Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I don't want to share my bed with you......

The early weeks of each year are normally good times for us as far as rehoming is concerned, with people looking to adopt a cat after the hustle and bustle of Christmas and before the holiday season starts.

This year is no exception, and we are delighted to see lots of little faces going off to live happily ever after. It's wonderful to see a cat come to our centre on Saturday and then wave goodbye to him or her on Sunday, even though we haven't really had chance to get to know his character.

Some cats, however, take a lot more shifting! Take Sasha for example. Sasha came to us about 2 years ago when her previous owner died unexpectedly whilst undergoing a routine operation. Sasha was understandably shy and stayed with us for a few weeks before we found her a new home.

he stress of her move to our centre, followed by the move to her new home became too much for Sasha, and she began to have possession issues over her bed. Basically she would attack anyone who approached her whilst she was in the bed, and given that she spent most of the day there, that gradually evolved into aggression whenever anyone approached her.

After almost a year in her new home, the people who had adopted her reluctantly brought her back.

Although we were able to cuddle her and stroke her as soon as she arrived, Sasha still acted aggressively when in her bed.

We allowed her to keep the same bed (a covered one) for a few weeks, and then we removed it to give her an open bed, but in the same position. Whenever we approached her we ignored her whilst she was in the bed, but made a fuss of her outside the bed.

Gradually, she began to accept our strokes and come to us for cuddles, and even got out of bed on purpose to approach us for strokes.

She will now allow us to stroke her in the bed without showing any signs of aggression unless she is awakened abruptly.

We hope a new understanding owner will come forward for Sasha quite quickly now. She will most certainly have possession issues in her new home surrounding her bed, but we are confident that an experienced new owner will be able to work with us and with her to reduce the fear and aggression.