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Advice on an tabby

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,

Some History :
I have an orange tabby it is a very nice cat but for some reason it is fearful of everything for the last 3 years. It has been at our house for the last three years and it has yet to hiss or get mad at anyone, including strangers who pet it. You can pet this cat for days and you will not a hear a thing from him.
These summer days the cat is pretty much living outdoor, and very rarely comes into the home. In the mornings it usually waits by the glass door for me to come and feed it. Sometimes, when I open the door it will coming running for me from its hiding spots. When I go out it shows a lot of affection, tons of head bumps, straight tails, purring, rubbing, its mouth is watering with saliva and finally flips on the back a wants a belly rub. It also does happy bites on my legs and arms. These bits just involve the teeth touching my skin. Same thing happens in the evenings. When I go out to pet the cat when it is taking a nap, it usually lets me pet it and then flips over for a belly rub.
In the last week or so, everything started to fall apart. Last Wednesday it went out for 2-3 days without coming home, it finally showed up on Friday night, sort of scared, hungry and dirty. First thing I did was give it some food (dry and wet) and also some water, it pretty much ignored it. Since it was very dirty I decided to give it a water rinse (this was a big no no). I put it in a big plastic bin and used the garden hose to pour some water and rubbed it down. It definitely did not enjoy it. After that I took a towel wiped him down and put him in the garage and moved the food there. After some slight hesitation he started eating the food.
Saturday morning and evening it was back to its normal self of belly rubs , head bumps. I left it in the garage with more food and water. Usually our garage does not get over 80 in the summer, so it much better than the 100+ outside. On Sunday morning it did not eat anything and was very reserved any how I opened the garage door and let it out. It was hiding in a corner, when I let him out.
After Sunday it again disappeared for couple of days, I would see it around the neighborhood but when I try to go near it, it runs away. Every night and morning I usually set dry food and water outside before I leave. Last two days food did not move, so I know the cat has not come home. I would throw out the old stuff and put new food at the end of the day.
Finally yesterday night (Tuesday) I saw the cat in our backyard and it ate a little bit of the dry food, when I opened the door it ran away. In the morning it was sleeping in the yard but when I opened the door it ran away. I put another bowl of dry food for it, it came back in a couple of hours and ate a little bit. This time instead of running away after eating it went and slept in the far side of the yard. I put out more dry food and wet food, this time it did not runaway after I opened the door. It just raised its head and watched me.
I am not sure what happened to it in the last week, why is it so terrified of me. I should have not given it a cold bath on Saturday, that was a big mistake but the next day it warmed up to me quite well, now it does not even come near me.
I am happy that it is coming back and sleeping in the yard, and eating the food. I will keep putting wet and dry food outside for it in the morning and evenings. I am thinking it will take it at least another week or two before it lets me go near it for now I will try not to go near it. I will just put the food outside. I am happy that it is getting cozy with the territory again. Since it is coming back for food and sleeping it is a good thing. It feels safe again in the yard.
Any advice, I really miss the affection the cat shows me. Should I put the cat in the garage for a week or so if I get hold of him?

Thank you,
post #2 of 4
Hi, a lot of stuff to talk about here! First, is the cat neutered? If not, it would explain why he takes off all the time (looking for action). That alone is asking for trouble from other male cats who are larger, maybe contagious with serious diseases, female cats with illness, not to mention traffic, poison (not necessarily on purpose), nutty and mean people, nasty dogs, etc. etc. The cat belongs indoors where it can have a safe and happy life, not dodging all the above every day, driven if not by hormones, then just whatever happens to be there - peaking his curiosity, but 9/10 times not rewarding. Secondly, why do you mostly call him 'it'? Does he even have a name? He's not an 'it', he's a living, breathing, thinking, feeling, unique personality just as humans are, and deserves to be thought of as all that and someone who's cared about, not as a thing that elicits occasional interest during belly rubs. Please get him inside, get him to a vet for check-ups of fleas, parasites, worms, anything else that might be going on, and for neutering if it's not been done. Please give him a name (that alone, as hostages have learned, can bring out more feelings and better action in the 'bad guys' - tho' I'm not classifying you as that of course, and you obviously do care about him). Get him a cat tree to cilmb, instead of who knows what out there that could be dangerous. Play with him using toys - anything wiggling under a sheet is a perfect pounce toy, as are little balls to chase, or a laser pointer aimed at the walls for him to chase. Even a friend from a shelter for when you're not around. But don't call him 'it', and do take more care of him.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
My bad , the cats name is Tabby, I just refered to the cat as it in my last post, ofcourse he goes by Tabby at home.

Tabby is cared for like an indoor cat but we let Tabby roam around, since cats true nature is to be outside, hunting and running around. During winters we put him up in the house but he does not seem to enjoy it too much. Again I and my family dont try to boss him around too much to stay at home, if he goes to the door we open it so he can go out.

Usually Tabby's schedule has been the following. food : 7-10am, 1-3pm, and 6-8pm. He comes back home during those hours so we usually feed Tabby wet food in the afternoon and night, dry food in the morning.

Also Tabby has been taken to the vet every quater, all shots are current. As a matter of fact Tabby is scheduled to be taken to vet in couple of weeks. He is neutered , .... and ..... .

Tabby was a stray he was lost, hungry and extremely scared he was around 1 year old. Poor thing was looking for food, first we gave him some regular human food, then went and picked up some cat food. We took him to the vet, got everything tested and done.

So I have a lot of attachment to the Tabby, I am planning on making Tabby a indoor cat once I move to my new house in 2-3 months, he will probably get his own room. The new house is in a very busy commercial area, unlike the old house which has a small forest in the back.

This last week has not been fun, this time he comes by I will take him and put him in the garage. The garage has an A/C and lot of places for him to hide.
post #4 of 4
The "cat's true nature" argument is rubbish. A cat can be perfectly content living indoors all the time, as long as you spend enough time with him/her and give him/her a stimulating enough environment.
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