Feral in my garage

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,867
Purraise
17,004
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
I put the radio on today so we’ll see how that goes.
I don't know what kind of music you have playing, but you might consider some of what they call cat music - David Teie's Music for Cats which is on Prime and Spotify, Cat In My Arms on Spotify and elsewhere, and RelaxMyCat. Members on this site swear by it!!! .
BTW - my two indoor cats left me this today. It looked exactly like a toy they have and so I went to pick it up and at the last second realized it was real and screamed. I guess my two indoor cats are earning their keep!
OMG!!!
This is the feral boy before I trapped him and put him in the garage
Awww.... thanks for the pic!
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
17,908
Purraise
38,822
Location
Canada
BTW - my two indoor cats left me this today. It looked exactly like a toy they have and so I went to pick it up and at the last second realized it was real and screamed. I guess my two indoor cats are earning their keep!
How sweet of them. :lol:

This is the feral boy before I trapped him and put him in the garage
Awww... precious boy. :redheartpump:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #44

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
OMG!!!! I put food down this morning and he didn't touch it. I cleaned the litter and didn't see or hear a peep. I went in and out and played the radio and took up the food from the morning and tossed it. Then I went back at 4:30 pm and put fresh food down. I then nuck up and tried to watch him but he never showed. So, I went back at 6 pm and saw most food gone so went in with another can. As I was leaning down calling him and putting the food down, I heard something. I looked up and there he was on the car in the garage, starring at me. It scared me actually!! He was big and black and starring! I looked back at him and did the slow eye blink and then turned to leave since I didn't want it to be a big deal and when I moved, I heard a crash and he had jumped either up or down to take off.

I am in shock! At first maybe I thought it was aggression but I don't think so do you? I still cannot believe it.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,867
Purraise
17,004
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Wow!!! I take that as a good sign! Cats have weird ways about them, but the fact that he showed himself to you - while absolutely shocking and understandably scary at first - has got to be some sort of recognition from him that he he trusts you just a bit more than he did before.

Did you ever put a camera in the garage to watch him? Just curious because you could at least determine what the crash might have been and if he came to eat thereafter.

Do you think he's been outside?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #46

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
He has not been outside the garage since that bad rescue woman who had him in a trap for 6 days put him in there. That was 4 weeks ago tomorrow. He cannot leave the garage unless I leave the door open and I haven’t. I will check later and put fresh water down and more food. I use the side door and that’s where I put the food down so I can look and see what he’s eaten. I am in shock. To look up and see him 6 ft from me! Wow. I can’t afford to buy a camera to check after buying the heated bed and all the other stuff for him.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #48

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
Oh, I hope so!! I want to care for this guy if possible.

He's hiding now. I went out at 8 pm and food untouched but we saw each other at 6 pm. I will check in the daylight to see what crashed and hope that he is OK. Normally the food is all eaten so our connection must have been scary for him!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #51

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
Hi Rubysmama and everyone,

I wish I had progress to report but no; he hasn’t shown his face since that one time. And it seems he’s established a pattern of not eating in the morning. All quiet until 7-8 pm at night when he eats 2 small cans and dry food. I’ve even tried stinky tuna and makeral to get him down but no movement.

I open the door for an hour or two with a grate upfor fresh air but he doesn’t come down. Not sure if I should leave the door open at night one of these days so he can leave if he wants.

I have been putting pieces of tshirts with my two cats and 2 dogs scents on them so he can smell them but other than that, he’s up in the rafters out of site. I couldn’t locate him up there if I had too.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
17,908
Purraise
38,822
Location
Canada
Sorry there's been no more sightings of him. And wish I could advise on whether leaving the door open at night is a good idea or not. I guess that's a decision only you can make. Thanks for all you're doing for him. Hopefully progress is being made, even if it's not noticeable right now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #53

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
Hi rubysmom,

I think what has stopped the progress has been my idiot neighbors playing basketball 5 feet away from the garage. It drives me crazy and so I am sure it scares him :( They are one of the reasons I will be moving in the next few months as soon as I can find a house. ALl the noise and yelling is upsetting to us both, and it screwed up my feeding schedule. Anyway, I am going to change his litter today and will let you know if anything changes. It is raining here and so they won't be playing basketball. And, it will be 19 degrees Monday night and so I am not going to leave the door open just yet. He's had a full month of regular food and that must be comforting to him.

Thanks for your concern.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #55

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
Yes, agreed. But I will be here another couple of months and that is what I have to decide about. In the meantime, I cut up a cotton t-shirt and I rub pieces of it on my two cats and me and my two dogs. I leave the pieces in the garage near the beds and food. I see that they are moved around. I am trying to provide some new smells along with catnip and valerian root. I don't know if any of this will matter and I may open the door so he can leave next week .. . but I sure do care about this cat!

Funny how we can love even if there is no payoff for us except the satisfaction of being kind.
 

Carolina SA

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
50
Purraise
100
Location
Paraguay
A thought that may be impractical, can you take a little heater with you and potter about in the garage a little each day? I truly do believe animals understand tones in our individual voices - yours will tell him you're his human.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #57

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
There is a car in there (that is not driven) and so not a lot of room to move around since I have an area for his food and then the cat bed and then a dog crate with blankets and 3 litter boxes! I do open the door and talk to him about 8 times a day; I sing to him and call his name. But again, nothing.
 

shadowsrescue

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
6,614
Purraise
3,991
Location
Ohio
Have you tried just sitting in the garage and talking with him. Sitting on the ground instead of standing up and looming over him. Also what about a really stinky treat. Try canned tuna or salmon or stinky fish flavored canned cat food. Come out to the garage sit down and let him hear you open the can. Leave a small amount of the food when you are ready to leave.

You can also try Comfort Zone or Feliway phermone spray. You could spray it on his bedding and it might help to make him a bit calmer. Catnip is also sold in a spray and he may enjoy that as well.

Is it possible to add a wireless camera or trail camera to the garage to see when and where he moves around? Some of the Wyze cameras are around $30-40. They easily connect to wifi.

I really would try my hardest not to let him out. If you do, it might be impossible to trap him again.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #59

Bitsy's Mom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Feb 17, 2021
Messages
48
Purraise
97
Hi Shadowsrescue,

He is a feral kitty of over 3 years old.

I have tried stinky cat food (mackeral, tuna, sardines) as well as catnip, valerian root, and rescue remedy. He is up in the rafters and I cannot even see him, since there are boards up there that he is hiding behind. I could not find him if I had to and so I am not looming over him. I open the can loudly every night and in the morning and call to him. But he has his routine. He stays hidden and only eats at night when it's dark. I think he feels most comfortable since it is quiet.

He is very smart. He can hear me approach the garage as I hear a jump from inside as I approach. Even if I try to be quiet, he knows I am coming and hides. I don't think he will willingly engage with me while he can hide, as he is not forced to. He uses the litter box religiously, and always eats all the food I put down, but does so always after 9 pm.

I have taken small pieces of cotton and rubbed them on my two indoor cats and my two dogs and me. I place them in the couple of beds that have down and they are always moved or gone. I think he likes them.

My options are to keep him in the garage for the next 2-3 months until I move. Then I would have to trap him in the garage and bring him with me. Either that or leave the door open at night and see if he leaves. Then try to retrap him when he is outside and I move. I have been feeding him for over 2 months and he does know my voice.

I am not sure what is best.
 

shadowsrescue

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
6,614
Purraise
3,991
Location
Ohio
From my experience, if you let him go, it will be very very very difficult to retrap him. I have 6 former feral cats living in my house now. I cared for each of them on my deck in my yard for many years. All had been TNR'd and trapped at one point. I moved 3 years ago and brought them all with me and made them inside cats. I was unable to use a humane trap on the 3 that were still living outside at them time of the move. I had to lure them into my house ( with all of the other animals put away). I had carriers set up around the house. In each carrier I had catnip as well as stinky food. I did this over and over for 6 weeks before I moved. I moved them into an empty bedroom for a few weeks before we moved to our new house. I had a special place set up for them in my new house as well.

It can take a lot of patience and hard work to socialize a feral cat. Yet it can be done.

I truly believe if you let him out, he may bolt and not come back. You have a few months to work with him. Try different things. I find that by sitting in the space and just talking or reading aloud to him. Bringing a bag of cats treats and shaking it each time you come to visit.

If needed you can leave things as they are and retrap him before your move. When you move have a special room just for him. No bed in the room unless it's flat on the floor and no large furniture to hide under. Keep blinds up and cords wrapped and no drapes. Keep all windows tightly closed. Baby gates may be needed to keep him away from the door. I have lots of ideas when the time comes if you need them.

I hope that in time, he will start to come down more, but I understand the fear in a feral cat. If you truly are attached to him and want to take him with you, then he should stay put. If you feel he is in danger or too stressed then allowing him to be let out is needed. Yet you say he eats and uses the litter box and does move around at night. By using a camera this might help tell you what is going on and how to best help him.

We are all here to help.
 
Top