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What to do about Hank?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
After the great sucess story with Orangie I am almost embarresed to say we have a problem. One of our younger cats hank, we brought in at a very young age, he was at first a little stressed out withthe hissing and the spitting that kittens do, however he became a real lover for about two weeks. That was when we took him and had him snipped. Now he is not a hissing spitting kitty but he will not be touched sometimes approched but never touched. The problem is he is runnign around the house loose. Not that I would mind but it is becoming a problem to check for ear mites, give flea meds. or in the rare instance that it is needed, give worming pills. Now I think he may have an infection in his eye. Not sure what to do, how to handle it? Any suggestions? here is a picture of sweet Hank.
post #2 of 5
The same thing happened with my orange male many many years ago. He was a real lover until I took him to the vet the first time. He was so traumatized that he reverted to his very feral ways.

I think that because Hank still needs medication and checking, it would probably be good to try to keep him isolated in one room. This will not only allow you to get him for treatments, but will also help him feel more secure because he has his own place to hang out.

You might also try giving him a few drops of Dr. Bach's Rescue Remedy in his water each day. It will help to calm him. You can find this in most health food stores.

I hope he mellows out a bit for you.
post #3 of 5
I'm not sure how long you've had Hank there, but through help here we learned to isolate cats/kittens when we bring them inside and the introduction process we use (now, LOL!) is a pretty slow one. Mind you, Gary and I live in an RV, so we've got 40 by 8 feet to work with! Given that Hank's reverted to his feral ways, I think Renae's suggestion to confine him to one room, if you can, is probably the best suggestion. You may already be using/have used all these "tricks," but just in case you're not already familiar with these ideas, this thread about the socialization of Lucky has so many ideas for making a feral cat comfortable inside.... Socializing Lucky...

In addition to the Bach's Rescue Remedy, the other thing you can also use in your home or in his room (if he gets one) is Feliway. Whenever we foster or bring someone new home, we basically douse the house (everywhere at cat cheek height) with Feliway spray - and keep it that way for several months. Just in case you're not familiar with it, it is a synthetic pheremone that mimics the pheremones in cats' cheek scent glands. These are their "friendly" territory markers. It really seems to help - there has been a noticable difference in the crew between when we started using and before we used it when they're stressed for whatever reason. None of the pet stores around here carry it, but I purchase it online at Petsmart.

Don't EVER be ashamed to ask questions! Each cat is completely different, and hopefully 10 years, 20 years and 30 years from now I'll still be learning new things! As Gary always says, the only "stupid" question is the unasked one.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the suggestions. Although I think I should clarify that Hank has been indoors for almost a year and a half.We can trap him in the live trap for vet appointments but this will not work for meds that need to be given after the appointments, also this seem harsh to do all the time. Hank usually sticks to himself, and only socializes with an older cat named Stripe who we also care for. I am more worried about trying to give him meds than anything. Also we were able to look at the eye (from a short distance) and found that it was just a little dirty, this evening when we returned home it was all cleaned up so that is no longer a worry. The picture was from Christmas and he was a little under the weather, that also has been taken care of. We did find out from the vet when Hank was young that he has a hearing impairment. I think this may have somehting to do with his behavior?.
post #5 of 5
My Tigger was a feral kitten that was the perfect socialized boy for his first year then out of the blue reclaimed a lot of his feral fear (he is now 9 years old). We were never able to isolate what triggered his behavioral change, but have simply worked with him for the last 8 years. Like Hank, we had to live trap him to get him to a vet for a couple of those years and forget about giving him meds! We can now corner him in a room and put him in a kennel, but heaven forbid we ever close a door to a room that he is in (he climbs walls). Meds go into vanilla ice cream for him now and forever.

All I can say is that every cat is different, and you have to work incredibly slow with some of them. Discover what you can and can't do with him and start there. Tigger would jump in my lap if I was sitting on the sofa with my legs up, but if I tried to put my arm around him and constrain him, he was gone in an instant. So I used the opportunities that he gave me and worked it on his terms. While on my lap, I would gently pet him and talk to him. When he learned that wasn't bad, I would rest a hand on his side (not his back). When OK with that, I would rest my hand on his back. For med time, we are on the sofa, legs up, with a bowl (and it has to be my bowl) of ice cream meds. Eventually (and this was over a few years), I was able to pick him up and put him down right away. Then later pick him up and carry him a few feet, then a few feet more, then into the next room. I talk to him a lot.

Don't get discouraged, your Hank will find his place if you work with him on his own terms at his own pace. Find those moments when he is accepting and grow your relationship from there.

btw....Tigger is sitting in my lap right now as I type this.
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