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Would anyone care to assess my progress?? :))

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I brought a 4-5 month old spayed female in last week. She has been in the bathroom since. It's quite cosy in there. There are some boxes, a cat tree, two large plants a hamper and a large thai cushion and a small window which is where the ventialtor fan is but it lets in a fair bit of daylight during the day. And it's fairly roomy for a bathroom.

So here is where i am at with her:
The female will let me touch her while she is eating but not otherwise.
She will play with me with string or a ball and if i drag the string over my legs she will climb right over them and all the way up to my hip if necessary.

She will also sniff my toes when they are stretched out in front of me.
And sniff me when she thinks i'm not looking.
She will also come within a foot of me to investigate something but if i make too much eye contact she will give me the POP NICH HISS routine and then skulk away for a bit before returning...
When i open the door if she is near by she will also do the POP NICH HISS and occasionally attack my leg but it's never a bite just a claw grab.
And she occasionally does the double POP HISSSSSSS with ears flatened but that's usually when i do something unexpected like get up too quickly or sit down too quickly.

Now i guess my question is for you guys who have more experience with feral kittens. Is this a good place to be right now? Does this seem like a cat who could be socialised?? I'm not sure. I don't feel like i've made THAT much progress ... BUT having said that, the one thing that i have realised is that i don't have any prior experience to use as a bench mark so i'll have to depend on some expert advice from your guys

Also... just how much time should i spend with her? I notice that on days when i go in a lot by evening she is pretty relaxed with me and then in the morning she sort of gets back to being a bit stiff...
post #2 of 13
It sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up she will come around a liitle at a time!! I see good progress!!!
post #3 of 13
I have only attempted to socialise one cat (he was a 5 year old male), and I didn't get to that stage after 5 months (when a home was found for him). I had an unsociable female in earlier this year (wasn't bothered about socialising her though, she was 14) and it would take her about 20 mins of my hand being in her box before she would think it was safe to let me start stroking her, and if the phone rang or the door went and I popped out for a couple of minutes, I would have to start from scratch!!
I think it sounds like she can be socialised, and she isn't really too old to be given a chance. I try and spend an hour a day sat with the fosters, mealtimes are on top of that, and I try to either give them a fuss, or have a chat to them. I find having fosters in the bathroom means they get more time than the ones in the back bedroom, as obviously you go in your bathroom more!! I also found that once my foster started getting a bit more settled, he was better at night if I didn't shut the curtains!!
post #4 of 13
It sounds like you're doing really well with her.

Do you talk to her when you are in the room with her. I used to read to Adelaide. She heard the story of "The Little Prince" then she read some Stephen King with me . I left a radio playing softly on the classical music station and she took a real liking to chora music.

I would talk to her before I entered the room so she knew I was coming. I also told her everything I was doing when I was in there. I would tell her I was going to stand up now, then do that really slowly; then tell her I was leaving the room etc.

We also had a wand toy that she would play with and we began fussing her with the end of the wand - she really really liked that.

It's great that kitty is clambering all over you - she is making real progress and learning that she can trust you enough to climb on you to get her toy.

Please keep us updated with her progress.

It's a long road to walk - but the journey is interesting and the kitty makes it all worthwhile
post #5 of 13
You both seems to get on very well. She will surely be a good pet cat in time and your friend quite soon now I think. Perhaps she will be even a family cat - although she will probably always be a little cautious/shy to strangers.

Im not a expert myself, but had read quite a lot what others did with feral cats accustoming them to be pet cats. It is quite often succesfull, even with grown cats born homeless. - but it takes usually a lot of time in these cases. 6 years in most extreme case...

Good thing to do with feral cats is to sit down and read. quiet and or aloud, and not bother too much with the cat.
post #6 of 13
It sounds like you are doing very well with her after 1 week! One slight adjustment you might consider - avoid direct eye contact with her if you can, but if you happen to make contact, slowly blink your eyes at her. Eye blinking is an acceptance signal (or greeting) with cats in a colony and another good way to build a bond with her.

If you have comfy chair, sit in the room and read aloud to her (or better yet, sit on the floor where you are at her level). Never tower over them, make fast motions, or loud noises. When you stand up or sit down, ease yourself into it.
post #7 of 13
Sounds great! My semi-feral Jill wouldn't get closer than 5 feet initially, and that was only once a day to eat. Eventually she tamed to the point she was adopted out.

The direct stare is confrontational, slowly close your eyes (blink) at her to let her know you are friendly. And I really like Feliway...it made such a difference for Jill!

Good luck, I think you will have a very tame cat eventually, if you remain patient!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
well i trapped her brother last week and WHAT a snuggle kitty he has turned out to be!!!

The girl on the other hand .... i think she really doesn'y know about me...
She was letting me stroke her while eating and while her back was turned to me but for some reason she has a phobia against hands....

ANyway, i have had some advice from hissy and she recommends that i just totally ignore her. Have been doing that today...

Not sure if it is working but she does seem a bit more curious about my feet... not sure if this is a good sign or not.

She will even use me as a springboard and walk right over me if she is chasing something but as soon as she sees my hands approaching to pet her that's it! Hiss and swat.
post #9 of 13
Cats stretching out a paw are usually threatening some - I may punch you if you arent careful! No wonder she hisses in defence!

EDIT - I mean; she is feral, isnt learned yet the hand of a friendly human is a exception from the rule...

If you dare, try to get with head first and rub the heads! (feels more secure if you have glasses of course).

If she jumps on you and walks over you is a good sign, she is in a way friendly to you.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
well i got some advice from hissy to just completely ignore her and focus on the brother which is what i am doing...

I also got some advide from another board and they recommended that i feed them their wet food from my hands. So 3 times a day i go in with some wet food that i have made into little balls and feed them both from my hands. The boy how is nutts about me just winds up eating from the bowl and so the girl can't get her head in. So i take the balls out and feed them to her by hand.

SHe will sit right next to me and eat out of my hand now. Every time she looks up at me i give her abig slow blink and talk to her about how cute she is...

Other than this i don't try and touch her. I do play with both of them though with some fluffy balls and ribbon etc and try to encourage her to jump over me and on my feet and legs etc. But other than that i try not to make eye contact and have stopped trying to pet her.

She has also stopped hissing at me completely. And will now run up to me when i come in a give me a chirrup and sniff my foot sometimes.

I guess this would be a whole lot easier if i was 2foot high
post #11 of 13
Am glad it has worked - I have read the 'only hand feed them' advice, and it is something i would never follow, as if they are truly scared of you, they won't eat, and we all know cats can't go too long without eating.
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by booktigger
they won't eat, and we all know cats can't go too long without eating.
Yes, but observe this is most dangerous to overweight cats - they get easily liver damage if starved - but not overweights are MUCH less in this danger.
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by flisssweetpea
I left a radio playing softly on the classical music station and she took a real liking to choral music.

Very interesting idea! It is well known classic music - Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach especially -

are good for human brains. It is also know they are good for cows and horses.

Perhaps also for feral cats? Worth a try!
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