I know it's normal for kittens to be scared when you first bring them to a new home, but, with my boyfriend;s kitten, It wasnt scared of us in the beginning and it she is more so now. He adopted her at aroud 3-4 months of age (about a month ago). My boyfriend has another sweet male cat who is 1.5. We kept them separated for a little over a week. When the new kitten, Eliza, was isolated she would let us pick her up, purr, and play often. Now Eliza has territory of the whole house as well as sharing it with the other 1.5 yr old cat, Chester. The two cats get along very well together (they play, lay on each other etc) The concern now though, is that, Eliza no longer lets us pick her up... and if we approach her or begin to walk by or really close to her.. she will scamper away or hide as if she is scared. She does not exhibit this behavior at all with the other cat. Just my boyfriend and I (the only two humans she is around). She DOES sit near us and plays well with toys that we play with her, but, if we kindly reach out to pick her up or even LOOK like we want to pick her up or just TOUCH her to approach her or go near her .. she runs away. She lies on the bed with us at night, and on occasion when my boyfrienhd is very still for a long time at his desk he will jump on his lap, at least. but again, we can not pick her up or approach her when we want to. IS this normal? (someone told me maybe it was because my boyfriend had clipped her nails before, although i dont think he hurt her! I told him not to do it again at least anymore. ) We give her treats, to try to associate us with positiveness. How can we get her to be less scared of us and is this normal?? Thank you so so much!! (Have also noticed some baby teeth on the floor, could this be relevant?.. probably not..) Help?
this could be caused by a number of things and so i will give you two of the main possibilities.
It could be what i call trauma behavior. Cats can react in different ways to something which has either upset them of frightened them. they then react to whoever or whatever it is they associate with this feeling. It could well be that the kitten was very upset by the nail clipping, sometimes it can be a small thing that starts this behavior off. You are quite correct in realizing that it is a case of getting the cat to trust you again and I'm sorry to say this may be a slow process although i would say that the fact that your cat will sometimes sit on a lap is a good sign that hey will eventually get over their stress.
Secondly, i would suggest to have your kitten checked out by a vet. they may have something which wrong with them that may be causing them discomfort when they are touched. Like a flea allergy etc. It is always worth getting this checked out. Also mention the teeth to the vet as well as this may also be causing an unseen problem to your cat.
If you look into both of these scenarios, I'm sure that a solution will be found.