Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Just Rescued 2 Ferals... Questions

KrisinOhio

Kristin
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
153
Reaction score
276
Hi, I just rescued a stray/feral female and her kitten 4 days ago. I have been feeding them outside for several months and have been able to pet and play with the mother. Now they are contained to a cat room with with toys, seats, furniture, etc. Feeding and socialization has been going well. But my husband pointed out to me yesterday that these cats are used to a lot of exercise, wandering the neighborhood and now they are in a 12 x 8 room. How do I provide enough exercise and interest for them until they can roam the house? They don't seem to care for toys. There are scratch posts, window sill seats in the room. Any advice would be appreciated!!
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
900
Reaction score
1,371
Location
Los Angeles
You are really doing the right thing to have given them a room which is set up for them. I am assuming that they are not entirely tame or friendly yet? If they will play with you, they may chase little ping pong type balls, use a cat scratcher with the ball they can chase around it, or play with you via a cat dancer type toy. There are also lots of other interactive toys, non electronic, if you visit Petsmart or check online. My young cat has a fabric tunnel which he loves to run in and out of if I dangle a toy in front of it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

KrisinOhio

Kristin
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
153
Reaction score
276
Thank you! The mother is pretty tame, very loving, but a little freaked out being inside. The kitten is pretty wild, but curious. I worry about theem being bored, since the used to roam the neighborhood and now are confined. Looking to keep them interested and exercised. I will check out the tunnel
 

shadowsrescue

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
6,263
Reaction score
3,265
Location
Ohio
Be sure these kitties get to the vet for vaccines, FIV and FELV testing as well as spay or neuter. You want to be sure they are healthy. You are doing a wonderful thing by rescuing these cats, but vet care is essential.

As far as exercising, you can try a laser pointer to really get them running around the room. The da bird wand toy is great too. They will adjust to a more sedentary life over time and I am sure they won't be confined to that room forever.

I brought in 3 feral cat last December. They have all adjusted to inside living. I have bird feeders in many windows that they love to sit and watch. We have play time each day and they still play with each other.
 

Kflowers

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
3,525
Reaction score
5,155
I wouldn't worry about exercise while they are still a bit freaked. You may think the room is boring, but from their point of view there is a LOT of new stuff going on. There are all the smells from the house, the new humans, the furniture, the windows to look out (remember a cat spend her little awake time hunting - a great deal of hunting is stalking which can be done looking out a window. Satisfying enough when there is food inside.)

More, zoomies are made for indoors. an 8 x 10 room may look small to you, but it's got good straight aways and super cornering practice pits.

And glad you managed to bring the little ones inside. Sounds like mom is more of a stray than a feral. She's been on her own for a long time in cat terms and she has her baby to protect (that continues as long as they are together ) so she's bound to be suspicious. But from what you say there's a lot of cuddle potential there.
 

catsknowme

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
9,973
Reaction score
4,183
Location
Eastern California,USA
K Kflowers is spot-on! If they begin pacing and mrreowling to get out, then you would have reason to be concerned. Right now, being the psychologists that cats are, they are learning via sound, the routines of the household & that is very important to them.
Plus, living outside can be fraught with danger and VERY stressful so the mama kitty is likely enjoying the chance to put her guard down and feel safe with her baby.
Welcome to TCS & remember that we love, love, love updates, especially with pictures! :camera:
 

Avery

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
331
Reaction score
915
You have a nice big cat tree and window perches with a big window! Looks like a great room for cats!

About a month and a half ago, I brought in two outside cats. One is a stray and quite friendly, the other is semi-feral. They have been in a safe room (a second bedroom) all this time, but will go back to the vets in two weeks for a second blood test and then introductions will begin with the two other cats in the house.

The semi-feral cat was never big on playing when she was outside, but the stray cat was always running across the lawn, jumping at leaves, etc. For him, I have several catnip-filled toys, which he loves, and several ping pong-size balls. I have a camera in the room so I can see what he is doing all the time and this cat goes crazy in this fairly small space! He races into the barrel of the cat tree, hangs upside down to grab toys, runs across the area rug to the other side of the room and jumps up in the air, then holds a catnip toy and kicks it! He plays by himself for long periods of time -- it is so cute! In other words, if they are inclined to play and get exercise, even in a smallish space it is possible!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

KrisinOhio

Kristin
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
153
Reaction score
276
Thanks for sharing your experience! I really appreciate all the support and encouragement. I am a die-hard worrier and second guesser!! I do need to add more toys, and a camera, so i can check in while at work. Catnip bananas are ordered should be here today.

I hope all goes well with your 2 and the vet appointment, let me know!
 

Avery

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
Messages
331
Reaction score
915
Yep, I'm also a big worrier! Catnip bananas (and other items from the same company) are BIG hits with cats that like catnip so I hope you'll have good luck with them, too!

This site is fantastic for support and advice -- in addition to getting answers to my own specific questions, I also learn a lot by reading through threads (like yours!) that sound interesting and might give me some information and inspiration. The one thing I keep "learning" over and over is to stay patient, that this can take some time. Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
 

Toby459

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
1
Reaction score
4
Hi, I just rescued a stray/feral female and her kitten 4 days ago. I have been feeding them outside for several months and have been able to pet and play with the mother. Now they are contained to a cat room with with toys, seats, furniture, etc. Feeding and socialization has been going well. But my husband pointed out to me yesterday that these cats are used to a lot of exercise, wandering the neighborhood and now they are in a 12 x 8 room. How do I provide enough exercise and interest for them until they can roam the house? They don't seem to care for toys. There are scratch posts, window sill seats in the room. Any advice would be appreciated!!
My vet said to look at it as we are keeping them safe from all the harmful things they can get into outside. I used a laser pointer for my kittens exercise. Now they can come out of the room and roam the house. Still dealing with their feral mom in the room though.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

KrisinOhio

Kristin
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
153
Reaction score
276
Update!! Got both to the vet yesterday. The vet said they weren't the worst behaved cats that day!! Got shots, etc and they are negative for all diseases. Spay for mama is scheduled for next month, and the baby when she is old enough. Whew!!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

KrisinOhio

Kristin
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
153
Reaction score
276
Hi all! Its been 2 weeks since the kitties came inside. We are doing well with meds, vet visits, etc. Miss Kitty (the mama) is very affectionate with me Tortellini (her baby) will play and come close, but still no touching. I thought that they were ready to start coming out of their cat room, which leads into the family room. I opened the door, put treats down but they peek out the door and run back inside. The tv seems to scare them. Did i move too soon?? How do i get them start easing them into rest of the house?
 

shadowsrescue

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
6,263
Reaction score
3,265
Location
Ohio
I have usually started by using baby gates, a wire barrier or screen door first. This allows you to keep the door open so they can start to hear, see and smell the rest of the house. I would only use the barrier when I was home to supervise.

You do need to be careful with the kitten. She can squeeze into very small spaces and if she gets afraid, you may have a hard time getting her back to the safe room. I would concentrate on touching and handling her first before allowing too much time out of the room.

Have you tried using the end of a wand toy or even a feather wand to try to touch the kitten? I used to make a pet petter out of a wand toy. I would cover one end with a sock and then wrap soft flannel around the sock. When the cat had its back to me I would lightly start to touch. The pet petter can also be used as a toy.
Here is a picture
 
Top