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Rehabilitating A Semi-Feral, Former Stray

Anime Chick

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So those on here who have been familiar with me, know of Yukiko, the white cat I was trying to find a home for at Kitty Village after not finding her owners. Well... my boy kitty, Saru got attached to her and he freaks out if shes not around, so I'm keeping her. Shes his now. This is not 'my cat' shes HIS cat. I'm just taking care of her for him.

Yukiko doesn't quite know what to do with herself as a cat. Shes semi-feral, meaning one-minute shes the sweetest and most adoring cat, then suddenly she flips and scratches or stabs you. I have minor nerve damage in one finger thanks to one of her wig-out moments when grooming her.

This is my first time rehabilitating a cat like this into a domesticated house cat, so any advice from those who have domesticated ferals before would be helpful. She does like to learn from the other two as she didn't even know how to play when she first came but did know how to use the litter box. Even if she uses it weirdly...

Saru taught her how to play with string and tinkle balls, as well as some other toys. She also watches Atsuko for social cues too. Shes fine on a harness and leash, tho does cry if shes in the pet backpack. Still working on that one...

Like a true female cat, she is trying to challenge Atsuko from time to time, but Atsuko just hisses back at her and refuses to fight.
Yukiko never actually attacks her, just hisses and growls if shes too close. Meanwhile, Atsuko sits on her 'throne'(a chair I have in the living room) and observes, playing the over-seer role to make sure everything is okay with the new member of the colony.

Saru and her play at times and he likes to keep watch over her.
Shes spayed now too, so hopefully, she'll settle down with the whole challenging thing just a bit. Shes already stopped spraying too.
I'm gradually working with getting her desensitized so she can stop being so timid and she can even eat around the others just fine.

Picking her up is touch and go right now, but I'm working on it. Sometimes she lets me and sometimes she doesn't. I'm using specific words just like I do with the others to teach her proper manners and how to behave. Shes picking up on them pretty well.
 

di and bob

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Being female, she may haver what is called 'overstimulation syndrome', a low stimulation threshold. I have had several females have it. The worst was my beloved Chrissy, she would allow three strokes exactly and then strike out. I always told everyone, but many didn't listen......what this means though is a seemingly calm cat will allow you to stroke/mess with them for only a certain amount of time, then wham!, there is scratching and even biting if they have it bad enough. The trick is to learn where the threshold is. There is often signs when their limit has been reached. Raised hair, tail getting bigger, a low growl, ears back, staring intently, and if you are quick enough, right before they attack, the pupils dilate. The reason I mention this is you said one minute she is sweet and the next she flips out. It describes the syndrome perfectly. These cats can be just as sweet and just as calm as any other cat once you know your place and what their limit is. I would give anything to have my little girl back to see that angry glare!....
 
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Anime Chick

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With Yukiko its random, which is why I think shes just timid and unsure. If she didn't even know how to play till she came here then her former owners likely ignored her. She also has some abandonment issues so if we go out together and shes on her harness she tends to be 100% more affectionate and lets me handle her better.
 
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