Adopted senior cat scared of hands

dustydiamond1

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Yes that's the one, they gave us Gabapentin! haha it's hard to image Alba being a "wet purring noodle" but it definitely sounds like it will be less stressful for both of us if I give her the drugs. they also told me to give her one the night before and another one a couple of hours before the visit.

Thanks A LOT for the step-by-step guide. It is so useful to get this kind of guidance, being a first time cat owner I don't have that much experience! We actually talked to the shelter too (not to give Alba up - would never do that) to hear if they have tips on vets that are good with really scared cats, and they gave us a few tips. They also offered us to borrow one of their squeeze cages - I don't know if I will do that but I think I will get Alba a slightly bigger carrier, with a larger opening.

It seems like Alba has recovered fine from the vet visit, she is a little shittish but other than that back to normal. This makes it a lot easier to even think about taking her to the vet again :)
:hellocomputer:So sorry the experience was so bad, can the shelter recommend a vet with more experience dealing with difficult kittys?
Sometimes fingers are scary, maybe see if she will give a head bump to the knuckles. Gypsy loves knuckle jowl rubs.
She will forgive, see if you can find a treat she is especially crazy for and use as positive reinforcement. I use the Churu to mix with Gypsys probiotics every night
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and Oh my Cat! the Sheba meat sticks! I think I could teach her to talk using them 😺
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I order them both online although Walmart does carry the Sheba.
You may want to practice giving the gabapentin prior to the night before the vet visit in case she doesn't want to take it. If it's a pill using a pill pocket may work.
The first time I had to take Gypsy to the vet solo I was terrified and the more I googled carrier loading techniques the more afraid I got! Until I ran across a video on youtube showing the technique called 'Blind Superman' It sounds a lot like what Tobermory Tobermory described. After fretting so bad it worked so well that it was over before I knew what happened.
You are doing a great job, keep up the good work and keep us updated and photos, we love lots of photos :camera:
 
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Tobermory

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You may want to practice giving the gabapentin prior to the night before the vet visit in case she doesn't want to take it. If it's a pill using a pill pocket may work.
Mine is in capsule form. I open the capsule and mix the powder with her wet food. She doesn’t seem to notice it’s in there. (I’m giving half a capsule daily to Iris for arthritis pain.)

I thought of one more thing. Just use a normal, calm voice when you’re talking to her before putting her in the carrier. I discovered how quickly they pick up on tone several years ago when I was giving senior kitty Max subq fluids every day. “Maaaaaaax. Time for fluuuuuuiiiiiids.” Yeah, that might have been fun, but it took him two times to realize what was coming and to hide under the bed. “You must think I’m stupid,” his look said. :lol:
 

dustydiamond1

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Mine is in capsule form. I open the capsule and mix the powder with her wet food. She doesn’t seem to notice it’s in there. (I’m giving half a capsule daily to Iris for arthritis pain.)

I thought of one more thing. Just use a normal, calm voice when you’re talking to her before putting her in the carrier. I discovered how quickly they pick up on tone several years ago when I was giving senior kitty Max subq fluids every day. “Maaaaaaax. Time for fluuuuuuiiiiiids.” Yeah, that might have been fun, but it took him two times to realize what was coming and to hide under the bed. “You must think I’m stupid,” his look said. :lol:
Oh good point, a normal tone is most essential so they don't bolt :lol2:
Gypsy won't touch her food if anything other than food and a topper is in the bowl.
 
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lottama

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Thanks again for sharing your experiences, Alba says thank you as well :)

Mine is in capsule form. I open the capsule and mix the powder with her wet food. She doesn’t seem to notice it’s in there.
the ones we got are in capsule form as well, fortunately! I will do my best to use a normal tone when I put her in the carrier, hopefully she won't be able to tell how nervous I am :D it is really funny how they pick up on tone and emotions! Another funny thing about Alba is that she really doesn't like it when we're pan-frying stuff, every time we do she gives us an annoyed look and leaves the room. I guess it is the sizzling sound she doesn't like!

and Oh my Cat! the Sheba meat sticks! I think I could teach her to talk using them 😺
It is actually time to refill Alba's snacks supplies and I found both the Churu and the Sheba sticks in swedish online stores (we live in Sweden) so I will order them! thanks for the tips!
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dustydiamond1

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Thanks again for sharing your experiences, Alba says thank you as well :)


the ones we got are in capsule form as well, fortunately! I will do my best to use a normal tone when I put her in the carrier, hopefully she won't be able to tell how nervous I am :D it is really funny how they pick up on tone and emotions! Another funny thing about Alba is that she really doesn't like it when we're pan-frying stuff, every time we do she gives us an annoyed look and leaves the room. I guess it is the sizzling sound she doesn't like!


It is actually time to refill Alba's snacks supplies and I found both the Churu and the Sheba sticks in swedish online stores (we live in Sweden) so I will order them! thanks for the tips!
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Beautiful Alba :touched: :heartshape:
 
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lottama

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guess what just happened! Alba rubbed against my legs!! I was in the kitchen talking to her as I was preparing her breakfast. Felt a soft touch, looked down and there she was looking at me! and then she did it again and again more firmly. I almost couldn’t believe it! this is the first time she inititates some kind of touch that isn’t swatting😄
 

dustydiamond1

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guess what just happened! Alba rubbed against my legs!! I was in the kitchen talking to her as I was preparing her breakfast. Felt a soft touch, looked down and there she was looking at me! and then she did it again and again more firmly. I almost couldn’t believe it! this is the first time she inititates some kind of touch that isn’t swatting😄
:bunnydance::dance::woohoo::banana2::banana1::petcat::catrub::clap::clap2::cheerleader::heartshape::touched:
 

Tobermory

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Oh, how wonderful! Did your heart melt? Mine did the first time Mocha rubbed lightly against my legs. What a good cat mom you are! :catlove:
 
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lottama

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She did it softly and waited for your reaction, when it was favorable she felt safe to do it some more. I'm sure you gave her much deserved praise
Oh she got soo much praise (and a little extra food as well ;))

Oh, how wonderful! Did your heart melt? Mine did the first time Mocha rubbed lightly against my legs. What a good cat mom you are! :catlove:
My heart melted big time! :redheartpump::hearthrob: I feel so proud of her and the progress she is making
 
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lottama

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She has not repeated the leg rubbing yet.. I guess it's normal to gradually learn and get used to new behaviours. Hope it wasn't a one time thing! Can't wait until she does it again!! As requested, here are some pictures :)
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dustydiamond1

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Alba is a beauty and obviously very much at home. There are a several other threads she is purrfect to post on: 'Show us the Whiskers', 'How can you tell when your cat is relaxed?---post your pictures here', 'Post your sleeping beauties', 'Post pics of calicos, tortoiseshell and orange cats', 'The eyes have it, lets see those pretty peepers' are just a few :touched:
 

susanm9006

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My girl was a semi feral - it took eight years for her to rub on my legs. Fortunately not all cats take as long as my girl but I have seen that learning to trust isn’t a straight forward path. She may improve, get scared and regress and then have a massive improvement. She looks so relaxed and happy I am sure she is going to warm up quite a bit more.
 
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lottama

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Thank you for asking! Alba is doing well. We still can’t touch her but she is rubbing against my legs almost every day now, usually before meal time :) And she started doing this new thing when she rubs the side of her mouth/her cheek against my hand in the morning, when I reach down to say hello to her. So I think we are making progress! The first time she rubbed her cheek against my hand I got so surprised and happy. I didn’t really think so I reached out more and tried to pet her on the cheek but that did not work. She immediately backed up a few steps and stared at me like ”whoa not too fast!”. I was afraid I totally ruined it that time, but she has repeated the behavior and when she does I just hold my hand still and let her do the rubbing :winkcat:

And oh I almost forgot! The gabapentin worked really well to get her in the carrier and to the vet! We went to another vet this time, recommended by the shelter, and it was such a big difference from our first experience! Alba was still very frightened during the exam, but this vet is really experienced and confident with scared and shy cats. And Alba was high on gabapentin so that helped a lot too :lol:Unfortunately her teeth didn’t look great so we have to go back to the vet on Wednesday for an x-ray. We really get to practice on vet visits!! I’m happy she’s getting her dental health sorted and hopefully it will be positive for her socialization progress as well!
 

Tobermory

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We still can’t touch her but she is rubbing against my legs almost every day now, usually before meal time :) And she started doing this new thing when she rubs the side of her mouth/her cheek against my hand in the morning, when I reach down to say hello to her.
Yes, definitely progress! You probably know that they have scent glands on their face so rubbing against your leg and rubbing the side of her face on your hand means she’s marking you as her person. I also found it hard to resist reaching for Mocha when she started to rub her face on me. What I was gradually able to do was this: As she rubbed her face along the back of my hand, I kept it in the same position, same height, and just slowly moved it on down her side. I think she saw it as an extension of her own rubbing since it was a continuous movement.
The gabapentin worked really well to get her in the carrier and to the vet!
Yay! Big relief! And good news about finding a vet that’s a better fit for you and Alba. It makes such a difference. I’m sorry to hear about Alba’s teeth. Mocha had to have all but six of her teeth pulled in December 2019. So stressful and she was in pain and terrified when I brought her home. She kept trying to run away from me but would take a few steps and fall over. I was such a wreck, and I was sure she’d never trust me again. But in three days we were through the worst of it. So if Alba does have to have teeth pulled, be prepared. It will be okay, but it will cause anxiety for both of you!
 
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