Feral in my garage

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Bitsy's Mom

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Yes, he's exploring bit by bit and slowly owning the place. He knows the place is his!
Does he really think it’s his? If so that’s great so he doesn’t jump the open soffit.

I went in and sat 10 feet from him and waved a wand toy with a bird at the end for 5 minutes and then left. I wonder if that was a useful thing to do?
 

Avery

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What great news! Oscar does sound like he is becoming comfortable in the shed and is taking advantage of all it has to offer! It is really a wonderful set-up with lots of options: platforms for a cat "highway," a loft for viewing everything from above, comfortable places to rest, toys if he is ever in the mood, and plenty to eat!
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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What great news! Oscar does sound like he is becoming comfortable in the shed and is taking advantage of all it has to offer! It is really a wonderful set-up with lots of options: platforms for a cat "highway," a loft for viewing everything from above, comfortable places to rest, toys if he is ever in the mood, and plenty to eat!
My vet has said it would be cruel to “imprison” him but I had no choice. He will have access to the outdoors in September when the air conditioner is out. I wonder if he misses the outdoors and watching birds?
 

tabbytom

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Does he really think it’s his? If so that’s great so he doesn’t jump the open soffit.

I went in and sat 10 feet from him and waved a wand toy with a bird at the end for 5 minutes and then left. I wonder if that was a useful thing to do?
Yes, he knows it's his else he won't come down and sleep and eat and now he's on the steps. He'll be hiding forever and probably escape and never coming back. (so it's good to have the soffit repaired, just in case)

He's kind of gotten use to it and also owning the place.

Yes, it's useful that you spend 5 minutes or more in there frequently even though Oscar is not engaging with you. Give him time. More visits means better hope for the two of you as this will not make Oscar think that the shed is only his.

You are not imprisoning him. He's sort of being kept indoors just like an indoor cat but he has his own house.
 

rubysmama

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Does he really think it’s his? If so that’s great so he doesn’t jump the open soffit.
I think because he's no longer in his original territory, his entire mindset has changed. So, yes, I believe he thinks of the shed as his.

I went in and sat 10 feet from him and waved a wand toy with a bird at the end for 5 minutes and then left. I wonder if that was a useful thing to do?
Definitely a good thing. The more he sees you, and the closer you're getting to him someday giving you head bumps or snuggles.

My vet has said it would be cruel to “imprison” him but I had no choice.
Vets don't always know what's best for feral cats. And in Oscar's care, you really had no choice, as it would have been cruel to move away and desert him.

He will have access to the outdoors in September when the air conditioner is out. I wonder if he misses the outdoors and watching birds?
I think he'll love the catio. As for whether he misses the outdoors, there's really no way to tell. But at long as he's eating, using the litter box, and not hiding from you, I think all is well.

Feel free, btw, to post a Sunday Oscar update. :bigeyes:
 

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My vet has said it would be cruel to “imprison” him but I had no choice. He will have access to the outdoors in September when the air conditioner is out. I wonder if he misses the outdoors and watching birds?
Sorry, but your vet is WRONG. Indoors only is the place caring and responsible cat guardians keep their cats, for their safety, wellbeing and health. Oscar is not "acting feral" but rather very content and comfortable. That's a great idea to take the cat wand in and sit for awhile with him, letting him know he will have good visits with his caregiver who loves him, and that she wants to play with him!
He looks very happy in HIS castle. I would think any cat would be -- it's a very nice environment. And just wait until he has his catio -- he will be very happy! and he will be able to watch birds, sniff the breeze, and have his own safe outdoor place as well. You're doing such a great job!:redheartpump::bigeyes::redheartpump:
 

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I agree that the vet is wrong, it is NOT cruel to have brought him in. Look how happy he is, and he is happy, he's exploring, resting, eating, sleeping, doesn't run and hide when you enter his home- and it IS his home, he is making it that.
He knows the soffit is there and would leave if he wanted to. He's warm, has food, cozy spots, is not worrying about predators.
Ferals can be house cats. (Maybe not every single one, but many, I believe.)

My example is Waffles, he was at least semi-feral and I really believe he is so grateful to have an indoor home, he gives me loving looks, and snuggles, and loves laps, no interest in any doors to outside. But I can't pick him up, I think that will never leave but it doesn't have to.
It took him 2 months before he sat on my lap and it was only for 2 seconds, and he went from there to a complete lap cat.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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So hello everyone. It was 93 degrees here yesterday and even with the air conditioner on high - it was warm in the shed. Not dangerous at all, but warm. Oscar likes to sleep on the wood floor behind the cat cube, or on the wood on the right side. In the middle is the carpeting and on the other side on the wood is the litter boxes. I think he may prefer the wood to the carpet but who knows what will happen in the cooler weather.

The carpet desperately needs to be vacuumed but I won't do that until the soffit has been repaired. Speaking of which, yesterday I had a bit of a conflict with my neighbor. She was very nice and called me saying a fellow was coming over to her house and he could come fix the soffit. I told her "No" since it was 93 degrees here and probably 100 in the very top of the shed loft (Oscar was on the floor resting comfortably.) I told her that the noise of voices of a man right there would freak him and send him into the very top and maybe even the soffit on the other side . . . and that he would stay there the rest of the day. He could die in that heat but his fear would place him there. He is so very feral that he doesn't just come down minutes after he's afraid . . it is often hours.

She told me I was "overthinking" it and he was a cat so he'd survive. I told her "No" that the soffit repair could wait until a cooler day.

I am glad I waited. And I hate when people tell you how to care for your animals!

Anyway, he is fine. And, the good news is that I will buy the materials to repair it and have them here so when the fellow comes back, he simply has to attach them.
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rubysmama

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I'm glad you stood your ground with the neighbour. I'm sure she meant well, in wanting to help you get your soffit repaired. But she was wrong in her opinion of how Oscar would respond. Despite being very feral, he's also a sensitive little scaredy cat, so you were right to think of how he'd react to the stress of strange noises

Thanks for posting the new pics. I love seeing him in the different spots in his little home. :bigeyes:
 

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Wood should be cooler than carpet and that is why Oscar prefers to lay on the wood.

If you are buying materials for the repair, can I suggest that the repair be made the full run instead of just repairing the hole. Reason is just in case Oscar dig up another spot. So if it is a full run, it'll be a reinforcement. Also repair from the outside so that the repairman don't have to go into the shed with Oscar up in the loft instead and that'll also freak Oscar.

For the carpet, if you are taking it out to vacuum, then it's ok. I'm afraid if you vacuum inside the shed, the noise from the vacuum will freak Oscar out. If the carpet is hard to remove each time for vacuuming, I suggest you use a sticky roller instead.
 

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So glad you stood your ground with your neighbor. I would suggest that you tell Oscar when someone is coming to fix it. He might be less afraid if you talk to him and tell him.

I would wait to vacuum until the soffit is fixed. Hopefully you can get it fixed soon.

I just love seeing the pictures of Oscar. He seems to be right at home.
 
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So glad you stood your ground with your neighbor. I would suggest that you tell Oscar when someone is coming to fix it. He might be less afraid if you talk to him and tell him.

I would wait to vacuum until the soffit is fixed. Hopefully you can get it fixed soon.

I just love seeing the pictures of Oscar. He seems to be right at home.
I just love seeing him move around the shed also! I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when I see him laying on his side relaxed, grooming after every meal, and "owning" some of the space. I know he cannot be "miserable" as the vet said he would be enclosed in a interior space.

I would think he'd be bored and lonely - but that's from a human's perspective and I don't know what he thinks!
 

shadowsrescue

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I bet for the first time in a long while he feels safe. Each day he gets more and more used to his space and realizes he is safe and loved. He has fresh food, water and a cool space to enjoy his life. As time goes by he will become more comfortable with his surroundings. He may start to play and hopefully allow you to pet him with time and patience. Watching him grow and change has been a true honor.
 

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When Oscar was outside, he undoubtedly heard a lot of different noises and even saw male humans from time to time, right? Most cats are scared of vacuums but not every cat -- our beloved angel Calo LOVED BEING vacuumed with the hose/brush attachment! He'd lie on his back to solicit this. Some cat friends in Finland love it, too. So who knows? Maybe Oscar won't mind it. But yeah, I'd definitely wait until his environment is secure to try it.
The wood floor would be cooler than the carpet; he might opt for the carpet in cooler weather, though.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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I bet for the first time in a long while he feels safe. Each day he gets more and more used to his space and realizes he is safe and loved. He has fresh food, water and a cool space to enjoy his life. As time goes by he will become more comfortable with his surroundings. He may start to play and hopefully allow you to pet him with time and patience. Watching him grow and change has been a true honor.
Such a sweet post. Thank you. I still worry about him everyday . . . as I feel a big responsibility for him.
 

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You will always worry about him. The best part is how well he is doing and in a relatively short amount of time. Think where he was just 6 weeks ago. Keep the updates and pictures coming!!

Any news on getting the hole fixed? I know how hard it is to get good help.
 
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You will always worry about him. The best part is how well he is doing and in a relatively short amount of time. Think where he was just 6 weeks ago. Keep the updates and pictures coming!!

Any news on getting the hole fixed? I know how hard it is to get good help.
I have asked my Vet again for the name of someone. And franky, it is 95 here today and feels like 106 according to the reports. I want him quiet in there and not freaked by someone fixing the opening. He'd hide and die since it's got to be 120 degrees up at the top of the shed where his "safe" place is.

He does not bounce back quickly. If he gets scared, he goes up high to his loft and stays there for 5 or 6 hours. I am not going to risk it until the weather cools down.
 

rubysmama

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This is me thinking like a human, since I can't think as a cat, but I keep wondering if having the part of the soffit open is actually comforting for Oscar, as he knows there an escape route if he needed it. He just seems to be doing so well since it's been open. Though, of course, you didn't have the camera before the soffit broke, so no way to know if he was acting this way then too, or not.

Have you had any one on one time with him yet today?
 
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This is me thinking like a human, since I can't think as a cat, but I keep wondering if having the part of the soffit open is actually comforting for Oscar, as he knows there an escape route if he needed it. He just seems to be doing so well since it's been open. Though, of course, you didn't have the camera before the soffit broke, so no way to know if he was acting this way then too, or not.

Have you had any one on one time with him yet today?
It’s brutally hot here today and he’s been on the ground floor. I’ve gone in a couple of times but really don’t want to stress him so he goes up top. Just too hot. I just went in with food at 4 pm and he was under the couch! That’s a new place. After I left - he went and looked at the food - took one bite and went back under the couch. I want him to continue to explore and not get in the way until he’s comfortable. I stayed about 2 minutes but that’s it. I went in 4 times today for 2-3 minutes. He was visible twice.
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