I need some advice for my feral cats please!

Arthur Laney

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Hello,

I recently came into the care of two feral cats. My mother and I have been wanting cats for a while now because we've finally moved to a place that allows them. I recently started college and have been home quite a bit and miss having pets around. Anyway, the two cats that I have are both feral and I don't know if I should continue to keep them or should I return them to their colony. I've had them for about two weeks and have been working with them ever since to try to socialize them. They like to hide under my bed so I know they feel safe under there I never try to force them to do anything. I have food water and litterboxes for them to use so that's not an issue. I'm able to pet one of the cats and he likes being pet by the ear but only when coaxed with treats. But I'm not able to walk towards them or make any movement towards them because they run away. I just feel like I'm forcing them to live inside when they don't want to. I really like the kitties but I don't know if keeping them is what's best for them. Should I let them go back to their colony?
 

James&Taki

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I'd like to see what other people have to say...

But I think you should keep them for now and see how it goes. Two weeks is really not that long a time, and they might get more comfortable the longer they live with you. If one of them lets you touch them, that's already pretty amazing. Strong chance they might never be super touchy-cuddly cats, but they can still grow to love you.

Especially since strays/ferals can get so badly injured, and it's so hard to care for them when they are... I think if you can give them a better quality of life in regards to food/water access, weather protection, safety, and medical care... it's worth seeing if they'll adjust to an indoor life.
 
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Arthur Laney

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I'd like to see what other people have to say...

But I think you should keep them for now and see how it goes. Two weeks is really not that long a time, and they might get more comfortable the longer they live with you. If one of them lets you touch them, that's already pretty amazing. Strong chance they might never be super touchy-cuddly cats, but they can still grow to love you.

Especially since strays/ferals can get so badly injured, and it's so hard to care for them when they are... I think if you can give them a better quality of life in regards to food/water access, weather protection, safety, and medical care... it's worth seeing if they'll adjust to an indoor life.
Thanks for responding! I just want to do what is best for both the cats and me. I would like to make this decision early on so that I don't regret it later on. A cat that is cuddly is the kind I'm looking for and I'm having doubts that these kitties will ever be as cuddly as I would like. Again I just want what's best for them and me I'd rather not force them to like me but I just don't know what to do.
 

Jcatbird

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Returning them to a colony could be problematic now and I do think you have only given them a very short time so far. I have brought in ferals of all ages and some take longer then others. Not all become lap cats but all the I have brought in are much more relaxed and much safer now. No more risk of predators, cats, humans, starvation, no more disease spread by mating no more injuries from fighting. The life span jus increased for the kitties you brought it. Hiding for a time is expected. Let them approach you. Don’t pursue them as that is what a predator would do and will scare them. Try laying still on your back near them. Put the food down and lay near to keep them company. Some like to investigate you as you sleep. They know that is safer with an unknown creature. Once the are used to you being near while eating, start moving the food closer to wher you are laying. Some foods are nearly irresistible as a lure. Slightly warm Gerber 2nd all meat baby food is yummy to most cats. A little on a dish can be a bribe to come out. Don’t attempt to pet or push yourself on them at first. Let them eat near you in peace. Once you get them to eat fro a dish near you, try putting the dish on your lap or on your stomach as you lay there. Maybe a little baby food on the back of your hand to be licked off. There are a lot of tricks I have used to encourage trust with ferals. Give the time and patience and you will
Probably be happily surprised. Thanks for rescuing them from a very tough life! If they aren’t spayed neutered, that is something that can help too. Less anxiety afterwards. Please do keep us updated. I am sure that others will be along with tips they have used too.
 

Jcatbird

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If this helps any, here are just a few of the ferals I socialized. They were ferals as well as being traumatized and abused before I got them. No longer! Time and paience. Each ones learns trust at their own pace. You might say a couple of these are a little spoiled now.
67EDF530-7E6F-48C4-8711-2FE2CB4D5005.jpeg

Hand feeding treats to the latest

E8904814-57A3-411B-8C04-B855B7A98837.jpeg
717F263E-708F-441F-9432-6ECB3547AAD8.jpeg

Food ca be bonding but so can brushing!
5A98C254-E206-40AE-9A00-8494198E1950.jpeg
C7EB6F00-C6B0-4DEF-8F00-05647FA99B54.jpeg
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BD3AF27E-251F-4591-85F2-EC7C08B805B1.jpeg

Lol I can show you hundreds of pictures of ferals snuggling in my lap and giving lots of affection. I have three laying on me now. Lol
 

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Arthur Laney

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Returning them to a colony could be problematic now and I do think you have only given them a very short time so far. I have brought in ferals of all ages and some take longer then others. Not all become lap cats but all the I have brought in are much more relaxed and much safer now. No more risk of predators, cats, humans, starvation, no more disease spread by mating no more injuries from fighting. The life span jus increased for the kitties you brought it. Hiding for a time is expected. Let them approach you. Don’t pursue them as that is what a predator would do and will scare them. Try laying still on your back near them. Put the food down and lay near to keep them company. Some like to investigate you as you sleep. They know that is safer with an unknown creature. Once the are used to you being near while eating, start moving the food closer to wher you are laying. Some foods are nearly irresistible as a lure. Slightly warm Gerber 2nd all meat baby food is yummy to most cats. A little on a dish can be a bribe to come out. Don’t attempt to pet or push yourself on them at first. Let them eat near you in peace. Once you get them to eat fro a dish near you, try putting the dish on your lap or on your stomach as you lay there. Maybe a little baby food on the back of your hand to be licked off. There are a lot of tricks I have used to encourage trust with ferals. Give the time and patience and you will
Probably be happily surprised. Thanks for rescuing them from a very tough life! If they aren’t spayed neutered, that is something that can help too. Less anxiety afterwards. Please do keep us updated. I am sure that others will be along with tips they have used too.
Thank you for responding. I've decided to give that cats more time I think that you are right I really haven't given them enough time. The tips that you've given me are very helpful to thank you!! I've raised kittens before but never a kitten that was quite so feral getting into this I just really didn't know what I was doing and I had little confidence that I was doing the right thing. I'll make sure to keep you guys updated. Thank you again!
 

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How cute....from abused to little pink dress. That is so heartwarming!

I only have ever had ferals and strays. You do need to give it more time with true ferals and they may completely surprise you. They may be skittish, but very happy about being safe and having regular food and beds and to put them back outside might be traumatic. You don't have enough information yet, especially since one is allowing you to pet him with treats offered.
 
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Arthur Laney

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How cute....from abused to little pink dress. That is so heartwarming!

I only have ever had ferals and strays. You do need to give it more time with true ferals and they may completely surprise you. They may be skittish, but very happy about being safe and having regular food and beds, and to put them back outside might be traumatic. You don't have enough information yet, especially since one is allowing you to pet him with treats offered.
I'm glad that I was able to get them away from where they were staying I have no idea what they went through before I got them. Giving them more time is definitely the best decision here. If any of you are curious to see them here are some pictures of them eating the extra tuna from a can that I had for a snack.
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theyremine

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Are they still kittens? If so, the odds are even better that they will become socialized to you. I have 4 former ferals, all trapped between 6-7 months of age. Took time, but all are spoiled house cats now.
 
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Arthur Laney

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I'm fairly sure that they are still young I'm guessing by looking at age charts that Noodles is around 5-6 months old and Duchess is 4-5 months old. I'm glad to hear that you were able to socialize cats that weren't super young I was starting to think that they might be a little too old.
 

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They are beautiful! They almost look like they could be siblings or closely related. I have socialized kittens and cats of all ages. My old Tom cat BJ was one I thought would be difficult. He fooled me! He has become the biggest lover of all! He was the last colony member caught and one of the easiest to socialize. He loves to lay on my shoulder at night and purr. Given time, rescues are often the most grateful, and show it. Lifelong bonds.
 

fionasmom

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I can tell you right now that you are making great progress with these youngsters. No true feral would be eating from that plate with your hand stroking them. These guys are only wary and shy and I am guessing young as well...maybe under 6 months. They will definitely come around and be good pets. You were very kind to have taken them with you.
 
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