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My cat has two modes: flighty or needy. What can I do?

(5 Posts)
Quodlibet Sun 15-Nov-15 15:05:16

Just wondering if the collective wisdom of MN can help me work out how to relax our cat a little bit.

She's a lovely 3 yr old moggy who we took in after she turned up emaciated and post-kittens last September. She was spayed by the RSPCA (who unsuccessfully tried to trace the owner on her chip before offering her to us for adoption).

Her nervousness is mainly around our nearly-two year old, who despite being very gentle is too exuberant for our cat, who's clearly had some bad treatment in the past. She'll keep out of the way when the toddler is around.

When my daughter is out or asleep, she pops out of the woodwork and is extremely affectionate - to the point of being slightly ridiculous - will seek out tummy rubs and roll all over the floor, ask to be stroked.

I just notice that she doesn't have the other mode which I remember from my other cats - being relaxed, sitting about watching the world go by. And I wondered if there's anything we can do (other than obviously limiting toddler exposure/making sure she has escape routes and safe places to retreat to) to make her more relaxed?

We have got a Feliway diffuser which I only remembered last night so that's plugged in.

Quodlibet Sun 15-Nov-15 15:17:34

Here she is... I suppose I find it hard to equate how trusting and assertive she is when seeking affection with the lack of confidence she displays at other times!

berylbainbridge Sun 15-Nov-15 15:20:15

She's lovely! The fact she allows belly rubs is unusual and shows a high degree of trust in you! How long have you had her for?

berylbainbridge Sun 15-Nov-15 15:24:36

Oh sorry have seen its since last September! My old cat basically learned to tolerate the dc basically, and it did take a few years I'm afraid. She was flighty and nervy too. One of my new rescues is very similar but unfortunately she's not adverse to taking a swipe to keep the dc away from her. My dc are 10 and 7 and very gentle etc. But for some cats the noise and unpredictability of children means they will only ever get to a certain 'level ' with them. I think the feliway diffuser is a good idea. I think it's important your cat has places of safety she can retreat to in the house that your dd can't get to.

Quodlibet Mon 16-Nov-15 08:27:21

Thank you.
The Feliway is making a bit of difference I think. Weirdly she doesn't jump into high surfaces (which is great in some respects) to get out of the way. But she has a microchip cat flap and beds/chairs to hide under, and DD knows she is not to chase or pester her. Maybe it'll just take more time.

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