Help with older newly adopted feral cat that hides all day

jonb

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He is GORGEOUS!!!!

Thank you so much for giving him a loving home.

The fact he is responding to petting is AMAZING!!! THAT tells me he is going to be just fine.

Continue doing everything you are doing. You are doing an amazing job. If he is enjoying (safe) petting I don't think that will be a deterrent in coming out. But just don't force it on him.

Also, maybe use cat trees, dressers, etc so he can go around the room above the ground as height gives confidence. Cat shelving as well but I know you live in a apartment so not sure if that is allowed, etc.

Give him "eye kisses". Slowly close your eyes, hold them closed for 5-10 seconds then slowly reopen them. Closing your eyes shows him you trust him.

Just let him go at his pace.

Cats take on our emotions so just let him feel that love you have for him. He has had to hide to stay safe but as he figures out he is safe with you he will venture out more.

He is going to be just fine. I take in older, injured, abused ferals so I know how long it can take. Your boy is doing great and will come out in time. :)

GREAT JOB!!! And thank you so much for saving him and giving him a great, loving home!!!
Very good post, I agree.
2 of 3 untamed barn cats i took in tested positive for flv, 1 had much problems until the 1 obviously needed put to sleep but i spent most my time with her and the 3rd older kitty lived like yours until. She still is shy about being approached and picked up but fairly frequently when she is in sleepy mode I can be doing something near her or walk by her and get close and pet her without her taking off, even pick her up now and gently restrain her while carrying her to sit on the recliner and pet her usually for a short time she purrs and enjoys but when i get relaxed she would wiggle away until recently she stayed with me for a long nap 1st time. I have been picking her up short distances and giving her a kiss on top the head when she comes for her food dish before letting her eat. I think you need to be sensitive to the cats degree of trust when handling them to avoid scaring them into a defensive mode. Older ferel cats take more time. A mistake I once made was not to work with the kitty at the start. Try gaining some trust daily, feeding time is a good time to start and work with touching and just pick them up a few inches and back down while or before eating to begin with, getting them used to being handled. Don't do nothing to gain their trust it will be hard to overcome their hiding habits and distrust.
 
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agruen

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Thanks tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 and jonb jonb for the tips and the stories about your lovely cats! We bought some feather toys for him but at the moment he seem more confused or even scared about them. We try to introduce them to him every day for a couple of minutes so he gets used to them at first.

Right now it's not possible to get some interaction with him while eating. We make him breakfast and dinner but he only has the courage to come out of his hiding in the evening so he eats his breakfast then and dinner later when we are asleep. He wouldn't eat when we are in the same room.
We are unsure if we should bring him snacks to his hiding place. When we do so he only eats them under the dresser but there he even eats them out of our hands which we of course really love. If we try to lure him out most of the time he stays hidden.
We read a lot of different things about this. On one side it is good to do that so he starts to associate you with the tasty treats on the other side he might not learn to go to his breakfast bowl during the day or to come out at all because everything is brought to him.
Do you have experience with this?
 

tarasgirl06

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Thanks tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 and jonb jonb for the tips and the stories about your lovely cats! We bought some feather toys for him but at the moment he seem more confused or even scared about them. We try to introduce them to him every day for a couple of minutes so he gets used to them at first.

Right now it's not possible to get some interaction with him while eating. We make him breakfast and dinner but he only has the courage to come out of his hiding in the evening so he eats his breakfast then and dinner later when we are asleep. He wouldn't eat when we are in the same room.
We are unsure if we should bring him snacks to his hiding place. When we do so he only eats them under the dresser but there he even eats them out of our hands which we of course really love. If we try to lure him out most of the time he stays hidden.
We read a lot of different things about this. On one side it is good to do that so he starts to associate you with the tasty treats on the other side he might not learn to go to his breakfast bowl during the day or to come out at all because everything is brought to him.
Do you have experience with this?
jonb jonb Excellent post -- very good suggestions!
A agruen I think it might be kind of soon to expect him to be interested in play. I was thinking a bit later; but you might run the lure across the floor like a mouse would run, for a couple of minutes a day, just to let him see it. He may not play, but it will let him know that when he is ready, there is something very interesting around and you are hoping to play with him, with it.
Personally, I would not invade his space at this point. You may want to put a trail of treats NEAR but not IN his hiding place so that he might want to venture forth to get them but not feel scared or stressed. He is really making very good progress! Keep up the good work. And let us know how he is doing, please.
 

jonb

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My girl took to playing with a feather on a long string attached to a short rod pretty quick when she saw me using it with my other cats. Makeing little rodent distress noises when she shows interest edges her on to play vigorously. Storing the toy in cat nip is very enticing to. I think the more u can interact with the cat the better, just back down if they act scared.
 

tarasgirl06

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My girl took to playing with a feather on a long string attached to a short rod pretty quick when she saw me using it with my other cats. Makeing little rodent distress noises when she shows interest edges her on to play vigorously. Storing the toy in cat nip is very enticing to. I think the more u can interact with the cat the better, just back down if they act scared.
Excellent suggestions, jonb jonb !
 
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