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How do you help a cat through his grief?

KatidydKatidyd Member Posts: 2
My neighbor just got a cat that came from a home where the husband killed his wife , his 4 year old son and then himself. Then the girls mom took the cat but could not take care of him and that's when my friend took him. This has all happened in a 2 -3 week period. The other problem is she had plans to go away and really could not cancel them. She was with him for 1 night. So I am going over a few times a day to brush him and play with him. I was sitting there talking to him and telling him I know this is very hard for him. He responds to that but what more can I do? He does get upset very easily and will swat at you or try to bite. He is declawed except for his dew claw. I came home and washed my hands up and found a few marks on me. My cats have been very good when I come back home. I wash my hands right away but his smell  is still on me but my guys have been great. Any help would be appreciated!!!

Answers

  • RatscratchFevahRatscratchFevah Member Posts: 8
    The cat may have been abused, it has most likely had hard times. Considering the story of it's past it has probably been around a lot of yelling and negative energy. Cats have personalities also. Some are more mean and aggressive than others. Once a cat becomes hostile it's hard to gain their trust, the cat will most certainly be scared of any guests and most likely it will hide. Be aware if it takes an aggressive posture and attitude to newcomers.  Have a spot specificaly for it to feel safe and or be alone and hide. Usually cat trees work great.  Try for one that is tall, the taller the better. Place a shirt or something that smells like you in the tree to encourage the feeling of safety with your scent. Giving the cat space and time is important. But you will not gain trust unless you are living there, the cat wants to see your habits and things you do it may only aassociate people with yelling abusiveness.   It's a *fact* cats will always seek out the person who pays the least attention to it. Don't smother it let it approach you, don't rush the trust process. Trust is earned slowly, especially if it's been abused.  Even if your successful and the cat gets used to you, it will probably not be "friendly" to newcomers and visitors especially children.  Tell visitors not to approach the cat let it approach them.  Many times abused cats will never be trusting of new people until it has built trust with them. Safety from visitors, the vaccume, or anything unsettling is when the cat tree is most important and effective. Try playing with the cat. Whether or not a cat shows interest and if it will engage can reveal a lot about a cats state of mind. Use a string pull it under things around corners and play with the cat. Usually most cats realize when it's you that is playing with them, they enjoy it so it's a great way to bond while building trust and gives the cat exercise.Tell children and visitors NEVER approach an animal you don't know and NEVER pet an animal unless you ask it's owner. You NEVER can be sure of an unknown animals temperament no matter how calm or cute they appear.   Lastly get your animals from a SHELTER or RESCUE.  If you TRULY love animals, saving one from being euthanased while freeing up very limited housing space will make you feel rewarded and help reduce the number of cats killed due to overpopulation. All of my cats were rescues, and none of them caused any problems, besides normal cat antics.
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