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do strays feel more appreciative to have a home?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My cat was a stray found by some college kids. She went from dorm to dorm and was eventually let outside. My question is, does she remember this and does it make her more appreciative of having a home? or am I reading too much into this? How does being a stray affect a cat's personality?
post #2 of 12
Cats have excellent recall...better than dogs, even. I work at a rescue for strays that were abused, injured or became very ill on the streets. Trust me, they remember the things that used to cause them harm. I am positive i have noticed a sense of relief when they finally realize that we human will no longer harm them (takes longer with some kitties than others) and I'd like to think this relief/happiness surfaces again when they come home.

My Raphael was one I brought home...he was admitted to the shelter as a return...his previous owner had had him for 5 years...and he was a stray before that. He came in with bright eyes, a healthy coat (minus his scar) and full-bodied. He was cheerful and talkative at first. Then, he slowly got more reticent and withdrawn. By the time I realized it was my job to give him a home, he was growing aggressive with people and cats (we're cageless), his hair was starting to fall out and was dull and scruffy, he had lost a lot of weight and showed clear eye discharge all with no apparent cause (these cats are monitored VERY closey and vetted immediately over anything as small as some eye goobers or ear crust) . When I got him home, he was in my lap purring and eating and plaing within just hours.
post #3 of 12
i do think they know. the night i rescued Wonton (found him as a stray on the street), he was so skinny, so i brought him home and fed him. after he ate, the first thing he did was hop up and get in my lap, curl up, and go to sleep...i swear his relief was palpable.. like "i finally have a home now, i'm finally safe". part of the reason i couldn't bear to bring him to a shelter the next day like i had planned to. it just seemed meant to be-he was meant to be my cat. and still, he is most often found on my lap. i'm convinced he knows that i saved him - he acts very appreciative
post #4 of 12
I believe so, cats are always appreciative of constant food and a warm place to sleep seriously though, I do think that cats know when they have been "saved" and they love you all the more because of it
post #5 of 12
I am with you on this-I used to to think that they were appreciative and maybe most are, but my husband rescued Dusty from out on the plains of Eastern Colorado back in February, he was being abused and was basically on his own out there. We took him in and it seemed as though he was very content and almost thankful for finally having a home where he was loved and taken care of. Recently, and I am not sure if it has anything to do with the fact we just brought home a 1 mo. old kitten, but he seems completely bored out of his mind and unhappy lately. We try and play with him extra, but last night he went after the kitten and I don't think he meant to harm the little guy but I think he just wanted something new to play with. We have plenty of toys and cat trees for our kitties and spend hours at night playing with them, but the behavior he showed us last night confirms my suspicions that he is no longer happy in our home, but I cannot stand the thought of getting rid of hm. Maybe we have just hit the point of too many kitties in one household! I just really do not want to get rid of any of them, and if I have to I am not sure how anyone could pick who has to go!
post #6 of 12
I think strays are more appreciative. I mean, put yourself in their shoes for a minute... You're outside, alone, in the cold, hot, rain, snow, hail, etc, eating garbage outside of bars and restaurants that makes you sick but you're so hungry you eat it anyway, you have fleas and worms, you get in fights with other cats, etc. And then someone brings you inside, gets rid of your fleas and worms and ear mites, gives you a big comfy blanket to sleep on, and a bowl full of food that actually tastes good. How could they not be?

At first Zissou was so sick she basically laid around and did nothing, cause she had fleas so bad she was anemic.

That's not to say they don't quickly turn into spoiled brats, of course, but they always remember when they finally got a home. And other cats can be just as loving and adorable, there's just something about former strays, that makes it worth all the extra effort it takes at first.
post #7 of 12
I'll always tell myself Smidge remains just a tiny bit grateful now that she has a forever home and a bad past (abuse, abandonment, untreated crushed bone injury, then weeks as stray). I tell myself this so when she makes everything about *her* it wont bother me

I've seen her grow into feeling secure and taking over the place she now "owns" (but lets me pay for).

But, I think a tiny bit of her remembers and loves me b/c of it.
post #8 of 12
I think they know, Missy purrs so loud every single time I feed her or give treats. She also runs from the open front door and won't go out on a leash, I think she's afraid she won't come back in.
post #9 of 12
My Scratch was taken back to the shelter twice before I got him home. All of the previous people said that he was too shy. I thought that was funny when he jumped on my bed and went to sleep the second night. I think that cats know when they are safe, and in a wonderful environment. They open up and love their people more.
post #10 of 12
Of course. I used to have a cat come to my apartment. Every single time she came into my apartment she wanted to stay and she would actually fight me if I ever try to let her out. She used to fall asleep on my chest.

I couldn't adopt her because she was my neighbor's outdoor cat. She was so sweet!!! She got hit by a car, though

post #11 of 12
Ollie was plucked off Penn State's main campus and I'm convinced he knows I saved his life! Ollie was a street kitty and my dog Cuddles was a pound puppy, so I can't really compare to bred or pet store animals, but I think they know (even though they are picky and act like royalty, but that's only cuz we spoil them so much )
post #12 of 12
Puppy definitely knows. He was away from his previous owners for several months by the time we got him to a vet. He was a constant sweetie to us. The vet tech told us when his prior owners came to pick him up, he backed up into the cage and wouldn't come out.

When we went the next day to rescue him from them (they called us and said he hates them, would we like him back?), he hopped right into our carrier. He was visibly upset and agitated. Within a couple hours, he was back to his normal self.

We think he recognized them as the people who declawed him (they may also have abandonded him).
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