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We adopted her from shelter - 18 months old - she refuses to…

We adopted her from...

We adopted her from shelter - 18 months old - she refuses to let us hold her. Any suggestions?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?

She won't let us hold her

Veterinarian's Assistant: Where does the cat seem to hurt?

She is not in any pain

Veterinarian's Assistant: OK. No obvious pain. What is the cat's name?

Snicker

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cat?

She has been spayed - according to the shelter she has had a littler of kittens and has been declawed

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Answered in 4 hours by:
2/19/2018
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 12,529
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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How long have you owned Snicker?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
About 3 months

Can you describe what happens when she's held and what you are wanting to have happen? Are you just wanting her to sit on your lap or are you wanting to be able to hold her in a certain fashion?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Would like to be able to pick her up and maybe place her on the coach beside me so I can pet her - or put her in my lap.

Can you describe what happens when she's held or picked up?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
She immediately starts squirming and stiffening up and jumps out of my hands

It's important to know that not all cats like or want to be held. If she's not wanting to be held, you're going to need to approach this slowly. Cats are the introverts of the animal world and, as such, they often like to keep other animals and sometimes humans at arms-length, so to speak. It sounds like Snicker may be more independent than you anticipated.

I would recommend that you take this slowly and meticulously. If you are wanting to have her on the couch with you, the best thing that you can do is build a bond of trust. With this, it means not pushing her boundaries so she CAN trust you enough to sit beside you or on your lap on the couch. This means not picking her up anymore since you know she does not like to be picked up or held at this current time. Instead of picking her up, try giving her treats on the couch instead or playing with toys she likes up on the sofa. As time goes on, you can train her to join you on the sofa. Once this has happened, begin petting her when she is in a relaxed position but don't pick her up. Let her choose where she stays. If she jumps down or doesn't want to be petted, don't push the attention on her. If she's amenable to the attention, eventually bring her treats closer and closer to your lap until she's standing on your legs. Pet her if she's willing to accept the attention. Over time, you can passively train her to be where you want her and still be in respect of her boundaries. If you persist with picking her up and holding her, she may push you even further away because she feels she cannot predict or trust what will happen while she is near you.

Also consider when she is most relaxed in the home. If you have children, she may be a cat that tends to prefer being out and about when things are quiet and calm. Make sure to try your play time and treat giving when she's most active in the home as this is when she'll feel the most comfortable. You can also increase her food drive by not free feeding (put food down 1-2x daily and have her eat in meals). Then, when you begin offering tasty treats she'll be more likely to come to you wanting to see what you have for her.

I hope this information has been helpful. I will be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further. Also, before signing off today, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me (bottom of the page if using the app). A 5-star rating is appreciated as top notch answers are my focus. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply so that I may help until you’ve received the assistance you need. Until you issue a rating, the website will not compensate me for helping you. You will still be able to chat with me even after issuing a rating at no further charge on this thread.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Please cancel any further info.

Did you receive my reply above, JACustomer? Can you tell me what you're wanting done with your account?

PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 12,529
Experience: 15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
Verified
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Please - No further communications
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