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Need help with "feral" cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've had Cleo for over 5 years. I adopted her to be a friend to my male and I didn't mind that she was a bit skittish (she was almost 2 when I got her) since I live alone and there would be no one else to bug them. Since they both liked to hide, I figured they'd be good company for each other. I've been working from home for a year and a half and she must have been getting used to me since it got to the point at the beginning of the summer that they could both be on the bed, I could walk in the room, pet them both and she wouldn't run and hide.

Last month my male got sick and decided he'd rather hang out in the basement where his food and litterbox were and where my friend was temporarily living. Cleo would wait until no one was around and check on him and hang out with him but otherwise she just hid under my bed. Unfortunately he passed away a couple weeks ago. Now, when she sees me, she hisses at me. What can I do to make friends with her? I am trying with the treats but she waits until I leave before she'll eat them. Any suggestions would be great.
post #2 of 6
I would try the Feliway (I'm not sure if I spelled that right). It's kind of expensive, but it may help calm her down.
post #3 of 6
I am so very sorry for your loss. It will take time and patience.

My thoughts would be to not try to interact with her giving treats or pets but to not acknowledge her presence.

Spend time with her where she likes to hide. Sit in the floor near her and read (aloud) or work on something. Leave the treats in the place you were sitting.

I would have her a litter box and food/water (on opposite sides) in the room where she likes to hide. That way she can have all the necessities close by without worry of getting to them.

Leave a well worn, unwashed article of your clothing under her food dish. She will associate your scent with a good thing...food.

There are more suggestions that others will add that might help. Give her time. Wishing you and Cleo the best future.
post #4 of 6
I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved boy. Cleo is grieving too.

She will need time to heal. A feliway plug in diffuser in the room she spends the most time in is a good idea. Rescue Remedy can also help

Don't force yourself on her, but be there for her. Sitting near where she hides is a good idea. If she approaches for attention treat it casually, calm and gentle, don't get all excited in front of her, wait until you come back here for that!

Cleo is not being "feral", she is grieving. A feral cat is a cat who has never lived with humans.

Welcome to the forum, and please keep us updated on Cleo.
post #5 of 6
not to push it. Like the other posters said, get down on the cats level. I used to take a deck of cards and play solitare on the floor in the room with the cat I was trying to tame. It took me nine months to get to the point where I could touch him. I would take a string and just lay it on the floor. If he showed an interest, I would move it just a little. He slowly started to play with it. Patience. That's the key. Cats will come around in their own time. So sorry for your loss. Good luck to you.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I am sure she misses her buddy, but most of her behaviour is not new. She has been acting this way for years, however, since she had another cat to hang out with, I didn't really worry about it. Now that she's alone, I thought she might want the company, or at least to feel more comfortable with me (she is totally fine with my dog, he doesn't worry her at all).

In the past, I mostly did ignore her when she would be out walking around. The only time I have ever had to grab her was to cut her nails because they were getting caught on the carpet and that was a couple months ago - maybe she hasn't forgotten about that yet.

I will try some of your suggestions and report back. Thanks again.
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