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Picking Up Feral/ Semi-feral/ Scared Cats In Weather Emergency

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by marmoset, Apr 15, 2019 at 5:30 PM.

  1. marmoset

    marmoset Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Apr 1, 2015
    NJ
    So last night we had very severe weather with tornado watches.

    I had everything prepped- all the stuff ready to go to the basement or to the car (if our house was compromised and we had to leave after the storms. But I was in absolute misery not feeling like I could pick up two of our indoor cats who came in from outside as totally feral and semi-feral (reverted) conversely.

    So today I started lift training the true feral, who being only 1 year plus is more trusting than the reverted feral old lady we took in. To my surprise she did fine- no response really. She just wanted pets. I can lift her about 2-3 inches off the ground and move her a foot away. So that's her starting point. The other cat...I don't know what would happen. I've been working on her for at least 6 months trying to get her used to me touching her and getting both hands on her lower sides. Each time I try to lift her she leaps. She recovers but she still leaps and sometimes hisses. This is clearly not at all what she expects me to do.

    So how do I get the two holdouts to accept being picked up.

    Furthermore, how do I get them to the point where they can handle being picked up and crated with sirens going off or roaring storms?
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Hi! I think continue to do what you're doing, and by the way congratulations on the feral!! It actually sounds like the other one is uber feral, my goodness.

    Can you start putting treats in a carrier that has a door propped open?
     
    basschick purraised this.

  3. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    I understand your concern. The storms do make us worry.:alright: I had the same thing here yesterday. Two ways come to mind. @Furballsmom gave great advice and suggested the first one. An excellent way to start things. Start teaching them that a carrier is the place to go if they want food, a nap or a safe place. Make it their favorite spot and with any luck, they’ll go there themselves in emergencies. Many of mine look at their carriers and some cages I keep out as a safe haven. It really helps me.
    The other suggestion is if you can sit down low or on the floor is to start luring them towards you. Try using meat babyfood as the lure. Gerber all meat is tempting to most but anything they find irresistible to eat. Hold it out to them, place it on a dish near you and finally lace it in your lap if they start trusting eating it by you. If you can lure them into your lap then you can start lap petting. From there do the practice lifting. If they want to jump away, let them. Don’t make them fell trapped. It may take many, many practice lifts but hopefully they will learn that they are safe being held. Brushing a cat is something else that I find some feel is relaxing and that can be used to get them nearer or in your lap. If they lay down for you to brush them you can pet and slowly start putting a hand under them for a second. Let them get used to feeling the pressure of your hand but understanding it has no bad end result.
    You’re doing a fantastic thing by helping these cats. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time. Every cat goes at their own pace. You’ve already made huge strides! That awesome! :yess:Hang in there, you’ll get there. I’d love to hear how things go. Please post with updates. i’m sure others will have some tips and ideas too. Great job with them!:heartshape::clap2:
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  4. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'm seeing this a little late, and the ONE person, @Jcatbird, who I thought about to really help you is here already! She's a master with ferals! THANK YOU for caring about these difficult cats.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  5. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

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    Willow doesn’t allow me to pick her up and runs even if I get near her. But her litterbox and best hiding spots are in the basement. So in case of a weather emergency my plan is to turn on the vacuum which will send her downstairs in a flash and all I need to do is shut the door behind us.

    As far as other emergencies , you may need to choose between saving yourself or your pets. I have experienced needing to evacuate my home on a moments notice after a car hit my house and I was ordered out by firemen when it started leaking gasoline. And even though both of my cats were docile and used to being picked up, both could sense my need to immediately get them and freaked out. In the seconds I had I could only get one cat. The second went hiding somewhere when I grabbed the first. Fortunately my house didn’t catch fire but easily could have. One thing that could have saved precious seconds or even a cat was having carriers nearby rather than having to run to the basement for them.
     
    Mamanyt1953 and Furballsmom purraised this.

  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Glad you-all came through that safely!
    I've thought about this because it's such a good point. I need to get the small carrier I have upstairs, the big one can stay down there.
     

  7. Mamanyt1953

    Mamanyt1953 Rules my home with an iron paw Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Oct 16, 2015
    Havelock, North Carolina
    Yeah, my cat carrier stays in a corner of the living room. I've kinda disguised it, but even if I couldn't, it would be there. It is familiar to Hek, and easy to get to.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

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