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My new feral cat is meowing alot.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just trapped a feral cat that my husband and I were feeding in our road for over three months.
We made the decision to capture her and have her spayed and tame her. Its now the fourth day that we have had her.
She is in her own little room, with fresh water and the same food we were feeding her outside.
I made her a big pillow to sleep on and put in inside a tent I made for her so she can have a comfortable hiding place.
The first 24hours she didnt eat or use the litter box, after that she has come out to eat at the same time we would
feed her outside and she used the litter box, the 3rd night she weed and finally last night she had a poo (quite hard though).
Today is the fourth day and she hasn't stopped meowing. It is breaking my heart.. I am not able to touch her, she is very
skittish. She would get very close to us on the road for the food but would jump backwards for any movement I made ( I move slowly around her)
I entered her room this morning to clean her tray and inspect whats she been up to (I always talk very softly and move slowly)
I saw the tent I made her has collapsed in, this has happened the last two nights as well, but i was able to straighten it out without
scaring her too much ( i hope).   But now she is sitting in the folded blanket and i cant straighten it , i went near her hideout and she hissed, so I dont want to force anything, but i think she may be meowing because shes unhappy with her house. Im thinking to now go get a big box somewhere
and make that her new hideout without touching her current one?? Any suggestions?
Has anyone else had a feral cat that started crying alot after a few days?
She doesnt seem to be in any pain, I might add, because up until we trapped her i have always try have a good look at her, 
her coat is smooth, she would walk alright, i couldnt see any sores, she even rolled around us the one day and that was an opportunity to see her belly, she even cleans herself in front of us.
 To my eye she seems fine....
I am organinsing to get her spayed and vacinated....but i need to borrow a trap cage from someone as i know i wont be able to taunt her with food into the normal transport cage again.
Shes definitely an adult, i cant say how many years and I am reading a lot of information online about ferals and some articles
give me hope and others make me think i have made a big mistake and she should be a TNR.
I have another cat, who was adopted from our local vet, she is lovely but scares easily.... I am nervous about one day introducing them, does anyone have experience with that ?  
Im just really sad that she is meowing a lot now, and its not her happy meow like when she would see us exit the building to come feed her!
Thank you for any help and advice, it is greatly appreciated!!
post #2 of 17

Adult shy semiferal, not the easiest. But you will manage with time, patience, love, some knowledge... She knows also you are her friends, that is an extra plus.

If you didnt manage, in worst case you can always let her out again, TNR.  But dont think about it for several months yet.

I wonder, does she has something to do? Toys?  When her first scary lowes down, she prob wants to have occupation...

Soft, classic, relaxing music is good.  Harp music is best, but almost any will do.

A Feliway diffuser is another tip for the scared or stressed ones.


When she rolled around you outside, she probably was in heat. She perhaps is in heat again.

Wait. You know her over 3 months, and she isnt pregnant?  Chance is rather big she is not fertile... But too early to say anything for sure.


Good you are thinning on another, more stabile "house" for her. It must be stressing if her safe place is falling down the whole time.

Simply, put in this side turned cardboard box, with something soft to lay on....  And let her decide and choose.


I expect the intro will not be too difficult, but that comes later on...


Let others fill in!


Tx for helping these two little sisters of ours!


Welcome to our Forums!


Good luck!

post #3 of 17
Cat in heat sounds like if cat would be in pain or very sad, it is also quite loud, especially if cat does not see anyone. It is fairly difficult to describe sounds they make then, but also it is sound that is not easy to forget, kind of crying comes to mind, quite low pitch and decreasing pitch.

Males are then bit different sounding, but they also do strong low pitched sounds, repeating constantly and driving one crazy unless treated, of course nights are perfect time to make noise as it is quiet around so sound carries further, it is all about reaching target audience for them, hence low pitch as it carries further and also why more noise is being made when it is quiet, nature is good with these things smile.gif

My younger boys make those noises when they want something, usually door open, only thing that fixing them helped was that they are not constantly making those noises and not constantly fighting, only every odd hour, it has been months since fixed so they are probably just noisy samples :p

It is perhaps best to get vet operation done quite soon after capturing as it would then go for the single shock, waiting some time can make big setback at least temporal one so if waited until cat is relatively comfortable it can be bit stressful to find out that after operation cat is again hiding.

But it starts to get lot better after a month or so after operation, but also it varies a lot, some come around faster than others.
One of mine took no more than few days, while another has been over 2 years and still gets spooked if I move hand quickly and especially if I have anything in my hand, he looks then my hand with horrified face and rapidly looks around seeking place to escape and hide, so quite difficult to say anything absolutely sure. My most feral is such that it is starting to visit room I'm in, but still mostly stays away and seeks to hide when I enter to same room, except sometimes decides to stay still and just take defensive stance, well until I give her piece of ham, which she grabs and runs to eat in hide, at the summer it comes 3 years of taming of her, genes of her are more of wild animal than domestic animal, she also does not hesitate to bite when scared so with some of them things are more challenging than with others. Also it is perfectly normal that cat becomes more shy when captured, anywhere from few days to few years until same level is reached as was outside as it is shock and end of the world for cat, until she can come over of it and secure new safe territory, not much can be done that waiting with that. Finding food that is irresistible for cat is always helping with getting most scary thing (human being) less scary, so it is easier for car to get used to new environment.

Anyway, if sound is heart breaking sad which makes you feel of letting her go, then I would guess that it is because she is in heat, I think it was something around 2 weeks, then can happen again in few days for another weeks and months after months, can't remember exact numbers, but I remember there was not much of rest between heats. Cat's seem not to make sounds when they are unhappy or they have a problem, they go quiet then from my experience at least (which is not very huge of course), for example one of mine managed to get his paw covered with duct tape, can't remember what I was doing and I had tapes pre-cut, so he did stomp on tape and instead of making noise about it he did try to stay hidden and remove tape in silence, which of course he could not do, but luckily it was the one that got tame fastest so he did allowed me to help him when I just found out that he had a problem.
Another one of mine got really badly sick, he just stopped making noises and not playing as much, very difficult to spot when he was not very noisy to begin with, but again tip that something was not ok was silence.

When unhappy with something it results then mostly making mess, clawing, biting, shredding, throwing food/drink around or in more severe cases making poop or peeing near to problem, of course with your kitty such will not probably happen as she is too scared for that, but sitting on one place uninterested can be one way she is telling she is not unhappy, probably not making noises at all.

They are quite interesting creatures there that their communications is very rich, but it is also very different from human communication, so it is not very easy to spot what is going on, also their ways of communicating seem to vary quite a bit, each has own dialect, which makes it even harder to tell what is that they attempt to say, for example asking to open a door, I have here 4 kind of very different methods, two are not asking for door to be opened or at least I have not spotted such, but four do that, each with their unique way, two bit similar, two totally different ones.
One rises to two paws and leans to door with one paw, looking towards me 4th paw is swinging in air while he says MEeeeee at quite high pitch.
Another makes that deep low pitched tones like male cat looking for partner, or then low toned half purring half meowing, sitting at front of the door.
Third one comes to me, bumps my leg with his head, then quickly runs to the door, sits at front of it and looks at me head tilted, then makes tiny meow like a kitten, he is 2nd largest of them all which makes that bit hilarious looking really. If I don't open the door he repeats that, if still not, he uses my knee as a scratching post.
Fourth one sits bit further of the door, looks at me and then quite loudly makes sound that is incredible high pitched IIIIIIIiiiiiii, of course repeating is good one, if I get up she runs to other end of the room while kind of half purring and half meowing at the same time, can't tell name of that sound, not sure if at english prrrrr would be correct letter combination for that, but it is bit like kid making sound of motor.

Rest two are too shy to do such things, another one does not ever make sounds, maybe because she is too feral for such, or then she is just constantly unhappy, but there is not knowing as she does not talk with body language much either, she just observes, more or less spooked state with random slow blinking, so can't be completely unhappy.

Those are some of my findings, which might help or not, it is bit like own world that cat communication and their behavior.
post #4 of 17

I agree with all the comments made can also try catnip and baby food..turkey or chicken...offer it on a spoon to start. If she takes it, then try spreading it on your finger. Patience is the key...try leaving a radio on playing soft calming music. Some ferals do come around and some do not. I have a 21- year -old feral who has lived with me since she was 4 months old, and she still hisses and swats at me if I get too close to her or try to touch her.! But she enjoys living in my home, and she loves to eat! But I have a couple of other feral cats who are TOO friendly, obsessed with me and getting all over me whenever they can. Cats are like people. Each one with an entirely different personality. Sounds like she may come around after a period of adjustment.

They are also "copy-cats" and sometimes if they see you petting another cat, they may realize this is enjoyable. Good luck!!

post #5 of 17

I just brought a feral into my home due to an abandoned wretched home she had decided to take up residence in that is in process to be demolished. She lets me pet her even though she is very timid.


She does know me because I have been feeding her for about a couple of months now outside. She was so skittish, I was trapping everything else, except her. At any rate, she is in and rescued finally.


She has been in since this morning and has just now started crying. I am going to assume possibly that she is in a heat due to the male hanging around outside.


She is also timid and wary of her new environment. I totally agree with everyone here. The suggestions here are greatly appreciated by me even though they are months old for the original poster.


I am going to take her to vet to be spayed if she is not in heat or as soon as it ceases.


I think it is good to give ferals plenty of space and time to adjust. Cats just do not adjust to change as well as other animals or pets.


So far, this one is fine except for the crying. She is eating and she has used the litter box so far. I really think she is crying for a male but, maybe she is crying for any of her buddies outside who can hear her because she may feel a little trapped. That is fine, also.


I really think it is totally workable. Being inside is soooo much safer than out unless they are in an enclosure. 


Hope this helps someone with the same issue even though this is a very late post (months). Would love to hear how your feral is doing Wendy25.

post #6 of 17
You can also sit in the room and read out loud quietly. It gets her used to your calm voice and presence. I pretty much have to trap one of my inside cats for any vet visit. He has let me pet him maybe six times in the six years since we brought him inside. That's what i lime about cats. Every one is different.

Thanks for helping this kitty!
post #7 of 17
That's what I like about cats. I hate that my fingers are so fat. smile.gif
post #8 of 17

Thank you for taking her in and taking such good care of her.  It's all about time and patience.  The baby food is the best trick I know.  It's Gerber Stage 1 chicken or turkey.  I use it now for special treats or anytime he needs medicine.  It's also good when he is refusing to eat and I want to get some food inside his belly on cold winter nights!  Also try just sitting in the room and talking quietly to her.  I used to talk and talk.  It will help her get used to your voice.  A feliway plug in is also helpful.  I also like to use flower essences.  I have used Rescue remedy aand many of the essences from Spirit Essences.  I especially like the Feral Cat Rehab.  I have used it on 3 of my ferals with great success. 


If you need to put her in a trap or get her into a carrier, you can start out by putting her food inside.  With the trap, just make sure it isn't set to go off and begin by placing her food inside the trap so she will be used to eating in there.  Then on the day you trap her it should be much easier. 


Good luck and remember it takes lots and lots of time and patience. 

post #9 of 17
Hi there,

I have been thinking about getting some of the Spirit Essences Feral product. Do you really think it works? Who else has a an experience with it? How does it work, what effect does it have to help taming?

post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by Clairekells View Post

Hi there,

I have been thinking about getting some of the Spirit Essences Feral product. Do you really think it works? Who else has a an experience with it? How does it work, what effect does it have to help taming?


I first used the Feral Cat Rehab in December 2010 for my then 9 month old feral, Shadow.  After using it for just one week, he started coming inside my house.  I used it as often as possible for about a month.  I then used it on two other strays turned feral and had the exact same results.  I have used so many of their remedies and had wonderful results.  The hardest part is getting enough doses in each day. 

post #11 of 17

Thanks for your response smile.gif

I work from home, so I should be okay with the frequency of doses. I have my feral, whose name is Biscuits, in my office at the moment. He was neutered last week. We have 3 other cats, so I need to work with him to socialise him with me and my Husband & then the other cats.

He uses his carrier as a safe place & also likes a spot on my bookcase, but otherwise I need him to come out more. He doesn't mind me working at my computer, or the printer going etc...... He just doesn't explore when I'm in there. I'm hoping this will gradually change as the hormones settle.

He trusts me to some extent - a while ago he would have been all teeth & claws, yet he let me pick him up ( gloved & towelled ) and put him in the carrier for the vets - which was an achievement! He also doesn't hiss or swag at me if my hands are close ( but not too close )

It's only been a week, so I'm not too keen to rush as I don't want to go backwards, I just wondered if there was a remedy that might be effective in helping the process along.
post #12 of 17

Clairekells, I have had good luck with Feral Cat Rehab essence also.   A question for you, could you share details of how you work with the towel to pick him up?   I took in Patches as a feral seven years ago and I still can't pick her up.   She still flips to "run for your life" mode amazingly easily even though she lets me pet her now when she feels calm and safe.   Advice for socializing -  play was the first way I connected with her, then petting her with the far end of the wand, and once she liked that she moved closer to be petted over a couple months.  

post #13 of 17

Hi there Bastfriend!


The towel thing was kind of a fluke!


Over the past year and a half we have taken him ( to the vets ) twice before. The first time I caught him was a lucky shot with a towel and a great guess as to the location to scruff!! I just threw the towel on him and scruffed - he made a lot of noise, but curled up and was completely still.


The second time he actually ran into one of those cat tunnels - the ones that crinkle and we put the carrier at one end and blocked the other and the concertinered ( is that a word? ) the tunnel. He was very poorly that time though....


Anyway, to your question..


I thought we would have a lot of trouble catching him this time. He had recovered from his illness a couple of months before and although we had made progress outside I did not expect it to be easy!


We got him into the carrier by the tunnel method - he actually chose to go into it to hunker down and did the concertina trick. It was when we were in the room I kept him the following morning.


He was in the corner and scared, of course. he was hissing and making low growling noises. He didn't bolt, he tried to hide on the windowsill behind the blinds.


What I did was to hold the towel ( folded in half - double thick - or more if you feel safer ) in front of him and slowly moved it closer to him. He didn't move and continued to make some noise. I got so close that I simply let the towel drape over his head - as soon as his head was covered he went completely still and quiet.


I knew I had to pick him up otherwise he'd just sit there. I slowly and gently placed my hands ( no pressure at first ) on his sides ( through the towel of course ) and he didn't react at all! I then applied pressure enough to secure him and lift him up.


Then I just put him in the carrier.


It was a total fluke and I can't guarantee it would work for every cat or every time!


I think the relationship I had with him, although tentative of course, was such that 'he knew' I needed to do it. He didn't seem terrified, so I don't think it was out of sheer terror - before he has been all teeth and claws so I know what he is capable of.


I hope this helps!



He has calmed down a lot and will take food off a spoon which my hand is holding and he will take treats and turkey off the back of my hand - I think we are making progress!




post #14 of 17

Thanks for sharing Clairekells, you are so brave!   That's an interesting trick with the cat tunnel - I might be able to get somewhere with that and Patches.    On her recent vet trip, I trapped her in a humane cat trap in my apartment.    It was my only option, no other option I could think of had worked and even that took a crazy amount of tricks and preparation.    Once the door shut behind her she went insane, flailing and howling and trying to tear the trap apart.   So I learned that even though she lets me pet her now she's still got her feral mojo so I've got to be cautious!

post #15 of 17

What do you consider a lot?

post #16 of 17
Hi! I am in the exact same boat. Fostering a cat she's crying at night and sometimes during the day. Eating sleeping a lot, using box. What happened with yours? Looking for someone to give me a bit of hope here.
post #17 of 17

Hi @Meeshacat and welcome to TCS! :wavey:


This is a pretty old thread so you may not get a response.  How about starting your own thread in Behaviour?  There could well be people there who can help. :)

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