I’m feeding a stray and I’m overwhelmed

valeria97

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Hi everyone!
I’m writing this here because I feel like you people will understand where I’m coming from.
For the past few weeks I’ve been feeding a stray kitten (about 5-6 months I believe) that was very scared and sort of feral. I even manage to trap it and bring it inside but it broke my windows net and escaped. Still, it came back and I’ve continue to feed it everyday and now I can pet it and all that.

I have three cats. Two of them have warmed up to her because my front gate allows them to smell and see each other without the risk of a fight. However, I have one cat that we are pretty sure has some neurological issues due to abuse and is extremely hard to handle around new cats. A few years ago he saw a kitten inside my home and started attacking the other cats and we had to give him meds to calm him down.

now, I’ve tried to get him to get use to this kitten by allowing a few minutes of sighting and smelling everyday and although he is showing some progress, the kitten is very scaredy and gets upset quite quickly if it feels slightly trapped.

I don’t know that else to do without compromising my mental health and my other cats lives.Stress is already taking a toll on me (I don’t want to play victim but I wannabe honest). I got a bit attached to the kitten and thinking that something might happen while she’s out there breaks my heart.

my mom is hopeful that we can make her join the household cats but until then (a friend is also willing to take it to a foster home if we can trap her but that’s a challenge) my heart is broken and I don’t know how long I can keep up getting attached and then leaving her outside.

I apologize for the long post, I needed a place to vent this and don’t feel like a total piece of crap.

Hope everyone is having a nice day!
 

Furballsmom

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Hi - does this need to happen in a hurry? I think your expectations are a little rushed about things. You have a kitten who is behaving like a kitten, unsure about things and working to learn all the new situations and rules as fast as it can, and an older cat who is gradually coming along in learning to live with the kitten.

Hang in there, slow down a bit, take some deep breaths, and honestly, you're doing a lot better than you think you are, I promise :vibes: :redheartpump::sunshine::redheartpump:

Can you bring the kitten back inside and let it have a room by itself? Even just a bathroom for a little while?
 
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valeria97

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Hi - does this need to happen in a hurry? I think your expectations are a little rushed about things. You have a kitten who is behaving like a kitten, unsure about things and working to learn all the new situations and rules as fast as it can, and an older cat who is gradually coming along in learning to live with the kitten.

Hang in there, slow down a bit, take some deep breaths, and honestly, you're doing a lot better than you think you are, I promise :vibes: :redheartpump::sunshine::redheartpump:

Can you bring the kitten back inside and let it have a room by itself? Even just a bathroom for a little while?
Thank you for the reply. I know I might be rushing things but I just don’t know how else I can deal with this.

My house is small. There is no room for me to put her in except for my room which is where i put her the first time but it’s impossible. My other cats sleep with me every night and when they can’t access they meow continuously at my door.

She is extremely jumpy and panics really easily. Which is why trapping her is complicated. Although I can pet her, she still recoils if she sees my hands up front or if I try anything “new”.

My mom says I should keep trying. I’m slowly getting her use to get inside my house to eat and then seeing two of the cats And then the third one. But I can’t help but feel extremely guilty. It sucks to be like this sometimes.

thank you again for taking the time to read and reply!
 

Astragal14

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I completely understand wanting to rush things and wanting to feel relieved that she's safe, but your stray kitten is actually moving very quickly (even if it doesn't seem that way)! A few weeks is AMAZING for being able to pet her and becoming friendly with two of your cats! I have a few different ideas and maybe some of them can help you.

1. Can you get a small outdoor shelter for her until she's ready to come inside? My in-laws bought a cheap dog house at Walmart and cut a second hole in it for a stray cat (because you need two exit routes!) and later she had her kittens in it (the kittens were adopted through a rescue group and now the mom is my in-laws second cat 😻).

2. What about creating a positive environment for your third cat? Maybe something like a Feliway diffuser or spray near your gate. Or giving him an extra tasty treat any time the kitten comes into view?

3. How about using scent to help them acclimate? Place something outside that has the scent of your third cat on it (or a combo of all three cats) and the kitten can sniff it at her own pace, hopefully becoming more familiar and more comfortable over time. You could also try getting the kitten's scent on something and bringing it inside for your third cat to sniff, like a small bed or blanket. Those could also be good options for tasty treats, too. Sniff a blanket, get some tuna!

4. Try contacting local rescue groups for help with trapping. All local shelters in my area assist with trapping, and many volunteer rescue groups also offer trapping help - just tell them the situation and they'll know what to do next. I started doing TNR volunteering last year and I actually think your kitten will be easy to trap with the help of someone who has been trained in TNR.

As a side note, both of my in-laws cats started as neighborhood strays. What finally turned them into indoor cats was the post-spay recovery period (they were accustomed to going inside the house, so it was easy to get them inside the night before surgery). My theory is that the post-surgery pain meds were strong enough to get them to drop their inhibitions. My in-laws kept them inside the house after the surgery and they were completely bonded by the time their course of pain meds had finished!
 

Furballsmom

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Although I can pet her, she still recoils if she sees my hands up front or if I try anything “new”.
Of course she does. To be so wary and cautious is how her instincts tell her she needs to be to stay alive. It's completely normal.

As she learns more about you, her ability to relax will occur more and more.

Move as slowly as you possibly can, and talk quietly with a happy tone, --as though you're smiling, and do your best to lower your stress. She can tell what your emotional state is.
 
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valeria97

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I completely understand wanting to rush things and wanting to feel relieved that she's safe, but your stray kitten is actually moving very quickly (even if it doesn't seem that way)! A few weeks is AMAZING for being able to pet her and becoming friendly with two of your cats! I have a few different ideas and maybe some of them can help you.

1. Can you get a small outdoor shelter for her until she's ready to come inside? My in-laws bought a cheap dog house at Walmart and cut a second hole in it for a stray cat (because you need two exit routes!) and later she had her kittens in it (the kittens were adopted through a rescue group and now the mom is my in-laws second cat 😻).

2. What about creating a positive environment for your third cat? Maybe something like a Feliway diffuser or spray near your gate. Or giving him an extra tasty treat any time the kitten comes into view?

3. How about using scent to help them acclimate? Place something outside that has the scent of your third cat on it (or a combo of all three cats) and the kitten can sniff it at her own pace, hopefully becoming more familiar and more comfortable over time. You could also try getting the kitten's scent on something and bringing it inside for your third cat to sniff, like a small bed or blanket. Those could also be good options for tasty treats, too. Sniff a blanket, get some tuna!

4. Try contacting local rescue groups for help with trapping. All local shelters in my area assist with trapping, and many volunteer rescue groups also offer trapping help - just tell them the situation and they'll know what to do next. I started doing TNR volunteering last year and I actually think your kitten will be easy to trap with the help of someone who has been trained in TNR.

As a side note, both of my in-laws cats started as neighborhood strays. What finally turned them into indoor cats was the post-spay recovery period (they were accustomed to going inside the house, so it was easy to get them inside the night before surgery). My theory is that the post-surgery pain meds were strong enough to get them to drop their inhibitions. My in-laws kept them inside the house after the surgery and they were completely bonded by the time their course of pain meds had finished!
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read and reply!

1. I'll look into it! It's not easy because the gate is in a hallway of sorts and neighbors steal everything :(. But I'll see if I can think of something!

2. I'll do that! I can incorporate that when I'm letting them see each other through the gate. That's a great idea!

3. I've been sort of doing that with my clothes. The kitten rubs herself on them and I bring them inside so that my cats can smell it and sort of recognize the smell, I guess.

4. Sadly there are no groups like that where I live. There is this foster opportunity but the girl that can foster is dealing with personal issues and is unavailable in the short term and the kitten is quite challenging to trap. I'm working on gaining her full confidence to do it more easily.

On a side note, of course, as soon as she is either trapped and taken to a foster or I can get her to stay indoors with me she'll be spayed! It's good to know that the side effects of that can help with integration tho! :) I'll keep that in mind. Hopefully, I can make some more progress on my white cat (I've been giving him some calming natural meds that are designed for cats) and I can also gain more trust on her side!
 
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valeria97

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Of course she does. To be so wary and cautious is how her instincts tell her she needs to be to stay alive. It's completely normal.

As she learns more about you, her ability to relax will occur more and more.

Move as slowly as you possibly can, and talk quietly with a happy tone, --as though you're smiling, and do your best to lower your stress. She can tell what your emotional state is.
I try to pet her before feeding so she'll associate it with a good thing! It's working so far, but like you say, it's a slow process. My other cats seem to be helping in a way because they sort of hang around and I guess make me look less menacing. I'll try to relax a bit more, but it's a challenge.
 

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I try to pet her before feeding so she'll associate it with a good thing! It's working so far, but like you say, it's a slow process. My other cats seem to be helping in a way because they sort of hang around and I guess make me look less menacing. I'll try to relax a bit more, but it's a challenge.
Try a short meditation before you engage with her. It can't fix all your problems, but it can help regulate your body during times of stress. 💕 YouTube has a lot of guided ones.

No one else but you is giving this kitten a chance or working with her. Thanks to you, her life is already enriched. You can't set the pace, only the cats can. Please keep reminding yourself to take it one day and one step at a time.
 

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Has the cat been fixed? My cat Coco has always been afraid of Maggie. In the beginning,Maggie would chase her and growl. Maggie tolerates her after 6 years but coco is still afraid of her. So that may never change. They are now senior. How old is your indoor kitten?
 
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valeria97

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Try a short meditation before you engage with her. It can't fix all your problems, but it can help regulate your body during times of stress. 💕 YouTube has a lot of guided ones.

No one else but you is giving this kitten a chance or working with her. Thanks to you, her life is already enriched. You can't set the pace, only the cats can. Please keep reminding yourself to take it one day and one step at a time.
Thank you a lot for your words! I try to meditate every morning but sometimes it gets hard. I'll try to do them before she comes by though!
 
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valeria97

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Has the cat been fixed? My cat Coco has always been afraid of Maggie. In the beginning,Maggie would chase her and growl. Maggie tolerates her after 6 years but coco is still afraid of her. So that may never change. They are now senior. How old is your indoor kitten?
Hi! The kitten is not fixed yet, but my cat is. He's around four I think, he was already an adult when I rescued him. My goal is that they can live in peace (no fighting) with the least amount of stress!
 

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Hi everyone!
I’m writing this here because I feel like you people will understand where I’m coming from.
For the past few weeks I’ve been feeding a stray kitten (about 5-6 months I believe) that was very scared and sort of feral. I even manage to trap it and bring it inside but it broke my windows net and escaped. Still, it came back and I’ve continue to feed it everyday and now I can pet it and all that.

I have three cats. Two of them have warmed up to her because my front gate allows them to smell and see each other without the risk of a fight. However, I have one cat that we are pretty sure has some neurological issues due to abuse and is extremely hard to handle around new cats. A few years ago he saw a kitten inside my home and started attacking the other cats and we had to give him meds to calm him down.

now, I’ve tried to get him to get use to this kitten by allowing a few minutes of sighting and smelling everyday and although he is showing some progress, the kitten is very scaredy and gets upset quite quickly if it feels slightly trapped.

I don’t know that else to do without compromising my mental health and my other cats lives.Stress is already taking a toll on me (I don’t want to play victim but I wannabe honest). I got a bit attached to the kitten and thinking that something might happen while she’s out there breaks my heart.

my mom is hopeful that we can make her join the household cats but until then (a friend is also willing to take it to a foster home if we can trap her but that’s a challenge) my heart is broken and I don’t know how long I can keep up getting attached and then leaving her outside.

I apologize for the long post, I needed a place to vent this and don’t feel like a total piece of crap.

Hope everyone is having a nice day!
I would try to get help trapping him if you're not used to it. Easier said than done. But kittens will draw help much faster usually. The sooner the better before something happens and then you have a better chance to socialize him etc. too. Good luck 🤗
 
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valeria97

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So she can still mate outside. Do you have an extra room to keep her in ti l fixed?
Hi! No, I don’t and the moment she feels the slightest bit scared she panics really bad. When I trapped her she literally broke my windows net and my gates net to scape.
 
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valeria97

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I would try to get help trapping him if you're not used to it. Easier said than done. But kittens will draw help much faster usually. The sooner the better before something happens and then you have a better chance to socialize him etc. too. Good luck 🤗
Hi! Yes, there is this neighbor that said she’ll help but she was sick this week. I’ll see when she’s available because she’s the one that has the foster contact and everything.
 

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Hi! No, I don’t and the moment she feels the slightest bit scared she panics really bad. When I trapped her she literally broke my windows net and my gates net to scape.
I trapped a kitten once that kept running and hitting her head against the window,now in a loving home. Hope it works out for you !
 

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Hi! No, I don’t and the moment she feels the slightest bit scared she panics really bad. When I trapped her she literally broke my windows net and my gates net to scape.
She should be caged in a drop trap or a dog crate until she calms down. That helps calm a scared/ feral cat a lot.
 
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valeria97

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She should be caged in a drop trap or a dog crate until she calms down. That helps calm a scared/ feral cat a lot.
Yes! I agree, but I don’t have one and they are expensive. I’ll see what I can find though. Thank you!
 
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