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I trapped her/him! - Page 3

post #61 of 141
Good news Becky. I'm sending lots of healing vibes for him.
post #62 of 141
Becky, I'm so glad to hear he's doing better, little by little! I don't get to the site every day (and it's been almost a week now, I think), but I wonder about Lil Buddy every day. Don't worry - he'll purr when he's ready, and it WILL happen!!!!! I never thought Tuxedo would purr, but he even loves his brushes now (all our kitties love being brushed. Funny - they all like different kinds of brushes! Shelly loves the wire brush, Lazlo loves the flexible plastic bristle brush, Flowerbelle like the small hard plastic brush, and Tuxedo only likes the really soft bristle brush - like for babies. Spooky loves any of them, so I guess she's the exception. Of course, they were all terrified of the brush at first....)

Anyway, sorry about the babbling. He sounds like he's doing great, and you should be proud.
post #63 of 141
I agree, I've gotten so much helpful advice on this forum. Several people have had tremendous success with lining the bottom of the trap with kitty litter, so I'll be using that method once my guy gets used to eating near the trap itself.

Spotz, thank you for your help with regard to my cat's wound and I will continue to give him the antibiotics. One question though is how long should I keep him on the antibiotics? Between the sporadic doses along with the fact that he doesn't always eat all of the food, leaves me to wonder how much he's actually getting. I try to entice him by putting a lot of treats in his food, and off and on his appetite goes from extremely hungry (eating up to three to four cans at one serving) to not eating a full can. I assume I should just keep giving him antibiotics until his wound heals? Thanks again Spotz and Becky. Becky, best of luck with Lil Buddy.

Susan aka Jesse's Mom
post #64 of 141
and good luck to you Susan - what your doing is amazing. Your patience will pay off I am sure.
I myself can not give any advice in either the wound or trapping. All I can wish you loads and loads of LUCK and praise for what your doing!!

keep us informed
post #65 of 141
Please pray for my little boy - that his wound will heal quickly and completely and second, that I can safely catch him and give him a loving home for the rest of his happy life as an indoor cat.

Susan aka Jesse's Mom
post #66 of 141
Susan, your little boy will remain in my prayers!
post #67 of 141
Susan...the vet is your best answer for the antibiotic question.

However, if you are reasonably sure that he is getting at least most of the antibiotic dose that you are currently giving, then I would continue this until you trap him. As soon as possible, afer trapping him take him to the vet and make sure the vet knows that he was on antibiotics prior to you catching him. Whatever the vet prescribes, follow thoses directions flawlessly. Antibiotics can be very touchy things. If he appears to be fine, but you still have Antibiotics, do not stop giving them to him.

My thoughts are with you.


PS...Becky...what's the latest with Lil Buddy?
post #68 of 141
Becky, I spoke with the vet and she told me to keep him on the antibiotics for another week due to his sporadic schedule of eating the food. Thanks for your suggestions.

Also, dawn of sierra thank you for keeping my cat in your prayers.

post #69 of 141
Thread Starter 
Today was Lil Buddy's vet check. The wound is smaller. She put him back on antibiotics but this time a capsule instead of liquid. He spits and drools out the liquid but takes the capsule like a trooper. He slept on my lap for an hour today. He sleeps all of the time. I guess he is still pretty stressed and that is his way of handling it. He has started to turn his head a little when I pet him and he lets Asa sniff at him without hissing anymore. I think the two of them will be friends when Lil Buddy gets to come out of the cage.
The other night he woke me up meowing. He had eaten all his food earlier in the evening and wanted more. I opened a new can and he ate the whole thing at three in the morning. He usually eats two 5.5 oz cans a day but that day he wanted three for some reason. His fur is getting shiny, now. He is such a good boy. Becky
post #70 of 141
Becky..that is a wonderful update.

post #71 of 141

post #72 of 141
Oh, Becky, so glad Lil Buddy is improving so much!
post #73 of 141
Thread Starter 
Well, I have a problem. I think. Lil Buddy has twice now swiped at me with his paw and bit me. He barely made contact. The first time I had fed him and while my arm was still in the cage he took a poke at me. I didn't feel any claws. And then right away he bit me, but as soon as his mouth touched me he quit. He just left slobber on my arm. He only has one canine tooth and it is half broken off, so even if he tried he couldn't do much damage but he didn't really seem to be trying. Then again today he did it while he was on my lap for his daily bonding time. I had been combing him. I didn't react. I just continued to pet the top of his head and then after awhile I put him back in his cage. I am not sure how to respond to this. Maybe he is feeling more confident now and able to do this. Or maybe he just hates me more and more for treating his wound and putting antibiotics down his throat. He isn't hurting me and I am not afraid of him. He is more alert while on my lap, too. He used to just curl up and go to sleep. If you can sleep while shivering. Now he stays awake, doesn't shiver for more than a minute or two, and looks around the room. He looks up at the book shelves and would try to jump up there if I wasn't holding him. I am not sure if we are making progress or not. How should I respond to this? Becky
post #74 of 141
I've known some cats that loved to 'nibble', that is, they acted like they were going to bite you, but then they only applied some pressure and let go, never breaking the skin or even causing discomfort. I personally do not mind this behavior, but some people do, and some discourage it. It's definately a different story if he is actually causing harm.

In his biting behavior...does he act like he is trying to hurt you, or just grab hold?

I wouldn't be too, too worried yet. Personally, I'd take it as a sign that he's really getting better. The only downside to this, is that he may become somewhat more independant/stand-offish for a bit.

Becky, you've done a great job so far...much better than most people in your position would've...I am positive that you and Lil Buddy will be fine in the long run. Hang in there, and you two will be just fine.

How is Lil Buddy and your other kitties getting along?

post #75 of 141
Thread Starter 
He doesn't keep biting. Just a lightning quick bite and release, not even as hard as a pinch. Just leaves a wet slobber mark. I kind of think it might be a good sign, too, or at least a sign that he is recovering.
He stares at the other kitties and they both come up to him and sniff. Sally hisses at him but Asa just sniffs then leaves. Asa will even take a short cut from the table across my lap with Buddy on it. Neither one seems to mind. I am hoping that Asa and Lil Buddy will be friends because Sally is such a little princess that Asa needs someone to wrassle with. Becky
post #76 of 141

What I would suspect is that he's starting to try and establish his position in the household. That would be a good indicator that he is definately getting better.

So long as you don't mind the biting behavior, and/or so long as it doesn't get any rougher, I wouldn't worry about it.

I'm glad to hear this great news, please keep us posted

post #77 of 141
Thread Starter 
That is kind of what I thought, too. I will be so glad when his neck is healed and I don't have to do anything mean to him. Thanks for the reassurance. Becky
post #78 of 141

post #79 of 141
Thread Starter 
I swear, this guy has his ups and downs. Today he slept on my lap for an hour and didn't even try to get off. Then I took him in the bathroom and shut the door and let him down with Asa. They didn't really interact. Asa spent his time playing and Lil Buddy spent his time trying to open the door to get back into his cage. How did he know about pawing open the door. Anyway, when I put him back in his cage he didn't go back in his crate, but meowed for his supper. When I brought it to him he started eating right in front of me and a little later when I walked by he got on top of his crate instead of inside it. He did hiss, but didn't hide. So we are making up and down progress. If I remember to I will take the camera with me to the vet on Wednesday to get a picture of him. I can't put him down at home to take one. Becky
post #80 of 141
Becky, I'm not sure what advice to give about the biting. We don't allow our cats to bite, and discouraged it when they were kittens by giving them a puff of air in the face when they would bite. They quickly learned that wasn't acceptible behavior.

Tuxedo just recently started giving Gary what can only be described as "love bites." He puts his mouth on Gary's arm, quickly and lightly while looking up at him. Gary then leans over, and Tuxedo bumps him on the head. So we don't discourage this, because it's his way of communicating to Gary, lean over, I want to bump your head! Tuxedo is the only one that does this.

It does mean FOR SURE that Lil Buddy is feeling better. When Tuxedo was near death because he was so anemic, he would let anybody do anything to him. Cats can be very loving when they're sick - or at least seem very loving. Sometimes it's because they like the attention when they're sick - other times it's because they don't feel well enough to do anything about it. Tuxedo didn't need a tranquilizer for a six hour blood transfusion - and this is a cat that sounds like a German Shepherd or Cougar when anyone approaches him with a needle. He's bitten two vet techs and Gary in the past (in the hospital) - one of techs required stitches. The first sign that he was feeling better after a few weeks was that he'd growl and hiss when getting his shot - not just lie there and let someone give it to him. Now I hold his head and shoulders under a towel while the vet gives him the injection. And when we go for weekly blood work, if you were someone just sitting in reception waiting for your pet's appointment to see the vet, you would swear there was a wild bobcat or cougar back in the operating staging area. I've never heard another cat make a noise like that. So I take this definitely one way - he's feeling better, and he's starting to let you know what's OK and not and when - or that he loves you, lol!

If it keeps up and it's not clear that it's love "nibbles" or a soft polite request of "stop that," then no matter how much you don't want to, I'd start correcting the behavior by giving a short sharp puff of air in the face when he does it. Personally, if I figured out it was his way of saying "no," I'd still correct the behavior. He'll figure out an alternate method of letting you know. Our cats all hold out one paw and put it on top of our hand. It's like they're saying "put your hand down, I don't want anymore brushes (or pets)."

I know how much you want him just to love you, but believe me, you will both be happier in the long run if you understand each other and communicate with each other what is OK and what isn't. It is the hardest thing in the world to say "no" to a kitty you're trying so hard to have love you, but you have to lay the ground rules or you'll end up miserable in the future with a cat that bites you - whether he has teeth or not, it's not OK.

If he does it when you're putting food down, perhaps its him being hungry?

If he does it when you're petting or brushing him, I'd say it was overstimulation. Tuxedo just puts his paw out now - puts it on top of our hand and we stop, though he used to bite (not hard). He often wants to be brushed again within a few seconds - but he can't take "lots" of love at one time. A few brush strokes at a time, pause for a few, a few more brush strokes, pause for a few - and that's progress. He's lived inside for a year now, and at first he couldn't take any pets or brushes, but he would headbump Gary if he leaned down next to him. And until just a month or so ago, the most he ever wanted was just a few brush strokes and that's it. He won't sit on laps, rarely likes to be picked up - but automatically kneads when placed on a sheepskin (which he would jump off of at first!), and he purrs when you just stand next to him. But it took a year to get there. So he lets us know in all of his odd little ways that he loves us and likes being here. But he doesn't really like the other four cats, mostly avoids them, hits them on the head when they get too close, and the only one he really tolerates and plays with is little Flowerbelle, though he won't get up and move if Shelly or Lazlo come near.

Since he didn't seem to mind when you continued petting him, I'm not sure how to take this either. Next time he does it, I'd stop whatever I was doing, whether it's brushing or petting and then see what happens. When Tuxedo first came inside, we would wait for him to come over to us and ask for pets before we'd try to brush or pet him. I know the situation is different for Lil Buddy, which is why I think the next time he does it I'd just stop and see what happens. Maybe put him back in the cage pretty much right away. If he doesn't like being in the cage, he'll learn to stop biting.

Also, I just wanted to add, you said

I swear, this guy has his ups and downs.
This is always the case when socializing ferals - especially when they come in sick and are on the mend! As I pointed out they're often much friendlier when sick, and when feeling better they'll start exerting their likes and dislikes. But it's also usual to have a kind of "Three steps forward one step back" (sometimes even "one step forward and three steps back"!) in the process of socialization. Just do your best to figure out what he's trying to communicate. We'll try to help, and most importantly, don't get discouraged! It took Spooky three months to stop being aggressive with the other cats - it took her over a year to stop bolting into hiding (at first for hours) at the door opening or closing or any loud noise. She's been an inside kitty for a year and a half now, and she's become a lap cat. Tuxedo's been inside for a year, and he can barely stand being brushed or petted, yet he lets us know he likes it here. Lazlo doesn't mind pets - but LOVES being brushed on my lap in the bathroom. Nowhere else. In fact, he meows in front of the bathroom door when he wants brushes. Each one is completely an individual, and they all took completely different amounts of time to get used to us, each other, and our home. Shelly, the alpha, owned us and our home from day one. He explored the place from top to bottom and it's ALL his. We live in an RV and have gone to great lengths to make sure there's enough room for all of them and us - and Tuxedo still hasn't explored several areas of our home! He was rooting around up at the front of the RV for the first time ever just a few weeks ago. So go figure.

Most importantly, you're doing GREAT! And remember - sometimes the best thing to do is slow things down. In the process of socializing this gang, there were times when it seemed like one or the other of them hated us. That's when we'd just ignore that cat, except for play-time with a wand toy for a few mintues a day. After a few days, they'd independently come over to us - either to rub up against our legs, or looking for a pet or treat or something. I know Lil Buddy isn't out and about yet, but the advice here would be maybe to give him a little less attention, and just be in the room with him with his cage door open. Read a book or something, and just "be" with him, not necessarily interacting with him. After a few days of this, maybe he'll approach you? With cats, especially ferals, sometimes "less is more."
post #81 of 141
Becky all you are doing for the cat is wonderful.
post #82 of 141
Thread Starter 
Lil Buddy played! Well, OK, he took a couple of swats at a string, but still. That's progress, right? I let him down in the bathroom after cuddle time and played with a string with him and Asa. Asa loves that game and he played and Buddy played a little. He was probably making fun of Asa for thinking it was real prey. He explored the bathroom, got in the other kitties litterbox and checked it out. He looked in the bathtub. Then he spent his time tryint to open the door. I have been having our time together before dinner. Maybe I should do it after, when he isn't so hungry. He went to the vet today. His weight is up to 10.8 from 10.3 a week ago. She said to feed him as much as he wants, that he will probably gain another pound at least. He isn't rail thin but he doesn't have any spare fat. His owie is healing slowly, she said maybe another month. He bit me twice today. The vet said to tell him no sharply and let him know that it isn't OK. I am a little hesitant to do that. I think just not reacting in fear and continuing to get him out of his crate is better. Maybe I will take out his crate and just give him an open bed. I haven't decided that yet. I know the crate makes him feel safe but it also lets him not progress. Maybe. Any opinions? I forgot to take the camera.
post #83 of 141
Wow..sounds like you are making great progress.

post #84 of 141
So happy to hear Lil Buddy is coming along so well! You must be very excited about his progress!
post #85 of 141
I've forgotten what kind of crate you are using.

If you are using a carrier, perhaps dissambling it halfway, and leaving the bottom in there would open his world up some, but also leave something familiar there.

If you are using a true crate, perhaps making sure that it isn't covered at all, and that the door is propped open will accomplish the same.

I wouldn't just up and remove the crate, but I would give him a choice between the crate and the rest of the room.

Also, make sure that your doors are cat proof...I've known cats that could open doors.

He sounds like he's doing very well.

Keep us posted,

post #86 of 141
Thread Starter 
He is in a big crate, a dog crate, about 2x3 feet floor space. In there he has a little plastic crate with the door open. He likes to sit on the top of it during the night. He is very nocturnal, but quiet about it unless he hankers for a middle of the night snack. I can take the top off the little crate and he would still have his bed, just without the top. I think I may get a shelf to put in there so he could have an "upstairs" place to climb onto. Becky
post #87 of 141
Sounds like a great idea

Perhaps without the cage you can get some pictures?

post #88 of 141
Maybe try taking the crate out of the cage, and creating a shelf in the cage, and placing the crate near the cage, and leaving the cage door open? With ferals, especially older ones, it's really best just to let them go at their own pace, and he feels safe in the cage - but if he snuggles in the crate at times, moving it outside of the cage may be a way to help him "enlarge" his space? And it's ALWAYS best to keep the crate out and available, especially if it's a "safe" space. This will make it easier in the future when he's not using the cage to get him to the vet.
post #89 of 141
Thread Starter 
I was tired this morning so when Lil Buddy started meowing I just took him up on the bed with me. He started exploring and he was fine with me touching him while his four feet were on the bed. So I just let him be. He has been exploring and stops by every once in a while to see me. Asa is fine with this but Sally is a little miffed. She isn't hissing but she is following him everywhere. He discovered a catnip toy and was so excited. He is very attracted to the windows, though. I think he has escape plans. Becky
post #90 of 141
Thread Starter 
Lil Buddy purred! He has spent 24 hours free now and is doing just fine. He spends a lot of time on my bed. This morning he came up and plonked himself down on my chest and purred when I petted him. This is a first.
He still bites, though. I can't predict when he will do it. But when he bites then he will continue to bite if I try to pet him so I just leave him be. But two minutes later he might approach me for pets.
The other thing I have noticed about him now that he is out an about is that he doesn't jump onto things. He uses his front legs to pull up. I don't know if that is just his particular habit or if there is a problem. He can get up high but he has to do it by stages, not jumping to the top like my other two. He goes from the bed to the shelf to the window instead of just jumping to the window.
He is using the main litter box now and only goes back into his cage to eat. He is so funny when it is time to eat. He comes into the kitchen when he hears the cans open and meows and escorts me back to his cage to eat. What a sweet boy. Becky
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