Homer and Kelly, what is up?

Kefa

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Homer.. indoor Siamese 4 years old neutered. Kelly...feral female Orange tabby, outdoor, spayed, 4 years old.

Kelly first started coming around 4 years ago, when they were both about 6 months old, and Homer and Kelly would play through the sliding glass door. After a year or so of this casual meeting he would get upset and talk to me when she was hungry, so I started feeding her. She has lived in our backyard for the last two years, although she does visit other neighbors. They talk to each other through the windows. I used to feed the birds but I stopped when she became a permanent resident. I thought I could gentle her and get her to move in to be his friend.

Two years later and Kelly will eat out of my hand, let me touch her at bit, rub against me, play with me, and even come in the house. They don't hiss at each other, bat each other, or display any aggressive behavior at all, but Homer doesn't want her to touch him and he doesn't want to touch her. She wants to rub on him and touch noses and purrs at him and rolls over for him, but he backs away like she has the plague. If she corners him he will JUMP over her to get away. He won't touch anything that has her smell on it. He acts like she smells HORRIBLE.

Homer had only one brief episode with fleas, but I haven't been able to treat Kelly for fleas yet, she is not quite that trusting. Do you think it is possible that he smells fleas on her and that is his problem? Or that she is sick in some way only he can tell? She doesn't appear to be ill. He still talks to her through the window, and plays through the sliding glass door, but when he can smell her, he acts completely different.

He isn't doing any territorial marking. He doesn't appear to be jealous. He doesn't get upset when she comes inside, as long as she doesn't try to touch him.
 

IronHippo

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This is so cute! I'm not an expert, but it sounds to me that Homer just has a strong sense of personal space whereas Kelly does not. Marple is similar--she tolerates the two boys and will smell noses and such, but does not want to touch them or them to touch her.

If you really want to rule out medical causes, you could take Kelly and Homer to the vet for checkups--but without any signs of medical concerns, I would bet that this is just Homer's personality.
 

di and bob

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I agree with the above, he just wants more personal space. This would change if they actually lived in the house together, but it would take several months, maybe even a year. He is used to their arrangemnet now, sniffing and interacting through the window etc. Actually being with her is a whole different ballgame......Since there is no actual aggression, biting, fighting, etc. they are used to each other and what they have now. They have accepted each other. It is just something that they have to get used to if she actually stays inside.
 

jen

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I think Kelly needs a vet visit before allowing her to rub noses and come near your housecat. She could be carrying a various number of parasites or diseases. What is your plan for her vetting? You can trap her which would be the ideal route to go.
 
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Kefa

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We are doing so well now with the taming, I am reluctant to do something so traumatic to her. My next plan was to try to get some flea treatment on her and see how long it will take her to forgive me for that. She freaks out if the door moves while she is in the house, she has to have her "escape", and I am only allowed to touch her tail. I have to sit very still, she is still wary of me moving. She was trapped when she was spayed, and at that time she did get vaccinations, according to the neighbor who took her. I don't even know if she would fall for a trap again.

Homer has had all his shots.

I thought Homer would help me with the next steps, but he is not with the program!
 
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