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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



 I wonder if there is anyone have any advice for me to get some progress on a cat. 


We are foster home for a cat protection center, and taking in the stray cats that need to be tamed before they can be adopted. Now we have an adult cat who is very afraid. She has been here for almost a month, and she shows little progress. In the beginning we had her in the bathroom,where she was consistently on a shelf. After a while I touch her gently on the tail with one finger,but once I try something more then she becomes aggressive and attack. Now we have moved her into a bedroom that is located next door to the the living room so she will have to get used to the sounds in the house. She both eat well and go to the litterbox, and she does not look sick. I have 3 cats that I adopted after I tamed them. I've tried to put 2 of them in the room whit this cat. One of them hissed quite gently to her and calmly walked out of the room again. The other is actually the son of this cat. (it's the little white one in my avatar) He walked right up to her to lay down beside her. But then she became aggressive towards humans again. she wanted to protect her son. The son came in to this house at the same time as his mother, and he is 98% tame now. And the fact that she was aggravated by the fact that her son came in was very sad, so we're not going to let him go to her again until she is ready to enter the livingroom with the others. Now she lies only in one corner under the couch, and just at that spot she has been in almost two weeks now. I've tried to sit in the room to let her get to know me. I also left my clothes in there so she has the change  to know my smell. None of it has led to much progress .. I also have allsow been doing some singing for her and then she has become calmer, but as soon as I move  she is scared again ..


Does anyone have any advice to some methods I can try to help her to not be so afraid? Should I let one of my bigger cats come in to her more often?

In advance thank you!

post #2 of 11
Hello there and welcome to TCS. It is a great thing to bring ferals/strays into your home and wonderful when they begin to trust you after possibly a lot of bad experiences regarding humans. But some are just more difficult than others to socialise, depending on what they have been through. The last one that I took in, my Biscotte, took six months before she would let me near her, and now, four years later, she is the most affectionate cat you can imagine, though she still hides from strangers.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things with this momcat. But I am sure some of our feral cat experts will have further advice. Meanwhile, you might like to read the thread about Lucky, the feral taken in by one of our members some time ago. It is an inspiration to anyone near to despair over what to do when a cat simply cannot respond to you.

Good luck
post #3 of 11
AWWWW What a huge heart you have to do what you are for the Cat Protection Center hugs.gifhugs.gif. One month is not long at all....... oh my goodness.... Even young feral kitten's can take longer than a month's time to socialize. It sound's like she is an older feral cat, and unfortunately, there are a few cases that will never, ever socialize or feel safe/trusting of a human. BUT having said that, I think you just need to give her a lot more time. Definitely do not put her son in there with her - you are right - that would just add another level of stress on to her right now. If one of your other cat's is very, very friendly and loving with you, bring that cat in for a little bit each day and pet and love on that cat. Your feral girl WILL be watching and this will at least get her thinking that you are not SO horribly scary and a huge mean monster laughing02.gif. But don't leave the other cat in there alone. Just bring this cat in with you a couple of times a day for a short session.

Play classical, quiet music. Read in there with her. Work on your computer in that room. Plug in a Feliway diffuser. Don't look her directly in her eye and keep you head a bit lower. And putting some of your worn t-shirt's in her bed is a very good idea. You could even sleep in that room biggrin.gif. Sleeping human's are so non- threatening to feral's and this could give her a chance to take a closer look at you without you knowing agree.gif..... cross.gif I am sure you already know all of this stuff anyway - because you are experienced at this. You will just have to wait and see over the next couple of month's. If this female is not making any progress at all - then it get's to the point of being cruel to keep her in and confined and in close proximity of human's. I would then suggest you try to find a feral colony caretaker who could incorporate her into her colony. OR a horse barn where they have caring, experienced feral caretakers and will know the steps involved as to how to make her transition to living at the barn and permanently staying at the barn.

I just think she will require much more time. It can sometimes take an adult feral cat many, many month's to even make the smallest step toward trusting you. BUT then it will start all over with a new person frown.gif. Usually, adjusting to a new person won't be as long as the first person. Best of luck to you and again - you are a real cat champion clap.gifclap.gifclap.gifclap.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
post #4 of 11

I agree with my collegues. Esp Feralvr  had said much and well.   :)


I want to repeat:   Using friendly residents is often a good help. But not necessarly by letting them be with her.   Especielly not her son, as you yourself saw and tells us..

Letting her see you interact with them, is the trick in the first stadies.  Letting them meet may come next, when she isnt so afraid of you any longer.



Welcome to the TCS site and the Forums!


Tx a lot for helping these our small brethrens and sisters!



Good luck!  *vibes*

post #5 of 11

To add to the excellent advice above, I would suggest getting some super-tasty treats and seeing if that will help bring this girl out of her shell. Temptations seem to work well, but you could also try something like freeze-dried salmon chunks (nice 'n stinky). At first I would just leave a few in the spot that you were sitting in and let her discover them. If they're gone the next time you go in, then maybe try gently tossing her a few (but without making any sudden movements). She may wait until you leave to eat them, but if she does like them she'll eventually start to associate you with the treats and look forward to your arrival.


Not sure what/how you feed her right now but I would try to get her used to regular mealtimes instead of a bottomless bowl of dry food. That would further help her to associate you with good things like food (especially if it's yummy wet food).


And then there's always play therapy. If you have a fishing rod or wand style toy you can calmly (again, no crazy movement) swish around (far away at first to make sure she doesn't get scared of it) and if she's interested, gradually move it a little closer. This will help her forget about you and the imagined threat you pose, and will hopefully reinforce the association of good or fun things occurring while you're around.


Good luck!!

post #6 of 11

I concur with all the advice.

You can also add Rescue Remedy to food or water.

Definite feed her according to a schedule; don't free-fed her.  Let her associate you with food. You can buy raw meat and lightly cook it; that really worked with the four semi-ferals we trapped two years ago.  In took around five weeks for two of the cats (black and white DSH) to be ready to be adopted; six months for the remaining two (part Maine Coon). Same litter.

Sit down as much as possible, you are King Kong to her.

You can even ignore her (a little) if you want. 

I'd proceed with caution about introducing a new cat, even one you know well.  Dynamics can be really strange, different, and unexpect.

Play therapy is good, too.  Don't try touching her with your hand; depending on her progress, try first touching her with a feather.

And Feralr has a good (though sad) point:  some ferals just will not adjust to being indoors or to being with humans.  "Mystique" has shown little progress since March 2010, when we trapped her.  She was about six months old and pregnant.  We can walk all around her and over her, but hisses if we accidentally touch her. 

post #7 of 11

I would definitely try a Feliway plug in.  You can also get the spray.  Try to spend time in the room with her.  I used to sit with Shadow and just talk away.  I would tell him everything I was doing and get him used to my voice.  I found harp music to be very soothing.  He loved it.  I also used Feral Cat Rehab from Spirit Essences and Safe Space for Cats   Both were extremely helpful. 


If you want to try and interact and engage with her, try a laser or a feather wand.  You can also interact with her by using really yummy treats.  I used to use cooked chicken/turkey, salmon, tuna or sticky smelly treats.  They also love canned chicken or turkey baby food in the stage one variety. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 


Thank you all for the welcome greetings and very good advice! :) Now I have just returned home from having been working on cat protection center:) It was very nice to come home to several great answers!
I'll make a cd for her with quiet music that she can have on repeat;)
And you're absolutely right, some will not get as you want to. When this mother and son came here there was also an adult cat that we believe is the sister of the mother. She had to just let be spared the harassment of being indoors ... She was not only scared, but simply extremely aggressive, as bad as she attacks like a big jungle cat only we came into the room .. : (
And I'm going to take the cat that is the most cuddly ib to the room a couple of times each day:) And to leave a treat I will asolutt try! :)
That to lure her with treat, I'm going to use after some more time.. :))
I have never heard of Feliway plug-in .. What is that?? :D 
Do you think it might be a good plan to allow the door to the room she is in a little open so she can look at the other cats when they are playing? :)
I am very fond of pictures, and thought I'd share a picture of mom cat. Her name is Perle, which means pearl in Norwegian:)
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by kattehviskeren View Post

I have never heard of Feliway plug-in .. What is that?? :D 

google on it if you want!  Feliway diffuser or Feliway plug-in is the same.  You set in permanently in an electrical contact. A container is for 5-6 weeks.

There is also Feliway spray which you can use where you are.

It is essentially the same pheromones as cats have in their face, touching everything so they spread the feeling of being friendly, harmonic and safe...

Your vet can have it. You can almost surely buy it from Apothece, Pharmacia. Although they must perhaps deliver it from their central.

Well equipped pet stores may have it.  So it is here in Sweden. So it is probably also in Norway.

The only drawback is is rather pricey.  If you need much of it, you can buy next time from Ebay or Amazon. Should be cheaper.


One more thing.  You did mentioned you did sing to the Perle?

This is not a bad idea, if you can sing in a soft voice. 

But even better:

Talking much in a soft, friendly voice, like you talk to babies, does often wonders.


It is  natural language which she will understand.  It is like courting toms do.


Some dominant toms do take what they want.  Friendly toms do court instead, and they use their voices. Soft and nice. Often surprising many sorts of sounds.  :)

These wise toms or studs do mount up firstly when they see she is ready now.


And she knows of course which tom is a dominant rapist, and which tom is friendly and gentle, such as you can be pal with.


Use this trick!



Good luck! 


post #10 of 11
Here is a quick link to Feliway.

Stefan smile.gif explained it well and hopefully you can find Feliway where you live at a pet store, Norway ??? biggrin.gif. My husband is Norwegian and I am Swedish. We have family in Oslo and Orsta. His family name in Norway is Oyehaug. Perle is just a gorgeous black beauty love.giflove.gif

You certainly could leave the door open a little bit at this point - but only if you are home and supervising agree.gif. Every feral I have ever taken in ALWAYS knows the way back to their safe room. And usually at first, they only venture out a foot or two and then run back in their room. So hopefully if Perle does venture out and get's stressed she will 3a.gif run back to her safe room and not the other way laughing02.gif

GOOD LUCK clap.gifvibes.gif
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

'''Thank you for good information! I will of course see if I can find it anywhere! But Norway is a very poor country when it comes to selection of cat stuff :( But if I don't find it I can order one online to try it:))

And so unnatural to write English with Sweedish people! My sister has lived 13 years in Sweden, and I have been very much in sweden:))) My sister lived around Östersund:)
I have tried to give the treat to Perle, but it was obviously not something tempting .. But I have several types that I can try:)
I have not made ​​a cd for her yet, but maybe I should put on a meditation CD on for her? Or what do you think about that?
And maybe I'll record myself talking and singing, so she can have it standing on when I'm not there:)
And I must say that I am always talking to her when I'm in there .. Tells what I'm doing, and what kind of food she gets, and that she is a beautiful cat and so on. And when I sing I'll allways sing  just quiet songs with a low calm voice:)))
And I have to tell that I use to lie down on the floor when I talk to new cats:) And I never see a cat in the eyes, and if it should happend I will be lax in his eyes, blinking clearly and turning the head:) This was what saved me from being attacked too much of the other adult cat;))
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