3yr old mama cat stray/feral

ashl3igh

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I know this is probably stupid to ask. But is it possible to make a 3yr stray/feral an indoor cat?

Little back story on her back in June 2023 my dad noticed her at his body shop and seen she was skinny and started feeding her. A month later he noticed kittens. We were able to catch the kittens but not mama. He still put food out for her but stopped coming around much. December 2023 she started to come around again so he was feeding her and was coming into the shop. Then he noticed kittens again. We knew we had to get mama and stop this. One morning when my dad was feeding her, we shut the body shop door behide to have her stuck in the shop. We got her back home and put out a live trap for the kittens. Got both her new little ones. They were old enough not to put them with her so we kept mama and babies separated. Called our vet and got mama fixed two days later. The tech said she isn't an aggressive cat just scared. But might take awhile for her to decompress (4months). She let's me get in the large dog crate to move things, pet her (when she allows it), is purring, maybe plays for a few minutes with me. Around February 19th, 2023 she started rubbing her head againstthe cage showing me she wanted more attention. Few days later I started setting her wet food out of cage and she comes out and she is starting to play with a interactive toy she likes. Today February 27th, 2023 she walked up to me and sniffed me ask for some attention. She still gets nervous and I try my best to watch her body language. I was wondering if there is anything else I could be doing to help her trust me more. I have plenty of toys in the cage I just had to replace her scratching post because her nails are sharp and she got hung up on it so she has a cardboard one she likes.

I have a dog and other cats. I just want to do what's best and give her the best. She deserves it.

Thank you!
 

tabbytom

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I have a dog and other cats. I just want to do what's best and give her the best. She deserves it.
:hellosmiley: and welcome to TCS!

Thank you for taking in this mama cat and for her fixed.

Yes, indeed, indoors for her and looks like she is not wild and need affection and she’s wants it. Looks like this is an easy transition for her.

Keep things the way it is for now so that she gets use to the new environment and also the feeding and play time. Do not rush her into anything else it’ll betray her trust. Let it all sink into her to realize that she is in the best place.

Feel free to ask questions and there are no such thing as a stupid question here.
 
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ashl3igh

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Thank you!
:hellosmiley: and welcome to TCS!

Thank you for taking in this mama cat and for her fixed.

Yes, indeed, indoors for her and looks like she is not wild and need affection and she’s wants it. Looks like this is an easy transition for her.

Keep things the way it is for now so that she gets use to the new environment and also the feeding and play time. Do not rush her into anything else it’ll betray her trust. Let it all sink into her to realize that she is in the best place.

Feel free to ask questions and there are no such thing as a stupid question here.
Thank you! I just hate to think of her living in the cage if she can't adjust.
 

tabbytom

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She still gets nervous and I try my best to watch her body language. I was wondering if there is anything else I could be doing to help her trust me more.
I know she will. We've had her since December 16th 2023. So I know she needs more time.
I think what you are doing is great.

One other thing to gain her confidence is if she comes up to you for rubs, form your hand into a fist and present it to her. A fist looks like a cat's head and it'll encourage her to rub her cheeks on your fist as opposed to an open palm which looks intimidating and threatening to her. Also keep yourself low like sitting on the floor with her. This will also calm her down.

Place some treats in you fist and if she rubs against it, open the fist gently and let her have the treat and spend more time with her.
 
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ashl3igh

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I think what you are doing is great.

One other thing to gain her confidence is if she comes up to you for rubs, form your hand into a fist and present it to her. A fist looks like a cat's head and it'll encourage her to rub her cheeks on your fist as opposed to an open palm which looks intimidating and threatening to her. Also keep yourself low like sitting on the floor with her. This will also calm her down.

Place some treats in you fist and if she rubs against it, open the fist gently and let her have the treat and spend more time with her.
Thank you! I always sit on the ground. I noticed the way she looks when I stand and I know it makes her uncomfortable. I just started using my fist and she has recently started to rub her head against it. I will have to give her treats when she does it now!
 

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Firstly, :hellosmiley: and welcome to the forum!

Seconding everything tabbytom tabbytom has said. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. From the behaviour you're describing, she's not what I'd call a feral, but a stray. You're doing great work with her. Keep letting her adjust at her own pace. Last year, I also adopted a cat who'd been a stray mama. Her fosterers told me she spent a long time hiding under their couch, but by the time I took her in she was a complete lovebug. She adores attention, loves being picked up, and gets on well with our other cat. So I have complete faith that your girl will come out of her shell in the end.

Kwik Kwik will be able to help if you need any support. She's an expert at this sort of thing and has herself just transitioned a street cat into living indoors with her other cats. It might be useful for you to read her thread about that process.

Timmy,7yr old TNR true feral! COLD TURKEY!

Here are some useful articles for when the time comes to integrate her with your other animals.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats [The Ultimate Guide]
Introducing Cats To Cats: The Expert’s Guide To A Smooth Transition
How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog

Hope this helps and best of luck. Thank you for taking this girl off the streets.
 

Kwik

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:welcomesign:to TCS ashl3igh ashl3igh ,it's nice to meet you,to have you join us and most of all for opening your heart and home to Mama cat🥰what is this darlings name?

I'm here if you've any questions and happy to help - I assure you this kitty cat will be a wonderful addition to your family,a loving companion and a very content indoor housecat- love and patience my dear,thats the recipe for success and sounds like you've got the ingredients

I'm grateful to KittyCat_chitchat KittyCat_chitchat that she gave you the link for my thread about " Timmy the Housecat" lol- 9months later and his feral days are remembered no more- he's part of my 5 cat peaceful clowder of domestics..... and starting off in a crate is just fine- 4months later you can begin some introductions if she has familiarized herself to establish some territory outside of the crate- is she in a safe room? If you'd like some suggestions then just provide the details of the environment,where the residents are etc and we are here to guide you and offer suggestions

Your question was - will she adjust and you cannot imagine her living caged if she cannot
With complete confidence and through many years of experience I can tell you to stop imagining life in a cage because she WILL adjust and find her respective place with your residents- the crate is necessary at this time is all,it's a proper process to transitioning outside to inside- the smaller the space the easier on a feral,semi feral to feel confident and safe and not be overwhelmed by the strange and unfamiliar planet they landed on( indoors lol)- it's TEMPORARY so no worries

Be encouraged ,imo every cat ,any cat can acclimate,thrive and live a long healthy content life indoors when given the chance ❤❤❤
 
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ashl3igh

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Firstly, :hellosmiley: and welcome to the forum!

Seconding everything tabbytom tabbytom has said. It sounds like you're doing all the right things. From the behaviour you're describing, she's not what I'd call a feral, but a stray. You're doing great work with her. Keep letting her adjust at her own pace. Last year, I also adopted a cat who'd been a stray mama. Her fosterers told me she spent a long time hiding under their couch, but by the time I took her in she was a complete lovebug. She adores attention, loves being picked up, and gets on well with our other cat. So I have complete faith that your girl will come out of her shell in the end.

Kwik Kwik will be able to help if you need any support. She's an expert at this sort of thing and has herself just transitioned a street cat into living indoors with her other cats. It might be useful for you to read her thread about that process.

Timmy,7yr old TNR true feral! COLD TURKEY!

Here are some useful articles for when the time comes to integrate her with your other animals.

How To Successfully Introduce Cats [The Ultimate Guide]
Introducing Cats To Cats: The Expert’s Guide To A Smooth Transition
How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog

Hope this helps and best of luck. Thank you for taking this girl off the streets.
I will definitely read these threads! Thank you!!
 
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ashl3igh

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:welcomesign:to TCS ashl3igh ashl3igh ,it's nice to meet you,to have you join us and most of all for opening your heart and home to Mama cat🥰what is this darlings name?

I'm here if you've any questions and happy to help - I assure you this kitty cat will be a wonderful addition to your family,a loving companion and a very content indoor housecat- love and patience my dear,thats the recipe for success and sounds like you've got the ingredients

I'm grateful to KittyCat_chitchat KittyCat_chitchat that she gave you the link for my thread about " Timmy the Housecat" lol- 9months later and his feral days are remembered no more- he's part of my 5 cat peaceful clowder of domestics..... and starting off in a crate is just fine- 4months later you can begin some introductions if she has familiarized herself to establish some territory outside of the crate- is she in a safe room? If you'd like some suggestions then just provide the details of the environment,where the residents are etc and we are here to guide you and offer suggestions

Your question was - will she adjust and you cannot imagine her living caged if she cannot
With complete confidence and through many years of experience I can tell you to stop imagining life in a cage because she WILL adjust and find her respective place with your residents- the crate is necessary at this time is all,it's a proper process to transitioning outside to inside- the smaller the space the easier on a feral,semi feral to feel confident and safe and not be overwhelmed by the strange and unfamiliar planet they landed on( indoors lol)- it's TEMPORARY so no worries

Be encouraged ,imo every cat ,any cat can acclimate,thrive and live a long healthy content life indoors when given the chance ❤❤❤
Her name is Reyna means Queen. I thought it was fitting. She is in a full bathroom, thankfully the toilet was ripped out last year and never put back because it gives her and the cage more room. When I go into the room and hop over the gate she does see her babies and the other cats and my dog. She is in the cage when this happens but doesn't hiss or anything just watches. But I don't let her see them for to long, because I want to slowly get used to seem them.
 

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ashl3igh

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She has been coming out of the cage more, she headbutts my hand and asks for me to pet her. She is even playing more outside the cage! She has been trying to roll on back and looks like she is asking for belly rubs but as soon as I pet her side she raises her paw and I know to back off. I just have that her nails get stuck on a lot lately and I know she will not let me trim them.
 

tabbytom

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She has been coming out of the cage more, she headbutts my hand and asks for me to pet her. She is even playing more outside the cage! She has been trying to roll on back and looks like she is asking for belly rubs but as soon as I pet her side she raises her paw and I know to back off. I just have that her nails get stuck on a lot lately and I know she will not let me trim them.
That's great to hear! She's gaining more confidence now and laying on her back definitely is confident as the belly is a vulnerable spot.
 

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She has been coming out of the cage more, she headbutts my hand and asks for me to pet her. She is even playing more outside the cage! She has been trying to roll on back and looks like she is asking for belly rubs but as soon as I pet her side she raises her paw and I know to back off. I just have that her nails get stuck on a lot lately and I know she will not let me trim them.
Sounds good,Reyna is moving along at a nice steady rate- 60 days well established the crate and bathroom is her territory and she's really to expand confidently- allow her to explore as she is comfortable and she will go back to her safe place when she is not.....-how about scent swapping with articles that belong to the others? Sight is secondary to scent so be sure to take items with her scent so your other animals can get to know her and visa versa....

The flopping over exposing the underside is okay but it is certainly not an invitation for belly rubs - a cat on its back is not exactly displaying vulnerability but showing they would like to relate- it's communicating something like this" hi,I like being around you so if you respect my space we can be good friends"

On their back they are well equipped with ALL fours and teeth,it's not an invitation,it's communicating - many people have misconceptions regarding this posture .Unless of course ,after time one has a bonded relationship with their kitty - still the cat simply "allows" their trusted Hooman to rub their belly ,it does not mean they enjoy it.... have you ever seen a cat rub their scent glands and head but another cats belly when they flop? No,but it's a friendly conversation they are having thst also establishes respective places with co- inhabitants..... having said all that it is indeed a " good" sign .
All my cats ,except Timmy( too new) will certainly allow my hands on their underside but that is because I am dominant,I pet them where THEY enjoy it most-face,,under chin,lower ears,tail,sides, back and paw pads..... everywhere they have scent glands

Hope that helps
 
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ashl3igh

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Sounds good,Reyna is moving along at a nice steady rate- 60 days well established the crate and bathroom is her territory and she's really to expand confidently- allow her to explore as she is comfortable and she will go back to her safe place when she is not.....-how about scent swapping with articles that belong to the others? Sight is secondary to scent so be sure to take items with her scent so your other animals can get to know her and visa versa....

The flopping over exposing the underside is okay but it is certainly not an invitation for belly rubs - a cat on its back is not exactly displaying vulnerability but showing they would like to relate- it's communicating something like this" hi,I like being around you so if you respect my space we can be good friends"

On their back they are well equipped with ALL fours and teeth,it's not an invitation,it's communicating - many people have misconceptions regarding this posture .Unless of course ,after time one has a bonded relationship with their kitty - still the cat simply "allows" their trusted Hooman to rub their belly ,it does not mean they enjoy it.... have you ever seen a cat rub their scent glands and head but another cats belly when they flop? No,but it's a friendly conversation they are having thst also establishes respective places with co- inhabitants..... having said all that it is indeed a " good" sign .
All my cats ,except Timmy( too new) will certainly allow my hands on their underside but that is because I am dominant,I pet them where THEY enjoy it most-face,,under chin,lower ears,tail,sides, back and paw pads..... everywhere they have scent glands

Hope that helps
Thank you this definitely helps!! I figured she wasn't wanting her belly rubbed but more of a I'm enjoying your company.
 
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ashl3igh

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This morning Reyna was playing with a teaser toy(if thats what it's called) she came out of the cage to play for a few minutes then when back into cage and did this 3 times. But the last time I noticed she wasn't into it too much. She was looking at my coffee cup (if only had a sip in it and cold) she sniffed it. When I went to go pet her she headbutt me went to go pet her she swatted at me. I went to try again to she if she was being aggressive or just saying stop. She swatted me again. She did not have nails out or hiss or growl. Just looked at me and went in cage. I did get a small scratch on me because her nails are long but she did not do it on purpose.

I'm thinking I overstimulated her by playing. It's the most she play since we've had her.
 
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