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Ferals good on the way.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry for not visiting for a while.
The rest of our life is not doing as good as the cats. I have had so much help from you all so I own you an update and I have I also need a some advise. Here we go:
All kittens are now around ten month old, spayed, neuterd, vaccinated, chip-marked, dewormed and fairly healthy. The mamas is still only spayed and dewormed since I don't want to put them through the stress to be captured and caged again untill it is really nessacary.
The conflicts with our domestic cats are completely over. They can even play and sleep together now. All kittens sleep with us in the bed but Gipsy and Silas cannot be touched yet. Tosca has just discovered the joy of being huged and petted and little Wesely and Ice sleep under the cover as close as they can get.
Gipsy is on her way. She even jumps up in my husbands lap occationally but just to jump off again. She can also stand on her hindlegs, next to me in the kitchen when I'm preparing catfood.
The closest I've been to Silas lately was when he forgot that I am dangerous and pressed his head against my legs when there was candy on the way but that is several weeks ago now. He eat from my hand though.
Mama Agnes is the one who has done the most progress. This terrified skinny little mother, really ill from both Herpes and Chlamydia, keeping at least a five meter distance to us, is now round and healthy. She plays with her kittens and take candy from my hand (or put her claws in my hand so I drop the candy).
The one I am most worried about - and also need an advice about - is mama Moa. She appears to be healthy and she eats and drink but she avoids us. She has periods when she really seem depressed and her body language is very closed. She comes inside (from the closed cat-garden where she spend most of her time) only when it's really bad weather and to eat. When she lays down she lays on her stomac wit the legs under her and she never seem realxed. I have never seen her play or even looking at something with enthusiasm. We have been talking about let only her free. We let or domestic cats out and they have a catpatch where they only can get in so they can always get in but they need us to let them out. Moa is to afraid of us to get close enough for being let out. We live in a safe area but I don't want to let the kittens out untill I can lift and hold the all and they consider us their safety.
I want to keep Moa but she doesn't seem to want to keep us.
Then my other troublechild - little Wesely.
He is to smart. Playing is not enough to keep his mind busy. He needs to hunt. He has sneeked out a couple of times when I go to the chickens and he takes off on a long tour of his own. He is not afraid of anything. All my previous cats has always stayed with me but he is off.
He doesn't sleep half as much as the rest of the cats and when he is bored he where us out with meowing. He screems constantly untill we help him to get busy. I am thinking about to get a leach for him and take him on walks but I have never done that before and I am afraid that it will just make him more eager to get out.
I really hope it get's better when we can open the hole house. We are still living in one room and kitchen due to the renovation.
post #2 of 7
Malena - thank you so much for the update! I hope the rest of your life goes as well as the cats and soon!

...about Moa. I don't really know what advice to give. I assume she's an older kitty - and older ferals can really take a long time to come around. If she's three or more years old, it could literally take years for her to become comfortable with you and hubby inside your home.

When she's in the cat garden is she relaxed? Could it also be disturbance/noise from renovations keeping her on edge inside? I know that in most places in Europe there's a very different perspective on cats, and letting cats roam is very "normal." Here in the U.S., and for the most part at TCS, we encourage people to keep their kitties inside (or in some type of enclosure when outside) - and this, apparently, is what you do with your kitties. But I have to believe that no matter how unhappy she seems when she comes inside that she has to have a better life than she had.

She doesn't know what play is, and she doesn't know that love from humans is good - yet. Have you tried to engage her in play with a wand toy - like with a feather at the end of a string or anything? No matter what, she's safe, and takes advantage of the option to come inside when there's bad weather. It could also be that she's sick and you simply can't tell. ? It could be that even if she were free to roam she wouldn't look at anything with enthusiasm. ?

Of course, all the ferals that are trapped and spayed/neutered can't be kept as pets or turned into pets - that's why there are trap-neuter-release programs and why there are feral colonies. If you really feel she's miserable, and a medical problem has been ruled out, there isn't any reason you can't let her go and continue to put out food for her. She knows she has a source of food at your home. But she may be just as miserable on her own.

As to Wesley. We have this problem with Flowerbelle. We just try to play with her as much as possible. She's never gotten out, and we don't have an outside enclosure for them. But when she claws at my lap when I'm working and just can't play, I lean over and blow a short, sharp puff of air in her face and tell her "mommy's busy right now." I'm just letting her know I don't want her clawing at me. She complains and tries again a few times - but gets the message and stops bugging me.

When we tried the leash with Flowerbelle, she just never got over having a leash put on her. They suggest you leash train by just laying the leash on the cat at first (like it doesn't fall off the second they move ). When we put the leash on her, she acts like we've put 20 pound weights on her, and she crawls around on her stomach like her legs don't work anymore.

We did try leashes with Lazlo and Sheldon. Even though after putting the leashes on them a few times they figured out they could actually walk with them on - but they did NOT enjoy being outside. For them they were simply in new territory and it was scary.

Wesley sounds like he might not have that reaction. With his energy and interest levels so high, I think trying a leash may not be a bad idea. Of course, then he'll howl at you to take him for walks all day!

But other than extra play time (which he already gets) and trying the leash, I think you'll just have to wait for the renovations to be finished so everyone has more room.....

Have you tried hiding treats around the room, the kitchen, and the cat garden? If you hide treats at different times and different places, maybe this will help engage his need to hunt? Also, there's a toy available here called something like the cat dancer. It's a long thin wire with a few little cardboard pieces at the end. There's a thick cloth-like "paw" that has strong glue on it - you can attach it to a wall (if you're willing to glue something to your wall), and one end of the wire slips in it. The wire dangles with the little cardboard pieces at the end - and when kitty tried to grab it, it dances away (this one is called "cat dancer complete" versus the plain "cat dancer," which is just the steel wire with the cardboard at the end - no way to attach it to anything so that kitty can play by himself). Or if they catch it - when they let it go it goes flying around - which, of course, makes them want to get it again. This can amuse cats by themselves for quite some time.

Another good game - the red dot. Get a laser toy. This drives ALL of our cats completely nuts - and we can tire them ALL out without getting out of bed! Many people don't like the "red dot" game, because there's nothing to catch, and it leaves cats frustrated. But I've watched them trying to catch a fly or a moth - and those just fly away, often no prey to catch at the end of that game either. Of couse, you can put a treat under a wash cloth or something, and make the red dot end on that, so there is something to "get" at the end of the game.

Just throwing suggestions out there you might not have tried already.

Hope you and hubby are healthy, and that whatever troubles you've been encountering are all resolved to your benefit soon!

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you Laurie,

I gonna trie to get a Laser pointer. Since all furnature already is secured to the walls and all flowers are taped to their places I think the house will survive it. I hope it gets better when they have four big rooms to demolish instead of one.
My husband (Paul) is severely hurt in his back after a car accident so he will be home for a while and the renovation is for the moment standing still. He is a little bit movable though and he plays a lot with the cats.
For a few weeks Moa will be his project. To get close to her and try to find something that interest her. I think she is quite young - two, three years.
I definitely gonna hide candy for them. I have catnip-pills that smells a bit. Maybe that will also keep them from breaking in to everything else. They are experts in opening catsand-bags, chicken food, cat-food, our food and mix it with clothes they can reach. If they also can find water to add they are really thrilled.
They even climbed to the roof and picked the isolation down before we had the inner roof ready.
We are never bored.
post #4 of 7
It is good to hear from you - I have wondered how you were. It sounds as if progress is being made in several directions, even if slowly. I can relate to the parallel problems of domestic cats, ferals (which in my case included two wild ponies!), house renovations and health. It all seems insurmountable sometimes, but you are doing well, and you seem on top of things. Best wishes to your husband for a speedy recovery, though it is great that he can spend some time with Moa. Good luck.
post #5 of 7
Welcome back, Malena!

I, like Laurie, wonder if Moa has perhaps pain? A cat with pain could behave just so. Is she trying to "teach how to behave" (läxa upp) other cats? - This too typical with cat in some pain who therefore is short-tempered.

I dont remember what we said earlier. But I suppose you did used Feliway?

There is a similiar preparate, the Felifriend. Good when you shall do things with them.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello Stefan and all of you,

It is gonna be very difficult to find out if she is in pain. I gonna buy some vitamines and add to her food and ask Paul, who is home to keep an extra eye on her toilet behavior to rule out the most common health issues. If we pay extra attention to her an trie to bribe her with her favorite treats and spend more time where she chose to be, for a month more and nothing changes I will capture her again and take her to the vet.
If he doesn't find anything he can still get her a new shot against worms and parasites and some vitamine B and globuline for extra energy apatite.
I have tried to find Feliway or Felifriend in every pet store around here but it doesn't seem to excist.

I will ask my parents to bring it from Sweden.

When we open the rest of the house I am pretty sure she will find a corner inside to spend her time and then it's easier to make her comfortable and safe with us.

Thanks again for all the help.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by Malena View Post
I have tried to find Feliway or Felifriend in every pet store around here but it doesn't seem to excist.

I will ask my parents to bring it from Sweden.
In Sweden Feliway or Felifriend are usually buyed by a veterinarian. I believe this may be so also in Belgium.

I shall try to look out if Feliway and Felifriend are at some Internet-shop.

(Felifriend good when you shall catch her and handle her)
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