or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Adopted 2 Ferals. Apologies for the length.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Adopted 2 Ferals. Apologies for the length.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello, all. I'm new here, but it seems like it may be a good site to get some advice.
My fiance and I recently adopted 2 ferals (they had been there about two weeks) from a shelter, and they are now making their home on our home. They are a boy and a girl about 4-5 months, and have all their vaccinations and have been spayed and nuetered. So there is nothing to worry about there.
My question is about socializing. I understand that they may never be 100% comfortable around us and we are not looking to turn them into our playthings, but the woman who is advising us seems to be giving Kiki, the girl, is ball of fluffy love. She won't come on your lap, but when we are in the bathroom, you can pick her up, place her gently in your lap and pet her. She purrs like a Studebaker. She seems to be coming along fine.
Willy, however, is going to be a bit more work. He still hisses when approached, but once you gently get some good pets going, he has been known to purr hard from time to time. It depends on his mood.
The frustrating advice, to me anyway, is that we were told to handle them a much as possible and as soon as possible. With Kiki that is no problem, she's still tentative, but is willing; but Willy is no where near comfortable enough to pick up. You try to and he breaks free and runs behind the toilet. He's not having it. But this woman continually insists that that is what you're supposed to do. It just seems to me that this woman's advice might be misguided. If the idea is to get them to feel safe and not threatened, wouldn't it seem that forcing a kitten to do something they obviously are scared of defeats that very purpose?
My gut tells me to just stick with the gentle petting, when he's up for it, without picking him up, eventually let them roam around, and let him come around on his own time.

Am I wrong on this or just not getting it?
post #2 of 7
Good question. In my gut I would agree with you. Especially as the girl is going very well, and seeing her will help him to get alongside. (It is easier to socialize a feral cat if you have a social cat along...More difficult to socialize two feral cats and both shy and afraid).

But. I m often on the swedish forums. And almost everytime somebody tells: I did get a ex feral kitten from a shelter all the others comments: Congratulations! How sweet! Well done! And now cuddle and snuggle them, pet them a lot! Yes, sometimes they use the word: by force...

I guess you must find a sound middleway: not to much at once, dont force yourself on - your gut feeling - but you must know where, why och how to get there.

Of course, not all cats are kneecats. It is also a truth to remember. As long as he finds hemselv well in your home and with you - it is not mandatory he is a kneecat.

Keep up the good work!
post #3 of 7
I would disagree, and I have worked with ferals now for over twenty years. Try ignoring the male- set up a routine with him and stick to it- food/water same place, same bowls every day several times a day always at the same time. Scoop litter pans same time every day- play with the female on a schedule as well. Ignore Willy completely except to see to his needs. If he is hiding, let him hide. Get on the floor as much as possible, get down to his level but do not make eye contact with him. Sit in the room on the floor and read out loud a few chapters a day and when you leave, in your imprint on the floor leave tasty meaty treats for him. But just act like he isn't there otherwise, don't force him to be on your lap or to accept petting. This woman does not know feral cats very much if she is insisting that holding them and petting them is the best thing for them. It truly isn't. The minute you pick up a reluctant feral cat and put him in your lap, you go from friend to predator in a blink of an eye. Read the sticky thread the story of Lucky in the behavior forum
post #4 of 7
I totally, completely agree with Hissy.

Cats hate to be ignored!
post #5 of 7
I've heard of holding ferals wrapped in a towel to pet them until they realize its ok-so maybe every day for 20minutes.

But if you will be the one keeping these cats, and its ok with you if he is never a love bug, I would say let him come to you on his terms.

Remember, staring at a cat is threatening, so be sure not to stare into his eyes. Slow blinks show them you can be trusted.

I have a totally loving outside cat who despises being picked up, but loves all other attention. Maybe your boy will be the same.

You are great to give these cats a chance.
post #6 of 7
I also agree with Hissy, let him come to you, and it's true they don't like to be ignored, he will come and start to play when he's more trusting, that's the thing the trust. I have rescued 16 ferals. I now have 6 out of 16 inside bundles of joy, 2 from last year, and this year I rescued a Mommy and 5 female kittens, all 16 have been to the vet spayed, nuetered, shots, wormed and treated for fleas. I found homes for 2 of the girls they are now 6 mos old I have 3 here plus mom and the 2 boys from last year they are all inside cats. It just takes time and patience, but that was nothing compared to the year I spent getting them to trust me, trap them and get them to the vet. But then nothing compares to the Love they show me now. I bet you will see in a small amout of time the changes in him. There is lots of great articles on the ferals that will be of great help to you. I don't think I would have made it through 16 if not for this site. Good Luck
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks you, all. I had a feeling I was doing the right thing, but this woman was so adamant about her advice, I was feeling like I was doing something wrong.
We have taken to letting them out and roam around the last couple of days, and they usually wind up playing hide and seek. It's adorable.
Thanks again.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Adopted 2 Ferals. Apologies for the length.