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Skittish Sammee

#1
I have an F3 Savannah, Sammee. Pretty much since I have had him he has been skittish. I think he was ok as a baby but not as friendly as other kittens I have had in the past. He is OK around me most of the time. But still skittish. He contemplates when I am around if he stays or runs. He is only a little tiny bit more comfortable around me but still pretty bad.He will run away if you walk up to him when he is sitting or sleeping anywhere. He sits in the corner with big scared bug eyes. It tears me apart to see him like this. He lays with the other cats and they all get along. He is VERY sweet and loving. If me or my husband are sitting down he will gladly come right up to us and sit down, knead, and purr. Not even my Maine coon comes right up to me and plops down like Sammee does, actually none of them do this except for Sammee. He seems more skittish around my husband but has no problem sitting on him. I can’t just walk up to him without him running away 90% of the time. Forget about trying to trim nails or get in a carrier to the vet. I love him so much and he does have a very sweet loving side but then he is very scared half of the time. I have given him calming treats (composure) , calming spray, Jackson galaxy essential oils, Bach remedy animal rescue essential oils, raw chicken on the bone (wanted nothing to do with it). I play with all my boys with the feather wand... he is even scared to play most of the time unless I try to be specific to just him but that is kind of hard with 4 other guys wanting to play too. If you walk in the front door and he’s asleep on the couch he usually gets up and runs. I had him shipped to me via airplane when he was a baby. Inever again will I have a cat flown to me without being in the cabin with them. I feel like a terrible mom for having that done. He must have been so scared.I often wonder if that had anything to do with it? I have an F2 Savannah kitten (also from Exotico Savannah’s)who is the total opposite and such a love bug and loves to be around us and get pets and love. I love my Samme and I want him to be more comfortable in HIS house. Lol. I have contemplated medication... but I don’t really like the idea of it and I wouldn’t even be able to pick him up to give him any medication let alone open his mouth. If anyone can help with ideas/suggestions.... thank you for reading
 

David Z

Site Supporter
#2
It might just be Sammee's disposition, but with your other post about him chewing on things it seems he might have a bit of a nervous tick.
You might try requarantining Sammee for 2 weeks to a room, spend us much time as you can in the room with lay on the floor and play with him with the wand toy, read a book out loud to him. Goal is to build a stronger bond.
If you take this approach would also be s good time to meal feed to get him used to your sleep schedule as well.
Somewhere here in the forums is a link to a cat coach that is highly recomended you might try contacting. I'll try to find the info for you.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Marilyn is a good resource, as she can tailor a plan that suits your household (as you need to consider the rest of the household and how that might be affecting Sammee).

Given that you say that you had him shipped to you, did you see video of him with the breeder to know how easy and social he was with them? Sometimes there is a kitten in a litter that simply needs more work. Your F2 may have just been naturally social. I've had kittens that for whatever reason when they opened their eyes were more worried and scared kittens... but with additional time and patience end up being the most loving of the kittens, but it takes that additional effort. Additionally, imho shipping can be a terrifying experience for some kittens. Some walk out of the carrier like it was no big deal, and others are traumatized.

It may be a matter of accepting that this is Sammee for better or worse, and over the years I think you will see a softening of that behavior.
 

Akila

Site Supporter
#5
Akila my F5 girl is also a skittish cat.....she was from day one. She is 6 months old now and is starting to get a little better. She does not like to be picked up, but will lay by me and follow me around. Akila had an ear infection so she had no choice but to let me handle her.I had to put drops in her ears. She only lets my husband touch her when she is eating.
Just keep working with Sammee, it will pay off!!!
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#6
Another thing to consider is that Sammee might be low in the hierarchy with your other cats. If he has an unconfident submissive personality, it could be contributing to his behavior. Have you tried giving Sammee his own space? A carrier or a room where he can just chill without other cats and where you give him affection and even let him eat his meals? Also, you might try playing with him in a room by himself so he doesn't have to compete with the other cats. Short term medication is another option. A year on Prozac or something your vet feels is more appropriate for his behavior may take the edge off long enough for him to figure out that he doesn't have to be on the defensive all the time.