cat update

This cat that me and my husband found living under our car is proving to be quite an ordeal. It seems she was most likely a stray from birth and never a pet. Somehow she got away from her mother and survived, my husband judged her to be about 6-8 weeks old which apparebtly is around when kittens can be on their own.

She’s completely not domesticated or tamed whatsoever. She’s tiny and lives behind the toilet pipe in our bathroom. She hisses and spits every time anyone comes near her. Growls a lot too, and very rarely lashes out with her claws. Luckily she doesnt bite.

Strangely, she only does her bathroom activities in her litter box, without any hassles or training.

But she’s difficult to deal with because no matter how many times she is held and petted, the first time anyone tries to pick her up or touch her she hisses and growls. Then she lets you pet her for awhile. Tonight she let me roll her on her back and scratch her belly. She seemed to enjoy that, but then she ran and hid under the heater. Also, she never pounces or acts remotely cat like. Just very rat like. Very rodenty!

I fully consider her to be a wild animal, even though she’s a cat. Any ideas on how to domesticate her? (Since this is my first experience with cats, I don’t believe what today’s straight dope question says about cats being domesticated! My rabbits were more cute and cudly then this cat!)

Because she’s so scared, we named her Phobic. Only I’m not positive she’s a she, but I’m pretty sure.

You need to invite Magayuk over to have a chat with her. He says he can speak cat. :wink:

I’m no cat expert, but from what I’ve learned volunteering at an animal shelter, you are doing all the right things. Hold her close when she’ll let you; don’t force anything. You’re “socializing” the little critter. Play a lot also–use feathery chase toys, rattling balls, even a laser pointer if she likes to chase things.

Here is a site that will help you determing the sex of your kitten.

Sounds like you have quite a bit of work to do.
I rescued an 8 week old kitten from a ceiling crawl space at a friends apartment a while back. Max was a little tabby that was removed from his mother by some kids and left to fend for himself. I found him at week 4 of his ordeal.
When I brought him home he bolted into the attic and made a home in the insulation. It took 2 weeks before he would let me touch him. He was so cute because he knew he wanted love but he was too afraid. I would spend hours with him with my hand stretched out to him, he would sometimes come close but then he would dash back to his little house. A couple of times he would rub his head against my hand, then get all crazy with affection until he remembered that he was afraid then dash back to his house.
I slept up in the attic with him for the 2 weeks and one night I woke up and he was nuzzled into my neck (I finally won his trust).
He grew up to be an amazing cat but he never trusted anyone except my girlfriend and myself.


1.) Be patient with him. Let him adjust at his own speed
2.) Do not handle him unless he wants it.
3.) Give Phobic lots of love.

It will take time, and he’ll probably hate everyone but his immediate family. But they do come around eventually. Sort of.

Another thing that may help when Phobic is hiding is to just talk to her in a nonthreatening way. Reading aloud is good. Get her used to the sound of your voice, and the idea that nothing bad happens when you’re around. (Ideally, good things will happen when you’re around. Cats love bonito flakes, which should be easy and cheap for you to obtain in Japan. Just be sure you get the plain ones, not the ones with premixed spices for soup).

Try playing with her with interactive toys where she doesn’t have to get too close to you. Tie a string to the end of a yardstick or a straightened-out wire hanger for her to chase.

Kittens this young have very short attention spans, so don’t try to spend more than half an hour or so with her at a time, unless she’s obviously having fun and not getting too worn out. Let her nap for half an hour or an hour, and she’ll be ready to go again.

Does she have someplace comfortable to sleep in the bathroom? Even a towel on the floor would probably help.

Handle the cat as much as possible while it’s young, otherwise it will grow up to be distant and aloof. It should learn pretty quickly where (who) its food comes from. Try giving it some treats from your hand. Try catnip. Encourage it to play, to draw out its social interactions. Tease it with a string, and then run the string up your leg to get the cat to play with you (wear thick jeans!) Learn what it likes. When mine were kittens, I had to restrain one of my girls so I could brush her. But after a few brushings she loves it now and can’t get enough.

When it warms up a little more, get it to the vet for shots and sterilization.

Sure, laugh MarkofT, but it was a huge breakthrough. He doesn’t hide under the sink all the time now, just this morning he jumped on my head and bit me while I was getting ready for work.