Mother Still Outside - What Should I Do?

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Graceful-Lily

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Thank you Kat0121. My mom was confused at first about Hazel acting the way she does but, once I explained everything to her in detail, she offered to help in any way that she can. On the other hand, my father said, "Hurry up and send her on her way!" This ignorant comment made me very upset but despite what he says, with me is where Hazel is staying.

I've removed the sheet covering the crate because I don't want her to feel like she has to hide all the time. Plus, she can't see what's going on in the house or my room so I figured it would be better if she could see and observe me. I want Hazel to associate the sounds she hears with the things she sees. It has helped a little I believe. She can watch me as much as she wants and I can watch her. I managed to get her to play with a little toy. She seemed to enjoy it but growled for some reason. And she stood up for once instead of laying down. She hasn't used the litter box but pees and poops herself and lays down on it. Why is this? Is she hiding it?
 

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Thank you Kat0121. My mom was confused at first about Hazel acting the way she does but, once I explained everything to her in detail, she offered to help in any way that she can. On the other hand, my father said, "Hurry up and send her on her way!" This ignorant comment made me very upset but despite what he says, with me is where Hazel is staying.

I've removed the sheet covering the crate because I don't want her to feel like she has to hide all the time. Plus, she can't see what's going on in the house or my room so I figured it would be better if she could see and observe me. I want Hazel to associate the sounds she hears with the things she sees. It has helped a little I believe. She can watch me as much as she wants and I can watch her. I managed to get her to play with a little toy. She seemed to enjoy it but growled for some reason. And she stood up for once instead of laying down. She hasn't used the litter box but pees and poops herself and lays down on it. Why is this? Is she hiding it?
Cats sometimes lay in their pee or poop because they need to be comforted by their own smell. Its just a way of comforting herself (a very gross and unsanitary way, but its not at all uncommon for former strays to do that). Many cats will take shelter in their own litterboxes as a way to surround themselves with their own scent and comfort themselves.

She is probably very stressed out from being in a new, unfamiliar territory and by laying in her pee/poop, she is trying to make herself comfortable by surrounding herself with her scent.
 
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Just thought I'd let you all know that Hazel escaped and got outside.

I thank each and every one of you for helping me through your advice and encouragement.

I hope Hazel will be happy outside. :bawling2:
 

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Just thought I'd let you all know that Hazel escaped and got outside.

I thank each and every one of you for helping me through your advice and encouragement.

I hope Hazel will be happy outside. :bawling2:
Oh no! How did she escape?! Sre you going to try to trap her again or are you going to let her live as an outdoor cat now that she is spayed?
 
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There was a little opening at the top of the crate I didn't notice until I saw fur in the mesh. My bedroom door was open so she came out. There's a little opening beside my AC in the living room.

I'm not going to try to catch her again. I'll just leave her be. I feel as if I failed and now I hate myself a little for not being more careful.
 

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Please don't blame yourself, none of us are perfect and you can't foresee every little detail, although it would be great if we could. You gave her a precious gift by getting her spayed. those endless kittens and toms following her everywhere gets very stressful. Some cats are meant to be outside, you can always try to get her back at a later time. Don't worry, she may be very leary of you for a while, or even disappear for a while, but she'll be back. All the luck and keep us posted!
 

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There was a little opening at the top of the crate I didn't notice until I saw fur in the mesh. My bedroom door was open so she came out. There's a little opening beside my AC in the living room.

I'm not going to try to catch her again. I'll just leave her be. I feel as if I failed and now I hate myself a little for not being more careful.
When I lived abroad years ago, there was a colony of feral cats that moved onto our balcony. There were 5 of them.

Chunga, Smiler and Callie were very very feral. We think that Chunga may have been Callie's son as they were very close. Callie was always ill with skin problems and we just had to monitor her. Eventually, Chunga would come into our house and you could stroke him if he was eating. The other two never came near us.

There was Jess, who was a regular in the estate and was very friendly, but impossible to keep indoors.

And then there was our little Tippy-Tay. The first time I saw her, she spat and hissed at me just for looking at her. Over those two years, we fed her, talked to her, and eventually built up such a level of trust that she would sleep on the sofa with us and even purr. She hated being locked in though. We believe she was dumped and became feral, but there was such a sweetness in her that it was coaxed out eventually.

When we moved home, we had to leave her behind. We were never certain how old she was and my mum was frightened that a 2000mile journey would kill her because of the stress. My mum was absolutely heartbroken at leaving her, but we did what was right. You can only love them as much as you can, and they will always appreciate it.

I hope someone as caring as yourself moves into your place once you've moved on.
 

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I am so sorry that Hazel got out.  You did the best you could.  I am sure she will be back on your property to eat.  Is it possible to provide her with shelter outside?  I don't know if where you live you have cold winters, but there are some really nice affordable outside cat houses.  Some you can stuff with straw to keep her warm and others have a heat pad that do require outside electricity.

For now, it would be nice for her to have some shelter from the rain.  Maybe she goes under a deck or porch. 

I bet she will be back, but she might stay away for a bit.  Just watch for her.

Keep us posted.  You did a wonderful thing in spaying her.  It will keep her healthy and prevent her from getting attacked by toms.  Thank you for helping her.
 

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I am so sorry that Hazel got out.  You did the best you could.  I am sure she will be back on your property to eat.  Is it possible to provide her with shelter outside?  I don't know if where you live you have cold winters, but there are some really nice affordable outside cat houses.  Some you can stuff with straw to keep her warm and others have a heat pad that do require outside electricity.

For now, it would be nice for her to have some shelter from the rain.  Maybe she goes under a deck or porch. 

I bet she will be back, but she might stay away for a bit.  Just watch for her.

Keep us posted.  You did a wonderful thing in spaying her.  It will keep her healthy and prevent her from getting attacked by toms.  Thank you for helping her.
I agree. I think she will be back. She's upset but she will return. Cats know who their friends are and she knows that you will feed her better than what she can scrounge for herself.

If you can provide her with a shelter as mentioned, that would be great. They can be created out of a large plastic storage tote. Here are some instructions on how to do that. I would suggest making 2 doors- one on each end. She will need an escape route in case a predator tries to corner her in the shelter. It happens unfortunately and the cat more often than not comes out of the altercation badly wounded or dead.


http://www.catster.com/cat-chic/build-a-cozy-low-cost-cat-shelter-for-outdoor-cats

Once she comes back, she will appreciate the shelter. As she gets settled and is used to having the shelter and regular feedings again, you can continue to earn her trust. What you already have is not gone. Remember- she is NOT feral. She has developed some feral like qualities to protect herself but she will lose those as she gains confidence and her trust in you builds. When she comes by to eat start spending time near her. Do not attempt to touch her. Let her come to you when she is ready. She did it before and she will again. You will need to give her 100% control over the relationship. This is not easy to do- many of us know this but this is what she needs. Talk to her. Tell her that you are sorry that she is upset and you want her to be happy. Reassure her that you love her and consider her part of your family. I think she needs to hear this. You might also get a wand toy such as Da Bird for hands off play time when she comes by. Many cats find these irresistible and this will be just one more good thing that she will associate with you. It is good bonding time for the both of you.


The relationship will progress and in time I think that she very well may end up coming back inside of her own free will. Outdoor cats have difficult lives. Some are very fortunate to have caregivers who provide them with food, shelter and love but so many do not. Even with a shelter, these cats need to sleep with one eye open as there are so many dangers out there for them. I suspect that Hazel has lived indoors before- maybe for even a short while and I think that she may decide that the grass isn't greener on the other side of the window. She may simply stroll into the house one day and never leave again.

Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for this sweet little girl. I wish every cat could have a friend like you.
 
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Thank you all for your encouragement but I don't think I can do this anymore. I'll be out of this house in a few months and I'm going to start working again next week so I'll barely be home. I also already returned the live trap (not that she'd go in it again). This whole thing has been exhausting and I also don't think it's a wise idea to take on another cat after giving it some thought. I'm just upset and confused...
 

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So what will happen to poor Hazel if she returns?  She will be looking for food and you.  Will your parents feed her if she comes around? 

I am sorry you feel overwhelmed. I understand how difficult this process can be.  Yet I hope that you will reconsider caring for her if she returns.  She grew to love and trust you.  She did the kindest thing possible by trapping and spaying her.  Yet, she is not a true feral cat and it would be nice for her to have food and shelter even if it is outside.
 
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So what will happen to poor Hazel if she returns?  She will be looking for food and you.  Will your parents feed her if she comes around? 

I am sorry you feel overwhelmed. I understand how difficult this process can be.  Yet I hope that you will reconsider caring for her if she returns.  She grew to love and trust you.  She did the kindest thing possible by trapping and spaying her.  Yet, she is not a true feral cat and it would be nice for her to have food and shelter even if it is outside.
I don't know what will happen to Hazel. My parents work all day as well. Why did she want to run and escape? I thought I was doing everything right! It's easier to care for her when she's inside the house. Having her predominantly outside isn't convenient for myself or my parents. That's when it becomes a task and that's why I wanted her to stay inside. I just wish I had closed my bedroom door last night.
 

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I don't know what will happen to Hazel. My parents work all day as well. Why did she want to run and escape? I thought I was doing everything right! It's easier to care for her when she's inside the house. Having her predominantly outside isn't convenient for myself or my parents. That's when it becomes a task and that's why I wanted her to stay inside. I just wish I had closed my bedroom door last night.
She didn't WANT to run and escape. She was scared and was trying to protect herself. It was not personal. It was also not your fault. Cats are extremely intelligent and if she was hell bent on getting out, chances are pretty good that she would have no matter if the door was closed or not. Cats determined to get out have gone through window screens before.

She can be cared for outside even of you and your parents work all day. Simply make a shelter for her and put food and water out for her in the morning. If you put any out in the afternoon, please make sure that any uneaten food gets picked up before dusk or you will draw raccoons to the house and you do not want that. Neither does she. A raccoon will kill a cat over food without batting an eyelash.

It is not ideal that she is back outside at all for any of you but it is what it is. If this was me, I'd make the shelter, start feeding her and then work on trying to earn her trust ASAP so she can come back in. Your family members can talk to her, play with her, feed her too. The more socialized she becomes, the more likely it is that she will come in willingly. Good luck. Let us know how things are going. We want to help.
 
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Lo and behold! Hazel came back this morning for food. And she didn't run away when I opened the door. As if she has come to some sort of realization that outdoor life isn't the good life. I don't know if she's staying but it's suppose to rain next week a lot so I'm planning on building a shelter for her. Hopefully she'll come inside.

She's also staring at the door and coming close like she wants to come inside or something.
 
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Lo and behold! Hazel came back this morning for food. And she didn't run away when I opened the door. As if she has come to some sort of realization that outdoor life isn't the good life. I don't know if she's staying but it's suppose to rain next week a lot so I'm planning on building a shelter for her. Hopefully she'll come inside.

She's also staring at the door and coming close like she wants to come inside or something.
I am not surprised at all that she came back.  You are her food source and also a friend to her.  She may not want to come inside, yet she may also decide to venture in.  I hope that you are able to feed her and provide her with some shelter.  She trusts that you are her caregiver.
 
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I'm surprised! Felix and Hazel got this weird thing going on. He waits at the door for her and when they are face to face, their tails wipe like there's no tomorrow. What does this mean? She also approached Felix one time but I was afraid of what she might do so I stopped it. Could they recognize each other?
 

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Felix and Hazel got this weird thing going on. He waits at the door for her and when they are face to face, their tails wipe like there's no tomorrow. What does this mean? She also approached Felix one time but I was afraid of what she might do so I stopped it. Could they recognize each other?
I'm glad that she came back and I am also not a bit surprised. She bolted out of fear but she knows that you are her caregiver. It's entirely possible that they do recognize each other but I suspect that it has more to do with them getting acquainted. Have they spent time around each other before?
 
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Graceful-Lily

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Yes, they've been spending about a month together. When she was in my room, Felix visited everyday, several times a day. They see each other through the window all the time and share scents through the little hole at the bottom of the door. Before Hazel was captured, I fed them close to each other and no one got aggressive or uncomfortable. Felix won't stop looking outside for her and when I close the door, he gets upset and tries to open it. Hazel is most definitely Felix's sister. Everything adds up and it just makes sense.
 

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Yes, they've been spending about a month together. When she was in my room, Felix visited everyday, several times a day. They see each other through the window all the time and share scents through the little hole at the bottom of the door. Before Hazel was captured, I fed them close to each other and no one got aggressive or uncomfortable. Felix won't stop looking outside for her and when I close the door, he gets upset and tries to open it. Hazel is most definitely Felix's sister. Everything adds up and it just makes sense.
This is definitely good. The fact that the two have a bond can only help convince her that her place is with you. For all we know, when they see one another, he is likely telling her, "OK. You've had your little adventure. Will you please stop being so stubborn and come back inside where you belong?"
 
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