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Taming a Wild child

October 9th, 2004, 01:33 PM
There's a bit of backstory to this, but i'll try to keep it short...

I have been feeding 5/6 month olds Hide, and brother Silver (featured in my avatar) for about 4 months.
The two cats are very small, and timid.
At first, i would come around the corner behind the garage, and they would run under cover (through the gaping hole in the garage wall)
I would then put food out for them, and leave, and they would come out and eat it and run off, and i would come back and get the empty dish.
I slowly began feeding them closer and closer to the front door, eventually having them right outside the door, while i watched through the window.
The next move was to wait outside for them to eat, starting at a large distance, and moving closer every day.
They quickly accustomed themselves to having me nearby.
Finally i put their food in a partially closed box while they watched. I waited nearby for them to investigate, and eventually they climbed in, and i just stepped up and shut the final flap.

Unfortunate circumstances have seen Silver free, but he is still hanging around to eat, and Hide is still in my care.

Now, the first night, Hide franticly threw himself around, and actually managed to declaw his pinky toe on his front left foot. I had to carefully handle him with a towel and gloves and a very very firm grip at arms length away from my face.
After a week of frequent petting sessions, lots of cuddles, and food provided from a dish i'm always holding, Hide is now drying in my sweater, after a very well taken bath, purring sweetly and resting his chin out the zipper opening.

However sweet he may behave right now, he still doesn't know how to live in a house full of clutter, and has to remain in a cat carrier when not being held.

He hisses whenever i try to take him out of the carrier, and although i've stopped wearing gloves while handling him, i'm worried he might still take a stab at me.
He fights violently for freedom if i try to take him outside.
(he misses his brother)
He is very distrusting, and always on guard for an escape route or any sounds or movements.
I want to know if there's any way i can make his life any easier without upsetting my grandmother (who doens't want him here)
and help speed up this process?

Am i doing the right thing?

Lucky Rescue
October 9th, 2004, 02:39 PM
If you could give this cat a bath and are able to hold him, he's doing extremely well.

You need to put him in a small room with all his stuff, and go in and sit with him and talk to him every day. You can try petting him while he eats, and if he moves away, just let him. After being trapped, handled with gloves, bathed and injuring his paw, he really has no reason to trust people so you have to prove that you are trustworthy.

You really can't rush this, but the more time you spend with him, the faster he will tame. Just don't be chasing or grabbing him. Take toys and catnip in and try and engage him in play. Bring treats and encourage him to come closer to you.Sit on the floor sideways to him so you look smaller and less of a threat. Let him come to you.

October 10th, 2004, 08:58 PM
I'm in a bit of a tight spot with this cat. I do not have a room that the cat can be released into.
I do not live in my own house, or know anyone in toronto willing to take this cat into their home,
and since my grandmother's home is filled with clutter and my raging uncle, there really isn't anywhere that this little boy can call his own.

He was through needing gloves even before the bath happened, so he's in contact with my skin,
and i even feed him from my hands.

I agree, i do tend to rush things, and have never been called passive,
and although he's purring in my arms at times,
I think i agree with the method of simply allowing him to make the moves.
However, there's not much room to move around here. *sigh*

(stacked Boxes fall on my head at this point)

Perhaps letting Hide out of my care would be best, but animal shelters around here are flooded with tidal-waves of needy animals that would require the same resources as Hide,
and there's only so much space available.
Besides that, it might be even more traumatic for him to be moved to a hectic animal shelter than it would for him to be nestled quietly in a cluttered old house....