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Feral Cat Dilemma

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

About 7 months ago there was a feral cat outside with a litter of kittens.  I trapped all of them, fostered the kittens (they have since been adopted out via my local animal shelter), and got the mom spayed and rabies vaccine.  Was going to release her, but then MY MOM felt bad for her and thought that she could socialize her.  So she has been working on it the past 7 months, and the cat is very nice to her but doesn’t like strangers and hisses and spits.  My mom already has 2 other cats and the plan was to socialize and adopt out the feral cat.  HOWEVER, since my mom is the only human the cat really likes (although she still bites and scratches her sometimes), I know that she won’t show well and I doubt any animal shelter will take her since she’s “feral”.  


I’m looking for a solution here.  On one hand, I’d love to see the cat be able to be happy as someone’s pet, but there is no one that is going to adopt a mean cat.  I’d like my mom to get her shown at a shelter or a pet store or something just to learn whether or not she could possibly show well.  I also think that just being at my mom’s house isn’t allowing her to grow because she isn’t being introduced to any new experiences so I’m thinking maybe if she goes to the shelter she will be forced to come around (maybe).  Another alternative is to wait until Spring and let her be an outside cat.  The longer my mom keeps her the worse this idea becomes because she is getting used to being inside (if I put her outside I would give her shelter and feed her – I would just be worried she wouldn’t come back).


Any ideas (my mom lives 1 ½ hours away which is why I don’t spend time with the cat)?

post #2 of 3

Taming feral cats is a long process and IF they ever come around, they typically bond with one person, the person that took the time and effort to tame them. So your mothers situation is not so unusual. If she had asked me before she started the experiment, I would have told her.

I don´t think you guys would do her a favor adopting her out. I´d rather recommend your mother keeps her. I don´t know where she kept her the last 7 months, but it seemed to work, so why shouldn´t it work in the future?

If the feral and the resident cats haven´t met yet, the right introduction is essential, as well as providing enough resources and vertical space. I don´t know if her own cats are indoor or indoor-outdoor, but maybe you could bring up the idea of a catio? If building a catio is feasable, it would be a good place for an introduction, because none of the cats has established territory yet.

post #3 of 3
Is there a reason your mom can't keep her since she's done so for so long already? And it sounds like the kitty's plenty happy with your mom - it really matter in the long run that she doesn't take kindly to"strangers"? It doesn't mean she's not a happy kitty - we have 1 kitty who loves us dearly but is absolutely terrified by anyone other than my husband or myself - & he was never feral, and is 100% happy - except perhaps when houseguests stay over smile.gif But we love him & couldnt imagine him being placed anywhere else.

The kitty very likely won't do well at a shelter (& certainly not a pet store) --those are stressful enough for extremely socialized cats. And returning her to an outdoor life doesn't sound necessary - and will very likely make her life much harder (& shorter!). Briefly being scared by visitors is far preferable to a life scrounging to stay alive outside. smile.gif
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