Why is my cat still acting like a feral cat who has been abused?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

Mr. P. K.

Purred: Mon Oct 29, '12 12:59am PST 
Hello fellow Catsters!!!

June 2011 I brought a 6 weeks old kitten into my home to add to the "tribe" of 3 other indoor kitties who own me! (laughs) He is a domestic short hair tabby - you know - the tiger marking in various shades of browns and blacks.

He was rescued from under a porch along with his siblings and all were given forever homes, like mine. His mother was a feral cat as far as we could tell as no one could get near here. She abandoned her babies (or she was not able to return to them to care for them any longer) and my friend knew she had to get them from under the back porch and start to feed them. She had them for 3 weeks then found homes for them.

From the tender age of 3 weeks old, all these little kittens knew was love, playing and a warm house to live in. The one I adopted was so sweet and loveable for about 2 months - then for some reason he started acting like he was scared of everything and every one, too! In no time at all he went from the soft cuddly kitten to a cat who acted like he had never had human contact at all and there was nothing that had happened in the household that changed or harmed him. My other 3 cats loved him and accepted him quite easily.

Now it has been a year and a half and he is still unapproachable to human contact even though he has every creature comfort he could ever want. He still gets along just fine with the other cats and even my 12 year old Jack Russell dog!! He eats, sleeps, cuddles and plays with all of them like they are all best friends - but let either my husband or myself get within 5 feet of him and he spooks and runs off. He does jump up on my bed now and then but as soon as I reach out slowly to pet him, he's gone.

I really want this kitty to know love and tenderness but I am at a loss how to achieve this miracle. You would think after 18 months he would have learned that there is nothing here in this home that has or will ever harm him, especially me who feeds and talks to him all the time.

Although he was rescued at only 3 weeks old and cared for 100% by humans in loving homes, it is possible for a kitten to have the feral cat characteristics just because his mother was a feral cat, a mother her never knew???

HOW can I make him trust and want me to love him?? HELP if you can offer me advice on how to fix this.

Thank you my cat lover friends in advance!
Desperate in FERAL-CITY ..... shrug
cat on moon


I want it and I- WILL get it!
Purred: Mon Oct 29, '12 11:26am PST 
It's Queenie. It has been 5 years since I was rescued from life as a feral with my brother, and we are both still skittish and semi-feral. We cannot be caught and brought into the vet now that we are adults and our person is crippled, and we haven't had our nails done or flea treatments for years. We are fairly affectionate with our person when WE want to be, but we cannot be picked up or forced to socialize. Perhaps someone else on the list who has raised ferals has had better luck? Ask kaya skye's person, she has had a lot of ferals in her life. Good luck, sweet kitty! wave