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how do i get a stray to trust me?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
just found this lovely site and i was looking for some advice...i am a current 1 cat owner, an old girl at that...anyway i noticed last week that i have a new visitor in my backyard. i didn't think anything of it first since there are kitties in the neighbourhood, but this one seemed persistent and my cat was interested and not acting like her usual grumpy self when visitors arrive. this kitty struck a chord with me...on saturday i was talking with her/him can't tell yet and it meowed back. so i thought i would put food out for it. well the poor thing was starving...needless to say i have been feeding it since and it has taken residence under my deck. it seems very nervous but not an obvious ferrel cat. i would really love to take this one in...anyone have any experience catching a scardy cat? any advice would be great...wish me luck!
post #2 of 8
Welcome to the site Kim...my suggestion would be to contact your local SPCA or Humane Society and see about renting a humane trap. Ask their advice on the best way to trap or you can simply ask on this site once you have the trap....a scared stray often can act like a feral cat so it's best to approach it the same way you would with trapping a feral cat. You will definately want to get it to a vet and have it fixed, tested for FIV/FELV and brought up to date on shots before introducing it into your household. Good Luck.

post #3 of 8
HI, well I can tell you my way of befriending cats. I usually sit a good ways from the food bowl and watch the cat eat. I make sure it see's me. Day by day I will sit closer and closer to the feeding bowl. If it gets a little scared I will scoot back to last last place and just sit there for a few days letting it get use to my presence and I will sit closer. I mover closer and making sure the cat dont mind me being this close to it. This can take weeks or even months, depending on the cat im tryn to befriend.

this is my way of doing it. So far Its been good.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks...yeah the cat knows i am around, she just seems skittish, i guess i am worried because of the cold weather, i thought the quicker i could bring her in the better....but i guess i have to be patient, that or find myself a humane trap!
post #5 of 8
I would really suggest the humane trap...1. because of the weather but also 2. because of the spring coming and if this cat is a female...she will end up being pregnant if she isn't fixed.

post #6 of 8
I also start off by feeding the cat then backing away and talking to it while it eats. Every couple days I try to get closer. After a while I will also bring out a toy (something on a string that I can play with the cat without getting close). Most of the cats I've worked with get so caught up playing they forget their afraid and will come really close. Usually after a while they are pretty comfortable with me and will even eat out of my hands. After that when they approch me for their treats I will try to pet them (if they tolerate it).

The cats I've been working with are definately feral. One (Sweetie) started out wanting nothing to do with humans and made that fact well know. It took over 6 years for Sweetie to really become friendly but now she prefers to be petted than food. She still will swat at me once in a while if something startles her. Blackie was much easier than Sweetie. From the time she first showed up until she became a really loving cat was about 6 months but she was also a lot younger. She loves to crawl in my lap and go to sleep now. She can never get enough attention.
post #7 of 8
Here goes, I have a feral I have been feeding for well over 3 yrs. now. Her name is Spot, she has been TNR'd and is basically a good cat. My problem is that I can get her in the house (which is where she is now) but once in she won't come out from under my bed unless it gets real quiet and she thinks no one is around. She will run from any human (can't say that I blame her for that one though). I trapped her inside because the temps were dropping to well below zero here and I didn't feel her shelter would be warm enough for her. Spot has been there for going on 2 weeks now. She comes out to eat and use the litter box but only if no one is around. She did come downstairs once and seemed excited to see the patio door. I opened it for her thinking maybe she wanted out, but she ran back upstairs and under the bed. I have 7 other cats in the house (3 of which are her kids)that are strickly indoor cats. They all seemed to get along with her as long as she was on the other side of the door. But I have noticed that when she does get brave enough to come down the cats will hiss at her. This doesn't seem to bother her much, but today one of them chased her back upstairs. Should I leave her alone and let her come out on her own? Or should I let her back outside when the weather gets a little warmer. Ideally I want her to trust me enough to come and go as she pleases. I want her to know that if she wants out I will let her out and let her back in again but I'm not sure how to go about this. Any ideas? I feel bad for her living under a bed, that is no kind of life for a kitty. I feel like I am abusing her since she used to like to lay out in the sun on the patio. I don't think she has ever been petted or loved like a kitty should be. And what of my other cats, will they get used to her? Thanks for any input I really could use it. Just now as I was typing this she appeared in the doorway and is just sitting there looking at me. I guess that is some kind of progress. But I know as soon as I move she will run away.
post #8 of 8
Actaully she is acting perfectly normal for a feral cat. She is hiding because under your bed she feels no one can see her therefore she is safe. Let her hide. Clean her litter pans, and feed and water her on a routine schedule and don't surprise her with unexpected visits. Go into the room a few times a day, sit down on the floor, and read out loud to her. Don't poke your head under the bed to peer at her (that will just scare her) basically just ignore her and she will come out quicker. After you leave the room from your reading, be sure and leave a tasty treat on the rug right where you were sitting. I would recommend some of the treats from Plain Brown Tabby, my ferals find all of her treats irresistible.

Just be patient, and don't expect to much right at first. It takes a long time for outside cats to understand they don't need to be scared anymore. Outside there are so many ways to escape, inside they are trapped.

If you go to the different threads, the one about Lucky and Pengy you will see that other people have had to deal with this exact same scenario. These threads are stuck at the top of the forum.
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