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Need advice!(kinda long)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have an ex-feral female cat, Bestia. I caught her back in January, when she was about 6-7 weeks old. When I caught her she was WILD. She hissed and bit and would always hide. She actually "escaped" into our attic the first day I had her. It was my fault because I let her run free in the house rather then keep her in the bedroom. Anyways, she came out of the attic the next morning and I set her up in out bedroom. She didn't eat for the first 2 days so I ended up force feeding her via an eyedropper for the first couple days til she ate on her own. Obviously, she was freaked out for the first couple weeks and didn't like to be touched. The only way she would allow me to hold her was if I had her covered with a blanket in my lap, then she would purr til she fell asleep. However, she never learned to get along with anyone else, not even my husband. If anyone else tried to touch her she would freak out and run away and hide til they were gone.

I thought she would eventually calm down and she seemed to be getting better for a short period of time, but then went back to hiding and not letting anyone touch her but me(I still can't hold her though, she doesn't like it).

My hubby and I moved to the mountains of NC and while we were there she managed to slip out the door. She never comes when we call so we had no way to catch her(she was too smart for a cage). Anyways, long story short, by the time we DID manage to catch her(about a month and a half later), it was too late, she was VERY preggers. I managed to get her back inside and set her up with a litter box, kitten food, etc... I blocked off all the hiding spots but she still would hide under out futon all day, only coming out at night to eat, drink, and go to the bathroom.

We have since moved again and now live in IL. She had her kittens(she did
SO well, not a single peep during the entire labor, I'm so proud of her), I was there the whole time. If I tried to walk away she would follow me, WHILE IN LABOR!

Anywas, her kittens are 12 weeks old and Bestia has since learned how to play with other cats(her kittens). Whenever I am home alone with her she is perfectly normal: playing, coming up to me for pets, meowing, staring out the window, ect... However, if she hears anyone at the door she runs away and hides(growling all the way to her hiding spot, the growling is actually kinda cute, LOL!). When my hubby is home she NEVER comes out of her hiding spot, not to eat, drink, play, go potty, NOTHING!

Now that I've told you her past, here's what's going on right now...She should be getting spayed next month(don't worry, she can't get out, we have 2 doors between her and the outdoors at ALL times!). I would get it done earlier, but I can't afford it right now. I just found a place nearby that will do the surgery relatively cheap. I want to know if the spaying will calm her down and help her become normal?

I don't like that she can't live a normal life. I considered trying to find her a new home but I think that may make matters worse. You see, she's VERY attaches to me. I was the first human to every touch her and I am the only person she allows to pet her(and boy does she love her petsies! If I don't pet her she will headbutt me till I give her attention!LOL!). Personally, I think it would devestate her to be separated me(am I wrong?). I actually took her to the humane society when I first caught her as a kitten, but I was scared they would put her to sleep because she was feral and so I adopted her back.

There have been times whe I actually considered having her put to sleep because I have lost hope of her being able to live a normal life. I hate seeing her suffer and having to hide all day long because she is so scared of everyone.

Am I being selfish in keeping her? Would she be better off with someone else? Should putting her to sleep be something I should consider? WIll spaying change her and make her normal? Has anyone else here been through this? PLEASE HELP!

(I'm sorry this thread is so long)
post #2 of 15
Honey, if she is a feral rescue, it will take time and lots of patience before she even begins to become "normal". As to if you are doing the right thing for her, you don't want her out again, fending for herself, do you? Well, then of course you are doing the right thing. It is not your fault or hers that "normal" for her is perhaps a one room house. Better that than coyote food (apologies to coyotes, the canine kind), or roadkill.

My ferals are outsiders and probably always will be, but they are "normal" in the sense that at breakfast, they come up to me for pets and lovings before they eat. The rest of the day, they don't "know" me and won't come near me. They will listen when I talk to them, but won't come near me.

I don't know if re-homing is a good idea, she knows you and obviously trusts you to a degree. That is something you will have to live with as long as she lives....a degree. But please, don't put her back outside.
post #3 of 15
Dear Tortie:

PLEASE KEEP HER AND KEEP HER INSIDE ONLY!!! Yes, she is bonded to you and yes, she (and ALL cats) should be kept indoors only. She and her kittens need to be spayed/neutered as soon as the kittens are weaned (for her) and as soon as possible (for the kittens). "Shelters" do put ferals down. Please do NOT surrender them to a pound or shelter. I hope and pray you can keep them all and give them the loving forever home they deserve.
You're sure to find lots of helpful information on these forums; and you may want to call 1-888-PETS911 for information on low-cost spay/neuter. Another place is http://www.bestfriends.org on the Web.

Please keep us posted on their welfare, okay?
post #4 of 15
I can sure relate to your post! My Ophelia was a feral that came into our lives when she was about 6 weeks old. She tolerated me to a point (me - the one who spent HOURS with her as a kitten playing with her and showing her that people weren't all horrible), but got VERY attached to my husband (likely because he ignored her ). Honestly, we did wait longer than we should have to get her spayed, but she didn't have any kittens (she is scared of doors and runs away from them when they open to the outside).

When she was spayed, she did calm down considerably! She became even more loving to my husband, and even to me. But I have to tell you that she really didn't come to really trust us, I mean really trust us, until she was around 5 years old. We loved her, and she loved us in her way, but somewhere between 4 -5 years old is when the trust barriers really started breaking down with her. She even lets strangers see her now. They can't touch her, but they can at least look at her.

I think she's got a good home with you. Why? Because you understand her, and you allow her to be who she is. You aren't pressuring her to trust you more than she is ready to, and that means everything to her.

Are you planning on keeping any of the kittens? The reason I ask is because Ophelia really learned a lot about being a housecat through our other cat, Trent. He was raised underfoot and is a total people cat. Her curiosity really helped her understand that neither of us were going to hurt us, and that pets could be good from either of us.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your help and support. I just, I feel guilty sometimes because I blame myself for the way she is and I wonder if she would have just been better off if I had left her at the humane society and maybe she would have found a good home with someone who could have done better with her than me. I know I've been doing everything right, but I can't help but feel guilty when I see how scared she gets of people and doesn't trust anyone but me.

Other times I feel great knowing that I helped her and that, even though she accidentally got preggers once, at least I will get her spayed now and, unlike if she had stayed outside as a kitten, she doesn't have to go through the stress of giving birth multiple times a year for the rest of her life. I know I'm he;ping her at least with that. Also, if she had stayed on the streets she would have never learned the joys of human touch and the feel of someone giving her a backscratch, etc...

When I'm home alone she is the most affectionate cat ever and trusts me 100%(she just doesn't like to be held, I guess she feels trapped, she'll let me do it, but she won't enjoy it) However, when my hubby is home, I never see her unles she is running full speed from one hiding spot to another(her favorite spot is under an old stove that we no longer use).

Ever since the kittens have learned to play, Bestia has been more playful and enjoys playing with them when nobody else is around(except me). I found a home for one and am still looking for homes for the other 2. I would like to keep one of them, but the problem is that I would then have 4 cats in a 1-bedroom apartment, that's too many for me). However, if it would be better for little "Bessy" than I think my husband may let me keep one.

I found a place that would spay her for just $10, but I need to make sure she is up to date on her shots. She got her rabies shot and stuff back in January when I took her to the humane society but I'm not sure what else she needs, I think just the rabies. I'll have to pull out her papers and call the place that will spay her to find out the details. If I need to get her shots than I won't be able to get her done for about a month or so. However, if no shots are needed than I may be able to get her done earlier, I just need to call and make an appointment.

I have to go right now, but I will keep you all updated on her progress. Thank you again for your advice and support, I really appreciate it.
post #6 of 15

Most all vets have comprehensive innoculations packages they offer for a reduced rate. The basic shots for cats include FVRCP vaccination (feline rhinotracheitis, coronavirus and pneumonitis - upper respiratory infections which can be very serious, even fatal), rabies, and possibly the FIP vaccination, given as nasal drops and quite controversial. I have, I believe, lost a kitten to this vaccination; but FIP is a fatal disease, so it's like playing Russian roulette. You may want to see what some of the site "biggies" have to offer by way of advice, or consult experts (other than the vet who will probably encourage you to get the vaccine).

I DO hope you can keep at least one of the kittens. Personally, I have lived in small quarters with multiple cats, very successfully. And of course, I pray you are able to find good, loving, forever homes for the kittens you must adopt out.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm really picky about who I let my kitties go to. Only once before have I had to take pets of mine to a humane society(other than bestia). I lived in North Carolina and at the time had 5 cats, a dog, anf a ferret. When my hubby and I finally decided to move we realized that we needed to cut back on our "zoo" if we were ever going to find a place to live in IL(an affordable place). I found a home for the ferret in less than 24 hours: a teenager had just lost her ferret to old age and worked at the humane society and saw my flier I had placed there. I talked to her and decided that she would take good care of him so he found a good home. I then decided that the puppy(4 months old) and kittens(5 months old) were probably the most likely to be adopted and would adjust better than any of our adult cats, plus, I couldn't give away my "first" babies, they came first. The same girl who took the ferret agreed to foster the puppy and the humane society is really great with cats, they pretty much run the place. They have a REALLY fat cat that lays outside on the poororch to "great" people, it's so cute. Its not like the humane societies you see in the city, they aren't all in little cages. They either roam free or they are in a large outside cage like a "colony". All of the cats there seemed very happy and I knew the kittens would get taken very good care of until they got adopted.

Anyways, I'm just waiting for the "right person" to come along. I'm sure all know what I mean.
post #8 of 15
...well, this "someone" sure does; and I am relieved and glad that you are such a picky "meowma" about adopting out. Sounds like your humane society is a no-kill shelter? Do you know for sure?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yeah, they said they only put animals to sleep if they have health problems or are COMPLETELY unadoptable(as in: violant and unsafe or something). They would never put to sleep any animals without a VERY good reason.
post #10 of 15
Dear Tortie:

Well, that's a relief!!! Although I always take exception with any org that says this; because "violent and unsafe" is so subjective, and assumes that a cat (or dog or ???) is inherently "bad" rather than scared, lonely, and traumatized, not to mention abused, as is too often the case!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I asked them specifically about my 2 kitties I brough in. They looked at them, saw they were healthy, adorable, and adoptable and said they would not be put to sleep because they are %100 cute and adoptable! LOL! I just hope they got put together after I left. They put them in seperate cages at first for quarantine but said they would probably put them together afterwards. They are sisters and had never been apart til them. They looked so scared. I cried for quite awhile afterwards because I felt like such a bad meowmy for having to take them there. I hope they have wonderful, loving homes by now.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, good news everybody! Within the next couple days I will be getting a call back from a place called Treehouse so I can set up appointments for Bestia and her 2 kittens to be spayed! Yippee!!! Sooo....within the next couple weeks they should all be spayed! I hope that helps me with adopting out the kittens, You know, cause they'll be spayed and the new owners won't have to pay to have it done. That's a plus for potential taker, right?
post #13 of 15
ME, TOO. And I certainly understand how you feel. I would, too. Hope they are adopted together. I hate breaking families up; and anyone who laughs at that or doesn't believe cats have feelings for one another, especially when they are related, DOESN'T KNOW CATS.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

They may not be people, but, like dogs, they like to live in groups and kinda get lonely if they don't. If you're gonna have a cat, make it a HAPPY one!
post #15 of 15
I'll second that! And cats in families are generally HAPPY CATS!!!
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