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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
    Hi @Avery! Thanks for asking. I really don't have a lot to report, but what I do is positive. For the past week the cats have had access to the upper level (with all of the rooms closed off). They can go up to the foyer and hallway and bathroom. They have been enjoying running up and down the stairs, chasing each other. Over the weekend they were out of their room both days, all day. I still put them in their room overnight. Bboth kitties ask for their night time snack and go in their room to eat it, so I have been closing the door. I will soon start leaving their door open after their nighttime snack... Just like everyone here said, it is nerve wracking, but it is so worth it. And I assume all is well with your babies?
     
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  2. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Oh, that is a VERY good report!! I'm so glad they are doing well and enjoying the chasing up and down the stairs. Lucky and Palmer do that, too, and I am seeing the chasing going both ways, not just Lucky being the aggressor. It is fun to see them having fun!

    I think it is nice that they go into their room for a snack! I'm wondering if you would continue to feed them there even when you start opening the door afterwards. It might help in the future if you needed to confine them to more easily get them in a carrier to go to the vets. But maybe that isn't a problem! I still feed Lucky and Ruby in their room -- makes it easier to separate them from the other two -- and I'm thinking about how I'm going to get Lucky in a carrier to go for his eye appointment in a few weeks. After meals, I usually open up the door but on appointment day, I'm going to keep him in the safe room for a few hours after breakfast so I can hopefully lure him in or quickly pick him up and put him in the carrier that is in their room with a soft pad for naps. Once Lucky has the run of the house, he is FAST and very hard to catch!

    Keep up the great work! It sounds like things are heading in a good direction with your kitties!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  3. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Something weird is happening with my reply! I am not sure what happened to it... I'm going to wait and see if it shows up!! Oh... there it is, above this message! I don't quite know how this all works I guess!
     
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  4. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    I dont understand this tech stuff either, LOL! I probably will keep feeding them in their room as long as they go in willingly. Its always a question with Tortellini. Good luck with Lucky, i hope all goes well with his visit. As far as my cats, im sure it will be an adventure getting them in carriers again. Mine never go in them for naps.
     
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  5. FarmersWife24

    FarmersWife24 TCS Member Young Cat

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    My feral decided he was done with his safe room. We have a good-sized finished family room with look-out windows in the basement. He lays in the sun and his new safe spot is under and inside our ottoman. I’d say if a feral doesn’t want to go back to the safe room, s/he doesn’t need it anymore. If you need a cat to be confined there, try something really smelly like canned oysters. It doesn’t take much. Just enough for a good luck - a treat.
     
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  6. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Hi all! Hope everyone and their furbabies are well and that your weather is becoming more springlike! I wanted give a quick update and ask for your advice/input.

    We will be leaving the cats' room door open overnight soon - if not this weekend then next. (My DH travels so i'd prefer to do it for the first time when he is home to tell me to RELAX!) Anyway, we are going to do a few final cat-proofs, I want to take some stuff off of shelves and double and triple check the bedroom. Right now they have access to most of the house when we are home (except overnight). The only change would be that we would also leave our bedroom door open (it is now closed).

    Here's where I need your advice. When the cats are out now, they are ok wikth us in the family room and their room, but they won't go upstairs when we are up there. In fact, if they have gone upstairs and we then go up, they run back down. We could be up there for an hour, having dinner, and they stay on the lower level in their room or the family room. I've been trying to lure them with treats / toys, but no luck yet. How should I proceed? Let it happen organically or actively try to encourage them to come up when we are there? I don't want to push them further away.... but i also want them to get comfortable being up their with us.

    On the whole they are doing really well. Miss Kitty is very loving, super tame and just a really good girl. She will not yet sit on the couch with me, she'll come up for treats, get a quick pet, then jump back down. When i am sitting on the floor with her she is all over me! Tortellini is coming along also, she will sit on the couch with me (briefly) and let me pet her with a brush.

    I am trying to find a happy medium between actively working to socialize them and help them get comfortable in the entire house, and also let them relax and co-exist with us, doing their thing. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

    thanks!!
     
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  7. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    This all sounds really normal to me. The first feral cat I brought inside took years to adjust to us moving around the house. He would run the other way to hide or away from us if we got too close. It was much worse with my husband and his heavier gait. Marvin just decided this year that sitting on the couch with us is a good thing! He even has ventured onto my lap. He's been inside with us for almost 6 years! He keeps growing and trying new things, but it has been a very slowwwwww process.

    Each new change will take time. Some they might adjust to quicker than others. You just have to try things and if it's too much too soon just take a step back for a bit. You and the kitties are all doing so great!
     
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  8. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Thanks for the virtual hand-holding @shadowsrescue! I know I sound like a broken record!
     
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  9. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    It's so hard when you really want them to move forward and they seem a bit stuck. It will get easier in time. One day you will just realize how far they have come! Always feel free to come and ask as many questions as needed!
     
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  10. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Adult Cat

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    In my (really limited) experience, I think you could try both and see how it goes. Try to lure them with treats a few times and see if it works or if it scares them too much. Maybe there is a mid-way point -- you could station yourself on the stairs and see if they'll come part way up to take a treat or chase a wand toy. If they seem too afraid or uncomfortable, give it a little more time for them to come upstairs on their own. I am not sure there is a real right or wrong way, just what works for your cats.

    I found that I scared Ruby more by trying to get her to play or take a treat just outside of the safe room. Finally, she started to come downstairs all on her own to explore, but she does it in small doses and runs back up if I get too close. One evening she amazed me by coming into the living room and jumping up to take a nap on a chair! It hasn't happened again, but I know it will. Lucky was easier and less afraid to go all over the house, but he still avoids the basement and sometimes thinks I'm chasing him if I walk toward him.

    You really are doing well with Miss Kitty and Tortellini! It sounds like they are becoming very happy housecats! Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
     
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  11. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Good morning cat people! Last Friday was our planned day to leave the cats door open overnight. Sadly we have chosen to push that back. Tortellini is in full-on heat, yowling, rolling, tail in the air aannnnnd spraying! We did not do ourselves or her any favors in not spaying her when she turned 6 months (February) as our vet suggests. We had planned to have it done this summer, but I called yesterday and the first available is May 8. We are not going to allow them up overnight until she is spayed, for several reasons. First, we want to try to control the spraying. Second, when she comes home after the spay I am going to have to contain her in their room during recovery. The only good thing is that because she is in heat, she is affectionate and I am able to pet her. This is how I first interacted with Miss Kitty last summer, I hope that Tortellini remains somewhat friendly post spay.

    One positive – Miss Kitty came upstairs while we were eating dinner the other night, and she hung out. She let me pet her, ate some food. Tortellini also came up, but was more timid.

    So of course I am feeling all the usual things - guilty that we didn't do this sooner, nervous about the procedure/recovery, bad for the cats that that they can't have more freedom yet...

    I have been giving Tortellini Bachs Rescue Remedy for the last 2 days, to hopefully take the edge off some. Is there anything else I can do to help make her more comfortable? And will she really be in heat more or less nonstop until she is spayed?
     
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  12. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    Poor Tortellini. Yet, I would use her wanting affection to your advantage. Really work on getting her more socialized. I would definitely keep her in her room too. Maybe you could call the vet and ask to be put on a cancellation list?

    I really don't have any tips/tricks on how to help her get through the heat cycle. You might want to take a look or post your question in the Pregnant Cat Kitten forum.

    Be sure you are using Feliway. They might help her too. Here is an article I found
    How To Help Calm Down A Cat In Heat: Calming Remedies
     
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  13. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Hello @KrisinOhio -- I was just wondering how you were doing! Yikes! I have no experience with cats in heat, but it does seem like a great opportunity to bond more with Tortellini. And good news about Miss Kitty coming upstairs and hanging out with you for a while!

    I like shadowsrescue's idea of asking to be put on a cancellation list. You probably want to stick with your own vet, but that seems like a long time to wait! Any chance there is another vet in that practice who could do the surgery? If you were thinking of switching vets, now would be a good time IF the new vet had a date much sooner.

    As far as the procedure, I would TRY not to worry. I have never had any problems with my previous cats, including Ruby who was released outside.
     
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  14. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    Thank you for the input and good thoughts! We really like our vet, she has been caring for our pets for years. I will call back and ask to get on the cancellation list.
     
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  15. Avery

    Avery TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Does your vet have a cancellation list? I hope so and hope you are near the top of the list!

    I understand wanting to stick with your vet. My friend just switched vets and keeps encouraging me to do the same, but my vet was SO good with Ruby, the semi-feral cat, that I want to stay with her! She had been involved in spay/neuter clinics with feral cats when she was in vet school and her mom has a semi-feral cat living indoors! I am very happy she is willing to work with Ruby! When you find a vet (or a doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.!) you like and trust, you stick with them!
     
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  16. KrisinOhio

    KrisinOhio Thread Starter Kristin Adult Cat

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    Oct 28, 2018
    I agree @Avery! I'm willing to wait so that my regular vet can do the surgery. I will check on cancellations also. Honestly, I am going to use these next couple of weeks to work with her, try to socialize her more, and figure out how I am going to get her in the carrier!
     

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