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Old 08-12-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,084 posts, read 3,136,380 times
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Our new kitty had finally been extremely comfortable in my whole apartment after 2 weeks of having him. He has been sleeping on the couch the last few nights. You might remember he took almost a week to even venture into the living room. So yesterday he was sleeping on the couch and right outside the window by the couch (where he was) there was an extremely loud chainsaw that fired up for like 5 seconds and then the guy went somewhere else. Well our kitty regressed and ran back into our bedroom and was hiding. The rest of the night he was very scared and walking around all cautiously. He avoided the couch like the plague. Then this morning he was in the far corner of the dining room (opposite the living room) sleeping on the hardwood floor. Our kitty was so content sleeping on the couch and now he's terrified of it!

How good are kitties memories? I don't want him to be afraid of the couch forever. He looked so sad sleeping on the hardwood and so scared last night timidly walking around the apartment. Before this he was extremely wild, hyper and playful and I just hope this doesn't affect him.

I know I'm probably over concerned but it hurts me to see my kitty sad/scared.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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I understand your concern. He will get over it, though it might take a few days.

Involve the couch in some Games, by dragging his string on a stick over it, or tossing his crumpled paper balls on it for him to jump up and chase. Don't force him on it, that's not what I'm saying, just get him jumping on it as a natural progression of the Game you are playing with him.

You might try covering it with a blanket from the bed to make it smell like safety, too. (but not one he has tinkled on!)
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,084 posts, read 3,136,380 times
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Thanks Catsmom. I'll play with him for a nice long time tonight and slowly entice him over to the couch. We tried a bit last night and he wouldn't come on the couch. I'll be persistent and keep trying. It's just frustrating to see him sleeping on the hardwood floor when he has a reallllly nice bed and a couch.

(I'd give more reps but it won't let me yet)
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Cats do some times just want to sleep on hard surfaces, I don't know why.

I do understand how you feel. Keep us posted on the couch.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
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Poor kitty. They get so jumpy sometimes! Mine freak out every time I sneeze. And since I'm allergic to them, I sneeze a lot!

But he'll be OK. Sit on the couch with him, pet him, play with him. He'll forget about the chain saw eventually.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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I am not sure if I mentioned this yet but you should also have a "safe" area for him. Most cats do this on their own: my cat's safety spots are the top of the dryer and the underside of the boxspring to my bed, which she has ripped holes in and to which she goes when she is frightened (she always goes there when I vaccuum! ) The hardwood just may be his "safety" zone: the quiet and secure place he goes to when he is afraid. He may even go there precisely b/c it is the exact opposite of the soft (and now, menacing) couch!

You can also try establishing other "safe" areas; cats usually like dark spaces or perches--any place where something scary cannot get to them. Just make sure that the areas are actually safe (for example, if it's a space in a closet, make sure that there is always a way that the cat can get out and/or always leave the closet door open).

He may or may not get over it. Cats hate loud noises like that: they never get used to them and will almost always run and hide when they hear one. And they almost always run to their safety spot, which is sometimes where they end up always sleeping but can also just be the place that they go to when afraid. It all depends on the cat. However, most will pick the consistently quietest spots for sleeping; just like humans, no cat is going to sleep in an area that is constantly plagued by noise. So, he will probably go back if the area by the couch remains consistently quiet. If not, then he will choose to sleep somewhere else.

Last edited by StarlaJane; 08-12-2011 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Two of my cats have Safe/Sick spots where they go when something frightens them, or they don't feel well. One has a spot in a corner under my bed, the other, also in the bedroom, on a high perch. Of the other two, one prefers to stalk around puffed up and growling at any real or imagined threat, and the other just keeps sleeping.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,084 posts, read 3,136,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
He may or may not get over it.
This concerns me...
So there's a chance he may never go on the couch again??
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenMaster2008 View Post
This concerns me...
So there's a chance he may never go on the couch again??
Quite frankly, I have no idea what he will do. Cats are individuals, they have their own quirks. The joy of cat ownership is finding out what they are.

I am not going to say definitively that he will take up sleeping on the couch again; he may or may not. If you are worried that he will never, ever go on the couch again, I will state that I think it is highly unlikely that he was so traumatized by the startling sound of a chainsaw that he will never recover and will be in a state of constant fear re: the couch. However, cats are funny like that, and it wouldn't surprise me if he avoided the area. I mean, he was sleeping and it was a chainsaw. In short, I don't think he'll avoid the area but I don't think that will ever be his sleeping spot again. Maybe for play, or if you are sitting there and he wants to cuddle, but not his designated sleeping spot.

However, I would go easy on drowning in guilt (cut to the scene in Good Will Hunting: "It's not your fault, man." ) There are some cats who would hop back on the couch an hour later, some who would venture back after a couple of months of careful observation and assessment of the area and others who would not only never go back but who never go there in the first place (my cat--once in a blue moon, she takes a nap on the couch).

My advice is to just go with it; you can't control everything, much less your cat, and as nice as it was to watch him sleeping on the couch, it may turn out that he decides that the couch might not be the best place to sleep (I am inclined to agree with him; who wants to be woken up to the sound of a chainsaw firing up in their ear?! It's like something out of a horror movie!) Part of the joys of having a kitten is watching them "figure it out." Having him find a better and perhaps more suitable sleeping spot where he won't be interrupted might not be such a bad thing, nor is his learning to avoid chainsaws; in fact, it is natural part of kittenhood.

If you really feel that badly about it, pick a low-traffic spot in the house (like a chair that you never use) and put a pillow on it. My cat started sleeping on a dining room chair that had a pillow on it. I saw that she liked it and built her a fort/sleeping cubby on the chair, which is now her designated morning/afternoon spot. At night, she switches to my bed. You can set up a few really nifty sleeping areas and then see if he picks one/which one he picks. Eventually, he will settle into his chosen spots, and I can guarantee you that they will be noiseless, safe areas where he can get some rest. And he will still look very cute sleeping there
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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He will be okay. Just give him time.

Jasper gets unsettled when new people come over, and his "go to" spot is to burrow under the covers of the bed, he looks like a large lump. He naps there too, in the afternoon. And goes to bed at night.
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