Help with injured stray

calicosrspecial

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One step forward, 2 steps back......
Rocky wouldn’t eat yesterday morning unless I hand fed him his wet food, and he didn’t touch his wet food with his pain killer in it at all last night. This morning I tried Chicken Baby food and he did eat that, Yay, so off to the store to buy a few more jars of baby food.
Yesterday afternoon we were back to him getting over stimulated again, and same thing this morning, I went to feed him and clean up his cage and he immediately came forward, did his head butts, purring and rubbing up against my hand then turned into a hissing, slapping, biting boy. He did this same thing when he had free reign in the laundry room, I’m sure he still has pain from his procedure and I am trying to find a better way to ensure he gets his pain meds, and I’m hoping this will lessen as he recovers. He gets so excited to see me, then he turns on me, any suggestions to help him? I’m not initiating contact, I merely ignore him when I’m opening his cage and he comes forward.
:( Well, he has been through a lot. At least he did eat after being hand fed. I wish he would get his pain meds though. But he did get it this morning?

He really is a sweetie. Yes, it is part of building the trust. He wants to "own" you, wants to trust, thinks he can but just wants you to know not to "try" anything. It is actually normal. Happens all the time. Just stay calm, confident, act like "whatever". Watch so you don't reach over him or stand over him, don't stare at him, etc. Make sure his has escape routes so he doesn't feel cornered. I deal with ferals all the time and see this all the time. So I kind of now all the nuance, when to be scared, when it is just a cat being a cat. He does seem like a good boy but he has gone through a lot. I am sure he is feeling vulnerable. But as long as you are careful but normal he doesn't seem to want to attack or hurt. It is hard to communicate so just observe and learn and be very cognizant of your actions and how they may affect him. You are getting a PhD in cat behavior.

Yes, don't initiate contact, let him. You can talk calm, confidently and lovingly to him and see how he responds. It usually helps de-escalate the situation. But watch how he responds. You can give eye kisses if you feel comfortable. Closing your eyes to a cat is a sign of trust.

I hope that kind of helps. It is hard online to communicate it but hopefully it helps a little.

Please ask anything and let us know how he is doing. I hope he gets back to himself soon. He has been through A LOT. But at least now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I get a sense once he gets over his health issues he is going to be a great cat.
 
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Catsnquilts

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Rocky seems to do better when he’s on his pain meds, his shoulder abscess is healing amazingly well, and I am sure he’s still in pain from having so many teeth pulled, he is still just eating baby food. I may have to change his name to Mr. Biscuits since that is what he does when he chooses to interact, he hops down and starts making biscuits, and I mean he will not stop while I’m there, is this something to be concerned about? It doesn’t bother me, but wondering If I should be concerned. I will call the Vet tomorrow and ask if they trimmed his nails during any of his visits, I’m still worried that he’s been declawed. I’m spending time with him after his morning meal w/meds, giving pets and loves while he’s in the crate and he is much calmer after his meds.
 

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calicosrspecial

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Rocky seems to do better when he’s on his pain meds, his shoulder abscess is healing amazingly well, and I am sure he’s still in pain from having so many teeth pulled, he is still just eating baby food. I may have to change his name to Mr. Biscuits since that is what he does when he chooses to interact, he hops down and starts making biscuits, and I mean he will not stop while I’m there, is this something to be concerned about? It doesn’t bother me, but wondering If I should be concerned. I will call the Vet tomorrow and ask if they trimmed his nails during any of his visits, I’m still worried that he’s been declawed. I’m spending time with him after his morning meal w/meds, giving pets and loves while he’s in the crate and he is much calmer after his meds.
He is SO GORGEOUS!!! He is easy to fall in love with I can see!!!

I am so glad his shoulder is healing so well. That is great news.

Yes, I can imagine he has some pain. Hopefully he eats his meds. But all you can do is your best.

"I mean he will not stop while I’m there, is this something to be concerned about?" - I don't think so. It is actually positive in "normal" times. It could be that he may be trying to sooth himself due to the pain but I don;t think I would worry about it.

Please don't worry if he has been de-clawed. It is in the past. It may impact what we end up doing in the future (he'll need a home) but that is really the only concern. If he is using the litter box he doesn't seem to be having issues with his paws.

"I’m spending time with him after his morning meal w/meds, giving pets and loves while he’s in the crate and he is much calmer after his meds." - Awwwww, so nice. What a sweetie. Yes, the meds I am sure are helping him. With good food and rest and being taken care of he'll heal soon.

REALLY GREAT job with him!!!
 
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Catsnquilts

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Rocky has finished all his pain meds, the abscess on his shoulder is almost completely healed over, his injured blind eye looks so much better and he’s back to eating his normal wet food. And boy does he eat! So far we’re at 3 cans a day and he’s a picky eater too, won’t touch certain flavors and actually swatted at me when I attempted to put in a bowl of chicken pate’, once I removed it and replaced it with a different flavor he went to town. He’s learning how to eat with less teeth and I can see he’s slowly adjusting to that. I think in another few weeks I will see if he wants to eat some of his favorite dry food, but I’m sure his mouth is still a bit tender. I let him eat as much as he wants, I want him to feel secure about his food.

He‘s still in the large dog crate, I’ve added a cube that has a hiding place, and comfy bed on top and removed the carrier since he never went inside the carrier, just on top. I let him initiate interaction, the growls have lessened and haven’t heard a hiss in a while. The crate remains in the laundry room, and I make sure to go in and spend time talking, petting if he’s so inclined, and some hand feeding of soft treats, and some cat nip too! I will spend some time next week sitting down with him on the floor and allowing him some time out. We still have a lot of work to do, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rocky has had a hard road. Thank you again for all your help!
 

calicosrspecial

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Rocky has finished all his pain meds, the abscess on his shoulder is almost completely healed over, his injured blind eye looks so much better and he’s back to eating his normal wet food. And boy does he eat! So far we’re at 3 cans a day and he’s a picky eater too, won’t touch certain flavors and actually swatted at me when I attempted to put in a bowl of chicken pate’, once I removed it and replaced it with a different flavor he went to town. He’s learning how to eat with less teeth and I can see he’s slowly adjusting to that. I think in another few weeks I will see if he wants to eat some of his favorite dry food, but I’m sure his mouth is still a bit tender. I let him eat as much as he wants, I want him to feel secure about his food.

He‘s still in the large dog crate, I’ve added a cube that has a hiding place, and comfy bed on top and removed the carrier since he never went inside the carrier, just on top. I let him initiate interaction, the growls have lessened and haven’t heard a hiss in a while. The crate remains in the laundry room, and I make sure to go in and spend time talking, petting if he’s so inclined, and some hand feeding of soft treats, and some cat nip too! I will spend some time next week sitting down with him on the floor and allowing him some time out. We still have a lot of work to do, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Rocky has had a hard road. Thank you again for all your help!
FANTASTIC!!! :yess: :hyper: :clap2:

Food is the best way to build trust. I think he thinks he found the jackpot!!!

Rocky is doing amazingly well. He really has had a hard road but you are sure making up for it. Giving him a wonderful life.

It is actually nice we can now think about the "work to do" going forward. Says a lot about what a great job you have done so far.

Keep working on building that trust and bond.

Please let us know if you have any questions on the future steps. You have a good plan in place now. THANK YOU for saving Rocky!! Keep up the great work!!
 
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Rocky continues to heal, but our out of cage sessions are not good.
  1. When he comes out, all he wants to do is rub all over me and then in less than 2 minutes he attacks. Mind you, I am sitting on the floor, at his level and I spend a few minutes sitting and talking with him before I open the door. I’m not moving I’m just letting him do his thing and I’m not petting him at all.

  2. He did the same thing when he had free reign in the bathroom, I would have to wear boots to protect my feet because all he wanted to do is rub up against me. If I opened the door, he would immediately get up and come over to rub up against me and I couldn’t move. If I tried to move, he would attack my feet.
  3. I am not staring at him, I’m not standing over him, I’m not doing anything to cause his distress. When I’m doing laundry I cover his cage so he's not feeling overwhelmed by my presence.
  4. He loves loves loves head scratches and chin rubs through the cage, but he still needs to be placed in another carrier while I clean his cage as he does swat if I try to remove his food bowl, and he will want to get out. I always keep his bowl full so he can eat as he wants.
  5. I wonder just how long it’s okay to keep him confined to a cage? His open shoulder abscess is almost closed and healed, I would say by the end of next week it should be completely covered back with fur.
  6. Today marks 4 weeks that he has been with me. Poor fella obviously has some issues, and has been though hell and back and gets overstimulated or anxious very quickly.
  7. I’ve thought about letting him live in my room for now, but I’m afraid my feet will get attacked and that’s not a good thing if your making your way to or from the restroom in the middle of the night.
  8. Is he just a very possesive kitty? He had no interest in exploring the laundry room, only rubbing up against me then attacking me.
as always, your insight is greatly appreciated!
 

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Could he be trying to grab your foot? When I was socializing my Rascal, once he got comfortable with me petting him, he started attacking my leg, on his hind legs claws out. It took me awhile to figure out he was trying to grab me when he thought I was about to leave him.
 

calicosrspecial

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Rocky continues to heal, but our out of cage sessions are not good.
  1. When he comes out, all he wants to do is rub all over me and then in less than 2 minutes he attacks. Mind you, I am sitting on the floor, at his level and I spend a few minutes sitting and talking with him before I open the door. I’m not moving I’m just letting him do his thing and I’m not petting him at all.

  2. He did the same thing when he had free reign in the bathroom, I would have to wear boots to protect my feet because all he wanted to do is rub up against me. If I opened the door, he would immediately get up and come over to rub up against me and I couldn’t move. If I tried to move, he would attack my feet.
  3. I am not staring at him, I’m not standing over him, I’m not doing anything to cause his distress. When I’m doing laundry I cover his cage so he's not feeling overwhelmed by my presence.
  4. He loves loves loves head scratches and chin rubs through the cage, but he still needs to be placed in another carrier while I clean his cage as he does swat if I try to remove his food bowl, and he will want to get out. I always keep his bowl full so he can eat as he wants.
  5. I wonder just how long it’s okay to keep him confined to a cage? His open shoulder abscess is almost closed and healed, I would say by the end of next week it should be completely covered back with fur.
  6. Today marks 4 weeks that he has been with me. Poor fella obviously has some issues, and has been though hell and back and gets overstimulated or anxious very quickly.
  7. I’ve thought about letting him live in my room for now, but I’m afraid my feet will get attacked and that’s not a good thing if your making your way to or from the restroom in the middle of the night.
  8. Is he just a very possesive kitty? He had no interest in exploring the laundry room, only rubbing up against me then attacking me.
as always, your insight is greatly appreciated!
So glad he is healing so well.

This is actually very common. It could be a few things so I would like to hear more about exactly what is happening.

WHat do you exactly mean by "attack"? Does he grab with his paws? If so, do his claws dig in? How deep? Blood? Does he bite? If so does he break the skin? What is his body language like? Are you fearful of being hurt? Or is it just disconcerting?

It could be overstimulation. It could be unease still - he wants to "own" you, get his scent all over you but is still a little unsure (but that is not supported by you being able to pet him). It more likely is he wants to play (so when he is healed we will use a toy to teach him that a toy and not feet/legs are appropriate). If you are leaving it could be what theyremine suggest (wanting to stay with him and not leave).

Agreed, I don't think you are causing it. I suspect it is pent up energy and wanting to play maybe combined with that overstimulation. I would like to understand more about exactly what is happening (if you can get a video that could be helpful).

"He loves loves loves head scratches and chin rubs through the cage" - Is the only petting through the cage? The above issues might be him wanting more touch BUT you have to be careful. Would rather wait and use a toy first.

"he still needs to be placed in another carrier while I clean his cage as he does swat if I try to remove his food bowl " - How do you get him in another carrier? How aggressive is his swat when you try to remove the food bowl? Is it play or defensive etc?

"I wonder just how long it’s okay to keep him confined to a cage? His open shoulder abscess is almost closed and healed, I would say by the end of next week it should be completely covered back with fur." - A cat (if necessary) can be in a crate for a while. At this point Rocky is fine and needs to heal. I think he may be telling us he is getting close to wanting to have more freedom. But I would like to make sure he is totally healed.

4 weeks. Wow. Time flies. Yes, he has been through a lot but he is really doing well physically and behaviorally. I think he is doing really well given all the trauma.

"I’ve thought about letting him live in my room for now, but I’m afraid my feet will get attacked and that’s not a good thing if your making your way to or from the restroom in the middle of the night." - Well, that could be a risk. I do think we should try to work on getting him to stop that. A toy is the best way but he needs to be healthy enough for a toy (and play). A firm, calm confident "no" is something I use and I see how the cat reacts. Usually they get taken aback and stop BUT it could escalate things. I can interact with Rocky so I am not sure how he would respond. I also use a sad and hurtful "ouch". Cats take on our emotions and the vast majority of cats don't really want to hurt so when they fear they have hurt they realize it is not good. You have great cat skills so think of those and how he may respond. We don't want to escalate a situation or cause fear etc. Just use your instincts and see how he responds.

The bigger issue I have with him moving to live in your room is how the resident cats would respond. I just want to make sure it doesn't unsettle them. It will be easier to intro them there but would like to understand how the resident cats are doing.

"Is he just a very possesive kitty? He had no interest in exploring the laundry room, only rubbing up against me then attacking me." - Could be. But this happens all the time. You are his savior, his life. He is bonding. Depending on how you answer the questions above we'll see where he is on the trust scale. Anytime we bring in a cat they tend to cling. Happens more with true ferals but with all cats typically.

Everything I am reading is really normal and I am not surprised. One of my outside ferals LOVES to rub and he has a tendency to give me a "love bit" after. Not sure exactly what Rocky is doing but he doesn't act like he is "scary". Unsettling, possibly, annoying, yes. BUT always be smart. I can be with a cat and figure out their intentions pretty quickly but it is hard not being there. So I really need you to let me know exactly what is happening.

Let me know. I want you to be safe above everything. We'll know more how he responds to a toy when he is well.

You are doing a great job. Rocky is definitely more advanced than most cats. I do want to understand exactly how he is interacting since the picture i have in my head may not be accurate. In my head, I personally (not suggesting you) would feel comfortable interacting with him. BUT that is me, I haven't read anything that is worrisome BUT I may not be getting an accurate picture. If you have time more detail and if possible video would be great.

Keep up the great work and please be safe.
 
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Catsnquilts

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Calico,
I do wear boots when I interact with him, he does dig in but because I’m wearing boots and a heavy long sleeve , so no skin break etc... I’m indifferent when I’m sitting with him. It’s the all out curl around and go to town on my feet, I merely sit, and he just rubs all over my feet, arms, anyplace he can get, then I can sense him winding up after a few minutes then I direct him back to his cage. He’s broken skin a few times by biting when I’m feeding him, I just wear leather gloves now.
All petting is done through the cage, he just wants his face and chin rubbed, but he also has a limit on that and I end the sessions before he gets too amped up. I do hand feed soft treats, he’s still learning to eat with far less teeth than he used to have, so it can be a challenge for him. I have a small wand that I’ve tried a few short play sessions with but he’s not really interested in it.
I‘m very confident with him, I’m not afraid of him but have not responded to his bites or outbursts other than to leave the room, I’ll try a loud ouch next time, because yes, there will be a next time. I know its hard, he has his own internal issues to work through and since cats can’t tell us what happened we have to work with a lot of assumptions. While the physical scars are healing, I‘m sure there has to be some residual pain from all the infections he had.
My cats are not acting any different, with the nicer weather, they prefer to be out all night and come inside in the morning and sleep all day, wake up and do it all over again. It will be that way till they decide it’s too cold to be out all night.

As always i appreciate everyone’s help and feedback with helping him! Be well stay safe!
 

calicosrspecial

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Calico,
I do wear boots when I interact with him, he does dig in but because I’m wearing boots and a heavy long sleeve , so no skin break etc... I’m indifferent when I’m sitting with him. It’s the all out curl around and go to town on my feet, I merely sit, and he just rubs all over my feet, arms, anyplace he can get, then I can sense him winding up after a few minutes then I direct him back to his cage. He’s broken skin a few times by biting when I’m feeding him, I just wear leather gloves now.
All petting is done through the cage, he just wants his face and chin rubbed, but he also has a limit on that and I end the sessions before he gets too amped up. I do hand feed soft treats, he’s still learning to eat with far less teeth than he used to have, so it can be a challenge for him. I have a small wand that I’ve tried a few short play sessions with but he’s not really interested in it.
I‘m very confident with him, I’m not afraid of him but have not responded to his bites or outbursts other than to leave the room, I’ll try a loud ouch next time, because yes, there will be a next time. I know its hard, he has his own internal issues to work through and since cats can’t tell us what happened we have to work with a lot of assumptions. While the physical scars are healing, I‘m sure there has to be some residual pain from all the infections he had.
My cats are not acting any different, with the nicer weather, they prefer to be out all night and come inside in the morning and sleep all day, wake up and do it all over again. It will be that way till they decide it’s too cold to be out all night.

As always i appreciate everyone’s help and feedback with helping him! Be well stay safe!
Does it seem more playful? How does he act right after? How does it end? He allows you to get up and leave?

How do you direct him back to his cage? That would be the time I would expect issues if it was something worse than overstimulation, etc.

When you feed him how does the bite happen? Is it attacking the hand or is it going for the food and getting a finger or two?

On the wand toy, are you making it act like prey? Like a mouse or a bird? Halting movements, burst of energy, hiding around corners, etc?

Yes, I would try a response. A sorrowful "ouch". Disappointment. Or a firm, calm, confident "no". Watching not to escalate but getting the point across.

How "tight" is the area you are in? Is it a bit cramped?

The fact you are not scared by him and the fact he seems to behave a lot of the time suggests to me his "issues" seem to be more overstimulation or play driven (in some cases). I don't get a sense it is a big trust issue.

What is his body language when he does the bad stuff? Ears back, eyes dilated, big tail, etc?

How is he walking around? When he rubs is his tail up? Is he purring at all when he does it? Is he moving really fast back and forth or is it more slow back and forth?

Do you speak to him when he is rubbing on you? If not, it is absolutely great to talk lovingly, calm and confidently to him.

Has he ever just lashed out at you? Scary, aggressive? If so, what preceded it?

It is hard to know as each cat is different but there are a lot of similarities. I have dealt with seriously aggressive cats, I have dealt with scared, defensive cats. With experience a person can see the difference and see the risks. But it is hard unless you deal with all sorts. The fact he behaves for the most part suggests it isn't too worrisome but I want you to err on the side of caution. If possible use the words and emotions we talked about watching not to escalate him, then think about using a toy or a treat to distract.

He is rubbing on you because he likes you, wants to "own" you. Sometimes cats will bit or swat with that but it is usually not aggressive but to make a point (more of a "don't try anything").

Please keep sharing as much info about these encounters as possible. I have a picture in my head but am not sure if I am missing something. Let's see how he responds to what we talked about. That will tells us a lot.

Is there a chance your cats may know him from outside?

I am glad they are not too worried about him at this point. We would want to move him into a room that is least used by the resident cats so that the territory issue isn't as big a deal. If the resident cats are sleeping in your room then that is probably not the best place for him. We'll figure it out. So far so good.

You are welcome. We appreciate all you are doing for him!!
 
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Catsnquilts

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His abscess is almost healed, he keeps scatching the last little bit open so it’s slow.

1: My laundry room is small and his cage takes up most of the area in there, so perhaps not the place for one on one interactions. Once I’m sitting on the floor there really is no place for him to walk around.
2: Today I took him in his carrier into my studio and left the carrier open so he could get out and roam around. All doors were closed, and it was just us. He spent a good 5+ minutes vocalizing his displeasure and would not come out of the carrier at all! He eventually sauntered out, but was vocalizing the entire time crawling around the room tail down and scared. I know he smelled my other cats and I’m sure this is why he was so upset. There are no hiding spots in there at all, other than his carrier, so he could see that each area was cat free. Not once did he even approach me while I sat on the floor. After about 10 minutes he went back inside his carrier and I took him back to the laundry room and placed him back in the kennel, where he seemed happy to be! There is a Feliaway diffuser in my studio as there is one in the laundry room.
3: Should I continue with the free roaming in the studio? Will that help with his confidence or just cause more stress?
4: My cats have no access to his door at all, and I’ve been petting him and then petting my cats and vice versa.
5: I previously mentioned that I was interested in keeping him in my room, only because it was better than the kennel. My room is and has always been off limits to my cats! I already have sleep issues and cats aren’t the best roommate when you’re trying to sleep.
I really want to work on his social skills and help build his confidence.

as always your insight is greatly appreciate!
 

calicosrspecial

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His abscess is almost healed, he keeps scatching the last little bit open so it’s slow.

1: My laundry room is small and his cage takes up most of the area in there, so perhaps not the place for one on one interactions. Once I’m sitting on the floor there really is no place for him to walk around.
2: Today I took him in his carrier into my studio and left the carrier open so he could get out and roam around. All doors were closed, and it was just us. He spent a good 5+ minutes vocalizing his displeasure and would not come out of the carrier at all! He eventually sauntered out, but was vocalizing the entire time crawling around the room tail down and scared. I know he smelled my other cats and I’m sure this is why he was so upset. There are no hiding spots in there at all, other than his carrier, so he could see that each area was cat free. Not once did he even approach me while I sat on the floor. After about 10 minutes he went back inside his carrier and I took him back to the laundry room and placed him back in the kennel, where he seemed happy to be! There is a Feliaway diffuser in my studio as there is one in the laundry room.
3: Should I continue with the free roaming in the studio? Will that help with his confidence or just cause more stress?
4: My cats have no access to his door at all, and I’ve been petting him and then petting my cats and vice versa.
5: I previously mentioned that I was interested in keeping him in my room, only because it was better than the kennel. My room is and has always been off limits to my cats! I already have sleep issues and cats aren’t the best roommate when you’re trying to sleep.
I really want to work on his social skills and help build his confidence.

as always your insight is greatly appreciate!
So glad he is almost healed. Yes, they will do that at times. :/ All you can do is your best. But it sounds like he is well on the way to full recovery which is great.

"Laundry room" - Ok, it sounds like he will be moving soon so it isn't a big problem.

"Studio" - That is normal since it is unknown territory. Just reassure him and give him treats. He will realize it is safe.

"Should I continue with the free roaming in the studio? Will that help with his confidence or just cause more stress?" - I think that would be fine to continue as long as it doesn't cause the resident cats any issues (they are acting funny or marking in there, etc. You might want to play with the resident cats in there and then feed treats to give them confidence and territorial security there. When Rocky is in there with you act calm and confident, reassure him, maybe give him some food. Anything to get him to feel more comfortable. If you sense he is really uneasy, etc then watch how he acts back in the laundry room and if there is any lingering caution then we'll reassess.

"My cats have no access to his door at all, and I’ve been petting him and then petting my cats and vice versa." -Yes, that makes intros more difficult. I think I remember your laundry room is below ground so if possible (which it sounds like it is) moving him to another room will make it easier to intro him and give him some entertainment from the yard.

"I previously mentioned that I was interested in keeping him in my room, only because it was better than the kennel. My room is and has always been off limits to my cats! I already have sleep issues and cats aren’t the best roommate when you’re trying to sleep.
I really want to work on his social skills and help build his confidence." - Given this from a resident cat perspective this is a great option. But from a personal issue I worry it maybe difficult for your sleep. Maybe not immediately but he may want to cuddle if he gets cold some nights. Your room sounds like a great place to build confidence and territorial security and work on intro'ing them if you can handle it.

Please let me know what you think and how you want to progress. You are doing great. Keep up the great work!!
 
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after the adventure into my studio he was fearful of coming out of the kennel the next day, so I just let it be. The following day he was happy to come out into the cramped laundry room while I sat on the floor, all he did was pace and rub against me back and forth, very manic like, and then went back in the kennel on his own. I’ve continued to let him out in the laundry room at least 3x a day while I sit on the floor and so far I’ve only been bitten 3 x. He is still getting overstimulated very quickly and he has no interest in the wand toy and only a passing interest in treats and other toys. The last small section of his abscess is still slow to close because he continues to scratch at it, some days are better than others today wasn’t one of them.
How do you post a video here? His pacing is concerning to me and I wonder if he’s just overwhelmed and anxious and would love your thoughts! As always your insight and support is greatly appreciated!
 

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after the adventure into my studio he was fearful of coming out of the kennel the next day, so I just let it be. The following day he was happy to come out into the cramped laundry room while I sat on the floor, all he did was pace and rub against me back and forth, very manic like, and then went back in the kennel on his own. I’ve continued to let him out in the laundry room at least 3x a day while I sit on the floor and so far I’ve only been bitten 3 x. He is still getting overstimulated very quickly and he has no interest in the wand toy and only a passing interest in treats and other toys. The last small section of his abscess is still slow to close because he continues to scratch at it, some days are better than others today wasn’t one of them.
How do you post a video here? His pacing is concerning to me and I wonder if he’s just overwhelmed and anxious and would love your thoughts! As always your insight and support is greatly appreciated!
"after the adventure into my studio he was fearful of coming out of the kennel the next day, so I just let it be." - That is the way to do it. Just letting him be.

"The following day he was happy to come out into the cramped laundry room while I sat on the floor, all he did was pace and rub against me back and forth, very manic like, and then went back in the kennel on his own." - OK, that is fine. It is normal and honestly I think positive that he was rubbing on you. Marking you, owning you. That is a sign of a bond. And I really like he went back into his kennel on his own. They can seem "manic" but in my eyes his actions were positive and affectionate.

"I’ve continued to let him out in the laundry room at least 3x a day while I sit on the floor" - This is perfect. Talk to him, reassure him, give him food.

"and so far I’ve only been bitten 3 x." - I do want to understand how he is biting, what leads up to it, etc.

"He is still getting overstimulated very quickly and he has no interest in the wand toy and only a passing interest in treats and other toys." - I am guessing the biting is coming from the over-stimulation? Keep trying on the toy and keep using food.

Are you still on track to move him into your room?

"The last small section of his abscess is still slow to close because he continues to scratch at it, some days are better than others today wasn’t one of them." - Yes, that is always the tricky part. All you can do is your best but it sounds like the risk is much, much reduced. Hopefully it gets healed soon.

"How do you post a video here? " - I am sorry, I don't have any idea on how to post a video. I am just not very good with computers or gadgets.

"His pacing is concerning to me and I wonder if he’s just overwhelmed and anxious and would love your thoughts!" - I would like to see the video just to make sure but my initial reaction is it isn't concerning. I am guessing it is pent up energy and since there probably aren't any windows etc it feels a bit limiting. Once we can get him into a bigger and more welcoming (windows, cat tree, etc) he will settle down. He is definitely bonded with you and appreciative so I am really not worried since you are very good for him.

You are very welcome. I am happy to help. We'll get there, don't worry. He needed to be isolated and contained to heal. We'll be moving to the next phase soon. So far you and he are doing great. I am really happy where he is right now.
 
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Catsnquilts

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His abscess is now nearly completely healed over, and for the last 4 days I have given him free reign in the laundry room keeping the kennel door open and keeping his food and water in there. He’s has lost interest in wet food and despite some missing teeth, loves the dry food.
He’s got zero interest in his wand toys when I try to get him to interact, they are his alone (resident cats enjoy them). He’s still fearful and will lash out and bite, he still gets over stimulated by his own rubbing against me, I only rub and his head, ears and chin. I have decided to partition off a section of the upstairs cat room and allow him to have the section with a nice sunny window as his own and at night when my cats are out, I will allow him free reign and see how he does. This is where their litter boxes, food & water bowls are. I will cover the partition to keep prying eyes away, and hopefully this will allow them to get used to one another. He still doesn’t do well when smelling my cats, and remains fearful, he is not motivated by treats nor food or play. This is the only space I have for him, I am trying to find him a home with an experienced cat owner, who can give him the intense 1 on 1 I feel he needs. I don’t think he will do well with my cats, even if he does, he deserves to be in a home where he is King and and can be confident that his resources are his and his alone. His behaviour reminds me of a over eager suitor who is so overwhelmed with feelings that their every step results in a misfortunate misstep.
I wish he could tell me his story, so I could know better how to help him. I spend 3, 1 hour sessions a day with him and they always end with a bite on some portion of my person. While not always drawing blood, it’s still disappointing. If I’m doing laundry I confine him back to the kennel for both our sakes. If I can’t get his biting under control, then I won’t be able to find him a home that he so deserves, as I don’t know many people who want to take in a cat thats prone to biting.
 

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His abscess is now nearly completely healed over, and for the last 4 days I have given him free reign in the laundry room keeping the kennel door open and keeping his food and water in there. He’s has lost interest in wet food and despite some missing teeth, loves the dry food.
He’s got zero interest in his wand toys when I try to get him to interact, they are his alone (resident cats enjoy them). He’s still fearful and will lash out and bite, he still gets over stimulated by his own rubbing against me, I only rub and his head, ears and chin. I have decided to partition off a section of the upstairs cat room and allow him to have the section with a nice sunny window as his own and at night when my cats are out, I will allow him free reign and see how he does. This is where their litter boxes, food & water bowls are. I will cover the partition to keep prying eyes away, and hopefully this will allow them to get used to one another. He still doesn’t do well when smelling my cats, and remains fearful, he is not motivated by treats nor food or play. This is the only space I have for him, I am trying to find him a home with an experienced cat owner, who can give him the intense 1 on 1 I feel he needs. I don’t think he will do well with my cats, even if he does, he deserves to be in a home where he is King and and can be confident that his resources are his and his alone. His behaviour reminds me of a over eager suitor who is so overwhelmed with feelings that their every step results in a misfortunate misstep.
I wish he could tell me his story, so I could know better how to help him. I spend 3, 1 hour sessions a day with him and they always end with a bite on some portion of my person. While not always drawing blood, it’s still disappointing. If I’m doing laundry I confine him back to the kennel for both our sakes. If I can’t get his biting under control, then I won’t be able to find him a home that he so deserves, as I don’t know many people who want to take in a cat thats prone to biting.
"His abscess is now nearly completely healed over, and for the last 4 days I have given him free reign in the laundry room keeping the kennel door open and keeping his food and water in there." - Fantastic!!

"He’s has lost interest in wet food and despite some missing teeth, loves the dry food." - That is fine. As long as he is eating and getting enough hydration and doing well that is fine.

"He’s got zero interest in his wand toys when I try to get him to interact, they are his alone (resident cats enjoy them)." - Ok. Try to make them act like prey. But some cats are tough to get to play. Just do your best.

"He’s still fearful and will lash out and bite" - What exactly happens? What happens before he does this? What is his body language? Etc

"I have decided to partition off a section of the upstairs cat room and allow him to have the section with a nice sunny window as his own and at night when my cats are out, I will allow him free reign and see how he does." - I am a little unclear on this. How will you partition it off? How will the other cats be separated? For now there should be no visual between them. I would wait to open things up and let him roam when the other cats are out until he feels strong ownership of that partitioned area he is in. Just take it step by step building his confidence and security in each step before moving to the next.

"I will cover the partition to keep prying eyes away, and hopefully this will allow them to get used to one another." - We need to keep their paws from being able to reach through.

"He still doesn’t do well when smelling my cats, and remains fearful, he is not motivated by treats nor food or play." - Ok. That tells me that he is still lacking confidence and territorial ownership. So we need to get him to feel really comfortable in his partitioned area before he has any visual encounter with the resident cats. We'll at some point do some scent swapping.

I do want to understand exactly how the biting happens. He obviously loves you and trusts you. So I am trying to picture what is happening but I am not sure. Is it a love bite thing or is it defensive or aggressive? If you can explain what happens before (both what you are doing and where he is, what he does, etc) that could be helpful.

Don't worry, we'll figure it out.

Just keep him from seeing the resident cats for now. If you can get him settled in to his new territory and just feed him there for now that is fine. Then we'll see how he does and go from there.
 
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Sorry, it has been a chaotic few months! Rocky what can I say! I made the hard decision to go ahead and release him back outside because of his biting. He took off for a week, and came home, and he’s back in the laundry room without the dog crate, but he’s still a biter and I have to wear boots when I go in. He’s relegated to the garage on Sunday’s when I do laundry, if I’m doing yard work I bring him outside with me so the neighbors can ohh and ahhh at how he just follows me everywhere when I’m outside and hangs out in the garage until he can come back inside and into the laundry room. He is still terrified of any room in the house other than the laundry room or garage. I feel horrible that he’s relegated to the laundry room, but what can I do? All efforts and attempts to get him to explore are met with absolute terror on his part. My friend who is a avid animal rescuer thinks that perhaps hes been the subject of bullying his entire life, and so has a great fear of other cats and their scent. In his domain he’s confident, happy, self assured, plays sleeps and is in heaven.
I had to have a neighbor check on the cats every day while I was out of town for 4 days. I placed him in the garage so that my poor neighbor wouldn’t have to deal with him in the laundry room. He hissed and growled at her every time she came inside the garage and wouldn’t let her near his litter box to clean it for 2 days. He’s fine in the garage if I keep the door closed, if I leave it cracked open, he spends the entire time patrolling the yard and all around the house and wont relax until the door is shut, it’s heartbreaking. I have no idea what to do other than I will continue to look for a home for him where he can be the one and only with a experienced cat person.
 

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Sorry, it has been a chaotic few months! Rocky what can I say! I made the hard decision to go ahead and release him back outside because of his biting. He took off for a week, and came home, and he’s back in the laundry room without the dog crate, but he’s still a biter and I have to wear boots when I go in. He’s relegated to the garage on Sunday’s when I do laundry, if I’m doing yard work I bring him outside with me so the neighbors can ohh and ahhh at how he just follows me everywhere when I’m outside and hangs out in the garage until he can come back inside and into the laundry room. He is still terrified of any room in the house other than the laundry room or garage. I feel horrible that he’s relegated to the laundry room, but what can I do? All efforts and attempts to get him to explore are met with absolute terror on his part. My friend who is a avid animal rescuer thinks that perhaps hes been the subject of bullying his entire life, and so has a great fear of other cats and their scent. In his domain he’s confident, happy, self assured, plays sleeps and is in heaven.
I had to have a neighbor check on the cats every day while I was out of town for 4 days. I placed him in the garage so that my poor neighbor wouldn’t have to deal with him in the laundry room. He hissed and growled at her every time she came inside the garage and wouldn’t let her near his litter box to clean it for 2 days. He’s fine in the garage if I keep the door closed, if I leave it cracked open, he spends the entire time patrolling the yard and all around the house and wont relax until the door is shut, it’s heartbreaking. I have no idea what to do other than I will continue to look for a home for him where he can be the one and only with a experienced cat person.
No need to apologize, I understand.

He still doesn't want to play?

I think he has a better life than you may realize. It may not be perfect but he is loved and safe.

Building confidence would be a good idea if at all possible.

Yes, I think he has a history that was much worse than we realized. :(

Do you think the biting is an attempt at playing?

Remember, cat sense our emotions so I know it is hard not to feel for him but really try to stay calm and confident and remain loving towards him.

"In his domain he’s confident, happy, self assured, plays sleeps and is in heaven." - This is really good and if he can do it here we can expand it. I have dealt with abused and injured cats before. It is a process but it is possible to really build confidence.

I know how hard it is on you. Thank you for all you are doing for him!!!

Please let me know if I can help at all. Rocky is one lucky cat!!!
 
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No need to apologize, I understand.

He still doesn't want to play?

I think he has a better life than you may realize. It may not be perfect but he is loved and safe.

Building confidence would be a good idea if at all possible.

Yes, I think he has a history that was much worse than we realized. :(

Do you think the biting is an attempt at playing?

Remember, cat sense our emotions so I know it is hard not to feel for him but really try to stay calm and confident and remain loving towards him.

"In his domain he’s confident, happy, self assured, plays sleeps and is in heaven." - This is really good and if he can do it here we can expand it. I have dealt with abused and injured cats before. It is a process but it is possible to really build confidence.

I know how hard it is on you. Thank you for all you are doing for him!!!

Please let me know if I can help at all. Rocky is one lucky cat!!!
No need to apologize, I understand.

He still doesn't want to play?

I think he has a better life than you may realize. It may not be perfect but he is loved and safe.

Building confidence would be a good idea if at all possible.

Yes, I think he has a history that was much worse than we realized. :(

Do you think the biting is an attempt at playing?

Remember, cat sense our emotions so I know it is hard not to feel for him but really try to stay calm and confident and remain loving towards him.

"In his domain he’s confident, happy, self assured, plays sleeps and is in heaven." - This is really good and if he can do it here we can expand it. I have dealt with abused and injured cats before. It is a process but it is possible to really build confidence.

I know how hard it is on you. Thank you for all you are doing for him!!!

Please let me know if I can help at all. Rocky is one lucky cat!!!
No desire to play with ME, no amount of toys, prey play etc, he just stares at me like ”really??” I have a camera set up in the laundry room to see how he is doing all alone. I’ve watched him play with his toy mice, he runs around, his tail is straight up he’s rolling around happy etc. . I still don’t think it’s play biting, he’s got this thing about feet, even outside I have to wear boots because he will bite, and he’s obsessed with following my feet. I have to be very careful because I’m afraid he will trip me. I wonder if he’s been kicked and is afraid of feet? I’m totally confident with him, we have a routine and he seems agreeable to it. I have a carrier set up in there, in addition to a small kitty condo and he loves to sleep inside his carrier. He’s going to the Vet on Saturday for a follow up just to see how he’s doing and get his flea treatment. Thanks for the feedback....
 
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