New Feral hasn’t eaten

Roberta67

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I’m not sure if this is the correct area for this, but I have a question. We just adopted two feral cats yesterday. We have been having a rodent issue and instead of using poison, I decided to get a couple barn cats. The rescue brought them yesterday, so it’s been just over 24 hours. One of the cats is super sweet and likes to be pet. The other one is not happy and I’m sure just scared. I have them contained in my barn as you are supposed to keep them contained so they learn this is their new home. The scared cat immediately ran into a cubby when she was released into the barn and has not come out. I do have a camera in there and I periodically check to see how they are doing and I have not seen her out at all. I put wet food (they have dry 24/7) in there this morning and neither of them touched it. The other cat is eating and drinking. I’m just wondering, will she eventually come out and eat? She won’t starve herself to death will she?
 

Sarthur2

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No, that’s not likely, but she may take her time coming out to eat. Can you place her wet and dry food near where she is hiding, plus a bowl of water? The closer it is to her the easier for her to venture out. It may take a few weeks or even months for her to get comfortable, and even then, if she’s truly feral, she may never get very close.

Are both spayed? One sounds not so feral if she enjoys petting, and the other may be more feral or just simply scared to death. Expect the one hiding to take weeks or even months to get comfortable. Exercise as much patience as she requires.
 
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Roberta67

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Thank you for your reply. Yes, the friendlier one may have just been a stray. She lets me pick her up but wiggles to get down and I don’t want her to get away so I’m just petting her through the enclosure they are in. The one that has been hiding is I think the feral one. Poor thing. I’m ok if she never warms up, I just got nervous that she hasn’t eaten, that I can tell. I did see yesterday that she did come out of the cubby for like 30 seconds, smelt the food, it’s basically right outside where she is, but she didn’t eat and got right back in the cubby. It’s ok if she doesn’t want to be friends, I just want her to eventually feel this is a safe place and I was worried she would never eat. Maybe she has come out and I’m just not aware. I’m not going out there except twice a day as to not have her constantly on edge.
 

di and bob

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It's not a bad thing to check on them and let them see you several times a day so they get used to your presence. Talk softly, maybe read aloud from your phone for a while, so they get used to you. Place some hard food amd water close to where the one is that is hiding. It is not unusual for a cat who is scared to not eat for a couple of days. Once she gets used to you she'll warm up to you. Also make sure you keep them enclosed for at least 4-6 weeks so they learn to adjust to that area. It sounds like you are doing everything right, they will be good additions to your family. My outside cats are fed twice a day and I see them bringing dead mice around all the time. It is amazing how many are out there!
 
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Roberta67

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It's not a bad thing to check on them and let them see you several times a day so they get used to your presence. Talk softly, maybe read aloud from your phone for a while, so they get used to you. Place some hard food amd water close to where the one is that is hiding. It is not unusual for a cat who is scared to not eat for a couple of days. Once she gets used to you she'll warm up to you. Also make sure you keep them enclosed for at least 4-6 weeks so they learn to adjust to that area. It sounds like you are doing everything right, they will be good additions to your family. My outside cats are fed twice a day and I see them bringing dead mice around all the time. It is amazing how many are out there!
Thank you. I appreciate the reassurance. Apparently this hiding cat has been through some trauma, watching her babies be killed and eaten 😞 I’m going to stop now on my way home and get some smelly wet food and a different kind of dry food. Maybe what I have out there doesn’t smell appetizing. I talked with the rescue lady this morning and she reassured me that she will definitely not let herself starve to death, so that is good. I also figured out my barn camera alerts so now I can look and see if she has come out over night at all when I’m not looking.
 
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