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183

As in human cases of abuse, if you genuinely want to repair the relationship, the first and most essential thing to accept is you may not be able to. Especially with a young kitten, it's entirely possible you've scarred her for life. Even if she can recover in general, she may never be able to respond to you without fear. The second most essential thing is ...


101

Honestly, it sounds as though you shouldn't have a cat right now. There is never any excuse to needlessly hurt an animal and, whilst your critical write-up of your own behaviour is a start, it certainly doesn't help the animal that has been abused. From the incidents that you've described, the cat could have sustained substantial injuries and needs to be ...


36

Your cat may be interpreting your standing up as an aggressive posture, as cats will arch themselves up to make themselves as tall as possible when they're being scared or aggressive. Or, it may be that your cat is very jumpy, and dislikes the sudden movement, whereas if you're sitting or lying down you're bound to be pretty still. Perhaps it might help if ...


25

This is a very common question on this SE and it makes perfect sense. The cat for some reason is traumatised by your action. You might have stepped on his tail, or she might just be upset because you defended the dog. It doesn't necessarily mean you did something bad, it is just impossible to relay the reasons behind our actions to the cats. The good thing ...


23

Do your cat a favor and get her spayed. It will definitely help stop her from feeling so nervous and jumpy. Was she feral? That could contribute to the fear, as would abandonment. If a human abused her or hit her, or even accidentally hurt her when in a standing position this could cause her reaction as well. There's even reports that show that if a cat saw ...


23

You need to break the existing conditioning your cat has at the moment. The classic approach would be to close the door and immediately open it again. Then slowly increase the time that the cat will accept the closed door. Make sure you always open the door before he starts to fuss and complain and by all means before he freaks out - or you’ll likely start ...


21

Because the dog is so young, I think it is very likely you can slowly accustom her to urban walking. I think a natural response when you see a small dog cowering or wimpering in fear is to console them, or pet them. This is not an effective way to dissuade fear. It is better to ignore your dog and not feed into its fearful emotions. [see below] I think ...


21

It will take time. I don't know how for how long you have owned her now, but from my experience, the relationship can take long to establish itself. To create this bond you are looking for, don't rush things. Never chase her, never hold her when she doesn't want to, and never make sudden movements when you are near her. This would only make her more afraid ...


20

I've been very close to a situation very similar to this, where a person spiralled really (=very physically abusively) badly with a new pet, came to their senses and felt horrified after a few months, and spent years doing all they could to put it right and undo it. So first thing to say is, I believe you, when you say how bad it was, and that you want to ...


20

Our cat was not thrilled to go into the box either (it was less severe than you, though). As soon as she felt that something was wrong she would run for her life under the bed and good luck getting her out of there. We did two things: we broke the routine of closing her somewhere and sneaking in with the box we put the box right in the middle of the living ...


19

Just because both dogs have been getting the same reprimands does not mean they will react the same way. If the female has more of a submissive personality to begin with, which it sounds like from your other statements, she is very likely to have a stronger fear response. As a result, she is learning to associate her name -- or at least, her name when called ...


19

The cat is still young and learning. You want to unteach it that moving and making sounds are potentially dangerous by encouraging the behaviours you want. Ideally there's a type of food it likes, like a cat treat or catnip, that you can use to reward the previously-punished behaviour. Spend a lot of time being as non-threatening around it as you can, re-...


19

My girlfriend is a veterinary nurse and this is a situation she has seen and we've discussed it on several occasions. All animals are always on the lookout for danger. Even the most domesticated pets that led a house bound life since birth will have that natural behavior. When an event startles them, like dropping a plate on the ground in the kitchen, they ...


14

Here are some suggestions that may help: When he runs, don't pursue him. Your pursuit reinforces his behaviour. Don't disturb him when he's hiding. Put a cardboard box or something else he can hide in near your sofa (or wherever you relax). This can help him get more comfortable with being near you. When he does make an appearance, don't make a big fuss. ...


14

We recently got an 8 month old cat from a breeder, it had lived its live in a cage with the rest of the litter up to that point. Unless the breeder spent the proper effort to socialize the cat with a variety of humans in the first few weeks, you have already lost the best opportunity to socialize your cat. Don't expect all cats to behave according to your ...


13

Unfortunately, from OP's description of his/her behaviors toward the kitten even AFTER the awareness and realization of the wrongness and abusiveness of her/his treatment toward the kitten, i.e., continuing the abuse, it may well be that the OP has a psychiatric condition which results in uncontrollable outbursts of rage, aggressive and even explosive, ...


12

It sounds like she is a very "soft" dog and was not socialized with people appropriately when she was young. I don't think that dwelling on the "was she abused" is productive... you just have to start from where you are at and try to move forward from there. You are doing good by letting her take her time but there are some things you can do to help. have ...


12

We have four cats that all have different personalities (like people). Sometimes one or more can be frustrating, but cats (although some would argue) are not capable of the same level of learning or action-response as humans. Cats do not need us like dogs do, and once you understand that you will understand how a cat may or may not react like you want to ...


12

I don't know enough about cats to give an answer to how and if the relationship between the cat and husband can be repaired. But one thing got me to react: Every time he gives her a bath now her head swells. Something is medically wrong with the cat. Take her to a vet and get her checked out.


11

Urination like this is often a result of either fear or excitement and excitement is clearly not the case. So, I'm basically convinced that it's because of striking her. Physical punishment, like that, can lead to extreme fear which, in turn, can lead to urination happening out of that fear. Basically, she now believes that when you call her name that you'...


11

We had a cat when I was younger that my dad accidentally stepped on when she was a kitten and resulted in some trauma. She fully recovered and became a total sweetheart, and actually lived to be quite old. If you were sitting down she'd hop up on the couch and curl in your lap like a normal cat. However, if you stood up or were walking around the house she ...


10

Most vacuum cleaners emit a white-noise like sound - this encompasses a wide range of frequencies, including higher pitches. Most animals are startled by it at loud ranges. Given the volume of most vacuums, it is startling for most cats. As a previous poster noted, it's possible to train a cat (or dog) to become accustomed to some sounds if done from an ...


10

These things ... happen, especially with puppies and smaller dogs. The good news is its probably fine. He's acting normal, and there's no real lasting damage from what you said. He probably was surprised, maybe bit himself and kinda decided he wanted a little attention. He also probably thought you were mad at you too. We kinda accidentally stepped on or ...


10

Initial shyness is normal. Cats often rely on knowing their environment. Bringing them to a new environment will have them on edge until they find their bearings. But more importantly, cats are territorial animals. Your new cat will definitely smell your first cat. Add onto it that it's a male (they can smell the difference), and that strongly incentivizes ...


10

First of all, if your cat is still not drinking, eating, or going to the litterbox, take it back to the vet. Not doing these things for so long is very serious. Unless your cat is normally very skittish, nervous, or easily spooked, I don't think the problem is that it's scared of the balloon. For one thing, some cats might be scared of balloons, but it's ...


10

Please don't get offended, but reading your description I think that your husband's actions and attitude towards the cat are bordering animal abuse and reek of aggressive frustration. I think the best you could do is find new home for the cat, considering her best emotional comfort. For the greater good, I think your husband shouldn't be allowed in to come ...


9

I like the answer above. But part of it is missing the point which is the cat's fear of strangers. You need to begin making strangers a positive association. You can do this by having the stranger offer a small treat- the cat's favorite cannot refuse treat. Do not have the stranger get too close but close enough that the cat can see the stranger offering ...


9

It can also be because the cat doesn't understand what is going on. It might think you are torturing some poor animal with the hums and sings that come from the instrument. No insult to your playing, I think animals in general don't get music. I can share a story of how I got my cat to calm down and accept the vacuum cleaner. She was deathly afraid / ...


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