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Advice

Riddick

Savannah Super Cat
Hi, I wanted to tell you my situation as it is now and see if anyone would have advice for me.

My Savannah cat Sarabi came to us and within a few days had a cold. We waited it out for the first week and then put her on some meds from the vet. She has gotten better but not completely. We got her right at about 4 1/2 months and she had been spayed. In the quarantine room she is nothing but purrs and head butts, loves to play. When she leaves the quarantine room all she wants to do is be on her own and will run from me if I walk by her and doesn't care to be touched. She loves playing with my other cat but will keep her distance when I am around. We have been working on this for about a week. She eats a raw diet but I cant find any treats she will eat that.. I have tried Halo treats, chicken breast, you name it, this makes it very difficult to clicker train or reward her other than verbally. She is currently still on antibiotics and has been on them since we have let her out of the room, maybe this has something to do with her disposition when out. Lately we have been putting the other cat up and just letting Sarabi roam the house, this seems not to help either. I think I am on the right track but do get frustrated at time. I appreciate the feedback!
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I would have kept her quarantined until the treatment was finished. Chasing her around the house to be giving her her meds is probably not great for bonding. That likely is why she runs from you and doesn't want to be touched. You could try catching her just to pet and put down after a second or two and then play with her. Something so she learns that the reason you wish to catch her is not always a nasty one.

If you can't find a treat to reward her with after the medication, try picking up a wand toy for a special bout of play... for some cats that is better than any treat you could offer :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
I would suggest you put her back in the quarantine room for another few weeks at least. It is too late not to have exposed your other cat to her illness, but you can still work on your bonding process with her.

Don't leave food in the room for her to free feed on but bring it to her, and after a specified amount of time remove it from the room, whether she's finished with it or not. If she's not keen on kitty snacks, try some human food - some cats go bonkers over human baby food - just make sure it is the stage one - ONLY meat and water, no other additives. Try something other than chicken - pork, salmon, beef, cheese, etc. and try something other than muscle meat, e.g., hearts liver, etc.


As for the cold, it seems this has been going on for some time now - didn't the breeder have her on antibiotics prior to you getting her? Did your vet put her on a different antibiotic than what the breeder had her on? If she is still not getting better I would strongly recommend you run a PCR on her so that you know what it is you're treating.
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
Sometimes their behavior changes when out of quarantine. Our Biz who also had some health issues when he came to us was very sweet in quarNtine and more eager to play with our other SV once out. We knew he would be more of a cats cat than a human cat but still it was a wee heartbreaking. The meds don't help either. We've had Biz on some sort of medication since day 1 too. Even now he has an eye ointment we have to give him. Doesn't make bonding easier. When you can try playing, they love that - Biz loves when we play with him so we usually grab a toy, lure him over, medicate and play again and he seems fine with us after.
 

Riddick

Savannah Super Cat
Thanks for the tips and advice. I have gone back to quarantine room for the most part or will let her out when the other cat is put in a different room. When the other cat is put in another room sarabi is getting much better about being with us and wont run away. I am hoping this phase will continue when both cats are together in a week or so. With her being an F2 I was well aware that she could be a little skittish but I hope with time everything will work out. Spending that kind of money for a cat that wont let you interact with it at all would be awful!
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
From experience I can tell you it might take some longer than others. Our F7 Jengo was very skittish when he got him and it took a lot of finesse to win him over but I did win him.

I think it's good to interact with them when they are sleepy - I usually can't get Biz to sit still but when he's good and sleepy I will pet him and rub on him a little a bit. I also always pet during feeding if it doesn't seem to bother them or lay food on my lap. I've noticed that Biz runs a lot and I think part of it is play for him. He wants to be chased and will chase back or he will run over to a toy. For the first couple of years everything is PLAY and HYPER with SV's. It can be frustrating because we want cuddles and they could care less. Our 3 years old Jengo JUST got cuddly a few months before his 3rd b-day.

Seriously Biz our F5 who's new to our home is into everything and not a cuddler unless you lock him up in a room - which I do sometimes because he def needs the occasional time out.

Prime example- I was making tutu' and he wouldn't leave the tulle alone and ended up on unraveling a whole bolt of it - I had to lock him out of my room to get anything done.

Also when they are out of quarantine they are pretty hyper and cats are independent creatures and in quarantine YOU are all they have - outside it's a wide world!

They will also learn from your existing cat too. Jengo follows me so now Biz is always in my "bizness." They fight over laying on my feet although if Biz wins he's not likely to stay long yet because he's a little petting sensitive - it gets him riled up. This will pass but not for awhile.

Enjoy this phase - it's pretty fun. My older boy is so mellow now - it's like a different cat. He asks me upstairs for cuddles, lays on my lap ad obeys my every word. Biz is into everything, hunts everyone and makes us laugh. I always say Biz is a playing cat not a petting cat - for now. Most SV's are like this young - it does pass!
 

Nicaboli

Savannah Super Cat
Hi. I just read your post about how you clicker train Sarabi. I've never done that before and am curious to know the best technique (if there is one). My 20 week old F1 male, Mango, wants to get into every possible thing he can. For the most part, everything is permissible for him, but we have been trying to keep him off of the counter near the stove so he won't jump up while in use. If I understand correctly, the clicker is positive reward though, right? Hmmm......how do I keep him off the stove-side counter? When I firmly say "no", he looks at me like he knows he shouldn't be there, but keeps going back. He really is like having another child :)

Would love to know how you are doing the clicker training...
 

Charley

Savannah Super Cat
Hi. I just read your post about how you clicker train Sarabi. I've never done that before and am curious to know the best technique (if there is one). My 20 week old F1 male, Mango, wants to get into every possible thing he can. For the most part, everything is permissible for him, but we have been trying to keep him off of the counter near the stove so he won't jump up while in use. If I understand correctly, the clicker is positive reward though, right? Hmmm......how do I keep him off the stove-side counter? When I firmly say "no", he looks at me like he knows he shouldn't be there, but keeps going back. He really is like having another child :)

Would love to know how you are doing the clicker training...

I haven't used clicker training but the other day I was cooking and Jengo my good one, wanted to jump on the counter and I saw him and I said no and he stopped and meowed. He started to shake his butt to jump and I said no and he stopped. We did this a few times and he never jumped up...until I turned my back. I heard him and yelled no to which he jumped off the counter and looked at me like I was crazy and like nothing ever happened.

Both of my boys respond immediately to no but they will not behave if I'm not looking, lol.
 
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