Adopted senior cat scared of hands

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lottama

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So if Alba does have to have teeth pulled, be prepared. It will be okay, but it will cause anxiety for both of you!
Thank you for preparing me for what it might be like when I bring Alba home after her next vet visit. I honestly haven’t thought about the fact that she might be in pain afterwards. I am such a rookie! I just thought that it will be as the last times when she has recovered quite quickly. But this is of course something else.

I don’t know yet if they will have to pull any of her teeth but now I know more what to expect. It will probably be super stressful and she will need a little longer to bounce back from this. It sounds like a difficult experience with Mocha, thank you for sharing it!:hearthrob:I would love to see some more pictures of Mocha
:)
 

Tobermory

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How kind of you to ask! I’ll try to restrain myself. :)

She was very miserable. I took this the morning after her surgery.
“Hurts, Mom.”
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I made a hideaway for her. She spent the night after her surgery hidden away.
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On to happier times: Here’s my favorite picture of her. She’s an incredibly sweet cat.
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I have two other cats, 17-year-old sisters Iris and Lily. Neither was thrilled with Mocha’s arrival. We had just lost 20-year-old Max shortly before I adopted Mocha, and they weren’t interested in a replacement for him. Finally, after three and a half years, Iris has decided that they can be friends. Mocha adores her, and they spend a large part of the day curled up together. Lily still wants nothing to do with her, though.
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I think one advantage I might have with Mocha is that she was only three when I adopted her. And I’d been volunteering in the shelter so she was somewhat familiar with me. Alba, as an older cat, might take longer to socialize. But her body language in the photos you’ve posted show a pretty relaxed kitty. She’ll get there! :hugs:
 
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lottama

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Oh wow she is so gorgeous! They both are! Those green eyes :loveeyes:

I took this the morning after her surgery.
“Hurts, Mom.”
Aww poor thing! Her expression says it all . But you made a good job making her feel safe, she looks relaxed in her hideaway spot. Seeing this I think will prepare something similar for Alba!

Alba, as an older cat, might take longer to socialize. But her body language in the photos you’ve posted show a pretty relaxed kitty. She’ll get there! :hugs:
Thank you for the encouraging words! Yes, I think we will have to be very patient with Alba, she'll get all the time that she needs. Even though I can't pet her I enjoy her company sooo much!
 
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lottama

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Hi! Just wanted to give a recap of yesterday’s vet visit: They had to extract all of Alba's remaining teeth! 😮 The vet said that some of her teeth already were extracted and that the remaining ones were in really bad shape. He said that she must have been in a lot of pain, since long before we adopted her 😢 I guess the shelter didn’t know about this because they didn’t say anything about her oral and dental health when we adopted her 6 months ago. If we knew we would of course have taken her to the vet right away!

Well..even though it was expensive (the insurance doesn’t cover dental care) I am very glad and relieved that she got rid of those bad teeth!! and most of all that she won’t be in pain any more! Poor thing, I feel really sad for her… but I read that cats can do just fine without their teeth so I think she will be ok! Since she got home she has spent most of the time hiding.... But she is eating, drinking and using the litter box. She gave me a little nose boop this morning and licked some soft boiled egg yolk from my fingers - then back to her hiding place. It will maybe take a while but I’m sure she’ll bounce back and without the pain she’ll hopefully be a more relaxed and happy kitty!
 

Tobermory

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Oh, poor Alba! How lucky you got it checked out! She really should feel much better soon. Mocha has six teeth remaining—her four canines and two molars—and she has no trouble eating her wet food. I used to volunteer at a shelter (the one where I adopted Mocha), and several of the FIV+ cats had stomatitis and had all of their teeth removed. They all ate with no problem. And a nose boop? That’s wonderful! She’s a resilient little cat…and a lucky girl to have you. Perhaps some petting is in your future and hers! :petcat:
 

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I hope so! Thanks again for your encouraging and reassuring words! Means a lot to a first time cat owner like me :)
You are doing great! Especially by being patient and paying attention and responding to what she is communicating to you. She wants to be affectionate but but is still a bit apprehensive and may not know how to show it yet. She was the neighborhood stray who adopted us almost 5 years ago and it took Gypsy a long time to learn how to play and she still won't have any thing to do with most 'cat' toys. Thank goodness for the great return policies at Amazon, Walmart, Petsmart and Petco.
She will allow us to pick her up but doesn't care for it. Except when her cat dad holds her in his arms, tummy up on her back She just now is starting to occasionally climb on my lap. She doesn't really come to us for cuddling but makes us come to where she is lying (which is usally close) and then anything goes. We can pet her from her nose to her tail, she likes gentle circular motion and/or non- pain deep tissue massages. She loves being brushed and has various types. She never bites or scratches and is usually near one of us and always ready for kisses and scritches. 20210523_204432.jpg 20210519_084942.jpg 20210507_015007.jpg 20210507_014929.jpg
 
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Tobermory

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it took Gypsy a long time to learn how to play and she still won't have any thing to do with most 'cat' toys
Interesting. They all develop so differently! Mocha will play with her toys, but she won’t play with me. She can be batting her mouse around all over the living room, but if I take it and zoom it by her, she just watches it slide by and then gives me a puzzled look. The one exception is the wand toy.
 
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lottama

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dustydiamond1 dustydiamond1 Gypsy is adorable :loveeyes: she looks so happy and relaxed! I really hope Alba will get there one day too!
As you say Tobermory Tobermory they all develop differently! And they all have their own personalities! I love to see Alba's real personality shine through more and more.
She is still a bit anxious from the surgery, but it's only been about two days so it's understandable. She spends a lot of time in her hideaway.. But last night and this morning she was relaxed enough to play with me for a little while :)
 

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dustydiamond1 dustydiamond1 Gypsy is adorable :loveeyes: she looks so happy and relaxed! I really hope Alba will get there one day too!
As you say Tobermory Tobermory they all develop differently! And they all have their own personalities! I love to see Alba's real personality shine through more and more.
She is still a bit anxious from the surgery, but it's only been about two days so it's understandable. She spends a lot of time in her hideaway.. But last night and this morning she was relaxed enough to play with me for a little while :)
Oh that's great! I'm happy she came through her surgery just fine. Yes, manys the time as I'm giving a tum rub I am awed at the trust that she, as a former stray, shows us by relaxing tummy up. Brushing was the way we begain bonding with her when she was still an alley cat.
 
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lottama

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How are you two doing? :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :vibes: :heartshape:
Thanks for asking! We are doing fine! Alba is recovering well from the surgery, although she has been very anxious. She needed almost a week to get back to her normal self. No petting yet though, I haven't tried. I want to give her time to fully recover from her surgery and then we will pick up the training sessions with the back scratcher again ☺ She is rubbing against my legs every morning and that makes me so happy 🥰

And yesterday Alba was really brave! A friend of ours came over (a person Alba has never met before) and Alba did not run to hide! She even reached out to sniff our friend's hand and then she took a snack from her hand! She was even relaxed enough to play for a while! I think that is huge! In the foster home Alba would always run and hide every time they had a visitor!
 

dustydiamond1

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Thanks for asking! We are doing fine! Alba is recovering well from the surgery, although she has been very anxious. She needed almost a week to get back to her normal self. No petting yet though, I haven't tried. I want to give her time to fully recover from her surgery and then we will pick up the training sessions with the back scratcher again ☺ She is rubbing against my legs every morning and that makes me so happy 🥰

And yesterday Alba was really brave! A friend of ours came over (a person Alba has never met before) and Alba did not run to hide! She even reached out to sniff our friend's hand and then she took a snack from her hand! She was even relaxed enough to play for a while! I think that is huge! In the foster home Alba would always run and hide every time they had a visitor!
:bunnydance: :banana2::woo::vibes::vibes::vibes::catrub:
 
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lottama

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Hi! Both good and bad news, but mostly good! Alba had quite a stressful experience the other week when my boyfriend and I went to visit my parents for a couple of days. My boyfriend's mom stayed in our apartment when we were away to feed and take care of Alba. We gave her clear instructions about how to read Alba's signals and how to behave not to scare Alba. I'm not sure she listened very carefully to our instructions... Either way Alba was VERY anxious and stressed when we got home! And I felt really bad (and stupid) for leaving her alone with a new person :( But as always Alba has bounced back, it took about a week though...We're going away again in August and I'm already thinking about what will be the best solution for Alba. Maybe we should ask someone to come by once or twice a day instead of having someone staying here. What do you do if you go away?

The good news are that she rubs her cheeks against my hand every morning now! It's part of our morning routine and it is the first thing she does in the morning. It is so cute! And the leg rubbing has increased a lot as well! No petting yet though... We have started with the training sessions again so we'll see how it goes :petcat:

Oh and I almost forgot! This morning I am almost sure I heard her purr for the first time! It was right before breakfast, as I was preparing her meal and she was rubbing against my legs. She is always super excited about food :lol: Tomorrow morning I will listen more carefully.
 

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We're going away again in August and I'm already thinking about what will be the best solution for Alba. Maybe we should ask someone to come by once or twice a day instead of having someone staying here.
Good update! As far as what to do with your next trip - is there anyway whoever you choose to take care of her could come by multiple times beforehand, just so Alba gets used to the person's presence and become familiar with their scent and mannerisms. I am guessing that if you can manage that, having that person stay with her would go over much better. Maybe that could be your mom again? It would give you a chance to watch over interactions and help the babysitter learn the 'cues'.

Leaving some worn, unwashed clothing where Alba hangs out while you are gone might help some too!
 

Tobermory

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Maybe we should ask someone to come by once or twice a day instead of having someone staying here. What do you do if you go away?
I have someone come by twice a day to put out their wet food, refill water bowls, and scoop boxes, and just check to make sure everything is okay. The person is calm and quiet (and used to cats), and if the cats don’t come out, she doesn’t push it. All three of mine are afraid of everyone but us, and I think having someone unfamiliar in “their” house, their spaces, round-the-clock would be extremely stressful for them, even if it’s someone who loves cats.

Otherwise, it sounds like she’s still making progress! She clearly is happy with you, food or no food. :)
 

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So happy she is bonding and wasn't set back by your being gone. Can you brush her? That was the way we 1st bonded with Gypsy (and still do). No help with your question as we haven't left her for more than 10 hours (only once) since she came inside permanently in Jan/Feb 2017 but either way you decide I'd have your person come to visit as many times as possible before you leave not necessarily doing any interacting with her just getting her used to them being there along with you and maybe leave a towel or blankie or shirt with their scent somewhere close but not on/in any of Albas favorite spots before you go. I'd do that as soon as possible. Good luck, keep us posted.
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lottama

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As far as what to do with your next trip - is there anyway whoever you choose to take care of her could come by multiple times beforehand, just so Alba gets used to the person's presence and become familiar with their scent and mannerisms. I am guessing that if you can manage that, having that person stay with her would go over much better. Maybe that could be your mom again? It would give you a chance to watch over interactions and help the babysitter learn the 'cues'.

Leaving some worn, unwashed clothing where Alba hangs out while you are gone might help some too!
That's really good advice! Thank you! I will definitely try to arrange that whoever takes care of her comes by a lot before. That is what we did in the foster home before we adopted Alba, can't believe I didn't think about that now..:rolleyes:
My mom really wants to help and take care of Alba but she lives in another city which is a 7-8 hour drive away, so it might be a little hard for her to come by many times before our trip. I will definitely consider having a nearby friend or neighbor helping instead..
 
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