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New here / new to feral cats - Page 2

post #31 of 52
That's the way to go! Congratulations..little by little she'll let you touch her..probably she's never been petted before or if she has she might have had a scare and now distrust it..
My husband feeds some ferals that live close to his office..some of them are normally friendly (for a feral) but others hiss at him while being fed, there's one that instead of meowing like the others only hiss..that would be a way of communicating, right? We and my husband's co-workers have tried to "catch" one to adopt but couldn't; once they found a kitten and a man took it, but it was an small one and esy to pick-up. Unfortunately lately there was a rabies scare in town and the pound took most of the cats. There are no pet shelters where I live but I'll check with the vet and see what can we do about TSR
post #32 of 52
Thread Starter 
Well I've brushed maggie a few days in a row now and this morning used a shorter brush with metal bristles which she liked better...
Then I used my hand and started petting her. I even scratched her behind the ears. No hissing or swatting which I'm real pleased about (she scratched a neighbor badly in the past when they tried to pet her).

Shes also making friends with our kitten, Lucy through the screen door. Actually it's Lucy who's making friends. I think Maggie was willing right away but Lucy kept growling. Lucy kept running at the door & jumping up to scare Maggie, but after a couple of loud hisses the past few days from Maggie I think Lucy knows she can't "bully" Maggie. So now she wants to be buddies. She rolls around in front of the screen door when Maggies there which I assume is a playful thing.

Maybe in 2 or 3 more weeks we'll remove the screen door.

I haven't heard Maggie purr yet and she hasn't head butted me so I thnk shes still real apprehensive. In fact, it seems she sort of has to warm up to me everytime I go to be with her. I guess shes fighting her instincts as we introduce her to living with people.

I think it's gone real well though. She went from looking crazy in her eyes when we first trapped her a month ago, to looking suspicious the way she used to look outside & now sometimes when she relaxes she lookes like a kitten in her face. I hope we can get that look to be on her face all the time eventually.

post #33 of 52
Jamie, you are absolutely wonderful, and Maggie's come so far! Right now, she doesn't need to headbutt you because you're giving her pets and brushes before she "asks" for them. Personally, I think this is fine. Others would probably recommend you just continue to sit and read with her, and let her come to you, but I say hey - whatever works.

I agree - sounds like Lucy is playing. I'm so glad Maggie's starting to relax a little. It must feel so wonderful!

Just wait until that first purr or headbump. You'll probably faint, LOL!
post #34 of 52
Thread Starter 
another Maggie update...
I've been petting her by hand now for about a week. That more than anything seems to be bringing her out of her shell. She's out in the open (still in one bedroom) a lot more and loves to play interactively and alone sometimes virtually all night with her toy mice! She's started to rub her cheeks on items in the room which I know is good and this morning she licked my arm! I was petting her with her back to me (my chicken hearted preferred method) when she turned around. This time I kept petting her even though her mouth was right by my arm and instead of biting me, she licked me. Then she turned back around and as I pet her more & told her she was a "nice girl" she released some gas in my direction so I corrected myself and told her "you're a nice but stinky girl" and it was.

She still hides when the door opens or when someone else comes in the room but she generally will come out after I tell her it's ok.

I now open the window about a foot high (its screened) but only when I'm with her. For a while I was afraid she would break out if she saw the outdoors so attainable but now she seems very content to just look out. I think she's getting the idea that she can see all the same stuff she used to but from a place where shes safe & warm.

The woman who fed her outside for the two years before we took her in came by to see her yesterday. Maggie was scared even though she knows the woman, but she did look at her from beneath a dresser. The woman is very happy that Maggie is being taken care of now & indoors. Hopefully someday she can pet her too. I know she really wants to.

We may change Maggies name. A guy in the neighborhood named her maggie 3 months ago. Before that she was "mom" for a year and a half. We were thinking of naming her annie (for orphan annie because she is an orphan) or trixie because she lookes like a trixie. She's very tiny. 6 pounds only and she's not all that skinny. Shes smaller than our one year old. Ultimately Ill post her picture once I think the flash won't scare her.
Thanks. Jamie
post #35 of 52
Jamie you have come so far with Maggie! Congratulations on all of your progress so far. I hope she gets that kitten look in her face all the time too.
post #36 of 52
YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!! Jamie, that's so wonderful!

post #37 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi. More progress with Maggie who we've just renamed Annie.
She gets on the bed with me now and this morning was even rubbing her face into my chest while standing in front of me. She's getting more & more relaxed although she still has her times when she hides. I believe now that she's definately happier inside than she was before and that she likes me.

All our other cats still growl at her at some point when I bring them in the room and let her come up to them. I can tell she would really like to become friendly with them. I hope to get over that hurdle soon so she can be out of the bedroom when she wants.

Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice. The most important thing I think that I learned in this experience is that there aren't neccessarily "bad cats" & "good cats". Annie (Maggie) scratched a lady in the past who reached for her so everyone in the neighborhood felt she was too wild to take in although they adopted her babies. As it turns out it seems it was just a matter of taking a slower approach.

Now she can have a home just like all her babies got to have.
post #38 of 52
How wonderful! Bravo to you for taking a chance (and the time) to adopt this sweet girl!
post #39 of 52
Jamie, you know how wonderful I think you are!!!! And your kitties will all get along eventually. We have one kitty, Spooky - who just FINALLY accepted Flowerbelle - a rescue who's been living with us for months. And they've had access to each other 24 hours a day for 2 weeks, and all hours of the day - just not at night (because no one was awake to keep an eye on things) for MONTHS. The getting along will happen too.... as you've already learned - it's just a matter of time - and patience.
post #40 of 52
Go!Go!GO! So wonderful hearing about your updates..looking forward to her picture
post #41 of 52
Being a new feral slave, I mean owner I can agree, it will take time, probably alot of it but the rewards are worth it. It is strange but having a feral come up and rub up against you is truely a wonderful feeling. Just the thought of how much trust their showing you in that one simple action. Good luck with your new buddy.
post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi. I finally took a picture of Annie (formerly Maggie). I hope I can get it to post here. We've begun introducing our kitten, Lucy, to Annie. We were most concerned with Lucy since she's been the most active with hissing at Annie thru the screen door so we wanted to see how they reacted to each other in the same room. It wasn't bad. Some playing, some sniffing, a couple of times where I wasn't sure if they were playing or having a little spat. Nothiong real bad though so I think they'll become buddies after a while. The two older boys are much more easy going so I'm not too worried about their reaction.

The other day I was out & my Fiancee was able to pet Annie too now. I guess Annie is tranferring whatever she's getting used to with me to Bernadette which is good. Bernadette then won't have to put in as much time as I did to gain her trust.

Thanks again for the advice and I hope you can see the picture.
post #43 of 52
How SWEET!!! She's gorgeous! Good for you to adopt her.

post #44 of 52
Beau, beau, beau, most beautiful !!!!
You're so lucky to have each other
post #45 of 52
Wow She is GOREGEOUS!!!!

You will have to keep us updated with Annie as well as post more pictures more frequently in our "Picture This" forum.

I'd like it very much if you started a thread over on that forum sharing pictures of all your kitties. They sound simply wonderful!

I'm so proud and happy for both you and Annie! She's so pretty!!!
post #46 of 52
Oh, Annie is just beautiful!!!!! What a pretty face she has!
post #47 of 52
Congrats with all Annies progress!

She's gorgeous!
post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. Annie said thanks for all the compliments. We've now introduced her to the others & she is free to roam the house during the day. It's going pretty well. She's just a little nervous but there's no fighting.

Cassie, I added some pictures as you requested but I put them on the "fur pictures only" section of the cat lounge. I hope that's the right place. There are some pretty cute pictures of out other cats too if you want to see them.

Thanks again Everybody.
This board was more help than anything else with taking in and socializing a feral. I probably couldn't have done it without the things I learned here. I would've petted her too soon, gotten scratched and thought she was a mean cat.
post #49 of 52
What a beautiful girl she is!!!! I'm so glad to hear how well things have gone. I'm so so pleased at how quickly this has gone. What a great job you've done!

post #50 of 52
I do love these feral success stories! Great job with her- thanks for sharing her with us here.
post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi. Laurie asked me in another forum where I posted some pictures how Annie is doing so I thought it was time for an update...

We removed the screen door and gave her the run of the house a week ago. So far so good. Lucy, our one year old gives Annie the most trouble... mostly playing but once in a while what appears to be a sneaky but serious swipe at her. She'll sometimes walk up to Annie like she wants to sniff noses then whacks her. Lucy isn't a very good fighter though so I'm not too worried. Other than that they just play. Ernie doesn't growl at Annie anymore so I think he's already used to her. Scooters fine with her as long as she doesn't approach him. Lucy is very jealous, putting herself in between me and Annie every chance she gets. Annie can forget about playing with a toy when Lucy's around since she will fling herself thru the air to get the toy before Annie can touch it!

I still close the door and sleep in the room with Annie at night because she eats best under those conditions. I'll keep that up until she's comfortable enough outside the bedroom to eat. She still runs to the bedroom every time there's a sound or movement and stays there for hours sometimes but she's improving. I'm sure the rest of the house is still strange to her. She's probably wondering..."OK which door is the next one they'll open that has a bunch of other cats behind it?" In time she'll figure out this is it... she's done meeting new creatures in the house.

Laurie, if you're reading this, yes Ernie is real large and very gentle, and kind of whiney. He growls (a deep growl) a lot which at first I found scary but after a while I realized he was all growl and no bite. I think he's just such a wimp that he got used to growling a lot to keep other cats away at the shelter he was in. Lucy picks on him all the time but less now that she has Annie to play with. Lucy is small but not as small as in the pictures I posted as she was still growing in most of those. Annie is the smallest now at 6 pounds. In fact next to ernie she looks like a rat!

Thanks again everyone.

post #52 of 52
Well done - Annie is so pretty and correct me if I'm wrong but that looks like a lovely calm kitten face to me!!
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