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post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Im new to this so pls bear with me. 2 days ago I just got a cat from a lady who said he was a feral cat. A stray cat wondered about her home and she started feeding her. Well a couple months later there were 4 kittens. They are now about 10 months old and the lady captured 2, spayed and neutered them and gave them to someone. the 3rd male was captured, neutered and rcvd all shots. I now have him. He is very scared of me, wanting to hide in corners, however I did get to hold him in my lap and pet him which he did without attacking me. I have 3 children (16, 14 and 10) 1 dog (older jack russell) and 2 guinea pigs. Any suggestions as to how I can help this cat become a member of our family? thanks!
post #2 of 3
First of all, congratulations for taking in this baby!! Most people wouldn't give him a second look and these cats are the hardest to find homes for. If you had him in your lap, then he isn't all that feral. A true feral wouldn't have let you get that close to him. The woman who caught them obviously did some human socialization with him before you adopted him.

There are a lot of little things you can do to get him socialized and a couple of big things.

The biggies:
Cats love routine. Feed him in the exact same place at the exact same time every day. Feed him a little bit of canned food daily at the same time (I do 7PM in my house). They usually like it more so than dry and they will really look forward to that moment each day.

Don't force yourself on him at all right now. Cats adjust at their own pace and if you push yourselves on them before they are ready, you will have setbacks. If he comes up to be petted, then pet him, but never approach him directly and try to love on him until he asks for it. If he chooses to hide under a bed or in a closet for a while, don't worry. He will come out when he is ready.

Now the little things, which when added up, often have as big as an effect as the big ones:

Never stare at him directly. A direct eye stare is a threat to a cat. If he catches your eye, either avert them or slowly blink your eyes. Eye blinks are a sign of greeting in cat colonies.

Never tower over him - it threatens them. Get down to his level - sit on the floor. You'll notice that when they do bolt from you, it is usually when you are walking past and all he will see is this big towering human.

Sit on the floor with a good book and read aloud to him. It gets him used to your voice and it is very non-threatening.

All of my cats were born feral and these work very well with them.
post #3 of 3
He must hide some, it is good for his wellbeing and downstressing. If you dont want him to hide much, make a hiding place for him. A cat igloo. Or a cardboard box turned aside, with something nice to lay on.

How is he going with the dog? Are the pals? It isnt no big bizness to foster a shy semiferal if you know how, and work on it. Although it may take time. But it is much easier if you have help of a friendly homecat. Or even a friendly homedog.
So dont forget to pet your dog extra much, so he dont get jealous.

If necessary, you could try with a Feliway diffuser. Makes him less stressed and feeling more wellbeing.
And if the dog is stressed by the newcomer - you can try with DAP; it is almost like Feliway but for dogs...

You should do fine without these, but here you have a extra possibility if necessary...
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