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I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by Buffster7, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    First off, let me say that you are doing an excellent job with this kitty. :clap2: You have earned his trust and love. That is the biggest hurdle. Don’t worry too much about him being upset after being trapped. Yes, he may be very upset. You may have setbacks. This is all normal when dealing with strays or ferals. It is something that can be handled after you do what is in his best interest. You are saving his life and health. I have brought in a huge number of rescues, feral and strays, and they have all forgiven me for caging, transporting and the Spay/neutering. Some take a little longer than others but most forgive quickly. Getting him checked out may seem tough but it really is the kindest thing you can do for him. Neutering is a must. He will live a better and longer life after this.
    Flea elimination can take a little time. If he has been living in your garage, you might want to clear it of fleas while he is at the vet. I use a flea spray and then vacuum and finally mop by soaking the floor with Dawn dish liquid.
    The cage is wonderful. I have used cages too. As long as the kitty has room for a perch, food, water and litter box as well as a little room to move around, he can be in there while you work with him and socialize. I just had a friend purchase that same cage to integrate one of his cats into his main living area with his other cats.
    Felv is not a death sentence. I have many cats. One is FIV and has heartworms, another is Felv. I have to keep the Felv cat separated from the other kitties but he has been a very happy and healthy fellow for 11 years. He was around many other cats in a colony before I got him. Mating, sharing food/water dishes, litter boxes and fighting can spread this illness. Living in the same house although in a seperate space, has not spread the illness to others. I brought in other cats from his colony during the same time frame who did not have Felv but none have ever contracted it by living in the same house. Felv cats can live very good, long lives. The disease may not be active. Kittens, very young cats and old cats have the toughest time with Felv.
    FIV is not a severe issue for your house cat. The biggest risk with FIV is to the cat that has it. If any other cat gets sick then the FIV kitty is at risk of catching what the other cat has. FIV kitties can live normal life spans.
    You asked how long you need to let kitty heal after neutering. Since you will be working to socialize kitty and have the cage, you shouldn’t need to worry. You will be working to socialize past his healing time so if you keep him in the cage until you see he is trusting you to work with him you will be able to observe that he has healed properly. Males heal faster than females. If all looks healthy at surgical site after a week, you should be totally in the clear. Ferals that go through TNR are often released back outside very soon after surgery but I prefer to keep them longer to make sure healing is complete. Retrapping is very difficult if any further vet checks are needed.
    Concern about spreading anything is sensible. Wash your hands well. I made it a habit to wear a particular set of loose clothes over whatever I was wearing for the day. I would keep these clothes at the door to slip into when I worked with new cats. Just as a vet wears a lab coat and washes up between patients, you should do the same. I probably took more precautions than needed but never spread anything short of a possible flea. Hopefully, not even that. I did shower immediately after a day outside with the colony to prevent fleas from hitchhiking. Lol
    You are well on your way to socializing already. Just continue working with him as you have been. If you need guidance on that later, many here can help you. Please continue to keep us updated. You are a kitty guardian and that makes you a kitty hero! Bravo! Thank you for saving your indoor kitty and this kitty!
     

  2. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thank you so much for your response and all the information. I'm learning so much on this site and from responses like yours.

    I do not know if I want to socialize this boy, yet. I'm feeling rather torn up about it. I'm a full-time adult student with very limited income while I finish my schooling. The extra vet bills, food, litter, supplies, meds etc for an extra pet are a stretch at this time. Yet I feel like this guy is trying so hard to trust me; how can I not step up and help?

    My indoor guy is a very happy 'only child'. I have asked my neighbor, who is a cat person and who cat-sits him for me when I'm gone, if she feels he is lonely or needs a friend. I just want to do right by him. She thinks he is very content and would not adjust well to another cat. He is around 8-9 years old and is king of this domain.

    I've read that ferals try to establish dominance right away; that's how they survive outside. Ever since this little guy has been hanging around outside, my indoor guy Charlie has been very jumpy, darting at every little noise, hiding under bed when not with me, etc. I won't have him bullied in his own home. The thought of him feeling threatened or displaced literally brings tears to my eyes.

    This little guy outside has claws out a lot. Last night when he grabbed my foot with his claws and went to bite it - made me think of Charlie and what would happen if this guy tried to establish dominance with him. Charlie was already declawed when I found him and took him in. He would be at a disadvantage. I just don't know if I want to risk Charlie's well-being. I had a friend who said she might take him if I could socialize him; she has now reneged. So I'm really struggling with what to do next. I have one more person in mind, but that is still an unknown.

    Of course, all of this will be a moot point if he tests positive for FeLV or FIV. I absolutely will not bring him into my home and risk Charlie. Praying for negative test results and wisdom with how to proceed.

    IN the meantime, I'm going to call my vet when they open and see if they have Revolution and de-wormer on hand. Now that I can touch him I'm hoping I can get some Revolution on him. This is what I saw on the ground next to him yesterday...is this a tapeworm?
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Some how the link didn't show up. Sorry. I will try again.
    Trapping Cats: How to Trap an Entire Colony

    If by chance he does turn out FIV+ it would not be a wise idea to release him outside. It is a much harder life for an FIV+ cat to live outside. He could live a long healthy life inside. Do some research on what it means. FELV is an entirely different story.

    You will not lose his trust. He won't ever want to be trapped again. I have trapped lots of cats throughout the years. Mine have all been feral cats. Most return right away as they have learned to depend on you for food.

    It's fine for him to be in the trap for 8 hours overnight, but you cannot leave it unattended outside. It would be very dangerous for him. It would be best if you set the trap when you know he is coming for food. Watch the trap go off and take him to a safe place. I prefer to trap in the morning, but it can be hard if you have a vet appointment and he doesn't show up when needed.

    Also have the vet trim his nails. That will help as well.

    Male neuters are very quick to recover. My only concern about the cage you bought is that he can jump around. You really need the cat to be in a quiet location where they can't move around much. I always keep my just trapped male cats in the trap another night and release in the morning. Talk with your vet about how long he will stay.

    Be sure you practice with the trap. It can be tricky if you have never used one before.
     

  4. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Well, just had an issue arise and I'm not sure what to make of it. Yesterday I noticed that he hooked his claws onto my socked foot and wouldn't let go, then moved like he was going to bite it, so I shook him off.

    I just went out to feed him breakfast. He came over and allowed me to stroke him again. He tried to hook his claws into my socks again and I said no and shook my foot. He rolled over on my foot then wrapped his arms around my leg; I instinctively knew what he was going to do and tried to say no, but he bit me. I shook him off again - he ran a short distance away then stopped to groom himself. I cannot for the life of me get video to upload to this site, but I was recording so will try to post a link and see if that works. But what does this behavior mean?? Why would he bite me?
     
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  5. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Ohio
    He is treating you like a toy. He is not socialized all the way and does not understand what to do with you. I had a stray who did this when I was socializing him. He used to grab my arm and wrap himself around it. I tried not to react and he would let go. He often would then run after me and try to swat my legs. He was just so unsocialized. It can take awhile for them to stop this behavior. Remember that he is not socialized so this is to be expected. He is not a feral cat, but also not a socialized cat. By living outside on his own, he has reverted to some unsocialized behavior.

    Be sure to wash the bite well.
     
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  6. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thanks so much for your quick response. I did shower right away. Fortunately I'd put on sweats prior to going out, so he didn't break the skin. His claws break the skin, and I cleaned those scratches and sprayed ACZ Silver on them.

    How did your cat turn out who wasn't socialized; were you able to eventually stop this behavior, or was he always prone to biting?
     
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  7. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Yes, I was able to stop it. I provided toys that were appropriate for biting, kicking and pretending killings. I also try to allow him plenty of play time. I follow the Hunt, Catch, Kill, Eat, Groom, Sleep theory. I allow him to play with a wand toy or laser so he can hunt, catch and kill. I then provide a yummy special treat or I provide a meal for the Eat. Next many cats will then groom themselves and take a nap.

    This is all a process and can take quite some time. It requires consistency on your part and socialization work as well.

    Do you have a room inside your home for this kitty if you are going to try and keep him? This room will need to be ready before you bring him home from the neuter. It should be cat proofed ( as in no bed or the bed flat on the floor and blocked behind other large pieces of furniture). You can him out in the open as much as possible. He can have a safe hiding spot such as a hiding box of a cat tree or even a small box on its side.

    Be prepared that once confined in a room, he will do his best to get out. It's his nature. Keep windows tightly closed and watch out for any window treatments or blinds. He may yowl or howl as well. Not only do his hormones need to settle (this can take 3-6 weeks) but he has to learn to live inside. If he is a stray who may have spent time inside a house, he may adapt quickly.

    He also must be separate from your other cat for awhile. You want him used to inside living first. I won't kid you that the first week or so is rough. But you must be strong. Many will want to give him and let him back outside. Please do not do this. I have brought 4 feral cats and 2 stray cats into my home over the years. Each one has adjusted to inside living. Even my feral feral boy who lived outside for 8 years is doing so well.

    We are here to help you!
     

  8. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Man. The deeper I get, the more I doubt my ability to do more than TNR this baby. In a more ideal situation with a more socialized kitty, I could hope for better success in an integration process. But I don't have a room to inside to keep him separated for long; I have a very open floor plan with doorways but no doors, one room just opens into another. I have my master bedroom and a guest bedroom which I do use for guests. The only other room with a door is the guest bathroom, but it is very small.

    This baby is so wild that I fear the drama and trauma of integration, particularly with my inexperience. School starts in a few weeks. It is a demanding and rigorous program, and I won't time to devote to the socialization process.

    He does need to be neutered and then vaccinated if he doesn't test positive. I will do everything I can for him health-wise. I feel a little sad typing this, but perhaps better to come to this realization now than to start the process and find that I'm in over my head.

    Thank you so much for your guidance! I will keep you posted on the TNR.
     
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  9. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    Please follow that advice. His play will adjust as he learns. Don’t feel panicked. I have brought in ferals that were very aggressive but are now total love bugs! My big old Tom was one I thought would never socialize. He completely fooled me and socialzed quickly. He has charmed everyone here who has seen him. He is the protector of all the kitties. I used to tease that he might eat me! He’s only liable to kiss me to pieces. Lol Go figure!
    That is not a tapeworm. I don’t recognize it from the photo. Tapeworms are much different looking.
    It is obvious to me that this kitty needs a home. He is trying desperately to tell you , in kitty language, that he loves and trusts you. Integrating him into your home without upsetting your own cat is possible. There are steps to this process. Your kitty may be a bit nervous at first but you also may find that the two could end up very close and bonded. Every kitty is different but I have had many rescues pass through my home with my other resident cats. Some also moved in here. I suggest you take it all one step at a time. You can get him neutered and let the hormones dissipate from his system first. That is something that will help everything. Your indoor cat is probably most worried about having an unmetered male around. Once the hormones are gone that can change. Greatly. A neutered cat also is calmer and healthier. So, get him fixed and vet checked first. Then go from there. You may be able to find less expensive shots etc. through your local humane society or rescue groups. There are many programs that assist a little with these things. Discounts are very helpful. Some grocery stores also sell cat food that has torn labels, Torn bags, etc. at a discount. Cat food companies may also supply you with some coupons for free or discounted food to get you started. Call the customer service number on the packages of any food you wish to purchase or try and tell them you have a new and rescued kitty and want to try their products. I even got litter coupons when I started. Free cases of food and free cans. If you have a product you already prefer, tell the company you would will be purchasing by the 12/24 pack and it’s likely you will get those coupons. If you call instead of texting or emailing, it usually gets faster results.
    Don’t stress too much over the test results. FIV should not keep you from keeping or adopting out the cat. If you can let the kitty live in your garage later, even Felv should not mean you have to dump him. Tests results can also be incorrect so, just relax until you know more. One thing at a time and we’ll all be around to help you walk through the process. :alright: You’re doing great!
     

  10. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    Our posts crossed. The small bathroom is actually a perfect spot to let him heal. Walmart carries a smaller version of that cage. That can be used. You have a garage, that can also be a fine place for this kitty. Please don’t give up. This isn’t as complicated as it may seem right now. When I first started rescues, I worried about everything. I handled over 100 cats in the past two years with no major issues. I never dreamed I would be able to get through something like that but it actually became a regular process that I learned as I went. If an old lady like me can do it, I feel quite sure that you have already demonstrated the skills and caring heart that will get you through this just fine. Just remember, take kitten steps. One thing at a time. :heartshape:
     

  11. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Yes, please don't panic over this. The small bathroom is a perfect place for him to start out. Give it a try. He might surprise you and adapt very quickly especially if he once lived inside.

    You definitely do learn as you go and there will be bumps along the way, but in the end it all usually works out.

    He really does need a loving home and has already started to bond with you.
     

  12. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Super Cat

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    That is not a tapeworm, they are very thin and usually when passed they are already dead. From the apparent size of the asphalt grains compared to it I'm guessing it's rather small so it's possible it's a different type of parasite. I would show that picture to your vet when you take him in and see if someone there can identify it.

    If he's used to being in your garage then that may be a better place to put him to recover after his neuter rather than in your house. Just make sure you secure the dog door so he can't get out through it. The small bathroom would also work if you can't reliably secure the dog door, just make sure to put away anything like toothbrushes, bars of soap, tubes of toothpaste, extra rolls of TP, etc. Basically anything you don't want him to destroy should be put away because you can't be sure how he will react.

    But for either place a good thing to do would be to put a cat carrier in there with a blanket in it and put his food in it when you feed him. If you can get him used to a carrier being a safe place then it will make it much easier to get him into it to take him to the vet, both for you and whoever ends up adopting him.
     
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  13. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thank you all for your help and insight. I'm not scared away, I'm just a realist. I'll secure the dog door into the garage and keep him in the trap overnight and then transfer him to the larger cage until I get the results of the FeLV back. I cannot release him if he's FeLV+. Otherwise, I'll continue to give him shelter in my garage, vaccinate, and treat him for parasites. I am against keeping outdoor cats as a rule. If I love an animal I do everything in my power to keep it safe and healthy. And that means keeping it indoors. However, at least getting this guy vet care is kinder than where he's at right now.

    The bite he gave this morning was not aggressive at all, and when I shook him off he ran a short distance then stopped to groom himself. He was still there when I went back indoors. However, he's disappeared since then and hasn't been back, which is unusual for him and worries me. Are we allowed to post links here? I can post a link to the videos of this morning and of the worm moving. The worm was between 1/4-1/2" long, strange looking thing.
     
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  14. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Yes, please :)
     

  15. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    You should get the results of the FIV and FELV test right away if they are only doing a SNAP tests. Results are in about 10-15 minutes. So you should know right away. Some vets do a full blood panel for the test and that can take a few days.
     
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  16. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Ah, okay. My vet said it would take two days, so perhaps they do a full blood panel. I may request a snap test then, if that will give me the information needed. Thanks!
     
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  17. Buffster7

    Buffster7 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Video of the worm in motion:
    Amazon Photos

    Video of this morn. As I watch it I wish I had been more quiet and calm (I sound so scary), but at the time I didn't know if he was going to really sink his teeth in:
    Amazon Photos




     
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  18. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Some vets don't use SNAP tests as they can have false positives. My vet now will SNAP test and then if it's positive run the blood test. It just depends on the vet and what they are most comfortable with.

    When I moved last year and brought my 3 outdoor feral cats with me, I had a mobile vet come to the house once I got all 3 inside. I had them all SNAP tested and everyone was negative for both except one of them was FIV+. Not a big deal to me at all. I have another former stray who is also FIV+. THey are both quite healthy.

    You could call and ask your vet which test they give.
     
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  19. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I have no idea about the worm. It looked kind of slug like to me. He will get a dewormer so all should be good soon!

    He is just darling and just really wants to be loved. He will just need some guidance that humans are not toys. Be sure to have some toys for him that he can kick and play with.
     
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  20. movinintime

    movinintime TCS Member Young Cat

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    Never worry of yourself or HIS feelings toward you. Gotta do for HIM in his best interest. I too feel as you, re trust broken if/when I trap our feral, but "He'll Be Back" as Arnold Schwarzenegger said! LOL :)

    Food is his calling & life for ANY feral/stray. ;)
     
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