Unfriendly Cat

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2001
Unfriendly Cat
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 5:04pm

My son left his 2 cats with me 3 years ago.  One of the cats has adapted nicely and comes to me for affection almost every day.  I have alway had cats and adopted a really friendly cat for myself 4 years ago so I am not without kitty love.  However the little unfriendly female cat won't warm up to me even though I give her and the other cats a pinch of catnip every night and special treats every morning.

My niece who lives with us says I should leave the faucet running and then "Chelsea" will warm up to me.  Well, my niece doesn't pay the water bill and doesn't seem to care about the environment.  I cannot in good conscience leave the water running.  I've turned it on when Chelsea is in the room and let her drink from the faucet, but she still runs from me and actually spits at me.  I've tried leaving my hand near her when I give her one of the special treats and she is starting to tolerate that.   I've tried different treats with Chelsea and the only ones she seems to like are catnip and milk , yogurt, cottage cheese etc.  She used to accept cat treats from my son, but now refuses them even from him.  When he comes to visit she screaches at him and hides. 

If she doesn't come aroud very soon.  I think I will tell my son to take her back.   She needs to go to the vet for a checkup and there is no way I can catch her to accomplish that.

Avatar for tiggs_mom
Community Leader
Registered: 07-02-1999
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 5:28pm

I have to say, it sounds like a vet visit is in order. She may be stressed and sometimes there are things that can be done. However, if you can't handle her, that becomes another issue.

I am not sure how leaving the faucet run will have the cat warm up to you. Sometimes if cats need more hydration I will suggest a fountain, but I have never heard of running water changing a cat's behavior.

I am wondering if she is stressed. If there is a way to separate her into her own space, I would set up a safe space for her and then slowly reintroduce yourself and after that slowly reintroduce her to the other cats. But, behavior changes like that can sometimes be medical.....I know it may be hard to catch her, but I would absolutely start with the vet.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
Sat, 11-24-2012 - 10:11am

You didn't say if the unfriendly cat was ever friendly or it's just the way she has been all of her life.  I have tamed a couple of my feral cats.   I'm not sue what running water has to do with taming Chelsea. I agree with Jeanne that she probably needs to see the vet.  You may have to put her in a seperate room for a couple of days so you can catch her and put her in a carrier.  While she is in the room, just sit on the floor and talk softly to her.  You can offer her treats and even play with her.  Let her be the one to come to you. So this as often as you can throughout the day.   I would also leave her carrier in there and leave it open.  Put her food in it so she will get used to going in it.  It may take some time so be patient. 

Good luck and I hope that you can get Chelsea to the vet for a checkup.


Community Leader
Registered: 11-20-2001
Sun, 11-25-2012 - 5:16am

This is so sad, I'm sorry she is having such a hard time adapting.   You have already gotten good advice.   You really need to get her to a Vet, like you said.  Maybe your son can help. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket