Feral Kitty Loose In My Cabin

bikeman

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I read the first couple pages of this thread, and then jumped to the last page and I can't believe the transformation in Shadow. Incredible. And to interact and be peaceful with your dogs too. If only my Lolli could learn to live with our other two animals! Your continuing story of his life with you is inspirational. You seem to have done everything right steering him to becoming one of the family. Wishing you all the best with Shadow.
 
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Catzmeow

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I am amazed at how far we've come as well! I think we were so lucky with our little guy. Him and Cody and Herbie "kind of" play. They don't seem to know how to relate completely but they try. The dogs do the little bow and barky thing and Shadow swats and runs around them. Unfortunately the mornings are still bad since Shadow likes to wake up at about 4:30 and start swatting at the dogs and me to play and no one likes that. That's our biggest problem at the moment.
 
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Catzmeow

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Now my little guy if he had stayed an outdoor cat would have had to live at -50c/-58'f in the last month. I am so sad that before things got that cold I saw another one out there. Just a short sighting. He was black too and I was afraid for a moment that was my baby that got out. But it wasn't. I haven't seen him since the weather got a little better but I sure hope he survived somehow.
 

alphakitty

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I appologize regarding the length of this post...

I found the best way to socialize feral kitties is to play with them. I use a long thin stick (4 or 5 feet long), and then hang an object on to the end of a five or six foot long cord affixed to the end of the stick. I've attached all manners of things for end-toys...electrical butt connectors, tyewraps, size 4 ring-tongue terminals, foam squishy toys, but then kitties really love feathers. The problem with feathers is that they disintegrate or otherwise fall apart after a short time.

Ad rem...back to the point, let the kitty out into a room, swing the toy out away from ya and then draw it slowly across the floor. It may take a few throws, but kitties love to hunt and drawing that toy slowly across the floor is very tempting. Eventually that cat will dart out from its hiding place to capture that toy and then run back into hiding. Kitties really love when the toy disappears out of sight around the corner of boxes or chairs, so that they can't see it. Slowly drag the toy around the corner and then pause. The kitty will dart out to see where it went. Kitties love challenges that they can conquere. You'll be amazed when your kitty begins to feel confident in capturing the toy and they realize that you are the source of their fun. Continue this process until the kitty becomes accustomed to your play strategy. It is extremely rewarding.

I have socialized six 'feral' (technically they are no longer feral) kitties using this method. It works really well in my opinion.

All of my indoor/outdoor kitties, four of them, (I let out everyday around 9am, and they all come in around 1pm, its their nappyby time), were adolescent kittens when I trapped them. I trapped them at three different times. Brendie (brendle colored, short hair female), my guess is that she was probably around 3 months old, and Blackie and Baby (jet black short hair sisters) who were litter sibblings were probably two months old and then Beekie (jet black, short hair, male...very cocky little stud!) I think was probably around 6 weeks old. The other two kitties have passed over, and they were all around the same age when I trapped them 15 ~ 20 years ago. My three black kitties and my brendle kitty are fully socialized, I can pick them up, scratch their bellies, stick my thumb in their ears, play with them, etc., they are very sweet kitties. They alternately sleep on my bed, they all follow me around, right in the middle of lab bench, amidst smoking soldering irons, power-supplies, oscilloscopes, coax cable, wires, gadgets, they don't really seem to notice what they lay on!! Its always a riot! My Beekie kitty butts head with me regularly, and sometimes will bite me if I am not showing him his proper attention!! (never punctures the skin) and then complains at me about it!! Its really cute, the complaining doesn't qualify as a 'meow', its more like, lip-talk, 'mema mem moryamem', hee hee hee.

I have three outdoor only kitties, of which one, 'New Mommy', a short hair, black female, I have socialized to the extent that I can pick her up and carry her around! She is the kitty that I expended weeks putting eye-droppies into her eyes, every six hours for sixty days, inside of a small bathroom. I'd bring her treats, had a small makeshift litterbox made out of a cardboard box lined with tinfoil and filled with litter sand. I socialized her using a toy on a cord. Other than the vet who fixed her, and then released and then six months later she had a foxtail 'sticker' inside her right eye. I eventually re-trapped her, took her to the vets, who removed the foxtail, and I had them keep her for about four weeks as I wasn't too sure that I could give her the eye medications, but that I knew that the clinic could and would. It cost a few hundred bucks but was so worth it. Then it was my turn to take care of her, and she is such sweet little kitty! Every eye-droppy time, I'd use a toy attached to a cord, and I'd play with her for about 1/2 hour, and then I'd say, "it's eye-droppy time", put away the toy, I'd reach over, sitting on the floor, and slide her over to my knee. I'd push her head against my knee, and with left hand, force open her eyelid, and then squeeze the eye drops into her eye with my right hand. Initially I wore gloves and safety glasses, but soon realized that those things were not necessary.

The other two black kitties, one is Beekie's brother, from his litter, now about two years old and the other black kitty is Baby's and Blackie's brother, now around five years old. I call him 'Rusty' as he has a low scratchy voice. I am working to socialize him. I have always kicked myself for not socializing him with his sisters. But I really did not want four kitties, but it happened anyway. Here in Los Angeles, CaliMexico, we are allowed five indoor kitties. Rusty would have hit that restriction.

Due to Rusty's age, I've been very careful to work with him very slowely. Initially I could not get within 20 feet of the kitty. Owing to my relationship with New Mommy, Rusty has recognized that anything that I do for her, is good! I made her a really nice outside, protected from the wind (gets very windy here via the 'Santa Anas') sleepyby box, which he then confiscated. I made her another box. He also noticed that I'd stroke her tail, petting her while she eats, and of course her tail flips up into the candy-cane shape, tail straight up, a little downward pointed curl at the top. Kitties do that as sign of affection in my opinion. So over the past two years, little by little Rusty has begun to desire to eat out of the same bowl that I feed New Mommy from, so he has been getting closer and closer. Then I sprayed my trouser pant cuffs with FeliWay, cat 'safety' pheromone. A day or two later, Rusty, came up and rubbed on my legs, and I stroked his tail. He stopped, looked around at me with a look that I read as being, "Hey, what the hell you doing back there?!" hee hee hee. That was many weeks ago. I regularly stroke his tail while he eats now. Once in while I'll very softly touch his back, about which he is very nervous.

Tonight, I petted him several times while he was eating and he walked by my hand ignoring it by his face. After he ate, he came to me again, and rubbed on my legs, and head butted my ankles. I held my hand out with an outstretched forefinger, to allow him to sniff it. Its my way of saying, "hello" to a kitty. And then he head butted my hand!! <sigh>

I just had to share this with somebody. I've been working to become friends with that kitty for over five years. I fully expect to be able to fully socialize that boy kitty. Still a lot of patience and work to do.

My lady taught me that feedbags are an essential ingredient to socializing kitties and horses, and so is play. I have never played with Rusty, he may be too old, but I'm going to try it with him. Who knows, maybe older outside only feral kitties might also like to play?

Alpha Kitty
 

alphakitty

Beeqie - Sly Kitty - 2017
Young Cat
Joined
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47
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Urth
I appologize regarding the length of this post...

I found the best way to socialize feral kitties is to play with them. I use a long thin stick (4 or 5 feet long), and then hang an object on to the end of a five or six foot long cord affixed to the end of the stick. I've attached all manners of things for end-toys...electrical butt connectors, tyewraps, size 4 ring-tongue terminals, foam squishy toys, but then kitties really love feathers. The problem with feathers is that they disintegrate or otherwise fall apart after a short time.

Ad rem...back to the point, let the kitty out into a room, swing the toy out away from ya and then draw it slowly across the floor. It may take a few throws, but kitties love to hunt and drawing that toy slowly across the floor is very tempting. Eventually that cat will dart out from its hiding place to capture that toy and then run back into hiding. Kitties really love when the toy disappears out of sight around the corner of boxes or chairs, so that they can't see it. Slowly drag the toy around the corner and then pause. The kitty will dart out to see where it went. Kitties love challenges that they can conquere. You'll be amazed when your kitty begins to feel confident in capturing the toy and they realize that you are the source of their fun. Continue this process until the kitty becomes accustomed to your play strategy. It is extremely rewarding.

I have socialized six 'feral' (technically they are no longer feral) kitties using this method. It works really well in my opinion.

All of my indoor/outdoor kitties, four of them, (I let out everyday around 9am, and they all come in around 1pm, its their nappyby time), were adolescent kittens when I trapped them. I trapped them at three different times. Brendie (brendle colored, short hair female), my guess is that she was probably around 3 months old, and Blackie and Baby (jet black short hair sisters) who were litter sibblings were probably two months old and then Beekie (jet black, short hair, male...very cocky little stud!) I think was probably around 6 weeks old. The other two kitties have passed over, and they were all around the same age when I trapped them 15 ~ 20 years ago. My three black kitties and my brendle kitty are fully socialized, I can pick them up, scratch their bellies, stick my thumb in their ears, play with them, etc., they are very sweet kitties. They alternately sleep on my bed, they all follow me around, right in the middle of lab bench, amidst smoking soldering irons, power-supplies, oscilloscopes, coax cable, wires, gadgets, they don't really seem to notice what they lay on!! Its always a riot! My Beekie kitty butts head with me regularly, and sometimes will bite me if I am not showing him his proper attention!! (never punctures the skin) and then complains at me about it!! Its really cute, the complaining doesn't qualify as a 'meow', its more like, lip-talk, 'mema mem moryamem', hee hee hee.

I have three outdoor only kitties, of which one, 'New Mommy', a short hair, black female, I have socialized to the extent that I can pick her up and carry her around! She is the kitty that I expended weeks putting eye-droppies into her eyes, every six hours for sixty days, inside of a small bathroom. I'd bring her treats, had a small makeshift litterbox made out of a cardboard box lined with tinfoil and filled with litter sand. I socialized her using a toy on a cord. Other than the vet who fixed her, and then released and then six months later she had a foxtail 'sticker' inside her right eye. I eventually re-trapped her, took her to the vets, who removed the foxtail, and I had them keep her for about four weeks as I wasn't too sure that I could give her the eye medications, but that I knew that the clinic could and would. It cost a few hundred bucks but was so worth it. Then it was my turn to take care of her, and she is such sweet little kitty! Every eye-droppy time, I'd use a toy attached to a cord, and I'd play with her for about 1/2 hour, and then I'd say, "it's eye-droppy time", put away the toy, I'd reach over, sitting on the floor, and slide her over to my knee. I'd push her head against my knee, and with left hand, force open her eyelid, and then squeeze the eye drops into her eye with my right hand. Initially I wore gloves and safety glasses, but soon realized that those things were not necessary.

The other two black kitties, one is Beekie's brother, from his litter, now about two years old and the other black kitty is Baby's and Blackie's brother, now around five years old. I call him 'Rusty' as he has a low scratchy voice. I am working to socialize him. I have always kicked myself for not socializing him with his sisters. But I really did not want four kitties, but it happened anyway. Here in Los Angeles, CaliMexico, we are allowed five indoor kitties. Rusty would have hit that restriction.

Due to Rusty's age, I've been very careful to work with him very slowely. Initially I could not get within 20 feet of the kitty. Owing to my relationship with New Mommy, Rusty has recognized that anything that I do for her, is good! I made her a really nice outside, protected from the wind (gets very windy here via the 'Santa Anas') sleepyby box, which he then confiscated. I made her another box. He also noticed that I'd stroke her tail, petting her while she eats, and of course her tail flips up into the candy-cane shape, tail straight up, a little downward pointed curl at the top. Kitties do that as sign of affection in my opinion. So over the past two years, little by little Rusty has begun to desire to eat out of the same bowl that I feed New Mommy from, so he has been getting closer and closer. Then I sprayed my trouser pant cuffs with FeliWay, cat 'safety' pheromone. A day or two later, Rusty, came up and rubbed on my legs, and I stroked his tail. He stopped, looked around at me with a look that I read as being, "Hey, what the hell you doing back there?!" hee hee hee. That was many weeks ago. I regularly stroke his tail while he eats now. Once in while I'll very softly touch his back, about which he is very nervous.

Tonight, I petted him several times while he was eating and he walked by my hand ignoring it by his face. After he ate, he came to me again, and rubbed on my legs, and head butted my ankles. I held my hand out with an outstretched forefinger, to allow him to sniff it. Its my way of saying, "hello" to a kitty. And then he head butted my hand!! <sigh>

I just had to share this with somebody. I've been working to become friends with that kitty for over five years. I fully expect to be able to fully socialize that boy kitty. Still a lot of patience and work to do.

My lady taught me that feedbags are an essential ingredient to socializing kitties and horses, and so is play. I have never played with Rusty, he may be too old, but I'm going to try it with him. Who knows, maybe older outside only feral kitties might also like to play?

Alpha Kitty
Rusty Kitty UpDate (03-31-2020):

Its been several weeks and I am now regularly scratching Rusty between the ears, the top of his head, sides of his little black fur-face and sometimes he allows to scratch under his chin! All the while I tell him that he is a "good kitty" and I use the phrase "scratchy" alot, to teach him the phrase and to associate the goodness of the scratching. He purrs and stands still for me. In fact he won't eat until I scratch his head. Lately I've been able to call him by saying "scratchy?" while wiggling my fingers. Kitties are very aware of hand signals, I have noticed.

Kitties also learn from each other. Now Spooky is acting as though he'd like to get in on the action.

alpha kitty
 
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