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now scared of a feral I feed

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The tom cat which has been around every single day for 2 months during feeding time has been getting closer and closer to me as I feed.

He is pretty mean to some of hte other cats - he will go after them if they get too close to "his" food. I dont know if he actually attacks - but they do run and "scream"

Today I fed them canned (which I havent in awhile). When I went to pour water in their dish he hissed at me and raised his back slightly.

I am soooo worried he is going to attack me at some point now. He obviously isnt scared of ME.

What can I do??? I was going to throw something NEAR him to make him run off but was finished and just let the situation go. But now of course Im going to be worried every day of him

thanks for any help

PS - he is neutered if that makes a difference
post #2 of 8
Hissing is a warning that he doesn't like what you are doing. In this case, you probably just got a little bit too close to him for his own comfort. Unless you have him cornered and he has no way to escape from you, it is HIGHLY doubtful that he would attack you. I've never seen it happen (and have been taking care of ferals for 20 years), and have only heard stories of cat attacks when the cat had some cognitive problems (brain disorder). You are bigger than he is and a cat won't attack anything larger than they can handle unless they feel their life is in danger.

When the ferals hiss at me, I just blink my eyes at them, back away to give them a little more space, then tell them I love them. You'll be fine.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for hte reply- i guess what made me really nervous is i was told when i first started feeding hte ferals that a woman was attacked by her ferals and to be careful.

I thought it was an exaggeration since I know ferals are usually scared of people - but today made me think about that story again.

post #4 of 8
The only time that I have been injured by a feral was when a 3 month old kitten got entangled in some vines and I had to cut away the vines to get him out. He was trapped in the vines, was cornered by me and he bit me. I can't blame him for doing that. The injury was more to my pride than my hand.
post #5 of 8
I've been ripped up pretty well catching a feral kitten, but unless you corner or try to touch one, they aren't aggressive.

Actually, there could be an exception to that, if the cat were blind on that side, or has hearing problems that would cause your approach to be a surprise.

I've found that once in the trap most will be so intimidated that they even quit hissing, same thing at the vets office. I brought one to the vet with my arms and hands still oozing blood, but she was completely passive while in the carrier and at the vets. Next time I have to handle one I'll be wearing gloves!
post #6 of 8
ha, i call that 'the feral hello'! ferals have poor social skills when it comes to their humans, and this guy sounds like he's getting used to you being closer, but hisses cuz he doesn't feel like walking away from you. so he's saying 'i don't really think of you as a threat or I'd just leave, but I don't want you trying to pet me or anything.'

one of my ferals gets so excited when i bring out the food he gets really close, then knocks the food out of my hand! hissing all the while, so unappreciative!
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylegs View Post
ha, i call that 'the feral hello'! ferals have poor social skills when it comes to their humans, and this guy sounds like he's getting used to you being closer, but hisses cuz he doesn't feel like walking away from you. so he's saying 'i don't really think of you as a threat or I'd just leave, but I don't want you trying to pet me or anything.'

one of my ferals gets so excited when i bring out the food he gets really close, then knocks the food out of my hand! hissing all the while, so unappreciative!
I agree with this. One of our ferals gives us short mews (like Nova when she knows canned food is at hand) with interspersed hisses. I think she's just not comfortable with us getting close, but I don't think there's any danger of her attacking us.
post #8 of 8
I have been shredded and bit trying to tame ferals.
I was lucky because the bites never got infected.
You never know when a feral will lash out.
They can be purring then go insane.
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