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Looking for advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I was so excited to find this site. I have taken in, and rehabilitated many, many animals (birds to raccoons). However, they were injured and didn't or couldn't run. The domestic animals I've had all adopted
me (no trust issue) Untill now!

2 months ago, the most beautiful feral male Siamese wandered into my backyard; skinny,skinny so I began to put out food twice a day. For me it was instant love and I expected a quick reciprocation;he had other ideas. Thats when I learned the difference between stray and feral. At the beginning he wouldn’t eat till I was long gone, however I have slowly moved the dish closer to the house and he is now eating just inside the screen door. I have named him Tuffy (conveys his personality)

To make a 2 month process shorter, he is now coming in the house to explore, he is such a talker and comes to my call, he has a huge fluffy bed he sleeps in all day outside (never leaving my yard). This is all progress, but now my problems..

1. After 2 months and all this progress Tuffy still will not let me touch him; I can put my hand on his food dish and sometimes he’ll eat out of it but try to raise it to pet and I get hisses, growls and even a whack or two (never using claws) He is not fixed, and I want to get that taken care of; as well as getting him shots and inside the house before the rains come. How do I catch a cat I can’t touch without loosing all the trust?

I have another female (calico) in the house name: Cali she is queen very old and rescued as well she hates the new intruder hisses, growls etc.. I have to take he upstairs and close the door when Tuffy explores and then she pouts turning her back on me sometimes hissing at me , will they ever be able to become tolerant of each other? How do I do it? Or will Cali turn her back on me forever!

This rescue seems to be more special and important to me then any before because of the time I’ve invested and the challenge it has presented. So, any advice would be more then appreciated.

My thanks in advance,
Stacie
post #2 of 13
Hi, Stacie! We're so glad you've joined us and look forward to getting to know you better! You're so wonderful to help these little ones! I'm so glad you've posted in the other forum about your family and the new challenges you face with your new addition and sure hope we are able to offer the guidance you seek. I would be so happy to help you in any way. Please feel free to contact me any time at all!
post #3 of 13
If he's a true feral, Tuffy may never warm up to you enough to let you touch him (taming a feral is possible--some people here have done it--but it's hard and simply can't be done with some ferals). If that's so, he's a wild animal, just like those birds. But what you're doing is good: Give him a steady supply of food he can depend on; and, once he can depend on you, make sure that food is always available. (If you have to move, make sure someone else takes over.)

If Tuffy is not neutered, he may be in for a shorter lifespan due to fighting and roaming in search of females; also, his kittens may be ferals with short lifespans or unwanted kittens that are euthanized at shelters. So I would advise that you get a humane trap, lure him into it (use smelly bait), and take him to the vet or to a TNR clinic to be neutered. He will be very nervous to be in a cage; so cover it with a blanket--that gives him a "cave" he will feel more secure in.

If, however, your Siamese friend is not a true feral, but a stray with some history of human contact, you may eventually be able to pet him and eventually lure him into your house. If this is so, do not let him have contact with your house cat; he may be carrying parasites or disease. Get him vet checked, quarantine him for a while, then carefully introduce the cats.

If the introduction fails--it sometimes does--you may have to keep him in one room of your house while you find someone willing to socialize a shy cat... such people are few and far between but they can be found. Or you could do it yourself, depending on whether Tuffy minds being shut in one room, and your current cat minds an owner who smells like That-Other-Cat.

Best thing to do is let the cat lead the way and make the moves... never force anything. Continue learning to read his language, and eventually you'll have, at the very least, a mutual understanding.

Oh, and--don't worry about Cali. You're still feeding her; and she might be put out at your having another cat, but she knows where her food comes from! Cats, if not actually mistreated, generally don't hold grudges for more than a few days. At the worst, there might be behavior problems stemming from rivalry, and she might snub you for a few days; but she won't "turn her back" on you--you're her source of food, play, and petting!
post #4 of 13
Hi Stacie, and welcome to TCS! It's wonderful what you are doing for this feral boy. Yes, ferals can be socialized, even adult ones. JinJin in my sig was a completely feral girl that I trapped a year ago. Today she is a happy, healthy housecat! While she remains skittish in certain situations, I am able to pet her and play with her. She's no lap cat, and might never be, but I am able to enjoy her on her terms.

Your boy is going to need to be trapped While it sounds cruel, it really isn't. Also, the benefits you get from neutering (as his hormones diminish, so does his aggression) more than offset any temporary loss of trust. You can recover him in a room in your house & start the process of socialization in earnest.

My next suggestion is to go to our feral cat forum on TCS. There you will find a wealth of knowledge, and many stories from the "front line" from people working with ferals, both experienced pros and novices alike.

It sounds like you've made great progress with this boy. It's only been a couple of months, which is not that much time really. Don't give up on him yet!


If you need any help navigating through TCS, feel free to click on my username and send me a private message.

I'm sure you're going to love it here...here you will find all the information and support as you begin your "adventure" with Tuffy!
post #5 of 13
I had a feral/stray that finally came around. She still will not not jump in anyone's lap or let us hold her but she now comes running and will lay up against us on the couch. It took her a good 6 months before she even would come in the same room and then one day ... POOF! House Cat!

Welcome to the site
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone who replied to my post!!

I wanted to give you all a quick update on Tuffy.

Yesterday, on one of his daily visits inside the house, I walked over (ignoring the hisses) scooped him up and whisked him to my vet.

He is now a fixed kitty, recovering on a new soft warm bed, in a dark private room . He will be loved on forever . I don’t know if I would have had the courage so soon, had it not been for your encouragement.
Next upcoming challenge introduction of kitties , of course not for a few weeks but it is giving me anxiety. I’ll be reading feral cat forum on TCS for tips and advice on that . Again THANK YOU!!!

Sincerely,
Stacie (now cat mom of two)
post #7 of 13
That's wonderful news! Welcome to TCS!
post #8 of 13
Wow! Congratulations on the fast and good work with Tuffy. Here's some vibes that Tuffy adjusts to you and Cali and becomes a wonderful house cat.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawsgrl View Post
I want to thank everyone who replied to my post!!

I wanted to give you all a quick update on Tuffy.

Yesterday, on one of his daily visits inside the house, I walked over (ignoring the hisses) scooped him up and whisked him to my vet.

He is now a fixed kitty, recovering on a new soft warm bed, in a dark private room . He will be loved on forever . I don’t know if I would have had the courage so soon, had it not been for your encouragement.
Next upcoming challenge introduction of kitties , of course not for a few weeks but it is giving me anxiety. I’ll be reading feral cat forum on TCS for tips and advice on that . Again THANK YOU!!!

Sincerely,
Stacie (now cat mom of two)
Great news! Please give him plenty of time to recuperate. Try not to push him too hard. Remember it takes a couple of weeks for all those hormones to leave his body. Please read some of the excellent advice in the Feral Cat forum on how to continue his socialization. There is a member here, she doesn't post often now, but her username is hissy. Find some of her old posts. She is truly the expert, and has a marvelous system for socializing a feral. I credit her with the success I had with JinJin. She also has given great advice on how to properly introduce cats to one another.

Great job! Keep up the good work!
post #10 of 13
Wow, that's pretty amazing! Two months is pretty quick. I had a stray/feral, Elsa, that was living under a trailer at work. I started feeding her in December, and was able to pick her up by February, but she was real nervous about being inside, so I was worried about taking her home. But I didn't have a choice since she became pregnant, so I took her to the vet in March and he said I'd better take her home, if I didn't want her to run off & have the kittens. I took her home, and she stretched out on the kitchen floor like, "well, it's about time!". She's the best cat now!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by clixpix View Post

Your boy is going to need to be trapped While it sounds cruel, it really isn't.

Precisely, it istn. Better for them to be trapped than taken with sheer force and held fast with violence.

But I see you did managed it on your own, his socialisation process being well on way.

Congrats!

And good proceeding!
post #12 of 13
Hi and Welcome to TCS!

See you on the forums!
post #13 of 13
Hi Stacie, Cali and Tuffy!

I'm new to the forum but a lifelong cat lover and currently owned by 21, 12 of whom are in sanctuary (long story revolving around impending divorce/forced relocation ) and 9 of whom are with, and will move with, me.
I may be able to offer some advice. First of all, you need a humane trap; you can either buy one (Tomahawk Live Traps or Havahart are good sourcess: Google to get their sites) or perhaps rent one from your vet's office or animal shelter. You MUST observe the trap from a distance once it is baited with cat food (tuna is the #1 choice) to ensure Tuffy does not go ballistic once he is caught, and experience any problems. Once he is in the trap (the trap mfrs. or vet/shelter can explain their setup and use), cover it with a towel to calm him down, and call your vet to get him in immediately for his innoculations, testing, and neutering. MAKE SURE THE VET KNOWS HE IS FERAL AND WILL TREAT HIM. If you are able, you can board him there for a few days, to let him recuperate. If not, do you have a garage or other room you can put him in to isolate him from Cali but keep him secure? If not, do you have a room he can stay in for awhile? You can feed him, water him, give him attention, and of course, have his bed and litterbox in there with him. After a week or so, he may start to slowly calm down as the hormones he formerly had leave his system. Then you can try gradually introducing him and Cali by: 1. letting her sniff a towel that has his (neutered) scent on it, and vice versa. 2. opening the door to the room he is in a crack, and letting them see one another just a bit, and sniff. DO NOT ALLOW THEM IN THE SAME ROOM UNTIL THEY HAVE HAD OPPORTUNITIES TO DO THIS. Gradually, I'm hoping they will get used to each other's scent and presence to the point where you can open the door and allow them to have a real meeting. Don't expect them to sleep together right away! and do not be alarmed if there is a certain amount of hissing/growling/spitting, even swatting, as long as it does not get violent. (If you think it is going to, a squirt gun is good to have handy, or a spray bottle, also a rolled-up newspaper to slap to make a loud noise, accompanied by your loud, "NO!" and, if necessary, a broom to separate them, gently but firmly...it may take days, even weeks, to accomplish what you are trying to do. PATIENCE is key here, and it sounds as if you do have it, as well as devotion to the task at hand. You sound like you've got most of it down already and are doing the right things. Hope this helps; feel free to PM me if I can be of more help, and I'd love to be kept up to date on the progress. Rescue is my life, and every time one is successful, it is so rewarding! Saving lives is the greatest! Sometimes it has taken me YEARS to earn a cat's trust; but in each case, it's been more than worth it.
You may also want to go to the SOS and Feral forums on site, if you haven't already. Best, Tarasgirl06
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