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Cat and young dc issue(14 Posts)
We got a wee rescue cat 11 days ago.
She is a placid wee thing and seems to be settling in quite well and is gradually leaving the room we set up for her.
The issue is she doesn't seem to really like my 3 year old. She doesn't strike out or hiss at him and it was this temperament we like about her. My 3 year old has been good with her, just wants to go to see her and stroke her. But he is a bit loud (as 3 year old are). I supervise all contact between them and the cat is fine when he is giving her food but then just runs to get away from him. In turn he thinks that is funny and chases her. I let her escape into her own room and my dc can't access her there. I tell him she just wants to have a rest by herself.
In this way though I'm excluding her from socialising with the rest of us. She will come out at night when dc is in bed and has her crazy half hour.
So bottom line any time dc appears she runs away!
Will this get better as he gets older and less loud? I have a romantic notion of them growing up together as the cat is only 18 months.
You need to be stricter with your DC. It’s not fair on the cat to be chased by a loud child. The cat is scared in a new home, and probably hasn’t had the best start in life if it’s a rescue.
Do not let your DC chase thhe car. That will be why she's wary of him. And don't allow them to pick her up or pull her tail.
God people are arseholes. Keep reinforcing to the 3 year old that he can't run near the cat. Try "gentle feet". I'd give him a cat toy (one of those finishing rod ones) but he has to stay on his bottom on one spot.
I think people forget animals hearing is much much better than ours so if he's loud to you he's extremely loud to her. Plus with being a rescue you don't know her previous experience.
I agree with giving him a toy to play with her when she's in the mood and just keep reminding him quiet and gentle is the way to go with cats. The important thing is she has her own space to escape to.
My rescue wasn't particularly keen on ds when we got her (he was 5). Now he's older they're the best of friends and she sleeps on his bed 🐱
Thanks Eachpeachpearsums and jumper time.
He is just usual 3 year old, half time he doesn't even notice the cat is there, it's just even his noise when he plays with his toys. So I think the cats wee sensitive ears makes it sound extreme. He has never toy he'd her tail or try to lift her. Funnily, enough she is right by his side when he has treats in his hand.
I will just keep her safe room and hopefully they will soon learn each others ways.
And yes there are a lot of arseholes on here at times. I'm trying to do my best for her and certainly not letting my son harm her.
I'm sorry about the unpleasant replies on here, op. Anyone would think this was AIBU.
I think if you carry on doing what you're doing, encouraging your 3 year old not to be too loud or make suddenly movements near the cat, and making sure the cat has a bolt-hole, the issue will resolve itself.
We had a very timid cat re-homed with us (we still have him, but he is now the proprietor of the place!) and at first, the minute he spotted our grandson (then 3) he would sprint for the cat flap. Dgs is very gentle and was desperate to stroke the cat, his one and only transgression being to exclaim rather loudly "CAT!" the first time he saw him.
As our cat became more confident generally, and more used to dgs visiting, their relationship transformed and the cat is very relaxed with him now, one year on. Involve your ds with the day to day feeding of the cat, as food is a great help in overcoming feline diffidence!
I'm sure eventually your ds and your cat will spend many happy years together - just give it time!
Thank you hunky punk I'm glad to hear a positive story like yours. As you say its the loud excitement when he sees the cat and when I take him over to stroke her he is gentle but starts shouting "your a good girl" (copying me) and then she scarpers.
I will keep letting her have her space and let him help with feeding which she loves.
Much appreciate the helpful replies 🙂
Teach ds to whisper. A bag of sweets and 5 mins practice every day..
He can feed dcat a few treats during quiet time.
At 4 my ds carried a dkitten around over each shoulder. They happily just hung there!!
Ds3 was 4 when we got our kitten and they just got used to each other. He liked the fact that ds played on the floor with cars, trains etc and was on his level. I always made sure that ds fed him as well and that helped! Don’t let him chase the kitten obviously but also the kitten needs to get used to the normal noises in a family home. Also show your son how to play with the kitten safely and that’s a great way for them to bond.
Cats don't like to be chased
Cats don't like noise
Cats don't like the quick movements that young children make
We have several cats - we owned them all before DD came along and I would say it took at least 3 years for 2 of them to tolerate her. The other cat has only come around as DD has been home with her during lockdown and they appear to have bonded in the garden with the good weather (maybe because DD sneakers her treats by hiding them in the bushes for her)
You've just got to give it time. No one can say how long it might take. Might be months might be years but don't force interactions between the two it needs to come naturally
11 days is very, very early for any rescue cat to be getting settled in their new home. Mine usually stay in their safe room for the first month. The most recently one has only ever lived upstairs with me and my musical theatre loving daughter who was 15 when she arrived. For the first two weeks she hid in her bomb shelter ( under my daughters bed) only coming out at night.
You are doing all the right things encouraging quiet, gentle interactions and both you DS and DCat are learning.
I really believe it takes most rescues 18 months to fully settle, my most recent one has been her 17 months and she still hates my cleaner who apart from Henry hoover is quiet and gentle.
We’ve had a rescue cat since January and I’d say it’s only in the last month or two she’s not run away from my 5 year old. She is very comfortable with my 7 yr old though who is much better at being quiet and slow around her.
It’s really going to depend on how quickly your DC is able to learn to be quiet and move slowly. We had a rule for a while that DC had to sit down on the floor if Dcat was near, if they didn’t want Dcat to run away. Could you try that? Your DC is a little younger than mine so this may not work.
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