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Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3184
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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I have adopted a ?3 year old rescue cat and after 9 weeks he

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I have adopted a ?3 year old rescue cat and after 9 weeks he still bites me every time I try to stroke him, He goes out only in the dark, too frightened to go in daylight because of the noise of traffic and people passing beyond the hedge which lines the garden. (he was rescued in a very bad state on the streets of Keighley. Please can you help me.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Frankie, which I kept, and which he recognises after 9 weeks with me.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Frankie?
Customer: He is 2 different characters. fine when he is relaxed, but like a wild cat when he won't go out, jumping as high as 5 feet onto shelves and all the furniture.

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Customer: replied 5 days ago.
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Customer: replied 5 days ago.
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Customer: replied 5 days ago.
My 2 phone numbers are as follows: 01943 968176 or Mobile 07981 945850
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda.
I do apologise that your question was not answered more promptly and hope I can still be of help.
If you specifically want a phone call, you would need to request this separately and there is a fee (of about £16 I believe) but I am happy to talk via typing if thats OK.
Just a few minutes as I type my response to your question.
Congratulations on your new cat and I'm sorry to hear things have been a little rough. Certainly, you are not alone and the adoption of an adult cat is not always smooth.
It may be the case that your chap was not socialised well during the key stage of his development when he was a kitten, meaning he finds it difficult to know how to interact with humans and it is stressful for him.
As well as being fearful of human interaction, it sounds as though he has a lot of generalised anxiety too. There are lots of things we can do to try and help him.
Its a positive sign he can be relaxed and content at times and this gives me a lot of hope.
It's worth saying if he hasn't had a vet check in the last year that this would be worth doing , just in case he has any niggling health issues making him uncomfortable and tense. For example, a rotten tooth can make any cat grumpy.
I would also want to work hard on creating a cat-friendly, super calm environment for him. This would include limiting loud noises and interaction with people and having access to plenty of hiding places and safe spaces such as a bed in a high up cat tree. Ideally, he would have a spot he can go where he is mever disturbed so he has the option of 'alone time'. A feliway spray can be sprayed on his bedding and around the home to help further.
You may also wish to consider some calming supplements such as Zylkene to further take the edge off and lower his adrenaline levels.
The more we satisfy the mental and physical needs of a cat, the less anxious they tend to be. It can be helpful to encourage games such as laser chasing and find the treat (placing kibble around the room in easy to find spots). He may also enjoy having some toys stuffed with catnip.
You mention he can bite when stroked and this may be indicative of a condition we see in a lot of rescues called 'petting induced aggression' whereby they do crave our affection but find it overwhelming when it is happening so lash out due to fear. While I completely understand the desire to do so and the hopes that it will strengthen the bond, right now, he is simply not ready to be stroked. I would work on the things mentioned above and re-evaluate in a few weeks or months. Hopefully he will feel calm enough to now want to be stroked with no negative reaction. Some rescues do not get to this point but still have a strong bond with their owners; they're just not the touch feely type!
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
All that you say is very helpful, but I think that it will be a full time job taming Frankie. I am 78 and finding it very hard work. I love Frankie and I suspect he would be happier on a farm out in the country. When the vet saw him 7 weeks ago, he said Frankie was an extremely nervous cat. He does now sleep happily on my rocking chair and on the sofa, because he refuses to go in either of the beds I bought for him.
I completely understand, it is no mean feat.
If you feel happy to continue trying a little while, I don't think this will harm him in any way, and you may notice improvement over time.
However, if you feel he is not a good match for you and that he would do better in a more rural setting (which may well be the case) this is more than understandable.
You may wish to contact local vet clinics to see if they are aware of a suitable person looking for a new cat like him. Alternatively, you could contact local rehoming charities such as the rspca or cats protection league. The place you rescued him from should hopefully be willing to take him back and rehome him somewhere more suitable.
I appreciate it is not a decision you are taking lightly but sometimes a cat is just not a good match and it can be the kinder thing to rehome them again.

Good evening, this is just Dr Linda checking in as this question remains unrated and open.

If you don't mind, could I please ask that you rate the answer by selecting the stars at the top of the screen?

Thank you.

Dr L Simmon, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3184
Experience: Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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