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Taming a feral female cat

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
hope this is the right website and forum for a question like this. My wife and I found 4 feral or maybe semi-feral kittens approx 4 months old in August of this year by our new apartment when we moved in. They were scared and hungry and we began feeding them. Months have passed and all 4 cats have followed us inside our apartment. 3 of the cats are now very tame, we got two of the Males neutured, and are preparing for the females to get spayed. One of the females will not lets us touch her, she hides all day and only comes out for food, and won't eat if we are watching. We decided to keep all the cats inside, with a busy road right out front and only garbage to eat, and the winter coming we thought it would be cruel to keep the only unfriendly one outside by herself. Long story short does anyone have any tips or advice? I have been reading websites and the threads here, so far not much has helped. Can anyone tell me if its a good idea to force this cat to be inside? she really wants nothing to do with us and wants to go outside? Thankyou.
post #2 of 5
You're truly wonderful folks for rescuing the strays. We're going down the same path with two female strays. We've gotten one inside and trying to trap the other (reluctant) one.

Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to protect them from the elements. Winters here are harsh and I don't think the two females would have survived the winter living under our front porch.

I'm sure if you can get the last stray inside with it's siblings it'll come around eventually.
post #3 of 5
Bless you for caring and giving them a better life.

The "wanting to go outside" is so she can mate. The vet explained to me that just because it is winter it does not mean they stop mating. That's how kittens are born in Feb.

Once the females are spayed they will probably not act like they want to go out. It is not harmful to keep her inside. She will adjust and settle in more after the hormones are in check.

I have four former ferals that live with me. All are indoor only because it is not safe here outside. There is only one of the 3 females that still hides, is very shy and wants nothing to do with humans. This is after a year. Some cats are just that way because their personality plays a part.

You may have to trap her with a humane trap to get her to the vet. After she has been spayed, give her lots of time and ignore her. This will help.

Do not look at her directly or in the eye. Look to the side and if she catches you looking in her direction, blink slowly. Staring in the cat world is a sign of aggression and slow blinking is a sort of greeting.

Many more tips that might help. First is to fix the hormones. Good luck and keep posting so others can help with ideas.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have to corner "Bat-T" the feral female tomorrow morning and get her to the vet. I hope this doesn't ruine any of the trust we were building up until now. Tonight she was laying only inches away from me as I put treats on the ground before her. Any attempt to get closer and she "Bats" me hence her name.

I thank everyone for their advice. I never was a cat person but after taking these foure in and reading peoples sad and happy stories I can't bare to give up on this cat.

Wish me luck.
post #5 of 5
Best of luck to you on getting her to the vet. She will probably regress some but just take care of her needs, go back to your routine with them and ignore her presence.

The four ferals I took in a year ago had their home destroyed and would be euthanized if sent to a shelter. They were all older between 1 to 4 years old. I knew that with me they at least would be alive, warm and not hungry. Well, my most shy female that I didn't see for months was on the table with me tonight next to my work. The oldest male now follows me around the house and is sleeping in a chair next to me. Remember, I did not even see these two for many months.

You are doing the right thing for her. Leave her be and she will get comfortable and come to you. Major good luck wishes headed your way.
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