Cat suddenly afraid of my daughter

by Kendra
(Newburgh, NY - USA)

I got my cat in July of 2005. In May 2006 my daughter was born. She is 4.5 years old now and there haven't been any issues with the cat and her. We now have a 9 month old and the cat is great with her. She has pulled her tail and fur and the cat has never been aggressive. All of a sudden in the past 2 days the cat has chased my 4 year old out of the bedroom...once my daughter is out of the room (crying) the cat stands at the door, tail puffed, back arched, and she's hissing...then she goes under the bed and growls. This has happened 2 times and if my daughter goes anywhere near the cat she either runs, or starts to hiss. I don't understand why this has happened all of a sudden. I don't want to get rid of the cat, but my daughter is completely scared of her.

Background info:
She is an indoor cat and has never once been outside. (too afraid...the door opens and she runs) She seems to have always been a little afraid...it's a running joke with friends that we have a "made up/invisible" cat because they've never seen her..she hides under the bed anytime there are people, other than us around.
I got her from a shelter. We were told she's a domestic short hair, but I think she has some siamese.

Any help with this problem would be greatly appreciated!! I would take her to the vet but my husband has been out of work for over a year and we really can't afford another bill.

Answer by Kate
Hi
well all i can suggest here is that this could be a case of what is known as aggression truama. Basically this is caused when something frighten the cat and they take out their fear or blame someone else for their upset.

this often happens between pets when one of them has been to the vets but it can also occur for all sorts of reasons. from a loud sudden noise to a new cat in the area etc.

i fear that your daughter may have become the chosen cause for your cats upset.

My advice would be to keep the cat in one room for about three days. Put their bed in their with some new distracting toys, their litter tay and some fresh water. Take their food into them when it is feeding time. Keep the room quiet and don't allow anyone else to go in their apart from your self to give the cat some reassurance and some tlc. Remember its not the cats fault they are just reacting to something, a smell, a noise etc.

then on the third day put your cat into a carrier in the room and allow your daughter to come into the room quietly and just sit near the carrier for a few minutes. Repeat the process every few hours to allow the cat time to get used to her scent again etc. then you can try to allow the cat to smell your daughter and come to her but not for your daughter to try and touch her etc. The cat needs to do this in their own time and pace. Difficult i know with a 4 year old but explain to her that the cat is afraid and she needs to be quiet etc.

I hope this helps, the process is designed to allow the cat time to calm down and then to rebuild their confidence in the person they have become afraid of.

best wishes Kate

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