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Old April 30th, 2012, 10:21 AM
CatHeaven CatHeaven is offline
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Location: Toronto
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Kitten doesn't like hands or feet

I hope our little Leia comes around. It's been sad lately in our household as our beautiful 6 year old cat Chewie passed away. It's been the hardest thing we've had to deal with. To keep Chewie's brother, Naya, company, we added a new member to our family, Leia. She's 9 weeks old and absolutely LOVES Naya, but she doesn't like our hands and feet. I have a fear her previous owner wasn't so nice to her. When she first came home, I picked her up and she was fairly comfortable in my hands, but when I put her down, she hid under the bed for the first day, and eventually ventured out into the rest of the house. Now she's all over the place. When Naya is around, she IMMEDIATELY comes out to play, but if Naya isn't, she's hesitant to be around us, unless we are sitting down. The weird thing is, when we go to bed, she's on the bed with us, and sleeps with us, and after a few minutes on the bed, she thinks that my arm is her mother, and tries to suck on my arm! When she's in this mode, I can touch her with no problems and she purrs like crazy, but after the 'mom' mode goes away, she is afraid of my hands again. If my hand is outside on top of the covers, she tries to attack it. I want to take her to the vet to make sure she's ok, but how do I even approach this? I can't pick her up or touch her, and she runs away and scared when we walk by, but she's not afraid of the surroundings as she's out and about all the time. Now I believe that Naya isn't too amused with her, as she's always around him, and maybe she thinks he's her mother? How do I get this little beauty to love us? I have magic cat hands, that all cats that I've met love, but she won't let me show her. I'm irritated with her previous owner that maybe she hit her or used her hands as a toy. Any Advice?
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Old April 30th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hamilton Ontario
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Welcome! Your sweet little Leia may just take a little longer but I am positive she will learn to like your hands. Best thing would be to take it slow and not to worry about it. The fact that she is accepting sometimes is awesome. She just needs to learn to trust. Best thing to do would be to sit down and just talk to her or read to her. Read softly. Eventually she will learn that your not so bad. When she comes around maybe give her a treat so she learns that your hands are not that bad after all. Walk a little slower those sort of things. The best thing is she will see your other kitty trust you and she will learn that "human" isnt so bad afterall...patience and it will be worth it in the long run. Unless you think there is something medically wrong it sounds like typical kitty behaviour!

Good Luck...how about a picture to share with us?

Tabitha April 10, 1995 - August 23, 2013
Bomber April 10, 1995 - July 12, 2010
Winston Nov 15, 1999 - September 15, 2011
Sophie Aug 30, 2011

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
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Old April 30th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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pbpatti pbpatti is offline
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:51 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Without observing your interaction with her I will guess she is poorly socialized. I am interrupted in my reply to you right now by the demands of a feral cat I am working on. He wants me to pet him.

Andy is my third feral and I have found a couple of key things with all three is play. They have all been afraid of my hands, my face and my movement. What I like best to play with is the Magic Stick. LOL. It's just a two foot or so bit of twig I cut off one of our bushes but it engages them in play from a bit of a distance from my hands and gets them used to my hands moving at the same time. I poke it under and ol fleece jacket that Andy likes to play and sleep on and he can't resist it.

Once I notice he is looking at me when the stick stops moving I know it's time to up the ante. I start out sitting quietly and making small hand moves. I draw him over my lap. Then I have to do the same tning all over again but kneeling, then standing.

Another favourite toy is a string on a stick. I can graduate to leading him all over the room with great big sweeping moves of my hand.

I don't like cats wrestling with my hand so I give them a stuffed toy to do that with. Or I bring the dog in. Good luck. Hopefully your wee girl is not as wild as this one was and comes around sooner. She is much younger and that will help too.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:08 PM
CatHeaven CatHeaven is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toronto
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Thanks for the wonderful advice, my fellow cat lovers! I think we have success! It was probably only a matter of time, but after almost 2 weeks of coaxing, playing, and being oh so gentle with her, Leia has come around! She still seems to be a bit on the defensive at times, but I attribute that to mostly being young and not knowing. She follows me around the house and WANTS my hands now. She's on me all the time if I'm sitting down or stretched out, and even if at times I still have to slowly introduce my hand into the equation, she comes around now and wants some lovin'! I'm so happy, and moreso happy that I know she's happy. Of course now, Naya, my 6 year old male, is probably exhausted from her always following him around to play....it's too cute. But I am a bit worried he may feel neglected, and will want to stay outside even moreso than before. He was always a "me me me me" guy even when Chewie was around, so I'm sure it's in his nature. I'm paying more attention to him now than before, so I hope he knows we still love him, even more now, if that's possible. But at least now Leia is comfortable with us so I can divert her attention away from Him with some play time.

Sorry I don't have pics with me right now, but will post some later when I get the chance. Thanks again everyone for your wonderful advice and support. It's been a very trying time since Chewie passed, so it's nice to know that there are other caring cat lovers in this world. People with no pets just don't understand.

Love Todd, Albert, Naya and Princess Leia.
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