Rescued a "semi feral", have a resident cat, 1 bedroom but I want to make it work so badly!

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noani

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Just over five weeks since we brought him to what seems to now be his home :) there's no way I'm letting him back outside. He doesn't seem particularly eager to go either
IMG_20211024_231828550.jpg

They aren't playing under the door very much anymore. They sometimes run to the door curiously when they hear the other cat do something but that's mostly it. Maybe they just got used to the status quo.
I really hope the prolonged isolation won't be a detriment to their eventual introduction process.
The baby gate we ordered should be arriving today but I'm not sure if we should even attempt visual access even for short moments?
Theres a few things to consider.
- Yoda still has to keep the cone on and many people have told me to not, under any circumstances, let Charly see him with the cone
- he has ringworm so.. spores and all
- I've had to stop scent swapping let alone site swapping since finding the ringworm.

Is it okay for the introduction process to just stall? Is there something I should be doing anyway, despite cone and ringworm?
I worry about this because like I said, no way is he going back out. I absolutely just need to make this work in the long run and don't want to muck it up.
 

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Mamanyt1953

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It isn't ideal, but cats have overcome worse situations during introductions! They are now so used to the sound and smell of each other, that they may just say, "Oh, hi. It's you," when you finally have them face to face.
 
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noani

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Thank you! That's what I'm hoping for :redheartpump:
Trying to stay positive so the little guys can have the best guardian possible.
 
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noani

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I try. I don't know what to do as now besides the ringworm his bum looks like this (pics below).
I had put the cream on his wound site before and he later wriggled out of the cone. He went obsessively for his butt and then I noticed the redness.

Could it be that the ringworm has spread there? Could it be that he licked himself raw so fast?

I don't know if the vet clinic even will be open tomorrow besides having basically no money left at all after all this. Hurricane supposed to bit in the next two days and it just started raining so I really don't know what to do.
 

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Mamanyt1953

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If he was licking like mad, he might well have licked himself raw. A little bit of olive oil (and I'll bet you have that) will help soothe the area until a vet can see him, and won't hurt if he grooms it off.
 
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noani

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So I was wondering, since the pet gate arrived...

Should I start allowing some visual access?
Yoda still has the cone right now but we will try taking it off for increasing periods of time, if he doesn't over groom.
It might take quite some time until he is no longer contagious at all, since he can't get oral antifungal. The lesion isn't spreading but it takes time..

So we have two options:

- keep stalling, wait weeks or longer to start site swapping and keep him isolated in one room until then, and only when he is no longer contagious start site swapping and slow slow progress.

Or

- considering they have been playing pawsies half of the day and have been in a one bedroom separated by one door only for over six weeks, skip site swapping and try with short, limited visual (peeks at first, then maybe gradually more visual depending on how they respond).
They respond well to each others scent when they sniff me and play pawsies under the door a lot with no hostily at all. Charly has taken to sleeping in front of the door, Yoda too sometimes.

My main concern with starting visual is that Yoda hasn't had a chance to explore the living area and kitchen much and seems very shy and hesitant. But while he is contagious I can't see a way of allowing him in the whole apartment, even though it's a very small one. Cleaning just his room has been absolutely exhausting as is.
On the other hand, I would LOVE to carefully start trying to move along with introductions.

Thoughts?
 

Mamanyt1953

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You know, I'd call the vet and ask her if visual contact without direct touch could cause the ringworm to spread, just to make sure. I'm not at all sure how easily those spores become airborne (YES, I'm perfectly positive that just seeing him wouldn't cause the spread! Thinking drafts, etc.) I think it would be fine, but the vet would know for sure.
 

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((HUGS)) and wonderful work.

Here I brought in two strange cats and they have done most of the settling together themselves. Separate rooms for feeding at first but that soon stopped and they share. Probably took longer.... My place is small so separate rooms was not possible

This morning the previous self styled top cat actually yielded to timid Jacob who faced him down. I never expected that..

I cannot remember when I first had cats but I am nearly 80 now and it all becomes second nature. and all from experience and observation. No internet in those days....

So a fascinating road ahead for you indeed

Enjoy...
 
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noani

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Okay so I know they shouldn't interact because Yoda is contagious but! It was an accident (door remained slightly ajar and Charly opened it). I scrambled to grab treats to make it a positive experience but tbh they were chill and fine anyways. I closed the door after 30 seconds 1 minute max.

Yoda at some point gave Charly a pat on the nose to which he basically didn't react at all. Yoda was purring the whole time(as he always does when eating or being petted) and Charly was looking around a bit after eating a couple treats.

Video of them seeing each other first time
 
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noani

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Probably should have mentioned, in the short video I'm in the bedroom with yoda and Charly is outside the door behind the pet gate. I was in with Yoda when Charly opened the door...

I just did another short 1 minute treat session and it went the same way, just I was now with Charly. It was easier to prevent Yoda from pawing towards him by controlling how close Charly is (without me in between kind of he would get right up to the gate and Yoda can reach him).
Charly seems more curious and a little hesitant and will stop in his tracks for a second or two like...what's this.. oh well nvm heres a treat so nom nom.
Yoda's more like give me some treats and scratch my head, oh hey there other cat. He's such a sweet natured cat. Oh, both of these sessions happened right after they both woke up from naps (they are both synced to my schedule already) so they were in a mellow mood to start, which I thought will help for sure.

In both instances tonight, there wasn't any hissing, defensive or aggressive posture, swatting, none of that. Just curiousity and maybe a bit of hesitance from Charly. They are both super chill after closing the door again and just go back to their individual business like meh okay that happened I guess (I heard Yoda go play with the ball and Charly came for some cuddles to me).

I'd kinda imagined they would hiss and swat as soon as they saw each other and be super agitated at first sight. Charly had previously growled and hissed at him under the door twice. (Well twice in two months isn't so bad I reckon and it was early on when Yoda got stuck between the fence and the door).

I'm now also pretty sure they have been able to see each other at least partially from under the door this whole time. When we mounted the gate I realized how uneven my floor is and the crack under it on the right side is very large. Definitely enough to peek inside. I had no idea lol.

I think I'll keep up these treats or maybe meals at the gate. Maybe some play if I can work out how )I have some ideas). Short though, to minimize ringworm exposure, although they've been playing pawsies for two months so he's already been exposed tons of times anyway I suppose.

Feeling pretty happy that my worst case fears for the first face to face haven't come true at all. I was so convinced they'd hate each other as soon as they laid eyes on each other.

There's still some time to go until Yoda will be not contagious anymore but I'm so used to the rearranged rooms now I don't mind keeping with very slow gradual process.
 

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This is Baby Yoda (you might guess the origin of his name from the photo below :) ). He was born a little over a year ago (June 2020) to one of the alley/courtyard cats below my house and was the only one nobody wanted to adopt. (TNR doesn't really exist in Sicily and we have been trying to do it ourselves out of pocket, but during the pandemic no vet wanted strays brought in..)
So we kept him outside, feeding him, and taking care of him and other strays as best as we could.



A few weeks ago though, he had an accident where he cut himself badly on his rear. I am not inserting photos of the injury as it is very gory and grim.
He went into hiding and the wound got infected. I made the decision to try and save him, while nobody else was interested in doing so due to the expected cost of treatment.

By the time I managed to get him in a carrier, the wound was badly infected and enlarged. He had to have surgery, IV antibiotics and stay in the clinic for a few nights. They told me that, had we not brought him in, he would have had maybe 24 hours to live due to the amount of bacteria in his blood and the stage of sepsis he was in.
Now he is at my house, where he is recovering in the privacy of my bedroom. A kind soul gave me a large dog crate on loan, and he is comfy in there and will go in there on his own if he gets startled.

My resident cat Charly is 1,5yrs, actually his 4 month older brother, born in Feb 2020 and abandoned by his mom cat at just 4 weeks old). I bottle fed and raised him and he has turned into a happy apartment cat. Him and me are kind of living on my living room floor now while Yoda gets the bedroom, but that's okay. I have a one bedroom, very small bathroom, decent size bedroom and open living/kitchen area in between the two, plus cat net on window and entire balcony is covered by cat net so he can lounge outside. There's a picture of Charly attached below.

Yoda is on the way to recovery but there have unfortunately been complications post surgery (the stitches came undone after only two days), so he still has a bit of a way to go and needs care. It will probably be another week until the wound closes (so 3 weeks total).



He is the cuddliest semi feral I have ever encountered. I've known him since he was born of course and he always came for cuddles outside and even let me pick him up into my arms. He is quite chill about being inside and loves food and cuddles, and is starting to be a bit more playful. He does have to keep his cone until the wound closes and he does need to stay in the crate when unsupervised.

I have feliway diffusers plugged in (one for Yoda in his recovery room and one for Charly in main area). I've always had feliway on just for Charly as he gets scared easily and it gets a bit noisy around my area at times unfortunately. It helps a lot. They are also both getting a natural calming product once a day to help them relax.

So far, they haven't seen each other. Yoda has been in the bedroom for two weeks now. They don't seem stressed about each others scent, they both hangout by the door and have started playing with their paws under the door (no hissing, growling or signs of fear) in the last few days. I've tried scent swapping as much as possible with an injured cat with an open wound and they have been fine with scratchers being exchanged and eating on or next to the others blankie.

Obviously I would very much wish to keep Yoda after his recovery to stay and live with us. I've read SO many posts, articles, watched videos on how to do introductions properly, but have been warned of trying visual while Yoda has the cone and until he heals. They do eat treats and food at the door and in general are very relaxed, at times curious, around their shared door.

Many people have advised me against attempting this, including one vet (well she also advised just letting Yoda die as it would be "a waste of money" for an alley cat). The vet from the clinic Yoda was in for three days has encouraged me though to just give it a try. My neighbours want him returned downstairs into the alley as they "miss him every day" but haven't helped once with any of his vet appointments (I have no car so depend on my partner for transport but he now works in another city so.. cab fares) or the cost (I'm not complaining but I'm about 800€in debt at this point between clinic bills and meds so I feel like they don't really get a vote if he stays or not). Of course, should he turn out very unhappy inside I would let him go to a good place with outside options. But I so want this to work.

So here is my question: do you guys think it's possible for
a) Yoda to become a happy indoor cat
b) Charly to accept him (I am worried as he has grown up as an only cat since 4 weeks old and hasn't ever interacted with another cat since). He does come for cuddles and sleeps with me, is always next to me, but he does have a bit of an independent streak where he will just go sleep on the top of my closet to have his peace sometimes.

I should maybe mention Charly was neutered at 5 months old, and Yoda now just two weeks ago while he was under anesthesia for his surgery anyways. Both have no diseases such as fiv or felv and no parasites. I've had blood work and tests done for everything especially on yoda.
Have no direct experience in this subject, but I wish you the best Naomi. You're a good soul.
 

Mamanyt1953

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It sounds like you are progressing wonderfullly well, given your little setbacks! Keep doing what you're doing. By the time it is medically advisable for them to do a real face-to-face meet, I think they will be ready.
 
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noani

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Thanks guys!
Yesterday morning charly didn't feel like eating his frickin premium pate delicious usual favourite food (he can be a PITA) as he sometimes does.. some days nothing is good enough for his royal Highness. So I probably shouldn't have attempted co feeding as he was already pissed at me for giving him such an unacceptable meal (lol I guess). Anyways Yoda went straight into munching his plate but charly just stayed there and when Yoda looked at him, Charly gave a small hiss a couple of times (not full ears back angry hiss, just a little hiss). Yoda didn't care much and just went straight back to eating.
After that I closed the door and took Charly back to the kitchen where he ate some with some appetizer (freeze dried chicken powder) on top. He wasn't agitated after the interaction or anything.
So we've had our first face to face hiss. Had to happen sometime I reckon?:biggrin:
He gave another very short hiss last night. We keep up the gate until there isn't any hissing right?

I saw jackson galaxy recommend it shouldn't get to the point where theres a hiss at all actually
 

Mamanyt1953

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Well, this is where I disagree with Mr. Galaxy. It might be the ideal for there never to be a hiss, but there generally is bit of hissing going on. Think of it as an intense discussion.
 
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noani

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I've started watching some other videos and reading some other experiences and advice beside Jackson galaxy and yes I might not have to take every word as gospel but maybe sometimes agree to disagree and go with my gut. :lol:

No hisses the last few days though. Treats at the door once or twice a day, letting Charly watch while I play with Yoda inside (can't do the other way round as Yoda will jump over, so waiting for second gate today to make that possible).

They eat their meals together on either sides of the gate. Charly doesn't seem to want to eat in the kitchen (his usual spot) anymore, or even with the door closed. It's like he wants to eat with Yoda? If I put down his food in the kitchen, he will barely touch it. He hasn't eaten much yesterday at all! So today I put them back at the door to eat together and he eats like a champ again. I thought maybe coincidence but he didn't want to eat this exact meal until I just picked up the plate and put it next to the door where they ate together. He ran to the door ahead of me as soon as I picked it up and his tail was quivering excitedly. They both ate, looked at each other a bit, and Charly at some point walked away when he was done. No hostility or anything really.

Not sure what to make of this? Is it possible he wants to eat with Yoda? Or is it that he starts eating cause he thinks "ooh I better eat before this clown gets to my food too!" ? It's not like he leaves it for later when he doesn't eat in the kitchen. He just leaves it stat. He also acts happy and excited when I take his plate to Yoda, not anxious?
 

Mamanyt1953

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No, no, no, that is EXCELLENT! Cats who are anxious will not eat in the presence of the cat that they are frightened of...he would have been more eager to eat away from the gate! This is good stuff!
 
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noani

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I took a short video of them eating breakfast this morning. They'll stop and look at each other sometimes but go back to eating right away.

Charly often doesn't finish his portion (always been like this), but he eats more and with more gusto when with Yoda. I'm baffled by this as he's always been somewhat of a slow reluctant eater some days. Vet checks etc all good, no underlying cause for his disinterest in food sometimes. There are some foods he'll wolf down, but on some days, even those he's more like .. meh.. I'd rather go and play with my mice than eat and he'll go back to the bowl later and eat some. He's also at ideal weight so I've never worried about this behaviour but now I'm wondering, seeing the contrast to Yoda (he will lick a plate clean no matter how much you give him. He would definitely over eat and get over weight if allowed).

I'll leave the link to the video below (Charly is on camera side of gate and Yoda "behind bars"). Before I started recording, Charly was facing me and Yoda was pawing at his bum :lol: (Charly just kept eating). After the video, they touched noses and Charly then backed down a bit, but he didn't hiss this time. Just took a step back and sat down.

Breakfast time :)
 

Mamanyt1953

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Well, the video wouldn't load, but from what you are describing, I'd say that once Yoda is over his medical issues, you aren't going to have any trouble at all with these two!
 
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