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Behavior of Cat 4


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Cat Behavior Help

Gracen is a cat with some issues. She had a hard beginning. After 3 owners in a row died her litter was turned out into the woods. Rescued at 2 months and rather wild, I fostered her and sister Rosie after spaying last November.

Rosie was very dominant, strong; Gracen deferred. She was always terrified of everything and everybody. It took her months to settle in, let herself be held/handled—at first only alongside her sister when Rosie was already purring in my arms.

Rosie and Gracen developed a “dog mentality”, following me EVERYWHERE. Close the bathroom door? They cried, threw themselves at it until it opened. Gracen still sits, waits, watches for me if I close it. On leaving a room, she follows and often gets in front, swiveling her head from side to side to predict where or which direction I’m headed. Otherwise, she rubs up against me, cries, or just lays down until I’m on the move again.

Under difficult circumstances, I had to give Rosie up in January. Traumatic for both of us, Gracen cried constantly; cuddled and clung close for a good month. Now she only comes to sleep with me during the early morning hours until I get up or she decides I’ve slept enough, lol where she snuggles, purrs, grooms, and licks me as I scratch for a long time. If I’ve been out, our routine on coming home is the same. She lets me know when he’s had enough and wants down to play, but most preferably to be let outside.

Initially, sitting together on the balcony, she was terrified of people outside, even when they walked down the street on the far side. A few times she growled, but most often struggled to get out of my arms, into the house, even clawing me badly to get inside. A group of people came by and she hid, didn’t come out for 2 hours. The maintenance man then came and she ran up to him, purred, circled, rubbed; let herself be petted. He re-hung a door and used a drill. She was unfazed, sat near him the entire time, watching and meowing at him. My jaw dropped. I decided that he was Dr. Doolittle reincarnated.

In the beginning, I set aside at least 3 hours of dedicated play a day, but it was never, ever enough for her. We played “fetch” a lot, now she will chase, but has no real interest. She cries nonstop for attention and play, but can instantly lose/regain interest in seconds.

She loves going outside, but often comes back several times in the first hour or two crying. Sometimes I believe she’s specifically looking for me and I reassure her I’m there. Other times, she hardly looks at me or for me. She walks to her food bowl, takes a bite or a drink, then walks out again—crying the whole time.

When she cries nonstop to me directly, I play with her or soothe her by picking her up, petting her, and walking her around like a colicky baby. She gets calm while nuzzling me, examining and sniffing the walls, doors, and other objects, and chasing shadows.

She’s been quite healthy. At first she sneezed a lot, though rarely does so now. A month ago, she came inside with a very swollen face; it resolved after a couple of days. During this time, and after, her voice changed a lot: Croaking to thin and reedy sounding. Sometimes, she sounded like a seriously hurt animal or in terrible grief. Mostly, her voice has returned to normal. She does have “rippling skin” behavior 1x or 2x a week.

I think she definitely should not be an only child, but it will likely be months before I can get her a sibling. In the meantime, there are two others who come by from time to time to play and hang out with her.

HATES: She’s a moderate eater and absolutely hates 90% of human food and cat treats. She’s in my face when food is there to lick, smell, touch—even foods she already knows she hates and won’t eat.

She hates being scratched on her abdomen and claws and bites hard in seconds (same as her sister).

She hates to be alone. When separated for a while, she loves to be picked up and held, talked to, walked. She licks and bites my face, and nuzzles, rubbing her head against my face for extended periods of time.

LOVES: She likes milk and looooves yogurt. She loves to be scratched from her head and down the length of her spine. She often stretches the length of her body out on the floor and rolls over on her back for minutes at a time. If on the rug, she puts in her claws and drags herself across it. She is craaazy about chasing moths and hidden objects under a pillow or newspaper.

Thanks so much for your input.
  anita8jp on 2012-11-07
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