Feral in my garage

Jcatbird

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Maybe give him some time to decompress now. He’s got to feel freer but still won’t relax until all is settled for the night maybe. When the house is asleep, make sure you have put out every possible treat to eat. Another food I use to lure is crunched up bits of cooked bacon. The smell is hard to resist. Not a good meal but anything at this point.
 

Joelle and the kittens

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Something that sort of worked when a cat at the shelter wouldn't eat (but generally for other reasons than fear) was to smear some stinky food on their paw or elsewhere easily reachable on their body. They don't like the wetness or feeling unclean and will generally lick it, and often just doing that kickstarts their appetite. Since he's free in the room now you may not be able to reach him, but if he's still in the cage you could try the spoon method mentioned earlier and use that to get some food on him. Then leave the spoon still partially filled in the cage next to him.
 

Boris Diamond

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I have read through this thread. First of all, thank-you for giving so much for Oscar. My experience with ferals is that given enough time, most will settle down. Since you are moving in a few months you still have some time. I know how frustrating this is. We are all pulling for you and Oscar.

I have taken a cat that had given up and was considered to be crashing. It took weeks, but he is now a love bug. My ex-feral took months of living in my bathroom to normalize, but now he is also a sweetheart. There are success stories with ferals, I hope the best happens for Oscar.
 
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Whenallhellbreakslose

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I am sending prayers, good thoughts and vibes your way. 🙏❤❤❤ I agree with Joelle and the kittens Joelle and the kittens suggestion to put food on the paw. You can also try the high calorie nutritional paste since he hasn't eating in days. I have also given cats regular Pedilyte in there water when they have gone for a while without eating to balance out there electrolytes. However, those kitties were sick and recuperating.

I really hope you don't have to release this kitty. It seems you are all that he's got. As a last ditch effort to not release him, maybe you can do what is protocol in acquainting a feral cat to a new environment (except in your kitty's case it is "reaquaiting him" with his outdoor habitat which he probaly misses.) Usually cats are put in crates outdoors in the day for 3 weeks to get them use to their enviroment and a new colony. That is how they properly transfer a feral to a new location/Colony. Perhaps, this kitty's depression will lift when he is back outside. Hopefully then he will start coming around and start eating. This may seem crazy, but you are running out of time and options, so it may be worth a try.

I hope that a miracle happens. I can feel your sadness and concern over this situation. I have been through all sorts of situations with feral cats, it can really put you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Hang in there. You are doing the best you can. Many here are concerned over this situation. :grouphug::redheartpump::redheartpump::redheartpump:
 

Norachan

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Something that sort of worked when a cat at the shelter wouldn't eat (but generally for other reasons than fear) was to smear some stinky food on their paw or elsewhere easily reachable on their body.
This is a great idea! Try this.

I also recommend getting a long handled wooden spoon and using that to smear something soft and strong smelling on his paw or chin.

I've had cats refuse to eat for longer than 4 days. We always worry about liver disease, but the liver starts to heal itself as soon as the cat starts to eat again, so it's not always a disaster is they won't eat.

All you need to do is to get him to take a little taste to kick start his appetite.

I think if you let him go you will have to resign yourself that he has to fend for himself from now on. That means not feeding him, even if you see him outside waiting for you.

Whatever you decide to do, we're here for you.

:hugs:
 

Boris Diamond

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You must be a true animal lover to be doing all this for Oscar. You have taken on the responsibility of caring for this cat. I suspect you are carrying a load of stress, fearing what will happen to him and having apprehension for Oscar possibly attacking you.

Do you think that your stress is affecting Oscar? Is there something you can do to make yourself more calm when you are around him? Some people pray, some people meditate.

Smearing wet food on a cat's mouth has worked for me. If you cannot get it on his mouth, the paw or, well, almost anywhere will work. He is hungry, and once he cleans it off it will get his digestive juices flowing and he will want more.

We are all pulling for you. :redheartpump:
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Good morning everyone,

I went into the room and Oscar was in the cat cube in the one dog crate and the food that I had put down fresh last night was untouched. That is now 4 days tonight since he has eaten.

The problem has not been waiting for him to settle down, he doesn't move. That is the problem. I think he is beyond stressed.

I put fresh food and water down, and opened the window. I live on a first floor ranch. If he chooses to leave, he will. I cannot be here and watch him so shut down and not eating. The not eating is OK in dogs - but not in cats.

I will check in a couple of hours. Maybe the food will be touched and if so, I will close the window.

I cannot tell you how gut-wrenching this is. I love this cat and am constantly worried with him outside. I have cared for him for a year, feeding him twice a day and having conversations with him everyday. I wanted to do right by him and give him a home.

If he has left and comes back, I will cut down feeding him to once a day. Then nothing at all. That will be gut-wrenching as well. If I cannot do it - I will try to trap him again. And, try once again. I have not given up on him but for right now, I can't see him like this and not eating

I hope you understand. Thanks
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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OK everyone. I am not happy to report that the fresh and warmed food was untouched and he was gone.

I have not given up on him. I will try to figure something out if he comes back. I will also look into more sanctuaries (I called about 10) to see if there is anyone who can give him a forever home outside in a sanctuary and I will pay the fee. It is so hard to find a place.

I don't want to do the barn cat program since from everything I know - it's hit or miss.

I will also continue to reach out to neighbors . . . I know the neighbor behind me told she has seen him walk through her yard. Maybe he already has another feeder - doubt it. But I am not giving up.

I did all the hard work. Feeding him in the trap for 5 months same time everyday, finally trapping him, putting him in elaborate crate set up, safeguarding the room with baby locks so my animals couldn't get in. All that work and the easy part was having him in my house. That was the joyful part.

But, he wouldn't move, wouldn't eat or drink or poop. He was terrified. I couldn't keep waiting as today was the 4th day without eating. That isn't right.

I am heartbroken.
 
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tarasgirl06

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OK everyone. I am not happy to report that the fresh and warmed food was untouched and he was gone.

I have not given up on him. I will try to figure something out if he comes back. I will also look into more sanctuaries (I called about 10) to see if there is anyone who can give him a forever home outside in a sanctuary and I will pay the fee. It is so hard to find a place.

I don't want to do the barn cat program since from everything I know - it's hit or miss.

I will also continue to reach out to neighbors . . . I know the neighbor behind me told she has seen him walk through her yard. Maybe he already has another feeder - doubt it. But I am not giving up.

I did all the hard work. Feeding him in the trap for 5 months same time everyday, finally trapping him, putting him in elaborate crate set up, safeguarding the room with baby locks so my animals couldn't get in. All that work and the easy part was having him in my house. That was the joyful part.

But, he wouldn't move, wouldn't eat or drink or poop. He was terrified. I couldn't keep waiting as today was the 4th day without eating. That isn't right.

I am heartbroken.
*Prayers* from the heart for Oscar! May he be okay. May he be safe. And I pray he will come back to you and decide to bond to you.
 

rubysmama

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I am heartbroken.
I am heart broken too. For you, knowing how much you wanted to give him a safe and loving home. And heart broken for Oscar who is just unable to get past his fear to discover that being a pampered, spoiled, adored, inside cat could really be the best life ever.

I know you haven't given up on him, so I'll continue to send good thoughts and positive vibes your way, in the hopes that things eventually work out.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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I am heart broken too. For you, knowing how much you wanted to give him a safe and loving home. And heart broken for Oscar who is just unable to get past his fear to discover that being a pampered, spoiled, adored, inside cat could really be the best life ever.

I know you haven't given up on him, so I'll continue to send good thoughts and positive vibes your way, in the hopes that things eventually work out.
Thank you so much. Believe me, it would have been easier to leave him in the room and hope for the best. But not eating for four days is not OK. A tiny bit of pee in the litter - but that's it. For a 15 lb cat .. that is dangerous.
 

dustydiamond1

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Good morning everyone,

I went into the room and Oscar was in the cat cube in the one dog crate and the food that I had put down fresh last night was untouched. That is now 4 days tonight since he has eaten.

The problem has not been waiting for him to settle down, he doesn't move. That is the problem. I think he is beyond stressed.

I put fresh food and water down, and opened the window. I live on a first floor ranch. If he chooses to leave, he will. I cannot be here and watch him so shut down and not eating. The not eating is OK in dogs - but not in cats.

I will check in a couple of hours. Maybe the food will be touched and if so, I will close the window.

I cannot tell you how gut-wrenching this is. I love this cat and am constantly worried with him outside. I have cared for him for a year, feeding him twice a day and having conversations with him everyday. I wanted to do right by him and give him a home.

If he has left and comes back, I will cut down feeding him to once a day. Then nothing at all. That will be gut-wrenching as well. If I cannot do it - I will try to trap him again. And, try once again. I have not given up on him but for right now, I can't see him like this and not eating

I hope you understand. Thanks
Before opening that window and since he wouldn't move did you try smearing wet food on his mouth as Boris Diamond Boris Diamond suggested or feeding with a long handled spoon as Norachan Norachan suggested or the hints from Jcatbird Jcatbird ? These three together have years and years of trapping AND re-homing over hundreds and hundreds of ferals and know what they are talking about much more so than most any vet and definitely more than the 'rescue group' you were listening to even though they had left him in a trap for 6 days, (In his case that constituted animal abuse IMHO) Did you calm yourself to stop keeping him scared? Did you try the ThunderWunder Cat Calming Paw Gel I mentioned? Did you try stroking him with a glove on a long handle such as a yard stick as many folks on this site have suggested? I don't think you will ever trap him again and he will starve after you leave unless he is lucky enough to find someone else to feed and create a safe shelter for him.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Before opening that window and since he wouldn't move did you try smearing wet food on his mouth as Boris Diamond Boris Diamond suggested or feeding with a long handled spoon as Norachan Norachan suggested or the hints from Jcatbird Jcatbird ? These three together have years and years of trapping AND re-homing over hundreds and hundreds of ferals and know what they are talking about much more so than most any vet and definitely more than the 'rescue group' you were listening to even though they had left him in a trap for 6 days, (In his case that constituted animal abuse IMHO) Did you calm yourself to stop keeping him scared? Did you try the ThunderWunder Cat Calming Paw Gel I mentioned? Did you try stroking him with a glove on a long handle such as a yard stick as many folks on this site have suggested? I don't think you will ever trap him again and he will starve after you leave unless he is lucky enough to find someone else to feed and create a safe shelter for him.
You keep trying to blame me by saying that I let him out of the house last time (which is incorrect) and that others know more "than the 'rescue group' you were listening to even though they had left him in a trap for 6 days." I was not listening to them despite your claim as I have not spoken to them except once on Sunday when they offered the barn program which I declined. And so please, if you want to blame me and make me feel worse, then at least be factually correct when scolding me.

And yes, I did try smearing food on him and he swatted and hissed and got into a tighter ball and the food stayed smeared on him. It was very sad. And yes, I did calm myself and sing songs to him and talked to him like I always do. And yes, I bought feliway and yes, I have catnip and yes, I brought the bed that I he lays on outside and put it in the crate since it smelled like him and yes, yes, yes.

Bottom line - if you want to blame me for not trying after I spent over 5 months working on this after sitting in my garage over the winter for another 5 months and talking to him for hours - if you think I just gave up and opened the window and refused to do all of the suggestions - then I must be an idiot. To do so much work and love him and care so much - but then be lazy at the end . . . .yeah, that's what I did.
 

Joelle and the kittens

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I think you did the right thing to let him out. Not eating, especially in larger cats, can have deadly liver consequences. It shows how much you love him that you released him even after all the hard work you put in the last year trying to catch him -- it's clear you truly care about his wellbeing above all. I do wish I'd suggested the food smearing earlier as that might have given more time to trigger his appetite (he might just calm down enough in the night when all is quiet to notice the discomfort), but that's on me for not checking in on this thread earlier. I hope you're able to find a solution that brings peace to you; I know how heartbreaking it must feel to "lose" him like this even if it's for the best.
 
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