Mimi&LilB story

Mimi&LilB

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For two years I’ve been seeing this little black cat around and I started feeding her. She will come for a week and then disappear for weeks. I live in WI and I was so worried about her during winter. I started reading about feral cats, built first a feeding station, then two insulated houses, one under the deck and one in my screened porch. I was so happy when this early spring I finally saw her using the under the deck shelter. I’ve been working so hard to get her trust, seating by her, talking to her for about two months. Now I finally get to pet her! She is been living in my porch without leaving, I spend time with her during breakfast, lunch and dinner time. She loves her beds, catnip and toys. I can’t express all of the emotions that I went through during this process. I work from home but travel once a month, with covid I am not traveling so I can be with her every day. I am turned between letting her live in the porch or bringing her inside the house. It is complicated, I have 2 dogs and a cat already. I was planning to cover the screen porch with tough greenhouse plastic for the winter and make her a comfortable environment there with a litter box, heated water bowl and her insulated home that we built. I am so worried about what winter will bring. I know she can survive out there, because our journey is been 2 years already. I would appreciate any suggestions for the winter. Also she looks healthy and she has her left ear trimmed, so I know she was part of the catch and release process. I saw some rice kind stuff coming out of her butt, I researched and dewormed her effectively. She has no fleas and a beautiful coat. I am afraid to trap her and take her to the vet that she will get traumatized and ruin our bonding progress. Anyway this is Mimi and LilB story! I love her so much! Here is a photo of
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her attached. Thanks for reading.
 

fionasmom

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She is such a beautiful girl and looks so happy in your yard. Obviously, LA is not as cold as WI so the ferals who have not exactly transitioned to coming inside have places to sleep in my garage, free standing cat houses with heating pads, etc. It is really not an issue out here so I probably won't be much help.

You probably know best what it means to screen in the porch and equip it for her. If you try to bring her in, do you have a separate room where she can stay for a while? I assume that you want the vet to check her health before you bring her in of course. If you are afraid that trapping her will ruin your bonding process or that she may take off once you return her to your property then I think that the only solution, assuming a clean bill of health, would be to bring her directly inside and start training her to be an indoor cat.

Alice my avatar is now an indoor only former feral, along with her sister. However, trapping her for TNR and then releasing her definitely put a kink in our relationship for quite a while and I had to start over with befriending her.
 
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Mimi&LilB

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She is such a beautiful girl and looks so happy in your yard. Obviously, LA is not as cold as WI so the ferals who have not exactly transitioned to coming inside have places to sleep in my garage, free standing cat houses with heating pads, etc. It is really not an issue out here so I probably won't be much help.

You probably know best what it means to screen in the porch and equip it for her. If you try to bring her in, do you have a separate room where she can stay for a while? I assume that you want the vet to check her health before you bring her in of course. If you are afraid that trapping her will ruin your bonding process or that she may take off once you return her to your property then I think that the only solution, assuming a clean bill of health, would be to bring her directly inside and start training her to be an indoor cat.

Alice my avatar is now an indoor only former feral, along with her sister. However, trapping her for TNR and then releasing her definitely put a kink in our relationship for quite a while and I had to start over with befriending her.
Thank you so much fionasmom! I have few months to think about what to do. One option would be our finished basement but I need to make sure I train her to use a litter box before anything.
 

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Hi. About the litter box training - can you set up a litter box for her on your porch and see if she uses it at all? If she does, using one in the basement likely won't be an issue. If she doesn't use it, set one up with soil/dirt like she uses in the yard, and see if that might work. If it does, that could be what you start to use when you set up your basement for her.

You might also consider collecting some of her poop from the yard and placing that in the litter box to help with getting her to use it.
 
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Mimi&LilB

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Hi. About the litter box training - can you set up a litter box for her on your porch and see if she uses it at all? If she does, using one in the basement likely won't be an issue. If she doesn't use it, set one up with soil/dirt like she uses in the yard, and see if that might work. If it does, that could be what you start to use when you set up your basement for her.

You might also consider collecting some of her poop from the yard and placing that in the litter box to help with getting her to use it.
Thank you! Yes I will do that!
 
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Mimi&LilB

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LilB updates! We are doing great! She comes in the kitchen for her meals but she just can’t give up the outdoors. I just bought her a heated house and it warms my heart to see that she is nice and cozy during the cold Wisconsin nights. We have a screened area in our porch that I totally covered with thick plastic and I put rugs on the floor. This winter and all upcoming winters Mimi will make sure that LilB has shelter, stays warm and has a full belly! Maybe one day she will feel comfortable enough to move in with us. My dogs and cat are friendly with her and I didn’t take her to the vet because I am afraid that she will get upset and run away. She looks very healthy.Next time my horses vet comes I will ask him if he can give her the shots needed. Here is a picture of her new house and I also bought her a heated water bowl.
 

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BellaGooch

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I need to make sure I train her to use a litter box before anything.
We are doing great! She comes in the kitchen for her meals but she just can’t give up the outdoors. Maybe one day she will feel comfortable enough to move in with us.
Hello! Thank you for rescuing her! Good on you for providing for this stray :woo:
All of our [formerly feral/stray] cats used the litter box with no problem, despite having never used one before. I was worried that they would urinate/poop outside of the litter box, but that only happened once. (and it wasn't because she didn't know how to use the litterbox, she was just in a bad mood.) However, here is an article about teaching cats to use the litter box: How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
So good to hear that she's coming inside! One of my strays Bella (who is my avatar) was perfectly comfortable with us, but she would never come inside for more than an hour (and that was unusual). She'd always run outside after a few minutes. That being said, I'm in the same boat as fionasmom fionasmom - I live in LA where it doesn't get too cold, so we don't have to worry about the cats in cold weather. Only Willow wants to be inside the house (my other two cats- formerly stray/feral- will not come inside for anything.), but even she loves playing outside.
Here is a great article about keeping ferals safe & warm during winter: How To Help Feral Cats Stay Safe & Warm During Winter – TheCatSite Articles
If you do decide to bring her inside, here is an article about helping cats adjust to the indoors: How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
Finally, here is an article about helping/adopting strays: Adopting A Stray Cat – TheCatSite Articles
I hope some of this helped! Good luck, and of course feel free to ask any questions about anything you might have!
 
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Mimi&LilB

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Hello! Thank you for rescuing her! Good on you for providing for this stray :woo:
All of our [formerly feral/stray] cats used the litter box with no problem, despite having never used one before. I was worried that they would urinate/poop outside of the litter box, but that only happened once. (and it wasn't because she didn't know how to use the litterbox, she was just in a bad mood.) However, here is an article about teaching cats to use the litter box: How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
So good to hear that she's coming inside! One of my strays Bella (who is my avatar) was perfectly comfortable with us, but she would never come inside for more than an hour (and that was unusual). She'd always run outside after a few minutes. That being said, I'm in the same boat as fionasmom fionasmom - I live in LA where it doesn't get too cold, so we don't have to worry about the cats in cold weather. Only Willow wants to be inside the house (my other two cats- formerly stray/feral- will not come inside for anything.), but even she loves playing outside.
Here is a great article about keeping ferals safe & warm during winter: How To Help Feral Cats Stay Safe & Warm During Winter – TheCatSite Articles
If you do decide to bring her inside, here is an article about helping cats adjust to the indoors: How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
Finally, here is an article about helping/adopting strays: Adopting A Stray Cat – TheCatSite Articles
I hope some of this helped! Good luck, and of course feel free to ask any questions about anything you might have!
Thank you so much for all the references ❤
 

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That’s wonderful news! I hope she will soon decide to be strictly indoors so she can enjoy all that inside has to offer her. Is the screened area a place she remains or does she leave that to go outside in the yard? I only ask because of a possible vet/shot visit. If she gets shots, she might be startled away by any new human. If possible, keep her confined to the porch for awhile after that to make sure she is relaxed there again. Invasion of her safe place may make it feel unsafe for a time and set backs happen. Will she allow you to handle her any? I always put a carrier out as a safe hiding place and for naps or special yummy treats so that the kitties can be caught for vet visits with less trauma. The carrier holds their scent and isn’t frightening like a trap. She has that wonderful heated house but an added carrier with a heating pad, like the one that comes with those houses can give her a second area for food treats and she’ll feel safer if she needs to travel anywhere. My cats like to retreat back into the carrier after a vet exam. This has helped me a lot with the ferals here and my socialized kitties.
She is absolutely beautiful and so are you! Thank you for rescuing her. Even though she survived a couple of years out there, if you didn’t start helping her, the odds were stacking against her. You have saved a life.:goldstar::redheartpump:
 
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Mimi&LilB

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That’s wonderful news! I hope she will soon decide to be strictly indoors so she can enjoy all that inside has to offer her. Is the screened area a place she remains or does she leave that to go outside in the yard? I only ask because of a possible vet/shot visit. If she gets shots, she might be startled away by any new human. If possible, keep her confined to the porch for awhile after that to make sure she is relaxed there again. Invasion of her safe place may make it feel unsafe for a time and set backs happen. Will she allow you to handle her any? I always put a carrier out as a safe hiding place and for naps or special yummy treats so that the kitties can be caught for vet visits with less trauma. The carrier holds their scent and isn’t frightening like a trap. She has that wonderful heated house but an added carrier with a heating pad, like the one that comes with those houses can give her a second area for food treats and she’ll feel safer if she needs to travel anywhere. My cats like to retreat back into the carrier after a vet exam. This has helped me a lot with the ferals here and my socialized kitties.
She is absolutely beautiful and so are you! Thank you for rescuing her. Even though she survived a couple of years out there, if you didn’t start helping her, the odds were stacking against her. You have saved a life.:goldstar::redheartpump:
Thank you so much for your message and your suggestions. I think the carrier is a great idea! Yes, I pick her up and hold her once or twice a day, she doesn’t like it but I want her to get used to it in case of emergency that I need to handle her. We have 5 acres so she has access to our backyard but she doesn’t go far but it is possible to confine her in the porch. Thank you for all that you do for your feral and kitties and for being a beautiful person ❤❤❤
 
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