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Feral Kitty Loose In My Cabin

Catzmeow

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Young Cat
May 25, 2019
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149
Alberta, Canada
I had been seeing a small black cat roaming for a few weeks. I posted on my community facebook and didn’t hear from anyone that could be its owner. So I started putting food out and got it used to eating in a kennel on my front porch. It came by and ate but I rarely saw the kitty except on my security video. Then I decided it was time and I trapped it and brought it into my guest cabin 3 days ago on May 23, 2019. I thought I was set up for it with a cage but it was able to get out between the bars immediately! So now it is loose in my cabin. The cabin is unoccupied so it can be safe out there and it’s quiet for the kitty. It is hiding most of the day only coming out to eat and snoop around a bit when no one is in there, again I only see it on video. I go out and talk and sit out there for a while several times a day. I was planning to take it to the vet but now I guess I would have to try to trap it again at this point as there is no getting near it. The original trapping was so traumatic for both of us. Is it ok to just leave it for a while to relax and try to coax it into coming out? What to do next??
 

mightyboosh

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Jul 19, 2017
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Burnley, UK
Your cabin sounds like a safe place so if there's food, water, a few toys maybe and a litter tray then he/she will be ok indefinitely as far as physical needs go. I think you're doing the right thing in going there and talking for a while as you're not putting undue pressure on the cat, very thoughtful of you. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey as the saying goes.
Cats can take a while to come round. My Oliver came from a loving home to a loving home and although he settled quite quickly in our bedroom, it took him a couple of months to venture downstairs. Give enough time to let the original trapping memories fade as much as possible for both of you. There's no rush so long as he/she doesn't present with obvious health problems. Patience is key here.
I think you're doing a great job so far and look at the alternatives to your scheme. Another unloved, unwanted kitty under constant danger on the streets.
Good luck.
 

fionasmom

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Jun 21, 2014
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Los Angeles
I agree that you need to go slowly and the kitten will probably come around in one way or another. I was once in a similar situation with a feral that I had been feeding....when I moved it was trap and take or leave and let starve so I chose trapping. The poor cat was so incredibly happy to be someplace safe in a spare bedroom that it was almost heartbreaking. My other guess is that if the kitten is not actively trying to get out, it feels safe.
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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You are awesome! Welcome and thank you for saving this kitten! You’re doing a great job already. Just continue sitting and talking with kitty. Once it feels comfortable with your presence then you can start trying to get it to come closer to you. All meat baby food is a great lure. Putting it on a dish and letting kitty get to know that this is a great treat is a start. Over time you can begin to move the dish closer to you. Sitting on the floor is a non threatening place to be. I’m time you might consider sleeping where kitty is. Kitty can check you out while you sleep. All will come in time. Each kitty moves at the pace they find to be safe. Please do keep us updated. We love hearing about rescues! Again, thank you for what you are doing to save this precious life. :rock::clap2:
 

1 bruce 1

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Apr 8, 2016
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Another thought to help ease the trapping memories is feed a meal or so a day in a big cage (not a live trap) so over time he gets comfortable with it. Start by setting the food near the cage, then near the door, then just inside, and work its way back and let him get braver as time goes on. Make it cozy, comfortable and private so he learns that some of those confinement contraptions aren't all that bad :thumbsup:
 
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  • #9

Catzmeow

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Young Cat
May 25, 2019
71
149
Alberta, Canada
Update: Shadow will now come out to eat about a foot away from me but if I move too much growls and retreats. Loves treats but grabs at them and has snagged me. I'm sure I saw he's a boy. Im on an emotional rollercoaster ...Hope, guilt.fear...next step to trap again to get to the vet....big fear
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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Oh, please don’t feel guilty! You have been helping Shadow and made great progress. Snagging you is not uncommon in a cat that is just learning about humans. Getting him neutered will help a lot once the hormones dissipate. He’ll be less aggressive when he interacts with you. He’ll probably still snag but be calmer as he learns not to snag. Maintain your hope. You should because he is doing great. Coming out for treats is a huge step forward. He growls just to make sure you understand he is unsure if the situation. As he gains confidence, and he will, the growling will diminish. It just takes time. Don’t give up hope or feel guilty. If he is eating, drinking, using a litter box, safe and loved, he’s doing extremely well. So are you! Hang on! You’re getting further with him than you may realize. ;):clap2:
 
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  • #11

Catzmeow

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Young Cat
May 25, 2019
71
149
Alberta, Canada
Well a lot has happened in the past month but we are almost back to square one at the moment. We trapped Shadow and had him fixed, chipped, vaccinated and they found he had an umbilical hernia which was also fixed. The vet said he is about a year old although he's so small - 2.8kg/6 lbs. My sister loaned me her large 2 story kitty condo for him which we set up in the house. He got so lovable while he was in there and would butt my head and loved getting petted so a few days ago we thought we'd let him out in the room. We rigged up a gate for the doorway so we could see each other, but unfortunately that didn't work and he got out of the room. He chose a closet upstairs to hide in and we're back to him hiding out all day, now in the house instead of the guest cabin! Another difficulty in the house is that I have 3 small dogs that scare him. I guess I will have to go back to sitting there offering food and hope we can get back to where we were.
 

1 bruce 1

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Apr 8, 2016
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Well a lot has happened in the past month but we are almost back to square one at the moment. We trapped Shadow and had him fixed, chipped, vaccinated and they found he had an umbilical hernia which was also fixed. The vet said he is about a year old although he's so small - 2.8kg/6 lbs. My sister loaned me her large 2 story kitty condo for him which we set up in the house. He got so lovable while he was in there and would butt my head and loved getting petted so a few days ago we thought we'd let him out in the room. We rigged up a gate for the doorway so we could see each other, but unfortunately that didn't work and he got out of the room. He chose a closet upstairs to hide in and we're back to him hiding out all day, now in the house instead of the guest cabin! Another difficulty in the house is that I have 3 small dogs that scare him. I guess I will have to go back to sitting there offering food and hope we can get back to where we were.
It's a set back but not the end of the line. If he's a year old, his curiosity might get the best of him.
We have a 5 year old that's about 6-7 pounds soaking wet. She's a tiny little thing. Does Shadow look too thin to you? He might just have a smaller build and structure.
I'd go back to square one, and wouldn't be surprised if he remembers your sitting and offering food and makes progress quicker this time.
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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I’m so sorry you feel like you are starting over!:alright: I know that is frustrating but it’s not exactly square one. I think 1 bruce 1 1 bruce 1 is right. He already knows you are safe and I think he will react differently this time. He may be scared of the doggies but you have shown him lots of affection and he responded with love. Give him time and just do as you did before. Cats are so smart. He’s going to remember the routine and I think he’ll be venturing close to you at an accelerated pace compared to the first time. I have experienced so many “setbacks” with the kitties here but just when I am getting frustrated, they surprise me. Hang on and we’ll all hope for Shadow to take a step forward.
By the way, I think you’ve done an awesome job!
 
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  • #14

Catzmeow

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Young Cat
May 25, 2019
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Alberta, Canada
I had a good moment with him yesterday evening playing and petting but I had to close the door to his hiding spot and now he really seems mad at me and won't come out for the last whole day. The hiding spot had to be closed off it was too dangerous. He's still in a closet. Unfortunately the room he chose was not cat ready. Tonight I tried to tempt him with his favourite feather wand with little bells. I could hear him scratching around and then he meowed a few times so I was scared he was trapped somewhere in the closet. We frantically moved stuff around and then I saw him. I don't think he was stuck, he's just a little stinker. I will be out of the house most of the day tomorrow with the dogs too so he'll have a chance to chill out by himself. We're letting him roam the house at night and when he's alone tomorrow. Do you think that's ok?
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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Boy kitties are considered Toms.
When I was reading about him scratching in the closet I empathized with your frantic search to see if he was trapped but when you said he was just being a stinker I had to laugh. They really can get us going, only to find out they are just “ messing with the human!” Lol I’m very glad he was just being a stinker. :p
Letting him roam the house leaves you wondering where he is when you return. He may be enjoying it but it could prove to be a concern for you. If the closet is in a bedroom and you can just give him the run of that extra space, I think I would limit him to that. He may not like it but at least you will have some idea of his location. If the closet is in a hallway or living area and the only way he can get to other places is to let him roam then he kind of has you over a barrel. He does need to be able to get out of the closet. Smart little guy! I really like this kitty! The ones that know how to be a stinker are the smart ones!:devilcat2: Personally, I think they have a kitty sense of humor. :purr:
 
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Catzmeow

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Thread starter
Young Cat
May 25, 2019
71
149
Alberta, Canada
I think Shadow has a sense of humour too! He also seems to wait me out until I am frantic about him. Hubby thinks I worry too much about him but he hasn't read everything here that I have. Hubs is also why he got loose ... GRRRR. I am so happy for all the knowledge and advice here. The closet is in the bedroom so I think I'll keep the door shut.

BTW it has been about a year and a half since i lost my last cat out of three about the same age and I couldn't bring myself to get another until this little monkey caught my heart!!!
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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The little monkey caught your heart? :p I know all about that! I’m so sorry you lost a baby. I have too and it’s awful but somehow another always comes to steal our hearts. I never intended to bring in anymore to care for but.....I did. Boy did I ever! :lol: Long story but suffice it to say, my heart is spoken for.

Hubby let him loose? Oh , well... hubbys do things like that. :p If he hasn’t read all the stuff here he can’t really understand your concerns but I’m sure he appreciates your love of Shadow. But! Maybe Shadow tricked him! He played a sly joke on hubby and hubby got the blame! Shadow is smart and he’ll work his cat charms on hubby. Give him time. :dancingblackcat:

I’m glad the closet is in a bedroom. We out smarted Shadow on that one! :flail:
 

Jcatbird

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Dec 5, 2017
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Southern U.S.
Awww! :blush: I’m so glad you feel reassured! You have done such a great job with Shadow. You should feel good. If I added a positive note then you are most welcome and it does my heart good to hear that! Thank you!!:cloud9:
 
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