Getting a traumatized cat

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by leekohler, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #1
    Ok, as many of you know, I recently had my cat put to sleep. My friend Shawn has been trying to get me to take his 6 year old siamese for a while. I wanted to before, but couldn't take her because my now deceased cat was very territorial and literally would have killed her.

    Now, this siamese cat of his (her name is Miss Kitka) is the sweetest thing in the world. However, she's been living in bad conditions. My friend has other animals and they torture her constantly- to the point that they will not let her go to the food bowl or to the litterbox. Shawn had to get her a small litterbox and food bowl and hide them from the other cats and dog. She lives on an armchair with a board over it to hide from the other animals.

    So my question is this: how best to deal with a traumatized, but otherwise very good and very sweet cat? Will she freak out when I move her to my place? Will she pee everywhere for a while? Or will she just be glad to get out of the situation? Also, she's siamese and I know they have special needs too. If anyone can help me with this decision, I would be grateful. I have a great rapport with her, she loves me to death and vice versa. I should also explain that she's very happy when I visit. Shawn says she can tell when I'm coming up the stairs to his apartment. And when I visit, I pay a lot of attention to her. I want to take her, but need to make sure I know what I'm dealing with. BTW- she is very friendly and loving with people, I just think she needs to be an "only cat".
     
  2. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #2
    well, kitties are all different, as I'm sure you well know. But generally speaking, they don't like to be moved. So there will be a period of adjustment. I've found that what helps is to move kitty on a weekend, when you'll have plenty of time to spend with him/her. They tend to react a little better if they're not left all alone.

    Personally, I think she'll be fine.
     
  3. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    Yeah, that's my thinking as well. And yes, I was planning on spending a weekend with her to get her acclimated. I'm hoping she'll just be happy to get away from her current situation. I have a big place though, and I know she'll probably be looking around every corner for some animal to pounce on her. I'm sure there is not too many ways to help with that, other than carrying her through the place. Also, siamese are a very different breed when it comes to emotional needs. I know that, but know no specifics. Anybody have one?
     
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #4
    I don't know anything about Siamese, but when I adopted my two cats as tiny kittens, the adoption agency gave a great suggestion; let the cat(s) live in a smaller, safer, more confined room for a few days. Then open the door but leave the food and litter box in that first room until the cat feels more comfortable.
     
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #5
    I have WAY too many cats.

    There are some who stand up for themselves and others who are extremely
    neurotic in all the chaos.

    I think your adoption of this cat will help her by giving her the dedicated attention
    she needs away from the competition.

    BTW anyone in the Washington D.C. Metro area who wants either a kitten or
    a young adult cat, PM me.

    They range from 7 weeks to 3 years and I need to find special loving homes
    for a few of them.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    Lee, I feel for you. Back on 9-26-06 I lost my Maribella (my beloved cat of 12+ years). She and I were together 12 years or so. (See this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=237436).

    I loved Maribella, from when I adopted her. But she was never the "loving" cat I hoped for. I loved leather furniture before I was introduced to her. In the end, I suffered the loss of some leather furniture.

    Maribella was never one that was happy with the label of a "lap cat".

    But she demeaned attention. In her final hours; she and I shared some attention and play.

    In the end you and I are asked to add a new life to our day-to-day life.That is hard to do.

    I too have been approached by well meaning friends to "adopt" a cat in "need".I am more self centered perhaps. I am looking towards a 2 to 4 week leave. Until this past week I worried about Maribella.
     
  7. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Clovis, California
    #7
    She's going to need 3 days to get comfortable in her new surroundings. If she goes and hides somewhere for awhile, thats perfectly normal. She also needs to feel like the place is hers. Providing a large litter box (14"X20") and a separate water and food dish will be very helpfull. Also if you could get her a little toy would be good. Cats like the twisty seal that comes on milk bottles. :)
     
  8. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #8
    Judging from your description of her behavior with you, I think she'll be fine. She already knows you.

    Send pics!!!
     
  9. MultiM macrumors 6502

    MultiM

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    TO. I've moved!
    #9
    I think she'll be fine. The single room with limited access to the rest of the house is a good idea. She should get lots of attention from you though. When you described her current living conditions, it broke my heart. I'm such a softy...

    Absolutey, send pictures. Can't get enough of kitties.
     
  10. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #10
    I will send pics if I get her, which I probably will. Thanks for the responses!
     
  11. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #11
    Yeah, keep her in one room of the house for the first couple of days. Stay with her most of the time and make sure that you are carm around her so she does not feel like she did at your friends house.
     
  12. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #12
    I would recommend getting some Feliway . It's a natural cat pheromone that will help calm your kitty to her new home. It's available in spray or plug-in.

    Good luck and enjoy your new kitty!
     
  13. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a

    mariahlullaby

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    I don't know about older cats, but when we adopted my cat Rocky as a kitten, we did what devilot suggested and it worked EXTREMELY well. He stayed in my room for the first 4 weeks only, with his food and litterbox in there, never allowed out except once or twice and always with me and in my lap. Not only did this let him become better acclimated, but as an added bonus, my cat became very attached to me...he bonded entirely with me and was the friendliest, most loving cat I've ever had.
     
  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #14
    i think it'll work. as someone else suggested. move her into one room in your place and gradually let her roam about so she can adjust easier. did this with my new kitten and it worked great. also give a lot of attention to her so she doesn't feel abandoned. likely move on a weekend when you can give her lots of your time. don't expect it to be too easy. i'm sure there will be a few moments here and there when she freaks out. but given that she knows you already i think that will ease things.

    best of luck lee.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #15
    You're an awesome guy Lee! Enjoy your new kitty.
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    This is excellent advice for introducing a feline to any new situation/home.

    Do it slowly. A couple days in the (master?) bathroom (or preferably someplace where the litter box will be permanently, so she can get used to it being there right from the get go), and then a slow expansion into the bedroom (assuming she was in the MB) for a few days or a week. And so on..

    It's best for her psyche that she become well accustomed to an area before expanding her horizons. This way, the MB (for example) will always be her "safe place", which cats need. Since they are creatures of habit, deciding where the litter box will be from day one is a very good idea and will minimize accidents.

    We've introduced 6 cats with this method now and it definitely works. We've never had an accident. NEVER. In almost 5 years now.

    Good luck with her!

    EDIT: nod to devilot for her post as well.
     
  17. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #17
    Well, she's here! I brought her home yesterday and she hid in my office and behind the refridgerator all day. Today she's perched on top of the kitchen cabinets. :) She's still nervous, but she's getting much better. I'll send pics ASAP.
     
  18. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #18
    Yay. :D I'm glad for the both of you.
     
  19. MultiM macrumors 6502

    MultiM

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    TO. I've moved!
    #19
    Looking forward to seeing her. Enjoy. Sounds like she is starting to come around.
     
  20. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #20
    aww glad you got her Lee, hope things continue to work out for you two. :)
     
  21. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #22
    Ok, well now she's back to hiding in my office. :( I hope she gets more comfortable soon, I want her to enjoy herself.
     
  22. Cybix macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #23
    Nice work. The best thing you could have done is take that cat under your wing, nice one.

    leave it alone for several weeks, make it aware of it's food and doodoo locations, they're pretty smart.

    Avoid loud noises/music, etc..

    when the cat is a little more adventurous, still keep it inside for a few weeks. Then they can be let outside.. (if thats what you want, or what the cat wants). I couldnt keep my cat inside at all haha, she loves it outside, unfortunately she costs me heaps in vet bills. Last week, broken pelvis, $400 in bills later, and no resolution/fix... she's just limping around at the mo..

    You'll find the cat will come for love at some stage, you might be just sitting watching tv, and it will come along for some attention. Maybe avoid trying to grab the cat when it comes close, urge to pat, etc... just let it explore :)
     
  23. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
  24. mdntcallr macrumors 65816

    mdntcallr

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #25
    Cats=evil.

    Try out a dog. they are wonderful

    (i'm allergic to cats)
     

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