside their house. So I hope the feral cat link will help us with his temperament! :fingerscr

Edit: almost forgot to mention, he has never kneaded on anything. Could this be a sign of a feral? I have seen him scratch on our bed like he would in the litter and it looked like he was looking for somewhere to go. I stopped him in the act of scratching the first time. The second time I watched him but he just laid down after He also needs to smell everything and anyone before they pet him. Even me and especially my BF. Is this normal?

May 1st, 2009, 03:19 PM
Dollface...I sooooooo feel for ya! :2huggers: I find myself crying sometimes too over Seth...he is such a troubled little man and I try so hard. :sad: I have come to the conclusion lately that he is in his own little world and when he feels like coming into my world, he will so I don't push him too much, but I do include him in activities as much as he will be included. :shrug:

I also take pleasure when I see him taking chances (that makes me cry happy tears LoL!)...small things like taking food out of my hand or playing with a mouse I am dangling by the tail in front of him.

It will come...we just have to have patience, stand back and look at it a lot of ways, a feral brings MORE rewards :)

The evil part of me sometimes thinks maybe ferals are smarter in that they have figured a way to get special treatment and extra attention :evil:

May 2nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
Dollface, even properly socialized very friendly cats often like to sniff you before you pet them, even if they know you well.

May 2nd, 2009, 06:50 PM
ownedbycats: thank you for the clarification, I thought maybe he had selective memory lol remember the bad ppl but not the good ones

TacoGrl: thank you soo much for your reply, I thought I was the only one who got upset lol and your post made me think of the chances Gizzy takes too!

Last week he actually licked my hand for the first time ever, he has never licked anyone, so it was a shock to say the least lol and he is slowly but cautiously letting us rub his belly. Must be the monkey see, monkey do mentality cuz Forest loves them!

To add on the nail trimming issue, I can touch his paws no problem and push his claw out but the moment I bring the clipper/soft paw to his nail he freaks out.

So I've been reading the links, and about the part where a stray/feral will associate food with trust, my BF feeds them about 60% of the time most days but Gizzy is still scared of my BF, like he can't stand to be within a foot or 2 to him. If he has to go somewhere where my BF is he will run around him really fast or avoid him at all costs. Any ideas?

May 3rd, 2009, 06:54 AM
My Willie loves me, but he only likes to be petted on certain parts of his body. He doesn't like to be picked up and he won't let anyone cut his nails. So I just don't as he will bite. He seems to take care of his own nails.

Have u tried playing with him using interactive toys? That might make him more friendly towards you also.

I got 2 kittens last September. The female was very skittish and didn't come and see us. The male was very friendly and loving. Now The male is not as friendly, but when I go to bed the female runs upstairs and jumps on the bed and waits to be petted. She is still skittish, but I just take that as part of her personality and don't hold it against her. I do talk to them alot so they know what I am doing when I'm walking towards them and that I'm not going to hurt them.


May 4th, 2009, 04:19 PM
I play with him about 3-5 times a week, I've tried to convince my bf but he thinks its not necessary but does play with him once in a while...

May 4th, 2009, 05:41 PM
I play with him about 3-5 times a week, I've tried to convince my bf but he thinks its not necessary but does play with him once in a while...

Does your boyfriend play with his own cat or does he basically ignore it? There is a huge difference between being a "cat owner" and a "cat lover".

You said your boyfriend feeds the cats about 60% of the time. Does he just plunk the food down for them and leave? Does he take it as a chance to talk gently to the cats. Doesn't even have to make sense. Just quietly talking to them. Stroking them gently when they are eating. Any type of interaction is better than none at all.

What do you feed them - canned or dry? Canned gives you the chance to watch in amazement what your cats will do to get their food. I know as soon as I head to the cupboard where I store food here I have 5 of them sitting on the table watching my every move. It's a great time to interact with them. When I go to feed my catty cats I usually end up tripping over a few kitties who are happy to see me (and their food).

How do you bond with an animal if you don't play with them? Even my catty cats get my undivided attention a couple of times a day. I play with strings, ropes, even branches off trees with them. If I had close neighbours I am sure they would think I was bonkers!

Even 10 to 15 minutes of your undivided attention sometime during the day when you have some free time will reap huge rewards for you.

May 4th, 2009, 05:43 PM
that is too bad that your bf won't play with him more often. Apparntly playing with a cat gives them more confidence and builds a bond between them and their owners.

Pat Bennet Johnson, cat behaviourlist says that we should play with out cats a couple times a day. Her book is called Think Like a Cat, maybe u could get it from your public library, it is quite good.



May 4th, 2009, 07:12 PM
14+kitties: He says Forest (his cat) doesn't play so he doesn't play with him b/c he's older and not as active as Gizzy is. He does say hi to him everyday and pet him when Forest is whining and brushes his fur when he needs it, but basically I guess he is the cat owner and i am the cat lover. I talk to them when they are eating and pet them as well to make them more comfortable. We feed a raw diet for them.

Does he just plunk the food down for them and leave? Yes.
Does he take it as a chance to talk gently to the cats? Nope.

How do you bond with an animal if you don't play with them? I've tried this mentality with my bf but he just replies with "whatever" but at the same time I can tell that he gets a tiny bit rebuffed when Gizzy always runs away from him, so even though it is ultimately his fault lol I guess am the one who feels bad.

Debbie: Yes it is too bad, cats are people too! lol Thanks for the book title, I will look it up and see where I can get it, can't have too many books :)

May 5th, 2009, 04:27 AM
Dollface, she has written quite a few books, but Think Like a Cat has a bit about everything. I hope u can find it. I just borrowed one from the library.


May 5th, 2009, 08:07 AM
Our 4 year old cat Oreo, has changed her personality drastically
We aren't sure if it was when we brought home our Sheltie puppy Laddie, or if she is just becoming more relaxed.
She use to be very cuddly, now, she will only cuddle with myself or my daughter.
She isn't fond of my husband, or ANY company we have at our house, usually we have to place her in a seperate area of the house, because she hisses and growls at anyone who comes to visit us...EXCEPT CHILDREN
weird isn't it

May 8th, 2009, 04:42 PM
I just came across this statement on the BCF:
I just think many men are just scarier to cats for lots of reasons, bigger, heavier, noisier, probably less patient, they often treat a cat like a dog, a bit too rough, perhaps not gentle enough, too quick in their movements all make the cat scurry out of the way.

Describes my BF completely!

LOL i just read this too him and he tried to hide a smile that says he knew this statement is soo true but i caught it and hopefully he can apply this to when interacting with Gizzy :fingerscr :pray:

May 25th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Well HUGE update!

since reading the statement (above) to my bf, he has been very gentle with Gizzy and over the last few weeks, Gizzy has gotten braver everyday, which is scaring my bf a little :laughing: Anyways, yesterday my bf got a new shadow! Gizzy was following him everywhere and meowing while doing it, and headbutting him! YAY :crazy: :cloud9:

Good improvement or what?!

May 25th, 2009, 05:52 PM
THAT is great news!!!! :thumbs up

Must be something in the Seth actually hopped up on the bed the other night and curled up to sleep...until I got to tossing and turning (fighting whatever I fight with in my sleep :rolleyes:) and kicked the poor fella off :sad:
Edit: pic :D

(only this time, he isn't being kicked off LoL!)

(sorry to hi-jack :o)

May 26th, 2009, 11:39 PM
i just caught this thread. glad to see the cat is coming around! I think most men do scare cats. I have three cats myself. two are litter mates we've had them since they were 7 weeks old and they are fine with my bf. Then there is the little one stormy who we got when she was about 10 weeks old. It took me about 6 months for her to get use to me. a lot of talking moving slowly you name it i did it. I would sit on the bathroom floor and talk to her while she hissed away. She is now my shadow and claims me as her person. but saddly she hasn't warmed up to my bf yet at all and we've had her for two years. he moves loudly and scares her but i can't seem to get him to quiet down a little. i guess some cats just bound well with others :shrug:

May 27th, 2009, 01:22 PM
My cats were super shy when I first got them and even scratched the vet (and his aide) badly when they were trying to clip their nails... but they eventually turned around. Good to hear your cat is too!

THAT is great news!!!! :thumbs up

Must be something in the Seth actually hopped up on the bed the other night and curled up to sleep...until I got to tossing and turning (fighting whatever I fight with in my sleep :rolleyes:) and kicked the poor fella off :sad:
Edit: pic :D

(only this time, he isn't being kicked off LoL!)

(sorry to hi-jack :o)

Has to be something up... I woke up with my cats sleeping on the bed. That never happened since they were kittens. I too am a 'kicker' when I sleep and my cats learned quickly to avoid me if I'm sleeping in bed!

May 27th, 2009, 02:50 PM
TacoGrl & Joeyjoejoe: That's soo cute! Great to hear :D see? this thread is for everyone with weird kitties lol

I went out last night and Gizzy started screaming at my bf prolly wondering where I was so my bf was forced to pet and play with him :laughing: then he got lazy and gave him his catnip cigar to play with :crazy: then :sleepy: :laughing::laughing:

Joeyjoejoe: maybe try telling your bf the statement i posted on page 2 and see if you see him make the effort? Although it might only work if he is annoyed when stormy ignores him or runs away...

October 28th, 2009, 01:44 PM
OMG Gizzy is curled up on my lap as I type this. First time without me putting him there. And purring up a storm! :cloud9: I'm not sure he'd be doing this if I wasn't wearing jeans. Now I don't want to go out :sad: :laughing:

Jim Hall
October 28th, 2009, 01:53 PM
ahh see what a little gentleness can do?

October 28th, 2009, 08:59 PM
Yup :) leaving it up to him exploring on his own makes him curious, why Forest likes laps lol I pick him up all the time and he doesn't mind. Once in awhile i will see how he likes my lap. I just got home and he is on my lap again! :cloud9: soo rewarding!

I was just talking to him the other day about how it's ok he doesn't like laps, but maybe one day. And here he is sitting on my lap! :cloud9: He just jumped up on the couch and didn't hesitate to step on my lap! :goodvibes::lovestruck:

December 18th, 2009, 12:53 AM
It's a Christmas miracle!! Gizzy sat on my bf's knee yesterday!! For the past couple days Gizzy has been meowing at him more to be pet and talked to. Guess he totally trusts him to sit on his lap and explore walking back and forth :D