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Nervous rescue cat

(6 Posts)
legoqueen Tue 24-Apr-18 21:44:10

Hello, we have had our very shy little girl for 3 months. She's progressed hugely during this time, from hiding under a sofa all day to enjoying the whole house, playing with toys/feathers with us, being in the same room with us, to most recently going outside. However, no matter what, she won't let us stroke her...let alone sit on laps. Any tips or might this never happen? She's about 18 months old & the rescue place believe she was used to people before she was found pregnant & abandoned.

OP’s posts: |
viccat Wed 25-Apr-18 09:26:52

You might have to work on - we call it "tough love" at our rescue charity, as it is basically doing what they don't like in order to teach them how nice it is!

Does she have anything like an igloo bed or a favourite box where she spends time? It is the easiest way to "catch" a skittish cat. Then you can give her a fuss in her contained space and it doesn't usually take long before they realise "oh hey, this is gooood" and then you will be able to give them fuss much easier. Or keep picking her up and wrapping her in a towel for cuddle time so she gets used to being held.

Not all cats will ever turn lap cats BUT it is perfectly possible to teach a young, shy cats to be enjoy touch & affection. My shy boy was initially hissing at me when I extended a hand towards him, now he jumps onto the bed to join me and rolls onto his back to enjoy more pets while purring like a little engine!

Sunshine49 Wed 25-Apr-18 09:51:25

Aww, your cat sounds lovely and a lot like my very nervous girl cat. We took her home from the rescue centre back in January and they warned us that because of her timid nature, she would most likely never be a lap cat.

Three months later and she will sometimes lie next to us on the sofa and has even sat on my knee for a few fleeting moments. She also lets us stroke her quite a bit and even purrs and rolls around on the floor!

I actually tempted her up onto the sofa in the first place with a few Dreamies as treats. I'm sure it's very bad cat parenting, but I don't think she'd ever have come up if I hadn't! She's such a shy girl that she needed that extra bit of encouragement.

stupidlybroody Tue 01-May-18 08:35:16

Hello! I also have two shy rescue cats. They are nearly two, but had never been touched before two months ago. They're both enjoying strokes (boy cat more than girl cat!) but haven't sat on our laps yet, though will sit near us on the sofa. Like a PP I found using treats really effective for encouraging/rewarding contact.

I don't know if this is a bit odd, but they like dozing on the top of the sofa. In the early days I'd just lie quietly next to them and talk to them encouragingly and extend a hand to them. Approaching them when they were so content and just being super calm and quiet seemed to really help them get used to some gentle human interaction.

legoqueen Tue 01-May-18 20:19:04

Thanks for the responses - all encouraging words! Her favourite spots are all just out of easy reach but we will persevere.

OP’s posts: |
shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 01-May-18 21:18:12

One of ours was incredibly nervous. Adopted from neighbours at about a year old and it took about a month before he would come all the way into the house - he didn't go into theirs either, so had been semi feral for a few months. Three years on and he seeks us out, sits on us, loves having chin rubs. He is still a little timid if there are extra people around and he won't go through the door ar the same time as us but otherwise he is a friendly, sociable cat. Took about a year for him to be less timid, another year before he would sit on laps and another few months before he would sit on me at every opportunity. It just took calm persistence and lots of chin rubs.

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