MCFH S7E7 - INDOOR CAT LIVING AS FERAL, TRAUMATIZED, HIDING UNDER BLANKETS
Show: My Cat From Hell Season 7, Episode 7
Episode Title: Gotham Feral Cats
Cat: Sweet Pea
Sweet Pea was rescued from a hoarding situation about 7 months ago; she is a multi-colored female cat.
Guardians: Mike and Darcy
Mike and Darcy are in a relationship and they foster animals often. Darcy is a social worker in Queens, New York. She rescued Sweet Pea from someone that was losing their home because of the hoarding issue.
How Bad Is It?
Sweet Pea has had little exposure to humans and basically lives her life as a feral cat, though she is technically not feral. She hides under sheets and blankets most of the day, and hisses, swats, spits when approached by others. She is considered un-adoptable, so if Mike and Darcy give her up, she won’t find a new home.
- Hissing, swatting, and spitting at humans and other animals.
- Living in fear; hiding under blankets all day.
- Darcy is scared to interact with Sweet Pea.
A cat that has had little exposure to humans usually acts as a feral cat, even if they’re not living outside. The guardian should work towards helping them cross their challenge line (comfort zone) and overcoming fear. The Slow Blink (a.k.a. ‘the cat I love you’) is a way that cats show trust, so you can slow blink at your cat and work towards getting them to slow blink back at you to communicate these feelings of trust. Here’s a video of Jackson explaining why the slow blink works and how to do it.
If you cannot touch your cat at all, sitting in the room with them and reading a story out loud can help them begin to feel comfortable with you, and vice versa. Make sure to break the cycle of fear by being calm and confident, versus showing fear through body language. Once you are able to comfortably touch your cat, try the “Touch and Treat” method: pet the cat and reward them with a treat. This creates a positive association with human contact. Over time, the cat should become more comfortable with you and begin leaving her comfort zone. Try getting the cat to explore new parts of the home and gain new territory. Using these tips from Jackson, Darcy was able to create a bond with Sweet Pea, and was even able to pet her! Sweet Pea began coming out from under the covers and exploring the hallway. She still had a long way to go, but she was making great progress.
A cat that is neglected, abused, not fed, and treated poorly can become extremely damaged from this treatment. It usually causes them to feel traumatized for years, or even for the rest of their lives if they don’t have any support. It’s up to the guardian to help the cat walk through this trauma and begin healing. Once the guardian commits to helping their cat learn to trust, they can begin making incredible strides.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, JACKSON ALSO USED SPIRIT ESSENCES:
Trauma-Free is formulated to clear the energy system of past abuse, neglect, accidents, or other negative “baggage” an animal has accumulated. This formula may also be helpful for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in animals. Sweet Pea had a rough life living in a home with someone who treated her very poorly. This caused her intense trauma, and she needed help healing. Jackson made sure that Sweet Pea’s guardians added drops of Trauma-Free in her food and water to help her through the process.
Safe Space for Cats
Safe Space for Cats is formulated to help the cat establish appropriate boundaries and reduce territorial stress that may manifest as spraying, inappropriate elimination, aggression, or other stress-related behaviors. This formula can help reassure the cat that his territory is safe and protected from intruders from within and without. Jackson had Mike apply Safe Space for Cats topically on Sweet Pea’s fur (because he was the only one able to touch her in the early stages) and it helped to get her out of her comfort zone and feel safe in other parts of the home, instead of staying under the blankets. Jackson reports that Sweet Pea now walks around her entire home and is making great progress!
Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences™ work best when part of a more holistic program, that may include proper veterinary care, diet, behavior modification, and other holistic modalities. Consult your veterinarian before adding any new product to your pet’s care regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.