Harry quite Contrary

Haynesaj1

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I got two kittens from the shelter back in early December. They were not from the same litter but they get along great. Lloyd is very friendly, laid back, and loves petting, doesn't mind being picked up, etc. Harry on the other hand, not so much. He basically hid from us in the basement the first couple of months. We finally blocked off the basement and slowly over the last 3-4 months he has gradually gotten more comfortable around us. He still runs from the room if he's surprised or if new people come over. But for the most part he seems relaxed, he plays with toys, eats treats out of my hands, rolls over on his back, and meows at me. He'll often follow me around and if I'm in the kitchen often times he just sits there right behind me. However, he does NOT want to be touched. If you hold your hand out, he will walk right up and sniff it - and then back away and/or swipe at you. Also, when I'm getting his food ready in the morning and evening sometimes he'll come up and nip at my legs. What's the deal? I know it still hasn't been very long in cat terms but it does seem like his "progress" has stalled somewhat. Maybe he'll always be a furry goldfish, and that's fine. I'm just curious if others have seen this type of behavior and if there's anything I should be doing.

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susanm9006

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So handsome. Harry may not have had good socialization as a young kitten and so has a bit of wariness of humans. Or he could just be a cat that is slow to warm up to strangers and likes to have his personal space. It’s just too soon to tell. It could take months or even years for him to fully relax and trust you. My experience living with a timid semi feral is that these cats are torn between wanting human attention and at the same time being fearful of them. So they purposefully get close and then get scared and give you a hiss or a slap. It’s best just to ignore this behavior.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I can tell you that cats are as individual as people are, but you know that already. It does bare repeating on occasion, as it is not to do with you doing anything wrong. It may be just who he is. And some cats can take months to really warm up to someone. Oddly, totally ignoring a cat can often trigger the cat to actually seeking you out...I'm guessing that it takes all of the pressure off of them. He's apparently much shyer than your Lloyd, so the following articles may give you some hints on how to proceed:

 

suzeanna

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My kitty also nibbles at my legs when I'm preparing her food, usually preceded by a lick or two. If I'm wearing pants/pajamas, then she'll just headbutt. I think Harry's just excited about mealtime. He's very gorgeous!
 

neely

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First, Harry is absolutely beautiful, what a handsome boy! :heartshape: I agree with all the above members that every cat is an individual, i.e. some need time and patience to come out of their shell while others like Lloyd are social from the start. Just like people, they are unique in their own way. Harry may warm up as time goes on or he may not but that's okay. You adopted him from the shelter and are giving him a forever home which is what counts so kudos to you. :thumbsup: Have you tried some interactive play with him when no one else is around? There are a plethora of toys available and perhaps he may take a liking to some of them. Please ignore the title of this Article but it has some great toy recommendations that you might want to try with Harry: 17 Best Toys For Lazy Cats – TheCatSite Articles

In addition to the Articles mentioned above I thought this one about whether cats like to be petted might be helpful for you"
Do Cats Like To Be Petted? – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck, please keep us posted on Harry's progress.
 
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Haynesaj1

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So handsome. Harry may not have had good socialization as a young kitten and so has a bit of wariness of humans. Or he could just be a cat that is slow to warm up to strangers and likes to have his personal space. It’s just too soon to tell. It could take months or even years for him to fully relax and trust you. My experience living with a timid semi feral is that these cats are torn between wanting human attention and at the same time being fearful of them. So they purposefully get close and then get scared and give you a hiss or a slap. It’s best just to ignore this behavior.
He was a little older when we got him - around 4 months I think. But he had been at the shelter for almost half his life because he would hiss at anyone who came close to him. So I suspect you're right about not getting good socialization. He gets closer and closer to rubbing against me when I'm getting their food ready. He's brushed me with his tail quite a few times. Maybe I'll get a head butt one of these days. I hope so. But he's definitely nice to look at and I am happy he's here instead of still at the shelter.
 
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