My formerly feral cat wants attention but won't accept it.
July 9, 2010 9:18 PM Subscribe
Formerly feral catfilter: I can't tell if I'm making progress or if the cat is just neurotic.
posted by Ruki to pets & animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Last August, we adopted two feral cats. They were captured at 8 weeks, and were at a shelter for a month before coming home with us. Ostensibly, one cat, Ariel, was for my daughter, and the other, Gatsby, for my husband and me. Oddly enough, that's exactly the way it's worked out. Gatsby has adapted quite well - she sleeps with us, gets aggressively affectionate, and has particularly bonded with me. Ariel, on the other hand, has only bonded with the kid, and runs almost every time Mr. Ruki or I approach her. That's fine, except she acts like she's desperate for attention when the kid's not around. On the rare occasion that she lets me near her, she gets ecstatic when I brush her, and will at times purr happily when I pick her up and pet her on my lap for a short time (if she's not into it, I let her go). Lately, she won't let me pet her unless she's at the food bowl. She'll cry loudly for my attention, then run to the bowl and wait for me there. If I pet her there, she starts purring and kneading the floor, and will headbutt me if I stop. This has become a daily thing. I've never owned feral cats before, but I have had a neurotic cat, and honestly, I can't tell the difference here. Is this a sign that she's warming to me, part of the socialization process, or is this the best it gets? What else can I do to make her feel less skittish? I've always made time to play with stick toys and laser pointers with her, and been generous with treats and the occasional scraps of leftover meat, which she loves.