How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10278
Experience:  I have loved and owned cats for over 45 years.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

There are 6 people in the family. We rescued a 7month old

This answer was rated:

There are 6 people in the family. We rescued a 7month old kitten. She was scared and timid. She stayed in one room for 3 days to feel comfortable. The 4th day we let her roam. She hid in the fireplace chimney. I had to retreave her. She bit and scratched me. Since then she runs away from me, but not the rest of the family. It's been 6 weeks now and she still acts the same. I lay out the food and clean up after her. Will she ever treat me better than this?
Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to help you today.

I'm so sorry that Sophia is behaving as you describe. I know how difficult it must be for you to see her act friendly towards everyone else.

What you probably know is that she now associates a very scary and frightening event with you. Most cats, especially very young ones, tend to be pretty forgiving but (and this is a big "but"), Sophia came with trust issues and she's a calico.
Let me explain what I mean about calicos if you are not familiar with this kind of cat. I don't like to make generalizations as a rule but calicos have the reputation of being a little on the witchy side at times. They have very decided preferences, likes and dislikes and they don't hesitate to express them. More than other kinds of cats, they can take an instant dislike to people for no apparent reason. But in this case, you scared her.
This personality tendency in combination with the frightening experience she had with you may make it very difficult for her to see you as a person she can trust.

This is not to say that with time, patience and love (and a lot of time) that you can't possibly turn it around. You probably can but you're going to have to let her do it at her own pace and not force the issue. The harder you try to make her like you, the less likely she is going to be to do so. This is just the perverse nature of some cats, unfortunately.

So, I would suggest that you basically ignore her. Don't try to pick her up or try to pet her. Talk to her in a calm, soothing voice if you're around her, but don't go in search of her.
If she is fed in a separate room, then I might close the door when she's in there and just read a book or sit quietly for 10-15 minutes with her. But, again, I wouldn't try to touch her.
Some cats will respond much quicker than others and there's just no way to know how long it might take before she decides that you can be trusted.
And, unfortunately, some cats just decide that they're going to hold a grudge forever.

I realize that this answer may not be what you want to hear and I'm really sorry for that. But it would be unfair to you and Sophia as well as unprofessional of me were I to provide you with a less than truthful and honest answer. I hope you understand and I do hope that Sophia will decide that you are only trying to be loving and caring towards her. If you take it slow and don't expect too much from her, hopefully, this is what will happen. Deb
Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Lorraine,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sophia. How is everything going?