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Training & Behavioral Issues Does your cat have an attitude, or just simply refuses to listen to you? Share it with your peers here and learn more about a cat's behavior and training methods

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:04 AM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Feline Behaviour -Nervousness and Fear/Anxiety - especially for rescued cats/kittens

Hi lynie

Originally Posted by lynielime View Post
sighhhhhh* my poor poor little foster boys.. i don't know what to do anymore. its beginning to look like they can't be adopted by anyone. i haven't met anyone patient enough to adopt them and then slowly gain their trust and get to know them. are true animal lovers so few and far between? doesn't anyone want to put in that little effort to build the relationship? it has taken me 2 months to gain their trust and that makes me appreciate each time i hug or pet them so much more.

yeah ok i won't bring them to the adoption drive. i don't want to upset them. they are fragile enough already.
you know what? i've a chance to look at your youngsters the other day and i think there's nothing wrong with them. i suspect it's their being caged all the time that makes them so timid.

our pets do and can feel our feelings and emotions although they may not know what the reason/cause of our emotions - if we feel fear - they will feel fear, if we feel anxiety, they too feel anxiety. but without the benefit of knowing why we feel that way, they'll just latch on to our feelings and started to look for the source of all these anxiety/fear - their fight or flight reflex come into action. if they can't find the source and constantly feel it from us, then they too will become anxious, etc.

i know this sounds silly but i say this from my own interactions with my cats. they too can catch your thoughts even though you didn't say the word out loud. i have done this with my cats several times and it worked.

you can try experimenting by letting them out of their cages permanently - the room will be their room and sanctuary. take away the cage, rearrange things in the room so they have a corner for their litter box and the rest of the room for their playground resting area.

but this means you need to enforce strict rules in your household - to be observed at all times

1) the door must be shut at all times - who that goes in and comes out must get it shut all the time.
2) the windows either need to be shut at all times and only open window for airing under supervision or you fortify it the way i suggested earlier (although cocochino and fluffers are tame enough not to want to escape,let's not put ideas into their head)
3) you need to use the breeder celect. that litter tray should be adequate for all the inmates of that room.
4)you may also want to reinforce your metal door grill at the front - the sides makes for good escape plan - only do this if you wish to let cocochino and fluffers out of the room

if fluffers and cocochino socialises with your coco and sparks (the black and white cat), they may settle down eventually.

(i'll come by tonight to plan with you, okay? no worries, my cats give me lots of practice tryng to second guess them. i'm sorry i didn't stay long enough that day to talk with you).
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:20 AM
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lynielime lynielime is offline
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Default Re: Feline Behaviour -Nervousness and Fear/Anxiety - especially for rescued cats/kittens

hi ashley,
actually mr fluffers and cocochino do have total freedom inside the house whenever i'm home. mr fluffers is great.. totally tame but only with me although yesterday my bf walked right past him in the living room, within about a foot of him, and mr f didn't run away... so that was quite surprising coz usually he's afraid of everyone taht's not me.. hahahaaaha

cocochino is a different story altogether.. when given run around time he spends most of it, hiding under the staircase. he does play with me though when i use those long dangling toys and he sees his brother participating. this is precisely why they must be rehomed together. he will only play and come out of his shell when he sees his brother do it first. tough tough.. its one thing to get someone to adopt one shy cat.. pretty impossible to find someone to take two of them. my promises that they will warm up with time fall on deaf ears. people don't have the patience. no one is willing to put in the extra effort. very sad coz they are missing out.

mr fluffers and cocochino are intelligent and very sweet but their trust must be earned. let me tell you honestly, everytime i cuddle mr fluffers or he sits on my lap, i feel special, because he won't do that with anyone else in the world. its such a nice feeling coz i've put in so much effort to get to that point with him.

their sister socks is so lucky to have been adopted by someone willing to go through that process. i wish she could've taken all of them.

yeah come over tonight and help me strategize. my boys are growing up so fast and i want to see them with a good family as soon as possible. i also need to neuter them very soon. i think they're almost ready for that.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:33 AM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: Feline Behaviour -Nervousness and Fear/Anxiety - especially for rescued cats/kittens

as they say : two heads are better than one.

i'm sure we'll work out something there's always a solution don't worry
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:50 PM
ashleywong ashleywong is offline
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Default Re: Feline Behaviour -Nervousness and Fear/Anxiety - especially for rescued cats/kittens

hi lynie

how are fluffers and cocochino now? have they gained more confidence? do you think it would help if you put their cage in the living room area in the evening when you are home and there are more "human" traffic in the living room - i read about this method once but have not tried it before.

i remember my own cat, coco (coco again, coincidence? same name, same type of behaviour). i'm not sure how to describe her. she's not exactly timid but she's not exactly brave either. her own siblings nicky and anna had learned to adjust well to live with us since being rescued (rescued last march/april 07) but not coco. i'm not sure whether her behaviour changed from the time of ginger's dissapearance or she's like that. we noticed that she won't want to join in play activities with us and the rest of the cat, she'd eat the food we give her but she'd be jittery and alert, any sound of us coming near or walking nearby, she'd stop eating and run away. most of the time, when we're home, she hides behind the curtain, underneath the sofa, behind the tv console, etc, etc. we find it difficult to communicate with her. even the act of wanting to stroke her is not allowe d- she'd either freeze with a panic look on her face or hiss at us and maybe swat at us with her claws. in the end, we learn to leave her alone and she became more unhappy.

i then read a book bout cats behaviour and came across this suggestion to keep the timid cat in a cage and put her underneath a table (so she feel safe) and "force" her to accept the presence of other people. i don't have the heart to try it out on coco - just going after her to take her out form underneath the sofa or behind the curtain will be traumatic for her.

in the end, i tried another approach. sort of a soft approach. my sis and i made sure that
1) we are "gentle" around her presence - meaning our tone of voice, our action, our movement are paced, measured and calm, voice no any angry or excited or nervous, same for action, even gestures, etc

2) we adopt a cheerful yet gentle tone of voice when speaking to her, and we make sure we speak to her a lot. matching our demeanour to our words - we believe they understand and do get all the non-verbal cues from us including our feelings and emotions

3) when we speak with her, we avoid using words that may have negative overtone or meaning (thus impacting on our body language as well as facial expression).

4) we make sure we speak positively of her and to her, no talking down to her, no matter what she has done, we take the approach that it was not intentional and perhaps she wish to gain our attention by doing something that's sure to gain our attention

5) give her lots of praises, quite effusive in fact but always gentle in tone. and tell her constantly we love her.

slowly she came out of her "shell" and let us approach her. in fact the moment she came out of her shell, it was as if the old coco has dissapeared. we find that she is a smart girl very active and very affectionate, she will answer when we call her and she will sometimes update us on what her day has been when we return home from work and she's always on hand to greet us, vocally as well as through action - by rubbing her body against our legs.

since we have 4 cats to greet, each get their turn and if she feel it's taking too long for us to turn to her, she'd take matters into her hand, and will jump up to the console table so she can see us at eye level.

in the evening, when she's feeling like turning down for the night, she'd always ask us for a tummy rub and nuzzling and fussing. without fail. sometimes it's a given, about the same time, she'd jump up to the tree house, and my sis will give her some quality time. sometimes we forgot and she'd politely meowed her request. she doesn't fuss if we forgot but when it's time to turn down the light, she'd make known her request more insistently but politely.

and she doesn't need us to entertain her all the time, she can play by herself and doens't make a mess of the house - unless she is stressed out then she may engage in urine marking.

it's been a long time but i'm so glad we are able to sort it out and she's worth every single effort and cent i've spent on this "project".

well, this sounds like a "congratulatory" effort for myself but honestly i hope to share what i've gone through with coco because i believe that her behaviour is not uncommon and may be faced by just another other person with a cat at one point in time.

do update me on how fluffers and cocochino are doing.

oh, one more thing - we noticed that our furkids get upset when we're upset or when we raise our voice, whether we're talking excitedly, quarelling, having a heated discussion or just calling out to another from one end of the house to another. we try to not to do too many things to upset them. they do catch our emotions and act accordingly without understanding what it means to us. maybe this account for their nervousness and edginess
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