I was a bit calmer than normal with her as Im usually pretty cautious around around her. She seems to be slowly coming back around. She completely stopped playing with me for awhile but out of nowhere I found her sleeping right under my chair while I was sitting on it - and she normally does not come this close to me unless I have food. Last night I initiated play when it looked like she wanted to play - she was extremely cautious but she did play for a short while from a good distance until she started to seem too uncomfortable and stopped. When I lay down on my bed she seems alot more at ease and will also lay down and look at me and slowly blink which I also respond with slow blinks, almost like talking to her. Another thing I notice is she has taken to my clothes as her literal bed. She likes to sleep on my shirts or clothes and play with them when they're present. She seems to be alot more at ease when Im sitting or laying down and usually wont hesitate to move around as much as she used to but she gets very cautious if I start moving.
I've been talking to her more and more lately, slow blinking whil calmly speaking to her. sometimes she will slow blink back, sometimes she will just stare, or she will just close her eyes and lay on my clothes and fall asleep.
Update: While playing with the string, she caught it and when I tugged it back it got caught on her claw and she hissed and jumped back and hid.
Right now as Im typing this she's actually being fairly playful with Panda, thats kind of another thing, she has been hissing less during play with him than she used to.
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First things first. Sandy is so GORGEOUS!!! Wow. And Panda is just ADORABLE!!
Let's do the videos first.
The first video - Playing with the laser. GREAT!!! Sandy looks absolutely normal and happy there. LOVING the laser pointer. Great body language, loving playing. Very normal cat. A lot of confidence. PERFECT. And Panda. What can I say? Panda loves you. Totally confident and at ease.
Second video - Again Sandy is looking great. Again, playing with your shirt. GREAT relaxed, confident body language. I see a cat that just looks happy and great. I still think Sandy is WAY AHEAD of where I thought she would be. And that is because of how you have interacted with her to build her trust and confidence.
Thanks for the videos, these are VERY helpful!!
Now to your written post:
Cats can sense even little changes in our emotions and actions so it is possible Sandy was sensing the change and got a little more cautious. I wonder if this was going on when she stopped playing. BUT the videos sure show me a cat that looks happy AND you mention she was sleeping under your chair with you there. Which is a HUGE positive. She chose to be there and that tells me there is a lot of trust.
When you mention last night (must have been Tuesday night) she wanted to play and she did until she got "uncomfortable" and didn't seem to want to play anymore and you stopped. It happens sometimes, they don't want to play. And sometimes we read too much into things. From what I see in the videos she is very positive in her body language. Use those videos as a base to interpret her body language.
Cats do get more comfortable when we are more still or lower etc. So I am not surprised she is more calm when you are in bed.
I LOVE that you are giving her "eye kisses" (slow blinks) and she is responding with them as well. THAT is a sign of trust and love. GREAT JOB!! And it tells me there is a big bond between you two. A cat would never close their eyes with a potential threat.
Using your clothes as a bed. Again, probably a sign of that bond. She wants your scent on her and she wants to put her scent on your things. Ownership. Another great sign of the bond between you.
Again, totally normal that she is more at ease when you are sitting or lying down on the bed. When we get up and move that can cause some unease for a former feral. But the key is to make our movements as normal as possible (same speed, movements etc). Ferals can be cautious as that is their instinct but it is not anything I would worry about. i would only worry IF she is changing her behavior etc. If she just seems on edge and watches it is not an issue. A cat on the streets had to learn to be cautious in order to survive. I have all ferals and if I make a movement that is sudden, too fast etc they get cautious. It is just how many ferals are. Not an issue. As long as they aren't showing lingering behavior issues (hiding, avoiding areas, etc).
Great on talking to her more. Just be your loving self. Keep slow blinking (eye kisses). I LOVE that sometimes she will just lie on your clothes and go to sleep. THAT tells me there is A LOT OF TRUST. Perfect!!
On the UPDATE about playing - Yes, getting it caught on their nails and then pulling it can get a hiss. But that is normal. Something different, she wasn't sure what is happening and warned with a hiss. Nothing abnormal about it. It happens. And as long as she didn't have a lingering cautious response after she learns that it was nothing.
playing with Panda and hissing less. again, GREAT. Play is always great and hissing is just communication and maybe Panda is starting to listen to Sandy's hissing and not doing things that annoy her.
PICTURES - Sandy exposing her belly?????? WOW!!! TRUST!!! She looks fantastic there. And of course, Panda is Panda, doing great. But I can;t emphasize enough how the pictures of Sandy exposing her belly tells me Sandy is doing really well. You have built a bond and trust between you!!
SO overall, this post is FANTASTIC!! I see and read a cat that is doing phenomenally well. I really don't see anything that worries me.
To the second post with another Sandy video eating -
Were you on the floor? Sitting up? It seems like you may be about 2 feet above her head? You mentioned you were about 5 feet away.
How did the food get to her? Did you slide it to her? Did you kind of toss them and they bounced? I typically like to put them down while approaching with my hand well below their head.
If you notice, she was a little on edge at first (maybe the first minute and a half) THEN she relaxes and starts eating. GREAT!!!
And did she use her left paw like a human would?????? She is something!!
About 3:20 in there is some low noise. She responded pretty well (you said "it wasn't me"). She looked like she wanted that food in front of her but was just not willing to go there yet. That is fine. It is a process.
It looked like she gave you some eye blinks right before you said "you don't look happy". I think her body language is fine. She seems relaxed. I think she gave you eye blinks. I think that is just her look you are seeing. Remember to look at her body language not just her face. Her ears look fine, her body looks fine. She actually looks like she wants to go to sleep. She seems pretty relaxed to me. She may be thinking "I want that treat, should I go for it or wait". At this point just maybe look away from her and see what she does.
She seemed awfully relaxed. I saw all positives. What would happen if you sat on the floor with your legs extended and your back against the wall about 4 feet to her right? Would she "escape" along the wall other left?
The music is great, the calm, loving voice is great. Feel free to look away from her to give her "space".
But overall, I think that video again tells me that Sandy is doing just fine.
Is it possible to re-position the cat tree in that corner? I would like to see if she would choose to go high at some point. She seemed comfortable in that area.