A few months I got my kitten and she was of course the typical shy, skittish kitten that would hide. I kept her in a room and would just sit with her, she would even hiss at me. She was only 10 weeks at the time. After a month, she finally got the courage to come out of the room and come to the bed but she wouldn't let you touch her or she'd run off. I called the lady I got her from and once I told her how the kitten was acting, she told me that she probably traumatized her because she had been remodeling her home and the litter of kittens had got into a wall/cabinet and she didn't want them to go further so she panicked and blocked the area off, made lots of noise and kept reaching out for them. I mean, can you imagine how that may have looked for them? After hours of doing this, she said she still couldn't get them out so she waited until the mama cat came around and the kittens finally felt safe enough to come out, at which point she also blocked the area off so that they couldn't get in again.

Fast forward to today and my kitten only lets me touch her if I'm in the bed or sitting in the living room. When I reach out (I underhand pet her so that it doesn't look like I'm trying to grab her but it doesn't work) to her from any other part of the house, she runs from like she's never seen me before even though she rubs on me all the time when I'm in one of her favorite spots. I don't chase her but sometimes if she gets stuck somewhere I can't grab her because she's so terrified, and now that she is older, she uses her claws and she hisses.

I thought this behavior would stop but she will fight if she feels like she's being touched or if you have to grab her. It's like she doesn't trust me outside of those two areas she hisses and she runs off like she's never had human interaction. She will also run if you walk past her in an attempt to get away from you even if you're not trying to get her. She is always on high alert when she isn't in the bed or on the sofa - she runs from everything. When I give her treats and wet cat food, she won't come to me. I've waited 10-15 minutes with her and she just looks at me. Instead, she prefers that I drop off the food under the table or in a corner where she can be alone. How can I stop all this awful behavior?

1 Answer 1


You have a long road ahead of you with this cat. Your kitten has been traumatized and did not learn to trust humans in the very important first 3 months. That takes a lot of patience to change.

The first 3 months are important for socializing. Kittens need to learn that humans are good and can be trusted (and some other things). If they do not learn that lesson in those 3 months it (can) take a very long time to change that.

Steps forward:

Have as much positive interaction as you can. You say you have 2 places where your kitten feels safe. Play with her there, give her snacks there. Make those her happy places.

My next step would be petting and picking up. Small things in the beginning, just a finger stroke. Find out the ways she likes to be petted. With picking up it's a toss up. Some cats love to be picked up, others merely learn to tolerate it.

The idea is that (almost) every interaction with you is going to be a good thing for your kitty.

Lastly, do find a good book on cat behaviour, so you can learn her body language and know how you can communicate back that she is safe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.