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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:42 PM
Jln harm Jln harm is offline
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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

Last edited by Jln harm; April 17th, 2013 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Added
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Old April 17th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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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: http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com...a-fearful-cat/

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.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 10:17 AM
Jln harm Jln harm is offline
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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
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Old April 18th, 2013, 11:01 AM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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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
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Old April 18th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jln harm View Post
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.
So he's an angry drunk!

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?
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Old April 18th, 2013, 06:22 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
So he's an angry drunk!

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?
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.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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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!
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