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Where do I start?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I decided I could come here and ask for a little guidance from those of you with more experince with feral cats than me. I foster and Snow White has just come to stay with me. A little background on her...she arrived at her foster home at about 8 weeks with two siblings. The two siblings mellowed out enough to get adopted but at seven months Snow White still isn't adoptable. Her foster mom felt she needed somebody who would spend more time with her so she is now with me. From what I understand she will play with other cats and has made buddys with another kitten that needs to be socialized, he will be with me as soon as he can be caught. I can hold her. I can pick her up, but I honestly think that she would perfer that I go away. At the moment she is in my bathroom and has been since Saturday. She has decided that the cupboard is her hiding place. I can't let her out in the house for fear of her hiding some place I can't find her. I don't want to overwhelm her with the others. So do I treat her like she is totally feral and ignore her and work from there? Do I limit my physical contact with her? Do I let one of my more sociable cats stay with her? I spent a little while on Sunday just holding her and talking to her. Do I keep doing this? Do I put her in my room (bigger space) with Luke who is my cat and very easy going? This would also mean her spending the nights with me. I have another cat in there who is working on trying to get along with other cats, I would have to move her. Any suggestions would help. I realize that Snow White may never be a very social cat, but it would be nice to know that she at least accepts me. I also realize that she may never be able to move on so if I could just get her to be comfortable I will take it!

post #2 of 4
I would leave her be. Let her make the moves. See to her immediate needs and try to set up a schedule so she "expects" you in her domain and doesn't get surprised. Use low-wattage bulbs in the room, go in and sit on the floor and just read out loud softly to her. Keep your shoes off when you are in the room so she gets adjusted to your scent.
You never know what these cats have endured at the hands of others, some of the stories I am sure would sicken us. She needs to trust you first, and pulling her out of hiding and expecting her to sit still on a lap she has no idea about will just frighten her more.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you Hissy. I will start at square one with her. I will treat her like the little ones that were left on my doorstep at 5 weeks and feral. We followed your advice with them and left them be in the same bathroom and they eventually reached out to us. Now to just get them to accept people they don't know! I have known Snow White since her first foster got her at 8 weeks and I guess I kept hoping that she would come around before now. I feel so bad that we had to turn her whole world upside down again so that I could try with her. Do I clean her cupboard out and just leave her new box and food in it? Or do I leave it alone and assume that she is going to hide behind stuff? Please be patient with me as I ask questions, I want to make as few mistakes with her that I can. I know that we will have progress and steps back.

Dozen2luv (Regina)
post #4 of 4
If she have company and pal with your friendly well socialized cat it would be splendid. This is almost half work done! (Her being pal with the other not socialized less good... I mean, good for you to know she is social with other cats, but this special pal is less desirable as now, being together with him may slows down her progress)...
Her seeing the interaction between the friendly homecat and you is positive. Cats do learn from each other, especially if friends.

It is only good the has some hiding places, ie cozy shelters. The point is of course is you dont want her to disappear hours and days. A igloo here, a turned cardboard box with a old blanken in there, and so on...

As you say, not all cats are that mad to be petted or lifted up... Ours kind homecats dont like to be lifted. they are friendly so they let us and even purr a little, but really they dont like it very much, want down after awhile.... But they like to be petted when lying down, both Muskis and Vagis.
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