Can you let that room be her room? Does it have doors, and will your other kitties not complain too much if they're not allowed in there?
IF all of the above are the case, make sure the room is "cat proof," then the best thing to do is open the door to her crate, move the litterbox out of the crate, and give her the option to leave the crate, but let the crate be her safe space. She will likely not leave the crate at first while you are there.
She is terrified, and her whole world has just been turned upside down.
I'd still contact the rescue - but perhaps you can officially sign up as her foster. She should see a vet. She may have tics, fleas, and worms. All of these need to be treated by a vet, over-the-counter meds ill NOT work and may harm her. But if you're signed up as a foster through the local rescue, they may provide all of the above, including the vet visit. Then you can foster her while you're officially part of a rescue program/shelter that is trying to adopt her.
If you need to search for other rescues/shelters, or people that can help, you can try http://pets911.com
, and you can also e-mail the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Campaign. Here's the page for resources for individuals: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...ersonindex.cfm
, and this page has an e-mail address where you can join the Best Friends network or e-mail them - the e-mail is also on this page: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...ets/about2.cfm
LOTS of resources and info there!
I'd invest in some Feliway. It is a synthetic hormone that is a synthetic hormone that mimics the "friendly" scent markers in cats' cheeks. This will help calm a stressed kitty. You may also want to try Flower Essences. Feliway is available at most pet stores these days, but a Rescue Remedy Flower Essences (and Feliway) are available at this site: http://www.catfaeries.com
To socialize your new semi-feral friend, spend as much time in the room with her as you can. But IGNORE HER. !!! The very first thing she needs to learn is that you don't want anything from her. Don't reach out to pet her, and if you look at her, look at her forehead or over her head. Looking into her eyes is a sign of aggression. Sit in there and read.
Tune a radio to a classical station. If you can find harp music, play that low on a CD for her. (Harp music really calms down cats for some reason!).
Keep the lighting low - put a nite lite in there for her.
If you have a laptop, work on it in there. Just be in there, let her get used to the new territory, the new sights, the new smells - and let her figure out that being trapped in a home isn't horrible. Let her figure out that all you want to do is make sure she has food, water, a clean litter box - and then she'll want love.
Put some toys out for her. Little things to play with. Balls, little furry mice, cat coils, whatever. Once she's not afraid being around you - which can be a few days or a few weeks - it is totally up to her - try playing interactively with a wand toy.
Food is a great motivator. And cats learn by association. So get a couple of t-shirts really sweaty, and put one under her food dish. Then leave treats for her out on the other one. You don't necessarily have to be in the room when she eats them - she may not want to come out of the crate when you're there at first. But she will learn to associate you with good things.
Knock lightly on the door before you enter the room. And the more of a schedule you can keep for going in there to sit, or to clean the litter box, or to freshen up her water or food, the better. Cats totally groove on a schedule.
If you can't let her loose in the room, then can you afford one of those large multi-level cages? She can't stay in that small crate. Even a bathroom is better than just the crate.
Put out paper bags and boxes - lots of hidey places. This will also help her to feel safer.
The most important thing to remember is that cats operate on their own schedules. What you are trying to achieve with her is trust. To help her to learn that she can trust people. She obviously chose you - but she didn't know what she was in for.
She may not have known love in her life, so she doesn't know it's a good thing yet. And cats are curious. The more you ignore her, the faster she'll come around. And she'll get curious. She'll want to check you out. To sniff. And then she'll bump you. That's your cue to reach out your hand - palm down - to let her sniff, to let her rub.
Once she feels comfortable being in the room with you, you can also try food - again, a great motivator. See if she'll eat some wet food off a spoon you hold out to her. This will help her learn that "reaching hands" aren't necessarily menacing or bad.
to you for rescuing this kitty! She is not feral if she was sleeping on your porch.
Cats are very territory oriented, and when that changes, they are scared. If she was abused by humans, it may take some time for her to come around. If she was loved at some point, it probably won't take long.
Most importantly, if you have any questions, please ask!