Does it affect a cat to be moved constantly?

Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 09:48 pm
Hey. I've got a lil situation with Blackie, the two year old cat I have had for about six months. I have one other cat, Boo, who is a permenant addition to the family. Boo is 9 yrs old and fat/lazy.

Blackie gets into a lot of trouble around here. She knocks stuff over, she constantly attacks Boo, and she sometimes will bite me out of nowhere. She is a sweetheart; but she acts a little weird sometimes. I'm wondering if this could be due to her being moved around so much; or if it is just her personality.

Blackie apparently was bought at a pet store. Then the original owner gave her away to another couple. Then that couple gave her away to another couple. This couple left the country for two years and asked a friend of mine to watch her in that time. He had to get rid of his cats (due to his landlord finding out about them and threatening to boot him out). So, I took her in.
I found out that in a few months the 'owners' will be coming back and 'may or may not want her back'. Mad

I feel somewhat pissed about that ambiguous statement. I wonder if they see her as just a toy or what?! I have grown to love her a lot, and I know I'll do what I have to when the time comes...but for now?!

Does it affect a cat's development when it switches homes so often? Could this be the reason she is somewhat 'touchy' and 'moody' sometimes?
I don't know what occured in the other homes. I don't know if she was loved or abused or what.

Any help from the cat lovers and bearers of cat-wisdom would be appreciated. I'd like my little Blackie to be as happy as she can be.

thanks Smile
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Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 11:04 pm
Brief answer: Of course. Think about foster children.

More tomorrow.
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Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 11:11 pm
Yes, animal do suffer trauma too, so it could be. But, in your case it could be her personality too. I had a Siamese kitten like the one you describe. Her name was Pandora, and she used to sneak up on anybody and nip at them. She used to fly the walls too, she looked like a rocket. Finally I had to ask a friend to give her away before I killed her, because she bit a disabled baby's three fingers real bad. I don't like cats anymore only dogs.
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Reply Fri 23 Sep, 2005 11:34 am
Cats are highly territorial animals. Unlike dogs they have no instinctive behavior about bonding to an owner (or a family of owners) in a pack.

Blackie may or may not have been born with a few little personality quirks, but changing households frequently certainly didn't increase her inner serenity.

If her owners announce they must have Blackie back, tell them you've consulted with experts and given the demands of cat psychology you're very reluctant to expose her to more change.
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Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2005 02:05 pm
One of my daughters has cats. They are "shelter cats" and have all been through various kinds of changes.

One of them has recently taken to pulling it's fur off in patches on one leg and it's underside. My daughter has been told to try a herbal remedy which lessons anxiety, and for the most part, seems to work.

This story is just to illustrate that some cats cope better than others. Her other kitties appear to be fine.

Both my wife and daughter volunteer a few hours a week in a local shelter. My wife was saying that on a couple of occasions, cats literally willed themselves to stop living, as they were so depressed from losing their human families. Very sad.
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Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2005 04:12 pm
I agree - a cats territory is important to it and knowing the safe places and where to run to and security and people to trust.

Rosie definitely frets when I go on holiday - either with friends, leaving her with my husband - then she goes a bit quiet and flies to meet me when I get home or worse, when we go away together and my parents have her to stay (keeping her in) - the first time she refused to eat for 3 days - I nearly came home to fetch her.

Her original owners shouldn't expect to reclaim her when she's settled with you.

You need to be firm about the non-acceptability of being bitten - Rosie started doing it to tell us off and wasn't allowed to continue. A light tap like her mother would have given, a firm NO and put her down and ignore her for a while and she'll get the message - then lots of praise and fuss when she's 'good'.
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Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2005 05:26 pm
Thanks everyone.

So it's about territory then. Yeah, I don't know a whole lot about cats. I've always been a dog person, but got Boo when she was considered "an unadoptable cat" and was sentenced to be put down. In reality, she is just old and no one would adopt her. She has proven to be an excellent pet. A real snuggler:) Boo herself is snippy and somewhat paranoid: but she has calmed the longer she is with me. She will be with me for the rest of her life!

Blackie. Yeah. She was very 'crazy' when she was first brought here, and she gets better every day. I knew that cats don't care about people (I don't know how else to say that?!) so that is why I was confused.

Thanks for the advice about her biting. I have been doing just what you said: so horrah for me!
A lot of it seems to be just common sense.
Example: don't get a pet that you can't take care of! Jeez; that really bothers me.
Evil or Very Mad

I think I will be firm and let them know that she is going to stay with me. I think that would be best. I just needed some reassurance on that.

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Reply Sun 25 Sep, 2005 05:31 pm
flushd wrote:

I knew that cats don't care about people

they do!

Timmy used to snuggle up with me if I was ill and be really quiet and loving - Casey used to worry about arguements and if i was raising my voice to the girls she'd climb on my knee and look into my eyes from about 2 inches away all worried and I'd have to stop! Rosie is very affectionate.

The thing is dogs are pack animals and want the pack leader to like them - cats are their own 'person' and not pack animals and are therefore much more independent, deciding for themselves who they like - and if they do like you, it's genuine and if they don't too!
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