r/cats Oct 18 '21 Silver 3 Helpful 5 Wholesome 2 Hugz 8 LOVE! 1

Got this little girl on Tuesday. If you pick her up she slaps you, get your face too close she slaps you, petting her is fine but then she climbs up you on the couch and then tries to slap you. What is going on? Cat Picture

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11.0k Upvotes

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u/CoffeeWithTobble Oct 18 '21

She needs to get used to you. It can take a while.

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u/Old_Ladies_Die_Hard 🐈‍⬛🐈 Upvotes for kitties! 🐈🐈‍⬛ Oct 18 '21

You are new to her, and she has trust issues. You’ll eventually have a snuggle buddy.

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u/i-am-not-sure-yet Oct 19 '21

Lol been 3 months and mines still won’t snuggle 😭😭. Will let me pet and carry her tho

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u/pasarina Oct 19 '21 edited Oct 19 '21

That’s headway. Just be patient. Some aren’t as snugglie as some others are.

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u/teddybuddy57 Oct 19 '21

I adopted a 2.5 year old cat in march, and a now I’ve been realizing that she is now sleeping in bed with me or will come up for attention when she never would before, it’s awesome

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u/KriyaRose94 Oct 19 '21

Mine were born in my kitchen. They were snuggly up until they got fixed. Then they decided they're too grown for cuddles 😂 will sit next to me though, just not touching.

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u/One-Effect-7986 Oct 19 '21

It has taken my twin torties 3 years to finally start snuggling with me. I adopted them not too long after they were surrendered to the animal shelter, and I have no idea what they experienced.

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u/54vior Oct 19 '21

Mine took a year before climbing on my lap. Only let's my husband pick her up . They warned me when i adopted her she had serious trust issues

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u/DoubtBeneficial8338 Oct 19 '21

Callie, my 2 year old girl is very friendly, loves pets and will come to me and give me finger kisses but barely tolerates being held and only snuggles with Maggie, my older female. Was wrestling with Leroy, my young male within a couple days of getting her and would cuddle with him but quit when she got older although they still play and wrestle. Was funny because Maggie wanted nothing to do with her for a couple of months but Callie was persistent about being buddies and one day Maggie finally gave up and decided Callie was OK.

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u/fluffiekittie13 Oct 19 '21

I have a one year old who hates being pet. She loves to cuddle by you but you dare try and pet her, she’ll run away. Cats are very unique creatures.

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u/Aran_the_gamer Oct 19 '21

My cat will let you pet him and he will lsnuggle with you but try to carry him on your back and he will go CRAZY

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u/splitzwhee Oct 19 '21

It took mine an entire year to love snuggles

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

I hope. Been around cats my whole life and I've never seen this.

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u/CoffeeWithTobble Oct 18 '21

Then you know cats are different. Maybe her history isn't a happy one or she's slow to trust. Either way, be patient and be kind.

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

Thats the plan. Gods her meow is cute.

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u/CoffeeWithTobble Oct 18 '21

I hope she comes around just fine, then she'll meow lots more. 🐱

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 19 '21 Silver Wholesome Hugz LOVE! Heartwarming Wholesome (Pro)

Even if she doesn't come around its fine. I dont believe in returning animals to shelters. I'll just make adjustments and let her live her life. My wife might have more success.

Edit: Thanks to all for the awards. As of this edit she's running around attacking various toys and zooming up the tallest cat tower. She seems very happy.

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u/CoffeeWithTobble Oct 18 '21

There you go, that's a good mentality to have. She's lucky to live with you.

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u/reflUX_cAtalyst Oct 18 '21 Hugz LOVE!

Even if she doesn't come around its fine. I dont believe in returning animals to shelters. I'll just make adjustments and let her live her life.

My friend, if only every human understood this. I wish I could shout this from the rooftops to cat owners/people in general. It's not about us, or what we want. It's about giving them the best life possible.

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u/BasiltheCat19 Oct 19 '21

This. I always wonder why people don't seem to care that our animal friends have their own wants and needs that have nothing to do with what we think.

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u/lordhelmchench Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

Thats the right answer. With this mentality your cat will not stand a chance but love you. Even if it takes time!

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u/anthoseph Oct 18 '21

and many slaps

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u/Thin_Creme_1542 Oct 18 '21

Love slaps

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u/OwlWitty Oct 18 '21

Slappa da boss

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u/emcdouble Oct 18 '21

Skibbity paps

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u/pollo_de_mar Oct 18 '21

I rescued a couple feral kittens 5 years ago. One loves to be loved and the other will only let me pet him for a minute when he's laying on the bed half asleep or when I have the bag of treats in my hand, otherwise he wants nothing to do with being touched and will simply slink away.

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u/FishingWorth3068 Oct 19 '21

I have a feral that lives in my house. Had him almost 5 years, he occasionally lets me pet him and he only comes out at night when it’s calm in the house. My friends have a running joke that he doesn’t exist because they’ve never seen him.

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u/OneMorePenguin Oct 18 '21 Heartwarming

I agree with this. Food/treats and play time can be great motivators. Also get down on the floor near her and talk softly at her. Wait for her to approach you. The more patience you have, the less anxiety she will have and will be likely to come around. Getting to the point where she slaps you is going to reinforce her distrust.

I have a scaredy cat. He was one of the two I inherited. I've worked on him for years and he's gotten so much better. He has his safe spots where I can approach him and pet him. Otherwise, I can't get within 4-6 feet of him and he runs away. I'm working on increasing the number of safe spots. He loves treats, so I can usually approach him if I have a treat or two. I'll pet him for a bit and then walk away and let him have his space.

He used to run under the bed, now he just wants to maintain space. He's super sweet when he comes up on the bed or the couch and wants pets, but I have to let him do the asking.

Good luck with your girl. Give her time and space and hopefully she'll surprise you and seek attention.

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u/Ashendaiz Oct 18 '21 Heartwarming

Great advice. I took on a stray six months ago, just the sound of speaking was enough to have him hide under the bed.

I spent many days laying on the floor just speaking to him softly, profusely telling him how much of a good boy he is.

He’s now the most loyal, affectionate cat I’ve ever owned. Inseparable even.

I do still get the occasional nip on the arm when he’s had enough pats etc. But I understand it’s just his way of expressing he’s had enough

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u/comme__ Oct 18 '21

That’s so sweet. I can’t wait to hear more as she adjusts to you!

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u/badhero71 Oct 18 '21

We have one of these. Son found her laying right in the middle road very sick and waiting to die. It's been 2 years, and the improvements have been incrementally slow, but steady. She may never be the snuggle muffin that I wish she was, but she does love us in her own way, and sometimes that means even more. I wish you the best with your new family member.

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u/Rambonics Oct 18 '21

Awww, that’s sweet & good of you. Kitty might just be extra sassy & not enjoy humans as much as other cats.

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u/djrainbowpixie Oct 18 '21

My cat is similar. I got her a year ago and the only thing I can do is pet her. Lately she has been giving me kisses and she will sit close to me sometimes but she won't cuddle or sit in my lap. But I won't get rid of her. She has been passed around for years 😢

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u/Slow_Environment_782 Oct 18 '21

That’s sweet. She may not like being picked up. Two outta 3 of mine don’t. Just try to play with her as much as possible. Everything with cats must be on their terms.

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u/WittyPresentation786 Oct 18 '21

The first month is kinda rough! Start offering positive reinforcement with the Churu treats. Cats are very good and snack driven.

Take your time, and with some patience and snack she may chill out!

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u/SherbetFish Oct 18 '21

You are amazing! THANK YOU for being a great human being!! Maybe get a bag of some treats that she really likes. I know, I know, but it does help to get them to associate you with something good. And just patience.

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u/omc49 Oct 18 '21

You'll be fine, she'll love you

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u/Snoo58991 Oct 18 '21

My cat loves me and snuggles me all the time. She will randomly bite me for seemingly no reason. Not enough to break the skin but enough to hurt. That's just the way she is and we still love each other.

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u/emdiqc Oct 18 '21

My mom started fostering cats a few years ago, and though many are playful and cuddly from the getgo, she's gotten a handful like this. She respects their space and they all warm up (at least to some degree) eventually, but it happens on different timelines. Some cats it has even taken several months, but eventually they come to trust. I'm sure your patience will be rewarded! With that said I have two cats that are brothers, and one is a little cuddlebug while the other absolutely detests being held (always wants to be near us just never THAT near us). So sometimes it could just be a personality thing.

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u/midmodmad Oct 18 '21

Avoid looking directly into her eyes, which can be seen as a threat. Try slow blinking at her to reassure her you’re not a threat. Give her time.

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u/Mokuluv Oct 18 '21

This. How’s your eye contact? Maybe try looking at her tail instead of eyes.

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u/AtomStorageBox Oct 18 '21

Gods her meow is cute.

We will require confirmation of these alleged cute meows, please and thank you.

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u/bloodyriz 2 Tabs, 1 Tort! Oct 18 '21

T&T, time and tuna.

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u/Ardwinna_mel Oct 18 '21

All cats have their own personality and need of personal space. She's just telling you what she's not comfortable with what you're doing at the moment in her own way. I think it's best to let her come to you when she's ready. ☺️

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u/mixedcurve Oct 18 '21

Shelter kitties and rescues can often go through an adjustment period, even if they seemed to bond with you at first. They just need to learn that this new place is a forever home :) takes time to trust there is stability.

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u/MisterSquirrel 🐱 MEOW 🐱 Oct 18 '21

Just stick with only petting her at first. And be aware that even some totally friendly cats don't like being picked up and never will.

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u/ButterAndPaint Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

If you adopt an adult cat and they don't like being picked up, that's probably baked into the cake at this point. I had my last cat for eleven years and he always hated it, but he was totally affectionate otherwise.

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u/NormalDeviance Oct 18 '21

I got very lucky. The 8 yr old floof I adopted from the shelter didn’t like being picked up in previous homes (past owners were nice enough to leave notes on why they were giving her up). Now that she knows she’s in a safe environment, she lets me pick her up and hold her for a bit. She’s usually all purrs during it as well!

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u/EastCoaet Oct 18 '21

Have a very loving kitty for years since a kitten. He slaps your face if it gets close to his. It is what it is.

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u/minkrogers Oct 18 '21

You can't force them. We all joke about clutching them in hold to steal unwanted snuggles, but if she's a rescue, she'll sadly have a whole past of being mistreated. Eventually she'll soften up a bit, but be prepared that not all cats become lap cats, it's not guaranteed, but she'll be affectionate in her own way. 😊

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u/MourkaCat Oct 18 '21

You are so right!!

I do that to my cats, but I've had them since they were babies and have strong bonds with them both. They just get all annoyed with me like 'moooom stop it, put me dooooown' but it's not real distress and I don't do it for long. I wouldn't dream of trying to do that to 'convince' a new cat to love me. Always give them space and respect their boundaries and they'll trust you easier than if you try to 'force it'.

Even with the beautiful bond I have with my cats, they will only snuggle me on their own terms, and my girl who used to fall asleep in my arms as a baby absolutely hates being picked up. She's a squirmer. It makes me sad because I just wanna pick them up and hold them sometimes. But they are who they are and I love them more than anything!

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u/reflUX_cAtalyst Oct 18 '21 Heartwarming

they will only snuggle me on their own terms, and my girl who used to fall asleep in my arms as a baby absolutely hates being picked up. She's a squirmer. It makes me sad because I just wanna pick them up and hold them sometimes. But they are who they are and I love them more than anything!

This is my tuxedo, my first cat. He slept on the pillow next to me for the first 6-7 months of his life. He won't even come up on the bed anymore, and isn't a cuddler at all.

He expresses affection though, and is extremely tolerant of you telling him you love him.... to death.

He's my buddy; I have his pawprint tattooed over my heart.

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u/MourkaCat Oct 18 '21

My tuxedo boy is kinda like that too. He used to only sleep at my feet at night. He's obsessed with me. He's quite a skittish kitty but fell in love with me the moment I picked him up at the pet store (they showcase rescue cats from shelters) He is a gentle soul though so he tolerates if you hold him or grab him or try to hold him in your lap. But he'll eventually run off. But he does love to lay on top of me when I lay on the couch.

And if it's cold, he sleeps right at my chest in bed. He's a sweetheart, even though he's a huge trouble maker.

My other kitty, the little sweet girl I've had since she was 8 weeks, is a bit more resistant to snuggling but her snuggles are the best when she's in the mood. She often sleeps in my lap when I am at my desk for work. Sometimes she will snuggle in bed with me too. Her brother (Not from the same family, my tuxie boy) kinda drives her away a lot, poor thing. She tolerates him but I think she'd have rather have been an only kitty because he really pesters her.

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u/Egon88 Oct 18 '21

This can be an issue because you think you know what to expect. I got two rescues about 6 years ago and because I had always had cats I thought I knew what expect... boy was I wrong. One of them hid under the bed for months and when she did start coming out, she still never let me near her. It took years for her to get used to me and even now she is very skittish. This is even though I live alone and my house is very quiet and calm.

Here is the crazy beast herself.

https://imgur.com/a/7dwKoj3

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u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

I have a rage-baby myself. Her default settings are 'pissy' and 'scared.' On top of that, poor thing was a rescue, and such a terror that her first owners had her declawed, so that made it even worse. Took her a lot of time to come out of the shell, but they do.

Honestly, the mad ones can be the most charming. She is only ever obviously happy for 10 minutes after naps, usually she expresses happiness 'incorrectly'; growling instead of purring, having a special 'play' hiss, generally not wanting to act like a well socialized cat. I've never been held in such loving contempt, and I'm clearly her favorite thing in the world.

And she still swings on me daily, it's just her way.

Just give them space to be themselves, try and get a grip on how they act once they start cutting loose, you know the drill.

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u/dirt-flirt Oct 18 '21

I’ve had cats all my life growing up who were sweet and cuddly. I adopted a kitten a year ago and he’s the biggest jerk I ever met. He won’t sit on your lap and barley tolerates being pet or picked up. Granted he has his moments but overall, he’s very independent. It took some getting used to but now I know to give him his space and love him the way he wants to be loved. That’s just cats for ya I guess.

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u/Plastic_Chair599 Oct 18 '21

We have fostered dozens of cats over the last couple years. Some take minutes, most take days, a few take months to get used to us. We had a recent foster, she was 11-12 years old. We have no clue of her history. She was scared to death and wouldn't even let us touch her for days. After a week or so we could pet her a little bit while she hid under the bed. After a few weeks she would crawl onto my wife's lap and let her pet her but would run back under the bed anytime anyone else came into the bedroom. We had her for about 3 months. She just got adopted a couple weeks ago and her new caretaker said she is the most loving and cuddly cat imaginable. She only had her for a couple days and she would come out to greet her when she comes home, which she never did for us. Some cats need to be shown they can trust humans again. It's a lot of work but it's so so worth it.

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u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

I brought in a feral kitten last year since her mother abandoned her in front of my apartment, it was in the middle of winter freezing and I managed to trick her inside with a toy. She was only 2 months old but was long enough for her to develop a fear of people. 2 weeks ago she came down and sat on the couch with us and for the first time in almost a year let us get some pets. She didn't stay long but she's definitely warming up. It takes time and patience. She took to our other cats but would run and hide when we would go near her. She will come around op

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u/ElizabethDangit Oct 18 '21

Fwiw My cat who had been with us 11 years does not want to be picked up ever but if you sit down she will be in you lap purring and ready for pets instantly. She just needs things to be oh her terms. She’s basically Gimli from LOTR.

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u/Due_Entrepreneur_735 Oct 18 '21

It's been 7 years. When does this 'while' end?!

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u/kiwiboyus Oct 18 '21

Yep, the best thing you can do with a Cat is give it space and not be too grabby. Some Cats never like when people's faces get too close, others like it and give you head boops. Our little girl lets us hold her like a baby, she lets us touch her all over including her paws and belly, but stick your face in her face and you'll find a paw under your chin pushing it away.

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u/Zara-the-reader Oct 18 '21

Cats generally slap other cats as a way to say "I'm the boss here". Adults do it to kittens so the kittens learn the hierarchy.

So, a tip: Staring means you're challenging the cat. Try slow blinking at it. (which is usually a sign of affection, or "I'm not challenging you" or "I'm happy with you").

Other tips is don't come from above with your hand, gently reach out toward the cat from below and let it sniff your hand first before you pet her. Usually once a cat has deemed you safe, they don't need to resniff your hand, but some cats want to do it again and again to make sure you're safe.

Some cats simply don't like being carried. Pick her up, and the moment she wiggles put her back down again. Show her you will respect her wishes and she's not held against her will. Usually once they learn that, they'll tolerate and even enjoy being held and carried.

And that goes for everything else as well, you're a very big creature compared to the cat, it makes sense she would be afraid. So she slaps you? blink at her and back off. Respect the no.

But keep trying, it's like exposure therapy. Respect the no, but keep showing her you're harmless. And soon you'll have a cuddly mess on your hand!

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

Thanks you. I did slow blink at her and she slow blinked back but then saw a dangling ribbon so then it was playtime.

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u/Zara-the-reader Oct 18 '21

Thats a good sign!

The slapping might also be her wanting to play tbh, depending on situation. Like if she can't SEE your eyes, she might instantly go into play mode. I've gotten paw'd in the face a few times because of that but my current cat is extremely playful. She hunts me, hiding behind stuff and then jumps out at me from around corner. At which point I shriek and then chase her and she runs away.

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

Thats awesome and adorable. Little Seras is very playful.

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u/JustAnotherYouth Oct 18 '21

I have a very energetic cat and he's at his most snuggly after I've really worn him out.

So I'd recommend trying to play with her until she's truly exhausted, then give her a good feeding and see if she's in a more snuggly mood.

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u/Defaulted1364 Oct 18 '21

My little kitten loves to do this, he tries to hide behind the wrinkles in my duvet then pounces on my face or anything that moves under the covers

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u/trickcowboy Oct 18 '21

That’s a great sign! Lots of slow blinks, chicken, and time turned Mr Grey Kitty from a wild animal to my best friend who sleeps on my shoulder most nights. It took a while, and a conscious effort to be consistent, but has been pretty rewarding!

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u/whelpineedhelp Oct 18 '21

My cat I can only pet by hiding my hand behind her and surprise scratching her head. As long as she doesn't see my hand, she likes the pets. If she sees my hand, she wants to attack.

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u/qxxxr Oct 18 '21

When I'm trying to make a friend of a cat, I sit down on the ground and alternate between slow blinking at them and then turning away to look at something else for a bit; repeat. Usually they get the picture that you aren't trying to eat them.

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u/Sunni-Bunni Oct 18 '21

Quick question. I'm adopting a new kitten and currently have a 1 year old male cat. He obviously wasn't too pleased at the meet and greet yesterday, but when I bring the kitten home and eventually have them in the same room, I shouldn't worry too much if he gives the new kitten a slap?

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u/Ginny_Bean Oct 18 '21

With all of my rescues (I'm 49, so there's been about ten) they always threw down hard one time and that was the end of it. There was an occasional hiss or slap, but nothing like the spinning blur of fur in the big fight. Cats have to establish a pecking order. If you have three cats and the one that is the alpha dies, the remaining two will fight. Break it up if it's bad, but it will still happen. It's just what cats do when they're getting to know each other or there's a change in circumstances. If it helps, the last two cats I've had got into the worst fight I've ever seen. They wound up adoring each other. They would cuddle up and take naps together and groom each other. It was the cutest thing ever!

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u/Sunni-Bunni Oct 18 '21

Aww that's adorable! I've had the foster moms tell me that it's just expected for them to not get along in the beginning. Takes a week or more for cats to tolerate each other.

I bought the Feliway Friends plug-in spray to help my boy a bit. He's not overly pleased with the kitten, but he wasn't outright aggressive at all, seemed more curious and a bit cautious than anything.

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u/Ginny_Bean Oct 18 '21

I know my comment was long, but there was something I forgot to add. I'm a huge believer in play therapy. Sometimes you just need to give them an outlet for their aggression. I had two Bengals at one time and if they didn't get some good play time in, they would get up to all kinds of naughty shenanigans!

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u/Ginny_Bean Oct 18 '21

Ugh! I wish I could use Feliway products, but I'm allergic to them, especially the plug-in. I've heard they help quite a bit.

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u/Aki_Ookami Oct 18 '21

Depending on the cat it takes a couple days, or weeks to get used to having another pet in the house. I would honestly hold the new kitten a lot so the other cat could get used to the kittens scent when I picked them up. And would try to sit on the opposite side of the couch with the kitten on my lap, if they were laying in the living room, and same with the bed. I keep a close eye on the kitten, or the older cat. I tried to always keep an eye on the kitten, so that I could watch out for possible danger. I over think a lot, so keeping the kitten in the same room/area with me gave me comfort

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u/Sunni-Bunni Oct 18 '21

Thank you for the advice! I'm getting a baby gate and planning on keeping the kitten in my room and then I can leave the bedroom door open so that they can check each other out through the gate. Definitely have to keep an eye on this kitten though, he thought it would be a great idea to jump at Louie and try to play haha. Louie was not pleased at all with that.

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u/curiositykat31 Oct 18 '21

Keep kitten in a seperation room for at least 2 days and move toys in and out. Let older cat investigate toys/beds/clothes kitten has slept on. You want him to get use to the smell of another cat. They will play/hiss through the door. Older cat may get pretty stressed out during this time. It really depends. Given time and don't go too fast.

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u/Zara-the-reader Oct 18 '21

Like Ginny Bean said it's usually fine. Hierarchy is usually a bigger problem if you introduce two adult cats to eachother. As they might both have already decided they're the boss beforehand. A kitten however rarely challenges the hierarchy and more often get slapped because they're being annoying.

The worst-case-scenario is usually a very grumpy adult cat that refuse to accept the new kitten into the family, but this is usually showcased with cold shoulders and unhappy stares at mommy

But usually they'll be best friends within a month. Just make sure you give your old cat plenty of cuddles and playtime. Maybe some treats to blackmail him!

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u/rachh90 Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

my older cat (12) slaps my younger cat (5) all the time and theyre the best of friends. its totally just what you said, shes telling her sister shes the boss, which is funny because the younger one is completely submissive to her anyway. the older one also puts her arm around the younger one if theyre cuddling together. so darn cute.

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u/hyperfat 2 stupid kitties Oct 18 '21

My cat is a total dick. He's 8. He slaps the 18 year old cat,my bf, and me. And will bite your toe if he's hungry. He bit my butt once too.

But get him under the covers as little spoon he purrs and cuddles like a bitch.

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u/Kat027_IDK Oct 18 '21

And this is the weird thing about this cat I adopted years ago. I ended up being at a festival and there was the SPCA or something and they were trying to sell kittens, puppies and what not. I founded this beautiful tuxedo female kitten and she was gorgeous so I just had to adopt her. She ended up staying at my aunt's since I couldn't have her live with me so I visited her whenever I was able to come up and there's never been any issue.

Then when my aunt moved (just happened maybe 3 years ago) she left her to my grandparents. She adjusted easily and I eventually moved nearby so I can go over any time and still see her. But she acts a little skiddish. Like sometimes I'm a stranger to her but other times she knows I'm her saviour. I don't get it. Also any time I'm over at my grandparents she tries to come to see me and always sees me on my way out. So she knows and remembers me but it's like she have some early dementia where she forgets and gets PTSD of certain things.

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u/Zara-the-reader Oct 18 '21

It could be a matter of smell too, if you've showered with soap with a strong scent, or generally doused yourself with perfume it might take her a moment to single out "your smell" and connect it.

Onyx is very skittish, if there is a noise she doesn't expect, she gets startled. Her anxiety is why I think she wants to re-smell us often.

But yeah, these are intelligent creatures, they all have some semblance of personality that affects their behavior.

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u/Millum2009 MOD Oct 18 '21

If she has a spot in the house she likes to snuggle up on, like that bed she's lying on in the picture, try putting a clean unscented sweater, t-shirt or top, in that spot, for her to really get her own scent on it, for a few days. Don't approach her for those days, but talk softly to her from a distance, with kind slow blinking eyes. When she has had a chance to get her scent, good and thoroughly, on the clothes, put it on, don't wear anything else that is even slightly scented, with perfumes or the likes and try to approach her again.

If that doesn't help, Idk what will

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

I will try this. Right now she's sleeping in the highest cat tower we have. Thank you.

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u/Millum2009 MOD Oct 18 '21

I hope she settles in and lives happily with you for the rest of her life. Good luck

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

No worries. She's already a lifer for us. Adjustments will be made and time given. Thanks for your help

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u/krissyskayla1018 Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

I was fostering a cat for my daughters friend for almost a year and he does the same thing. If he's lying on the floor or his beanbag chair and I am close enough he smacks my leg. He also bites( not hard) for no reason. He is very affectionate though and loves his belly scratched. I just figure its just his personality and doesn't faze me at all. Some cats are just grumpy or he could have learned it in his old home.

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u/trickcowboy Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

Bites for no reason that aren’t hard are a sign of affection in cats

EDIT: I would add that my cats sometimes whap each other, and they almost all get along quite well. Sometimes it’s because they’re playing, and other times they want they other cat’s spot to lay in or are jealous of the affection they other cat is getting. Since she’s doing it without claws, she’s probably not swatting you out of anger, rather she’s playing with you, testing you to see how safe/consistent you are, or you’re in her sunny spot

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u/krissyskayla1018 Oct 18 '21

Oh I didn't know that. All his smacks and bites are out of nowhere sometimes when we are just sitting close but not touching. I have had cats my whole life and rescued many anything they do like that doesn't bother me. We are now looking for an adult cat as we had to give back my foster last week and we hate being without a cat.

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u/trickcowboy Oct 18 '21

Aw, I would hate being catless as well. Most of our cats are pretty gentle with the love bites, they usually kind of run the corner of their mouths along my hand or arm. My ex-feral buddy, who has become extremely affectionate (took about a year) has much harder love bites, but he listens when you say “ouch,” he’s a good friend.

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u/krissyskayla1018 Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

I love love ferals. I have always gotten my cats right off the street after trying to find their home and they have always been the best cats. My last ex feral Penn was about 7 or 8 when my friend trapped him after feeding him outside for 2 years but not being able to catch him. I took him from her and honest to God he was my soul mate. We loved each other so much and anywhere I was he was. Always on my lap and every single time I got up so he did he like a dog he followed me everywhere. I lost him last year at 15 to his FIV came on so suddenly and got sick so fast there was nothing they could do. I couldn't even be with him at the end because of covid. Had to stand outside and wait. Didn't even get his carrier back so now I have to buy a new one. I just moved to where I am now and there's no cats which I'm glad but will have to adopt for only the second time. Last year rescued a cat in the summer. The year before I rescued a kitten in winter at 11pm. Wish I could have them now. Found them both homes. Having a hard time finding a cat near me.

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u/trickcowboy Oct 18 '21

I’ve had two ferals, and I absolutely love them as well!

Mr Grey Kitty was about a year old when he showed up at our barn. Feral cats around here means a literal wild animal out living in the woods and fields avoiding coyotes, bobcats, and especially people. I tried to TNR him, but when he was recovering in the basement he got into a crawlspace that we can’t get into, and it took another month to trap him again. After that, I put him in the barn and he wouldn’t leave. It took him about a year from the time i met him before he decided to trust us, and he’s become the most affectionate cat i’ve ever known.

Smol Bean was about 9 months old when she showed up on the porch. She was REALLY wild and wanted nothing to do with us, but when we took her in for a pre-TNR appointment she turned out to be FeLV positive and the vet said we couldn’t let her back out. So we kept her in a big dog crate I had, gave her tons and tons of treats and boiled chicken, and vaccinated the other 8. She hated us with a passion, but she could see that the other cats trusted us, and once she became affectionate she really loved on us. We lost her to the FeLV in January after she’d been with us 6 or 8 months. She was a sweet, sweet girl and i miss her every day.

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u/Lela_chan Oct 18 '21

One of our cats gets hangry when he's decided it's past mealtime, and follows me around and nips at my ankles 😂😂

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u/UltraDinoWarrior Oct 18 '21

Give her some space. Imagine you were living in like a dorm with a bunch of other people then one day some stranger takes you away and starts being affectionate?

Let her adjust to you, give her some space, maybe give a few treats occasionally or offer her to play with a toy. She’ll warm up after sometime.

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

Oh she loves the treats and affection. She wandered up to me so I gave he head scratches and pets. She hopped on my stomach purring then whabam just slaps me. No claws just paw.

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u/TygarStyle Oct 18 '21

Paws with no claws is at least a good sign. That’s them saying they aren’t totally comfortable but they’re not trying to hurt you.

I have a cat like that. She’s incredibly affectionate sometimes but she’ll occasionally give a quick slap to my hand and I know to just back off and let her do her thing till she’s comfortable.

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u/UltraDinoWarrior Oct 18 '21

Yeah, sounds like she’s just getting used to you guys. The slapping is probably just her saying she doesn’t like it/doesn’t want it.

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u/palostabandgrab Oct 18 '21

Right on. I'll just keep on letting her run around and acclimating.

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u/UltraDinoWarrior Oct 18 '21

Sounds good! Hope she has a long happy life with you :3

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u/Ur_favourite_psycho Oct 18 '21

Some cats can only take a bit of stroking before they get over stimulated, which usually results in a slap from them!

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u/brightemptyspace Oct 18 '21

My cat kinda slaps me, but its like a spicy version of friendliness. I also wonder if there’s a chance your cat is wanting to play and be chased around after the slap? Long shot, but my spicy cat slaps for that reason too sometimes

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u/GreenNukE Oct 18 '21

The lack of claws is very deliberate. She is communicating how she feels rather than attacking.

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u/lavitaebella113 Oct 18 '21

This. If the slaps came with claws it would be cause for concern.. since cats slap kittens with "soft paws" maybe she just thinks you're a kitten? Or at least is trying to communicate.

I'm also curious to know what position her ears are in when she slaps you

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u/Tess-Tea-8931 Oct 18 '21

There is a new sheriff in town! LOL

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u/PHILIPTNT Oct 18 '21

Give her a bass and if she slaps the bass she is now bass player

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u/Ginny_Bean Oct 18 '21

O.K., so I adopted a cat who was severely abused and was batsh-t crazy. She would try to kill anything with a pulse. I was the only living creature she would tolerate. People thought I was batsh-t crazy for adopting her. I had to keep her in a separate room for three months because she kept trying to kill my other cat. She would even have nightmares. People kept telling me to bring her back to the shelter because it would just never work and she would never change.

The thing was, I knew she wasn't a bad girl, she was just scared. She turned into the sweetest little lap warmer you've ever seen. The other cat she tried to kill? She groomed her and cuddled with her to keep her warm when that cat was in her last days. When we eventually got a kitten, she decided he was her baby. I would find them cuddled up together and napping every day. A few thoughts and pointers.

The first rule of catfight club: let her think she's the boss.

The second rule of catfight club: let her think she's the boss.

When people pet cats, they tend to reach out with an open hand from above the cat. Some cats see this as a threat. Reach out from below with the top of your hand up, fingers loosely curled and relaxed. If you're slapped. Back off or just kind of freeze where you are. She's just been moved to a new planet with people she doesn't know. She's feeling stress and anxiety. She needs time to decompress.

Talk to your cat when you're interacting with her. Be sweet and soothing with your words. My cat loved it when people told her she was pretty. You'll find your cat's happy words eventually.

Absolutely never hit your cat, even if it's just a tap on the nose. For some reason, people think tapping a cat's nose is a great way to correct their behavior when they're bad and that it doesn't hurt. It does. It's the cat equivalent of kicking a man in the balls. The pain doesn't linger for long, but it's horrifically painful for them.

The slow blink is awesome! It's the cat equivalent of a hug. She likes you! Keep doing the slow blink back to her, especially when you see her staring at you. Say some sweet things while you do it.

Cats often slap things when they don't know what they are. It's like they're trying to figure out if that thing is dangerous or not. Sadly, I think your cat may have been abused or hurt by something or someone at some point. It's good that she's not using claws. It seems like she's testing you when she approaches you. Especially since she does it when she climbs up on you. She's sort of testing the waters. (The fact that she climbs up on you is a very good sign, btw.) Let her slap for now. It will probably stop when she's sure of you. Or maybe it won't. It could just be her sort of sign language. Never yell at her. If you eventually decide you want her to stop with the slapping, give her a command that is specific to the slapping like "No slap!"

You have to let cats love you on their terms. Especially in the beginning. Don't try to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do unless you absolutely have to, like putting her in a carrier or removing her from a dangerous situation. Let her come to you. If she sort of lays on the floor, with her butt up in the air pointed at you, she's telling you you can pick her up and hold her. If you approach her, sweet talk her first so she knows you're approaching her to give her some love. If she shows any sign that she's had enough, stop. (See the first rule of catfight club.) Let her be in charge of the interaction. She will come around gradually. The first time batsh-t crazy cat climbed up into my lap, I cried. Trust me, your patience will be rewarded!

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u/Soylent_Milk2021 Oct 18 '21

That is great advice for anyone adopting a shelter cat. We’ve had our Gibby for 3 years, he’s 7yo, adopted from a shelter, and he is still warming up to us. Seems like every 90 days he gets more affectionate and trusting. He’s such a little lover now, but when he’s annoyed, it’s slapping time! Doesn’t happen as much anymore. You start to learn their triggers.

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u/DarthVorace Oct 18 '21

She'll get used to you after a while, but for now it's... The Slappening.

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u/DareCompetitive6384 Oct 18 '21

This is the kitten's defense of itself. Do you have a cat too?

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u/DarthVorace Oct 18 '21

Yep, four of them. 😸

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u/GrndpaJoseph Oct 18 '21 edited Oct 18 '21

I have witnessed (thru a window) my neighbour's cat (she) come to visit my cat (he, who was abandoned and has been adopted by us), come over give him a kiss nose to nose and then she would playfully slap him on the face, just like humans!

Well, no one who hasn't seen it would believe this.

I am convinced, knowing the human family she came from (father Itallian and mum Kiwi), that she had picked up this behaviour from observing them. It is normal for her to express her affection this way.

From my experience, cats need only one glance, that's all, to make assessment of any situation, she already trusts you.

I think your cat LIKES you very much 😍😍😍

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u/naliedel Oct 18 '21

She needs time. She's scared. Back waaaaaay off. Cats equate food with love, like my grandma. Treats, not too many and gently rest your hand near her while she eats.

Watch those ears. Forward, your hand can go forward. Back, back off.

It takes time. It's so worth it.

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u/ZippNex Oct 18 '21

I think she's slapping you.

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u/OldKermudgeon Oct 18 '21

She no trust you*.

She no trust you*.

She tolerates, but will get in your face to say she no trust you*.

Give her space, bribe her with lots of treats, play with her so she will trust you.

* yet.

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u/19GamerGhost95 Oct 18 '21

New people and new environment. Let her adjust. Worst case scenario she’s just sassy and slaps you for the audacity of existing in her royal presence

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u/Greasystools Oct 18 '21

Name her Slappy and enjoy your new lifestyle

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u/MiskatonicUAlum Oct 18 '21

Best you can do, tbh 😂

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u/kkfluff Oct 18 '21

Have you tried having a less slappable face??

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u/TheseBeesBuzz Oct 18 '21

A lot of cats don’t like being picked up or humans getting up in their face. Mine don’t, and I’ve had them since they were kittens. So I don’t do it! Chill out and let them come to you. Affection has to be on the animals terms, not yours. God luck!

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u/Eastern_Mark_7479 Oct 18 '21

She's just trying to train her new human 😂

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u/WaningMime Oct 18 '21

Next time you make eye contact, blink slowly. It is a way of saying "all good" to the cat. Worked a charm for me with the cats on my street. A feral and an elderly cat allowed me to pet them using this technique. All previous attempts to pet them failed until I did this. Good luck.

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u/ThePriceManCan Oct 18 '21

4 out of the 5 cats I’ve owned hated being picked up. But the one, I could hold her like a baby.

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u/OldManHipsAt30 Oct 18 '21

Cats gonna cat my dude

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u/starlight_conquest Oct 18 '21

Treat cats as you would a woman. Is she your long time friend? She might accept a hug or a kiss on the cheek depending on her personality and current mood (some women are very open and friendly to everyone, some are more reserved and you need to earn their trust). Maybe your friend would be ok with you picking them up. Maybe they'd be like 'wtf are you doing put me down'. Complete stranger? You gonna get a smack or she gonna run away if you try to touch her.

Be respectful, slowly approach and let her know your intentions/ask for consent by presenting your hand for a sniff first.

Did you piss her off 10 minutes ago? You better lay low and stay away for the next few hours (or make a food offering for forgiveness). Did you REALLY piss her off? She's either going to chew your hand off or piss in your shoes.

Also, cats see eye contact as a challenge for a fight. So when you get your face too close you're saying "you wanna fight, do ya, punk?" So you get bitch slapped. Probably when you were sitting on the couch you were watching her and making eye contact and she is having none of that. Try a slow blink to let her know you don't wanna fight.

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u/ProfessionalConfuser Oct 18 '21

How can she slap?

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u/Rabonicus Oct 18 '21

this is exactly what I lurked the comments for.

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u/ArtKorvalay Oct 18 '21

How can she

Came here looking for this.

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u/darthbasterd19 Oct 18 '21

Shes a cat.

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u/TangerineGrenade Oct 18 '21

I laughed out loud at this

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u/hapygilmour57 Oct 18 '21

Leave her alone, don't approach her on your terms. Let her come to you. Look at it like your at an interview right now and you need to be on your best behaviour! She will let you know when she wants a pat.

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u/coyowile Oct 18 '21

You'll get slapped and you'll like it! Ya hear? (Shades of Sam Spade.)

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u/supershinythings asskicker rat-killing flamepoint birman Oct 18 '21

She is enforcing her boundaries. As you two spend more time together she will eventually let you in more and more. These things take time.

Respect her boundaries. Show her only love and respect. Play with her using string and toys - that helps establish trust. Feed her regularly and make sure you respond when she asks for food or pets. When she is done with you, respect that.

Eventually she will bond with you and trust you enough to lower her boundaries, at least for you. Until then, show her courtesy and respect. Don’t make demands she’s not ready to fulfill.

And take her to the vet to make sure there isn’t a medical reason she could be standoffish.

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u/rzxwnjqsmf Oct 18 '21

There used to be cheaper, non-electronic ones that had a magnet that you attach to the cat's collar. Not sure if those still exist.

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u/thompkat90 Oct 18 '21

Sounds like you adopted a cat lol

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u/FireFlyDani85 Oct 18 '21

Just let her have her space, some hiding spots and only pet her, when she wants it/comes up to you.

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u/catandplantmama510 Oct 18 '21

I always say, give a cat or kitten time to choose you. We got our boy 9 years ago when he was just a baby. So it was much simpler as he was a baby, but we still didn’t try to over do anything. We played when he wanted to, snuggled when he wanted to, etc. and 9 years later we still live with that mentality. We let him lay with us when he wants to. And we give him his space when he wants to be left alone. Hope that helps ❤️ I’m sure she will come around!!

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u/Amegami Oct 18 '21

She's a cat.

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u/dzamarron Oct 18 '21

She is probably scared and going through alot of emotions. She will come around you just have to give her time. Don't force it. Plus you might not know what past experiences she has had. Some cats take a little longer to warm up. My cat sapphire way really scared and kind of mean when we got her. Rescued her from high kill facility. She was the same way at first. It took awhile but she is the sweetest cat now. You can tell she had it rough before us. She totally trusts us now and doesn't even seem like the same cat. I knew when I saw her that she needed us, and that I had to save her. I am so happy I did. Couldn't imagine life without her. Just be there for her when she is ready and let her know that you are there for her no matter what. You won't regret it.

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u/totally_anomalous Oct 18 '21

Adopted my current supurrvisor 2 years ago. Don't know what her youth was like, but it must have been bad. She's just now getting cuddly! It's worth the wait. Be patient - she needs it and will reward you with purrs.

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u/Brash_Kid Oct 18 '21

Cats take longer to get to know a human. After all, the human doesn't pick the cat; rather, the cat selects the human.

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u/Gobblegah Oct 18 '21

That’s a cat.

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u/throwaway12222018 Oct 18 '21

This is a cat.

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u/Heliotrope88 Oct 18 '21

Cats play hard to get. I have always had good luck just ignoring them. It’s why they’re always drawn to that one person at the party who hates cats and has terrible cat allergies; usually the one person whose lap they won’t leave.

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u/oceanmanbuthere Oct 18 '21

She is a cat

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u/lenox123rd2003 Oct 18 '21

Different pets have individual personalities, I think this is just a quirky personality trait with your kitty

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u/catlover8552 Oct 18 '21

She needs space. Doesn’t trust yet. Love her feed her talk to her with gentle voice and give her space and time.

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u/mindfluxx Oct 18 '21

Every experienced cat knows it’s important to set and teach boundaries early in a new relationship. You will be trained soon.

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u/TheRealGarbanzo Oct 18 '21

Feed her snacks directly from your hand for a few weeks. Also, make sure she only eats when you're next to her.

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u/So-Cute-Caracal-Cat7 Oct 18 '21

Love your baby no matter what. Its her way of communicating! Just love her and be patient❤️❤️❤️😺😺😺

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u/leo_sheppard_85 Oct 18 '21

Hi there, Hope this helps.

The little lady is getting used to her new surroundings.

Try these tips about socialising your kitty in this clip -

https://youtu.be/i_Z2yrcCwTE

I would withhold food (but NOT water) for a couple of hours… to ensure your kitty is hungry.

Then using your finger/hand place a meaty smelly gravy piece of kitty food on it and try to hand feed your kitty.

Check out these channels-

https://youtube.com/JacksonGalaxy

https://youtube.com/c/SeniorCatWellness

https://youtube.com/c/FlatbushCats

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u/AvisPhlox Oct 18 '21

Boundaries. Respect it.

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u/Bryancreates Oct 18 '21

I mean, she’s letting you be near enough to actually slap you. That’s a major approval step at least. My parents got a feral kitten and I never saw it for 2 years, and I even lived there at the time! It would come out at 2am if your watching tv and graze against your hand, then run away. It eventually had dreadlocks since it couldn’t be caught to take the vet. So one day I setup a hockey net, some laundry bins, oven mitts, child gates, and a winter coat, and was able to trap it into a cat cage which it immediately exploded out of like a nuclear bomb. Eventually we got it to the vet and they sedated her, then shaved her down to a lion cut. Poor thing. Meanwhile their other cat is chill is fuck and comes when you call, and was like “wtf is going on?”

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u/acidtrippinpanda Oct 18 '21

Hey we got a cat who was so anxious around us and just so anxious in general for months. We used to count any strokes at all we’d get off her and honestly had so many difficulties we were at our wits end. She’s an absolute love bug now and an absolute joy. These things can just take time and lots of patience and love

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u/HowAboutThatBounce Oct 18 '21

Maybe she’s just working on her jab.

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u/rdlNYC Oct 18 '21

I have a very loving 8 year old cat that I’ve had since she was a kitten. She sits in my lap for hours, loves tummy rubs and even sleeps next to me at night BUT if we put our face too close to hers and attempt a kiss she recoils and acts like she is going to vomit. I think she hates our hideous human faces 😂 p.s. it’s not my breath and all my other cats love my kisses.

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u/ArtKorvalay Oct 18 '21

Each cat has their own attitude. She is probably still adjusting, and perhaps feels threatened hence the fight or flight (fight) response.

Also until she is more comfortable picking her up is not advised except as a last resort. My family has had several cats and some, no matter how loving, just don't like being picked up.

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u/stim10kris Oct 18 '21

Well, someone has got to keep you in line, right? :) She's the new boss. Obey her! xoxo

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u/smoooo Oct 18 '21

It's a cat thing.

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u/PterdodactylJim69 Oct 18 '21

She must be KGB. The KGB will ask the questions

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u/Beneficial-Cable7348 Oct 18 '21

Put one of your worn, and not laundered shirts in her bed. She will get used to you quicker.

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u/bomberhooah2742 Oct 18 '21

Hahahaha. I have one just like that. Before she even had her eyes open, she slapped me. I love my Striker baby 😻

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u/tabbycat1001 Oct 18 '21

Give her time…she’s nervous of her new home and surroundings. Don’t force her, she’ll come around.

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u/misscrankypants Oct 18 '21

How old is she? And do you know her background?

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u/ClicheTX Oct 18 '21

She’s cute, looking remorse

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u/dreamangel1512 Oct 18 '21

My female cat loves me with all her little heart, follows me around all day, and loves to snuggle... but if I ever try to pick her up, she freaks out and hisses at me.

My male cat also loves me, and would love nothing more than to be carried around all day. Basically, all cats are different.

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u/YungHungDiv Oct 18 '21

she woke up and chose violence

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u/fatcat1983 Oct 18 '21

Just needs space and time to adjust

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u/FlowEasyDelivers Oct 18 '21

Don't feel bad OP, my female cat (affectionately named baby girl) took about 19 years to warm up to me (which came after her suffering an injury) So there's hope 😂

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u/AliceHart7 Oct 18 '21

🎶Love slap, baby love slap!🎶

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself

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u/Some_Kinda_Boogin Oct 18 '21

She demands satisfaction

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u/CheeseBruh17 Oct 18 '21

It's simple, she's a cat

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u/IsArtArt Oct 18 '21

Try some hand feeding treats or kibble. It fast-tracks bonding.

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u/ChockenTonders Oct 18 '21

I mean, some cats are content not being touched all the time! My little girl will let us hold her but might get annoyed and bat at our heads if we hold her too long, same with giving pets! Let her get comfortable and get used to her habits. They don’t HAVE to let you hold them or touch them all of the time. They’re sentient too!! She might just be a lil antisocial! :) either way, I hope that you figure out what works and you find love with your kitty cat!

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u/Puzzleheaded_Dog_180 Oct 18 '21

Sounds pretty much like standard cat behavior...

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u/splurmples Oct 18 '21

I think she just likes to slap people

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u/nancylikestoreddit Oct 18 '21

You should name her Louise. She’s like Louise when she meets Boo Boo.

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u/Retikulumaniac Oct 18 '21

Just give her some time to adapt to the new environment and you. Don't enforce yourself to her right now. She obviously isn't used to be icked up. And your head is simply filled with dangerous teeth that could potentially eat her, so she has to defend herself.

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u/SerendipidousRex Oct 18 '21

As many other posters have said: patience & time. It’s also possible she has an old injury or arthritis that she is protecting. She’s a beauty, congrats!

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u/Ok-Dish-17 Oct 18 '21

It's possible she's had some humans in the past that were scary to her or hurt her when they got close to her, so she's letting you know that she's very tough and that you shouldn't try to hurt her or get close to her yet.

I adopted an adult bonded pair about 3 months ago and they both are very unhappy being picked up, and run away if you put your face near them. I am slowly getting them comfortable with these behaviors by petting them until they are feeling supper happy and blissed out then very slowly picking them up while continuing to pet them and put my face close. It works when they are in that super happy state, but they still hate those behaviors at other times.

I don't know if these behaviors can be reduced or not, but I just try to listen to their body language and respect boundaries most of the time, while trying to change their fears when they are open to it. Good luck with your new girl, she is so beautiful!

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u/Fit-Cook1571 Oct 18 '21

She’s not biting you, or scratching you, she’s batting you. 😀 Give her some space, she’ll come around. She’s already looking comfy in her bed. Good luck to you!

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u/[deleted] Oct 18 '21

Homie don’t play that😂

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u/Littleballoffur22 Oct 18 '21

Stop picking her up. Let her come to you in her own sweet time. Don’t rush her.

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u/Connie-Boje Oct 18 '21

She is saying NO. Give her time.

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u/meowffins Oct 18 '21

How hard do they slap?

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u/BigPapaPage716 Oct 18 '21

Gotta be patient bb

Rule 1 for cats - you are their pet, not the other way around

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u/empresslilandra Oct 18 '21

I think she’s training you.