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integrating partly feral cats with my indoor cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I need to get advice from folks. My grandmother passed away leaving her 2 cats. She found these 2 cats as kittens - they are now 3 years old. One is a male tabby and one a black cat - female. They are from the same litter. I would have to describe them as partly feral. They liked my grandmother but stayed outside almost exclusively and do not go near anyone else. My grandmother loved these cats and I am going to try to adopt them and integrate them with my indoor tabby (a female). My cat, is 11 years old. I adopted her from being feral 11 years ago.

I have gotten 2 cat traps to trap them. In about 1 month.

My question, how in the world do I go about doing this. I really want all three cats to get along. Can anyone recommend a resource on how to do this?

Thanks so much for any advice.

post #2 of 8
Laura- I only work with ferals and this needs to be in our feral forum so let me move you.

Ok- are you going to make these two cats into indoor only cats? If so, it is going to be a long process, you are going to need a sturdy room where you don't care if things get trashed, urinated on, scratched etc (depending on how much handling these two cats have had)

Here is an article about Feral Handling

post #3 of 8
I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing. You are truly a good and kind soul to be willing to adopt your grandma's feral cats.

As Hissy said, it won't be an easy process, but it can be successful. I have a friend who has over 10 cats, all of whom she rescued from a park where she manages a feral colony. Her cats are all kept indoors, with 24 hour access to an outdoor enclosure. I bring this up as proof that what you are setting out to do can be successful.

Anyway....follow the advice in Hissy's article and then keep coming back for more advice. You will find that between Hissy (Mary Anne)and LDG (Laurie, who is on vacation right now) you will find excellent advice and lots of support!
post #4 of 8
Laura? How's it been going?

It takes some time, but all should be just fine!!!!

Best wishes,

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys for help with my grandmother's cats.

I am going to go this weekend and set a trap for each cat. Here is my plan. I purchased to cat traps and will get the ladies that feed the cats (they are fed outside) to place the food inside the trap but the trap will not be set. Hopefully they will get used to eating inside the trap. Then after a period of perhaps 2 weeks I will go and set the trap and hope that one doesn't get trapped before the other. I think if this happens then the one will not go near the trap again.

Questions...When do I take them to the vet? Should I get sedatives? Should I purchase a cat tree right away?

Then there is the whole other item of integrating them with my house cat. Where can I go for help with that?

I am afraid this is going to be pretty challenging.

post #6 of 8
It is challenging and you take your cues from the cat. You reset your thinking about these cats and don't expect them to be lap cats and purr buddies right away. Classical music will soothe them, and you really don't want to sedate them before they go to the vet. Just when they are in the carriers, cover the carriers with a dark cloth and keep it covered while you are in the waiting room as well as when you travel in the car. Make sure you call ahead and let your vet know you are bringing in feral cats, so he can be prepared and prepare his staff as well. It really depends on the cats and how they act as to what you do with them and when. Just keep posting your questions and many of the experts here will guide you along the way.
post #7 of 8
Laura, you're such an angel! Because the cats have lived exclusively outside, the adjustment to living indoors might be a little difficult at first, but they will be happy with you in your home if you take some extra steps to make sure they have proper stimulation. But....that comes later.

Like MA suggests, just take things one step at a time. Your idea with the traps is a good one. However, many adult cats are wary of traps - they can sense there's only one exit. Often they don't like the feel of the wire on their feet, either. Try placing newspaper over the bottom of the trap. It should help make them more comfortable, and when you do decide to set the trap(s), it won't interfere.

If you would like any further ideas for helping to trap your kitties (like camoflaging the traps, etc.), please take a look at this thread:

Helping Ferals....

Also, if you'd like to get a GREAT idea of what you will in all likelihood experience as you adjust your new kitties to your home and your existing kitty, if you haven't seen it yet, this thread is a must-read!!!! Socializing a Feral: the story of Lucky

Bringing in tame cats that have lived outdoors for many years (3 is many in my book!) will be very similar to bringing a feral kitten inside.

If you want tips on keeping them happy in your home, there's an article on TCS - through the non-forum Cat Care section. Here's a link to the article: Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy.

While the article is short, it's quite helpful. The main thing, I'd say, is to do your best to find anywhere from 10 mintues to 30 minutes a day - or even 10 minutes 2 or 3 times a day - to interactively play with the kitties with "wand" type toys. Having been outdoor cats, they'll be used to chasing things, and the movement of a mouse or feather or something at the end of a string will be really appreciated by them. Just remember - don't do what I did! Those toys should be kept somewhere the cats can't get at them when you're not around. One of my kitties ate the string, and I had to sweat it out, wondering if he was going to pass it or if I had to take him to the vet... !!!!

Also, here's another article on Bringing Outside Cats In: Bringing Outside Cats Inside This one is a PDF file, and it requires Acrobat Reader 5.0. If you need to download that, you can go to the page where the article is hosted: SaveSamoa.org Feral Cats Info page Just scroll down the page and you'll find the links you need.

Just remember - patience is the key. Hope some of this helps! And don't forget - feel free to ask ANY questions along the way!!!!

Good Luck!!!!!


post #8 of 8
ohh.. our new cat is a stray turned insdie kitty who likes to break out from time to time. we were gone a week and she managed to break out of a closed wooden kitcen window. she pushed it down and got out...
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