|Purred: Fri Dec 21, '12 6:05pm PST |
I'm looking for a bit of advice or suggestions to help my scaredy cat. I'll start off by giving the quickest rundown on him as I can (though I'm sure it will probably be a little long regardless)...
I adopted Jude just a bit over a year ago in November 2011. He was a week shy of turning four months old at the time. His mother, who was an indoor/outdoor cat and who was not spayed, got pregnant by the neighbourhood feral cat. When the kittens were born, they were brought into the house to be looked after. His previous family were not exactly what you'd call cat or animal people. And even as a very small kitten he was mishandled and I'm pretty sure over time was most likely abused in some way, as that was their way of teaching the cats to stay off certain things, etc. His previous family never actually outwardly admitted to any physical abuse, but just from talking with them and hearing the way they talked, it was easy to put two and two together. Also, they had two little girls in their household who really loved to play (torture) the kittens.
Anyhow, when we adopted him and first brought him home, he was very nervous and scared. He hid under my bed for the longest time, and he wanted nothing to do with my dad or stepmom. Slowly, he opened up to me, and now we've become literally the best of friends. He follows me everywhere and always wants to be near me. In fact, a lot of times when I go out and come back again, I can hear him meowing at door waiting for me.
Today, my Jude is nearly a year and a half. He is the sweetest, gentlest kitty-boy I've ever known. I am completely and utterly smitten by him, and can't even remember what life was life before he was around. He is extremely well-behaved (though because of the way he was treated with his previous family, I'm not sure if that's just how he is naturally or if it was set into him through fear). He is a very sensitive cat and I happen to think we are a great match for each other.
Now, the problem is, as much as he accepts me, Jude is still very weary of my dad and stepmom. He's come a long way in the past year and will now actually let them pet him, especially my dad. However, he gets skittish with them easily still. For example, he will get up and run away if they try to walk past him. And if anyone should ever knock on our door, he bolts to my bedroom and actually hides in my dresser.
Don't get me wrong though! I am not the type of person who is upset because she doesn't have the most sociable cat in the world and wants to change his personality. Believe me, I know what it's like to be shy too. I'm completely fine with Jude being a little less social with those he doesn't know too well, and if he needs some space and doesn't want to be on our laps all day every day that's perfectly okay. It's not me and my family I'm worried about - my only concern is Jude and his peace of mind and well-being. I want to make sure that our household -his home- is comfortable for him completely. I want him to feel 100% safe and comfortable with us, because we all absolutely adore him.
Sooo, I was wondering now, if any of you think perhaps if I got a Pet Ease (similar to the Feliway) diffuser, if it may help with his nervousness and everything else I just described? It's something I've just heard of recently, and if it's something that could potentially ease Jude's skittishness and fears I'd be more than willing to get one (or two?) for him. We've tried just about everything else I can think of to help show and prove to him that my parents and the people who come over for visits are trustworthy and will never hurt or mistreat him; that he is safe and loved entirely and there is nothing to be scared of here
If any of you have had a similar experience as this and have some words of wisdom or some suggestions I may not have thought of yet, I'd be extremely grateful to hear what you have to say. As well, anyone with experience using a Feliway or Pet Ease diffuser, if you think getting one in my situation would be a good or bad idea, I'd love to know!
Thank you so much for reading my post, and again any advice/recommendations for me to continue guiding Jude in the right direction are much appreciated.
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