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formally feral cat - how to deal with leaving them?

otter
August 26th, 2008, 12:51 PM
Ugh, i've had posters block... the inability to post cause my brain is going haywire:frustrated: Every time I come here i'm overcome with guilt for ignoring my animals. You see....I'm going away, long way away, for over two weeks and I have to abandon all my kids while i'm gone :sad: It's killing me. Every time a cat purrs at my feet, follows me for attention, snuggles in bed, every time Molly says "play with me pleeeeeeease", or give me a nudge, i'm overcome with guilt. I've never had to leave everyone for so long :sad::sad:

Now, don't think i'm totally irresponsible (though I definitely feel a bit neglectful, more on that) - Molly is going to stay with my Dad, Misery is going to stay with a friend but, but, but, poor Clover has to stay home.
HELP! I don't know what to do with him.... he was a feral stray until about a year ago, now he is a snuggle bug, but only with me! I put him in a kennel for about an hour (as long as we could stand) and he went ballistic. I took him over to a friends house and within 15 min he'd found a way to escape and took off (to show up at home 1/2 hour later). The kennel won't take him, my friend is now afraid of him so the, so far, not so good, solution is to let him stay at home and have someone come in and visit every day. I don't like this at all - he's gonna be on his own most of the day, he's not going to get much loving, he's going from living with me to back to living "on the street" :sad: is he going to survive? I know he lived just fine for over 10 years on his own but is it going to kill him to go back to his former ways for a while? What to do?????

Do any of you formally feral cat owners have any experience leaving your feline friends?

(and for any one looking for pictures of my crew, they will come, i've been a bit snap happy lately so I have lots of pictures so I can take with me while i'm away from them :sad::sad::sad:)

Frenchy
August 26th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Hi otter ! Long time no post :sad:

Can you leave the cat home and have your neighbor to come feed him ?

Too bad I'm not closer , I would have taken Molly :lovestruck:

Love4himies
August 26th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Your kitty is MUCH, MUCH better off staying at home with somebody coming in to check on him. DON'T feel guilty about leaving him alone, I guarantee you he is much happier to be alone for two weeks, than to be taken out of his home.

Ferals are very territorial and don't like to leave their area, it creates much too much stress on them. :grouphug:

Sooooo, now can you post some pics:D

otter
August 26th, 2008, 01:48 PM
Thanks Frenchy and love4himies :angel:
I should have posted weeks ago... I was sooo afraid everyone was going to berate me for leaving poor Clover at home. I had to try out all the other possibilities before I could ask away in good conscious.

You guys make me feel so much better :D Maybe i'm not being as cruel as I think I am.

I'm sure the person coming to check on him will be great (actually, i've asked a couple of people to keep an eye out for him, just in case he decides he wants to go and check out some of his old haunts - he always lived in the neighborhood but someone else kept an eye out for him before he came to live with me but they moved away and left him behind).

Frenchy, if we were closer you would have been at the top of my list for Molly! It's kinda funny, i've had a bunch of people offer to take her, she must be popular :D Nobody can resist her silly smile:laughing:

Must get back to work.... pictures when I get back home :thumbs up

badger
August 26th, 2008, 02:19 PM
No blamin' here. You've made arrangements for each of them, who could ask for more? Everyone needs to get away occasionally.
The only thing that I might suggest is keeping one of the other cats home with him for company, if they are OK together. That might make a difference to his comfort level (and yours).
Happy holiday!

14+kitties
August 26th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Is Clover an indoor only cat who escapes occasionally or is he an indoor/outdoor kitty? If the latter I would suggest trying to keep him in while you are gone. It would be easier both for him and the person checking on him.
But other than that, I agree wholeheartedly with the others. Why take him away from his "familiar"? He is much happier there. It would stress him more to be moved for the 2 weeks or so.
Here you are feeling guilty for 2 weeks. I feel guilty when I have to go to work! :rolleyes:

otter
August 26th, 2008, 09:55 PM
No blamin' here. You've made arrangements for each of them, who could ask for more? Everyone needs to get away occasionally.
The only thing that I might suggest is keeping one of the other cats home with him for company, if they are OK together. That might make a difference to his comfort level (and yours).
Happy holiday!

Thanks Badger, unfortunately Clover and Misery do no more than put up with each other, Clover might just enjoy having the place all to himself :shrug:. I really wish they got along better :sad:

Is Clover an indoor only cat who escapes occasionally or is he an indoor/outdoor kitty? If the latter I would suggest trying to keep him in while you are gone. It would be easier both for him and the person checking on him.
But other than that, I agree wholeheartedly with the others. Why take him away from his "familiar"? He is much happier there. It would stress him more to be moved for the 2 weeks or so.
Here you are feeling guilty for 2 weeks. I feel guilty when I have to go to work! :rolleyes:
Clover is an indoor/outdoor kitty - I tried keeping him inside all the time but it didn't last - he escaped at every opportunity (through open windows, screens and all, and every time I went out the door - sounds a bit odd but I have a very small house with no interior doors so it was impossible to lock him up anywhere), we just came to terms with each other and agreed that he could live life indoor/outdoor as he pleased, it was at least better than a life with no home :shrug: I'm really afraid he is going to freak if stuck inside. Ugh, that's what i'd really like to do but I don't know if it will work. I'm trying to convince him that a cat door might be a good idea :D
Seeing he lived for a whole winter in my garage before I convinced him my house wasn't evil - maybe i'm worrying too much :o

I know all about guilt! I've got that same problem with going to work....like most of you, i'd love to work at home just so I don't have to ever leave my critters :thumbs up

badger
August 26th, 2008, 11:52 PM
I'm beginning to get the picture (senior moment lol). Looks like you have no other solution than to leave him inside on his own, with daily visits. Make sure your visitor doesn't let him escape inadvertently, although, you know, even if he did escape, he'd probably hang around, as long as there were regular meals.

otter
August 27th, 2008, 12:49 PM
such good advice you all have...
I think the plan is to try Clover out full time in the house again before I go, see what happens - if he, and the house, survive, he gets to be an inside cat :thumbs up If it doesn't go well, we go back to the indoor/outdoor plan :goodvibes:. We will make a cozy and safe place for him in the garage in case he decides house living is not his thing. He's getting on in his years and I don't think he'll stray too far from good steady meals. He knows his adoptive mom loves him :lovestruck:, he's my momma's boy, so I don't think he'll abandon us.

I'll be worrying about him the whole time but maybe all that concern headed his way will help to keep him safe :pray:

:frustrated: some days I wish I didn't give my pets so much freedom, it would be so much easier on me if they were used to a more controlled life (i'm a wimp and give them everything they want - but it's hard to ask someone watching them to be as generous :o)

Frenchy
August 27th, 2008, 12:53 PM
:frustrated: some days I wish I didn't give my pets so much freedom, it would be so much easier on me if they were used to a more controlled life (i'm a wimp and give them everything they want - but it's hard to ask someone watching them to be as generous :o)

:laughing: I know the feeling :o

Frenchy
August 27th, 2008, 12:54 PM
It's kinda funny, i've had a bunch of people offer to take her, she must be popular :D Nobody can resist her silly smile:laughing:



you should have taken the highest bidder :laughing: why not ? Why wouldn't people pay to have the honor of dogsitting Molly , it's zootherapy for them :shrug: :D

Helene4
August 27th, 2008, 02:25 PM
I just wanted to share my experience. I adopted 2 kittens in June 2004 and the following May I went on vacation for 23 days. The 2 dogs were bordered elsewhere but the cats stayed home. Several weeks before leaving, they spent an hour at a friend's who has a cat and a dog but things didn't go to well... My gut feeling told me they would be better off at home. A neighbour came every day to feed them and spend some time with them, although it took Kira about a week to stop hiding under the bed covers when my neighbour came to the house! When we returned, it took only a few seconds for them to "recognize" us but it took a good hour for them to recognize the dogs who of course were extremely happy to be home and were jumping everywhere. The cats had gotten used to a quiet house!

IMO, being away from familiar surroundings is far too stressful for most cats. Don't feel guilty, you are doing the right thing but I know how you feel! That's probably why I hate leaving my gang!:)

ancientgirl
August 27th, 2008, 03:19 PM
Otter is there any way you can screen off the front door? Right now I have the screen blocking the kitchen entrance, to keep Czarina inside. The others are good about not getting out and when they do they only go a few feet into the hallway and come back inside the apartment.

When I leave them all out in the apartment, including Czarina, I block the front door with the screen. That way I have enough room to open and close the door and they can't get to it because of the screen.

If you can do this, then Clover would have to get used to being inside since he won't be able to escape through the front door.