Originally Posted by Denali
I saw Lexus outside across the street in the dead of winter (minus 40 degrees celcius) about 8 1/2 years ago. She was about 5 months old. I kept an eye on her for a while - watching if she had an owner. The only owner I saw her with was a neighborhood cat that I'd see her playing with. I started feeding her but she would never come near me. She was feral/stray. It took me about 1-2 months to get her into my home. She was absolutely terrified but my 3 year old male made it much easier b/c she absolutely loved him from day one. But that love for him definately did not roll over to me unfortunately.
This sounds like the same problem I have. My two current furry roommates are sisters and very skitty. I adopted them from my aunt and uncle's farm where they were basically feral when they were about 8 weeks old...I rushed the adoption a bit, catching them rather than letting them slowly get used to me, because I was concerned about their health. Ringworm, tapeworms, cats on the property randomly getting sick and disappearing...they needed to see a vet, and once I had caught them to take them to the vet anyway, I wasn't going to release them back into the wild.
Anyway, up to 8 weeks, they had practically no human socialization. I've had them for about three years. Panther has adjusted to me and likes when I pet her, but is fearful around new people. Squirrel is my real problem--she tolerates me being in the same room, which is progress, but doesn't accept any interaction other than playing with a laser pointer. Squirrel's social behavior has gone up and down--there've been times when she would let me pet her, though it's always had to be her approaching me, not the other way around. Any time I'm out of town, it's like starting all over (the obvious solution to that would be to never be out of town, but I'm also in a long-distance relationship, and all my family is out of state, so, it's going to happen sometimes). Another possible reason she's had a setback lately is that our other furry roommate, Chilsa, an older cat who was very social with humans therefore set a good example, passed away a couple months ago.
I'm usually good with animals--my boyfriend's dog, who doesn't like anybody
, curled up in my lap--but I'm at my wits' end for what to do for Squirrel. I know from her reactions to other people that I'm the human she trusts most...and once when I was moving a long distance and stopped in a motel overnight, I found her under the covers with me the next morning...but it's hard to just be patient for so long, with results so few and far between, when all I want to do is cuddle my cat.