I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

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Buffster7

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You need to work on getting him socialized so you can handle him.
I like this - it helps to know what incremental steps to do first. I try to prepare myself mentally for the timeline; I know what I'll be doing in October, and am trying to picture where the cats will be at that stage. I had planned on keeping them separated for a month before any visuals.

Charlie is 8-9 years old, and this guy is between 1-2 they think. So quite a bit of an age and energy difference. Charlie is extremely jumpy with sounds and sudden movements and it doesn't take much to make him bolt in terror. I think a younger, agile cat stalking him would be the stuff of his worst nightmares. As much as I hate the sound of bells, maybe I should consider collars with bells when that time comes just so there's no sneaking up on each other. I'm going to take my sweet time with the introduction process. I hope it isn't too awful for the young guy being confined to one bedroom, after being such a scrappy little ruler of the outdoors..
 
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Hey! I had some cat activity here so catching up! I am so happy to learn of all the progress. I know it has been a long road for you. Before you realize it, he’ll be home and happy to be with you. :yess:

I would suggest you play it by ear as the little guy is adjusting. His pooping in the blanket at the vet office is not abnormal. It’s a different place! At home he may use the box. Keeping him in the cage for a bit will give him time to adjust. You’ll be better able to watch his bathroom and eating habits as well as calming him for his new life. Remember, kitten steps. That goes for introductions too. I think you’ll get pretty clear indications from kitties as to when they are getting used to each other. Some kitties take awhile and some bond very quickly. I think all signs are good! I’m so relieved little guy has tested negative and he spoke to you with his expression. I already knew he loves you from the photo. I pray for all to be a happy family from now on! :cloud9:
Thank you so much! I am so anxious to get him out of the place that terrifies him, and wouldn't you know it I have a busy day on Monday. Trying to figure out when I can get to the vet and pick him up and get him situated. The cage might just be the best thing for the first few hours he's home, to decompress and to keep him safe til I can get back home to him. Do you think I need all new stuff in his room - as in, no cat tree with Charlie's scent on it?

So thankful that your day turned out so well - what a relief! I hope your hand is beginning to feel better, as well. :)
 

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You don't need to get all new stuff. If it's a cat tree, just vacuum it well and maybe spray some Feliway/Comfort Zone on it.

I also find it really helpful to not set goals of when the cats "must/have" to be together. It puts so much pressure on you and on them. If things aren't going well then you will be upset with yourself and the cats. Just take it day by day. If things are going great, then all is well. If things are taking a bit longer then just keep moving forward.

Cats can be like humans in that sometimes you click with someone right away and sometimes it takes awhile. Time and patience are your friend!
 
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You don't need to get all new stuff. If it's a cat tree, just vacuum it well and maybe spray some Feliway/Comfort Zone on it.

I also find it really helpful to not set goals of when the cats "must/have" to be together. It puts so much pressure on you and on them. If things aren't going well then you will be upset with yourself and the cats. Just take it day by day. If things are going great, then all is well. If things are taking a bit longer then just keep moving forward.

Cats can be like humans in that sometimes you click with someone right away and sometimes it takes awhile. Time and patience are your friend!
Okay, thanks! I'm going over the link you posted yesterday about the closet shelving placed behind the baby gate so the cats don't jump past you. Have you had a problem with this shelving falling backwards? I'm trying to think of how to secure it without ruining my door frame or walls. I don't really like the idea of a hook-and-eye in my wall. Trying to think of alternatives. I need to find a handyman in this area who is good with things like this.
 
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I used shadowsrescue's ideas of having a baby gate and those wire shelves to block the door -- it worked really well and allowed me to get in and out of the room without having my other two cats sneak in to meet their new buddies before it was time for introductions!
I'm working on the wire shelves today. Did YOU have a problem with them falling backwards? Did you secure them? This guy is a jumper and a climber.
 
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Also, for a guy who is a jumper and climber, would 6 ft be sufficient height, or should I do 8-ft?
 

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I didn't use the hook and eye. I just have it up against the door frame. It's light weight and easy to move. I puts some towels along the sides that keep it from marking up the wood. It's super easy to make. At Lowes or Home Depot, they will cut the shelving for you. I have both the 4' and 6'. The 4 is super easy to move and the 6' a bit more difficult. You could have them cut it to 5'. Then you just need to buy some zip ties.

When you first bring the kitty home, you will want to keep the door closed. You won't want to keep the door open for a few days or longer. You don't want Charlie coming to check things out with an open door right now. Scent swapping first!

If you have the gate in the door way and then this barrier outside so it's not flush, it would be hard for him to get over the gate and this barrier. Yet of course cats can jump and climb like crazy. All of the cats I have brought inside have been way too frightened at first to do that.

I guess I would consider the 4' or 5'. You could always get taller later if needed.

Here is my setup. I have the 6' on the left that I don't move and the 4' on the right. THe 3 feral boys I brought inside the house still use this room during the day. I no longer have a baby gate in the door way. My door way is large since it has french doors, but you can still get the idea.
 

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Oh super, I see that shadowsrescue has posted a good photo and some ideas for you! I'm having trouble posting a photo (very low-tech person here!) so here is a link to my thread. It should take you to the page (or you might have to copy and paste the URL), but if you scroll down to entry #93 you can see a photo and info on how I did this set up for my cats. Sorry to make this complicated.

Semi-feral: Bring Them Inside Or Not?
 
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I didn't use the hook and eye. I just have it up against the door frame. It's light weight and easy to move. I puts some towels along the sides that keep it from marking up the wood. It's super easy to make. At Lowes or Home Depot, they will cut the shelving for you. I have both the 4' and 6'. The 4 is super easy to move and the 6' a bit more difficult. You could have them cut it to 5'. Then you just need to buy some zip ties.

When you first bring the kitty home, you will want to keep the door closed. You won't want to keep the door open for a few days or longer. You don't want Charlie coming to check things out with an open door right now. Scent swapping first!

If you have the gate in the door way and then this barrier outside so it's not flush, it would be hard for him to get over the gate and this barrier. Yet of course cats can jump and climb like crazy. All of the cats I have brought inside have been way too frightened at first to do that.

I guess I would consider the 4' or 5'. You could always get taller later if needed.

Here is my setup. I have the 6' on the left that I don't move and the 4' on the right. THe 3 feral boys I brought inside the house still use this room during the day. I no longer have a baby gate in the door way. My door way is large since it has french doors, but you can still get the idea.
This is what I needed to know, thanks! I am not purchasing anything that can't be re-purposed later and I'm a little hesitant to run out and get this until I know whether he's going to be a climber, but I want to be ready. I can imagine that after having the run of the outdoors, he will be anxious to escape. However, Charlie wants nothing to do with the outdoors and will not even attempt to exit. I had a door removed to be repaired one day and Charlie wouldn't go near it. It might be a little too good to be true for this little guy to be the same way, and if he's an escape artist, I'll use this in front of the front door for when I retrieve packages off the porch, etc. in the future. I may need to implement it sooner if he tries to escape when I enter his room to feed him.

Once school starts I'll have zero time work on things like this, so I'm trying to plan ahead and get everything done now. No worries, I won't be rushing anything with these two. I love your huge window, by the way - looks like a kitty AND human paradise with a view of trees out there!
 
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Oh super, I see that shadowsrescue has posted a good photo and some ideas for you! I'm having trouble posting a photo (very low-tech person here!) so here is a link to my thread. It should take you to the page (or you might have to copy and paste the URL), but if you scroll down to entry #93 you can see a photo and info on how I did this set up for my cats. Sorry to make this complicated.

Semi-feral: Bring Them Inside Or Not?
That is a fantastic setup!! His room is at the end of a hallway where it corners, and another room is on the other side of the corner, so I could use that bungee system and hook it to the other door handle (that room is seldom used). Thank you for posting the link - very helpful!
 

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Buffster7 Buffster7 : We've sort of "met" in Jcatbird Jcatbird 's thread (My Feral And Rescued Cats) but I've just now read through this thread. And what an exciting read it was !!!

First off, thanks so much for all you've done, and are doing, for this stray. He's a handsome boy, and I hope in time he (he really needs a name) and Charlie will be best buds. :catlove:

There were a ton of things I wanted to comment on, but that would have taken forever. Here's a few, though.

Trying to get him to play or exercise is another story altogether. He does like the laser pointer, but usually flops and watches it, like he's watching a cool light show I'm putting on for him. :rolleyes3: Very lazy.
Here's a TCS article on Playing With Your Cat: 10 Things You Need To Know | TheCatSite that might be helpful.

Also: Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (including 10 Actionable Tips) | TheCatSite

Just caught him!!! Kind of freaking out. Vet is closed.
:woohoo: :banana1: :banana2: :bunnydance: :banana2: :banana1: :woohoo:

I really lucked out with Charlie.
He's a cutie pie. :purr:

I just called the vet to see if I could stop by and visit him today, and the sweet girl who answered the phone said she wasn't sure how he would respond as they were able to neuter him today (yay!).
:yess:

I think it's time to come with a name for this sweet boy!
Does he have a name yet? If not, maybe this will help: How To Choose The Best Name For Your New Cat | TheCatSite

This is going to sound so contrived and silly, but at one point I asked him, "Do you want to go home?" and he looked up right into my eyes and literally seemed to relax. That was my moment.
Awwwww...... :petcat: :catlove: :heartshape:

The best news is that he came back FIV and FeLV negative, so - all signs are pointing toward adoption.
Excellent. :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

When I got home, I let Charlie sniff my hands and he was all over me like white on rice. He sniffed, sniffed, sniffed, gave my hand a lick which I understand is just to better capture the scent, but then he started sniffing around the house calmly. I'm encouraged. :hearthrob:
That does sound encouraging. :catrub:

My two started out in a small bedroom with most things removed.
Here's Avery's thread, if you (or anyone else) is interested.
Semi-feral: Bring Them Inside Or Not?

I have no idea the best way to prevent getting cat urine on the carpet.
Maybe a tarp?

Hopefully tomorrow your new guy will be coming home. Meanwhile, here's some more TCS articles that might have some helpful tips for you.

A Feral Cat Or A Stray Cat? How To Tell The Difference | TheCatSite
Handling Feral Cats | TheCatSite
Adopting A Stray Cat | TheCatSite
The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside | TheCatSite

How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home | TheCatSite
How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door | TheCatSite

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide | TheCatSite
Introducing Cats To Cats | TheCatSite
The Multi-cat Household | TheCatSite

Good luck. :dancingblackcat:
 
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Buffster7 Buffster7 : We've sort of "met" in Jcatbird Jcatbird 's thread (My Feral And Rescued Cats) but I've just now read through this thread. And what an exciting read it was !!!

First off, thanks so much for all you've done, and are doing, for this stray. He's a handsome boy, and I hope in time he (he really needs a name) and Charlie will be best buds. :catlove:

There were a ton of things I wanted to comment on, but that would have taken forever. Here's a few, though.



Here's a TCS article on Playing With Your Cat: 10 Things You Need To Know | TheCatSite that might be helpful.

Also: Bored Cat? What Cat Owners Need To Know (including 10 Actionable Tips) | TheCatSite



:woohoo: :banana1: :banana2: :bunnydance: :banana2: :banana1: :woohoo:



He's a cutie pie. :purr:



:yess:



Does he have a name yet? If not, maybe this will help: How To Choose The Best Name For Your New Cat | TheCatSite



Awwwww...... :petcat: :catlove: :heartshape:



Excellent. :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:



That does sound encouraging. :catrub:



Here's Avery's thread, if you (or anyone else) is interested.
Semi-feral: Bring Them Inside Or Not?



Maybe a tarp?

Hopefully tomorrow your new guy will be coming home. Meanwhile, here's some more TCS articles that might have some helpful tips for you.

A Feral Cat Or A Stray Cat? How To Tell The Difference | TheCatSite
Handling Feral Cats | TheCatSite
Adopting A Stray Cat | TheCatSite
The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside | TheCatSite

How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home | TheCatSite
How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door | TheCatSite

How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide | TheCatSite
Introducing Cats To Cats | TheCatSite
The Multi-cat Household | TheCatSite

Good luck. :dancingblackcat:
Hi!! What great information there is contained in this post - thank you so much! I'll certainly be reading through this tonight. I think I almost have his room ready - I logged back on to go through the tips people have shared to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. I really hope he is ready to go home tomorrow. His level of terror and stress when I saw him on Saturday was so excessive that I was genuinely concerned about him passing the point of no return and losing it just going fully neurotic, and I'm not overstating it. This is why I've been praying for supernatural sedation for the little guy. I need to get him home.

And yes, I NEED a name!! I've been looking through boy names online and nothing is sticking! Looking for something one or two-syllable, just waiting for something to grab me. Open to suggestions!

This will truly be en exercise in trial and error: like many human firstborn children, Charlie was easy and has lulled me into thinking I can handle this. Then the second one comes along and is a holy terror. :lol2: Kidding! I'm really curious to see which one is going to end up as the alpha. And I am praying praying praying for a relatively peaceful integration. Charlie knows something is up and is watching me tonight. Anyway, thanks for the well wishes, and I will be doing some reading on the links you shared tonight!
 
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Buffster7

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Another couple questions in case anyone sees this tonight:

1. Charlie has a nice, sturdy cat tree that I could put in new guy's room. I've vacuumed it, but I'm sure it's full of Charlie's scent. Do you think that would cause more stress for this guy? I got a small tubular hidey-hole carpeted thing today that is not very high off the ground. Should I just stick with that, or put both in the room?

2. Regarding his cage. Should I place it in the center of the window, or does he need part of it to be against a wall? Or should I put his cage in the corner and the cat tree in the center of the window? Or one on either side of the window? I have no idea how to set this room up. It's not a very big room at all. There's a queen size bed, an upright dresser, and a nightstand in there. I have no place to move these items. So basically we are looking at the perimeter of the room around the bed, and there is a large window in the center of one wall. :disturbed:
 

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I would put the cat tree by the window so if he chooses he can see out. Just be sure the windows are tightly closed and all window treatments are secured. I put the cage wherever you can as it's just temporary.

Do be sure that you have blocked off getting under or behind the bed and dresser. He may look for a place to hide and it's so hard to get them out once they find a hiding spot.

Keep us posted today. Did you decide on a name?
 
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I would put the cat tree by the window so if he chooses he can see out. Just be sure the windows are tightly closed and all window treatments are secured. I put the cage wherever you can as it's just temporary.

Do be sure that you have blocked off getting under or behind the bed and dresser. He may look for a place to hide and it's so hard to get them out once they find a hiding spot.

Keep us posted today. Did you decide on a name?
Thank you!!

One more question. I'm putting him in his cage today for the first part of the day until I see him use the litter box. It was suggested that I place 2 litterboxes in the room. I have an extra box that I put out when I go away for a weekend so that the pet sitter doesn't have to scoop litter. I can put this in the room as his second litter box, but even if I clean it thoroughly, I imagine he will still detect Charlie's scent on it. Should I skip using that box?
 
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And another reason to keep him in his cage for the first part of the day other than litter box is that everything I ordered on Amazon for this boy arrives today. Until then, I have no floor protection and no baby gates. It would be disastrous if he escaped the room today!

What are the chances of him using his cage as "home base" if I just leave it in there and leave it open all the time?
 

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If you have sanitized the old box really well it should be ok. Yet if you have time, pick up another one today. I like to use Sterlite storage boxes. They are around 25" long and 15" wide and 5" deep. They are cheap and easy to clean. Something similar to this one, but they do sell them cheaper Sterilite 37 Qt Gasket Box Clear with Blue Latches

If you can't get one today don't worry. The one you have might be perfectly fine.

Yes, you can leave the cage out if you think he might use it. Be sure to have a cozy blanket or towel for him to lay on. Maybe even something with your scent- a shirt or hoodie.

For floor protection, you can use a tarp, old rubber backed rugs, puppy pee pads, etc... The first feral I brought inside, loved to sleep outside on a chair cushion. I brought that inside the house for him. That is where he peed for the first time!

Remember to breathe and stay calm. Charlie and the new kitty will pick up on your emotions too. I know this is a huge under taking. But look at it from how much it will enrich your life! You saved this little kitty from a cruel outside world of living and fending for himself. You will make mistakes along the way, but your actions are coming from love and caring. Each new step with him will bring you such joy!
 

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The carrier you use can be just put into the cage maybe? It would give him a place to hide and he can come out when he is ready. Some form of covered space in the cage, box or whatever, will encourage him to use the cage as home. That always makes life easier as he will return to security if scared and it’s easier to keep things clean if he will use a box in there. Introductions to Carlie may be easier too. If he gets scared, he has a place to run to. Very glad he is supposed to come home today! Yay!!!!
 

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I hope all goes even better than you can imagine! Just use your best judgment and instincts as you go along and it will be fine. We are all sending good vibes to you and Charlie and the new little one!
 
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