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Socializing a feral: The story of Lucky - Page 13

post #361 of 369
Saying that an older feral cat cannot be tamed is really not true. It actually depends on the cat. We had a feral kitten in the yard when we moved here. Although at the time we thought she was someone's pet. We still fed her, and little by little she hung out here. She also had one kitten the first year - who we could not get near. No matter what she did, she could not get that kitten to leave her side. It was amazing!

The following spring she had a litter of 4. By then I was able to borrow traps, and with the help of my local shelter, set up a small TNR program. I caught Dad, and the first kitten - also now an adult and sent them to the clinic to be fixed.

I caught Kitten Number 1 at about 14 weeks old. She hissed and spat - but within a week inside she was allowing me to pet her. Kitten Number 2 sadly was hit by a car. Kitten Number 3 disapeared, and shows up every few months for a quick meal. Kitten Number 4 by now was 6 months old, and hanging out with Dad and his Aunt. He must have gone 3/4 into the trap at least 20 times - and Dad would always show up.

But persistence paid off. I was finally able to catch him, and off he went to be neutered. When he got back he spent a week inside, and ended up with a very high fever. A few days on IVs and he was healthy. He was so wonderful at the vet - gentle and sweet. I picked him up, and although timid - he slowly came around.

Now he and his sister live inside with 2 older cats, 2 dogs, prairie dogs, ferrets, ground squirrels, guinea pigs, a bunny and a hamster. Both are shy with strangers - but love to be petted and beg for treats. Yesterday for the first time - Apache jumped on my lap. She is 1 1/2 years old now.

Their Mom now lives next door, and although still shy with others, allows my neighbor to pick her up, and she follows him everywhere.

Dad and the Aunt still live outside, and although I can't touch them, they love to sit on the roof and look inside the windows. Apache and her Aunt box through the windows.

They have 3 dog houses loaded up with warm fresh hay that they sleep in. They've survived 3 awful snowy Northeast Winters - and we love them for who they are.

post #362 of 369
Dallas...thanks for the story and thanks for caring enough to trap this family and get them spayed/neutered.

post #363 of 369
Originally Posted by Dallas1pd
Saying that an older feral cat cannot be tamed is really not true. It actually depends on the cat.
what a great story and i totally agree that its not impossible to
tame a feral cat. maybe some, but not all. my mamakitty was a cat
that according to the neighbors was outside for 6 year never
touched having litter after litter. i caught her, got her vetted
and re-released her. it took about a year but eventually she
let me pet her and pick her up. she now lives inside with me
and her birth son from the litter before her last litter.

she still is not thrilled when i pick her up but she is totally fine
once i do pick her up. she just avoids it like the plague...lol....
she is very affectionate as long as she doesn't think she will be
tricked into being picked up. and since she was on daily meds for
months until recently, she has gotten alot more used to being picked
up. she loves to get petted and head and chin scratches. shes been
inside now for about a year and a half and gets braver and braver
all the time.

thanks for saving those sweeties !!
post #364 of 369

i've had a little luck with the ferals. I've got 3 that I took in as barn cats. 2 are so spoil
ed, loves to be carried around, kissed, belly rubbed. the 3rd is truly wild and doesn't want to interact with humans. She still lives in the barn, but will hide when we come out to feed the others or the horses. I have recently had a gray cat show up...would run every time we go close. So what I did was to sit on the ground about 4 feet away, not looking at her, but just talking about everything and nothing. after a few days, she came up to me, and I kept on talking, but not moving at her. I did have my hands down so she could come to them. that was 2 weeks ago. now she follows me like a puppy. where ever I go she wants to go. When I pet her she gives me kitten ears, and closes her eyes like she's in heaven. We love her dearly.

mom to fuzzy,smooth, sweetpea, and now gray cat.
mitzi,heidi,chelsea, dogs
ernie,amadeo,major horses
post #365 of 369
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
What an Angel!

Hissy's the real expert here, but she's tied up with the Craft Show this weekend. Here are my thoughts.

I've only been involved with cats really since June. A litter of ferals turned up near us. I came to this site and as a result started feeding the whole family right away. The kittens were probably two months old when we started feeding them. It took about two/three weeks before two of the kittens wouldn't run away when we came out with food, and let us pet them while eating. It has taken until several weeks ago to be able to pick up and pet two others. One still hisses, arches his back and runs. We've had all but one neutered now. We waited until the kittens were about 3 1/2 months old to have Mom spayed. She has pretty much disappeared since.

It sounds like you've been feeding kitty for a while. If you want to wait for the trust, here are shelter suggestions. Is the boat upside down? Then all you'd really have to do is buy an old palate from Home Depot or something, put it under the boat with a pile of straw on it. Kitten can snuggle in, and it won't get soaked in rain if slightly elevated. If fattened up enough, it would actually keep him warm enough to probably survive Winter - but you definitely want him in before then! So...

Here are several links within the forum you will probably find very useful, both for integrating the little fella, getting him used to you, and shelter/feeding (while still outside) suggestions:




Since you want to adopt him, my guess is that Hissy would recommend trapping the little guy right away, spending time socializing him, and introducing him into the household. I do suggest waiting for her input. Until then, the first thread link above has her great suggestions on getting him used to you. I'll find more "introduction" (to new home, your other cat and you) suggestions in the Behavior forum and post links here.

To trap him, your local Vet probably has a Have-a-Heart type trap. Ours let us borrow theirs. Actually we've got so many cats around here, they just let us keep it and call us when they want it! LOL! Some may make you leave a deposit until you return it.

I'll post another reply with trapping hints, because they don't exist in a concise format in this forum. I just ran a bunch of searches and checked. I'll copy and paste all the relevent helpful info into a new thread, and then provide a link.

This is a very lucky kitty! He may not know it yet, but it sure sounds like he is going to love his new kitty home!!!

Don't hesitate to register to become a member of The Cat Site! It's easy and free, and then you can ask away!!!!

Please keep us posted! (Hope you don't mind, Debby!)

Thanks for sharing the information.
post #366 of 369
My last cat Sweetie was a feral when I took him in.He was more shy than wild.
He was about 2 years old when I discovered him in my backyard.
I already had a cat then called Felix who was a stray when I adopted him.
Sweetie used to sneak into the house via Felix's cat door and steal Felix's food.
I couldn't get near Sweetie, he would run away. He was covered in oil and grease from hiding under old cars.
My cat Felix would normally chase away any strange cats but he simply allowed Sweetie to run past him and into the house to eat.
What I didn't know then was that Felix was very ill and was going to die any day ( he showed absolutely no signs of being sick until the actual day he died).
Anyway...........I wanted to adopt Sweetie and every day I would go outside with a bowl of food to try to coax Sweetie out from under cars.
I used to crawl on my belly and inch my way closer every day. I would leave the bowl on the ground and lie on the ground metres away from it.
Every day I would put the bowl closer and closer to me and the house.
It took a month to gain some trust.
One day I put the bowl on the back door step.
When Sweetie came to the back door I pounced and grabbed him and took him inside and closed the door.
I cleaned the oil and grease off him and he even slept near me.
He was a "cupboard dweller" for the rest of his life. He wouldn't come out if we had visitors. Friends were often surprised to find out that I had a cat as they had never clapped their eyes on him.
Sweetie never liked to be picked up or cuddled but he would on occasion sit on my lap on his terms. He slept in my bed and after about five years he would let me scratch him under the chin.
I was the only person Sweetie trusted ( to a degree).

Nowadays I have two new kittens Miette and Samson.
But.......I have a feral cat problem.

When I moved into my current house 9 months ago I saw two little kittens in my backyard but was unable to catch them. They were not much bigger than my 11 week old kitties.
Now it is 9 months on and the cats are causing major problems with the wildlife.
I have a pet chicken and they almost killed her a few months ago. Henrietta sustained severe injuries. How she survived, I will never know.
The other day they killed a ringtailed possum ( mauled would be a better word).
I am thinking of getting a trap from the council to catch them.
I can't take them into my home because I have my quota of animals and unfortunately I just can't give them a home. They are very wild and fox like.
The feral cats only appear in my garden from time to time but when they do, it is frightening for my chicken, even if she is in her coop.

I don't blame the cats for being hungry........but I get mad at people who don't desex their cats , dump them and cause others and the cats to suffer.

KittyCoo xx
post #367 of 369
I have such mixed emotions when I come here to the ferrals forum. Anger at the people who just dump ther cats, joy at the ferrals who are saved by the grace of such good and caring people, sadness at the ones who are lost. I usually end up crying, as I am now!
While never having taken in a ferral, I have rescued cats from abusive homes, not an easy thing either.
Progress report (for those who remember me, have not been here in a while) for my kitty. Doing just great, still bites, but not to maim. Her newest thing is snoozing under the covers with me. Unfortunatly she has not yet figured out how to get under there without waking me up, by scratching at the covers and mowing very loud in my ear, to lift the covers for her, lol. She sleeps all mushed up against me, yes, I sleep spooning a cat
She was a rescue form an abusive home, I had to seperate her and her sister cat, the only other cat on earth she got along with, due to a move, her sister was not mine, belonging the person I was living with, and he would not let me take both of them. I was heartbroken about that but both her and her sister are doing fine.
She also follows me around like a puppy. And likes to stare at me, think Eddie from "Frasier" I believe it is because cats being denied any love latch on to anything they can.
post #368 of 369
What a wonderful story!!! You are an angel to go thru so much for one special kitty!
post #369 of 369

Sandi, thank-you so much for your story.

I spent my entire Sunday reading about little Lucky.  How Lucky indeed!  you have a huge, wonderful heart, my dear.


In several of your posts you mention that you hope one day to help someone following behind you.... many have, including me.

I am currently socializing a 2-3 year old feral, Sadie. I am on day 10 inside (month 8 from outside).


If you ever come around these parts again, we would all love an update.







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