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 Post subject: Bonding with kitty...
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:47 am 
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Hello!
So I got Mika a little while ago, and she's still spending most of her time in the safe room, with an occasional monitored trip around the first floor.
What I find is, whenever we're in the safe room, she's super cuddly and rubs up against me asking for me to pet her, but once we're out of the room, it's like she becomes a whole different kitty- She's not overly scared, but she always crawls into small spaces and doesn't respond to me. Whenever i try to pet her, she slinks away, and whenever I pick her up she just jumps out of my arms. I feel like everyone's bengals always want to be around them (well, I understand you've all had more time to bond :) ), but my kitty is so distracted by everything going on she doesn't even pay attention to me sometimes :sad: I'm kind of scared that once I completely let her out of the safe room, she'll just hide in corners and not play with me (i've seen friends with cats like that). :confused: How do I bond with kitty?Is this normal behavior?
~Thanks!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:21 am 
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rawr wrote:
my kitty is so distracted by everything going on she doesn't even pay attention to me sometimes

Seems like you answered your own question. The house will be the safe room soon enough .....then outside on a harness if your nice.

Pouncey goes hiking and backpacking and he's like that at first then the jungle becomes his safe room and he's all lovable and snuggles.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:21 am 
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How much time do you spend with your kitty in the safe room and what do you do with her when you're in there?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:19 am 
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viperkeeper wrote:
rawr wrote:
my kitty is so distracted by everything going on she doesn't even pay attention to me sometimes

Seems like you answered your own question. The house will be the safe room soon enough .....then outside on a harness if your nice.

Pouncey goes hiking and backpacking and he's like that at first then the jungle becomes his safe room and he's all lovable and snuggles.


Thanks! I'll try and get her accustomed to the house, and then maybe I will leash train her too. :biggrin:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:26 am 
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Fenstar wrote:
How much time do you spend with your kitty in the safe room and what do you do with her when you're in there?


I spend about one and a half to two hours with her in the room per day, i think. She's really calm in the room though, so I usually hold her and pet her and play toys with her and feed her, of course... the amount she consumes still amazes me :lol: . I check on her a lot though (the room is partly glass paneled, so i can hide behind the door and watch what she's doing)- but most of the time she's sleeping, so I only go inside and bother her when she's awake. :)
I think i'll let her out and explore the first floor tomorrow. When I put her back in the saferoom today, she was kind of mewing and scratching at the door like she wanted out... Until I shook her food dish around :wink: haha

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:32 am 
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She will sleep if there's nothing better to do.... You could easily double the time you spend playing with her (until she's tired!) so make the activity out of the safe room a bit more interactive as well - Give her some of the toys she likes outside of the room, and teach her the house is fun, not just about being followed and grabbed for snuggles.

You will see a quick change in the 'need to hide' behaviour!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:28 am 
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rawr wrote:
Fenstar wrote:
How much time do you spend with your kitty in the safe room and what do you do with her when you're in there?


I spend about one and a half to two hours with her in the room per day, i think. She's really calm in the room though, so I usually hold her and pet her and play toys with her and feed her, of course... the amount she consumes still amazes me :lol: . I check on her a lot though (the room is partly glass paneled, so i can hide behind the door and watch what she's doing)- but most of the time she's sleeping, so I only go inside and bother her when she's awake. :)
I think i'll let her out and explore the first floor tomorrow. When I put her back in the saferoom today, she was kind of mewing and scratching at the door like she wanted out... Until I shook her food dish around :wink: haha


Is it possible to let her out into the corridor first, ie extend the "safe room" boundaries without scaring her with oodles of space, shut doors and close off areas to her. She is a small kitten, she will have a small boundary and needs to get used to one small space at a time and then you can gradually extend boundaries as she learns how to trust you and trust the new space.

Some kittens are adventurous and take just about anything in their stride, your kitten is not one of those, so you need to
listen to that and take your time.

Cats are not dogs. You cannot just drag them about and they will be happy because you are there, like a dog would be.
Cats have to consider their options before they feel safe, as after all you are asking them to extend their territory.
Beyond known territory in their eyes, lies other cats and danger, hence the low crawl, hiding and running away from noises and people as soon as they are out of their safe space.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:58 pm 
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To be honest 1.5 - 2 hours a day does not sound like much time at all really. When I've introduced new kittens to my house I have often spent whole days with them. I would split my time between my existing cats and my husband would take turns as well. They have always been very confident little kittens within hours of arriving anyhow but socialised to the house within a few days.

Can you spend more time with her? Eat your dinner in the room etc...

I would try to make your house a bit more homely to her. Start by opening up her room but closing off other rooms so she can explore to some extent but also making sure you have some litter trays dotted around. This will minimise the chances of accidents but will also make her feel more comfortable and homely. I would also have some more water bowls for her as well. Let her explore without standing over her or following her around. Maybe just sit on the floor and read a book/magazine or something.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I slept on the floor of my safe room. I made a fort out of pillows and blanket like a little kid. I called it camping. Wasn't long before he was sleeping on my face. Oh yeah I was 33 at the time :cool:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Yea, just to re-iterate what others have said... 1.5 or 2 hours is really "isolation therapy" rather than bonding. You need to spend more time with her. Later on, 1.5 or 2 hours will be fine, but she needs more attention than that right now after being yanked away from her mother, siblings, home, and humans.

The safe room for my cats was the guest bedroom, and I slept in there, watched tv in there, and brought my laptop in there when acclimating a new kitten.

But actually, I think more than anything, it doesn't sound like your kitten is having trouble bonding to you so much as the environment. I think the fact that she is terrified and wants to hide when taken outside the saferoom just means that it is too soon for her to be taken outside the saferoom. All cats are different. If it were me, I'd keep her in her saferoom until she shows curiosity in what is behind her door, then go one room at a time. I think the biggest problem is that you are jumping the gun a bit. But that said, I think if your cat felt that she had more of a friend or an ally out there, that would probably improve things too.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:59 pm 
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Thanks so much for everyone's input and suggestions!
Wow, before I thought that spending that much time with her was plenty, but I guess I'll spend more time with her to help her get accustomed to the house quickly! I'll put litterboxes on each floor, and let her explore a tiny bit at a time.
Again, thanks for everyone's help~ :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:04 pm 
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Yeah when we first got BB there was always someone in with her! Well most of the time,we did give her time alone too so she wouldn't get to cranky when someone wasnt with her. Now that I am trying to get an adult cat into the house it is different. I have slowly increased the time I spend with him over the last week. First it was a few minutes here and there and then it was an hour at a time and starting yesterday I have been spending every other hour with him! I have to say since spending so much time with him yesterday he has made a complete 360 within 24 hours! He was terrified of me yesterday and greeted me with head butts and purring this morning. So maybe I should have been spending more time with him! You are on the right track tho since she is already fond of you and wants you attention. Just increase your time with her, you cant go wron with that :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:46 pm 
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bkilgore wrote:
Yeah when we first got BB there was always someone in with her! Well most of the time,we did give her time alone too so she wouldn't get to cranky when someone wasnt with her. Now that I am trying to get an adult cat into the house it is different. I have slowly increased the time I spend with him over the last week. First it was a few minutes here and there and then it was an hour at a time and starting yesterday I have been spending every other hour with him! I have to say since spending so much time with him yesterday he has made a complete 360 within 24 hours! He was terrified of me yesterday and greeted me with head butts and purring this morning. So maybe I should have been spending more time with him! You are on the right track tho since she is already fond of you and wants you attention. Just increase your time with her, you cant go wron with that :wink:


I see~ Hahaha thanks, and good luck with your kitty too! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Don't forget that she was used to being in a home with other cats and people around all the time. Now she is in a new, strange place and spending so much time alone. It must be a very scary and lonely place for a young kitten. It s difficult when they are in their safe room which is why it's quite important when selecting which room to use as a safe room. It should not really be a 'high flow' room. But there needs to be a balance between 'high flow' and 'no flow' in my opinion. You need to be able to spend as much time in there with her as possible so I would always pick a comfortable room that has things in for you to occupy yourself like a TV. If you were to spend a while in there with her she will get more accustomed to your voice, smell, mannerisms etc. Even if you just sit there and read.

I have always slept in their safe room with them when helping new kittens settle in, like other forum users have. Although, if it is your bedroom, there can be accidents on the bed or you will get woken overnight.

A safe room often becomes their safe haven when they feel threatened in the next few months (until she is settled in your house). So it should be a room that she can have access to when the rest of the house is open to her.

Often though, people do not have much choice in which room to use as a safe room without moving people/furniture around.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:40 am 
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lollo2304 wrote:
Don't forget that she was used to being in a home with other cats and people around all the time. Now she is in a new, strange place and spending so much time alone. It must be a very scary and lonely place for a young kitten. It s difficult when they are in their safe room which is why it's quite important when selecting which room to use as a safe room. It should not really be a 'high flow' room. But there needs to be a balance between 'high flow' and 'no flow' in my opinion. You need to be able to spend as much time in there with her as possible so I would always pick a comfortable room that has things in for you to occupy yourself like a TV. If you were to spend a while in there with her she will get more accustomed to your voice, smell, mannerisms etc. Even if you just sit there and read.

I have always slept in their safe room with them when helping new kittens settle in, like other forum users have. Although, if it is your bedroom, there can be accidents on the bed or you will get woken overnight.

A safe room often becomes their safe haven when they feel threatened in the next few months (until she is settled in your house). So it should be a room that she can have access to when the rest of the house is open to her.

Often though, people do not have much choice in which room to use as a safe room without moving people/furniture around.


Thanks for the advice! I don't think I'll be sleeping in her room (since it's small and bed-less and in the basement), but I sat down this afternoon and read in her room to spend more time with her. She actually crawled onto my book and laid down on top of it like 'hey, pay attention to me instead!'. Haha. :)

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