How to handle a rescued cat living with me?

Adway

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I was involved in a rescue of a cat and her around 5 week old baby around 24 hours back. As things happened, the cats ended up living with me, for next few days.

I live in a 2 bhk with my 2 cats (Bruce and Anjie). I have a spare bedroom with lots of spaces to hide (for cats). So both set of cats are isolated.

The newcomers are settling down, except, when the mama cat is not hiding, she is prone to hissing at me. Should I be scared to get into a close room with her? What should I do to make her friendly? How long before, she will stop hissing at me? I have to take her and her kid to Vet soon.
 

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The new mama is afraid of the strange new surroundings and all of the strange smells from you and the other cats. I would never try to force myself onto a new or strange cat. I would do the following. Several times per day just go into that room and sit on the floor, leaning against a wall, and just be patient. I'd try to do this for 15-30 minutes at a time. Let the cat come to you instead of going to the cat. If she gets close, just hold out a hand and let her sniff. If she if okay with that then a gentle touch can come after. Let her build up her trust and soon she may climb onto your lap, especially if her kitten does so first.
 
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Adway

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Thanks Sarah93003 Sarah93003 , I have been visiting the room periodically but not sitting there that long, like I used to, with my original 2 cats.

So, nothing to do but wait, right? I will do that. Any idea about how long it might take? The only urgency I have is to get them to Vet (for their own sake).
 

Sarah93003

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Adway, in my humble opinion unless there is an urgent medical need I wouldn't be is too much of a rush to take them to a Vet. I would focus on building trust and familiarity. If you do need to handle a frightened cat I would suggest some good leather gloves that are thick enough not to be cut or bitten through. That will help keep you both safe.
 

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Hi. This TCS article (see link below) is labeled as if it were strictly for shy cats, but I think some of the tips in it would apply in your case as well. She doesn't sound feral, just a stray or an abandoned cat? The big thing, as mentioned above, is just spending time in the room with her - just being there, not necessarily paying any direct attention to the cat, per se. Things like reading a book out loud, but softly so the cat gets used to your voice/presence, or sing if you are good at that! It may be quite a while that this will go on, depending on her personality and her background - and, she is still probably a bit protective toward her kitten, yes?

Take cues from her - if she hisses, slow blink at her then look away. And, when she reaches the point of things such as trying to sniff you - if you do reach out a hand, make it slow and kind of scoot it across the floor as you sit there. If she retreats, you should gradually retreat your hand as well. Once she actually sniffs your hand, you can move on to placing a treat in your palm and resting a bit away from your body toward her direction.

There is a good chance that the 'get used to' period might be shortened if the kitten adjusts to you and then mama might follow suit - with more precaution of course.
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – Cat Articles
 
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Adway

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Hello FeebysOwner FeebysOwner , thanks for the response. So, the process is just the same as with my first two cats.

Initially, I was trying to get answer to specific scenario that we rescued this cat from a closed appartment. Are there any specific precautions in that case. My first two cats were kittens when they came to me, so getting them to trust me was barely a couple of days efforts. Now it's a cat and that too a mama cat.

Another difficulty is that, for my first two cats, I could be easily available, sitting on ground all the time. Plus they were not too worried about stranger cats. But with 2 of my own hanging about the appartment, there is a bit of difficulty there.

The cat is a stray, not feral, as you guessed right. The kid is around 5 weeks old, very fast and very naughty. The kid is very shy too. There are almost zero chances that it will befriend me on his own, but I can wait.
 

FeebysOwner

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Initially, I was trying to get answer to specific scenario that we rescued this cat from a closed appartment. Are there any specific precautions in that case. My first two cats were kittens when they came to me, so getting them to trust me was barely a couple of days efforts. Now it's a cat and that too a mama cat.
So, she must have been abandoned, or so it sounds. An adult cat, especially one who has a kitten to take care of - and, was abandoned - is going to be much more leery and take longer to acclimate to a new home than a kitten. So, it is a waiting game in terms of letting her get accustomed. I have included some more TCS articles, just in case there might be some other tips/ideas for you to try. See links below.
Another difficulty is that, for my first two cats, I could be easily available, sitting on ground all the time. Plus they were not too worried about stranger cats. But with 2 of my own hanging about the appartment, there is a bit of difficulty there.
Once you get this new cat and kitten comfortable with you and their safe place/room, then you can consider doing proper introductions (TCS has articles about that too!!) with your resident cats. So, in the meantime, keep a door closed between the two sets of cats. You really can't consider introducing them until the cat and kitten are more relaxed and have built a bit of a relationship with you.

How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home – Cat Articles
9 Tips That Will Help Your Kitten Adapt To A New Apartment – Cat Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – Cat Articles
 
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Adway

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FeebysOwner FeebysOwner , there was some definite progress today. Mama ate the chicken jerky (cataholics, that brand is magical) out of my hand and was comfortable sitting 2 feet away from me. Even on her hind legs for a few seconds. She is still watching me, but not my face anymore. She even blinks and occasionally takes her eyes off me. She even close eyes sitting 2 feet away from me, just now.

For the reference, this is the adorable furball...
20200215_221514.jpg
 
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Adway

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Additionally, I am not that keen to introduce the newcomers to my residential cats. We are working on getting the newcomers adopted, so it doesn't really matter that they mingle with each other.

It breaks my heart to put this mama and baby for adoption, but I already have 2, and how many more can I maintain?
 

Hellenww

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there was some definite progress today. Mama ate the chicken jerky (cataholics, that brand is magical) out of my hand and was comfortable sitting 2 feet away from me. Even on her hind legs for a few seconds. She is still watching me, but not my face anymore. She even blinks and occasionally takes her eyes off me. She even close eyes sitting 2 feet away from me, just now.
This is wonderful . She is beautiful and looks skinny. As she realizes there will always be food she will probaly become more confident. Baby might have been born after Mama became a stray so is more like a feral. Hopefully seeing Mama accepting people will help.
 

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She is beautiful, but does seem skinny. Since she is a nursing mama make sure she is getting plenty to eat!
 

Sylvia Jones

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What do you know about their story? They were just left in an empty apartment? You are awesome and a HERO to these kitty’s !
 
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When you go in the room, you might toaster a treat or two. As you have done.
Yip! That's the trick. Like I said, these guys really fall for Cataholics.
 
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She IS adorable!!!

Maybe two more?? ;)
😁 Please don't tempt me. I am already bordering on 'crazy cat guy'.

Plus, I am hoping to do a bit more rescue work if possible. I need to learn to disassociate myself. I can't fall in love with every cat that comes my way (although I am in love with ALL of them).
 
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What do you know about their story? They were just left in an empty apartment? You are awesome and a HERO to these kitty’s !
Thank you, S sylvia .

They are not appartment owner's cats. We can't figure out how they ended up in that appartment. The appartment is totally sealed. The owners live abroad, and they were here to clean the appartment on 30th jan. We think that these guys got in before the owners left. Some neighbors poured milk (I know! But there was no other way.) Through the door crack. Before the local organization rescued them on 13th feb.
 
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Thank you all (especially FeebysOwner FeebysOwner and Sarah93003 Sarah93003 ), for help and kind words. Here is a final update on this thread from my end.

Things are settling down in my household. The mama cat is getting healthy and the kid has shown some rapid growth too. As suggested, I am not pushing hard to get these guys to vet, as there is no need. Mama cat is getting confident that I am harmless, but it will be some time before she is comfortable with me. Meanwhile, we are trying to get adopted (although not wholeheartedly).
20200217_230429.jpg

The kid says 'Hi!'.
 

FeebysOwner

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Looking good!!! This can't be the final update, as you have at least one more - the one in which you tell us that you are keeping BOTH cats!! :wink:
 
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