Hi Everyone. So happy to have found this site. I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but I could use some advice. I will preference this with I've always been a dog owner. In fact, I've been begging my husband for a puppy for a few years. Never, ever thought about a cat. Right now we are animal free.
About 6 months ago, we saw this scared cat in the yard and long story short, we've been feeding her twice a day (plus treats!) for 6 months. This little girl now melts my heart. Periodically, she doesn't show for a meal and I worry so much that I've even made my husband take me to the local shelter to see if she's there. I suspect she was a stray or someone left her. She doesn’t seem to have the same behaviors as the other ferals we see in the yard. Keeps to herself and runs away from other cats. This of course, is based on nothing in a feeling. No clue to age.
She’s gone from running away to the other side of the house when we would go outside to feed her, to sitting outside the back door and waiting for her food. I don’t leave the food out, I feed her when I see her. If we’re late getting home, she waits. She still runs away from us, but only a few feet away. She naps after dinner on our patio for hours even if we are sitting there as well. She does not get close enough to touch and has made no attempts to get closer. One day, I wanted to see what she would do if the back door was open and much to my surprise she walked in the house. My husband startled her (not intentionally, he just turned the corner and was surprised to see her). She walked back out the door after that. But, turned around and came right back in. She came in 3-4 feet before she was spooked at us watching her and she left, but she was fully in the house.
So, we’re going to have her spayed next week. And we would like to bring her in the house to live with us. So here’s my questions… some may seem silly, but I want to be sure that we do the right thing for her.
1. I know that it’s the best for her to live indoors, but I’ve read some posts where the cats keep trying to get back outdoors. Is there a way to know how they’ll react/behave or is it just on a cat-by-cat basis?
2. Will all cats eventually forgive the trapping and surgery, or will some hold a grudge? I know it's the right thing to do, but I'm nervous about her trusting us again.
3. We are scheduled to take her to a local shelter for spaying, rabies, etc. Is there a difference (other than cost) between taking her to a shelter as opposed to a private vet? I would be very upset if I thought she wasn’t in good hands and mistreated.
4. When she comes in, is it best to give her a room like a bedroom or something more the size of a bathroom?
5. Is it unusual that she would walk into the house or would all outdoor cats do the same?
6. We are planning on renting a cage from the shelter - will it upset her to smell other cats on the cage?
So many more questions, but any help with the above would be appreciated. I would welcome any other suggestions as well. Thanks in
advance. I've attached of photo for you all to see.