(I decided to do one long post instead of a two part)
I want to describe the behavior & characteristics of a pet I know, you tell me what kind of pet it sounds like. When I walk by he will reach out with his paws to stop me, to get my attention. He will follow me everywhere “Just like a little puppy”. Constantly behind me, if I turn around I just about step on him. Any time I am at rest he will lay his front half on me. If I am in bed he will lay across my chest, making it difficult to breathe with his weight on me. Sit down he will jump into my lap, put his paws on my solders pushing his face into mine. He will sit there and lick me if I let him. I can snap my fingers saying “Big boy, come here” and he will come running. I can guide him around by snapping my fingers. He likes to wrestle, ruff housing, and playfully biting although he does not chew on things much. Constantly wanting attention, if I sit forward with my arms on my legs he runs over and starts rubbing up under my hands. He will growl, murmurer, or grunt for attention, if I grunt back he will come running. He does not realize just how big he is, so will knock things over with his tail or by laying/rubbing up against it. So what is he a dog? Or a cat?
If you guessed a dog you were wrong, it is the Martian, a cat. So if you know anyone who wants a dog, let know. I have just the cat for them. LOL. Over all he is a good kitty, it is just that he can be a little overbearing at times. Unlike Mizz Purrzzy who is very jealous, always jumping in when I start to play with one of the others. He constantly craves attention. I don't know if it is because he is insecure after having been abandoned, and now having found a caring home and is afraid of loosing it. Maybe he is trying to show his appreciation. Might be a bit of loneliness as none of the others will have anything to do with him. They still dislike and distrust him, most of them will growl at him if he gets close.
Avoiding Lil' Bit!!
For being once feral, he really has turned out gentle. He does not seem to understand their dislike for him. (I think they may remember encountering him while he was still wild). Most of the time he will shy away when the get in his face. You can tell he is just trying to play, when he runs up to one of them. Some times he will join in when I get the string out. The others will usually stop playing walking away, maybe they will growl and take a swat or two at him.
As you can see from my post, on the rarely mentioned cats, he managed to wonder his way into the topic. Each cat has different needs for attention, some just need me to lay on the floor next to them. Others need to spend some time in my lap, they all need some one on one time. Some will play in groups others just one on one with me. It is hard to get Lil' Bit to play when the Martian walks up, causing her to run away. Or when I get two or three cats chasing a string, only to have him jump in.
Fattening him up!
He is starting to get all the attention, with the others getting less. This has caused some confusion with him. I am constantly telling him no, go, get lost, go away, pushing him away, or chasing him off. Especially if I am training or correcting one of the others (getting them off of the bookcase, etc). It does not help either cat. I know this is not helping him with his insecurity, sometimes if I stand up quick or am walking through the house he thinks I am chasing him and will run and hide.
I do use a water bottle with the cats, I do not have to use it much anymore. Mostly it was for when the cats would pile up together in a fight. It is amazing how quickly it will break up a fight. But now Lil' Bit is very gun shy, if she hears it being used, even if she is in another room, she will run and hide. I don't want the Martian to get the same way, when I run to the kitchen, just because I have had to chase him away so much. It seems like I am constantly pushing him away due to his constant need for attention.
|Pay attention to me.|
He has a couple of other annoying habits I have been trying to train out of him. He is a biscuit maker, he will make enough for an entire regiment. When he first joins me in bed he will spend 3 minutes or more kneading ( I know I have timed him). To him it is serious business. Now that is not bad in general, except he will start several inches away from bare skin. Then he works his way up to my shoulder or if he is laying on the pillow next to me, the side of my face. I keep moving his paws back down and away, after a couple of times he will get upset. He will either start biting me or most times runs off thinking I am pushing him away again. Constantly pushing him away makes it hard to train him to stop as he gets confused thinking I don't want him in bed with me.
Being as he was wild when I first encountered him he had little or no trust in humans. In many ways he is very gentle now. I can pick him up lay him on his back in my arms. He likes it when I rub up against him, he usually will rub his checks against my face. He will sleep with my arm around him or curled up in my lap if I let him. I think he could be an exceptionally loving cat given the right training and care. Only thing he still does not like his paws to be touched, he is unsure about belly rubs. He does not like his hind quarters messed with either. Which makes it hard to pick him up and move him just a few inches over, when I am trying to turn over in bed. He does not like to be petted past his shoulders, or on his side.
Any of the above actions upsets him, trying to move him over he will start growling and get mad. He sometimes will start biting, I have had him spend a moment gnawing on my arm. It is just a warning bite, usually it doesn't hurt much (he is not trying to hurt me, but his teeth are a bit sharp). He never breaks the skin, just enough to feel his teeth is all. I softly tell him no, or that is is OK, trying to reassure him. I will gently push his face away or scratch behind his ears to sooth him. Again constantly pushing him away throughout the day, makes it hard for him to understand. I am just trying to change his behavior not run him off. I am also trying get him used to being manhandled so to speak.
|Getting some milk.|
I think if the other cats would accept him more it would make it easier. Given enough time they might. After all Squirrel has learned to tolerate Mizz Purrzzy after living together for a year, she still wont play with her, but does come out more. If he would just learn to be more assured, and not constantly underfoot, I wouldn't have to keep chasing him away. Once that happens then behavior training would be more effective, he would understand that I am not trying to chase him away when I slide him over in bed. Or when I grab his front paws to move them off of my bare skin that he is kneading.
Checking the toys out.
I would try to find a home for him, if I thought I could find the right one. If I did though it would have to be to someone with a lot of patience and understanding. You do not need to yell or jerk you hand away when he starts to bite. He does not bite hard just a warning (He is missing his canines, both having broken off at some time) . He does not scratch, but might take a swipe at you with claws in, not out. He needs extra gentleness as he is still learning to live with humans and to trust them. He is mostly there, but he is very loving. You might even be able to teach him to play fetch. LOL
Some times when he rubs up against my face I think he is trying to do what Mizz Purrzzy is doing when she does the same thing to Mama Mittens. She will rub the top of her head up under Mittens chin a couple of times. Then Mittens will start to bath her, licking with short strokes along the check or behind the ear. Then she will lay there letting Mittens clean her. I tried this with the Martian using my chin to mimic a tongue. He just laid down letting me continue like Mizz Purrzzy does. Maybe all he needs is a little extra mothering and comforting. It would be great if Mama Mittens would accept him as she has the others. She used to clean Squirrel all the time. I have even seen her do it to TJ and Ugly once or twice.
Well that's my attention hog, my current problem kitty. This is just a brief description of the issues I am having with him. I am thankful though, in all it really is not that bad. Most of my problems with kitties are simple to deal with, usually easy to solve. I know many others have it worse, with sick and injured pets. My heart goes out to them and their little ones. Taking care of as many cats as I do I have had to deal with a few injuries, nothing real serious though. So I shouldn't complain too much. I have been very fortunate.
If anyone is interested in adopting the Martian leave a comment along with a way to contact you. I will get back to you, so we can discuss it. Thank you.