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Latest on Marlow

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Marlow is a feral cat my wife Becky and I have been working to socialize so that he may be brought indoors to live in harmony with Sasha, our indoor cat.

The latest: Marlow likes Becky more than ever. He is however becoming more shy around me. I feed him in the morning, Becky feeds him in the evening. She puts in more time with him than I do. We feel that it is working better for only one of us to be Marlows best person at this point. Marlow follows Becky around and rubs against her constantly. When she comes in he waits at the door and calls for her to come back out. She usually complies. She's been more conservative with the petting and Marlow rarely uses his claws anymore when batting at her hands.

The issues: Marlow has gotten small wounds on his face on three seperate occasions in the last ten days. We don't think he roams much so perhaps the wounds are from defending his territory. Wednesday night Becky saw a racoon eating Marlows food and ran him off. Marlow and Sasha both saw the coon too.

I'll post another thread with racoon catching info.

It has finally been getting cool at night so we have been opening our patio door. Sasha and Marlow have been interacting through the screen for a little while each morning and most evenings. I know this isn't by the book but they are definitely getting to know each other better. They have been observing each other through the glass all summer anyway. Sasha still acts tough but I warn him that Marlow may be smaller but is battle tested. When Marlow, who has no fear of Sasha, retreats to a spot away from the door, Sasha whines using his 'I don't like this' wail.

So progress is being made I think. It is only six weeks till our average first frost date. I don't think Marlow will walk into the house on his own by then but we'll see. I am going to build a durable outdoor shelter just in case. Marlow tends to play with and tear up his temporary cardboard strutures.
post #2 of 21
Sorry - I had to laugh at the last comment. There are few things most cats love more than a good box to play in and chew up. There are some great links on Winter shelter ideas.

When you're ready to have Marlow inside, you cannot count on him walking in. You'll have to trap him, get him to a vet, and then release him into one room - confine him there for likely a few weeks. This will help him AND Sasha adjust. If you want links to articles or threads on bringing ferals inside or introducing two cats, let us know.

Bummer about the racoon. I posted to the other thread first.

We fed a feral colony in a very rural area with a lot of woods. We had racoons, possums and skunks (and trapped them all - well not all of the animals, but each type). We ended up making a slotted table with inset legs on which to put the food we were feeding the cats, and we'd put food out for about an hour around dawn and for about an hour around dusk. The cats adjusted to the schedule, and it stopped the issue of feeding the entire forest.
post #3 of 21
My feral born Lucky Pierre lived outside for the first 18 months of his life, and got to know my indoor cats thru screen doors and windows. One day he was by the front door so I stood far off on the hinge side and opened it so he couldn't really see me. He sniffed for a while then walked right in. The resident cats all ran up and gave him a good sniff then walked away. He lasted about 30 minutes in the house that first time before he started to panic and wanted back outside. Over the last 4-1/2 years, he's become a mostly indoor cat - the longer he's in the house, the more he likes it. He's never been in a fight inside the house.

Introductions thru screen doors go a looooooong way towards cat introductions. Like Laurie said, I doubt that Marlow will just trot in your house, but you never know.

And a lot of feral cats pick their one person who they socialize with. Becky is it right now and it is wise not to push yourself on him. He'll come around to you in his own time.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
The question of Marlow just walking in on his own was answered this morning. He did just that. It has been raining hard here since yesterday and I guess our kitchen seemed very dry to him. Yesterday morning Becky invited him in. He looked but didn't come. Sasha was in the bedroom looking trough the french door. Today he was sitting next to the screen patio door while it was raining. The house has a overhang so he was not getting rained on but it was very damp there none the less. I put Sasha into the bedroom and opened the door. Marlow stepped in, cautiously looked around, explored a bit, then settled down on the rug next to the open door.

After a short while I got up from the chair where I was watching. He stayed put. I began to do my breakfast dishes and at some point he went back outside.

He got a taste of how nice the weather is indoors. I am fairly sure this will go a long way in our efforts to make an indoor pet of him.
post #5 of 21
Wow! That's amazing! How did Sasha react to Marlow's smell in the kitchen?
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
when I let Sasha back into the kitchen I expected him to sniff at everyplace Marlow had been. Instead he acted as if it never happened.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Marlow resting in a dry spot
LL
post #8 of 21
Well just look at him inside!
post #9 of 21
What great news!!

If he's anything like my Lucky Pierre, he'll do this more and more often, until he realizes its much nicer inside than out. During that first year of his indoor trips, he wasn't in a lot until the weather got cold out, then he started to come in for overnight "sleep overs". Now if it's not a perfect 75 degree sunny day, he's begging to come inside.
post #10 of 21
This has brought tears of joy to my eyes!

Remember though that Marlow may have a disease that Sascha can catch. Until he has been tested for Feline Leukemia ( spread more easily that FIV) and FIV, (spread by deep bite wounds during fighting) contact must be severely limited and spots Marlow has rested in should be sanitized in some way before allowing Sascha access. The FeLV virus can live about a half hour, I think after being shed (through saliva, or other water droplets from sneezing for example) by an infected cat.

You might start keeping a litter box out on the deck for him, to get him used to that.
post #11 of 21
about testing. FIV and FLV are prevalent in ferals. Also, racoons carry rabies so I would get him in asap. I live on a creek and have a multitude of racoons. Try not to leave food out all night. Good luck to you and hope you bring this little guy in where it is safe real soon.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
When Marlow was neutered on 5/19/09 he got a rabies vaccine, a feline combination vaccine (FVRPC) , feline lukemia vaccine and a FELV/FIV test. He does not have fleas or ear mites. My $25 feral neuter cost me $90 before all was said and done.

I got signed him up at a new veterinary clinic today. They sold me Advantage Multi (imidacloprid+moxidectin) to treat him for possible worms. Also fleas, mites & ticks.

Are we covered or did I miss something? Disease acronyms can be confusing.

The clinic where I went had resident kitties. The ladies working there have kitties. I think I will like it better than my other vet who thinks highly of German shepards. All the local K-9 cops go there.
post #13 of 21
Sounds like you've got it covered! So Marlow can come in whenever he's ready, and it's sounding more and more like he is!

Congratulations on the vet change. Liking your vet, and the practice, is so important!

Keep us posted!
post #14 of 21
You've got it covered. Just FYI - now that he's had the FeLV vaccine, he will test positive for FeLV. This doesn't matter unless you have plans to rehome him somewhere. But having the records that he DID test negative for FeLV prior to the vaccine should allay any concerns.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
You've got it covered. Just FYI - now that he's had the FeLV vaccine, he will test positive for FeLV. This doesn't matter unless you have plans to rehome him somewhere. But having the records that he DID test negative for FeLV prior to the vaccine should allay any concerns.
That's only true for the FIV (feline AIDS) vaccine. A vaccine which most vets agree is useless anyway. Since FIV cats are almost always euthanized if picked up as a stray and tested, many vets (including mine) will not even give the FIV vaccine.

The FeLV (Feline Leukemia) vaccine is recommended for cats who go outside, or cats in households where there is a lot of "through traffic" (people who rescue or foster, for example) If your cat does not have FeLV, he will not test positive, regardless of vaccine status.


The FeLV Vacccine is not 100% effective however.

Vets may retest a cat for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) who shows an inability to get over certain infections. If the cat then shows a positive (FeLV) test, after a previously negative test, this is not because of the vaccine. It means either the first, negative, test was incorrect, or the cat has, since the last test, contracted FeLV from an infected cat.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Becky was able to apply the Advantage Multi to Marlow as he ate his supper.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Well just look at him inside!
Clever kitty!!!!



Elizabeth, Whimsey, Merline, Fancy & Magic
post #18 of 21
Otto, thanks for correcting me. I looked it up, and you're right. I could have sworn.... but glad to find out I'm wrong.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggerled View Post
The issues: Marlow has gotten small wounds on his face on three seperate occasions in the last ten days. We don't think he roams much so perhaps the wounds are from defending his territory. Wednesday night Becky saw a racoon eating Marlows food and ran him off. Marlow and Sasha both saw the coon too.
I wonder if Spooky has been around alot lately (Marlow's facial injuries all healed quickly). I wonder if Spooky is a tomcat with a large territory. I had seen him hunting in a horse pasture over a half mile away last winter and spring. Do male cats in need of neutering roam over a wide area?
post #20 of 21
Yes, they do.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
If Spooky is a roaming tomcat, he is very successful. He is a magnificent specimen. Muscular with a shining, jet black coat.

I will address Spooky in the new thread I started last night.
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