TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › got mom in the crate.. now what!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

got mom in the crate.. now what!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I had mom cat spayed yesterday (finally got her in the trap) and put her in a large dog crate in the back room with a litter box a comfy pillow that is scented with her and the kits. right now i have it covered because i figured while she was coming out of the anesthesia she could use a little quiet.

the question i have is.. now what? How can I use this to help socialize her? (just so people do not have to search threads: she is a stray/feral I found in my backyard, she had kittens in my garage (now 12 weeks and all but one, who we are keeping, have gone). I have three other cats that have been quietly investigating the crate.)

thanks for your advice. Right now she seems pretty comfy in there, but I am sue that may change as she wakes up.
post #2 of 19
I presume she is healthy and your cats fullwaccinated?

As they seems to be friendly - my favorite advice is to use them to help socialize her...

You do a good work!
post #3 of 19
As long as she has been tested and your cats are vaccianted then you can slowly start to introduce them. Is she truely feral? Can you touch her or does she hiss and growl? If you can touch her then she is not feral, just a scared cautious stray. Feel her at regular times to get her on a set schedule and eventually begin to introduce your cats to her. I agree that your other cats can be used to help calm her down.

When you are not around, play soft music to keep her calm.

There are really different ways to go about introducing her to you and your cats but it all depends on how truely feral she is, and if she shows agression towards you or your cats.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
i have not touched her (except when she was giving birth) and she will hiss at me if I approach her too quickly. Usually she will just move away. She is much more social when her kitten is around, and started to come into the house on her own, but I wanted her to be kept somewhat calm until her stitches start to heal.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
As long as she has been tested and your cats are vaccianted then you can slowly start to introduce them.
Ah, half the point of using own homecats is shy ferals/semiferals usually have no problems to accept the homecats. They are submissive to them as someone her said. There are almost never any fights, perhaps only some few hissings. Much easier than with a bought homecat!
So it is up to the homecats if the homecats are friendly and accept a new pal.
If they do - half the job is done.

So it dont need be any slowly start to introduce. she must have had time to calm down, to land. She must have somewhere to retreat yes. And let them be loose...
.................

Yes, right. Dont do anything before the stiches are healed. Also good for her to calm down, to land.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
well, last night i was letting her kitten visit and then poof she was out of the crate. now she is hiding in the room ( i know where she is). I am just going to leave her be for the time being since i think trying to force her back into the crate will just stress her. I think the other cats are doing fine with her, and of course she is happy to be around her kitten.
I guess we will just have a ghost-cat for a while. hopefully she will relax over the next few weeks.
post #7 of 19
Yes, you will likely have a ghost cat for a while, and thank you for understanding that!

The best thing to do is completely ignore her. This will help her learn to trust you the most quickly. She doesn't know people are OK, she doesn't know what love is, and who knows what happened to her in the past?

If you spend time in the room she's in - just doing stuff. Reading out loud. Working on something else. Just be there. Let her get used to you and your presence. Maybe put a radio tuned to a classical station in there.

Get a t-shirt really sweaty, and leave treats on it out for her.

Do the same thing and put it under a food dish that's in the room for her.

All of things things will help her learn to associate your smell with good things, and slowly she'll learn that she can trust you.

The most important thing is to ignore every instinct you have to want to reach out for her or touch her. The more you ignore her, the sooner she'll come to trust you. Let her come to you - and still ignore her. When she gives you that first headbump, then pet her. And if you ever stretch out a hand - surruptisiously (sp?) and slowly - do it palm down. It's the opposite as with dogs.

And you're absolutely right - forcing her back into the crate will just stress her out. You can leave the crate in there for her - with the door open. It can be a safe space for her if she chooses.

With older ferals, patience is really the key. It can take quite a long time - often more like months than weeks, though you never can tell. I don't mean to discourage you - just think it might help to have more realistic expectations.

If she was a stray, it may go more rapidly. If she was born feral, especially if humans every did anything to scare her - it may take some time.

You may want to invest a little time in reading the "stickied" thread at the top of the forum - the Story of Lucky. Also Michele, "noni" rescued an abused, older, handicapped cat, Penguin (Pengy). Unfortunately the original rescue thread was lost in a site crash back in 2004, but the later part of her story is in the Poor Pengy Thread.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks for the encouragement. truthfully, i am ok with her ghost-ness. I am trying to come up with a ghost-ish name for her. It may sound odd, but i have four very affectionate cats so I have no reason to force her. I am happy just to see her come out.
little steps.
Right now she is sitting in the window (came out while i was working on the computer) and i am ignoring her. she seems ok with that. and so am i.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
week 1 in the house:
she is so tiny. I had not realized how small she was since before she was either pregnant or lactating. she started coming out in the backroom while i am there, and i am just ignoring her and watching her out of the corner of my eye. I saw her next to tibers (one of her kittens (3months) that we kept) and he is almost as big as she is. right now she is about 2 ft from me and she is trilling. i am not sure what it means, but i am happy to see that she is becoming more comfortable.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ
Ah, half the point of using own homecats is shy ferals/semiferals usually have no problems to accept the homecats. They are submissive to them as someone her said. There are almost never any fights, perhaps only some few hissings. Much easier than with a bought homecat!
So it is up to the homecats if the homecats are friendly and accept a new pal.
If they do - half the job is done.

So it dont need be any slowly start to introduce. she must have had time to calm down, to land. She must have somewhere to retreat yes. And let them be loose...
Ok slowly or not the point was that you can do it ONCE THEY ARE VACCINATED
post #11 of 19
Oh and here are some "ghost-ish" names as a suggestion:

Spirit
Fantasma
Fantom (Phantom)
Haunt
Soul
Demon
Shadow
Banshee
Spook
Shade
Phantasm
Sprite
Etheral (Ether)
Ombra (Ghost in Italian)
post #12 of 19
That sounds like great progress. Ignoring is a great tool. Remember direct eye contact is seen as a threat...if you do catch her eye, blink slowly...that means you are friends.

I use food to tame...let her bowl get empty, then call when you refill it. If the other kitties come, too, that is fine. Like Stefan said, a tame housecat can help calm a feral.

Soon she will associate you with the food. You will be able to sit nearby as she eats, then possibly progress to allowing you to pet her as she eats. The odd thing at my house is that my tame kitties don't like being pet while eating, but the little wild ones really love it!

She is lucky to have a safe home with you. While you don't need her to become a lovey dovey kitty, if you are able to pet her, it will be easier to catch her if needed for vet checks or worming.
post #13 of 19
You may also try to yawn now and than, like friendly cats do.


btw, what is trilling? her being two feet near you and she trilling? Whatever it is it must be something good as a shy semiferal voluntary being two feet near you...
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
trilling is that noise they make .. i am not sure how to descirbe it.. not meowing . maybe someone else can describe it. Someone mentioned that it might be the sound she is making to find her kittens. One of my cats makes it all the time instead of meow or other such sounds. Mom-cat will approach me when i first come out, but if i approach her, she disappears. I am just letting her reach a comfort level right now with us. She did play a bit with the feather toy last night which is a HUGE step.
post #15 of 19
it is so interesting reading about your cat and what you are doing to help domesticate her! I am a new animal foster (my first two cats were just adopted together last weekend! happy 'tails'!) and pretty soon I'm sure I'll be taking in semi-ferals as well. I can't have kitties right now because I'm moving and need to save up some money for the pet deposit. Darn apartments nowadays charge monthly pet fees as well as pet deposits!!!
Let us know your momma cat's progress.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
well, i had some computer failures and was out of town but mom-kitty, though still in need of a new name, is doing fantastically. She has started to sniff our fingers, and she comes out into the house with the two german shepherds. She does not like them much, but she seems to figuring out that they will not hurt her. Just now when i was doing training with the dogs (stay practice) she came out and was lounging on her back not 5 ft from them. A challenge and success for all!!
I cannot believe how quickly she is gaining confidence and comfort. I can now see that someday she may actually like us. She gets on pretty well with the other cats in the house, though she seems to have the most difficulty with our young calico (two young females?). But she does well with the two older cats, and, of course, plays with her son. It is fun to watch ...at four months he is almost as big as her... i think she mated with a panther...

In any case, thanks for all the adivice. I never would have thought this was possible. I am so happy that she is settling in and can have a home.
post #17 of 19
Kipper "trills" too. It's how I call him in fact.
It's like a "mmbbbbrrrrrrreow." with a little bit of a humming noise.
Kind of funny..I cant explain it any better than that.
But looks you're having great progress. I always like to read these feral to tame house cat stories.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 


this is mom relaxing in the backroom. she is a little cat, and pretty cute.
post #19 of 19
Dont know,you could name her Whisper.
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 › got mom in the crate.. now what!