Frighten Kitten

Crystal SchnappCrystal Schnapp Orange ParkMember Posts: 2,366
edited 7 May, 2007 in Kitten Corner
About a month ago, I adopted 5 month old twin brothers. They were found in a drainpipe when they were about 4 weeks old. They were bottlefed and practically handraised by their foster mom. T.J. is such a social butterfly. He loves attention and loves to play with his siblings. We have 3 older females, aged 8, 2 and 18 months. He gets along beautifully with them, and even tolerates our puppies, 4 and 5 months old. His twin Ollie on the otherhand is very unsocial. Whenever you walk by him, he hisses and runs away. He spooks really easy. Occasionally he will let you pet him. Recently he let me pet him and even started purring and kneeding the cat tree. Recently I saw their foster mom and asked her about Ollie, she seemed to be non-caring saying that he was always shy but was fine at her house. The 5 cats have their own bedroom that is gated off from the puppies, and the children. Our kids are 12, 10 and 8, but I keep them out of the Cat-room. I was wondering what I should or should not do to help my kitten become more social and be less scared of us. Our 2 y.o. is fine with us but still wary of strangers. I just want to be able to walk near him without him being frightened. Any and All advice is welcome! Thanks again!


  • edited 23 April, 2007
    I've been with my family for almost two years now (two years in July), and I was 5 weeks when they got me. Just within the last two weeks, I started snuggling and accepting pets from Mommy, Daddy, and Erin, and not running so much every time they come near. I actually started snuggling with Mommy when she's sleeping, too! It just takes time. Be patient, and Ollie will get to know you and figure out you're ok.
  • Erin DawsonErin Dawson tallahasseeMember Posts: 13
    edited 23 April, 2007
    I don't know if this helps, but zoey hid under my bed for 3 months when i first got her, she was also a rescue and was a bit sick. I don't have as many friends for her as you do but i just found time every day to go visit her under the bed and made sure that i pet her and playerd with her rolling balls for her to play with under there, i think it helped her to get used to me. now she is pretty sociable with me and loves to play. So i think the advice i have here is give Ollie some time and make sure he gets to know you and the others in your family.
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 23 April, 2007
    I am a bit confused. Are the cats always kept in one room? Do they ever get to have the run of the house? Why can't some of the children interact with them? If my Foster Mommy could, she would let me have the run of the house for at least part of the day. Unfortunately, I have not yet had my distemper shot, so I have to stay in one room away from Phoebe, my Foster sister. My Foster Mommy makes sure that we all get socialized for at least a couple of hours a day. She is in and out of the room a lot and spends time with us getting the kittens used to being handled. She also has other people over to visit...from ages 12 and up. Kittens need as much socialization as possible while they are young.
  • Crystal SchnappCrystal Schnapp Orange ParkMember Posts: 2,366
    edited 24 April, 2007
    Thank you all for the advice. As for your question Miss Kitty, my cats have the run of the house. They are allowed to go anywhere within the house. My Puppies are the ones that have restrictions on where they can go, because they chew everything up. My children, well actually my sons, 8 and 10 are very loud and bounce off the walls, literally. That is why I do not allow them near Ollie. He is frightened of loud noises and quick movements. I think he should be able to relax on his cat tower without them coming in and scaring him off. Now if he comes into their bedroom, I allow them to pet him. But they seem to want to pick him up, which he does not like. I am afraid he will hurt them, or they will hurt him, if they pick him up. He does tolerate a head scratch and back rub occasionally. He has been coming out a lot more, but with 2 active boys and 2 active puppies he doesn't stay out very long. We have a baby gate across the doorway of the Cat room, as well as one at the front of the hallway, to keep the puppies from chasing the cats. So he will come up to the babygate in the hallway and look out. If he can't see the pups then he will venture out. I think if I work with him everyday, and take it slow, that he will eventually come out of his shell. Thanks again everycat for your advice!
  • Heidi HessenHeidi Hessen Acworth/KennesawMember Posts: 975
    edited 24 April, 2007
    I know i'm a bit late on this one, but I just had to let you know that me and my sister Zoe were both bottle fed by mom. Our cat mom just popped us out and that was it. Now, Zoe is an absolute crazy woman love bug. I, on the other hand, am quite a bit different. I do not like loud noises, and it took me 2 years to get used to Lucy, my canine sister. I have started to be more assertive. Mom asked the vet and she said that most kitties do that around 2 years - i didn't until i am almost 5! I DO love my mom, and will let her rub belly and stuff when I am in the mood (like at sleep time), but otherwise it's just serious headbutts but don't pet anything but my head. Zoe wants UP and on her back like a skin baby. Now even when I was littler I didn't like to be held - the feets had to be on the floor. It made feeding interesting-let me tell you! Don't worry about the kit - everybody is different - just like peeples! Purrs to you! Max
  • Phoebe McPhoebodyPhoebe McPhoebody Member Posts: 744
    edited 24 April, 2007
    Thanks for the clarification. It sounds like you are doing everything you can. Some cats just don't do as well with really young children as others...especially when they are still kittens themselves and everything is new. My cat, Phoebe is still afraid of the doorbell! (And she HATES my father!)
  • Crystal AbsherCrystal Absher ElizabethMember Posts: 134
    edited 6 May, 2007
    Update: Ollie is finally exploring a lot more and actually coming up to be petted. He still won't tolerate being picked up, nor does he like you to move to fast around him. I think he will be like his kitty sister Emma. She will let you pet you and will come out and seek attention, but she doesn't like being held. She also runs from strangers. Thank you for your advice everyone! I am happy that he isn't afraid anymore!:^:
  • Sarah ManolisSarah Manolis San FranciscoMember Posts: 148
    edited 7 May, 2007
    I agree with the above posters that you sound like you're doing all you can for Ollie. When you first brought him into the house, did you separate the new guys from the pack for a while? Oftentimes when young kittens are immediately introduced into the mix, the dominant, more familiar cats in the family will intimidate the new guys so it's good to build up their social skills and confidence before introducing them fully to the cats already in your household. It also helps for Ollie to have a place that is only for him, a safe place to go to. Is there a little cat bed or blanket that he likes? Is there an area of the house he prefers? Maybe you could turn that into a little safe place for him so he can go be comfortable. Especially with the fact that you also have several dogs, I think he might just be overwhelmed. I had a cat in a multi-pet household (1 dog, 1 cat previously) and my kitten (Bella) always ran to my closet. I decided to put a little bedding area in there and when she needed an "escape" I could find her there. Once it was established as her go-to spot, she would let me sit there with her, almost like she associated the comfort with that space with me, too. She was feral and I got her at 4 weeks so she had no mommy cat socialization (which is so crucial). Because Ollie was taken at 4 weeks, he is probably learning at a slower rate how to socialize with other cats and humans. The most important thing is to BE CONSISTENT. Find things he really enjoys and gradually associate those things with you. He will come around! Good luck and keep us posted on his development! sarah & jack
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