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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 11:36 PM

We're making major progress with our shy kitty, Sabra

I have pictures to show you!

Here is Maya:

Maya is two and a half years old and had a litter of kittens before she was put up for adoption by the local Humane Society. She was shy at first but now she runs the house. She's tiny, weighs less than eight pounds. I've adopted kittens larger that Maya!

I finally got a picture of Sabra. It's not great but she let me take several while she was in her tent:

We have not been able to weigh Sabra yet but while her frame is not much larger than Maya's, Sabra probably weighs half again as much. I was concerned about her weight and called the Humane Society to check. Since Sabra was spayed as a young cat, there is no chance she is pregnant. She's probably just fat from hiding all the time.

Today we made a major break through with Sabra. I'd posted here about how shy she was. Since I got her the tent, she has been spending time in it instead of under the bed and she will let me pet her when she is in it! In fact, she's gotten so if she is in the tent and I walk by without petting her, she meows at me.

Today she spent time in the larger of the two cat trees we have and was so relaxed she let me pet her while she relaxed in it. This evening she came out of her tent to ask to be petted and even let my husband pet her! We are both so happy with the progress she is making. Even if we could never pet her, she has a home for life, but I was very worried about her mental health and the stress she was under.

We have one more week with construction outside, then the house will be quiet. It's been quiet for four days, which has helped with Sabra's progress, but she will probably have a set back this week. But once the construction is finished, the cats will have a screened porch to hang out on which I know Maya will enjoy and I hope Sabra learns to appreciate, too.

Oh, at night, both cats travel all over the house. Most mornings they are upstairs in my husband's office. When he goes upstairs, they run down. Maya has shown Sabra the living room and they gallop the length of the house whenever they are found in there, even though we do not restrict where they go. I'm glad Sabra feels comfortable doing that, even if she is not comfortable with people other than in the bedroom yet.

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Reply We're making major progress with our shy kitty, Sabra (Original post)
csziggy Oct 2020 OP
KT2000 Oct 2020 #1
CharleyDog Oct 2020 #2
csziggy Oct 2020 #6
yellowdogintexas Oct 2020 #3
csziggy Oct 2020 #7
TEB Oct 2020 #4
SheltieLover Oct 2020 #5

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 12:13 AM

1. That's so good!

Like how Maya is showing her around!!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 12:29 AM

2. Reading about the tranquil effects of cat-mommy pheromone collar

I don't have cats but three adopted dogs that vie for attention, have crabby jealousy issues, and get irritable (not violent, just intolerant)- so I ordered the dog version of the pheromone collar for all three. We've had the collars on one day; I noticed they love the smell when I hold it under their nose in playing (no scent to me), and flop right over for belly rubs and snuggles. The dog collar is called "Adaptil - Calm." Some reviews said they noticed no calming or any response, no kitten-mommy security feelings, so it's a crapshoot, I guess, some people loved the effects.

Time will tell. also, you have to buy new collars every month...we'll see if it's worth anything.

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Response to CharleyDog (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 10:44 AM

6. That was suggested, but I wouldn't be able to put a collar on either cat

Without major struggles and trauma to both me and the cats.

My previous cat, who was a feral when we adopted him, would not wear a collar. With my husband holding him and me trying to put the collar on, he would just not allow it. We never got a collar on him, he was just too agile.

With a kitty like Sabra who hid for the first month we had her, it would have been a major battle just to get her out to try to catch her, much less grabbing her to put a collar on!

I did get a Feliway dispenser that is still in the bedroom, putting out the cat mom pheromone, and a spray to put on spaces where the cats might hang out. I think those are helping. In fact, I was thinking about getting a second Feliway dispenser for the living room when I get a refill for the bedroom one.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 02:24 AM

3. beautiful cats. Socializing a shy kitty is difficult. COngratulations on your progress!

We fostered a litter of 3 little black kittens last summer. Two of them socialized fairly quickly and were adopted together.
However, the third one absolutely would not let anyone get near her. We gave up on any hope of adopting her out because she is so antisocial.

One night I said to my husband "it is too bad he is so untouchable" (at that time we still though we had a male kitten) and we looked at each other and said "Elliot Ness" so that was the name. Now we call her Ellie.

While she does not like for us to get too close to her, at least she stays out in the open now and does not run and hide if we get close - instead she just backs up a few inches. She is devoted to one of our older cats. He is 17 and she cuddles with him every chance she gets. He is very sweet to her.

I don't know if we will ever get her to enjoy being touched.

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Response to yellowdogintexas (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 10:56 AM

7. Elliot Ness or Ellie is the perfect name for a feral kitty!

I am sorry I am not able to foster. First off, I am not longer agile enough to deal with small kitties. That is why this time we adopted grown cats, even with their problems. Second, once a cat is in my household, I would not be able to give it up even if it was going to a good home.

Of course the third reason we adopted adult cats is that they are harder for the Humane Society to adopt out. Maya had been in their cat cafe for ten months. She was not spooky but does not like petting from strangers. She would just ignore the people and go and hide in the litter box room most of the time.

I don't think they realized how traumatized Sabra was - she had been found as a kitten in a wheel well, fostered until she was well and old enough to adopt. Someone adopted her, kept her a month or so, then dumped her at the door of the cat cafe without even talking to the staff. During that adoption she was not treated well, judging by how she acts now.

Since she had been in the cat cafe before, they put her back after she cleared her checkup. She hid all the time and was not happy to be in a room where people were there all day, wanting to pet the kitties. The personnel at the cat cafe were very happy she was going to a nice, quiet home and that we were willing to take on a cat we might see on the rare occasion.

I need to call them and let them know how great Sabra is doing!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 05:51 AM

4. Awesome on the progress

Beautiful cats

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Sun Oct 18, 2020, 06:14 AM

5. Sounds like great progress!

Such beautiful kitties!

I'm glad to hear they are exploring together!

They will love their new hang out porch, I'm sure!

You are doing great work!

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