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New Member. Never a Cat Lover B4. But Now I Have this Cat

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I apologize for not reading all the past posts. A little overwhelming, but here's my dilemma. We had a lady up the street who had like 50 cats so seeing feral/strays for years was nothing new to us. We just ignored them. Recently along comes this black cat who seemed to really like it here (no dogs, I guess is why). It's not very old, I'm guessing 6 months, maybe) couldn't weigh more than a pound or two at most. Ratty looking, scrawny, etc. It hung around here for 5 days. I figured if it had that much determination to live I'd give it a chance so we started feeding it. Never owned a cat B4.

    I think it's a stray, not feral, but I think it's been kicked around B4. It will come onto the porch and eat but with one eye on my feet. If I back up a few feet it will succumb to hunger and eat but if I move one more inch toward it, it retreats. If we leave the door open in the evenings it will actually come into the kitchen and living room and look around. It will not get near us otherwise. Don't know even if it's male or female. It's looking a lot healthier since we've been feeding it but now I'd like to go a step further to make sure it's healthy enough to survive. Beautiful cat, jet black with green eyes.

   I was feeding it the cheapest dry food I could find, 1/3 of a cup at a time twice a day. It immediately puked it all up. After doing some reading I bought some better dry food and fed it 1/4 cup dry mixed with 1/4 can wet, twice a day. No more puking but it acts like it's starved to death all the time. I think it would eat everything I put out there if I put out more. Should I feed it more? I don't have a way to trap it, so is there a way I could medicate it OTC for worms, etc?

   Sorry to be so long-winded but I'm concerned about this darned cat. Must be getting soft in my old age.

 

                                         jsapair

post #2 of 20
Hi and welcome to the site. I could be wrong but I don't trust the OTC worming stuff only because every now and then I read about people having terrible ordeals using some of the store bought stuff . Is there an animal rescue center near you? They sometimes loan or rent humane traps you can use to catch the kitty .Truth be told I havent had any luck with the traps myself but have several friends who do rescue work and are very successful . Thank you for helping that kitty smile.gif
post #3 of 20

firstly, you do need to try to trap it and get it to a vet to check for parasites and get it's shots. then if it has fleas, get rid of those. the vet can give you flea killer. kittens should be fed as much as they want because they are growing so fast. dry food is not good for cats. any wet is better than dry. thank you for taking care of this poor baby. he/she will be purring in your lap before you know it! and if it is 6 months, it needs to be fixed..

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsapair View Post
 

I apologize for not reading all the past posts. A little overwhelming, but here's my dilemma. We had a lady up the street who had like 50 cats so seeing feral/strays for years was nothing new to us. We just ignored them. Recently along comes this black cat who seemed to really like it here (no dogs, I guess is why). It's not very old, I'm guessing 6 months, maybe) couldn't weigh more than a pound or two at most. Ratty looking, scrawny, etc. It hung around here for 5 days. I figured if it had that much determination to live I'd give it a chance so we started feeding it. Never owned a cat B4.

    I think it's a stray, not feral, but I think it's been kicked around B4. It will come onto the porch and eat but with one eye on my feet. If I back up a few feet it will succumb to hunger and eat but if I move one more inch toward it, it retreats. If we leave the door open in the evenings it will actually come into the kitchen and living room and look around. It will not get near us otherwise. Don't know even if it's male or female. It's looking a lot healthier since we've been feeding it but now I'd like to go a step further to make sure it's healthy enough to survive. Beautiful cat, jet black with green eyes.

   I was feeding it the cheapest dry food I could find, 1/3 of a cup at a time twice a day. It immediately puked it all up. After doing some reading I bought some better dry food and fed it 1/4 cup dry mixed with 1/4 can wet, twice a day. No more puking but it acts like it's starved to death all the time. I think it would eat everything I put out there if I put out more. Should I feed it more? I don't have a way to trap it, so is there a way I could medicate it OTC for worms, etc?

   Sorry to be so long-winded but I'm concerned about this darned cat. Must be getting soft in my old age.

 

                                         jsapair

I will write more later in, ie in 20 hours, if you dont get even more input - you had already got some.

Excellent you had began to feed the poor guy, and also, a little better food.  Good its in small portions as he is starving and will not manage big portions at once.   But you shall know, he really needs more, at least twice probably thrice what you are giving him now...

 

You can yourself get dewormers, but you mus tknow which, many OTC arent good.  These made by big firms making also human medicines, alike Bayer, are usually safe, but you will still need to know exactly which of them.

 

 

And I hope your aim is to adopt him.    :)

post #5 of 20
Blessings on you for caring for this poor cat. He's obviously had it rough (life on the streets can be that way).

Continue to feed him and offer him some shelter. A bed on the porch is fine until you can get him to the vet and have him checked, de-wormed, de-fleaed and neutered.

This one has chosen you, so welcome to the world of cats!
post #6 of 20

Black cats are awesome. And you're not the first "convert" I've met to the world of cats. :)

 

This little guy sounds really lucky to have you in his life, thank you for looking after him. I agree with the advice offered already--feed him larger portions and avoid OTC dewormers. The best way I've been able to trap ferals and strays has always been earning their trust. You've started that by feeding him regularly.

 

If you intend to bring this cat into your home you'll need to go a few steps further. Go ahead and pick up a cat carrier so you have one ready when the time is right. Be sure to feed him on a regular schedule if you're not already. Cats love routine, and if you get him used to coming to you at the same time each day for his meals then he begins to see you as a source of food....which means he can trust you.

 

I don't know if you already do this, but when you do feed him, try sticking around. Get him used to eating with you right next to him. Also try to get down closer to his level. If you normally stand over him, try kneeling or sitting on the ground near him (4-6ft away) while he eats. Over a relatively short amount of time you'll be able to sit closer to him. Wait until he finishes eating and see if he'll come sniff your hand. If he does, you might be able to pet him. Feeding and giving affection are both important for developing trust.

 

If he is as young as you say, I expect he'll come around fairly quickly. The younger the are the quicker they adapt to a new emotional reality. If you can get him to the point of allowing you to pick him up and hold him for a moment, then catching him will be super easy.

 

Also consider putting fresh water out for him. One of the biggest problems strays have is drinking contaminated water, which is how they end up with parasites. Anything you can do to make sure he's getting proper nutrition and fresh clean water will help his immune system fight off any nasty things until you've gained enough of his trust to scoop him up.

 

When you do, I recommend taking him straight to the vet unless he's just completely unglued at the notion of being in the carrier. Take him in for proper deworming, have some blood tests done, they'll likely give him an antibiotic, and find out if he's old enough to be neutered.

 

If all that seems like more than you can take on right now, let us know whereabouts you are and we can perhaps recommend a reputable local rescue organization who will help you.

 

Honestly though....just by feeding this little guy you're doing so much for him. Thank you for that!

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses. The kitty, now named Shadow, looks just like the avatar on another reply. I doubled his food. He was getting 1/4 cup dry topped with some wet. I've doubled that to 1/2 cup topped with wet twice a day and he eats it all and licks the bowl clean. No signs of vomiting. Last night I laid down on the kitchen floor with my head on the threshold between inside and outside. I molded up a ball of grated cheese and extended my hand. No go. I then broke off pieces and tossed one out about a foot or so. It came and got that. Then a little closer and a little closer until it took the cheese about 6" from my face. It just won't commit to actually taking it from my fingers. When I went to feed it this morning it was on the roof!!! It had no problem going head-first down a support beam to the ground to eat.

    It came in the house today after eating and had a look around before going back outside. I still need to trap it and get it to a vet, that's a priority. So, I think we're making progress. 

post #8 of 20
You are making progress! It sounds like he was once someone's cat. If he came in the house, he was once used to be inside. So happy you are helping him. Keep us posted!
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 


Another strange thing about this cat, other than the fact that I have to call it down from the roof cover eaves every morning, is it makes no noise. When I put it's food bowl down on the porch it opens it's mouth, shows it's teeth and makes a weird, barely audible hissing sound. Not a threatening hiss, I don't know, hard to describe, and you really have to be listening to even hear it. Not a HSSSS sound, more of an outward gasp kind of sound. That's the only sound I've ever heard it make. Does it every time. No meows or anything close to that. Anybody?

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsapair View Post
 


Another strange thing about this cat, other than the fact that I have to call it down from the roof cover eaves every morning, is it makes no noise. When I put it's food bowl down on the porch it opens it's mouth, shows it's teeth and makes a weird, barely audible hissing sound. Not a threatening hiss, I don't know, hard to describe, and you really have to be listening to even hear it. Not a HSSSS sound, more of an outward gasp kind of sound. That's the only sound I've ever heard it make. Does it every time. No meows or anything close to that. Anybody?

Some cats are talkers and some are not. He may be used to staying quiet so he doesn't attract attention from any neighborhood bully cats. Or he may just not have much to say. I don't think that's cause for alarm unless a vet says otherwise on examination.

post #11 of 20
If he has been outside for any length of time, he may have infections that could cause a sore throat. Or he may have ear problems. One of our cats had ear mites so bad before we rescued her, she can only make a tiny little squeak now.

Get him vet checked as soon as you can. He sounds like he may also be used to being bullied by cats or harmed, God forbid, by humans. This might be why he seeks a safe spot in the eaves.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsapair View Post
 


Another strange thing about this cat, other than the fact that I have to call it down from the roof cover eaves every morning, is it makes no noise. When I put it's food bowl down on the porch it opens it's mouth, shows it's teeth and makes a weird, barely audible hissing sound. Not a threatening hiss, I don't know, hard to describe, and you really have to be listening to even hear it. Not a HSSSS sound, more of an outward gasp kind of sound. That's the only sound I've ever heard it make. Does it every time. No meows or anything close to that. Anybody?

I wonder if he is taking in the smell throught the mouth, making the so called fleming?

post #13 of 20

We have a stray/feral that we care for.  She ended up pregnant, and we ended up bring her into our overcrowded apartment.  She is now not so stray and feral.  She seems to like us humans, though she still doesn't get along with the resident cats.  She cannot eat without growling.  She isn't viscous towards us while eating, and we even can pet her while she is eating and it doesn't seem to cause her stress, but whether we are standing there or not standing there, when she is eating, she is growling... I know you said your cat is semi hissing... so not quite the same, just wanted to put it out there since maybe it is just a noise the cat makes.  Especially if it came from the "cat house", perhaps that was just a warning it is used to to tell the other cats stay away, this is mine.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsapair View Post
 


Another strange thing about this cat, other than the fact that I have to call it down from the roof cover eaves every morning, is it makes no noise. When I put it's food bowl down on the porch it opens it's mouth, shows it's teeth and makes a weird, barely audible hissing sound. Not a threatening hiss, I don't know, hard to describe, and you really have to be listening to even hear it. Not a HSSSS sound, more of an outward gasp kind of sound. That's the only sound I've ever heard it make. Does it every time. No meows or anything close to that. Anybody?

I wonder if he is taking in the smell throught the mouth, making the so called fleming?


  Yes, that's what I thought, Stefan.. My girl does something similar. 

post #15 of 20

My latest project, a feral male we named Callie (a male Calico is pretty rare) and after 2 years he has allowed me to pet him and he is pretty friendly, but still somewhat confused from his time as being purely feral. When he finally allowed me to touch him (while eating), he eventually started rubbing up against me as long as my other black Male, Binks, is present. They both showed up about the same time a few years ago, but Binks was either dropped off by his owners (already fixed) or wandered off. Since Callie now allows me to pet him on occasion, I managed to apply some of the "Revolution" product to his neck area. This worked out very well as it killed off any fleas that were bothering him and made his coat much softer, as well as killing off the worms that he no doubt had been living with. Callie has now beefed up a little and my next project is to build him a cat shelter...last winter was brutal and I thought I lost him as his disappeared for about 4 months or so...only to come back in April. It takes a lot of patience and time, but it is worth it.

 

Jim  bigeyes.gif  silver.gif 

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 


Well, it's a moot point now my friends. Kitters has been coming to the front door for regular feedings twice a day like clock work. We moved his feeding bowl into the house and it had no problem with that, either. It's been 3 or 4 weeks and it was getting used to us for sure. Three days ago it failed to show up and we haven't seen it since. I hope nothing tragic has befallen it...we do have wild critters like coyotes and mountain lions in the environs...but it seemed to be a pretty savvy cat. My hope is that someone did the same thing we were going to do but maybe weren't quick enough in doing...captured it. It's a beautiful animal. We can only hope for the best for it. I still look out the door every morning hoping to see it but I think it's futile.

post #17 of 20
Fingers crossed that you are right and someone has adopted him. Blessings on you for taking the time to try. You helped him, even for a short time.
post #18 of 20

Is Kitters intact...with all of his original parts? During this time of year, females sometimes go into heat before winter and males will wander off in search of love. My pet feral project cat, Callie, is not fixed yet and he sometimes will run off for about 5 days before coming home again. I'm hoping that this is the case as it is a terrible feeling when you worry about a cat that didn't come home.

   FWIW, last night I was looking for Binks, my large black male. He usually comes when I call him but last night I called and called, but he didn't show up. After 3 hours, about 1 AM, I still didn't see any sign of Binks and went outside with my flashlight and looked along the road, hoping that I didn't find him there...which I didn't. I called a few more times and went back inside, as it was getting cold (into the 40s...cold enough!). I went in to tell my wife that Binks was missing, when the beast came out of the closet after I awakened him with all of my searching and calling. He never sleeps like that and never in the closet as it is my other 2 cat's domain. I guess it's all 3 of their domain now! :Chat Noir:

   Good luck in getting Kitters back!!

 

Jim

post #19 of 20
I've had ferals disappear for weeks only to turn up at the normal time demanding food. Don't lose faith yet! Take this time to prepare in case you are able to catch him soon. Get a litter box set-up, keep food on hand, set up his isolation room and pick up a cat carrier to get him to the vet when you do catch him.
post #20 of 20
I'm just like you Jaspair I've never been a cat lover but the one we found hanging around when we moved into our new apartment has just found its way into my heart ❤️

We been feeding Mr Tibbs for 6 months now and he has no problem coming in and having the food. Sometimes he eats and leaves, other he'll have a look around and sometimes he just sits on the door mat looking out, which was no problem in the Summer but not the best option now that the nights are getting colder.

We don't want to make him leave as we want him to feel welcome so we have to have the door open until he goes. A couple of times the door has slammed shut because of the wind and he freaks out and as soon as you open it he flies off.

The big question is does anyone have any ideas how we can get him to let us close the door on him?
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