Concerned new "cat parent"

by E.Rivera
(Western Mass)

My son and I rescued an 8 month old ragdoll kitten about a month ago that we named Frankie. When we rescued him from the home he was in, the people had Frankie, his two other brothers (same age) a 2 year old adult ragdoll and a 3 month old kitten all in a 4 foot round (no exaggeration) enclosed play pen. When we got him home we discovered he was INFESTED with fleas. Needless to say he had a rough start in life!!

I did plenty of research on his breed and he is very text book ragdoll. But because of his up bringing I'm having the hardest time getting him to socialize with my son and I. He stays under the couch whenever we are around and if we try to approach him he hisses and swats at us (very heart wrenching for my 7 yr old son since Frankie was supposed to be his buddy). Since cats are nocturnal to a certain extent I understand why he only comes out at night to eat and use the potty. But I also know he comes out during the day when we're not around because his food bowl is usually empty when we get home. More recently I've noticed him coming out and perching himself on the living room window sill. But the second he see's one of us he runs as if he feared his life!! So in that aspect I can tell he's getting more comfortable with his surroundings just not his humans. One month later.... I'm starting to lose faith Frankie will ever be comfortable and happy in life. Especially with us. Sorry for such a long story.... So, my question is.... Should I hold on to faith that this lil guy will one day come around? Or should I just accept the fact that we have an angry old man that's living under our couch?

Side note: just a few days ago we got a new 8 week old spunky baby kitten. We are introducing them in the right way by keeping them in separate rooms. Frankie has been sniffing at the door of the room Azazel is in but not too caring at all and his behavior is the same.
I'm still trying my hardest with Frankie giving him toys and verbally giving him love (praising) and whenever I can catch him I rub him and show him love physically as well. Hoping maybe the new kitten will help him come out of his hard shell.

I hope some one has advice or some hope for us.

Thanks for reading.

P.S can't include photo because I'm submitting this question via iPhone. Otherwise I would. Frankie is a handsome fella!!

Reply from Kate
yes this poor little guy has had a rough start in life but he is young enough to regain some confidence in time.

It is rather unfortunate that you have adopted another kitten so soon as this will only add to the tensions in the house for your ragdoll.

A month is a very short time for a cat that has spent the first 8 months of his life in terrible conditions. he really does need a lot of time and lots of TLC.

i will be honest with you, it could take years before he fully relaxes with people but I do believe it is possible.

I have a web page about bonding with cats here
Also it may be worth thinking about helping your cat relax by using either one of those cat sprays or some medication which could help your cat through these first few months. please see this page for more on this here


Don't give up on him yet, I have two friend who rescued to kittens who had also been through a lot. It has taken over a year before they have started to fully trust people again, but they are a lovely pair of cats who deserved another chance. I'm sure your rag doll can also become a lovely family pet too.

best wishes kate

Comments for Concerned new "cat parent"

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Scared kitty
by: Cherie

I know exactly what you are going through. I rescued a Norwegian Forest cat and he was just the same. Refused to socialised, refused to come out of hiding when people where around, even when only me.
After 6 months he finally come out of hiding and peered at people from a safe distance. A year on he started to get closer and closer.
2 years on and he started to sit on the patio.
All that was 13 years ago, he is now a very friendly cat, who is still very scared of loud noises. But he greats visitors when hes ready and although not a lap cat he does enjoy being a side-by-side cat and loves affection.

Have patience and do things at kittys pace, talk softly and dont make eye contact (they can find this very threatening). He will come round in time.

Wishing you all the very best :o)

Concerned new "Cat Parent"
by: Tracy

Just keep doing what you are doing and hopefully in time the kitty will come around. just by feeding him that gains their trust. I have been feeding the outside stray and feral cats for about 5 years now and I have gained the trust of many cats and I can pet them now and there was one I cold hold and brush him. Just give kitty time and I bet he will come around.

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