Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

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Blue Orion
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Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Blue Orion » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:49 pm

Hello

Please don't judge me for this...

I've recently adopted a cat from a rescue shelter. I visited him a number of times and he was very friendly so, after a slight delay for an injured tail, I finally brought him home last Saturday. I've had cats all my life of various colours who have all been DSH and I've never thought anymore about it. When I looked at Orion he was a lovely grey colour and listed as a 'Blue DSH' so I assumed that's what he was.

However since I've got him home his behaviour has really come out and I *think* he may be a Burmese-cross. He is VERY vocal, follows me around like a lost sheep and eats EVERYTHING he can get his paws on - especially bread and milk (which he STEALS, not is given).

I've never had any cats that were anything but moggies. I feel totally out of my depth having a cat who is so intense. I desperately want to do what's best for him and I've read everything I can find, but I don't know if I have what it takes to give him what he needs. Additionally he is FIV+ so does not have the option of going outside to stimulate him.

Can anyone relate to thisor does anyone have advice on how I might be able to give him as good a life as possible?
Thank you
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Mayday21
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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Mayday21 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:16 pm

Hi Blue I'm sure Crewella, Lillith, Bobbysgirl a Girl & Mrs Kane will post some helpful points. Maybe he's just telling you how pleased he is to have a forever home & if he had a bit of a torrid time maybe why he "steals' food. I'd prefer to have a chatterer than one who didn't chat...Vivian
Last edited by Mayday21 on Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lilith
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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Lilith » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:22 pm

LOL Mayday, we overlapped - so you've read about the dreaded Molly? :lol:

Hi and welcome, Blue Orion, and you won't be judged :)

BLESS him! Without doubt he's a Burmese cross or a Burmese something...various words may spring to mind... :o

I feel for you as a few years ago I was persuaded (by owners who couldn't cope with her)to adopt a ginger girl (with those lovely slant eyes)...yeeesss...I used to breed Siamese but I had never met a cat like Molly! She's been an education, in more ways than one :evil: Have to love her though. (Or else! says Molly!)

Life with a cat like this is life in the fast lane, as you'll have learned, and the bottom line is - can I go on coping like this, with this cat? You'll have a lot of compensation and a lot of love, but this kind of cat (and 'intense' is a very good word) is exhausting! At 5, Molly is a little bit calmer but not much...

If you feel you can't cope with Orion, now is the time to let him go back to the shelter; if you feel you can cope, he will be an incredible companion, although you may not have a moment's peace...

Talk about 'you always were a headache but you never were a bore'...

I hope you won't part with him - but on the other hand, I'll quite understand if you do, as this kind of cat is MANIC. Most (sensible lol) people may decide that a quieter cat may be the better companion.

On a practical note, with him being FIV+, do you have a garden and would it be possible to secure it so that he can run in and out but not roam afield? I'm not an expert on FIV+ but I understand it's usually spread by fighting and biting, and if Orion's anything like Molly he may be a bit of a lad for that.

There are a good few people who have FIV+ cats on here - and their cats roam too...hopefully they'll be along soon and can advise further.

All the best whatever you decide :)

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Lilith » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:30 pm

Hi again, Blue Orion, how's it going?

Just another couple of things I've remembered and which I hope you might find useful/relevant:-

He will likely be very intelligent, which means, if you have to make rules for him, he's quite capable of understanding. Whether he chooses to obey may be another matter of course, but ...

If you don't want him to steal food, a sharp 'no!' is quite in order, and maybe, after the meal's over, a titbit for being a good boy to wait. I started out with Molly by placing this titbit on a small dish next to her bowl of biscuits so that she understood that that was where she ate, not off mine or anyone else's plate.

However, being Molly, things have not gone QUITE to plan...on the whole she's very good, although she'll wrap herself round my legs and plead if she sees me making so much as a cup of coffee, she'll now leave me in peace to eat - except for fish and chips which are, as she says, Different. My other two cats are elderly and I can generally eat without too much hassle; one sometimes copies Moll (the grabby gingers) but usually fish and chip time begins with Molly snuggling expectantly up to my beanbag tray and being told to back off. She backs off about a millimetre and narrows her eyes in a baleful glare. I hiss. Another couple of millimetres retreat. I slam my 'paw' down beside her in 'boss cat' mode. She smacks me.

At this point I have to be firm and make her get down, so she sits on top of my snake's vivarium and watches me, and when the fish is cool enough and I've had a head start into the meal, I put her some fish of her own on the tray and call her down and we eat in harmony. Perhaps not the greatest discipline in the world, but works for us lol.

Another thing I found with Molly, which may not apply to your boy, was not to let her get over-excited while playing. I knew she was very aggressive and dominant and wondered if she'd been roughnecked with. 'Mouse games' such as waggling my toes under the duvet would result in her coming running like a puppy and making an almighty pounce on any movement in bed...she would also see my feet walking past as 'prey' and roll over and wrap herself round them; highly dangerous for us both. My mistake and her over-enthusiasm, but I would have to stop and tell her 'no'. And refuse to let the 'game' continue.

Chirping non-stop and trampolining all over me at 3am I could never cure - mercifully she grew out of that.

Boys aren't usually as aggressive as girls, so this probably doesn't apply to Orion, but Molly was, and still can be, very aggressive... when she was younger even an affectionate stroke provoked scratching/biting, poor little girl. I had to keep still, tut at her, say 'no' gently but firmly, and withdraw for a while...if she followed me, purring and turning on the charm, she'd be told she was a good girl. This can also be applied to unwanted behaviour like climbing where she's not supposed to be - an outraged whisper - 'WHAT do you think you're doing, madam?' and she soon gets the message.

Cats make their own rules of course, but they do take notice of humans... sometimes :lol:

Oops, sorry for another long post and tmi. All the very best with him :)

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Blue Orion » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:03 pm

Hi Mayday and Lilith

Thanks for your replies.

Lilith - reading about Molly (who sounds adorable) has made me realise how good time with Orion is going to be :)

After a very tearful night and a lot of reflection I think the biggest part of the problem is me :idea: - I'm trying too hard. I've realised that he IS able to cope when I say no or don't let him do something. I was so worried that I had to spend every moment with him to make up for the fact I work that I hadn't realised he can be happy just being with me! (for example, at the moment he is happily asleep on my feet).

My friend and I are going to build him a cat run so he can get some fresh air and he tolerated his harness today to go for a walk. I'm not supposed to let him out (conditions of rehoming) but, if he does get out, I can probably entice him back easily as he loves his food so much :lol:

I have a friend who has a Burmese who is very badly behaved and overpoweringly demanding, however Orion is not and, so far, has not shown himself to be like that. At this point, I just need to chill and get to know him a bit better, instead of panicking and overthinking everything... :roll:

Thank you so much for the encouragement - I'll let you know how we get on :) xx

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Lilith » Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:44 pm

Aww, so glad you feel better :) cats like Orion and Molly ARE a total culture shock, but you can get used to anything lol :lol:

Joking apart, sounds as if you and he are already adapting to each other and the outside run's a great idea as he'll be able to sit and watch the world. Hoping all goes well and that you both have many happy years together. Look forward to updates, all the best to you both from Molly and me :)

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Crewella » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:52 pm

Oh bless you, he does sound adorable and I'm sure that, with a little adjustment, you'll both be fine!

I just wanted to add to Lilith's excellent advice - you will need to be firm with a cat like Orion. 'No' means no. Don't ever give in if he keeps hassling you because he will then learn that 'no' doesn't mean no, it means that he just needs to turn up the volume and try harder and that is often how cats like your friend's become so badly behaved and demanding. I know it's not so easy when you have a bright and characterful cat like Orion and Molly, but getting your own way all the time is not good for any cat, or person for that matter. As you say, the odd 'no' won't hurt him! :D

A run is a great idea, I think Orion is a very lucky boy. :)

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by Mayday21 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:13 pm

Hi Blue, Lilith & Crewella lovely to read that Orion looks like he's found his forever home. :D Harper my kitten is a handful - stubborn, determined & smart. :o I parallel her with Orion. This morning she's climbed up my ensuite' fly screen & then jumped on top of my shower recess - I had to get her down. Not to mention she & TC racing round the house, on me & Harper attacking my feet (Lilith another Molly) - ouch teeth & claws through my doona :o Looking forward to more updates on Orion. Vivian

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Re: Unexpected Burmese cat - advice needed

Post by bobbys girl » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:14 pm

Hello Blue,

I have just caught up with this thread. Took me a while as I have no experience of Burmese cats, but I do, as you know by now, have an FIV+ cat, young Bob.

We found out about his FIV status when he was about to undergo surgery to amputate his left front leg. He was already a year old by then. My OH found him in the road one stormy day. We didn't think that such a tiny, wet rag would survive with a birth defect and then FIV!

The vet told us to keep him as an indoor cat. But the others are all used to coming and going as they like, so it was always going to be a logistical nightmare. Keeping him in after the OP was hard enough, he was so unhappy. So now he also comes and goes as he likes.

That doesn't mean I don't worry about him. If he comes in wet he knows I have to dry him off and seems to enjoy the attention. The girls HATE that. :D

The outside run is a good idea and, who knows, in time he may be able to come and go as he wants. Give him a big fuss from me.

BTW I watched Men in Black (AGAIN!) last night - there is a cat called Orion in the film.

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