How To Tell If A Cat Has Been Abused
The telltale signs of abuse are often quite visible. Physical symptoms of cat abuse include
- Untreated injuries
- Chronic health issues from untreated medical conditions
- Parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms
- An overall unkempt coat, often with bald spots and other skin conditions
- In cases of actual animal cruelty, the cat may suffer any number of injuries fresh and old.
In addition to the physical symptoms, abused cats are almost always scared and try to avoid human contact. Some may be aggressive, often due to physical pain and discomfort. Others may just see a dark corner where they can hide away and suffer in silence.
Not every cat thats showing one or more of these symptoms is necessarily abused. If you notice a cat thats emaciated, has fleas, or looks sick, that does not mean the owners arent trying to take care of the situation. If you suspect a cat is being abused, dont try to act on your own by taking the cat. Thats illegal, dangerous, and possibly not helpful to the cat. Instead, report the issue to the local animal control agency so they can investigate the case.
The good news is that abused cats can be helped. Depending on the cats temperament, age, and condition, many of these cats may end up being loving pets again. Others may be helped through medical care and being given a safe environment where they will no longer suffer abuse.
How Do You Introduce A Shy Cat To A New Home
At first a fearful cat should be confined to a small, quiet room with some hiding spots. Safe hiding spots can be boxes, pet carriers, cat trees, or blankets. Do not allow cats to hide in inaccessible spaces such as closets, behind heavy furniture, or under beds. Place food, water and the litter box within easy reach.
What Are The Best Cat Socialization Techniques
To prevent or minimize your cats shyness, aim to socialize it as early as you can. Kittens are most receptive when theyre two to seven weeks old and are relatively easy to introduce if you use a consistent approach.
However, older cats that have been rehomed or have had a traumatic past are much more difficult to socialize and may remain shy forever. This isnt a problem its simply part of your cats DNA. However, you can make it feel more comfortable by following these techniques:
- Play the radio or TV quietly to allow the cat to get used to sounds.
- Make eye contact and blink slowly to communicate.
- Talk to your cat using a soft, soothing tone.
- Spend time with your cat simply sitting or lying near it, being careful not to make sudden movements.
- Invite your cat to play, paying attention to its behavior and stopping whenever it feels stressed.
Always move at your cats pace dont try to push your cat into being more outgoing and gregarious. This is likely to have the opposite effect and may damage your bond.
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The Fastest Way To A Stray Cat’s Heart Is Through Her Stomach
Stray cats are often hungry cats, so the best first move is to feed the kitty and provide lots of water. Once the cat learns you’re a source for food, she will visit every day. For some very friendly cats, this is enough to gain their trust. But others need more time.
Start by leaving a strong-smelling cat food, like one with tuna, outside where you’ve seen the cat. Try to put the food out at the same time every day, and watch from a distance to see if she eats it. You may need to watch through a window from inside your home at first.
If it’s cold outside, consider keeping the cat’s food and water in a Thermo-Kitty Cafe that keeps the food and water from freezing. If you need something that holds more water, consider the K& H CleanFlow Filtered Water Bowl for Cats, which can come with a 90-ounce reservoir. Make sure you place the bowl in a fully enclosed area to protect it from the elements. When it’s hot in the summer, a Coolin’ Bowl is a good option.
How To Tell If A Shy Cat Trusts You
You will know if a shy cat trusts you when they come over to accept your affection. You might notice that the cat will come to you during mealtime and sit near you while you are eating. You should also be able to touch them without a fight breaking out. If the cat is hiding away from you, they likely dont trust you yet and will probably never trust you fully.
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How Do You Get Over A Timid Cat
9 Tips for Socializing a Shy CatUnderstand that it’s not your fault or hers. … Patience and compassion are key with a shy cat. … Start with a small space. … Keep it quiet. … Talk to your shy cat in a soothing voice. … Food is a great way to win friends and influence a shy cat. … Allow a shy cat cat to approach you. … Use a calming pheromone.
Let The Cats Meet Properly
The next step is to leave the door open and allow the cats to meet each other at their own pace. Because youre dealing with unassertive cats, theyre likely to be very hesitant at first. As a result, you must supervise your cats throughout this stage in case you need to step in at any point.
Similarly, dont pick them up or force them to interact. They must be able to move at their own pace otherwise, the integration process wont work.
Limit these meetings to a short period of time at first and gradually extend them until the cats become comfortable with each other.
Hopefully, theyll learn to live in harmony, but you must bear in mind that theres always the chance that they dont get on. Similarly, the shyest cat of the two may become bullied. Have a contingency plan in case that happens.
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Preparing For A Visit
If you know someone is coming over and you want your cat to interact with him despite your cats fear, take small steps to prepare. Try shutting some doors so the cat has limited spaces to go .
Also try to provide cat furniture, shelves or a window perch from which she can watch the visitor from at a safe distance. In addition, certain scents are designed to soothe cats.
Gaining The Trust Of A Stray Cat
If a stray cat visits your home, you may find yourself wanting to pet him like a house cat. But sometimes, stray cats can be very skittish and reluctant to trust you. How do you get a stray cat to come to you? Getting a cat to like you involves a lot of patience, compassion, and a calm, quiet demeanor when you’re around the kitty.
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How To Introduce Shy Cats To Each Other
Despite common misconceptions, cats arent solitary animals. While some prefer to live alone, VCA Hospitals describes how cats often do well living in pairs or small groups. All cats fight from time to time as they have feelings and emotions, so this behavior is expected. However, fearful cats will take a little more time and effort to socialize.
The best combination of cats is littermates or cats from two different litters who are only young. Before you introduce the cats, make sure that you have:
- A safe room that you have cat-proofed
Introducing two shy cats neednt be too difficult if you follow these steps:
Spend Time With Your Cat
You can help a shy cat just by being near them and spending time with them. You dont need to interact just be there.
Misha wasnt lured out by the cat sounds, so I took a different approach with her. I needed to earn her trust, and the way to do that was to prove I wasnt a threat. For several days, I spent a few hours in the room with her. I would read a book or watch videos on YouTube I didnt attempt to pet her until several days in, and before that, I always let her sniff my hand first.
Use slower movements. Dont rush or run around the room, but dont go TOO slow either . Just keep your movements relaxed and moderate. Try not to make direct eye contact, as staring can be considered aggression in the cat world.
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What Do Cautious Kittens Need
How Can I Choose A Kitten That Wont Be A Nervous Adult
While it isnt possible to guarantee how your kittens personality will develop, you can limit the risk with our guidelines on choosing a kitten. Socialising a kitten happens between two and nine weeks old and helps to prepare them to cope with the world while their brain is still developing, so youll need to make sure that the breeder youre purchasing your cat from is aware of this.
You can find more guidance on choosing a kitten in our checklist.
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What Is An Abused Cat
As cat lovers, when we hear about cat abuse, our stomachs turn. Abuse of pets is more common than some people may think. It may not always be as tragic as the awful cases that make headlines, but it takes its toll on poor cats everywhere.
Generally speaking, there are two kinds of pet abuse. The more common one is simply a matter of continued neglect. Our pets depend on us for their well-being. We need to provide them with
- a suitable environment
- medical care
- and lots of love
A cat thats routinely and systematically denied any of these cannot live a happy life. A hungry cat, one whose injuries and disease are left untreated, or a pet cat that has little to no loving interaction with humans, is not a happy one. That cat is likely to withdraw into his or her shell under the stress. More often than not, neglect spreads across all aspects of cat care. These abused cats are often sick or malnourished and suffer from emotional deprivation.
Then there is the other form of abuse: deliberate infliction of pain on a cat. Fortunately, that kind of horrific cruelty is rarer. Its the kind that makes headlines that make cat lovers shudder.
Sadly, some cats suffer from both neglect and cruelty.
My Cat Wasnt Nervous In The Past But Has Recently Become Anxious What Can I Do
Perhaps your cat used to be a fearless feline and now jumps at every little noise? Any change in your cats behaviour shouldnt be ignored there could be a multitude of reasons why your cat now appears to be scared.
Before you do anything, contact your vet for a thorough check to ensure your cat is not in pain or has an illness. If needed, your vet will be able to refer you to a behaviour specialist who will be able to advise further.
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Take Care Of It In Your Own Backyard
You can also take care of the outdoor cat yourself. Remember that the cat does need to be spayed or neutered and receive its vaccinations. But if the outdoors is the only option, you can still make sure the cat has food and water and a place to shelter during bad weather.
Remember to take up any extra food in the evening to prevent scavengers such as raccoons or possums to move in and eat the food . Read How to Set Up an Outdoor Cat House for Pets, Strays, and Ferals for tips.
Cats that live in feral cat colonies often have an ear that is notched or cut by a vet. This lets caretakers know that the cat has been vaccinated and spayed or neutered.
What About Other Cats
As with any new kitten or cat that you take home, you should make the introduction to your resident cat gradually. Cats are territorial animals, and need time and space to adjust to changes in their territory. Generally speaking, it takes at least a few weeks to successfully integrate a new cat into your household. However, the presence of a more outgoing, cat social cat can be helpful for a fearful kitten if theyre interested in interacting with the new cat.
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Ways To Help A Shy Cat Feel More Comfortable
If a shy cat has recently become a part of your family, it may be tempting to rush to show her how wonderful and safe your home is and how much love you have to offer. The problem though is that a shy or timid cat will view your attempts with worry and even fear. You cant rush the process but there are some things you can do to gently help a shy cat begin to trust and feel less anxious. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. The Right Environment
You may have a big, beautiful house and you want your new cat to see how much space shell have, but for now, that environment is overwhelming. She needs a limited amount of space so she can get her bearings. Think about lighting and sound as well. Lower the lights so she doesnt feel so exposed and make sure theres no loud music playing or loud talking.
2. Provide Hiding Places
The ability to hide is a valuable coping mechanism. Dont view it as a negative that the cat wants to hide. Its while shes hiding that she calms down and can start to evaluate her surroundings. To encourage a cat to begin investigating more of her territory, provide hiding options throughout the environment. Hiding places can be created by providing tunnels, cave-style cat beds, open boxes or paper bags placed on their sides or any other creative idea you come up with. If using paper bags though, be sure to remove any handles, and never use plastic bags.
3. Provide Scent Opportunities
4. Use Food for Trust-Building
5. Use Interactive Play
Let The Cat Come To You
Never force any kind of contact on the cat. Dont lift, hold, or even pet unless you are sure the cat is happy with that kind of attention. Its best to let the cat come to you if and when he or she is ready. Offer your hand when that happens and let Kitty rub against it. Only then move to petting.
Never rush this. Our member works with shelter cats, many of them traumatized. She says: If a cat shows trust and approaches you, dont push the matter. You can spoil the moment and set progress back by reaching out towards them.
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How To Help A Shy Cat Adjust To A New Home
Helping a shy cat adjust to a new home requires some forward-planning to ensure it has somewhere to escape whenever it feels stressed. If you fail to provide it with the right environment, itll become distressed and scared. Theres also the chance that itll never feel comfortable in its new home.
Weve already mentioned that providing hiding spots is one of the most important things you can do for a skittish cat. However, you should also aim to restrict the amount of space your cat has access to at least while youre in the initial stages of getting your cat adjusted.
Too much space feels overwhelming for your cat, so only give it access to one or two rooms at first. This will help it feel relaxed while giving it plenty of time to bond with its family before you allow it to have unlimited access to the house. When creating a stress-free environment for your cat, provide:
- Climbing spaces
- High places for it to explore
- A dark, quiet spot that it can escape to
Once your cat starts to become more confident, give it access to more of the house, allowing it to explore these new rooms in its own time.
Similarly, make it feel more at ease by using food and tasty treats. Blocking off access to the outdoors is wise for the first few weeks to prevent it from escaping.
Similarly, ensure no neighborhood cats have access to your house through any cat flaps you might have installed. This will make your timorous cat feel even more scared.
Dont Set Your Expectations Too High
Your goal is to give this kitty the best possible quality of life. This may not necessarily mean he or she will turn into a friendly lap cat. Ever. Even with no history of abuse, cats have their own boundaries, which we must learn to respect.
Some abused cats suffer from invisible neurological damage, which may affect their personality forever. Our member shared with us the story of Cinnamon. We are pretty sure that Cinnamon had brain damage from being physically abused, she said. Cinnamon had trouble recognizing and relating to others around him, human or feline. We used to call him the roommate cat because he acted more like someone who rented a room from us than a part of the family, Kieka added.
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