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Thread: Feral cat advice needed!

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    Bronze Member thordis's Avatar
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    Default Feral cat advice needed!

    We brought a semi-feral cat into our home after spaying and innoculating her. She was somewhat friendly when outdoors, but now mostly stays under the bed in her room. We know she comes out to eat and to use the litter box, but she hides most of the time. Should we return her to the colony that lives (outdoors) in our neighborhood, or should we persevere in trying to make her somewhat happy indoors? We have other, VERY friendly cats in the house, and we've had rabies and wildlife problems in our area. Thanks for any advice!
    Things fall apart. It's scientific.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I have several of those - it takes time to domesticate them. Give her some extra love and attention - one of my ferals, Elsa, is the most loving & affectionate cat in the household to me - isn't a huge fan of the rest of the crowd, but they get along and she plays with them occasionally. She is intimated by being enclosed and needs time to adjust. Please don't turn her loose.

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    Bronze Member thordis's Avatar
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    Thank you for that advice! That was my instinct (not to let her loose again) but I don't want her quality of life to suffer. Her offspring live outside our house but they're too feral to bring in. She's was abandoned, I believe, due to a house foreclosure, and I feel like we may be able to bring her around.
    Things fall apart. It's scientific.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    I agree w/Brookie. I had one as well, and she lived till the ripe old age of 17. She was a handful in the beginning but was a super cool cat and I miss her even today.

    Good luck!

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. Keep us up to date on her progress.

    My late kitty, Punkin who passed last year, was feral for her first 6 months. It took her a while to adjust to the other two clowns I had already, but she proved to be very independent, very feminine and very loving. I miss her too - she lived to be 19.

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    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    No, don't give her back.
    Just pay extra love and attention to her, and she'll come around.
    You just have to be patient, because she's not used to being loved by people. In due time, she'll freely show you affection if you initiate contact with her on a regular basis, I promise. Good luck!
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    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Give her some time.

    We had a feral cat for years outside, she was attacked by another animal and we had to trap her to have her neck stitched back up and the vet was amazed that she survived.

    We brought her into our bedroom in a very large dog pen and set up a feed station, litter box and a comfy bed area. She howled every night for almost two weeks but after we took the cage away and let her have free range of the bedroom she chilled out and also spent most of the time hiding under the bed.

    We bought her one of these window perches and left the blinds pulled partially up on that window and she loved it - she knew it was HER spot.

    Amazon.com: Lazy Pet Deluxe Window Perch: Kitchen & Dining

    After the third week she totally cool with the arrangement and will hang out with us in bed every morning and every night for her pets and then she'll sleep on her perch or under the bed.

    So, yah - give her some time.

    GOOD LUCK!
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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Yep, give her some time, especially in a home with other cats. In a feral colony, cats have an established 'order' and know their place. Not only has your new kitty got a new environment, she also has a new 'colony' where she doesn't know how to fit in.

    Have your other cats seen her?

    If not, a great way to do a gradual introduction is to put a see through gate in the doorway. The cats can satisfy curiosity, get used to smells and increase their bravery. Then, do supervised visits with the new kitty, etc.

    I'm positive your new kitty will do fine. I've rescued several feral cats/kittens, all of which became extremely loving cats- more so than just regular cats I've had.

    Keep us posted!

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    is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Bronze Member Banshee's Avatar
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    The best thing for her is to be kept in a small space for a while. Cats can freak out when given too much space when first brought into a house. She'll find all the good places to hide, mark the room up with her scent and it will become her "safe" room and she'll go back to it when she's scared. Visit her in that space and let her come to you if she wants, or let her hide if she prefers.

    Some feral or semi-feral cats come around and become affectionate, some simply co-exist with their owners. It can take years for them to decide that people are ok and aren't going to hurt them. I think it's amazing that you are kind enough to open your home to her; most people wouldn't. The average outdoors only cat lives 3 years. Indoor cats live anywhere from 10-20 years. Any way you shake it, you've done a great thing for her!

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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new addition. Taking her in was a wonderful thing.

    We have trapped and rescued several ferals and currently we have 2 that live in our house with our other cats. They seem to have adjusted better to the other cats than to us humans, but as time goes by, they are showing more of themselves to us. They don't hide unseen anymore and they come out for feedings with the other cats. It's difficult to pet them just yet and I don't think our 2 ferals will ever be super affectionate but we love them just the same and are happy that we rescued them from what would have been a very difficult life.

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    Elite Member fgg's Avatar
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    there are what seems like 100 of them running around my neighborhood that i would like to get rid of. feel free to come scoop some of them up.

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    thordis, thank you for giving this kitty a chance, I wish more people were like you. Just be patient and she should come around. We trapped a really wild feral and her two kittens 7 years ago. The mama was so wild, you could not touch her. Now, she is a love bug and you would never believe she used to be feral. Same for the kittens.

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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    What an incredible and generous group of people here! I'm so happy to hear about all of the cat rescue stories. Good on all of you!!
    ...of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

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    Bronze Member thordis's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement. It's always so helpful to hear the voices of experience. It's even better to hear of all of the kindness you all have shown to other kitties in the same situation!

    We're definitely going to keep the feral cat inside and give her lots of time to adjust at her own pace. We'll also keep on going with the Trap-Neuter-Release (and Feed!) for the rest of the colony. If only I could deduct this on our taxes!

    Now if only we could come up with a name for her!
    Things fall apart. It's scientific.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    How about "Wild Thing"??

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