Help And Commiseration Needed

thefiresidecat

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we got a ring video door bell mid october. I noticed a very skinny kitty on my porch. so I put out food. he became a nightly visitor. a few times a day. I was quite sure he was only getting food from me. we got a trap from the vet but it looked too violent. so we took it back and fashioned a safer trap out of a dog kennel. finally last week we got him. he was a unneutered male about a year to a year and a half old and healthy;negative for all the things. they applied wormer and de flea too. now he's in a room in our basement. we have three cats. other than him. and they aren't allowed in the basement at all for now.

so he's been down there since friday night. (today is wed) we have a nanny cam. we've been spending a couple hours a day with him. he isn't coming out of his wool cave when we are there. the first couple days I could put my hand in with him and pet his chin but now he hisses when I get near. when we aren't there he's spending a lot more time every day outside of his wool cave. he still wants out badly. he's howling non stop when he's out of his cave. after reading here I put in an order for a back scratcher off amazon today. he won't eat when we are present.

but any suggestions on what we can do to make him more comfortable. it seems like the feliway spray does nothing. we won't use the diffusers because super cancerous. our last stray was nothing like him. he was pretty much an instant fit and was friends with all the other cats within a week. lol. we know this isn't an overnight thing but anyone have any base time lines for what is normal for a stray like this who was not neutered at time of trap?
 

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thefiresidecat

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not sure how to edit but as added information. a typical visit goes like this now. we bring in food. show him the food. talk to him for ten minutes (or longer if it's a long visit but morning food generally is a ten minute visit) try to put hand in to let him smell. get growlled and hissed at. retreat and talk some more. try to pet him thru the wool cave. get growlled at some more. clean up some of the litter that is sprinkled around. tell him bye bye. then watch thru the nanny cam. he gets right out of his carrier to eat.

the first few days it was taking hours before he'd come out after we were there.

is this progress? it's feeling like no light at the end of the tunnel. lol.
 
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thefiresidecat

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I don't know how to edit or I would. should we just expect this to go on like this until the testosterone is mostly out of his system?
 

Shar371

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It's definitely progress! Was he neutered when you took him to the vet? If so, I'd say just keep doing what you're doing, leave things that smell like you in there to help that "bond" form, and give him a week or two before he starts showing any interest.

Story time: We've had a few unneutered males come into the shelter. One, a beautiful orange tabby, about 3 years old, hissed at everyone. He got neutered. That hiss slowly became "hello" rather than "back off", where he'd hiss at you, then rub your hand. It's been about three weeks since his neuter, and he is all but a lap cat now.
 
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thefiresidecat

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yeah he was unneutered when we brought him in. the neuter happened on friday. ty for that reply it's very helpful. lol. I was suspecting as much.
 

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Time is what you need, months, not days or weeks. He WILL come around, especially once the hormones leave his body. He is scared witless right now, he definitely thinks you are going to harm him, so you have to convince him otherwise. Good treats would go a long way, and sitting quietly with him and talking is great. I'm sure the smell of your other cats is scaring him too, but he will get used to that too, especially if you start swapping blankets in a couple of weeks. Thank you for taking him in, you most likely have saved his life, your will be blessed for your kindness!
 

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my feral Bug took about 6-7 weeks after neuter for hormones to normalize and transform him from violent, batting hisser into a state where we could then introduce him to the others. BTW....during that 6 weeks he was fiercely anti social, mostly hiding out of site during my presence and attempts to get him out. His body chemistry simply needed time.

Patience needed...you are jumping the gun, *way* too premature in expecting almost immediate transformation.
 

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Is he a feral cat? Have you ever been able to touch or pet him? Not all adult, male feral cats can be successfully domesticated to live indoors. Give it some time, yes, but also allow for the possibility that he might be too stressed being confined, and might be happier being an outdoor feral cat. Many of us care for our feral cats outdoors. We provide heated pet houses, and daily food and water. Neutered outdoor feral cats can live long and healthy lives. If he becomes more aggressive and frustrated in the days and weeks to come, if he begins caterwauling and desperately trying to escape, scaling the walls and windows, then that is a sign that you might consider releasing him. You will know in your gut what the best thing is to do for him.
 
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thefiresidecat

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the vet feels sure he is not feral. she and the techs thought shy stray. they were able to give him a full exam with out sedation and he didn't attack them and they were able to pet him and what not. they said he was really calm. terrified but calm. the first couple days i was able to pet his chin and side of face but then that dried up. he hisses and growls and once or twice he made a show like he might lunge but for the most part he's been totally docile. there have been some attempts at escape and some caterwauling but he was unaltered and still has a lot of those hormones that say I want out for the leddeh katz. and when we're watching on the nanny cam. we see some escape behavior but that's not all he's doing. he's also just chilling more so every day.
 

bigbadbass

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After neuter the hormone thing whacks them out. At one point during "normalization" the violent feral Bug would purr, hiss, swat me and then purr again....within a 30 second window. Initially, I thought I was doing something wrong...but I realized (with advise here on the forum) his hormone chemistry drove him bonkers. Around 6 weeks...he was slowly introduced to the others and given free rein, room by room.
A year later...he's leader of the kitty committee at my Club Med for Cats.
He loves the indoors...always another cat buddy, play, somewhere to go, something to do. Windows, upstairs, downstairs, playroom, cellar, cat beds, trees, always activity, keeps 'em stimulated. Best of all...not a hint of violence from the Bug.
 
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thefiresidecat

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bugs and his silver pal are handsome kittehs. looking at some of the relaxed poses in your album knowing he was feral is very encouraging lol.
 

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You are doing great things for this cat! I would also utilize amusement and play - present a wand teaser and show him how it works, without approaching him or trying to actually engage him at first. I would leave him a scratching post and plenty of fake mice toys and jingly balls, to apply his scent to, and help him establish "base camp". Once he has base camp, he can comfortably expand territory.
 
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thefiresidecat

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he has a scratching post that he likes to sleep on. i have a tunnel for him BUSA Play tunnel - IKEA
some wool balls and potent cat nip toys. no wand yet. but I did try a laser with him. as of yet he seems to have very little interest in toys although they have mysteriously moved around the room lol. he definitely plays in the tunnel. I don't have a back scratcher yet but I did make one out of some cardboard. that seems to be making some improvement.
 

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You're getting great advice from lots of folks who have lots of experience. And no kitty is exactly like another. But I agree with all above - I know it's hard to see progress when it's small, but you're absolutely making progress in this boy's life! I agree 100% that you engage him in ways that enrich him (petting will eventually - but some kitty's need to bond through other ways first - such as play) and start him on the road to realization that life WITH you is far better (tummy-wise, fun-wise, comfy-wise, etc). I'd work with him with play more than trying to pet at the point (each cat is different!) ---have you tried a wand toy called "Da Bird"? I think they can be purchased through Amazon - a lot of cats go crazy playing with this! Another one we utilize alot is "Cat Dancer" which is basically a stiff piano wire with a little roll of cardboard at the end. We're rarely had one not go crazy over those two! And both allow you to be just slightly removed (not right on top him), but if you talk to him while he's playing with it - he'll still associate you with the play. (Both of those toys also get him moving - and that's good!).

Has anyone mentioned utilizing 'kitty crack" (obviously not real crack - - - but called that b/c most kitties go crazy for it)? It's technically "Gerber 2nd Foods Meats, Chicken & Chicken Gravy" - it's a baby food in a glass jar (found in baby food aisle - not pet section, obviously). This seems to universally drive kitties pretty crazy - but if you get any other brand note that it can NOT have onions in it. We offer it by verrrryyyy long spoon - - - like a long teaspoon or even a telescoping spoon (they have them on amazon) - - -- some people even use a backscratcher! First I warm it VERY slightly, and then I put a little of the baby food on the end of the spoon, get down on the floor, and reach out slowly, offering it slowly. I keep talking the whole time -- -quietly and gently - - - and usually desire for this yummy delicacy (which smells to high heaven!) wins of worry about the person (me) behind the tool.

I'm sure you'll get lots more tips from many more people who know lots - - -keep at it - - - you ARE making progress!!!!
 
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thefiresidecat

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is it a good idea or a bad idea to leave a tv on with him for a few hours a day when we aren't there?
 
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