Previously abused 12 yr old rescue cat was doing fine and all of a sudden is scared of me

I adopted a stray cat last year who was living in my alley, got her medical treatment and eventually she came to be a very loving and affectionate cat, albeit a very timid one. I have a strong suspicion someone abused her as she flinches a lot if you move you hand too fast or approach with something in your hand (plus her tail is kinked from being broken). Anyway, she had been improving with leaps and bounds and even liked to join me on the sofa for cuddles and sleep beside me at night. This was a far cry from sleeping under furniture and hiding and hissing, as she was at first. Until this week. I don't know what set it off, but she is terrified of me now. She runs,hides and hisses and won't let me come near.She still interacts with my male cat and is friendly to him, but me, she does not want to be near.I am giving her space so she feels safe and knows she has the freedom to do as she wants. She still eats and used the box (her pee and poop is normal). Should I take her for a checkup?

Best Answers

  • Cindi LeonardCindi Leonard Plantation, Fla.Member Posts: 1,670
    Accepted Answer
    I would examine her and see if you find a lump, tooth abcess, etc. Something like a storm, noise, maintenance worker etc. could have scared her. It's a good sign that her inter-cat relations are doing well. See if the male is treating her any differently. A Thundershirt is good for soothing the cat, also calming spray and catnip Greenies. Give her a chance, and if she does not come around in a couple of weeks, I would bring her in for an appointment, just to be safe. ^_^
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    Pookie Face is right. At the age of 12, if the 7 human years to 1 cat year ratio is used, she's 84 years old in human years. It's possible she is losing her sight or hearing and is startled by quick movements. You are much bigger than the male cat and therefore tend to scare her. I would not take it personally and do as Pookie Face says and check her over. But it's difficult to pick up on loss of vision and/or hearing and you'll need the help of a vet to determine if that's the issue.


  • So just an update, I have had a few intermittent cuddle sessions with Feral at her request and can't find any lumps or sore spots. She doesn't flinch when her jaws are touches or her cheeks rubbed. I gave her a head to toe assessment while petting her yesterday. Oddly enough she has no issue with me stroking her tummy or touching her feet. She remains a bit standoffish, but I think she is just having kitty PTSD moments this week. She's been alone and on her own outside for far longer than she's been inside with me, so I will continue to take it slow and let her come to me. The moment I am able to pet her, it's like a little switch is thrown and she remembers how much she loves it. Then she's demanding my company for pets and snuggles and blowing happy drooly spit bubbles. She even has returned to curling up on the bed with Miko and letting him lick her head.
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