Finally Got Senior Feral inside - Need Advice and Support

havecats

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Hi, I have posted previously about some ferals in the neighborhood that I have been feeding and had done some TNR. I have an older feral cat that has lived in our yard for the better part of 15 years - most of her life. I had her trapped and spayed when she was a kitten 15 years ago and she is still here after all this time.

I was able to get her in a carrier today and then took her to our spare room and placed her in a really large kennel set up for her. The resident young male feral reacted with loud yowling. He is separate from the other cats because he doesn't get along with them although he would love to have some feline companionship. I was able to cover the kennel quickly and that helped calm him just before he dove behind a dresser. The sweet senior kitty sounded a little scared and disoriented but didn't react as strongly. I think she is just trying to get her bearings. Even with all the things I've been able to do to help her in this extreme heat we are having (110 plus) I think it's just too much for her to have to deal with the elements anymore. She deserves to have some creature comforts and rest but I'm not sure how this is going to work for the both of them.

I did bring them food and the male came out to eat a little and seemed much calmer. The senior kitty hasn't eaten much yet but perhaps she will eat and drink more a bit later.

She is used to patrolling the yard and her territory but is also very friendly and affectionate toward me. I think she is already appreciating being in a climate controlled environment and I can't wait to see how she adjusts. I'm so happy and relieved that I was able to bring her in finally. She seems calm and the male cat is perched above nearby watching the covered kennel with interest. He's still a little anxious though. I went in to check on them just now and he was purring and came near for me to pet him but when I started to talk to him he started to growl a little so I left the room. The senior seems calm, and is resting quietly.

I don't know if I should spend the night in there with them or not. Seems like it might be better to leave them be and I'm not far from them so I can just check on them if necessary.

I guess that's it for now. Thanks for letting me share.
 

Furballsmom

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Did you decide to just check on them rather than actually being in their room overnight?

You not being there could allow them a bit of time to continue adjusting at their own pace, since of course your presence changes the dynamics :)
 
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havecats

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Yes, I think I'm just going to check on them. The male starts to feel insecure and he growls. If I talk to him, she hears my voice and then starts to vocalize because she wants me to give her attention too. She cries in the sweetest little squeak meow. I gave her a little stuffed animal and a toy. I realized she isn't used to any of this so she is actually adjusting pretty well. The male seems torn between kind of liking that he has a kitty roommate and feeling threatened that he is sharing his space with another cat.

At first she didn't want to walk in the kennel and I figured out that she isn't used to walking on hard, smooth surfaces. She's just used to walking around outside in dirt, on concrete, sand, or grass. I put a soft little rug in there for her and she has been getting around on it. She's also been eating and drinking.

I don't think she understands about the litter box yet. I put her in it and was explaining it to her. I think if she sees the other cat go she will understand it better. She's used to going outside so a box with litter is foreign to her.

I put a little stuffed animal in there with her and a little toy. That seemed to comfort her. Which made me realize she isn't really familiar with the concept of toys either. After I gave her the stuffed animal, she started to relax and I could see her relaxing in her bed. Allowing herself the luxury of enjoying how nice and soft it is and how comfortable it feels. She was lounging, and stretching out a little. It's actually going better than I thought it would. I'm also thanking God for His help with all this and for keeping her safe out there all those years.

Thanks for your comment. :-)
 

Jcatbird

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It seems like they are adjusting okay on their own right now. Peace and time to explore their new surroundings may be what they need at first. Since your voice triggered a growl, I think your thought of allowing them a night alone is good. I also like socializing by sleeping in the room with kitties but let them sett the pace and take your cues from them. I would expect them to enjoy having you in the room as they get a little more secure in the new environment. Thank you so much for bringing them into a safe and cool place! It’s extremely hot here and I have the kitties all inside but I am seeing the wildlife searching out cool spots. It’s really intense this year and you have saved them much suffering. :clap2::redheartpump:

We crossed posts so I wanted to add, putting a bit of grass or sand or whatever she is used to as an outside potty into the litter box may give her the idea about where to go.
 

shadowsrescue

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Also if she pees or poops outside of the litter box you can sop it up and bury in the litter box. She will be attracted to her own scent.

As for the room, at night I like to have at least a night light on. I also play soft music. Do you have a Feliway plug in? They work well to help calm the cats.

I would visit her frequently during the day if you are able. Just sit on the floor and talk softly. Offer some special yummy treats.

Thank you for rescuing her. She will have a wonderful life with you.
 

fionasmom

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It is so kind of you to bring her inside. It is not 110 here, but my cats definitely know that they are in a climate controlled house, including the two recently brought in ferals who spent last summer outside. One actually stand up on the entertainment center which is just below an AC vent to make sure that the cold air is blowing out. I think that your two will adjust and the female must be thrilled to have a comfortable place to rest.
 
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havecats

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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Thankfully, the female did understand about the box and used it last night and also today. They do catch on quick about that, don't they? I was so glad - I think she was worried about what was going to happen to it from there. She seemed relieved when she saw me coming in last night and then today to clean it for her. She got more food and I gave some to the male although he doesn't usually get canned during the day. He was feisty this morning but was acting more like his old self as the day wore on. The female is resting comfortably. The first day was rough and now she is starting to understand what's going on and is getting more comfortable. The male I've had for about four years now, I probably didn't clarify that. I had posted about him previously when I first took him in. He just isn't too keen about sharing his space with this new cat but I think he's feeling a bit better about this situation today. I kept giving him attention and telling him what a good boy he is. I was a little worried about the male because he hadn't eaten so I moved his food. It may have been too close to the new cat. I think that helped because I saw he did eat today. Now I'm looking ahead to how I can get to the point where she can be outside of the cage but without the male in the room. I don't want her to run under the bed and hide so I'll have to think about that for the near future. So, that's it for today. Thanks again for your support!
 

Furballsmom

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You have lots of time - she's inside now and you two have climbed the mountain of the first day/night together. You can relax for a little while, and maybe let her get her sea legs first before opening that cage door.

Your post above is incredible because I think she's doing fantastically as is your very good boy :).
 
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