Captured (hopefully rescued) a stray with an injured leg - advice?

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I feel like I'm posting so much! But this is helping me to keep a timeline and my thoughts on him organized!

He's still very fearful of people but the last few days when he is alone he's doing so much better. I see him out and exploring so much more then when he arrived. He hops from window to window. He has not gone back in the carrier since I replaced the bed, but I actually feel now that perhaps it is a good thing? He sits in the window now and looks outside, which just feels much more like living then sitting in the back of the carrier.

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He knocked the camera plug out of the wall again last night, around 4:30am (i am up so late sometimes), and I just couldn't sleep with the way he was attacking the register - I thought his toe might get stuck or something. So I went in to plug the camera back in, I had no idea where he was going to be. And he was up on the chair! So I guess he's been sitting there as well. I figured he would run away as I came near to plug in the camera, but I moved very slowly, and he stayed there. Watching me intently but he didn't run. I didn't attempt to pet him here, just said "good boy" and turned the light out.

I think he is starting to want out of there, or back outside... again while watching the camera, I actually heard him meow for the first time. He was sitting in the window, then meowed once, and got down to attack the register and of course, unplugged the camera again. I need to find a way to make that stay in the wall !

I also see him tense up less when I visit. The first visit of the day was usually the worst for him, and he'd always push backwards and try to look away from me. Now, he looks at me and might go back a fraction, but it seems like he is still unsure, but not absolutely terrified.

I bought some Bach's Rescue Remedy. Has anyone used it with any success?
 

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Sure you're posting lots....but it isn't a problem for any of us....and, I'm sure it'll serve several useful purposes of which the most important will be to help you along this journey with him. Just be patient for answers!

General feedback..........everything perfectly normal and as would be expected....with one exception: how quickly you were able to allow him to accept physical touch. While he's a stray cat as opposed to (some degree of) feral, some strays will be far more resistant to that first touch, and it often takes folks ages to arrive there with their rescues. It's a fine line, though, at that stage of the process, a very delicate dance between you and him. You won't want to do something or go somewhere he isn't ready for. Best to 'leave the door open' and let him, at his own speed, take the lead. (you want to talk to him more too - replay the last conversation you've had with a girlfriend - he won't know what it is, and, yes, it's silly but, so what? Have you ever done 'baby talk'....OK, Google exactly this: "baby talk with cats" - that will give you all you need to know. Disclaimer: Best you tell you're husband about this beforehand :flail: )

The more time spent with you, the better. He is in 'solitary confinement' now....you appear - show up - periodically rather than as part of the environment. So, as I said earlier, the more time you spend with and around him, the better. Sure, he wants out, it's boring in there!

What's possible on that score? I can't remember if you said anything about other animals in the house etc. Yes, you're looking for a 'placement' for him, but that doesn't preclude allowing him more space if it were available - what's possible on that score? It certainly appears he's ready and wanting to explore.

Periodically some really soft classical-style music at very low volume can help. YouTube has "Music for Cats" and others....alternately, another sound source like an old (or new LOL) FM radio on a classical station. I wouldn't use it 24/7, but that's me.

The register - I think you should add tape to the other two sides, just in case. If he gets a toeclawhold under any of it, it might come undone.

Cats & wires: don't be surprised. Normal. Cat-proof them.
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You are doing a great job, and he is really responding. I have to agree that he is a stray for another reason...he meowed and ferals are taught by their mothers to remain completely silent so as not to become prey.

Baby talk with cats is interesting. They respond very positively to several types of sounds. My two new girls, Alice and Elise, did not respond to their names at all so Alice is now Lily with a very definite long eeee sound and Elise is Chiquita. My husband started to call her that because he thought she was such a cute little girl, but the kee sound really clicked and now both of them come to their names.

To me it is a little funny that he is happy and comfortable enough to have a complaint about the register when a few days ago he was desperate in a parking lot. He may want more space but you can make that decision based on your lifestyle and what seems best. He may want out as well. I have rescued cats from bad conditions but after a few days they seem to think that things might be different and ask to go out again.

Try the YouTube cat music. You will be shocked at how much of it there is.
 
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I have two kittens and an 87lb dog. I adopted my first every kitten in April of this year. She was only 8 weeks old and born inside to a family, so she adapted to the house almost instantly. A few months later my husband came home from work with another kitten in his hands. A stray from work the coworker couldn’t resist helping but couldn’t keep. He too instantly bonded with us, especially my husband, and my resident kitten wanted to murder him for a few days but they are very very bonded now. They are 6 and 7 months old. Or maybe 7 and 8 at this point. Both have been fixed and up to date on vaccines.

My dog is nearly 5, a great pry / lab / boarder collie mix. Gentle giant. She has never shown a hair of aggression towards either of them but can get a little too excited when she wants to play with them. Her playbows and blocking could hurt them just due to the size difference. The cats don’t really want to play with her anymore, but she still gets frisky with them sometimes.

All 3 of them have the run of the house so I don’t think allowing him out is the best idea. It’s also a reason I haven’t yet committed to keeping this cat. Besides money being an issue I have no idea if we will accept the other 3, or they him. When I was taking out the soiled bedding yesterday, Tuck, the second boy (Winnie was the first and is 7-8, Tuck is the second and is 6-7, months), started following me intently and really wanted to sniff it. I let him and he seemed to involuntarily hiss at it.

The room stray kitty is in now I call my “guest room”. In reality it was my dogs room! We never have guest. LOL. She spent most of her time in there in the bed. So she’s a little upset to have been kicked out (she gets my bed now though).
 
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You are doing a great job, and he is really responding. I have to agree that he is a stray for another reason...he meowed and ferals are taught by their mothers to remain completely silent so as not to become prey.

Baby talk with cats is interesting. They respond very positively to several types of sounds. My two new girls, Alice and Elise, did not respond to their names at all so Alice is now Lily with a very definite long eeee sound and Elise is Chiquita. My husband started to call her that because he thought she was such a cute little girl, but the kee sound really clicked and now both of them come to their names.

To me it is a little funny that he is happy and comfortable enough to have a complaint about the register when a few days ago he was desperate in a parking lot. He may want more space but you can make that decision based on your lifestyle and what seems best. He may want out as well. I have rescued cats from bad conditions but after a few days they seem to think that things might be different and ask to go out again.

Try the YouTube cat music. You will be shocked at how much of it there is.
The meow shocked me to be honest, lol! I was actually dozing off. He was out and exploring so ah was watching the camera and I didn’t know I have the sound on. I was literally about to fall asleep and he meowed. It was so loud, phone was right in my face. I also thought I read that ferals don’t meow.

Just makes me absolutely sick that whoever had him as a “pet” before likely caused all this. 😞
 

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Those are adorable cats and your dog is just lovely. It is easy to see she is a sweet easy going pup. What a cute family!

Hissing is a very common reaction on the part of your little boy when he encountered the smell of another male cat. I don't think that you are considering letting the new boy out yet, but if you decide to, there is a lot of information on TCS about introductions....both for your animals and the new boy. He may not have seen much of dogs, or may fear them, and that would be part of the work as well as he does not know that your dog is cat friendly. I have usually had GSDs and they relate well to other animals. My cats love the current one.

Whoever had him either caused his injury and trauma or did not care enough to protect him or care for him once he was injured. He must be so happy right now, even if you did tape down his register.
 
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Those are adorable cats and your dog is just lovely. It is easy to see she is a sweet easy going pup. What a cute family!

Hissing is a very common reaction on the part of your little boy when he encountered the smell of another male cat. I don't think that you are considering letting the new boy out yet, but if you decide to, there is a lot of information on TCS about introductions....both for your animals and the new boy. He may not have seen much of dogs, or may fear them, and that would be part of the work as well as he does not know that your dog is cat friendly. I have usually had GSDs and they relate well to other animals. My cats love the current one.

Whoever had him either caused his injury and trauma or did not care enough to protect him or care for him once he was injured. He must be so happy right now, even if you did tape down his register.
Good to know about the hissing! I wasn't sure what to think. Based on how bringing Tuck in made Winnie so mad, she literally wanted to kill him it seemed like, I thought she would be the one with a bad reaction! Tuck just Did. Not. Care. about her reactions. Totally blew her off. But she just sniffed and sniffed and sniffed. Did the mouth-open thing a few times, reallllly soaking that scent in lol. Tuck however sniffed for a second and let out a big hiss - I hadn't saw him do anything like that since he first met Missy and didn't know if she was friendly. He seemed to surprise himself with it.

No, I am not thinking about letting him mingle yet. Hasn't really even crossed my mind! I don't think he is anywhere near ready. I was sort of wondering if the kittens could help him in some way...but I didn't really entertain the idea, haha.

He was being really noisy in the litterbox. I notice when he poops, he wants ALL THE LITTER in the box to bury it. He will bury and bury and bury and bury for 5-6 minutes until he has a MOUNTAIN of litter. Makes a mess! Winnie heard, and she was curious....

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Don't mind the clothes... rushingly removed them from the closet in there incase he was going to pee!
Honestly, I'm surprised they haven't been more curious about the door. I am sure they can smell him, going to the litter and all in there? They were upset the first few days but it was because the door was shut, and they liked to lay on the guest bed too.

Also, I had to vacuum tonight. I have not run the vacuum since last Saturday because I didn't want to scare him - a full week! With 2 kittens and a dog she sheds handfuls at any given second. I was prepared to stop if he got distraught (I wasn't going to vac his room, just the rest of the house), and was watching the camera... it really didn't phase him at all. Maybe he is used to it?
 
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Just some questions about feeding!

He has been eating Tiny Tiger and Fancy Feast Classic. The tiny tiger has 94 calories, the Fancy Feast has 92.
He is 9.3lbs and from what I can tell, he at least isn't overweight. It seems to be a good weight. I don't want to feed him too much or too little - especially since he isn't prowling all night now. I imagine extra weight would be no good for his leg.

I'm used to feeding kittens where it is feed feed feed. I put them a can out for overnight no matter what. He is currently eating 2.5-3 cans (most often), although a few times he's seemed really hungry and got 4 cans. He seems to eat half a can at breakfast, finishes that can a while later for "lunch", I get another can at dinner, he eats half, goes to eat "second dinner" a bit later, and if he's done that I put the last can out before I go to bed.

By the time I head to bed I'm unsure if I should make sure he has a can overnight no matter what, or have him wait for breakfast? I typically do my last check on him at around 1-2 am and get up around 10.

It would be simpler and less expensive if I could leave dry out overnight (less expensive mostly because sometimes I wake up to mostly uneaten food and have to dump it), but he doesn't seem to like it.
 
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Wasn't sure where he was today. He hasn't used this since last Sunday. I had checked the windows, carrier and closet before I saw his tail in here.
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He looks so grumpy. "It's comfortable, but so silly looking." :lol2:
 

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He may know what a vacuum is and there is no reason for you not to keep your house up. It is not the same as drilling and pounding and he does have to learn what normal house sounds are if he does not already know.

I am not the best with food. Most of my animals end up overweight unless they are naturally inclined to be slender. It does not sound as if you are overfeeding and you can check the requirements on the can. One of my vets said that those guidelines are usually designed to sell more food, but two cans a day does not seem excessive. Some dry over night is not a bad idea. There are members here who object to dry food, with good reason, but I do have it available and have for years due to the nature of my job.

The litter box use is funny....some cats do that, obsessively covering their deposit. He is fastidious and may have learned that behavior when he was abandoned. It is actually better than some cats who take a look at what they have done and bolt out of the box and the room leaving it uncovered...I'm looking at you, Jamie.

He does look grumpy but I bet he is not thinking grumpy thoughts in his nice warm bed.
 
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He may know what a vacuum is and there is no reason for you not to keep your house up. It is not the same as drilling and pounding and he does have to learn what normal house sounds are if he does not already know.

I am not the best with food. Most of my animals end up overweight unless they are naturally inclined to be slender. It does not sound as if you are overfeeding and you can check the requirements on the can. One of my vets said that those guidelines are usually designed to sell more food, but two cans a day does not seem excessive. Some dry over night is not a bad idea. There are members here who object to dry food, with good reason, but I do have it available and have for years due to the nature of my job.

The litter box use is funny....some cats do that, obsessively covering their deposit. He is fastidious and may have learned that behavior when he was abandoned. It is actually better than some cats who take a look at what they have done and bolt out of the box and the room leaving it uncovered...I'm looking at you, Jamie.

He does look grumpy but I bet he is not thinking grumpy thoughts in his nice warm bed.
I remember for about a week Winnie went through “a phase” when she was really little and just didn’t bury her poop. Oh god it was awful. She had terribly stinky poop at the time too. I thought that was going to be my life from now on. It was so, so bad. I will take having to sweep up litter from a determined burier any day ! 😝

Not much difference to report today. He was a touch jumpier I think because hubby was home, more sounds starting early in the morning. And then he was outside with the leaf blower. Kitty could see him from the window. He stayed there but when I entered the room later he wanted to go to the closet pretty quickly. So I let him be most of the day. I did reposition his camera so I can see 95% of the room now.

The last two feedings I did spend time with him and he’s seemed to have calmed down. He ate almost immediately and nearly all of it each time. I've been encouraging him to eat while I hold the plate, rather then sitting the plate down and leaving it, and today he leaned forward while eating to sniff my hand. It's funny how small little things like that stand out!
I laid on the floor with him talking after he ate, for nearly an hour and he went to sleep, didn’t run away. Next time we did the same thing, but I did offer him some pet’s this time. Could be my imagination but I feel like he enjoyed it.

Which brings me to a question. I’m used to winnie and tucks purring. It’s loud like an engine and happens on both inhale and exhale, just like all the time. This kitty.. I am not sure if he is purring or snoring. It sounds like purring but it only happens on inhale..or maybe it's exhale..either way, not both. I can’t really find any videos to demonstrate, ‘cat snoring’ brings up squeaky snorting noises which isn’t it. I mentioned thinking he was purring a few days ago and I hadn’t heard it since. He did it again tonight but it was much louder, and only happened when I was stroking him. It would gradually stop if I stopped. But he also put his head down and seemed to be falling asleep. 🤔 I know it’s not a big deal but i’m just really curious to know lol. I would 100% say it was purring if it wasn’t for the fact that it was only on inhale/exhale. If I sit with him til he falls asleep, not touching him, he's never made this noise...so I also don't think it's like, obstruction or anything. I need to remember to just set the recording on and maybe catch it. I never want to move enough to get my phone when he seems to get this relaxed.

When this was going on he looked up at me a few times right in my eyes and I could tell he was debating leaving. I would close my eyes and tilt my head down. I don’t block him in so he had a clear way to leave. But he seemed to decide I was okay and put his head back down on his paws.

Also -- I'm debating a cat tree or tower for the room. But I am unsure with his leg if it is a good idea. I was thinking of something shorter then what Winnie and Tuck have - they have ones that are taller then me. I was thinking maybe waist-height for him? We were entertaining the idea of building one. We have wood and carpet and foam. Just considering if having him get elevated might help his confidence.
 
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Alright... mystery is over for me! I am sure now that he IS purring. Today he was doing so again, and I heard it on both inhale and exhale, and it sounded like a normal purr. I think he's been "working up" to full on purring.

Sorry for the weird angles, lol. We were petting for a while before I tried to sneak the camera over and it was a little "woah". Then it tipped over.


Oops, I tickled his ear at one point!

And a little bit later. I stopped petting but left my arm laying beside him. He started slowly inching forward. And then he just kinda flopped over and laid right against my arm. Totally put himself in that position!! He was then leaning his head backwards/upside down to look back at my hand seeming to say "well, come on then, some more of that" so I laid there stroking his neck/back some more. I honestly can't believe he moved TOWARDS me, that is totally a new development, and then ontop of that, seemed to ask for more pets. :happycat:

IMG_5253.jpg IMG_5254.jpg
 

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I do think that he is purring which is a sound that can vary from cat to cat. I have had cats who sounded like a plane taking off and others who could only be heard if I put my head right next to theirs. He looks SO happy and calm. Every day he seems to be making a lot of progress in his socialization and the relaxed look on his face really shows that he is not afraid. He is probably becoming quite attached to you and wants to enjoy your visits. I keep saying it, but he must be wondering how this all happened to him at the darkest moment in his life.

If you or your husband can build a cat tree that would be great. I have them all over the house and agree with you that a tall one that requires a lot of climbing might not be the best. However, he might have some adaptability with this paw that would allow him to use one. If you could make a ramp sort of cat tree where he could climb it without having to make the jumps that most require, or only small jumps, it would probably be perfect.

He will learn that there are necessary sounds in the house that do not hurt him and you need to do whatever maintenance is required. Some cats, even very secure ones who did not have a bad start in life, never like to have yard work done or hear anything strange so it is not always tied into trauma. I have one who hates the "pop" that the microwave door makes when it opens but does not necessarily mind more obvious noise like mowers.
 
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We are going to build a mini tower! It’ll be about 35-40 inches tall, and so far the design is 2 steps up to a wide, long cushioned perch. All carpeted for easy grip. He hops into the windowsill and up on the ottoman in the room just fine so I think the steps will work out. We got the wood cut up and I ordered some sisal rope, so hopefully it’s done today or tomorrow! I’m probably going to let my kittens test drive it to check stability because.... kittens. They’re insane. The bottom base will be a heavy 1 inch thick plywood that we may double up to make it even heavier.

I was watching him on the camera tonight and I saw a full on grooming session “out in the open” for nearly 10 minutes. He wasn’t in the carrier or hiding in the curtains, he came out to lay on the strip of carpet (that we want to use on the tower), and was grooming and stretching out fully, rolling around. He looked so content. This was another first. :cloud9:

He’s almost out of frame but you can see just enough to make you smile


Every petting session is now accompanied with massive amounts of purring. He is really purring up a storm now. Tonight was also the first time he’s show interest in anything I had that wasn’t food, I had a little catnip teabag toy that he reached out to sniff and he followed it with his head when I dangled it. Didn’t play with it and didn’t look for long, but usually he just won’t even look. So i’ll take it!

Also, I think he is really fighting with himself at this point. While we were petting tonight, he started rolling on his side, almost offering me his belly. But then he seemed to catch himself and could NOT believe what he was doing and righted himself, then looked up at me like “what was thatttt?” It was actually quite cute but sad at the same time. He never made to leave, either.

fionasmom fionasmom , scared of the microwave door but not a mower! That’s cats for you I guess! So far no one has really shown any fear of stuff happening outside. Which is great because someone is always mowing or something on the street. Freezing? Mowing. Sweltering? Mowing. Raining? Mowing, as long as it’s not lightning. :flail:

The ceiling fan however. Winnie absolutely thinks THAT is the devil.
 
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3 very distinct head bump-rubs into my hand this morning :happycat:
 
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Oh my gosh. He started playing with a toy (when he was alone)


Bunny kicking and all :hearthrob:

I had planned to use that carpet for the tower but the past 2 days he really enjoys being on it. I think I need to find something else to use!
 
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The cat tree idea sounds wonderful and you can build it based on your knowledge of how and where he jumps. Now, imagine....from a parking lot where he was looking for scraps to a wonderful room like that. He definitely is showing affection for you and making the decision that he can trust you. His hesitation with the belly rub is normal....he is considering how far to go as letting you touch his underside is the height of trust for a cat. I bet that he will come around to being very affectionate with you.

When I brought in the two feral sisters, I had been working with my avatar, Lily for a long time but her sister Chiquita was very distant, if interested. One very rainy morning I simply did not let Lily back out and made a successful grab for her sister who sat forlornly by the door for that day, then moved to the living room mantle for a few more days. She now follows me around, almost tripping me at times, asking to be picked up and cuddled. Both sisters discovered how nice it is to be combed and it is almost an obsession with them. They throw themselves on their back and squeak when they want to be brushed.
 
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The cat tree idea sounds wonderful and you can build it based on your knowledge of how and where he jumps. Now, imagine....from a parking lot where he was looking for scraps to a wonderful room like that. He definitely is showing affection for you and making the decision that he can trust you. His hesitation with the belly rub is normal....he is considering how far to go as letting you touch his underside is the height of trust for a cat. I bet that he will come around to being very affectionate with you.

When I brought in the two feral sisters, I had been working with my avatar, Lily for a long time but her sister Chiquita was very distant, if interested. One very rainy morning I simply did not let Lily back out and made a successful grab for her sister who sat forlornly by the door for that day, then moved to the living room mantle for a few more days. She now follows me around, almost tripping me at times, asking to be picked up and cuddled. Both sisters discovered how nice it is to be combed and it is almost an obsession with them. They throw themselves on their back and squeak when they want to be brushed.
I have a feeling he’s going to be this way just based on how much he is seemingly to get into our pets now! Tonight it was so hard to leave. I brought him some food and after he ate pet some, he was in the windowsill. He hopped down and so thought he was going to leave, but he just seemed to want to get more comfy on the bed under the window. He stretched out and again kept going on his side and back but couldn’t quite commit to it. I just sort of freeze my hand when he does that because I can tell he kinda doesn’t realize he’s doing it and probably isn’t ready for belly scratching? Anyhow when I did that he’d throw his head back and rub it into my hand clearly upset that i’d stopped lol. Tonight he started kneading the bed while I pet him. Purring away. Kept laying his head fully back to stare into my eyes. It was too much. I made sure to squint and slow blink when he did that. I’d stop petting him and lift my hand away to see if he was ready for me to leave... but he just kept nudging.

I’ve teared up twice today! And that is usually not me! Seeing him playing so carefree earlier and the biscuit-making tonight I know is a huge sign of content. Maybe it’s different if you bring in a stray that you don’t suspect was severely abused... but just thinking what he might’ve gone through is too much. He’s obviously so so sweet.
 
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