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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 01:02 AM
Original message
My cat hates people including me...I don't know what to do
I wanted a cat sooooooo much. Finally after 18 years of marriage, my 16 year old daughter talked her dad into letting me have one for my birthday in November which was a surprise for me. Almost from the start (he was 7 weeks when we got him) he has been mean. Scratched the hell out of me and hubby. We got him fixed and hubby had him declawed because he was so mean he hisses at EVERYONE me included. When I try to pet him or love on him, he bites and hisses.

We thought it would get better, but he seems to be getting meaner

Growing up, we had many house cats and I Have NEVER had a cat act like my spooky.

I guess I get have a hateful cat.


I hate it because I always wanted a cat to pet and love...Daughter thought she was doing such a neat cool thing so I don't say anything but I think it is the most hateful cat I have ever seen.


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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. I am so sorry.
My cat bites, but she thinks it is play. She is affectionate.

I think you should talk to a vet, or a pet behavior expert of some type.
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Zavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ignore the cat fully, other than feeding.
Eventually, Spooky will come to you. Trust a guy who has owned close to a dozen cats since the 80's, probably half of which started out the way Spooky did.

Cats are, in their own way, attention whores. If Spooky ever gets the sens that you don't give a shit, he or she will eventually want to be petted in your lap.

This advice is, of course, given under the assumption that Spooky is a healthy cat.

Do NOT shell out hundreds for the advice of a pet therapist until you try my advice. If you feel the need to spend money, spend it at a vet instead - it's always possible the cat could just have a toothache or some other minor malady. Pain makes any pet irritable.
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MrsBrady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. yep...ignoring works...
i tried that with my cat..after she was about three-four months old.

then she started coming to me when SHE wanted petting.

also i would discipline her with a sharp no and/or water bottle when she tried to bite or scratch...
and then ignore her. if she tried to get me to pet her shortly after that I would rebuff her, and she got the point after a while that she would not get an ear scratch if she was going to scratch me too.

at now 3, she is a very friendly cat. She comes to me when she wants an ear and back scratch.
She has never wanted to be in my lap, nor does she liked to be picked up, but she likes to be nearby in arms reach for a petting. If I'm on the couch she wants to be on the back of the couch with me, or she might lay on my feet if I'm on the couch.
and sometimes she will sleep with us at the foot of the bed. And now she rarely tries to scratch or bite.

Sometimes she rubs on my feet for me to scratch her ears with my toes. Especially if I'm at my desk. Just yesterday she tried to scratch me, which she hasn't done in a while. So I gently moved her away/pushed her aside with my foot. When she came back for more petting right away, I got up and walked away. She gets the picture.

But you have to be consistent. When I moved in with my husband right after we were married last year, I had to explain this to him, because he would try to pet her no matter what. He got on board with me. It takes the whole family.

This approach has worked with my cat. I have never hit her, except for once, and not hard when she came AFTER ME. kinda surprised me, but she did this at about a year old. has never done it again.

Sometimes I wonder if she's not half or part feral, but she has really calmed down and is well behaved about 95% of the time now
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baby_mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. Cats have personalities, like people

... as I'm sure you already know.

Um, I don't think there's a lot you can do. We had a cat once called Rousseau who turned out to be a nasty tempered brute. He scratched my sister in the eye after she tried petting him once and she got an eye infection so my Mum put him down...!
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Unsane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 05:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. Cats SUCK. Period.
:hide:
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. ...
:spank:
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
5. Needs to understand who's in charge. Even cats can get that.
When he hisses or spits, grab him by the scruff of the neck and hold him in the air. Don't set him down until he quits. A mamma cat will grab her offspring in that manner when she is dissatisfied. Also, delay feeding until truly hungry. My cats usually get friendlier when they are hungry.

Or, get a different cat, more to your liking.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Cats aren't dogs. Any sign of aggression towards the cat makes you a feared
enemy. With dogs, aggression establishes you as the pack leader. Cats are not pack animals. They choose their associations through an agreement with others, and they don't accept domination.It's better to deny the cat any reaction at all. If he misbehaves, just give him a five minute "time out" locked in the bathroom (five minutes will have the same effect as an hour; cats don't have the same sense of time passage that we do). If he behaves well, reward him. Physical punishment NEVER works with a cat, but negotiating a "better deal" usually does.

The OP may need to take the cat to the vet. There could be something physically wrong with him that is causing the odd behavior.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. My cats and dogs do just fine with this when needed. And I've had animals for years and
they are fine. This is not physical punishment as the animal is unharmed. And yes, there could be something wrong with the animal.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Read "the Tribe of Tiger" n/t
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #16
35. I took my hyper little puppy to doggy class and the instructor suggested I give him a "time out"
by shutting myself in the bathroom... :rofl:
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electron_blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
6. Aww, that's sad. Any chance someone has mistreated him?
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. not that I know of
the home we got him from seemed very lovable and the lady really seemed affectionate when she turned him over to us.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I wonder if he just wants to be back at his previous home.
I would take him to the vet for a checkup. Or call a good humane shelter near you and ask if there's a cat behaviorist on staff or if they know of a good cat behaviorist at another shelter. Usually it's free to talk to them.
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. the poor kitty :(
We have one who's kind of an emotional mess too and I feel sorry for him, the two older cats are so sweet, even needy when it comes to loving, but I don't think Percy will ever be that sweet. I'm sorry for him.

I hope your kitty can calm down some when he gets older. It must be awful being him, like he can't be close to anyone
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
10. Cats are mystifying- my Sophie goes through scratchy, destructive
periods, too. Now, she has been sweet, but when she comes up as if to ask for affection, sometimes, she'll start batting at my hand or trying to bite. I read in a cat book once that since cats are sometimes neurotic, you have to kind of go with it. Like if Sophie seems to want my attention I have to proceed with caution.

I don't think she's going to change, but it's beautiful to watch her if I can't snuggle with her.
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Blue Diadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
11. He's still young
If he was taken from his mom before he learned how to socialize with his siblings and learn from his mother's corrections, sometimes they are meaner. Also if humans didn't handle him as a young kitten, it'll be harder for him to adjust. Most kittens use their claws and teeth while playing and learn they can hurt others from siblings or their Mom.

My daughter got a tiny kitten a few years ago, from a rescue group that had separated the kittens by 6 weeks. He was neutered at 1-lb. It had been years since we had one so young. He was very much the same way. It's important to tell him when he hurts you, using a loud(not yelling) ouch and a firm no. Never use your hands to play with him, use a toy, that way they don't associate your fingers as being a toy or something they can bite.

IMO, cats that are scratchers tend to resort to biting more if they're declawed. I still think there is hope if you find something he loves to play with and you tire him out a couple times a day. Our grandkitty is particular about toys..right now he's fond of just a simple string on a pole..no mouse, no feathers hanging on it. He'll chase it until he's exhausted. It doesn't take long, not even 5 minutes. Then he'll be lovey, rubbing and purring and rolling around on our feet..but he's not a lap cat. We can hold him for a few minutes and that's all he's comfortable with. We let him approach us for affection and he's even progressed enough to get his string and pole and drag it to us when he wants to play.

Good luck..don't give up, he's still young.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. Awww. I am so sorry. Have you talked to your vet about his behavior?
Edited on Sun Apr-20-08 12:37 PM by Rhiannon12866
My cat, who I rescued from outside, was extremely skittish, mostly hid, which wasn't surprising, after what she'd been through. But my vet discovered that the poor kitty had really bad dental problems, must have been in pain. After dental surgery, she completely changed, was practically a lap cat after that... :-)

Catlin :loveya:
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
14. Is there something in the house
he could be afraid of?

:-(

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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. Also, have you tried Feliway?
It's made for kitties who have litter box issues, but I got it for my cat because the synthetic pheromones in Feliway also calms them... :-)

http://www.catfaeries.com/index.html
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I was going to suggest that, and Rescue Remedy. He may also need a
thyroid checkup. I had a cat that became aggressive because of hyperthyroid disease. I treated both the disease and gave him liquid Prozac (seriously-the vet had it formulated for cats). In a matter of days he was a purring lovebug again. Don't rule out illness as a cause for his odd behavior! If he's healthy, then he may just need a different home. I've had foster cats that hated nearly everyone, then just latched on to one person at an adoption fair, went home with them and were ideal pets ever since. :shrug:
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Absolutely! Thanks! I should have thought of Rescue Remedy!
I gave it to my cat, and also to my dog... :hi:
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. what is rescue remedy?
never heard of that
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. It's a combination of Bach flower remedies
Edited on Sun Apr-20-08 02:31 PM by nuxvomica
You can usually find it in a health-food store or a supermarket with a health-food section. Some vets will prescribe it for anxious pets. Here's an article on the remedies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bach_flower_remedies

I would strongly suggest a vet checkup if he hasn't had one already. The declawing was unfortunate because that can make the cat feel more vulnerable. In the absence of any organic problem, I would keep him in a separate room with food and litter and frequent unaggressive visits by yourself. He will come around eventually. My cat Amos was aggressive but we both learned how to deal with each other -- for instance, putting my arm near him in a certain way always caused him to bite so I just learned not to do that. Despite his aggressive nature, I wouldn't trade the 16 years he spent with me for a pile of gold. Good luck.

edit: I reread your OP and the answer was right there: 7 weeks is generally too young to be taken from the mother. If you keep him in a separate room, leave a radio on very low. It might calm him down. He misses his mom.
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 04:45 AM
Response to Reply #19
34. nuxvomica knows a lot about kitties and natural remedies and my vet also recommends them.
I used Rescue Remedy for both my anxious rescued cat and my hyper little dog, put a few drops in their respective waters... Got it at my local health food store. :-)

http://www.rescueremedy.com/
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
20. I am very, very sorry.
It's a shame that you don't have a cat that loves you back. You deserve a cat that will be affectionate, and there is an affectionate cat out there that deserves you.
:hug:

I don't know your cat, so it's hard to guess what the issues are. It's rare that a young cat won't bond with anybody.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. my dearest old cat was like that at first...
...simply because he was scared to death. The first night we had him, he jumped out a second-story window and disappeared for a day. He would hiss and protest at anyone who came near him. He turned into the most loving, intuitive animal anyone could want for a companion. He died two years ago at age eighteen. My advice: be sure he has a clean bill of health, and then have patience. He needs to learn to trust you, I guess.
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asteroid2003QQ47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Do a drive-by cat ejection in front of my house,...
it's traditional in my neck of the woods. My cat pop. varies from about 10 (now) to 35 (a year ago). When they get thick, coyotes, eagles (saw one checking the yard 15 min. ago), owls and fox thin the careless and or unlucky ones out fast.
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Extend a Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
27. I had a cat like that
he lived to be 17 and just died this past August-- he eventually did end up liking to be a lap cat in his old age. I think it might help to get another cat. The cats will keep each other company and he'll probably behave better and you can look for a 'lap baby.'
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I was thinking this way
I have been kind of looking for another kitten to keep spooky company
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Lindsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. I also was going to suggest getting another cat except that the one you
have now might be really hard on the new one. It sounds like there's something physically or mentally wrong with him. I would definitely take him to a professional. I'm so lucky that my cat wants to be held and with me all the time. I get ashamed of myself sometimes when I'm working on something and I tell her things like "not now, mommies working." In reality, I'm incredibly lucky.
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5LeavesLeft Donating Member (107 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
30. I got one of those cats
A few years back, after my cat of 15 years died (jeez, 6 years later and I still get teary-eyed thinking about her), I got another cat. She was never social, didn't like affection and didn't give it. I think it was because she wasn't weaned properly; her mother died before she was fully weaned. SKT (Strange Kabuki Theater) just wasn't long for this world. I couldn't keep her in the house, and one day she never came back. I just hope the love her I gave her mattered. Even unlovable cats need love.
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YDogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
31. Do you leave food out for him?
Perhaps you could try leaving smaller amounts, so that when the food runs out he will learn to seek you out for more. Not to the point of starving the poor little guy, but just to teach im there is a connection between you and something he needs.

Hey, it worked with our kid.































:hide:
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
32. Someone once suggested to me that you deprive pets of food to teach them
what is important. Have you tried withholding food? Does that make the cat for loving? Try a new routine. Until that sucker shows some love no food.
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asteroid2003QQ47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-20-08 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
33. NEVER, EVER get a cat from Maury!
I hope you learned your lesson.
-------------------------------

Uh, hi, Maury. W-we need a cat.
<>
Yeah! A vicious cat, difficult to love.
Do you have any of those knocking around?
Funny you should ask. I had all but given up on anyone wanting him.
We were about to gas him again.
Again?
He's spent most of his whole life in that box, I expect.
- "Catzilla"?

--Mousehunt
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Kitty Herder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 05:26 AM
Response to Original message
36. I had a cat just like that. Her name was Spooky, too.
I bottle-raised her after rescuing her from the mouth of a dog and being unable to find the mother. I think she was suffering from something like feline PTSD from being stolen from her mother by a dog. And then being raised by a human didn't help matters. I did my best, but I was no substitute for a mama cat.

One of the cats I have now seems to have something like PTSD, too. Her personality changed after she was spayed. She used to be very friendly and would jump in the laps of strangers who came to visit. After she was spayed, she became shy, anxious, and scared of strangers, especially men. The change in personality was immediate and permanent. She's still a sweet cat and very affectionate with me and can be with other people once she gets to know them reeeallly well, but she's not the gregarious kitty she once was. I don't know what that vet did to her, but I suspect he didn't properly anesthetize her.

So maybe something horrible happened to your kitty. They're emotionally sensitive creatures.
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
37. One of my cats was insane when she was young.
she was given to me by a friend who said she was brutally attacking her dogs. Kitty would hide behind doors, walls, ect...and jump out at you and attach herself to your leg using all claws. She'd literally bounce off walls!

She chilled when we let her and our other cat have a litter of kittens and then we got her fixed. Her litter was really small too. Only three babies. During her labor, she wouldn't let me leave the room. If I got up to leave her, which the vet recommended to do, she'd get out of her box and follow me. While her kittens were coming out, she wrapped her paws around my wrist and hung on to me. After that, she followed me everywhere, always in my lap wanting some love. Good kitty, I miss her alot. She died from diabetes complications a few years ago.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
38. Oh that is very sad, where did you get the cat?
sounds like it might be a feral. They take a long time to tame, and some never become friendly. I would seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist. So sorry...
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
39. Give kitty a stuffed sock to maul.
I lived with a psycho cat for 17 years. She had been terribly abused before I rescued her (most women go on a three day drunk and wake up with a new husband, a new tattoo, or pregnant--I woke up with a bitch cat from hell...) and she had a horrible attitude about anyone and everyone. I looked like raw hamburger after about a week with her in the house. My arms and legs were shredded. What I finally came to was I took an old sock, put a pill bottle down in the toe with a couple of beans in it, stuffed it with other odd socks and tied the open end closed. It looked like a big old sausage.

When Tillie (You Bitch) would come after me, I'd give her that sock to wrestle with in place of my arm. It rapidly became her best pal and she played with that sock all her life. It takes some time, but your cat will get used to it as long as you are wiling to be consistent with giving it the sock to play with rather than your arm and hands.

If kitty was only 7 weeks when you got him, he may have been just a bit young to be taken from the litter--especially if he had not been well socialized with humans before that time. He may be scared to death right now, and him acting out is a matter of self preservation in his eyes, rather than just him being a shitty cat.

Try sitting in a quiet room with him and reading a book. Ignore his presence and see what he does. Cat behavior with other cats is what he's looking for and any direct eye contact is a threat in the cat world. He'll probably come check you out after a while and when he does look him in the eye for a couple of seconds. Then you need to CLOSE your eyes and turn your head and ignore him some more. I am very serious when I say this is a cat thing that is showing you mean him NO harm...

Something else to consider, is that some cats go into "overload" with a very little amount of petting. If the cat is hissing, I'm betting it is more a fear response than overload--but do be aware that some cats can respond to affection in odd ways. Do not pet anyplace near the base of his tail, and avoid getting up around his throat or neck.

I agree fully with the folks telling you to "ignore" the cat except to feed it. Once the cat realizes you are not a threat and will not force the issue you'll get some trust established and that should be a lot better.

Hang in there and do not give up on him. He can be the kind of cat you dreamed of--just give that baby some time to grow up.



Laura
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