I am worried about my new hire - need advice - Update! Doing well!
Yesterday I visited the cat I am adopting, finalized the adoption application, and paid the fee. I am picking him up this coming Sunday (couldn't do it this weekend because I was out of town all weekend). Some of you have seen another thread where I discussed him - big laid back tuxedo boy with thumgs. I now believe that instead of what I was told before (he had been in a crate for two years, which was sufficiently horrifying in itself) he may have lived in a crate for FOUR years. YIKES!!!! Here's my question: He is non-responsive. Lets me pat him but there is no. response. whatsoever. He doesn't move, nothing. I am worried about his mental health. What can I do? I am planning on talking to his vet, who coincidentally is a friend of mine and boards her horse where I do. Do oyou think that this will change once he is no longer crated? The lady who has him has let him out in a room with her other cats and he doesn't respond to them - even when one approached him and hissed. I feel SO bad for this poor boy.
Last edited by oliverreed; Mar. 19, 2013 at 08:54 AM.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
Patience and time are the key. He has to learn how to be a cat because all he knows how to be is a "prisoner" since he was in a crate (probably with very little human contact) for so long. He will be a whole different guy when you get him home and he has time to settle in.
Time. And no pressure. Which is really hard because we do want to pet them.
Poor guy. Why should he respond? He's learned it's best for him to be apathetic. Be very patient with him and I bet he'll come around. Bless you for giving him the chance.
I recently adopted one: stray, pound (for I don't know how long), adopted, returned to shelter ("we're moving and can't take her") and lived in a tiny glass-fronted cage for 2 years. She could barely walk due to severe inactivity in that tiny space, and certainly couldn't jump up on anything.
I put her in a spare bedroom and included a small crate with soft bedding, door fastened open, which I set on the bed. She spent a lot of time in that crate. Would venture out, then go back in. At night I'd shut the crate door and sleep in the same room in the other bed. After a short while she knew as soon as I woke up the crate door would be opened and she could come out so it wasn't very long before the moment I got out of bed she'd be up and waiting for that crate door to open.
She's turned out to be a very loving, affectionate cat. Still goes into that crate to sleep, but she can walk all over the place now.
when we got Stoli he had spent most of his time at the rescue in a large 2 story crate b/c he was a brat and would attack the other cats in the cat rooms, he did get outside time to run and play
I got him b/c he was playful and wanted to play through the bars with a toy and be pet
but when we took him home we left him with his cat carrier, a litter box next to it and then his food and water next to it as well, and blocked off the room he was in so he could explore as he wanted, it took him about a week to get use to the idea of being able to have bigger space
Kahlua our dobe, she I think came from a backyard breeder and got no attention before she was put in the shelter and later pulled, she had no expectations of love and affection and was quite standoffish for the first month, she was ok to pet if she came to you but it took a month before her little docked tail wiggled, not even a true wag just a wiggle
she and Stoli and both total snuggle bugs and love affection
Your cat is merely frozen. He will thaw. But it is important for you to have no expectations for him. That will help you help him become whatever he was before the deep freeze in the crate.
You should ship this cat to me. My Old Lady Cat would probably like a cat that she could mold as he defrosted. I can't think of many other needy cats I could adopt that would not screw her over in the process. And I like a project, so a frozen cat with potential sounds great!
No, sorry, MVP, you can't have him. I'm in love with him.
So what's the problem? Just alternate hands while petting him so that one doesn't get too cold.
Come to think of it, our local private shelter still keeps cats in jail cells. They try their best and sometimes get folks to foster the ones who can't take it and have gotten unresponsive-depressed like yours. I'll ask them what they recommend.
olivereed - I got one that had been in a crate for five months with an Elizabethan collar on and the only time he was handled was for medical treatment. He was dumped at my vet's office with massive infected gaping wounds. They suspected he had been hurt in a car engine. He had not even looked out a window in five months.....he knew nothing of life outside the crate. Now....he loves to snuggle on the couch and sleeps in the bed every night. He is also extremely playful. Took him awhile to come around but they do. mvp's frozen analogy is perfect!
Weak muscles. When I first got my pound cats they would walk a few steps then plop down. They could not walk up stairs. It takes a while for them to strengthen their legs.
Even after years of climbing trees and running around, after a few days at the vets they would come back weak and have to regain their muscle strength and not get winded.
Well let him have his own room at first, of course. Let him adjust to "his room" before introducing him to other pets.
Leave toys lying around. Perhaps a catnip pillow.
If he is food motivated that would be helpful. Bacon has been a big hit around here. (only tiny bits they can't have too much sodium!!)
My formerly-feral Diva cat made a major breakthrough when I gave her toys. I just tossed a couple in for kicks- didn't really think a cat that had been feeding her babies with chipmunk parts for the past year was going to play with a stupid pink toy mouse but boy was I wrong! She is by far the most playful cat I have and LOVES her toys. Kick-sticks are the best!!
All good advice. Yes, he will have his own room at first, I already bought catnip stuff, toys, and a scratcher. I'll let him have an extra large cat carrier in there too, lined with a fluffy towel. Picking him up on Sunday, am taking Monday off and will just sit in there with him quietly on and off and read my book. He's also going to have a table next to the window so he can look outside.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
Agree with above poster - the key here is low expectations. 2 of my kids were from the pound & lived in very small cages. They were both VERY tired when they got home. Give him several hiding spots & let him be. I tried the whole "You're gonna love your new room with all these toys & treats & the cozy cat bed by the window" I too took the day off from work because gosh darn it - I was determined to be her BFF. She hid under the bed all day long. If you try to wait out a cat - you're going to be waiting an awful long time. So just be patient & go about your life. He will come around. You are doing a great thing & one day he will know you are his Momma & that he is loved