How can I help a cat who's been abused overcome her fear of hands?

I recently began fostering for the first time, with a very active and soft-spoken teenage girl who was removed from an abusive situation. Luckily, she doesn't seem to be very afraid of people - she usually likes to hang out in the same areas where me and my roommates are, and as I'm writing this she's sleeping on my lap. But she's definitely scared of hands, even if she's sitting in my lap I can rarely pet her or set my hands down near her without her biting or scratching at me. I haven't had her that long, but it's really important that I help her get over this so she'll have a better chance at adoption. Is there anything specific I can do to help her?

Asked by Member 1138783 on Nov 2nd 2012 Tagged fostering, behavior, abuse in Fostering a Pet
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I would say try feeding her treats out of your hands. That way, she will eventually see hands positively. Also, try to gain her trust. I hear playing with your kitty gains trust and friendship. Hope this helps!

Olive answered on 11/2/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

The late Lily Rose was also an abused cat who was kicked and thrown against walls. When I adopted her, I basically let her make up her own mind about me. It took a few weeks, but just before she was killed, she became a lap cat. I always spoke softly and when she'd headbonk me, I didn't try to touch her, just talked over the days event with her. I always put her down very gently. Watch for signs she is about to bite. Big eyes, ruffled fur, growls, etc. Use "hands-off" toys with her like feather wands or ping-pong balls. If you give her a treat, put it down and then stand close while she eats it, telling her what a good girl she is. When you adopt her out, I would caution against a family with children under 12. Give yourself (and her) lots of time. There will be good days and bad days. Patience, kindness and love are what she needs now. If you are fostering for an organization, ask them for advice as well. Good luck and purrs to you both!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 11/3/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer