May 23rd, 2005, 11:00 PM
Ahh, i haven't been on here in so long.... i'm trying not to binge on posts as i only have a few minutes, but it's been tough.... Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick update on my foster feral, Katharina, and hopefully get a little advice. I have had Katharina for about a month now and we have made so much progress. We kept her in the cage in a seperate room for awhile, but that was rough. I don't like the idea of dogs in a crate, much less a cat, and hearing her go crazy at 3 a.m. every night when she wanted to play was hard. We ended up moving her to the bathroom which was much better and then one day she got out, on accident, and I realized how much she loved being around the other cats. She literally follows Tinkerbell everywhere, even into her little crate/bed (and, to tink's credit, she has been un-characteristically patient). I was nervous she was going to hide all the time and i would never see her again but over the course of a few days she would come out of hiding at night when i would sit down to play with the other cats. Then she started coming out for food in the morning, and now she spends most of her time hanging out in the open and even comes when called. I'm wondering, though, if there are any other ways i can be getting her used to human contact, as she is still pretty scared of people. She loves to play and i have been luring her onto my lap with toys. She is usually okay there but she hates to be touched. Do i just need to assume it is something she has to learn to like and keep working on petting her or should i back off and not try to touch her for awhile? She doesn't run off and hide or anything when i do touch her, she just jumps off my lap. Also, i know it is important to expose her to attention from different people but should i hold off on that until she is more comfortable with things like being touched? I want her to be adoptable eventually...my boyfriend will kill me if i keep this one, too :) . Thanks in advance for any help!
May 24th, 2005, 09:23 AM
You are making wonderful progress!! That's fantastic.:)
Even some perfectly tame cats do not like to sit on laps and this is such an alien experience for a feral cat, no wonder she doesn't like it. Two of my feral cats will only sit on my lap when I'm on the computer. If I'm on the sofa they will lie next to me, but NEVER on my lap. If I put one on my lap he/she will jump off immediately. The third one is still feral and only allows me to touch her at dinner time. :rolleyes:
Never force her. Just keep doing what you are doing - calling her, petting her and giving her little treats. It's still very early and it could take months to get her fully comfortable with being handled.
Pet her when she is eating, so she associates touch with good things. Continue to let her come to you. Try brushing her. She may enjoy that.
I understand about the crate. My ex-feral tomcat went ballistic in a dog crate after I trapped him and I had to release him into the room (a small bedroom with no hiding places) because I was afraid he would hurt himself or get sick from stress.
Katharina may NEVER accept strangers in your home and will likely bond with only you. She can improve a lot of course. You may be able to adopt her out, but she will regress in the new home so you must be positive that whoever gets her understands feral cats and is willing to take the time to bring her around. Some people do NOT have the inclination or patience to deal with a cat who spends two weeks under the bed. It's also extremely important that is at least one other cat in the home. As you've seen, feral cats need the company of other cats. It gives them courage seeing other cats in the home behaving calmly!
It's really hard to know how tame she will become. My male is now nearly like any other cat and comes out when I have company. The other two - females - are in TERROR of anyone but me and that will never change.
You did a wonderful thing for this girl. It's so gratifying seen a once terrified animal, whose life was only misery and struggle to survive now enjoying some comforts, and happily playing. :thumbs up
May 25th, 2005, 01:52 PM
My barn cat is about 4 now and still doesn't liked to be picked up, she prefers to rub aroung your legs, or let you stroke her under her chin when she is on the counter but thats about it.