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Just Rescued 2 Ferals... Questions

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by KrisinOhio, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    Thank you @shadowsrescue! I devoured your blog last weekend. It is so helpful and inspiring! All of the stories, @Avery's, Buggy's, each one teaches me something, most of all that it can be done!! Goodnight all!
     
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  2. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Yes it can be done! I am very slowly learning to take all expectations away and go with the cats' timetable. It is hard, too, because a good friend at work keeps saying I should just open the door to the safe room, throw them all together, and let them figure it out on their own. But then I read the threads here (and shadowsrescue's blog!) and realize that I am doing what is best for MY cats and their situation. They are safe and warm and loved and we have all the time in the world to make it work!
     
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  3. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I am told the same thing over and over about my 3. Others just don't understand the mindset of a feral cat. I too have all the time in the world and just take things day by day. I know there will be bumps along the way but I do my best to keep everyone on track.
     
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  4. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Agreed!! This is why i am so grateful to have found this forum. It is so great to share info with people who "get it". Fyi - this morning was wonderful!! I kept them in their room and and spent time with them while they were eating. Tortellini was a bit social too, let me pet her and rubbed on my shoe!! Miss Kitty was her usual lovey self!!
     

  5. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Ok, another question. Would the "feral people" please give me an estimate of how much time, on average, you are devoting to working with your cats? During the week i spend 30 - 45 minutes in the morning, and anywhere from 2 - 3 ish hours in the evening (broken up into smaller increments). it is much increased on the weekend. Otherwise they are in their safe room. Id love thoughts or comments!! Thanks
     
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  6. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I spend about 20-30 minutes with them in the mornings and then again in the afternoon. At night my DH and I are in with them for at least an hour. Yet my 2 are in a sun room that is right off our family room. The doors are both open and I have a gate and wire barrier to keep them contained. My other 3 cats can go directly up to the gate and the 3 feral boys can come right out to see them as well. The feral boys see and hear everything that is going on in the house.

    At night, 2 of my resident cats are shut in my bedroom or put in the basement. The 3 feral boys are alowed out on the first floor and upstairs hallway. The bedroom doors on the 2nd floor are kept closed and the basement door is kept closed.

    Weekends they do get a lot more time with us too.
     
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  7. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I go into the safe room to feed Lucky and Ruby three times a day (then a snack at night) so I spend anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour each time (depends on whether or not I have to go to work), often petting or brushing Lucky. (Ruby won't allow random petting yet, except when I hand her a treat at snack time.) On weekends, I usually take a book or my laptop into their room and sit for a few hours, or even take a nap on the futon mattress. I have been leaving the baby gate and the door closed with the wire gate propped open so Palmer and Lucky can sniff each other and play footsie under the door.

    Now that introductions have begun, I am keeping the interactions fairly brief. Just now, I opened the door and Lucky came out and wandered around upstairs and downstairs while I kept an eye on Palmer (who was again exploring the safe room), but Lucky came back to his room within a few minutes. Lucky used the litter box and Palmer rushed over to investigate, they played with a wand toy for two seconds, they got a few treats, Lucky watched Palmer snoop around, then they both rolled over and I petted them (so cute!), and shortly after, it seemed like a good time to close up shop. Honestly, I am not yet used to these encounters and I find them stressful! So I am taking them in smaller doses and hopefully am ending them on a positive note each time!
     
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  8. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Thanks @Avery and @shadowsrescue!! Very helpful. Avery i agree about the stressful part, love to end on a positive!! Fingers crossed for both of you for continued positive interaction. Lucky for me, my cats are mother and daughter, so i only have to introduce them to the house and indoor life!! (Only, yeah right) :)
     
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  9. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    Hi everyone! After the events of Monday morning the rest of the week has been uneventful, thank goodness! Thanks again to everyone for your help and guidance.

    All in all the cats are relatively well-behaved. I have not been letting them out of their room before work, instead I have been playing with them in their room before I have to leave. In the evening the are in the family room for several hours. When it's time to go to bed I give them an evening snack in their room and shut the door behind me. So here is my question / dilemma: they both are very comfortable in the family room and appear to prefer it to being contained in their room. I can see them on the "cat cam" waiting at the door in their room when they hear us come home. They always return to their room for the litter box (and that is where they are fed).

    Now they are looking up the stairs to the upper level (kitchen, bedrooms, dining room), which are blocked off. With the way my house is configured, there is no way to expand their territory room by room. Since I have no other pets to worry about, I an thinking about letting them have access to the upstairs. We would close the doors to bedrooms and bathroom, and not allow them in the kitchen when cooking, of course. My husband and I are going to kitty-proof the upstairs this weekend. If we do let them up they would always be supervised.

    I guess my biggest concern is it appears they do not want to be shut in their room any more, which I am looking at as a good thing. As I type they are hanging out in the family room, bathing, sleeping, playing. Tortellini is the most skittish, only rarely allowing a brief pet. Miss Kitty is a love bug, but still not willing to be picked up.

    So what do you think? I am only hesitating because what if I can't get them back into their room when we need them contained??? How did you all get through this stage? Do they need to be 100% socialized to be allowed more freedom?

    Sorry for the many questions, but I know you all have been there and I look forward to you advise and comments.
     

  10. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    This is a tough one. It does make it much easier to get them back to their room if you are able to handle them. My only concern would be that one or both of them would find a hiding spot ( under couch or chair) and you can't get them out.

    I guess over the weekend when you are home, you can try it out and see what happens. It's best to allow them plenty of time to explore the house while you are home. Keep an eye on them to be sure they don't get into anything.

    It does sound as though they are ready!
     
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  11. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I like Shadowsrescue's advice about trying this over the weekend when you are home and have plenty of time. One idea would be to try it a few times throughout the weekend and allow each exploration to last a little longer. Maybe each time you will learn something new about how to handle them and it will build up everyone's confidence! When I first let Lucky out to explore the whole house, keeping it to just a few minutes was all I could handle because I was so nervous! You can have treats and toys ready when you want to lure them back into their room. Hopefully, even if they hide, they would come out for a special treat. They would also have to return to use the litter box unless you are setting up more in other places.

    I have the same question about letting Lucky and Ruby more/total freedom if they aren't 100% socialized! Lucky was clearly ready to explore and has shown himself to be very good out and about, not getting into anything or causing trouble. On the other hand, Ruby can't be picked up or petted (most of the time) and is not that interested in leaving the room. So I'm trying to accommodate each of them at their own level of interest and "ability," a bit of a juggling act but do-able!

    If you do your best to remove any dangers and watch them carefully, you might find that they do well and won't get into any trouble. Letting them have the run of the house may be closer than you think! Good luck and keep us posted!
     
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  12. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    Thanks to you both for the input!! I feel like I'm putting the cart before the horse, but they both have a "whats going on up there?" Look on their faces when either of us leave the room!! Normal cat curiosity i guess. i do want to encourage their confidence, just not at the expense of a bad experience. If we do let them explore it will definitely be on the weekend, as you suggest. Next weekend would be the earliest, got to kitty proof first!!! This cat taming business is something!! So glad i found this wonderful forum!!
     
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  13. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Aug 5, 2018
    I understand about not wanting them to have a bad experience as they explore the house. When I had to shoo Lucky upstairs a few times, he wasn't happy about it and seemed a little scared, but once I closed him into the room, I sat with him and petted him and brushed him (which he loves) and he was soon purring and totally fine. I have found he either forgets quickly or forgives quickly, maybe both! I'll bet your guys will be fine even if there is a glitch in the plans!
     
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  14. mazie

    mazie TCS Member Top Cat

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    Love what you are doing for these two kitties. Just a thought, the room that you and your husband have them in for the time being, does it have say a television, say sofa or comfortable chairs in it so that you and your husband can spend some of your leisure time with them just "hanging out, the two of you with them", and not just using the time with them as "socializing the ferals and play time". That way they can get them accustomed to living with humans, rather than you just with them. You and your husband will be relaxing, watching a show and it won't be "all about them". They can learn that they can "hang out, relax and sleep with their humans, and not just be entertained". Does this make any sense?
     
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  15. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Hi Mazie!! Your suggestion makes perfect sense. Unfortunately there is only 1 very low "pillow chair" and no tv. I can take my laptop in and watch something or put some music on and read a book.
    When they are in the family room with us thats what we're doing. I will start lounging in their room more often!!

    Avery, i completely agree about the forgiveness!! They seem to forgive & forget pretty quickly, im the one with the issue!! I wish Miss Kitty would let me brush her, she loves being pet and snuggling, we're working up to the brush!!

    By the way, ive been meaning to ask, do you have issues with litter being spread around your cats' room? I have 2 big litterboxes that i clean 2x a day but they track litter all over the room. I am trying to vac as little as possible so i dont freak them out, but it's getting in my nerves!

    Heres some recent pictures of my girls
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. mazie

    mazie TCS Member Top Cat

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    They both look right at home in your house, very relaxed and comfortable.;)
     
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  17. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    The litter tracking drives me nut!!! I have found a few things that do help. I am using dirt tracking mats like these

    They really help to keep the litter a bit more contained. I also by accident discovered that puppy pee pads right in front of the litter boxes work so well. The litter sits right on the pee pad and then each day I just pour it back into the box.

    I too try not to sweep too often. I bought a great whisk broom and dust pan from Amazon and use that daily. This weekend is a big cleaning of the room. My 3 will just hide behind the love seat!
     
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  18. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    Awesome ideas, thank you!!!
     
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  19. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Good morning!! Im not sure if this was a good idea or not, but here is what happened last night and this morning. My husband and i were watching tv in the family room from 5pm to 10 last night and again this morning from 8 am to 11.... with the kitties! They were great! So well- behaved!! Last night at bedtime i gave them a snack and they went right to bed in their room. This morning was just as good. Miss Kitty napped in the middle of the floor on her blanket. Tortellini likes to sleep behind a desk in the cat room, so she went to take a nap on her own. I gave Miss Kitty a snack at 11 and she went right to her room also.

    As I've said, my fear is that they will not want to back in their room when i need them to, so we are only doing this when there are no time issues if they dont go back. Although they have been very well behaved since they came inside I'm not ready to leave them to their iwn devices yet!!

    Sorry for the constant updates and questions :)
     
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  20. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    I think this is all fantastic news!!! Keep doing what you are doing!!! It won't be long and they will be out full time.
     
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