My feed

to access all these features

Join our community of cat lovers on the Mumsnet Cat forum for kitten advice and help with cat behaviour.

The litter tray

Advice needed - frightened cat still too scared to be touched.

12 replies

MandyPambey · 04/08/2014 16:34

I adopted a very frightened little cat about 3 months ago - she's a year old now.

Her story is that she came into the sanctuary as a kitten and had skin problems that required regular treatment from staff and vet. Seemingly whenever she was touched, it was to have something done to her re this skin problem.

So when I found her at the sanctuary she alone was hidden in a corner looking terrified. The volunteers were describing her as ferral because she hissed at them if they tried to get near her.

On bringing her home she spent the first couple of months hidden in a corner, only venturing out to eat when I was a safe distance away. (She's in a room on her own as I have other cats who are a bit bossy; she's been scared when I've tried to introduce them).

However over the past few weeks she's become braver and now sits on a chair and jumps down and sits by my feet when I go into her room and waits to be fed. However if I attempt to touch her, she jumps away or hisses. She's okay if I just put my hand near her.

I'm just wondering how to progress things with this little cat - thinking if I could stroke her she'd be happier - but might just be looking at this from a human point of view.

Any thoughts?

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 04/08/2014 16:49

It's still very early days and the only way to go is to be patient and to let her take things at her own pace. I've found that I can get some particularly greedy timid cats used to being touch if I do it at the same time as giving them something irresistible - such as roast chicken or Dreamies. They will often allow me to touch them while they're eating as they are so focussed on the food.

It can take a very long time indeed but things are certainly going in the right direction so well done with that. You just need to be patient.

MandyPambey · 04/08/2014 17:18

Thanks for that thecatneuterer

I so much want to give her some love.

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 04/08/2014 17:26

I know, but just think how much better things are for her already. She could have been years at the rescue if you hadn't taken her. No one wants hissy/timid cats. And now she has a proper home and a caring slave owner. Just be happy to watch her relaxing and enjoying life in her own home.

I'm sure though that there will be a sudden turning point and you will end up with the clingiest and soppiest puss ever one day.

chockbic · 04/08/2014 18:25

You have made great strides already.

Food is a good suggestion to bring her round.

I bet she will become a lovely cat once you've gained her trust.

CarbeDiem · 04/08/2014 18:35

What if you offer her your open hand (palm up) will she sniff you or even rub on your fingers?
I always do that if I know a cat is timid, it's non confrontational and they can hopefully see I'm not going to touch them but they can touch me.

MandyPambey · 04/08/2014 19:07

I've tried offering my hand - she usually has a little sniff and then backs away. I tried offering food on my hand, but she wouldn't go for that.

OP posts:
Lonecatwithkitten · 04/08/2014 19:20

The tail less wonder took a year to volunteer to sit with and be stroke due to what had happened to her prior to me meeting her. Now two years from her arrival she is sat next to me enjoying a love.
Patience, patience, patience is the only way with these cats. Even today having been away for four days she was freaked out by me for the first seven hours.

CarbeDiem · 04/08/2014 19:57

Ahh I was going to say if she comes to your hand you could do a little wiggle with your fingers on her cheek or chin then try to prolong it each time but bless her, if she backs away then that's not really helpful.
Yeah patience sounds like the only thing. It sounds like you've made a lot of progress with her even if it's slow going. One day she'll trust you completely, good luck.

cozietoesie · 05/08/2014 07:36

Poor little girl - it sounds as if she's had an exceptionally rough start to her life. You're doing well, even though it may not always seem like it: just cast your mind back to how she was in the shelter and think how far she's come so far, allowing herself to sit at your feet rather than hissing at you and being completely terrified.

Just patience, as others have said, and settle in for a long haul with this one. Let us know how she's doing in a month or two.

Well done so far.


springbabydays · 05/08/2014 07:43

I used to socialise feral kittens at my local rescue. What you're doing is all you can do, and it is working well from the sound of it. You will get there, and it will be wonderful. Thank you for adopting this little cat, you are perfect for her!

MandyPambey · 05/08/2014 14:59

Thank you all for your encouragement and kind words. I'll bring you an update in a few months.

OP posts:
KateWilliams74 · 17/07/2017 23:59

Hi there, I saw this post & wondered how you were getting on now & whether you'd had any luck in getting close to your cat? I'm in a similar position, my cat was left in the sanctuary from a kitten to 1 year old, as she was so timid. Her mother was feral & she was left pretty much unhandled. I've had her now just over a year & whilst she trusts me enough to come close & sniff me occasionally that's about it! I'm being very patient & leaving her to come to me using food as a way to get close - but she just does not want to be touched. I would be very interested to hear how you got on with your cat a few years on & whether there were any things you found worked (or those that didn't)?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.