TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › what are the chances of socializing?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

what are the chances of socializing?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
While trying to re-catch one of our cats, we accidently caught one of the feral cats from the neighborhood. I thought it was a girl, and I brought "her" in to get spayed before releasing her. Turns out she is a he, and quite young (under 8 months). We kept him for 10 days in a large dog crate in our back room (because the vet tech got scratched by him when they were working with him). However, the last few days he started getting vocal, coming out alot, and lots of blinking. So we decided to give him a shot and moved him to a room we could close off and now he is hanging out in the window kitty seat. I think he seems like a cat that will come around, but what do you all think? Do we have a chance? the only other feral we have done this with was a 4 month old, and she came around nicely, but she was much younger than this boy.
post #2 of 15
In short. Yes, why not. If you have patience and determination and some knowledge, sure. Almost 100%.

With a fully grown up you wouldnt have no quarantee, but here - a very very good shot.

Besides, you will also have help of your own - I suppose friendly - cats.



God luck!
post #3 of 15
I agree with the above post, if you have the patience and time, things should work out. My former feral came to live with me when she was about a year and a half and although it took time, she has adapted very well and I know she is happy she is indoors. Good luck and good for you to rescue this kitty!!
post #4 of 15
I am currently trying to socialize four cats of the same age as yours with various degress of success. Just be patient and get the VET stuff out of the way in the beginning because when you take him to the VET you have to sometimes start all over again after making progess. Make sure you wear gloves when handling! I was bit and had to spend 3 days in the hospital. Doctor told me 100% of cat bites on the hand become infected! good luck and be patient.
post #5 of 15
I agree with being careful but it is far from 100% of bites on the hand that become infected - I have been bitten a few times dealing with ferals and never had an infection.

I have successfully socialised a 3 to 4-year-old feral so it can be done, but it does take time and generally when you socialise them older they will always hide when you have company over and not trust others to the same degree they trust you. But then I have a cat who has never been on the streets in his life who hides when we have people over so it isn't a big deal.

Good luck!
post #6 of 15
It will take time. I would try bring in food to the cat and just sitting off in the room. Try using the same words when you come in to feed him, and even name him and call his name. After a couple times of eating and knowing that you are not going to grab or hurt him, I would take a book or something and just sit in there and read or talk to him. This will get him use to you. You can put out your hand slowly and see if he lets you pet him.

Remember that this cat is scared and use to being afraid of everything around him. It is going to take time before he comes around to see you as not being a threat. The more time that you can spend with him the better. Just do it a slowly.

All of my cats were feral kittens and now the mommie is even living in the house with us. So it will work, 8 months is not too old.

Good luck
post #7 of 15
I was able to socialize a litter of 3 ferals that were 2 years old when I brought them into my home. My SIL had been feeding them and moved. We didn't want the cats abandoned so I took them. It takes patience, but it clearly can be done.
post #8 of 15
What a wonderful thing you're doing! An 8 month old can DEFINITELY be socialized.

Just spend as much time as you can in the room - a lot of it doing other stuff and ignoring the cat! It's just about building up trust, and giving them the time to get used to the new environment, the new sounds, the new smells, and giving them all the time they need to understand they WANT to be loved and played with - because as you already know, they don't come preprogrammed to know they enjoy that stuff. ...but the first step is just being around them, not wanting ANYTHING from them or trying to "do" anything to them.



Laurie
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you for all the advice. despite the poor timing (holidays and all) we are making progress with the feral kitty i am calling "stewie". I wish i could say it was all my effort, but it is primarily because he LOVES my adult male cat tibers, and comes out purring whenever we come into the room. When tibers is there, stewie has come right over to me, walked over my feet, and let me pet him (and seemed to enjoy it). I have been leaving tibers up there with him for extended periods of time, so he is not so lonely. Tibers seems to like him as well.
The question is when should i consider letting him access to the rest of the house. This is not a minor concern as I have two large dogs who are cat friendly, but are still rather large and intimidating. Should i just start leaving the door open and give him the option? should I wait longer?
post #10 of 15
Your Tibers is what I call an "ambassador cat". Give a feral cat a friend of his own species and have him learn thru that friend that humans aren't as scary as they think they are. Good job Tibers!!

I would do the dog introductions with them on a leash so that you can control them if necessary. Or have Stewie explore the house while the dogs are outside so that he can learn the environment without them. I keep tall cat condos throughout my house so that if they want to be away from my dogs, they simply climb up a tree.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Your Tibers is what I call an "ambassador cat". Give a feral cat a friend of his own species and have him learn thru that friend that humans aren't as scary as they think they are. Good job Tibers!!

I would do the dog introductions with them on a leash so that you can control them if necessary. Or have Stewie explore the house while the dogs are outside so that he can learn the environment without them. I keep tall cat condos throughout my house so that if they want to be away from my dogs, they simply climb up a tree.
One more tip is to let the dogs lay down when you introduce them.

With a little luck this can be entirely painless.

As you have seen, a friendly homecat is a good help working with semiferals.

The fact is, it is not unusual a friendly homedog may also be such a help.

One example you see in LawGuys thread.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
what is funny is that i thought using tibers would be a horrible idea because he is a boy and he was born in the house, so i thought he would have poor social skills. but he is great, lets stewie come to him, stays very calm and relaxed, and also seems happy just to exist in the room with him.
As to letting stewie "out"..we will take it slow. he has seen the dogs through the gate and is appropriately not keen on them (unlike emma, our other rescued feral who for some odd reason LOVED the dogs at first sight). So we are leaving the door open sometimes with the upstairs gated, and he is starting to look out and appear more adventurous. We shall see.
post #13 of 15
Yeah, you do it. Sounds very good.

One idea more: let your homecats, Tibers and Emma, play with the dogs when Stewie is looking on. This will surely be a good help.



Who knows, being semiferal he was probably chased by dogs more then once. No wonder he is suspicious.
While cats who only mets dog in leash, dont have same reason to be afraid of them.
I´m speculating....
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Stewie is doing great today he took his first foray out into the house and went into our other guest room. he is camped out under the bed, looking very comfortable. though he does not always come out when i am alone, when he does come out, he is getting very comfortable with being pet, and seems to enjoy it. He is even coming over to me, walking over my legs, sniffing me, etc. I cannot believe the progress we are making. Today he spent some time watching my female dog and was cautious but not scared (she was in a down stay on the other side of the gate).
wow. at christmas i would have thought there was no way with this boy, but he is rapidly taking his place in the house!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 


Stewie is now coming out of "his" room and bumping me for attention.He and Tibers (the tabby in the pic) are great friends and spend alot of time together. I guess we have new member of the family!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › what are the chances of socializing?