Introducing a feral cat indoors

Duperous

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I recently took in a feral cat that I’ve been feeding for just over a year (I’m guessing he is around 1.5-2 years old since he was a kitten when I started) I got him neutered and brought him home. The vet suggested I keep him in a large cage with a carrier inside for his recovery, and I have done so. He eats/uses the litter box just fine, recovery is good. My concern/question is, I do not have a spare bedroom to let him explore in, his cage is currently in my living room (open space with access to my kitchen) that I don’t use much at all. Will this be an issue with my attempts to socialize? All I read is how they must be put in a room with a door, is this true? I don’t want to let him go ! 😓
 

CatladyJan

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The important thing is for him to have a safe place which is not necessarily a spare bedroom.
Do you feel he is fully recovered? How does he behave toward you? Does he hiss, spit or growl? I think I'm reading that you rarely use your kitchen, so I you can make that a safe space by putting the cage and carrier in their and making sure things are secure such as any spaces that he could get into or out of especially windows and doors. Cover the cage and let him acclimated for while. Socializing is more about talking to them and letting them get to trust you and it is a slow process which requires a great amount of time and patience.
 
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Duperous

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The important thing is for him to have a safe place which is not necessarily a spare bedroom.
Do you feel he is fully recovered? How does he behave toward you? Does he hiss, spit or growl? I think I'm reading that you rarely use your kitchen, so I you can make that a safe space by putting the cage and carrier in their and making sure things are secure such as any spaces that he could get into or out of especially windows and doors. Cover the cage and let him acclimated for while. Socializing is more about talking to them and letting them get to trust you and it is a slow process which requires a great amount of time and patience.
I’ve had him for about a week now and he’s probably hissed at me 2-3 times. He just today ate in front of me while I read to him, but he is very skittish. I tried leaving the cage open but he just stays in his carrier. All windows are closed tight. I live in a one bedroom and my fear is he will wiggle into a little hiddy hole I didn’t even know existed (it’s an old building with radiators with gaps between them and the floor) Am I overthinking this? I really appreciate your advice 😊
 

CatladyJan

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I’ve had him for about a week now and he’s probably hissed at me 2-3 times. He just today ate in front of me while I read to him, but he is very skittish. I tried leaving the cage open but he just stays in his carrier. All windows are closed tight. I live in a one bedroom and my fear is he will wiggle into a little hiddy hole I didn’t even know existed (it’s an old building with radiators with gaps between them and the floor) Am I overthinking this? I really appreciate your advice 😊
I forgot to say, "Hat's off to you for taking care of him!" No, you are not overthinking this at all, cats can get through the smallest places you can imagine.

Honestly it sounds you are going in the right direction. I would say his cage and carrier are his safe place and continue to read to him, play music, lie down on the floor, eat with him....

The best protocol IMHO is to give them space and comfort and take it slowly. Ideally you want him to come to you and that will happen but LOTS of patience often months. Sometimes you got to ignore them and other times give them attention - I call it instinct. I've had semi feral cats climb curtains and hit walls trying to get out so be prepared. Definitely make sure he doesn't get out the door when you are coming and going.
 
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Duperous

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I forgot to say, "Hat's off to you for taking care of him!" No, you are not overthinking this at all, cats can get through the smallest places you can imagine.

Honestly it sounds you are going in the right direction. I would say his cage and carrier are his safe place and continue to read to him, play music, lie down on the floor, eat with him....

The best protocol IMHO is to give them space and comfort and take it slowly. Ideally you want him to come to you and that will happen but LOTS of patience often months. Sometimes you got to ignore them and other times give them attention - I call it instinct. I've had semi feral cats climb curtains and hit walls trying to get out so be prepared. Definitely make sure he doesn't get out the door when you are coming and going.
Thank you so much, this is my first time taking care of a feral cat and it is WAY different than I am used to. At times I feel like I’m doing it all wrong! I am dedicated to this little furboy, I will continue to do what I’m doing for now. Thank you again 🙏🏼
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Duperous

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Things are going slowly, very slowly. He is hiding most of the time. He has started playing with some toys (never seen just heard the bells heh) He still doesn’t feel comfortable with eating around me, although I did witness ONE bite yesterday. He is no longer in a the large crate, he roams around free, again he hides most of the time when I’m home, which makes me a bit sad but we’ll get there! He’s super adorable 🥰
Thanks for asking! 😸
 

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I have a number of ferals living in my above ground basement with access to outside. They see me twice a day, every day, when I bring food down. One I have had for 10 years and she has just last summer let me pet her while she is eating. Her brother, on the other hand, became so friendly that he is an indoor cat, Also the fact that when trapped, they were in trap together, one of his eyes was hanging out and half his tail missing,( a lot of coyotes here) so after surgery for enucleation I kept him inside. You will need a lot of patience and maybe accept that he may never be a cuddlebug. So kindhearted of you to care about him.
 
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