Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Marta608, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hello, it's me again; the newish cat foster mom/owner. I'm sure many of you remember Sophie (see my profile if not). She came home with me from the shelter before Christmas after spending two months growling and hissing at everyone with two or four feet there. She was found with her kittens taped in a cardboard box, under a truck at Target. The kittens got adopted but cranky Sophie did not.

    I'm still fostering her but since she had ringworm it appears that her chances of being adopted in a more interesting household has dropped considerably. She can't be adopted by anyone who's p.g. or might become p.g., any household with babies or very young children, or by anyone with a compromised immune system, like AIDS or cancer.

    Let me first say that she is mostly a wonderful girl. She's four and had a rough life and is doing her best to fit in here. But she's very smart, possibly the smartest cat I ever had, so she's BORED and wants a lot of my attention. I try to play with her but I tire very quickly, long before she does, and I must go to bed earlier and rest often. Poor cat. I walk near the bedroom and she gets up on the bed thinking I'm going to rest again! (The minute the light is turned off at night, she's out the door. Very strange. She sits humped up on her cardboard scratching box waiting for me to have time for her again.

    She LOVES the twist-off plastic ring that comes on gallon water bottles. Her favorite toy right now is a foam ear plug (unused). She also really likes playing with me and what used to be a bookmark made of waxed string and beads but her interest in Mylar balls has waned almost totally and she's begun chasing her tail a lot; a sign of a bored, frustrated cat.

    She will not stay in the little room where my TV is so a kitty DVD is out. She does not like to be picked up nor is she cuddly, but she loves to get up on my desk where I give her a quick, sneaky two-armed hug and head bump and tell her what a good girl she is.

    Does anyone who loves cats have any good ideas for entertaining Sophie? The very best thing would be to get another, younger cat but that is impossible since it's all I can do to take care of her.


    Marta and Sophie

    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2007]
  2. larryh

    larryh New Member


    She is such a pretty kitty.

    One thing we did was buy cat toys on elastic strings and hung them from door knobs. We tied the strings off so they were about 6 to 8 inches off the floor. As soon as Dennis found them he would spend hours playing with them. There are also a couple of catnip toys laying around somewhere that he can find when he wants to. The elastic wears out in the hanging toys, but I think they are still worth it. Otherwise he finds his own toys like a fresh roll of toilet paper. Another of Dennis' favorite things is to lay in a window sill and watch the birds outside at the feeders. Hope this helps some.

  3. mezombie

    mezombie Member

    Some cats are better at keeping themselves amused than others. It sounds like Sophie is the kind that needs to have amusement provided.

    Here are a few suggestions: I found a toy mouse that squeaks whenever it's touched. It's quite popular. There are also toys available that move on their own that might appeal to Sophie.

    Paper bags, tissue paper, and anything that crunches are also favorites with my "Sophie" cat.

    I, too, use birds as entertainment. I put birdseed on my balcony. Instant cat TV!

    And, finally, I must admit that the best solution to my very similar dilemma has been getting another cat. I know you don't want to hear this, but it's really helped. They chase each other around, play with each other, and comfort each other when I'm not available.

    I resisted this idea for the same reasons you're not in favor of it. However, after having my "Sophie" chase me around and bite my ankles, I reconsidered. The two adjusted to each other much more quickly than I expected. I wouldn't say they're close friends, but they get along well.

    Best of all, they entertain each other. I am much more relaxed now that I have two. I didn't expect that to be the case, but it really has turned out to be incredibly helpful to me and the cats.

    Hang in there, Marta!
  4. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    My kitty, Zippy Spades, has a great time chasing a laser light, and all I have to do is lay here and shine it around LOL.

    I also have one of those things I think they call a "cat dancer". It's basically a thin wire with small rolled up papers at the end.....they are super cheap too, under 2 bucks I think.

    He recently spent a week in the hospital (FLUTD) with a blocked urethra so he has been sticking pretty close to me and the dogs lately. He used to hang out in the backyard during the day but seems to prefer my chest now. Not real comfortable since he's about 14 pounds.

    I'll try to think of some more ideas.........


  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    After a long talking to, by Sophie, not by me, I hurried her to see what you all had to say.

    Larry, I'll try to find some toys on elastic for door knobs and, Lynna, a cat dancer. I tried a flashlight and she was oddly afraid of it. Also, Georgiac, if I could borrow Ursula for a day, she could give Sophie a talking to!

    Mezombie, ooooooooooh, don't say that. As much as I know you're right I just finished up 16 years with two old cats. Like yours they were not litter mates but were great companions. But twice the hair, twice the food, twice the vet bills and twice the litter boxes! and the things in them. That will be a very last resort. Besides, as grouchy as Sophie was with all the cats at the shelter, I can imagine one big, long cat fight.

    Thanks! One thing she loooooooooooves is f.o.o.d. I'm spellling it so she won't know although she's so smart, she probably spells. Think FAT Sophie cat. I'll have to take another picture soon.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/07/2007]
  6. sisland

    sisland New Member

    Sophie is Beautiful! she looks like a Model cat! Lol, We had a Kitty years ago when the girls were little and she used to love playing in Boxes and paper bags!

    Also anything plastic (bags) normally also other stuff like used paper towel Rolls. And Yes the squeakie toys were very popular also!,,,,,,,,,,,Hugs to you and sophie!,,,,Sis
  7. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    the kind you get from water bottles, they love to chase them and they will bring the cap back,

    unlike my babydog, who thinks I should chase the Balls instead of him, lol, he never brings it back.

    They also love an emptny cardboard box, keeps them amused for hours.

    Luckly they all like to cuddle, so when I sleep, I have an instant fur blanket, lol

    Right now, Charlie cat, is recouping from being nutered, so he dosen't feel to much like chasing the caps.
    He watches, lol

    You can make all kinds of inexpensive toy's for kittys, long strings of yarn hang on my closet doors, you can tie an empty thread spool on it.... and I took a Cookie tin, and put a small ball with bells in it, and they play with that.
    I got the idea from a Cat toy that they wanted 20 bucks for, geepers,

  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    that loved to go in and out of paper bags. I would set up 3 or 4 on the floor and he would go in and out for a while, then take a nap in one.

    But I had other cats who weren't interested. Some of the feral cats I feed love to chase a string, but generally get tired of it after 5 min.

    None of my cats were interested in playing w/ balls for more than a minute, if that.
  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    that loved to go in and out of paper bags. I would set up 3 or 4 on the floor and he would go in and out for a while, then take a nap in one.

    But I had other cats who weren't interested. Some of the feral cats I feed love to chase a string, but generally get tired of it after 5 min.

    None of my cats were interested in playing w/ balls for more than a minute, if that.

  10. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    When I go to my girlfriends' house, she has a long stick, about 3 or 4 feet long, with a string or yarn hanging, and a cat toy hanging at the bottom. (Picture a fishing pole) This way you can sit and tease the kitty without having to get up or move. I sit and she chases it all over. My kind of play.

    My kitty ChaCha doesn't have any play toys. I'm a BAD mother. She was banished to the beams over the kitchen for so many years by my dog (Ellie) that I forgot that cats like to play. Since Ellie died in October, she comes downstairs and lives mostly like a normal cat, even with Mitie Me, (Ellie's daughter). It's odd just to see her walking amongst us and rubbing up on legs and even on Mitie Me.
  11. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    It seems that all cats are different.

    Things on the end of sticks terrify Sophie so I assume someone hit her with a stick. [>/ She has no interest in paper bags or boxes as my other cats did. I bought her a colorful "tube" that she slept in at the shelter and she won't go near it even with catnip in it.

    I think she's very neurotic as the result of whatever life she led before she was brought to the shelter. And maybe she didn't have any or much attention because that's all she wants now.

    Thank you for all your suggestions. I'll keep trying!

  12. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Now I see her!! She has attitude does miss sophie.

    You know she has to learn to trust humans again as some human did that to her. The stick fear is a biggie red flag as to how her life was prior to you.

    When we cought this house, Sam, street cat, who used to be fed here by the old lady who died, moved in with us. He was VERY defensive and after my other cats. He was greedy too, as he was thin.

    One year later: Here is Sam, being polite about food but much heavier. Sleeps usually on one of our backs, purring so loudly it wakes us up. Fave toy. Petsmart have a scratcher board set in the center of a plastic ring that holds a ping pong ball he can scrath on the pad, then push the ring around. He loves it yet does not like stick things either. He also likes following a string Danny trails for him. He also likes(d) a small clockwork mouse except he "killed" it.

    He knows I am writoing about him as he just came and sat on the desk and kissed me. You would never have thought this kitty would have tamed down so. Oh and yes, check Sophies teeth as neglected cats often have loose teeth that are bothering them.

    Three of my cats(inc. Sammie) all come and steal my milky tea. Has anyone else heard of cats liking TEA?

    Love Annie Cromwell
  13. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I think Sophie and Sam would be good friends - and it has such a nice ring to it, too!

    While I do wish I could have a cat friend for Sophie like Mezombie suggested, I just cannot consider it right now. As a result, she is very needy of me - my time and attention. She scolds me when I'm online and dislikes TV so if I do those things, after a thourough scolding, she sits on her cardboard scratching pad (without ball - but I do know the one you mean) waiting patiently (?) for my attention again. Talk about pressure!

    She has yet to sleep with me but is most anxious for me to get up in the morning so we can begin our happy day......

    I just know there's a lesson in here somewhere...

  14. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I haven't had much time to be on here lately, but I couldn't resist getting into your post about the kitty. I have three cats who like different things. My oldest cat isn't much into playing anymore, but she used to like pipe cleaners. I would get the long ones and twist them together. Watch and make sure she doesn't try to swallow them-I used to have a cat that would do that.

    Paper sacks and boxes are good. All my cats love boxes. At our local pet store, they have different toys. A couple of my cats love these cloth spiders. The body of the spider is fake fur.

    Dried catnip is great. Sprinkle a little on the floor. I have't met a cat who didn't like fresh or dried catnip. There are kits where you can grow fresh grass in the winter-the greens are good for your cat and they love to chew on it.

    Some cats love the catnip mice. Also, you might try getting a laser light-two of my cats love to try and "catch" the light. Also, it's a great way for you to play with them without having to leave your chair.

    Hope this helps. You have a kind heart for taking this kitty in!

  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hey Ellen! I get so excited when I see your posts! (OK, I excite easily... .lol) For those who don't know, Ellen and I are "neighbors"; that is, we both live in Michigan within probably, what Ellen? 75 miles of one another?

    You have now met a cat who doesn't like catnip and her name is Sophie. I swear this cat is more human than any cat I've ever had before.

    She also doesn't like: boxes or bags, jingly balls! toy spiders or things on sticks. Those were all things every other cat I've ever had loved. This morning at the pet store I got her a weird plastic thing that looks like a curl and I think she'll like that. She likes small things she can carry around. She still adores the foam ear plug.

    Good hearing from you Ellen. I need to find out how things are going with you soon.

  16. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Yes, we will pretty close to eachother considering we have people all over the world on here.

    You sure have a finicky cat. She doesn't like catnip? I never thought I would hear that! Sounds like she's had a pretty tramatic past. Maybe once she relaxes more, she'll not be fussy about her toys?

    I've been busy as always. Still working part-time at the college with my summers off. This schedule works pretty good for me. I am still swimming two afternoons a week in a pool therapy class. I also use my treadmill. I feel better if I exercise.

    I had ear surgery last month to correct a hearing problem in my right ear. I'm still having hearing loss problems, so the doctor may have to do a second surgery. Isn't life exciting? My husband and I are doing well. He is layed off for the winter and helps me more around the house. He got a new job several months ago, which pays better and is closer to our house.

    I hope you are doing okay. I'm thinking you were going to be moving? Did this ever happen?

    Well, take care and I hope you and Sophie get along okay. I think Sophie is a cute name!

  17. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I'm so glad to hear that you and hubby are doing well after that tiny rough patch. I hope your brother Jim is behaving himself too.

    I know what you mean about an exciting life but I've learned that "excitement" must be spelled with a small "e" now as opposed to before I got sick!

    Good to hear from you. We finally have some winter! Now it can go. ;>)

  18. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    My cats vary day to day. What they like to play with one day doesn't interest them the next. Ahhh but with 5 they all seem to have there own personality.

    The toys I generally use are inexpensive. The best is the shoe stings with buttons on the ends tied to doornobs and backs of chairs (like kitchen chairs, etc.). Second best is the paper bag or box. Cut a hole in one end of the box and put it upside down, now hang a shoestring with button in front of the hole. (A banana box from the store works best, it is sturdy and has holes in it)

    Just leaving a box on its side is fun for them, they like to be in them whether playing or sleeping.

    Catnip in socks and just tied off for them to throw and chase works too. I leave several of these around the house. (I also dry my own catnip as it grows wild here) I have to hide the catnip though when it is drying, I have one cat who will find it and eat it all!

    With the shoestrings you can put anything on the ends, you can tie a small piece of cloth with catnip in the end on it, or a bell, or just beads if you have them. Yarn works it it is sturdy enough to tie things too.

    Luckily our cats and dogs all play together. Unfortunately they always seem to be underfoot...I have 2 dogs and one cat that follow me no matter where I go. :)

    Hope this helps and well wishes to you and Sophie. :)

    Take care and Kitten Hugs,
    Blessed Be,