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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have been fostering a cat since the end of Dec and I am at my wits end.

Let me explain what's going on.

Originally I rescued Heidi as a feral kitten, adopted her out to a friend who wanted a 2nd cat to keep her cat company. However, after a year or so of complaining that poor Heidi is not as good as Sparky (first cat), she decided she didn't want Heidi. Poor Heidi was so traumatized because at that time, the owners were moving- (I had strongly advised them to put both cats in their carriers early in the morning and put in a quiet bathroom/corner BEFORE people came so cats wouldn't be scared off). The owners didn't listen and poor Heidi who is so shy anyway got so terrified she scrambled into a hole in the ceiling and didn't come out for 2 days. At that time, the owners called me and told me to come get her. I was soooo angry with them. After a couple hours of trying to coax her out and into a carrier, I finally had to corner her into a closet and grabbed her by the scruff of neck to put in the carrier. I kept her in my bathroom for a day as I searched desperately for someone else to adopt/foster her because I had just taken in another cat to foster and didn't have room for one more cat. (I live in a 1 bedroom apt). Finally a woman who used to foster stepped up and said she'd foster Heidi.

After a couple months of fostering, this lady decided she wanted to adopt Heidi. That thrilled me because Heidi is so shy and I knew we couldn't take her to adoption shows so I was worried about how we could find her a good home.

WELLLLLL.... After about 2 years, this lady called a friend of mine who fosters many cats and threatened to have Heidi put to sleep if this friend wouldn't foster Heidi. This friend emailed me and told me what was going on and asked me to help out since she was already fostering too many. When I contacted this lady to find out what the heck was going on, she said she couldn't "afford" to keep Heidi since she has not been able to find a job for the last year or so. I offered to cover Heidi's expenses (food, litter and vet) until she found a job. She refused and again insisted that Heidi had to be out of her home ASAP. It was OBVIOUS that there was another issue going on but she wouldn't be upfront.

I ended up bringing Heidi back home. She was so terrified- she hid under my bed for over 2 months - only came out to eat/drink and use the litter box. Eventually with a lot of time and patience, she warmed up to me and is a very affectionate cat.

I went thru the process of introducing her to my cats and everything went very well. However after a while, some of my cats started picking on her- I found tufts of fur everywhere! I separated them again and started again... Same thing happened.

Another sad thing is that she stays in my bedroom most of the time. I think she feels intimated by other cats if she ventures out of my bedroom. In the past, they'd go after her if she ventured out too far from the bedroom..

For the last week or so, things have been pretty good and I was hoping that the issues had been resolved. Unfortunately about half an hour ago, I was in the living room with some of my cats when I noticed they were perking up and acting like they heard something. I immediately ran to the bedroom and found Zebra and Buddy acting all predatory and staring at poor Heidi who was hiding under the dresser (next to the litter box). After I checked her out for scratches or wounds, she's okay and now is shut up in my bedroom again for safety reasons as I type this. After I send this, I'll go back in to spend time with her and try to calm her down.

Now, I am not sure if this is a BEHAVIORAL issue OR a HEALTH issue.. The reason I'm saying this is because I noticed some of my cats (especially Zebra, Buddy and Pepper) sometimes would go after Heidi right after she uses the litter box. I wonder if they can smelll something in her litter that's not normal. Or are they just being territorial?

I keep feliway plugged in 24 hours a day in my bedroom....

Now my problem is that I want to take her to the vet ASAP to be checked out throughly to make sure that it's not a medical issue. However, Heidi is very shy and semi feral. She REFUSES to let me pick her up. She REFUSES to go near a carrier. I have been moving treats closer and closer to the carrier slowly.. I think it'll take too long to get her into the carrier- probably 2 months! I really don't want to wait longer since I'm concerned about this- whether it's a health or behavioral issue.

Please send me positive vibes that I can get her into a carrier THIS WEEK OR NEXT WEEK so I can get her to my vet! Any feedback on this is also welcome.
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there with some advice about this??
post #3 of 5
Would a different type of carrier work, such as a soft sided carrier? Could placing food at the back of the carrier work for getting her to go inside?
I have tried the Feliway spay, and it worked well when introducing a new cat or kitten in the home. The plug in, just didn't seem to work as well for me.
I have Heidi in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that things get easier for her and you very soon.
You are wonderful for everything you have done for her, and being so patient with her.
post #4 of 5
I don't know what to tell you for advice but I hope you are able to get her to the vet soon! Poor thing.
post #5 of 5
Pamela, sending many good vibes for your shy little Heidi (like me! ).

When we have to get Ophelia in a carrier, it's not pleasant for any of us. The only thing we can do is trap her in a room, corner her, cover her/wrap her in a towel and unceremoniously dump her in the carrier. She will shred us both to ribbons if we do it any other way, and she's way too smart to get tricked into the carrier. Good luck with getting this little one to the vet, and for a positive outcome when there!
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