Looking for Help & Support

karen.balch72

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Hi. My name is Karen and there in the back yard shed is Stormy. She wanders the neighborhood but seems to spend the night here. I started feeding Stormy a little over a month ago. Stormy recognizes the hot pink bowl I put the can of wet food in and will eat while I'm sitting in my lawn chair without a lot of looking around. My goal is to gain her trust enough to bring her inside, hopefully before winter hits.

I get bouts where I struggle with my mental health. Any and all advice and support for the process, time and patience will be greatly welcomed to help me continue through the day-to-day of what has occasionally felt like an unobtainable and impossible task.

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calicosrspecial

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Hi. My name is Karen and there in the back yard shed is Stormy. She wanders the neighborhood but seems to spend the night here. I started feeding Stormy a little over a month ago. Stormy recognizes the hot pink bowl I put the can of wet food in and will eat while I'm sitting in my lawn chair without a lot of looking around. My goal is to gain her trust enough to bring her inside, hopefully before winter hits.

I get bouts where I struggle with my mental health. Any and all advice and support for the process, time and patience will be greatly welcomed to help me continue through the day-to-day of what has occasionally felt like an unobtainable and impossible task.

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Hello and welcome!!!

Thank you SO MUCH for caring for Stormy!!

Stormy is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!

Using food is a great way to build trust. At some point you can start talking to her calm, confidently and lovingly to her to get her used to your voice. Also, you'll want to watch so you don;t stare at her, stand over her, reach from above her, etc. But it sounds like you are doing a great job so far since she feels comfortable staying around you, staying in your yard, etc.

We can help you through the process and the timing so don't worry. We will take it one step at a time with small goals with the big goal to getting her inside successfully. We all feel overwhelmed at times so don't worry, you are not alone. It is amazing what we can handle when we are supported.

Do you have any other animals in the house?

There will be other great posters I am sure. I do have problems getting updates and knowing when a thread is updated so if you post and I or someone else doesn't respond just send us a message.

It sounds like you are doing a great job so far! Keep up the great work and feel free to post anytime.

Thanks again for all you are doing for Stormy!!!
 

Caspers Human

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Yes, build her a shelter to hang out in. I don't know for sure but like C catapault says, she might be having kittens soon. She'll need a safe place to birth them.

You said there's a shed. Is it possible for her to go there?
If there is tools and garden equipment in there, it might not be good but, if you can clean out a corner of the shed and put a box there for her to make a nest, that might work.

Otherwise, an old cat carrier with the door taken off might work, too.
Even an old, unused dog house, a wooden crate or anything sturdy.

If you give her a place to have her kittens (assuming this is true) you will definitely build trust with her.
She will understand that you are the human who gave her a safe place to have her litter. Cats can be pretty smart, sometimes! :)

Other than that, just keep doing what you have been doing and I think, by winter, you'll be able to get her to go indoors.

Patience is key. ;)
 

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You are so kind to try to help Stormy. I also wonder about the angle of the photo showing the size of the middle part of her body and wonder if she might be pregnant. Is there any way that you can asses that? Any cat rescues locally who could come and give you their opinion? Male cats around? Heard calling?

You are certainly doing the right thing so far with taking it slowly and letting her see that she is safe to eat when you are around. I agree that talking to her in a soothing voice will help with introductions. She may even approach you at some point and if she does just let her explore without trying to pick her up or pet her initially.

If someone in my neighborhood had just asked the question I would be running over right now with a humane trap to get her inside. Given that she may not be agreeable to that makes me hesitate with recommending that. It also presupposes that you would have a room in which she could stay while she acclimates to your house and you...and takes care of her babies if that is going to happen.

There is a ton of advice on TCS and lots of people who can help with advice if Stormy is actually pregnant. It is not as unmanageable as it sounds and it is always better to be able to have all the kittens in one place rather than having to chase them after the fact to trap them.
 

BellaGooch

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Taming feral/stray cats can be hard. It will take time and patience. I myself am currently in the process of taming a feral. The advice that I got here was basically to "have patience, let the cat come to you, and be gentle." It will happen over time. Right now, just keep feeding You can do it! There are TONS of articles here filled with great advice about dealing with stray/feral and pregnant cats. Hang in there!:happycat: P.S. Stormy is stunning!!!
 

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Aw! Thank you for caring for her! I agree that she might be pregnant. Give her a nice, safe spot to give birth, and then you might have an easier time catching her once you can get to the kittens. If she is a stray rather than a feral, it will be much easier taming her. Ferals are hard to tame once they are a few months old.
 

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I started feeding Stormy a little over a month ago. Stormy recognizes the hot pink bowl I put the can of wet food in and will eat while I'm sitting in my lawn chair without a lot of looking around. My goal is to gain her trust enough to bring her inside, hopefully before winter hits.
Thank you for taking time and helping out Stormy :clapcat: Very good advice from the above posters.

Since it's been a month feeding her and as you've mentioned that she recognize the oink bowl and have been eating while you sit o your lawn chair shows that Stormy has kind of gotten used to you , though maybe still not trusting you yet, which is normal.

Try this the next time when you put out her food. Move her dish a little closer to you slowly. Let's say, move a feet every 3 days and see how she response to it. If she still eats, its a good sign and if she doesn't, move it back out to a little. Also if you can, place a mat or towel where she'll lay to eat. This will soak up her scents and it makes the area more familiar to her and she'll be more confident because with her scents around, she'll feel safe. Also once her scent part and moving of dish is going well, leave one of your clean unwashed, perfume free garment and place it near the dish too. This will help her get use to your scent.

Scent marking is very important to cats. You can do this slowly and get a few mats or towels to soak up her scent so that you can place those mats or towels with her scent around the yard and also leading to the house where you want her to be eventually. Same for you garments. Do all this while you are sitting there and do not make any sudden moves. Always speak to her in a calm and loving and assuring voice and do not look directly into her eyes. Just make eye contact and look away. By looking away shows that you are submissive to her and she's in charge. Once that is established, do slow eye blinks and look away but try to catch a glimpse and see if she blinks back. If she doesn't, don't worry, just repeat.

If you have move the dish very close to you and she eats from it, keep it there for a coupe of weeks. Then slowly, instead of sitting on the deck chair, sit on the ground so that you are almost at the same level as her and tat won't be intimidating other and you won't look like a threat to her but during all this process, take precaution and do not try to pet her yet. Let her get use to your garment scents and let her make the first move to come smell you and mark you and then slowly you'll proceed to attempt to pet her.

Do one thing at a time and do not rush through the whole process as you don't want to blow it and make her loose trust in you. If you did things the right way and right timing, It'll be much easier and if you score her just one time, it could be much harder the next time as the trust level is broken. Getting her in is a one step forward and two steps back process and cannot be rushed.

Do not worry, as what the above posters mentioned, we'll try our best to guide you through and we do want Stormy indoors as much as you do. So feel free to ask questions as there's no such things as stupid questions here.

We hope the best for you and Stormy.
 
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karen.balch72

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Thank you for all the posts of encouragement. And I will look into the threads about pregnant strays so I can be getting the possibilities ready if we end up needing them. I will take my camera out with me again and try to get more pics for comparisons.
  • I already do talk while I get the dish of food ready - it just happens! I've been around & lived with cats before (though no one's here now) so I know how smart they are and can understand. It's the epitome of "social distancing" back there with our little routine! She peeks out about the time I put out the food and looks for me. When she's sure she's caught my sight she ducks back in when I check my watch and I'll grab the wet food, the dry food, the dish, and the cat spork from the shoulder bag I keep 'all things outdoor cat care' in. I approach slowly, at a good distance to the back fence first then directly toward "her door" in the shed so she can see I'm coming. Once I'm at 'our spot' I sit down in the grass and just explain what I'm encroaching for and what I am doing. Then I say I'm leaving and shake a little plastic travel jar that I put an extra handful of dry cat food into for a 'clicker' of sorts so she knows I'm backing off. After I'm back to my chair and sitting a few minutes, she looks out to be sure that's where I am before she goes to the dish when I've nodded and told her to go on. I know it's silly to think that the situation is anything like I'm imagining and that's what makes it really hard if I don't see her at least once during a day. I end up with the WORST case of "MommyWorry" where she is dead somewhere from increasingly catastrophic actions.
  • Either this sweet cat swallowed a bowling ball. Or she's looking rather pregnant.
    ...
    Is there any way that you can asses that? Any cat rescues locally who could come and give you their opinion? Male cats around? Heard calling?
    -- My husband and I have been a little concerned about pregnancy. If she isn't ALREADY pregnant, every night she's out there is another 'opportunity' for it to happen. Since she's outside and able to go whenever she pleases, there hasn't been any calling if/when she's in heat. I don't know how an evaluation can be done. Stormy's not the only one with trust issues; I've had an experience with the town rescue group and now I don't trust that they wouldn't take her and kill her in the name of population control since she's not very socialized and apparently pregnant. The places that do a low-cost spay/neuter haven't responded about helping because I'm not part of a rescue organization. I also worry about, well, pissing her off & her taking off for good and getting hurt somewhere if I try to catch her in a trap. I bought a carrier that I tried introducing, both with the door pinned open and disassembled so she won't feel cornered, and she won't have anything to do with it. I've brought it in and put it into storage for either her later or another cat we adopt.
  • Yes, build her a shelter to hang out in. ... You said there's a shed. Is it possible for her to go there?
    -- The shed is an old wooden one where there are places that the plywood has pulled away from the frame - the nails are still in the frame - and it hasn't been opened enough for a human to go inside in nearly 20 years so there is an "inside" to shelter in, I just can't get to her when she's there.
  • ... Move her dish a little closer to you slowly. Let's say, move a feet every 3 days and see how she response to it. If she still eats, its a good sign and if she doesn't, move it back out to a little. Also if you can, place a mat or towel where she'll lay to eat. ... leave one of your clean unwashed, perfume free garment and place it near the dish too. ... instead of sitting on the deck chair, sit on the ground so that you are almost at the same level as her ... let her make the first move to come smell you and mark you ...
    -- I was just thinking about this exact thing when I was sitting out with her today! I've taken one of our extra thick, bright yellow (so the hubby sees it before mowing it over!) plastic tent stakes and marked where her dish sits in the yard so I know if we're getting her to come further from her SafeSpot or not. I bought a carrier padding mat for her that turns out to be a size too big for the carrier I bought. I'll see about waterproofing the fabric side and start putting that out at the stake, too, while I seek out some 'welcome mat' style of carpet pieces. Sometimes I'll spread my yoga mat out on the yard with a little travel pillow. I'll put out her food and I'll lay down on my belly with my chin on the pillow to watch her eat from there. Once I even got her to sit "outside" and groom while I was on my side and made grooming motions myself ... oh my heart hit a satellite during that!

    "We hope the best for you and Stormy." Again, thank you all for the advice on what to do next! See you out around the scratching posts! :bluepaw::bluepaw:

 

tabbytom

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I was just thinking about this exact thing when I was sitting out with her today! I've taken one of our extra thick, bright yellow (so the hubby sees it before mowing it over!) plastic tent stakes and marked where her dish sits in the yard so I know if we're getting her to come further from her SafeSpot or not. I bought a carrier padding mat for her that turns out to be a size too big for the carrier I bought. I'll see about waterproofing the fabric side and start putting that out at the stake, too, while I seek out some 'welcome mat' style of carpet pieces. Sometimes I'll spread my yoga mat out on the yard with a little travel pillow. I'll put out her food and I'll lay down on my belly with my chin on the pillow to watch her eat from there. Once I even got her to sit "outside" and groom while I was on my side and made grooming motions myself ... oh my heart hit a satellite during that!

"We hope the best for you and Stormy." Again, thank you all for the advice on what to do next! See you out around the scratching posts! :bluepaw::bluepaw:
The other thing is establish the same feeding time and calling her out as you bring out the food. This way will also create a relationship and start a communication line.

Stormy grooming herself in front of you is a good sign! In the later stage, get a cat wand and slowly start to play with her. Everything you do is all about gaining her trust and building up her confidence in you.

Keep us posted of the progress.
 

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You are doing great. If it helps any, I have socialized over 100. It is always a challenge but the rewards are amazing and wonderful. Ferals are the most appreciative of having support and sanctuary. Your carrier is still useful so please bring it back out. If she will sit on something like a towel while she eats, you can then put the towel in the carrier. Let her see that it is a non threatening addition to her yard. Putting it near her food can help as well as adding a small bit of very special food treats. (I would keep the door on the carrier but propped or tied open for now) A small amount of Gerber 2nd foods all meat baby food that is slightly warmed is hard to resist if you can get it. Any food she especially likes can be used to entice her to enter the carrier and learn that it is a happy place. If she does not object, put it near her food. Do new things gradually. Patience is the key. Cats are not fond of change so slow and steady. The reason I want you to use the carrier is because they can serve as a way to get kitty. Let her trust the carrier and later, as her trust of you progressed, you may be able to just close the door while she is inside and bring her in. I have done this with the majority of the ferals I socialized. The carriers become their safe haven for life and anytime later in that they feel nervous, they can hide in their carrier.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with new information since you have gotten lots of great tips already but as you work to get closer, laying belly up in the grass as she eats will show her that you have trust in her and are leaving yourself totally vulnerable to her. I’m cat language, this is a way to tell her, you trust her.
I think you will find that you have come to a great place for the support you and Stormy need. We all support each other and our kitties here. Many of us carry some baggage of our own but this a loving group. I think you will see that we offer you our hearts and any knowledge that we have gained along our own journeys with our ferals, rescues and kitty loved ones. When I was doing my own rescues and socializing, I received great support here. I will always be grateful for the day I stumbled onto this site. It was one of the best days of my life. Welcome to you, your husband and Stormy. She’s beautiful! :welcomesign::heartshape:
 
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karen.balch72

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... leave one of your clean unwashed, perfume free garment ... This will help her get use to your scent.
-- I'm sorry for being a little dense but I'm a little confused with this. Can you give me an example? Do you mean something like a tee shirt I've worn without my body spray and is in the hamper? What about deodorant/antiperspirant? Mine has some flowery scent to it.

The other thing is establish the same feeding time and calling her out as you bring out the food. This way will also create a relationship and start a communication line.
-- yeah, I have a specific time I put out the pink dish of wet food with a bit of dry food garnish (a way to 'treat' I learned from my furry-ends Joey & Misty) I target for. It's right after our dinner so I sometimes have a 5-10 minute swing if something comes up that delays me coming out for the evening. There's also the dry food to finish out the daily requirement that I dump on an old whipped cream lid and DEFINATELY talk to her about what's going on because I put it inside her door where she doesn't have to step on it to go out for water and the potty but will stay dry if it rains overnight. I also tell her that I'm heading inside for the night, to stay safe and that I love her. :heartshape:

... get a cat wand and slowly start to play with her.
-- Oh my gosh, we're all set with that! PetSmart had a great sale on cat toys a little time back, so I MIGHT have gone a little crazy. I got a wand and a fisher's pole type with feathers. I have balls with and without feathers. There's stuffed toys "marinating" in a gallon zippy bag with a little catnip and there's a 'kicker' one. Since she left me half of her 'lunch' shortly after I started feeding her (to "return the dinner invitation" maybe?) I picked up several mice toys, too. And who can pass up the bigger self-play toys at 75% off! It's all in a storage tote for the day we can start figuring out what ones are the most fun.

... she might be having kittens soon. She'll need a safe place to birth them. ... if you can clean out a corner of the shed and put a box there for her to make a nest, that might work. Otherwise, an old cat carrier with the door taken off might work, too.
-- there's a sheltered place beside her shed wall I could tuck her carrier but would making a nest out of it to have kittens make her not want to go back into it once it becomes her carrier again? And how big should the nest be? I have the carrier that was used by a furry-end who's crossed the Rainbow from either a heart attack or stroke. I'd of course clean it up very well since it's also been out in the garage for several years. It is small, though.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thank you for all the posts of encouragement. And I will look into the threads about pregnant strays so I can be getting the possibilities ready if we end up needing them. I will take my camera out with me again and try to get more pics for comparisons.
  • I already do talk while I get the dish of food ready - it just happens! I've been around & lived with cats before (though no one's here now) so I know how smart they are and can understand. It's the epitome of "social distancing" back there with our little routine! She peeks out about the time I put out the food and looks for me. When she's sure she's caught my sight she ducks back in when I check my watch and I'll grab the wet food, the dry food, the dish, and the cat spork from the shoulder bag I keep 'all things outdoor cat care' in. I approach slowly, at a good distance to the back fence first then directly toward "her door" in the shed so she can see I'm coming. Once I'm at 'our spot' I sit down in the grass and just explain what I'm encroaching for and what I am doing. Then I say I'm leaving and shake a little plastic travel jar that I put an extra handful of dry cat food into for a 'clicker' of sorts so she knows I'm backing off. After I'm back to my chair and sitting a few minutes, she looks out to be sure that's where I am before she goes to the dish when I've nodded and told her to go on. I know it's silly to think that the situation is anything like I'm imagining and that's what makes it really hard if I don't see her at least once during a day. I end up with the WORST case of "MommyWorry" where she is dead somewhere from increasingly catastrophic actions.
  • ... -- My husband and I have been a little concerned about pregnancy. If she isn't ALREADY pregnant, every night she's out there is another 'opportunity' for it to happen. Since she's outside and able to go whenever she pleases, there hasn't been any calling if/when she's in heat. I don't know how an evaluation can be done. Stormy's not the only one with trust issues; I've had an experience with the town rescue group and now I don't trust that they wouldn't take her and kill her in the name of population control since she's not very socialized and apparently pregnant. The places that do a low-cost spay/neuter haven't responded about helping because I'm not part of a rescue organization. I also worry about, well, pissing her off & her taking off for good and getting hurt somewhere if I try to catch her in a trap. I bought a carrier that I tried introducing, both with the door pinned open and disassembled so she won't feel cornered, and she won't have anything to do with it. I've brought it in and put it into storage for either her later or another cat we adopt.
  • -- The shed is an old wooden one where there are places that the plywood has pulled away from the frame - the nails are still in the frame - and it hasn't been opened enough for a human to go inside in nearly 20 years so there is an "inside" to shelter in, I just can't get to her when she's there.
  • -- I was just thinking about this exact thing when I was sitting out with her today! I've taken one of our extra thick, bright yellow (so the hubby sees it before mowing it over!) plastic tent stakes and marked where her dish sits in the yard so I know if we're getting her to come further from her SafeSpot or not. I bought a carrier padding mat for her that turns out to be a size too big for the carrier I bought. I'll see about waterproofing the fabric side and start putting that out at the stake, too, while I seek out some 'welcome mat' style of carpet pieces. Sometimes I'll spread my yoga mat out on the yard with a little travel pillow. I'll put out her food and I'll lay down on my belly with my chin on the pillow to watch her eat from there. Once I even got her to sit "outside" and groom while I was on my side and made grooming motions myself ... oh my heart hit a satellite during that!

    "We hope the best for you and Stormy." Again, thank you all for the advice on what to do next! See you out around the scratching posts! :bluepaw::bluepaw:
"I already do talk while I get the dish of food ready - it just happens!" - Perfect!!! Food is the best way to build trust and talking gets her accustomed to you. It is all about making positive associations (food, eating) with you.

"It's the epitome of "social distancing" back there with our little routine! She peeks out about the time I put out the food and looks for me." - So typical, so normal.

"When she's sure she's caught my sight she ducks back in when I check my watch and I'll grab the wet food, the dry food, the dish, and the cat spork from the shoulder bag I keep 'all things outdoor cat care' in." - Again, so common.

" I approach slowly, at a good distance to the back fence first then directly toward "her door" in the shed so she can see I'm coming." - Just act normal, calm and confident. Act like everything is ok. Cats take on our emotions so that can really help her feel more confident, calm and trusting.

"Once I'm at 'our spot' I sit down in the grass and just explain what I'm encroaching for and what I am doing." - Perfect!!

"Then I say I'm leaving and shake a little plastic travel jar that I put an extra handful of dry cat food into for a 'clicker' of sorts so she knows I'm backing off." - Perfect!

" After I'm back to my chair and sitting a few minutes, she looks out to be sure that's where I am before she goes to the dish when I've nodded and told her to go on." - Perfect again!!

"I know it's silly to think that the situation is anything like I'm imagining" - Not "silly" at all. Sounds about right to me.

"and that's what makes it really hard if I don't see her at least once during a day. I end up with the WORST case of "MommyWorry" where she is dead somewhere from increasingly catastrophic actions." - I KNOW EXACTLY the feeling. Taking care of ferals in the wild is emotionally hard. We ALWAYS worry since we can't control their safety.

On pregnancy, if she isn't spayed she will get pregnant if she isn't already. :( But it is what it is. We just have to deal with whatever it is.

"I also worry about, well, pissing her off & her taking off for good and getting hurt somewhere if I try to catch her in a trap. I bought a carrier that I tried introducing, both with the door pinned open and disassembled so she won't feel cornered, and she won't have anything to do with it. I've brought it in and put it into storage for either her later or another cat we adopt." - Don't worry about "pissing her off". She has to get spayed. A trap is easiest as a carrier can take time and can be dangerous for the human. People have different views on trapping pregnant cats which we all can discuss.

With that said I agree on the carrier that Jcatbird says. Getting a cat to get used to a carrier is great. I just tend to go the faster route of using a trap to get the cat spayed as quickly as possible then use a carrier for future vet visits, etc.

"Once I even got her to sit "outside" and groom while I was on my side and made grooming motions myself ... oh my heart hit a satellite during that!" - Wonderful!!!

"I also tell her that I'm heading inside for the night, to stay safe and that I love her." - I LOVE this!! 😍

The bond we form with "our" ferals is as strong as any. I know exactly that feeling when you talk to them. That loving bond.

Personally, I would keep the carrier and use it in the future and make a straw bed in the shed if at all possible (or somewhere where they will be safe from the elements and predators). Mama cats are very smart about finding good shelter, close to food and water, and safety.

Sounds like you are doing a great job. Keep up the great work. We have a few things we need to think about and figure out the best route but the socializing is going really well in my opinion.
 
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Caspers Human

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-- there's a sheltered place beside her shed wall I could tuck her carrier but would making a nest out of it to have kittens make her not want to go back into it once it becomes her carrier again? And how big should the nest be? I have the carrier that was used by a furry-end who's crossed the Rainbow from either a heart attack or stroke. I'd of course clean it up very well since it's also been out in the garage for several years. It is small, though.
I don't THINK she would reject a cat carrier after she has used it as a whelping* box.

( * Is "whelp" the correct word to use, meaning "to give birth?" It is the word used when dogs have puppies. Is it the same word to use for cats having kittens? I only know from dogs having puppies. I've never had a cat that gave birth or even been around one giving birth. Only after the fact.)

Anyhow, it's up to the cat. Since every cat is different, it could go either way. Regardless, I've always thought of the idea of putting out a box for a cat or dog to give birth as making a "special place" for them. Otherwise, they are likely to have their litters in any old, random place like under a porch or some inconvenient, inaccessible place.

I have known that to happen on two occasions. The first time, one of my father's hunting dogs (that he used to breed for sale) gave birth prematurely, before Dad could set up her box. She whelped in an upholstered easy chair, overnight, and we found her with her pups the next morning. Needles to say, we had to get a new chair! :eek: The other time was when I got my second cat, "Jerry." His mother whelped(?) under a porch where her humans couldn't get access. It took over a month to get all the kittens out and into the house where they could be safe. They had to catch them, one by one. Jerry was the last one to be caught.

So, yes, put something out for her so there is a safe, comfortable place for her to have kittens. She will probably find it if you make it accessible. An old pet carrier is good if it's large enough for her to stand up and move around in. Most cats and dogs prefer to give birth in a place that's somewhat "close." If you have a second carrier (from your former cat) that would be good to use. I don't believe that she will reject it, afterward, if you make sure it's good and clean after the deed is done.

If there is any way you can open that shed to make it safe and accessible to both humans and cats, I think that would be the ideal place. It would be a nice, private place for her to go and you would be able to check up on her, from time to time.

Furthermore, if you are planning to find homes for the (potential) kittens, it would be better if they have had human contact as they are young. Kittens that have good, positive contact with humans when they are young usually socialize better with people when they grow up. Socialized kittens would easier to find good homes for.

The things you do now, feeding and befriending the mother, giving her a safe place to give birth, caring for the kittens and socializing them when they are young are REALLY good things to do! :)

I'm not just blowing smoke up your a$$. If you do these things, early on, and keep at it until the kittens are grown and find homes, it will pay off, greatly, in the future! You will have done something good for the cats AND for yourself! 👍
 
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Caspers Human

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-- I'm sorry for being a little dense but I'm a little confused with this. Can you give me an example? Do you mean something like a tee shirt I've worn without my body spray and is in the hamper? What about deodorant/antiperspirant? Mine has some flowery scent to it.
What smells like "you" the most?

That's what you need to do.

You don't want perfume because that will overpower your natural scent. If you normally wear deodorant, that's okay because it's your "normal" smell.

Casper knows what his humans smell like and he acts differently when we smell different.

I worked in a factory where I was exposed to some pretty strong chemicals like sulfuric acid or sodium cyanide. I ALWAYS washed up when I left work at the end of the day, before going home. I always took a shower, first thing upon getting home. I always took off my work clothes, first thing, and put them into a special hamper, to be washed separately. However, Casper didn't like it when I came home smelling like chemicals.

When I came home, Casper greeted me but I only got a quick sniff before he decided whether or not I smelled bad and I might be able to gently stroke his tail but that would be the end of it. He walked a wide circle around me until I took a shower and changed clothes. Afterward, he was all nice and friendly but NOT until I could pass his "smell test." ;)

Casper is the same way about smoking. I always go outside to smoke. Never inside the house. However, when I come inside, afterward, he can smell it and he doesn't like it. I get the cold shoulder from him until I wash my face and hands. I usually do that, anyway, just as a matter of habit but, still, Casper DOES know the difference.

He DOES know my normal smell from his Girl-Human's normal smell and he will favor certain spots, based on scent. He likes to nap on "her side" of the sofa when she's not sitting there. He likes to, occasionally, nap in "my" computer chair when I'm not sitting there. I have even seen him go smell one of the laundry baskets then go smell each of us to compare the scents.

Cats have a pretty good sense of smell. Some people say that their sense of smell is better than a dog's. Cats can remember scents and associate them with people as easily as you can associate a person with their photograph!

Bottom Line: What is that "scent-photograph" that you want your cat to associate with you?

THAT is what you should leave out for her to find. :)
 
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karen.balch72

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What smells like "you" the most?

That's what you need to do.

You don't want perfume because that will overpower your natural scent. If you normally wear deodorant, that's okay because it's your "normal" smell.

Casper knows what his humans smell like and he acts differently when we smell different.

I worked in a factory where I was exposed to some pretty strong chemicals like sulfuric acid or sodium cyanide. I ALWAYS washed up when I left work at the end of the day, before going home. I always took a shower, first thing upon getting home. I always took off my work clothes, first thing, and put them into a special hamper, to be washed separately. However, Casper didn't like it when I came home smelling like chemicals.

When I came home, Casper greeted me but I only got a quick sniff before he decided whether or not I smelled bad and I might be able to gently stroke his tail but that would be the end of it. He walked a wide circle around me until I took a shower and changed clothes. Afterward, he was all nice and friendly but NOT until I could pass his "smell test." ;)

Casper is the same way about smoking. I always go outside to smoke. Never inside the house. However, when I come inside, afterward, he can smell it and he doesn't like it. I get the cold shoulder from him until I wash my face and hands. I usually do that, anyway, just as a matter of habit but, still, Casper DOES know the difference.

He DOES know my normal smell from his Girl-Human's normal smell and he will favor certain spots, based on scent. He likes to nap on "her side" of the sofa when she's not sitting there. He likes to, occasionally, nap in "my" computer chair when I'm not sitting there. I have even seen him go smell one of the laundry baskets then go smell each of us to compare the scents.

Cats have a pretty good sense of smell. Some people say that their sense of smell is better than a dog's. Cats can remember scents and associate them with people as easily as you can associate a person with their photograph!

Bottom Line: What is that "scent-photograph" that you want your cat to associate with you?

THAT is what you should leave out for her to find. :)
Got ya, thanks!
 
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karen.balch72

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I don't THINK she would reject a cat carrier after she has used it as a whelping box. ... Anyhow, it's up to the cat. Since every cat is different, it could go either way. Regardless, I've always thought of the idea of putting out a box for a cat or dog to give birth as making a "special place" for them. ... So, yes, put something out for her so there is a safe, comfortable place for her to have kittens. She will probably find it if you make it accessible. ... If there is any way you can open that shed to make it safe and accessible to both humans and cats, I think that would be the ideal place. It would be a nice, private place for her to go and you would be able to check up on her, from time to time. ... The things you do now, feeding and befriending the mother, giving her a safe place to give birth, caring for the kittens and socializing them when they are young are REALLY good things to do! :)
-- I'll see to working on it this weekend, and rope Hubby in too.😉 Thanks for the advice.
 

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-- I'm sorry for being a little dense but I'm a little confused with this. Can you give me an example? Do you mean something like a tee shirt I've worn without my body spray and is in the hamper? What about deodorant/antiperspirant? Mine has some flowery scent to it.
Yep, Just like what Caspers Human Caspers Human mentioned.

Whenever I have a new stuff at home, I just use my hands and go over my boy's body and then I go rub his scent on the stuff so that he won't be afraid of it so much as it has his scent on it, though he is still careful while approaching it but it does has some familiar scents on it and he gets over it quicker.

I got a wand and a fisher's pole type with feathers. I have balls with and without feathers.
Make sure you approach him slowly as you don't want to scare her away with the wand. Also don't buy too many toys as you do nit k ow whether she likes it or not else you'll be wasting your money.

Side note, I see that you are feeding her from a plastic bowl. Plastic bowls are not good as they harbor bacteria and may give Stormy feline acne. Would be good if you can get a stainless steel bowl instead. If you can't, make do with the one you are using right now but do wash it and dry it thoroughly each time. Bowls and plates can have cracks and mostly hairline cracks that are not very visible to our eyes and bacteria lives in those places that are still damp with food debris and they cannot be rinsed with hot water like stainless steel or ceramic or porcelain as it is plastic.
 
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karen.balch72

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Also don't buy too many toys as you don't know whether she likes it or not else you'll be wasting your money.
-- Thanks for the reminder of that. I can go a little crazy. 🤪 If I've gotten anything in the sale she doesn't like, I have a couple furry-ends whose servants I can offer them to as well as there's a mostly 4-legged homeless shelter (Humane Society has birds & other 2-legged animals) nearby that probably wouldn't mind receiving a donation of the rest.

Side note, I see that you are feeding her from a plastic bowl. Plastic bowls are not good as they harbor bacteria and may give Stormy feline acne. Would be good if you can get a stainless steel bowl instead. If you can't, make do with the one you are using right now but do wash it and dry it thoroughly each time. Bowls and plates can have cracks and mostly hairline cracks that are not very visible to our eyes and bacteria lives in those places that are still damp with food debris and they cannot be rinsed with hot water like stainless steel or ceramic or porcelain as it is plastic.
-- Thanks for the information. I know how much I hate acne and I wouldn't want to be giving it to her! I got the plastic bowl because, honestly, it was cheap and I had no clue if she'd stick around. I want to get a saucer & bowl that matches/compliment our glass dishes - why should her dishes be much different than the rest of our family use 😉 - but I drag her dish around here in a zippy bag in a shoulder tote bag and I'm afraid I'd end up breaking it right now. I will definitely be aware of the acne and whisker sensitivities when we get something permanent.
 
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