Looking for support/ adopted semi-feral cat

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H&Alina

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That is great news about the worming medication! I completely agree that former ferals progress at their own rate. What she sees, which is that she loves and trusts you and is expressing it the best she knows how to at this time, is different from what we humans would like to see which is a complete transformation.
This is so helpful !! Thank you so much 😊
 
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H&Alina

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A few days late, but I wanted to give a 7-month update for Alina and I. Alina continues to make gains. She has become affectionate when I am on the couch between 6:00-9:00 pm. Alina will actually sit on my lap (with a blanket on my legs) and purr and even expose her belly. I cannot move :),...... but it is My Favorite part of the day!! I am still trying to figure how to help her feel more relaxed other times and places in the house. She hides all day and No matter what the time, she runs away from me when I am walking and hisses If I come near her. She will not come near me for treats if I am sitting on the floor or on the bed and she appears so scared. :( I know that she is making progress, but it still breaks my heart. It is so confusing; it is such a contrast ?? I'm trying to give her treats at different locations and play with her when i am on the floor to associate positivity with me other places than the couch.
A few months ago she would not let me touch her at all, so I am happy I can pet her now. This has been a real learning experience for me and possibly a test to learn go at her time frame........ More time and patience, hopefully she will feel more at ease.
 

fionasmom

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I am glad to read that you are progressing so well. I have seen cats make these odd "decisions" about when they can be touched or shown affection. A neighbor has a very well treated semi-feral, not young, whose favorite place to show affection is in the bathroom. If someone goes in and sits on the closed toilet seat, she will come in and be very loving, even easy to handle. It is hard to tell what makes them choose these behaviors. But it is great that Alina sits on your lap and purr and show you her tummy which is such an expression of trust and love. Continue to try to get her to associate food and treats with other areas of the house as you are doing. You have really been so kind to her and it is paying off. She is very lucky that you adopted her.
 
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H&Alina

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I am glad to read that you are progressing so well. I have seen cats make these odd "decisions" about when they can be touched or shown affection. A neighbor has a very well treated semi-feral, not young, whose favorite place to show affection is in the bathroom. If someone goes in and sits on the closed toilet seat, she will come in and be very loving, even easy to handle. It is hard to tell what makes them choose these behaviors. But it is great that Alina sits on your lap and purr and show you her tummy which is such an expression of trust and love. Continue to try to get her to associate food and treats with other areas of the house as you are doing. You have really been so kind to her and it is paying off. She is very lucky that you adopted her.
That is so funny about the cat and the bathroom. I feel better already 😊
Thank you so much for the continued encouragement! It always helps 😊
 

fionasmom

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I was not exaggerating the bathroom story. Sixteen years later, the husband (who is her favorite) still has to go sit on the toilet seat if he wants to play with her.
 

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I'm so pleased to hear this update. You've made great progress with Alina and in a very short time (in cat terms). That she will sit on you and let you pet her is amazing. She is so lucky to have found you.

My only advice would be rather than trying to get her to associate you with good things at other times, perhaps focus on getting her to associate you with non-threatening things. Rather than trying to interact with her, perhaps just sit (or lie down) near to her as she will let you without hissing and then ignore her.
 
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H&Alina

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I'm so pleased to hear this update. You've made great progress with Alina and in a very short time (in cat terms). That she will sit on you and let you pet her is amazing. She is so lucky to have found you.

My only advice would be rather than trying to get her to associate you with good things at other times, perhaps focus on getting her to associate you with non-threatening things. Rather than trying to interact with her, perhaps just sit (or lie down) near to her as she will let you without hissing and then ignore her.
Ok, I understand what you are saying. Thank you ! I will update on my/her progress 😊
 

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Thank you thank you thank you for adopting a feral cat. I have trapped a semi feral (a traumatized stray) and fostering through a rescue that is not helpful at all. They are pretty much telling me that I have to get her to the point where she can be in a room (their adoption fair) running around and interacting with a number of people before she can be adopted (impossible). So YOU are my hero today. I hope really hope I can find someone like you to adopt my foster. The kitty will come around...patience and persistence is key. I am just now transitioning my foster out of the bedroom and into the main house after 3 months. If the kitty is food motivated that will help a lot. My foster is and I've even gotten her to eat off my lap and stay for scratches. Be the kitty's 'white night' that comes in with the food and feed the kitty very close to you... get closer and add petting to the feeding routine. That will be a good association and will help.
 
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H&Alina

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Thank you thank you thank you for adopting a feral cat. I have trapped a semi feral (a traumatized stray) and fostering through a rescue that is not helpful at all. They are pretty much telling me that I have to get her to the point where she can be in a room (their adoption fair) running around and interacting with a number of people before she can be adopted (impossible). So YOU are my hero today. I hope really hope I can find someone like you to adopt my foster. The kitty will come around...patience and persistence is key. I am just now transitioning my foster out of the bedroom and into the main house after 3 months. If the kitty is food motivated that will help a lot. My foster is and I've even gotten her to eat off my lap and stay for scratches. Be the kitty's 'white night' that comes in with the food and feed the kitty very close to you... get closer and add petting to the feeding routine. That will be a good association and will help.
Awww, Thank you so much for the support! It really mean a lot and It is so helpful 😊
I will be sending out good vibes so that your foster will find her “person” too .
 

MindyStClairesMom

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I have trapped a semi feral (a traumatized stray)
I'm curious to know how / why you differentiate in these terms. I have a cat who is either one of these -- and maybe it doesn't matter -- but I was told originally that the rescue thought she'd been owned as a small kitten. I actually doubt that and think she was semi-feral (not a traumatized stray). Mine will also never be gregarious or happy in a room with others. But she has come SO FAR and our connection is probably the only one she will have with a human in this world -- even if she still flinches from time to time and even if she isn't cuddly (and likely will never be). Anyway, I was just curious about what behaviors caused you to think "traumatized stray" vs. semi-feral?
 

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Hi MindyStClairesMo,
She has been 'friendly' from the time we started feeding her wet cat food. When she began to smell it she would come closer and act in a playful manner (her style of begging for the food but in a 'cute' way). She would meow and roll on the ground and knead her paws when she saw us come with the food. That is why we thought she'd been around humans before.
I'm kind of in the same spot as you. This foster kitty freaked today when my family came over and hid under a chair in her room the whole time and even after they were gone, she would hiss at me if I looked under the chair. I've GOT to get her past this point so she can be adopted. I'm taking her to the next adoption fair where she will just stay in the soft crate while everyone mills around her. I'm trying to think of a way to not terrorize her with it but have some sort of a positive association with others being around. Maybe it'll just take time and repetition (desensitization) for her to realize other people aren't going to hurt her.
 

MindyStClairesMom

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Yeah, what I ended up doing was taking in 2 other fosters (one was *supposed to be* her social bridge, but they didn't have chemistry, and the second one is the actual social bridge to BOTH of the other two!) and then I just knew she would be in a colony or with me -- no one else was going to be the same kind of understanding that I was -- she is semi-not feral right now, but she has made no promises to STAY that way. I can't pick her up, for example. I DREAD the day I will have to get her in a crate. So . . . she stays with me. I'm FAR more obsessed with her than she is obsessed with me, doggoneit :) The desensitization with this one -- and, mind you, she was probably close to a year old when she was trapped -- takes SO much longer than one might expect. The whole reason I was keeping a blog is because I was getting discouraged day-to-day . . . but if you look back . . . you can see how far all have come!
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Chris Ekstedt

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Yes, I can see she's more relaxed now. Good work! I feel the same as you about crating. "Over my dead body" and that may end up being quite literal (I'm 74 and in poor health). I'm hoping to get her completely socialized enough to eventually adopt because, like you, I cannot imagine this very active cat in a crate day and night (they do this to show them off in the rescues' lobby.. 2 weeks of day and night). I feel strongly that will ruin her and is very unhealthy for a cat like this. So I'm working hard as I can on it and will drag her to as many adoption fairs as possible as long as it takes and 'somehow' get through to her that these people won't hurt her. Interesting that Flatbush Cats (NYC) doesn't operate like that...they can't since they trap so many ferals and some are socialized but would not do well at an 'adoption fair'. They do the 'meeting with the cat' remotely with Zoom or the like. I DO have a cat like you're talking about. He is always going to be semi-feral. It has taken me 3 years (he was 5 years old when I rescued him) to be able to pick him up (I did when we first caught him since he badly needed dental work but that was a rather brutal process). I was able to pick him up last year when he had an abscess (he felt so bad and knew he needed help) and now I can since I've worked so long on having him trust me. He'll never be adoptable and he HAS to has ready access to the outside since he yeowls loudly and keeps me up at night if I don't. I understand about the blogging/journaling. It's necessary to keep one's sanity. For my recalcitrant semi feral... I've kept him and fortunately he's made friends with the neighbors so they will take him if something happens to me.
 

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It sounds like you are doing a great job. Try playing a lot, tv, purrli etc. sing to her, read to her. Someone once told me their adopted cat would not let them pet her for 6 years.

My Zena is a traumatized dumped stray. He was fearful and aggressive at first we put him on gabapentin and now he has become a touchable love bug. But he is still very skittish and will run away and get scared at times. He is starting to come into the house now and he still scared of my brother. Although he will come in with him sitting here now so each day he is making progress. He loves watching tv but it scared him at first.

Another thing that has helped are my two boys who have accepted him now and they want him to be part of the family for the most part although I think they are wrestling with him a little bit too much so I try to tone it down.

If you can get another cat/ kitten who is touchable who is not so frightened your a girl see this and she may become less right and then she may come out of her shell because she has a cat companion. Of course you have to do an introduction and that can be stressful too, but it’s just something to think about.
 
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H&Alina

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It sounds like you are doing a great job. Try playing a lot, tv, purrli etc. sing to her, read to her. Someone once told me their adopted cat would not let them pet her for 6 years.

My Zena is a traumatized dumped stray. He was fearful and aggressive at first we put him on gabapentin and now he has become a touchable love bug. But he is still very skittish and will run away and get scared at times. He is starting to come into the house now and he still scared of my brother. Although he will come in with him sitting here now so each day he is making progress. He loves watching tv but it scared him at first.

Another thing that has helped are my two boys who have accepted him now and they want him to be part of the family for the most part although I think they are wrestling with him a little bit too much so I try to tone it down.

If you can get another cat/ kitten who is touchable who is not so frightened your a girl see this and she may become less right and then she may come out of her shell because she has a cat companion. Of course you have to do an introduction and that can be stressful too, but it’s just something to think about.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve never 2 cats together and never introduced a new cat . I’m a bit nervous thinking about it . But maybe it could be great for her . I actually just found one of her sisters who is currently being fostered, so it’s really something to think about ! 😬
 

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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve never 2 cats together and never introduced a new cat . I’m a bit nervous thinking about it . But maybe it could be great for her . I actually just found one of her sisters who is currently being fostered, so it’s really something to think about ! 😬
Great! You decide to do that you can post for help here if you need it. Since it’s her sister hopefully that would make it easier for her to get along with her if she still remembers her.
 
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H&Alina

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It was not a planned search , but there she was- Anya, and she looks so much like Alina 😊 I spoke with her foster , she is a bit shy/skittish too , but more confident and affectionate with her foster parents . She loves other cats . ….. I don’t know what to do ? I’m concerned about Alina , she’s so scared and I would not want this to add to her fear .
a lot to think about
 

fionasmom

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As was stated a few posts up, the "social bridge" cat can work wonders. In some ways, you don't know how this will work unless you give it a try. I have had this work twice in my life and both times I really stumbled into it. When the feral community at my workplace had to be cleared out due to street dogs killing cats, I took Milo around January 1. On Valentine's Day, oddly enough, I took his sister. She was very shy, but when she realized that her brother was in the house, she changed a great deal. The other time is a similar story of two who probably had the same feral mother, but were rescued about a year apart.

You would need to go through a regular introduction process, which you could find help for here on TCS. They won't necessarily rush into each other's arms and remember who is who...however, they may figure it out over time.
 
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H&Alina

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As was stated a few posts up, the "social bridge" cat can work wonders. In some ways, you don't know how this will work unless you give it a try. I have had this work twice in my life and both times I really stumbled into it. When the feral community at my workplace had to be cleared out due to street dogs killing cats, I took Milo around January 1. On Valentine's Day, oddly enough, I took his sister. She was very shy, but when she realized that her brother was in the house, she changed a great deal. The other time is a similar story of two who probably had the same feral mother, but were rescued about a year apart.

You would need to go through a regular introduction process, which you could find help for here on TCS. They won't necessarily rush into each other's arms and remember who is who...however, they may figure it out over time.
Thank you! I do remember and have been thinking about it in the back of my mind. You are right . I won’t know until I give it a try 😬
I will keep you posted 🙂
 
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H&Alina

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Thank you! I do remember and have been thinking about it in the back of my mind. You are right . I won’t know until I give it a try 😬
I will keep you posted 🙂
Update : 8 months today with Alina . Also, day 2 with her sister Anya 😬 . I did it. Despite the best plans for a separate room , @ 1:30 am on Sunday, they planned a break out 😆 I don’t know how, but they got out together and caught them on camera playing both nights. They seem pretty good together so far throughout the night .

Alina: has had a bit of a set back with me though. Some increase in hissing and a bit more hiding than usual when I’m around the house . 😞 but , She is eating well and coming out for out 6-9 night time with me on the couch 😊

Anya- is pretty scared so far . Despite setting up blockers on the bed in her room , she got under and hides most of the day 😩. She
obviously comes out at night , eats at night and uses the litter. She’s chirped and cried quite a bit the past 2 nights too . (Off and on for hours) I go into her room on the floor off and on to visit and spend time . Her previous foster mom said she was scared at first, loved her foster siblings and was friendly and loving Hoping she comes out of her shell soon 😊

Another shy girl , I’m hoping with time they help one another feel more at ease .
 
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