My cat was not socialized enough and is mean to guest :(

Rachel JacksonRachel Jackson OcalaMember Posts: 5
edited 22 December, 2008 in Behavior & Training
I have a wonderful cat who I raised from when she was 2 days old. I lived with my parents and 2 dogs. She is now 8 months old and does not like strangers at all. My friends cat runs and hides when new people come around while my cat Prada attacks them. She was never around other people between 2 days old and 7 months. She also will let my parents hold her but only when she first wakes up other then that she will hiss at them if they try to pick her up. She does not act this way with me at all. Does anyone else have this problem or any advice how to make it better if I even can. Thanks

Comments

  • Angela ClarkAngela Clark Fort SmithMember Posts: 15,094
    edited 21 December, 2008
    Hi Prada! You sure are cute. Mommy loves to study cat and dog behavior because I was her first kitten and I was full of surprises, including poor socialization because I was ill as a kitten. Anyway, mommy hears over and over that it is important for us kitties to look at new experiences as good things. One technique she has read about is giving the "intruders" treats to throw to you. They don't look at you, talk to you or try to pet you. They just throw you a treat then ignore you. After you eat it, they throw another one. They repeat and repeat. After you begin to accept this and accept strangers from a distance, they will then start throwing the treat about six inches in front of you. This allows you to accept the treat and by extension the stranger at a closer distance. I know your mommy says you attack strangers so she may have to adapt this so they throw the treat across the room so you will run away from them. As you become less aggressive, they could throw the treat closer and closer to themselves so you will start accepting them at a closer range. Eventually, you and they may get to a point where they casually hold a treat in an open hand that is just resting on the arm of the couch. They still don't look at you or talk to you but you will come up and eat the treat out of their hand. As for getting to a point where you can be touched by strangers, follow this same techinque but adding one stroke by the stranger if it looks like you even want to be touched, then two, then three. It's very important they always leave you wanting more rather than petting you too much. Some kitties never want to be touched and that's just the way it is. If your mommy wants additional advice, she can pmail me and I will tell her where my mommy learned all this nifty stuff. Good luck to you, Prada and congratulations on finding such a great home.
  • Cathy ZCathy Z St LouisMember Posts: 2,511
    edited 22 December, 2008
    Hi Prada, you're a cutie. I also have the 'stranger' problem only my kitty reacts like your friends' cat does - runs and hides. I don't know why because no one ever mistreated her (that I know of before I got her). It took 6 months before Maggie would allow my brother who visits now and then to touch her. I suggested that after she fell asleep while hiding, that he sneak in and brush her. That's her favorite thing to do. She woke up a little freaked but settled quickly and allowed a one minute brushing. Now she isn't bothered at all when he visits, she doesn't hang around him but goes about her business without being skittish. (although, she will beg food if he's eating) The brush seemed to work so I'll have to try it with other guests that visit. I'm not sure if your kitty has a 'favorite thing', whether it's treats or grooming or maybe her favorite toy, it's worth a try of offering it up.
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