I have three cats and one is blind and was badly abused as a kitten. Her name is Indigo. It's been quite the challenge because at first she wouldn't let us touch her. She is a year old. Any advice on calming her down more? She's getting better but it's slow going. Thanks.
Hi there Kim and thanks for this new question.
I am sorry to hear about what your lovely kitty has been through and the challenges she faces.
If she was not well socialised with people in her first few weeks of life, her behaviour is to be expected and tshe will probably always be anxious around humans.
Kittens have a socialisation period between the ages of 2-7 weeks old when they must have positive interactions with people, to see us as their 'friends'. If this has not happened here, it is possible she will never be fully settled. However, the fact you are seeing inmprovements is reallt enocouraging and we'd hope things continue in this manner.
It is important to not 'rush' or 'force' any interactions with Indigo, as this will make things worse. We need to provide her with a safe home in which she feels content and comfortable. With time, it is possible she will choose to interact with you more and will learn to accept and enjoy your company.
I would not try to touch her, unless she specifically asks for this.
Things that will help would include:
- Keeping the home environment calm and predictable. As she is blind, this also means not moving furniture or any of her resources (like bed or water bowl)
- Acting calm in her presence at all times (think the opposite of a noisy toddler!)
- Sticking to a set routine when e.g. we change their litter and feed her
- Providing her with lots to do e.g. food puzzles, sniffing games, cat nip
- Ensuring she has all of her own resources e.g. litter tray, water bowl, scratch post etc. If she has to share resources with the other 2 cats, this can increase stress
- Using a Feliway calming plug in
- Starting her on some daily calming supplements such as Zylkene
Hopefully you continue to notice slow and steady progress with Indigo.