6 month old cat terrified of being caught or picked up
My two older kittens (about six months old)were found outside when a stray cat gave birth to them in my garage. They lived outside on the back porch with shelter until they are about 2-3 months old and then I brought them inside and they lived in the basement until they were weaned. They are both males. I am fostering them through an animal rescue. THey have not been brought into the rescue for adoption yet (no idea why, they keep saying they will call me next week..) One is orange and the other is gray. The orange one (simba) is very timid. This is suprising because as a kitten he was the aggressive friendly one. He would always greet me when I brought food and would love all over me. THe gray one (Grayson) was the timid one. He didn't like to be handled. I could carry Simba around and he never hid from me. The only thing I ever saw them run from was the lawn tractor.
I did notice one time when he was about two months old that I tried to pick him up (they were venturing pretty far from the back porch and that is when i decided to bring them inside) and he was terrified of me and scratched me. I didn't think anything of it at the time (just thought I'd startled him) but now he is like that all the time. He does not want to be picked up or touched and will not come to me. Once you do get ahold of him, he is very friendly and purrs like crazy and I try to handle him a lot but nothing seems to work. I have to take him to the rescue once a month (to be neutered, for shots and flea treatments) and he is very difficult to catch. Once he is in the cage, he will let you love all over him and if you pick him up he never struggles or tries to get away. He is just terrified of the initial contact. I have never done anything to hurt either of the cats so I don't understand it. His brother had the exact same upbringing as him and the brother is not afraid of anything. He RUNS to me and throws himself at my feet and purrs and purrs like crazy. He will sit on my lap and while he is timid with strangers at first he is nothing like his (scared) brother.
I beginning to wonder if something happened to traumatize Simba (neighbor kids or something) when he was little)
I want him to find a good home and am worried that once he's at the adoption shelter he might escape and they will not be able to catch him. It is not like he is afraid of people (he will sit in the living room (sometimes I let them upstairs) and just groom himself as long as we are sitting on the couch or not directly next to him. But if you move toward him he will run.
Is there anything I can do to break him of this or make him more comfortable? I want him to be adoptable and to find a great home. He's not feral nor was his mother (she was very friendly) and he started out very friendly and outgoing. I don't know what happened.