How to help my kitten like my son more

CaseysMom

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Hi, there! Okay, I've read a lot about introducing cats and kittens and cats and cats, but how about getting your new kitty to like other people in the house besides you? Tiny Dancer has been here just over a week now, and she seems to love her new home and she has bonded very well with me it seems. She mostly sticks to her "safe room" which is the dining room and my bedroom, but will come out and explore the rest of the house if I am with her and she feels safe. I've spent a LOT of time with her on the floor, playing, feeding her, petting her. All the stuff it takes to bond with her. I am definitely her person! What I need advice about is she is still skittish around my grown son who lives with me. He is very kind and would never hurt her, but he is very tall and loud without meaning to be, and somewhat childlike, because he has Asperger's Syndrome. I am not worried that the kitten is in any danger from him at all, I just want to stress that! He's kind of like a big Golden Retriever that just wants to come up and say hi, but is not good at patient introductions. It's just that she's skittish of him, and I would like them to be a little closer and at least comfortable around each other, especially in case anything ever happens to me, and also so she won't run out of the room every time he comes home from work.

I'm thinking I need to get him to sit quietly and patiently and play with her and/or give her treats. This is hard for him to do, unfortunately, but I will keep encouraging him to do so. He does like to do the red dot light around the room for her. He is crazy about her, he just doesn't quite know how to bond with a cat. Any other ideas? And will l this get better with time as she adjusts more to her home?
 

KittyBeanbag

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Kitten needs to feel safe around him. He will have to sit quietly and just be around her. Then when kitten stops being afraid he can move closer and pet. Try to get the kitten to associate something positive to him like treats, food time, or kittens favorite toy.
 

ArtNJ

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My 17 year old is *still* a loud PITA that is occassionally rude to the cats, but more often nice. He is liked very much by the more confident cat, but it took a while. He and the more skittish cat mutually ignore each other.

I feel like as your kitten gets more confident, it will likely happen, loud or not, if the boy tries to interact positively. Don't ask him to do stuff with the kitten that goes against his nature like sit quietly if that doesn't come naturally to him, but rather use whatever his nature is. For example, if he is naturally energetic and fun loving, he might be able to use a lure toy or laser pointer to play with the kitten. Or toss aluminum foil balls for the kitten. That will be enough, in time.
 

Caspers Human

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Teach your kid that it's cool to ignore the cat.

I don't know if you can teach this to your kid but you can try to boil it down to something he can understand.

In the wild, cats would be in the precarious position of being predator and prey at the same time.
Cats eat mice and birds and other small critters but there are also other animals that try to eat them... coyotes, hawks, owls, wildcats. What that means is that cats have to always be on their guard. It's an instinct. It's hard-wired in to their brains. Consequently, it affects the way a cat behaves toward others. They are always watching out in case something comes after them. Even an indoor, house cat does this.

If you ever notice that, when you walk into a room, your cat's eyes look right at you, that means the cat is trying to tell whether you are friend or foe. If the cat ignores you, that means that the cat isn't worried and feels safe to go about its business.

Therefore, if YOU ignore the cat, it sends the message, "I'm cool." If you do that, the cat will know that will feel safe when you come near. If you do it long enough, the cat will look at you as "one of the clan" and, eventually will want to be friends.

Did you say that your boy has Asperger's Syndrome?
Hmm... A thought... Don't take this like I'm saying something bad...
Do you think that you could compare a cat's behavior with a person who has Asperger's?

It sounds strange but intuitive. What do you think?
 
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CaseysMom

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Did you say that your boy has Asperger's Syndrome?
Hmm... A thought... Don't take this like I'm saying something bad...
Do you think that you could compare a cat's behavior with a person who has Asperger's?

It sounds strange but intuitive. What do you think?
Caspers Human Caspers Human VERY interesting question! I have never actually thought of that before! Cats definitely thrive on their routines, and actually get quite miffed when they're messed up. And yes, my son is just like that! They both like things on THEIR terms, and need a balance of alone time and play/bonding time. You know, I am quite a bit like this myself and have often wondered if I would have gotten a diagnosis if I had been born later. I find that those of us who are introverts and highly sensitive people (and possibly on the spectrum) seem to be drawn to cats more than dogs (not dissing dogs! Dogs are great too!).

What an interesting perspective! :)
 

game misconduct

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could just take time lots of time even years maybe :biggrin: my little sisters ragdoll took the better part of 8 years along with my moving out of my dads house to actually be friendly to me without running away to hide until i leave.when i visit my dad and i have known that cat since the day she brought him home. that aside. having your son give treats is a good way to earn its trust and affection:lol:just dont be jealous or sad if kitty begins meowing to him and showing affection to him more than you if the bribery with treats works
 

Caspers Human

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often wondered if I would have gotten a diagnosis if I had been born later.
Remember. Asperger's is a syndrome, not a disease... "Syndrome" being a collection of symptoms of unknown origin.
There's no reason to think that it isn't just a relatively rare personality characteristic. Part of the problem is that, with our ability to detect more subtle things, it makes it seem like there is a rash of new cases but, in reality, we're just discovering more people who would have fallen through the cracks before.

I can completely get behind the idea that ASP (Asperger's Syndrome People) would be more attracted to cats. It makes perfect sense! :)

Maybe, just maybe, if you can get your son tuned in to being around cats, this could be a good thing. Your kitty could even become a support animal.

Casper is his Girl-Human's support cat. She has anxiety and migraines. That cat works MIRACLES with her! When she's having trouble, he can bring her right down!

Fingers crossed... Maybe your son and your cat could have a similar relationship! :)
 
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CaseysMom

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Thank you for the support Caspers Human Caspers Human ! Yes, I hope for that for my son as well. It definitely makes him happy just to have a cat in his home and his life. He loves to talk about her, make voice impressions like he would imagine a cat would sound like if it could talk, and buy her stuff! He works in a grocery store, and he rarely comes home without a toy or a treat for her. And he always asks if she needs more litter from the pet store. That's been his special chore since we had our last cat. :lovecat3:
So, there's a lot of good going on here! That's why it hurts my heart just a little bit when she (and our older cat Casey) would run away from him. I'd be like, "Don't you know how much your brother loves you?" LOL. Well, I believe it will all work out! I appreciate everyone's helpful responses!! :wavey::thanks:
 
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CaseysMom

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Furballsmom Furballsmom thank you, I read the article and forwarded it to my son!

KittyBeanbag KittyBeanbag thank you for your response! I did coach him through sitting down and playing with Tiny Dancer and giving her treats last night. It went well!!

A ArtNJ I had to laugh that you called your teenage son a loud PITA! :flail::lol: They really are, but we love them to pieces anyway, right? Like, why do they have to do everything so extreme and so loud? Slam the water faucet down, slam the toilet seat up, laugh uproariously at whatever they are watching on TV! :rolleyes: Starting to think I'm too old for young adults and kittens both! LOL. :lol2:
 

susanm9006

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You can have your son lay or sit on the floor when the cat is in the room. Cats are less fearful when the human is closer to their size so she may see him as less threatening. If he can roll a cat toy or use the wand to entice the cat into some play she may start to see him as a playmate.
 

Caspers Human

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Sounds, to me, like things are working out well! :)
He seems to get the concept of "cat."

I think that, all you have to do is help him fill in the details.
Things like:
* It's cool when a cat ignores you.
* If you pet a cat and it makes her fur wrinkle, that means you need to pet her gently.
* When a cat swishes its tail, that means she is happy but, if she flicks her tail at you, she's annoyed.

Cats use a lot of non-verbal communication like rubbing on each other or intertwining their tails (AKA: "Friend Tails")

I don't know... Just shootin', here... Maybe if your son can learn about non-verbal communication with a cat, he can use that like a laboratory for developing better communication skills with people, too. :)
 
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CaseysMom

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Oh, these are all great ideas! I love me some Jackson Galaxy, danteshuman danteshuman ! I learned a lot from him,. Caspers Human Caspers Human those are some great bullet points, and I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to nonverbal language. That is hard for people with Asperger's to learn, but certainly not impossible! What an interesting challenge!
And susanm9006 susanm9006 , that makes a lot of sense, especially since my son is 6'5", he can seem very intimidating, even to people! I can only image what he looks like to a tiny little kitten! :runningcat:
 

Caspers Human

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I'm over 6 feet, as well. Probably the biggest "secret" to greeting a cat that I know is to kneel down when you want to greet a cat.

If a big, goofy human comes galumphing into the room and reaches down to pet a cat, the cat would probably think he's being chased by "Benny" from "Mice and Men!" ;)

"Aw, look, George! I wanna' pet the kitty! C'mere, kitty-kitty!" :eek:
 

danteshuman

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“Be the furniture.” If it worked for my hyper niece; it can work for your son. If the cat gets on your lap they get at least 15 minutes (preferably 30-60 minutes) to just be on you (& only get petted if they seek out attention.) It created lap cats! ⭐ Plus my cats come running when they see me put a blanket over my legs because they know they will get an hour! ⭐Feel free to lure them on your lap with wand toys or treats!
 
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