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Jln harm April 17th, 2013 08:42 PM

New kitten doesn't like me getting close..help
 
Hello everyone,

I just got a new kitten on April 8, 2013. He name is Parker and he is a burmese pure breed, sable color. He came from a breeder and had to take a plane ride to get to me. He is starting to warm up to us, but is still very timid abut us getting to close. Does anyone have any suggestions for me to help him get used to us touching him.

He is eating and playing and is slowly coming closer to us, but any movement either in general or towards him, makes him in back away or run to a hiding spot. I don't want to force him to be held either.

I did read that it could take up to a month for him to come around...and he has already made good progress, but I'm not sure how to move forward with the touching.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Jennifer

sugarcatmom April 17th, 2013 11:31 PM

Let him come to you. Don't force the issue, and personally, I wouldn't even try petting him until he initiates it by rubbing against you or giving you head butts. You can extend a pinky finger for him to sniff as a greeting, and offer him tasty treats as a reward for interacting with you. Have you tried gentle play therapy? Being a kitten, he should find furry or feathery wand toys or fake mice irresistible and they might help draw him out of his shell (provided you don't make sudden or threatening movements in the process).

There's some good advice on how best to deal with fearful cats by feline behaviourist Pam Johnson-Bennett at this link: [url]http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/helping-a-fearful-cat/[/url]

How old was Parker when you got him? I'm wondering if perhaps he wasn't socialized enough by the breeder, although maybe the trauma of the plane trip has also had an affect.

Jln harm April 18th, 2013 10:17 AM

Thank you for your reply. Parker was 12 weeks old when we got him last Monday. I am finding it really hard to have patience, but it might be a good life lesson. Lol. We have played with him and I am the one that brings him his wet food in the morning and when we get home from work.

It's not just the petting that he shys away from...he runs away any time we adjust ourselves. It is frustrating because I have had kittens before and they were never like this. Animals usually love me. I am not going to give him catnip either, because last night after I gave him some, anytime I tried to give him a treat, he attacked my fingers.

I have heard that using a back scratcher to pet him sometimes works. What about peanut butter on my finger to get him close?

Thanks again

pattymac April 18th, 2013 11:01 AM

Ya know patience is a virtue :) I adopted a Maine Coon a few years ago and I have no idea what his previous owners did to him but he was a bundle of nerves. He couldn't relax and trying to pet him was almost impossible, 2 strokes and he'd try to bite. Plastic bags sent him running, he'd scream at my other cats and chase them.

Fast forward a few years and he's like a totally new cat, not that I'm saying it will take your kitten that long! It took patience and just letting him adjust at his own pace. Oh I just remembered something you can try is the slow eye blink. I've seen Jackson Galaxy do this and I've tried it on my own cats. It's just what it says, it's a slow blink while looking at your cat, seems to really calm them down and they'll return it :)

sugarcatmom April 18th, 2013 03:04 PM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056618]I am not going to give him catnip either, because last night after I gave him some, anytime I tried to give him a treat, he attacked my fingers.
[/QUOTE]

So he's an angry drunk! :laughing:

Treats are a good idea (within reason, of course.... and if you use healthier ones like 100% freeze-dried meat, even better), and if he likes peanut butter you can certainly give him a little taste off your finger.

A Feliway diffuser or 2 might help him feel a little less anxious, and flower essences (like Bach's Rescue Remedy or Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences) can also be useful.

Is another kitten an option? Do you have any other cats right now? Maybe Parker just feels insecure without another feline presence. Kitten season is starting to ramp up here.... you could rescue a little one in need of a home, about the same age but with a more outgoing personality, to be a positive influence on Parker. :)

Lastly, has the breeder been able to give you any input on the situation?

Barkingdog April 18th, 2013 06:22 PM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;1056626]So he's an angry drunk! :laughing:

Treats are a good idea (within reason, of course.... and if you use healthier ones like 100% freeze-dried meat, even better), and if he likes peanut butter you can certainly give him a little taste off your finger.

A Feliway diffuser or 2 might help him feel a little less anxious, and flower essences (like Bach's Rescue Remedy or Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences) can also be useful.

Is another kitten an option? Do you have any other cats right now? Maybe Parker just feels insecure without another feline presence. Kitten season is starting to ramp up here.... you could rescue a little one in need of a home, about the same age but with a more outgoing personality, to be a positive influence on Parker. :)

Lastly, has the breeder been able to give you any input on the situation?[/QUOTE]

Maybe the OP could try being a foster parent to a kitty and see how their kitty get along with it before thinking of getting another one.

pbpatti April 18th, 2013 06:52 PM

Another idea you may try is to give Parker a small room to live in until he feels more comfortable. Sometimes big spaces are pretty scary for little ones. I think that the back scratcher would be a great tool to use for Parker. I would use the back of the tool at first, slowly work your way down the scratcher until your hand is touching him. Take your time, with this. Use the tool for a few minutes at a time severasl times a day. Patience is still s virtue! :cloud9:

Jln harm April 18th, 2013 09:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Getting a second cat is not in the cards. I do have Parker in a small bedroom I use as an office/ closet which i have given up mainly for him right now. My husband was a huge help last night...he came upstairs after I send him a frustrated text and played with Parker non stop for about 45 minutes, it was great. He also spend a ton of time with him today while I was at work ( he had the day off). I did send a message to the breeder and she said that it takes more time for some cats to adjust then others.

She said that she would watch tv and spend time with them...maybe it was the flight that did it? I'm not sure.

I did hear the rescue remedy could help, but I was hesitant to give it to Parker as it is made mainly for humans. He seems pretty calm most of the time unless you move a hand or walk towards him, not sure if the rescue remedy will help with that.

I am sitting with Parker while he eats his dinner and he is only about 6 inches away, but still shys away a bit when I move. Patients is definitely a virtue and it seems that is the only way he is going to come around. He is already 10 times better than when we first got him.

He is soo cute!

I have to go out and get a back scratcher now.

Thanks again everyone. If there is anything else you can think of, I'm totally open to suggestions.

Jln harm April 19th, 2013 12:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Does baring his belly mean he want to be touch or just that he is getting more comfortable?

Marty11 April 19th, 2013 08:23 AM

I think your cat is getting more comfortable as he lays like that. I wouldn't rush to touch the belly, it can make a cat react aggressively. Give it time, some of the best cats were really shy as a kitten. He's very cute!!!

Barkingdog April 19th, 2013 01:47 PM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056633]Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Getting a second cat is not in the cards. I do have Parker in a small bedroom I use as an office/ closet which i have given up mainly for him right now. My husband was a huge help last night...he came upstairs after I send him a frustrated text and played with Parker non stop for about 45 minutes, it was great. He also spend a ton of time with him today while I was at work ( he had the day off). I did send a message to the breeder and she said that it takes more time for some cats to adjust then others.

She said that she would watch tv and spend time with them...maybe it was the flight that did it? I'm not sure.

I did hear the rescue remedy could help, but I was hesitant to give it to Parker as it is made mainly for humans. He seems pretty calm most of the time unless you move a hand or walk towards him, not sure if the rescue remedy will help with that.

I am sitting with Parker while he eats his dinner and he is only about 6 inches away, but still shys away a bit when I move. Patients is definitely a virtue and it seems that is the only way he is going to come around. He is already 10 times better than when we first got him.

He is soo cute!

I have to go out and get a back scratcher now.

Thanks again everyone. If there is anything else you can think of, I'm totally open to suggestions.[/QUOTE]

If you're going to be using rescue remedy oil make sure it's safe to use on cats as he could lick it off as he could lick it off and is can absorb through the cat skin. Your cat is very pretty and he look it likes is starting to feel more at home.

Jull April 19th, 2013 02:04 PM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056633]

I did hear the rescue remedy could help, but I was hesitant to give it to Parker as it is made mainly for humans. He seems pretty calm most of the time unless you move a hand or walk towards him, not sure if the rescue remedy will help with that. [/QUOTE]

The rescue remedy is safe for all human and animals, as it is made from flower essences not chemicals ;). Maybe you could look into any of the other bach flower remedies and see if any of them would be a better fit.

[QUOTE=Barkingdog;1056653]If you're going to be using rescue remedy oil make sure it's safe to use on cats as he could lick it off as he could lick it off and is can absorb through the cat skin. Your cat is very pretty and he look it likes is starting to feel more at home.[/QUOTE]

It is safe to be ingested, when I give it to the kids here I always put the drops directly in their mouth, it really makes no difference if its ingested or not as it works by being absorbed by the body/skin; it can also be put directly into the pet's water.

Barkingdog April 19th, 2013 03:51 PM

[QUOTE=Jull;1056655]The rescue remedy is safe for all human and animals, as it is made from flower essences not chemicals ;). Maybe you could look into any of the other bach flower remedies and see if any of them would be a better fit.



It is safe to be ingested, when I give it to the kids here I always put the drops directly in their mouth, it really makes no difference if its ingested or not as it works by being absorbed by the body/skin; it can also be put directly into the pet's water.[/QUOTE]

I do not know what kind of oil you're using and some are not safe for cats. Some people think because something is natural that is not toxic.

Jull April 19th, 2013 03:56 PM

[QUOTE=Barkingdog;1056662]I do not know what kind of oil you're using and some are not safe for cats. Some people think because something is natural that is not toxic.[/QUOTE]

I use the remedy, the small liquid bottle with dropper not an oil... is there an oil version of it??

Barkingdog April 19th, 2013 04:13 PM

[QUOTE=Jull;1056664]I use the remedy, the small liquid bottle with dropper not an oil... is there an oil version of it??[/QUOTE]

I do not know what the remedy is so I do not know if come in oil. I was just saying if the OP does use a remedy oil to be sure it safe for cats.

sugarcatmom April 19th, 2013 04:35 PM

Flower essences are not oils, they are extremely dilute solutions made from specific plants (kind of like homeopathy - works on an energy level). They're fabulous for cats and can be administered in food, water, spritzed on bedding, dabbed on ears or forehead..... no side effects and completely safe. NOT to be confused with essential oils, which are a very different thing and can indeed be toxic to cats.

[url]http://www.bachflowerscanada.com/pets.htm[/url]
[url]http://store.jacksongalaxy.com/[/url]

pbpatti April 19th, 2013 04:47 PM

I have another thought for you since you are so open to this. How about if you sit with him in his room and read a book/magazine out loud? I have heard that this can be very beneficial.

Jln harm April 19th, 2013 11:04 PM

I talked to my vet and they were not to familiar with rescue remedy so I don't think i will give it to Parker just yet. He has only been with us under 2 weeks so I think I will try and give him time before I start using that kind of stuff.

Thanks for your suggestion pbpatti...I think I will try reading out loud to him.

I took a nap on the floor in him room for about an hour. He didn't come near me but took a nap on his chair instead...I guess that's good that he is ok sleeping with me in the room.

I will keep you all posted on our progress..he is running around like a mad man in his room right now..,he seems to get hyper around this time (10pm). But will be in bed again in no time.

Jln harm April 19th, 2013 11:07 PM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;1056669]Flower essences are not oils, they are extremely dilute solutions made from specific plants (kind of like homeopathy - works on an energy level). They're fabulous for cats and can be administered in food, water, spritzed on bedding, dabbed on ears or forehead..... no side effects and completely safe. NOT to be confused with essential oils, which are a very different thing and can indeed be toxic to cats.

[url]http://www.bachflowerscanada.com/pets.htm[/url]
[url]http://store.jacksongalaxy.com/[/url][/QUOTE]

Thanks for your post sugarcatmom...it's good to know that it is safe..I do have the spay that I bought for myself...if I feel Parker can benefit from it, I will give him some. He doesn't seem to stressed, just not trusting so I don't know if it will help...what do you think?

pbpatti April 20th, 2013 09:42 AM

Jin, you do not have to worry about Flower Essences they are not harmful to people or animals. I use them for myself and Sasha and they do help. Can't wait to see some more pictures of your kitty!

sugarcatmom April 20th, 2013 11:38 AM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056679]I talked to my vet and they were not to familiar with rescue remedy so I don't think i will give it to Parker just yet. [/quote]

Most conventional vets are not very in tune with alternative or holistic treatments, but that doesn't mean those aren't a valid option. Sometimes you can also help educate the vet in the process!


[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056679] He has only been with us under 2 weeks so I think I will try and give him time before I start using that kind of stuff.[/quote]

I think time is probably the best remedy of all in this case. Think of how much his life has changed (plane ride, new home, no mom or siblings anymore, new people looking after him, etc) in such a short period.... that's a lot to adjust to!

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056679]I will keep you all posted on our progress..he is running around like a mad man in his room right now..,[/QUOTE]

:thumbs up Great sign! He'll be fine. :)

Jln harm April 20th, 2013 08:40 PM

Hey Everyone.

What is your opinion of when we should let Parker roam outside of his room. We were thinking of waiting until he stops running away every time he move...that could be another few weeks. Is it ok to keep him in the room until then? Would letting him roam help the process along?

Thanks

Jln harm April 21st, 2013 06:42 PM

Hey,

We have tried putting stuff on our fingers to get Parker to lick off and he just keeps swatting at our hands and our fingers. Is there a way to get him to not do that?

I am getting so frustrated. I know he is making progress, but it seems like we take one step forward and 2 steps back.

Barkingdog April 21st, 2013 07:10 PM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056721]Hey,

We have tried putting stuff on our fingers to get Parker to lick off and he just keeps swatting at our hands and our fingers. Is there a way to get him to not do that?

I am getting so frustrated. I know he is making progress, but it seems like we take one step forward and 2 steps back.[/QUOTE]

Kittens loves to swat at anything that moves , he think you're playing with him. What are you putting on your finger?

marko April 22nd, 2013 08:05 AM

Redirect the cat's attention to toys that the cat is allowed to play with.

A loud 'No!' should accompany any attack on fingers.

100% of family members need to respect this rule 100% of the time....it can be fun to play with kittens with your fingers....but there must be NO exceptions.

Help Burn off a cat's excessive energy/ prey drive with appropriate toys.

This toy for a cat is like a porno mag (I mean the Internet - gosh I'm getting old) to a teenaged boy.

[url]http://www.petco.com/product/104943/Da-Bird-Feather-Teaser.aspx[/url]

Highly, highly, highly recommended (the cat toy :D ).

tezster April 22nd, 2013 10:03 AM

Hi marko - do you know where in Canada they sell Da Bird products? I don't think my local PetSmart carries them. I'd love to get this for my cats!

Jim Hall April 22nd, 2013 10:27 AM

In my experiance, it can take up to a few months to get a cat comfortable Lokk at is from the cat's point of view This great big pink thing who smells different wants to approcah me man that is scary !! i am gonna get outta here . It sounds like he is doing preetty good just lots of patience

Barkingdog April 22nd, 2013 02:36 PM

[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8[/url]

Jln harm April 22nd, 2013 10:31 PM

[QUOTE=Barkingdog;1056773][url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8[/url][/QUOTE]

I love this video!!

Barkingdog April 23rd, 2013 11:14 AM

[QUOTE=Jln harm;1056798]I love this video!![/QUOTE]

me too! And the kitten is playing with the person fingers , I always did that with my kittens and I had no trouble with them when they got bigger.


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