Seeking help weighing decision to bring feral cat(s) inside

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,395
Purraise
10,184
Location
Los Angeles
If you can put Tuck in another room, try to sit with her, offer treats, just be in the room without interacting at some points, and offering toys like Da Bird. It is essentially a step up cat dancer toy; you may have something like it around already. If you can't touch her, try to put something soft on the end of a stick or use a soft sided toy and try to offer that to her so that she gets used to contact coming near her.

Did you ever try Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network?

Feral Friends Network® Connect

It is very easy to send out requests for help. I would advise that you send a number of requests; make one original and keep copying it. Make it absolutely clear that you do not want anyone to take these cats. They are going to stay at your house but you need fresh eyes or advice to help you proceed.

The fact that the cats are calming down is huge. This takes a long time with some ferals, so hang in there. Barn cat programs are not the worst idea, but you have to know what you are getting the cat or cats into. There is a way that this has to be done; they can't just be dropped of at a farm or ranch.

What is going on with the rescue is not unusual. Some do draw the line with any feral, many rescuers "rescue" only animals they have found or decided to take in. There is an odd dynamic to rescue groups. In all my years of dealing with strays, I have only had two dog rescues ever offer to take an animal...a chow and a beagle and that was with my offer to make it worth their while.

The suggestion about Nextdoor nextdoor.com is a good one and there might be FB groups.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #102

ChirpySquirrel

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
47
Purraise
81
Interrupting the regularly scheduled programming here for a moment to talk about the kitty in my garage (I've named him Marshmallow). I've found a current address for someone who could be the guy that had Marshmallow microchipped. The address is a trailer in a trailer park just over 4 miles from my house (probably less than 4 miles as the crow flies...or as the cat walks). Is it possible that Marshmallow got lost or ran away or for whatever reason did not return home and eventually ended up in my neighborhood 4 miles away? It seems totally plausible right? He had been coming to my place to get food every night for several months. The vet told me he is a flame point siamese. I didn't realize it until I looked it up but apparently they are a rare purebreed. Based on this information, some might say it's obvious I should try to contact the guy that might have been his owner. After all, at one point he may have spent a good deal of money on a purebreed cat and made sure he got neutered and microchipped. But I'm not so sure. There's absolutely no way I would want to return "Mallow" to an environment where he may not be taken care of or may not have good life. This is not the kind of kitty that should be out on the streets. As I've gotten to know Marshmallow, in my opinion he needs to be indoors only, warm and safe, well loved and well taken care of. He understands and enjoys the relative safety and warmth of his enclosure in my garage so much that I'm certain I could leave the door to the enclosure wide open and he would not go anywhere. He's clearly been traumatized and had it rough outside...but he responds so well to my affection and attention. I know from his behavior outside that he is very scared of other cats and I know he was often chased off and bullied. He is also very scared of loud noises or commotion and does his best to hide immediately. If I do make contact with the prior owner, how would I go about making sure he will take proper care of Marshmallow assuming he wants him back? I mean, even if somehow I sense it's not going to be a good situation, I don't know how I would be able to tell him I'm not comfortable returning his cat to him. Just wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer their opinion.
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #103

ChirpySquirrel

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
47
Purraise
81
And now back to the regularly scheduled programming.

tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 - The storage container litter boxes look awesome but for right now there is such limited space in their crates that I can only fit a 15" x 18" litter box and I feel like even that takes up too much room. Now if I had an amazing outdoor compound like the one in your pic, I'd be all set!

fionasmom fionasmom - I checked the Feral Friend network quite a while back (based on your suggestion) but there were no results within 50 miles. The nextdoor app doesn't list my city. I don't have a facebook account but I keep thinking I need to create one just to see if there's anyone in my area that may be able to offer help or recommendations on my specific situation.

Updates/status:
Milly still growls every time I'm in the room. After a bit of an ordeal, I managed to replace the little plastic/pvc condo I had in there that he completely trashed with a more sturdy cube house with a bed on top. It's a nice upgrade for him and he seems to like it. Lippy has had an identical one in his crate from the beginning and he lounges on it looking quite relaxed all the time. I think Milly has sort of been mimicking that which is good. That said, he still isn't tolerating my presence all that well. The last few times, he will be hiding inside his cube growling but then when I get close, he will come out quickly and punch/swat the cube or the floor and then he jumps up on top of the cube and resumes growling. As a result of this behavior, I don't get a chance to clean up his crate which has become more of a beach than a crate floor. Somehow, even on the other side of the crate where I leave his food, the food plates accumulate a thick layer of litter by the following day.

Stormy still hides in her cube whenever I'm in the room and doesn't make a sound. No big issues to report though so I think I'll just keep things the way they are for now. At some point, I'll start to hang around for a while in the room and see if she will ever come out while I'm still there.

Lippy has been as good as can be expected but will normally hiss at me a couple of times when I first come in the room. He hides and watches me closely but doesn't necessarily seem overly afraid. I want to start trying different treats or food they can't resist but I don't want to start trying a bunch of different things and have it mess with their digestion where they are already dealing with so much change. It still seems like they are not very "regular" and I'm finding very little or no poo in their litter boxes (speaking mostly of Milly and Lippy). Lippy is really good using the litter box for potty, doesn't excavate at all, and spreads only a minimal amount of litter around. So I'm thankful for all that.

Tuck...well she continues to give me a lot of hope. Tonight, she sat on her top perch facing towards me the whole time I was in the room. The perch has a little house that she can retreat into but she stayed out in the open the whole time looking quite relaxed. I kept having to resist looking directly at her. Her little poof ball on a string had come off and was in her litter box. Once I got done cleaning it, I felt like I should take a chance and see if I could interact a little. I got it cleaned up a bit and put it near her, slowly jingling it a little and getting quite close. She did not budge and just sat there watching. I turned it around and tried to see if she would play with the string. She didn't, but at the same time didn't appear to have any fear or much of an issue with me having my hand/arm in there and quite close. I didn't want to push anything so I then just tied the poof ball to one of the perches and finished up. Not long after I left the room, she was playing happily with the poof ball again.

I think I've decided on a feasible plan for their short to medium term accommodations. I believe I do want to move Tuck into the other room so I can work with her individually and spend more time with her. One worry I have is that if/when I get to the point that I will have them all together again perhaps in a single room, they won't get along as well as if they were left in the same room the whole time. Any thoughts on if this is a valid concern that should make me rethink things? In the other room I would build a larger custom enclosure for her with plenty of furnishings and good fun kitty play things. Then I could release her to the whole room if things are going well. For Lippy and Milly, what I'd like to do is buy another cattery and combine it with the one Tuck is currently in (these catteries are designed to be able to combine two together). That way they will have a decent amount of space (and much better vertical space) and can also be together. I will figure out how to securely attach one of the crates to one side of the catteries for their litter boxes and maybe a couple of other things. My thought is they would be able to keep a very comfortable distance away while I clean their litter boxes and the crate as needed which would be better for them but hopefully way better for me. Given that they've been fairly calm lately, I do worry some about transitioning them to new accommodations without causing a bunch of stress again and potentially resetting Milly's constant and destructive escape attempts. I don't know if the catteries are built well enough to hold up to his aggressive determination if he goes back to that behavior. Finally, I will add the other crate to Stormy's cattery so she has that extra space for her litter box and a few other things.

If anyone can please provide their thoughts on these plans, I would very much appreciate it.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
And now back to the regularly scheduled programming.

tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 - The storage container litter boxes look awesome but for right now there is such limited space in their crates that I can only fit a 15" x 18" litter box and I feel like even that takes up too much room. Now if I had an amazing outdoor compound like the one in your pic, I'd be all set!

fionasmom fionasmom - I checked the Feral Friend network quite a while back (based on your suggestion) but there were no results within 50 miles. The nextdoor app doesn't list my city. I don't have a facebook account but I keep thinking I need to create one just to see if there's anyone in my area that may be able to offer help or recommendations on my specific situation.

Updates/status:
Milly still growls every time I'm in the room. After a bit of an ordeal, I managed to replace the little plastic/pvc condo I had in there that he completely trashed with a more sturdy cube house with a bed on top. It's a nice upgrade for him and he seems to like it. Lippy has had an identical one in his crate from the beginning and he lounges on it looking quite relaxed all the time. I think Milly has sort of been mimicking that which is good. That said, he still isn't tolerating my presence all that well. The last few times, he will be hiding inside his cube growling but then when I get close, he will come out quickly and punch/swat the cube or the floor and then he jumps up on top of the cube and resumes growling. As a result of this behavior, I don't get a chance to clean up his crate which has become more of a beach than a crate floor. Somehow, even on the other side of the crate where I leave his food, the food plates accumulate a thick layer of litter by the following day.

Stormy still hides in her cube whenever I'm in the room and doesn't make a sound. No big issues to report though so I think I'll just keep things the way they are for now. At some point, I'll start to hang around for a while in the room and see if she will ever come out while I'm still there.

Lippy has been as good as can be expected but will normally hiss at me a couple of times when I first come in the room. He hides and watches me closely but doesn't necessarily seem overly afraid. I want to start trying different treats or food they can't resist but I don't want to start trying a bunch of different things and have it mess with their digestion where they are already dealing with so much change. It still seems like they are not very "regular" and I'm finding very little or no poo in their litter boxes (speaking mostly of Milly and Lippy). Lippy is really good using the litter box for potty, doesn't excavate at all, and spreads only a minimal amount of litter around. So I'm thankful for all that.

Tuck...well she continues to give me a lot of hope. Tonight, she sat on her top perch facing towards me the whole time I was in the room. The perch has a little house that she can retreat into but she stayed out in the open the whole time looking quite relaxed. I kept having to resist looking directly at her. Her little poof ball on a string had come off and was in her litter box. Once I got done cleaning it, I felt like I should take a chance and see if I could interact a little. I got it cleaned up a bit and put it near her, slowly jingling it a little and getting quite close. She did not budge and just sat there watching. I turned it around and tried to see if she would play with the string. She didn't, but at the same time didn't appear to have any fear or much of an issue with me having my hand/arm in there and quite close. I didn't want to push anything so I then just tied the poof ball to one of the perches and finished up. Not long after I left the room, she was playing happily with the poof ball again.

I think I've decided on a feasible plan for their short to medium term accommodations. I believe I do want to move Tuck into the other room so I can work with her individually and spend more time with her. One worry I have is that if/when I get to the point that I will have them all together again perhaps in a single room, they won't get along as well as if they were left in the same room the whole time. Any thoughts on if this is a valid concern that should make me rethink things? In the other room I would build a larger custom enclosure for her with plenty of furnishings and good fun kitty play things. Then I could release her to the whole room if things are going well. For Lippy and Milly, what I'd like to do is buy another cattery and combine it with the one Tuck is currently in (these catteries are designed to be able to combine two together). That way they will have a decent amount of space (and much better vertical space) and can also be together. I will figure out how to securely attach one of the crates to one side of the catteries for their litter boxes and maybe a couple of other things. My thought is they would be able to keep a very comfortable distance away while I clean their litter boxes and the crate as needed which would be better for them but hopefully way better for me. Given that they've been fairly calm lately, I do worry some about transitioning them to new accommodations without causing a bunch of stress again and potentially resetting Milly's constant and destructive escape attempts. I don't know if the catteries are built well enough to hold up to his aggressive determination if he goes back to that behavior. Finally, I will add the other crate to Stormy's cattery so she has that extra space for her litter box and a few other things.

If anyone can please provide their thoughts on these plans, I would very much appreciate it.
Doubling the catteries for Lippy and Milly would be great and it might mean that food and litter can be kept separate (!) Giving Stormy more space will undoubtedly make her happier, too. Sounds like Tuck is a candidate for a loving permanent home with someone...or if she isn't right away, that she will be in time!
Yeah, when you are working with small spaces, building up is the way to go and I can understand you wouldn't be able to put a massive litterbox in there. Those might work in a larger space in the future. They really are the way to go, I think, to save $$$ and provide a good size box that can accomodate those who "stand and deliver" like some males do. We were really lucky to find that house in the Mojave that had the 4-stall barn and the patio. It was a lot of fun building both of them out, and we'd planned to do a lot more before ex decided he wanted to dump us. Still, for the time we were there, it was exactly what we needed for our beloved cats.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Interrupting the regularly scheduled programming here for a moment to talk about the kitty in my garage (I've named him Marshmallow). I've found a current address for someone who could be the guy that had Marshmallow microchipped. The address is a trailer in a trailer park just over 4 miles from my house (probably less than 4 miles as the crow flies...or as the cat walks). Is it possible that Marshmallow got lost or ran away or for whatever reason did not return home and eventually ended up in my neighborhood 4 miles away? It seems totally plausible right? He had been coming to my place to get food every night for several months. The vet told me he is a flame point siamese. I didn't realize it until I looked it up but apparently they are a rare purebreed. Based on this information, some might say it's obvious I should try to contact the guy that might have been his owner. After all, at one point he may have spent a good deal of money on a purebreed cat and made sure he got neutered and microchipped. But I'm not so sure. There's absolutely no way I would want to return "Mallow" to an environment where he may not be taken care of or may not have good life. This is not the kind of kitty that should be out on the streets. As I've gotten to know Marshmallow, in my opinion he needs to be indoors only, warm and safe, well loved and well taken care of. He understands and enjoys the relative safety and warmth of his enclosure in my garage so much that I'm certain I could leave the door to the enclosure wide open and he would not go anywhere. He's clearly been traumatized and had it rough outside...but he responds so well to my affection and attention. I know from his behavior outside that he is very scared of other cats and I know he was often chased off and bullied. He is also very scared of loud noises or commotion and does his best to hide immediately. If I do make contact with the prior owner, how would I go about making sure he will take proper care of Marshmallow assuming he wants him back? I mean, even if somehow I sense it's not going to be a good situation, I don't know how I would be able to tell him I'm not comfortable returning his cat to him. Just wondering if anyone would be kind enough to offer their opinion.
OH NO. NO. NO. I would NOT contact the "owner." (Loathe that term. Inanimate objects are "owned." As someone with ancestors who were "owned" by other people, that's something I'm very sensitive about. Cats, to me, are family.) Unless a cat is feral, (s)he should absolutely be indoors-only and anyone who lets their cats roam should not be allowed to have cats, IMHO. I would adopt him. As for flame point Siamese being a rare breed, I see a lot of flame point Siamese in my advocacy work. They are not rare. Many, like Mallow appears to be, are not "purebred" but have Siamese and other genes. Mallow is a handsome guy and sounds very sweet! It is indeed possible that Mallow travelled 4 or more miles, as this is well within an intact male cat's natural territory. It sounds like he is an abandoned/betrayed "domestic" cat, possibly one who was fed outdoors and not cared for otherwise, and that he roamed and found the colony where he was bullied. Truly feral cats are always on the alert, as they have to be, and they will often try to push out a weaker or more "tame" interloper. It sounds very much like Mallow craves a warm indoor home with someone who will love and care for him for life.
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,395
Purraise
10,184
Location
Los Angeles
I am sorry that I can't find the exact post where you mentioned Mallow's microchip, so you will have to remind me. It was that a microchip was found but the address was wrong? I would take that as a "no." If a microchip is not updated, I would take it to mean that the owners did not want to continue to take care of the cat. This is not as rare as it sounds. Shelters and breeders, and even vets, routinely microchip and I think that often some owners really could not care less if the pet is chipped in the first place. I go back to the days before microchipping where you had to tattoo your pet, which I did with all three of my original dogs, so anyone who went to that extent was definitely interested in keeping track of the animal.

Personally, I have rescued two dogs who were microchipped and when Home Again contacted the owners (two separate occasions, not related) both said that they did not want the dog and that they were not going to take it back. So there.

I would go with the microchip on Mallow was not accurate. End of story. The rest is too wonky....four miles away, distressed about being outdoor on his own, not fixed (?), sweet cat. Also, these people who are only 4 miles away have had months to look for the cat, put up posters, etc. If you get involved with them, you have absolutely no way to even start to control the outcome. Just proceed from here with him and do what you think is best about finding a home for him or keeping him in the long run.

Your scenario for moving Tuck into another room and working with her and then combining or enlarging the living quarters for the others is an excellent one. Cats who live in the same house will retain a "house smell" (which does not mean your house has an odor of any kind) and the fact that she was moved should not be a problem. Giving the others more room will probably be a big plus.

There is that idea of a "social bridge" cat which Jackson Galaxy talks about frequently. If Lippy starts to settle down and trust you, Milly may start to see you differently. This could still take time, but I have seen it work even with cats who were true ferals.

You aren't transitioning Milly and Lippy into anything that is very different. They are not moving houses or something that might shake them up and I think that they will be happy with larger quarters.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I am sorry that I can't find the exact post where you mentioned Mallow's microchip, so you will have to remind me. It was that a microchip was found but the address was wrong? I would take that as a "no." If a microchip is not updated, I would take it to mean that the owners did not want to continue to take care of the cat. This is not as rare as it sounds. Shelters and breeders, and even vets, routinely microchip and I think that often some owners really could not care less if the pet is chipped in the first place. I go back to the days before microchipping where you had to tattoo your pet, which I did with all three of my original dogs, so anyone who went to that extent was definitely interested in keeping track of the animal.

Personally, I have rescued two dogs who were microchipped and when Home Again contacted the owners (two separate occasions, not related) both said that they did not want the dog and that they were not going to take it back. So there.

I would go with the microchip on Mallow was not accurate. End of story. The rest is too wonky....four miles away, distressed about being outdoor on his own, not fixed (?), sweet cat. Also, these people who are only 4 miles away have had months to look for the cat, put up posters, etc. If you get involved with them, you have absolutely no way to even start to control the outcome. Just proceed from here with him and do what you think is best about finding a home for him or keeping him in the long run.

Your scenario for moving Tuck into another room and working with her and then combining or enlarging the living quarters for the others is an excellent one. Cats who live in the same house will retain a "house smell" (which does not mean your house has an odor of any kind) and the fact that she was moved should not be a problem. Giving the others more room will probably be a big plus.

There is that idea of a "social bridge" cat which Jackson Galaxy talks about frequently. If Lippy starts to settle down and trust you, Milly may start to see you differently. This could still take time, but I have seen it work even with cats who were true ferals.

You aren't transitioning Milly and Lippy into anything that is very different. They are not moving houses or something that might shake them up and I think that they will be happy with larger quarters.
I see this a lot (a cat being microchipped and the trace either does not respond or betrays/abandons) and this is one of several reasons I don't think microchipping is all it's touted to be. It's generally done at ACCs these days when someone adopts. With society being like it is, that is NO guarantee of the adopter committing for a lifetime.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I agree completely about microchipping...without hijacking the thread here. It has started to lack meaning.
I don't blame the method. I blame the moral bankrupts who lack hearts and souls and personal responsibility. Adopting needs to be for LIFE and cats need to be FAMILY, loved unconditionally as they love us. Feral or not!
IMG_1150.JPG

A young feral-born Baby Su in the catio in the Mojave. She loved it there, as did all of us.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #111

ChirpySquirrel

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
47
Purraise
81
tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 Your catio in the Mojave looks like heaven!

Yeah, the phone number associated with Marshmallow's microchip is no longer in service. I think that's the biggest red flag for me. The "owner" never bothered to update his contact info. At the same time, I'm not sure it's necessarily proof that he wasn't caring for Mallow. The one scenario I can come up with is that perhaps he was doing his best to care for Mallow and keep him inside but maybe somehow Mallow got out and then became disoriented and started to wander, got lost, and couldn't find home again. He is neutered just to clarify. He may have just kept wandering until he found my neighborhood. All that said, I think my decision still stands to not try to contact him and just focus on finding Mallow a good home.

Yesterday I talked on the phone with a lady somewhat nearby who has worked with ferals and has had success in taming some. She was suggesting I need to let the kitties all out of their crates/catteries and in to the open room rather than trying to upgrade their current accommodations. I feel like if it was just one or maybe two kitties, this would possibly be an option. As much as I want them to have the space, with 4 all exhibiting different behavior and Milly still being quite...let's say irritable...the dynamics are kind of complicated and I feel like it would be quite chaotic.

I again tried to interact with Tuck last night. It's difficult in the cattery though. I think I need a short wand with a short string so I'll try and fashion something that will work better. I ended up getting probably a little too close and while she remained facing me and didn't move back or seem all that irritated, she did give me a little hiss. I retreated and felt a bit of regret for not being more careful...however, in a matter of moments I looked back up and she was sort of flopped on one side with her head turned almost upside down as if to roll over on her back. I'm no Jackson Galaxy but I perceived that as a sign of a certain level of comfort and playfulness. I'll try again with a better wand/toy tonight.

The lady I talked to was very nice and willing to help which is really great. I'm hoping I can talk to her again on Thursday and have a chance to go in to more details about each kitty. We'll see where that goes. If I'm going to go ahead and implement my plan, I just need to figure out a good, easy to build enclosure option for Tuck. I don't want to spend a ton of money on something that should be very temporary. I feel like I'd still be more comfortable with her in a somewhat confined space rather than an entire room at least for a little while longer.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 Your catio in the Mojave looks like heaven!

Yeah, the phone number associated with Marshmallow's microchip is no longer in service. I think that's the biggest red flag for me. The "owner" never bothered to update his contact info. At the same time, I'm not sure it's necessarily proof that he wasn't caring for Mallow. The one scenario I can come up with is that perhaps he was doing his best to care for Mallow and keep him inside but maybe somehow Mallow got out and then became disoriented and started to wander, got lost, and couldn't find home again. He is neutered just to clarify. He may have just kept wandering until he found my neighborhood. All that said, I think my decision still stands to not try to contact him and just focus on finding Mallow a good home.

Yesterday I talked on the phone with a lady somewhat nearby who has worked with ferals and has had success in taming some. She was suggesting I need to let the kitties all out of their crates/catteries and in to the open room rather than trying to upgrade their current accommodations. I feel like if it was just one or maybe two kitties, this would possibly be an option. As much as I want them to have the space, with 4 all exhibiting different behavior and Milly still being quite...let's say irritable...the dynamics are kind of complicated and I feel like it would be quite chaotic.

I again tried to interact with Tuck last night. It's difficult in the cattery though. I think I need a short wand with a short string so I'll try and fashion something that will work better. I ended up getting probably a little too close and while she remained facing me and didn't move back or seem all that irritated, she did give me a little hiss. I retreated and felt a bit of regret for not being more careful...however, in a matter of moments I looked back up and she was sort of flopped on one side with her head turned almost upside down as if to roll over on her back. I'm no Jackson Galaxy but I perceived that as a sign of a certain level of comfort and playfulness. I'll try again with a better wand/toy tonight.

The lady I talked to was very nice and willing to help which is really great. I'm hoping I can talk to her again on Thursday and have a chance to go in to more details about each kitty. We'll see where that goes. If I'm going to go ahead and implement my plan, I just need to figure out a good, easy to build enclosure option for Tuck. I don't want to spend a ton of money on something that should be very temporary. I feel like I'd still be more comfortable with her in a somewhat confined space rather than an entire room at least for a little while longer.
An interactive toy does not have to be fancy! If you have a stick, piece of pipe, or other holder, plus string, plus a foil or paper ball, you have the makings of an interactive toy.

Thanks for compliments on our catio. It was so popular that they spend almost all their time out there! I had to close it off during sandstorms and heavy weather, but otherwise it was open 24/7 and they had toys, the big CATcus climber plus another one, scratchers, beds, toys, a litterbox, and a snackbar out there. They loved being able to watch all of the desert creatures!

And you definitely read Tuck's body language right!
IMG_0088.JPG
IMG_0281.JPG
IMG_1302.JPG
IMG_0570.JPG
IMG_0621.JPG
IMG_1346.JPG
 
Last edited:

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,395
Purraise
10,184
Location
Los Angeles
I am so glad that you found help and hope that this lady will continue to at least give you advice and work with you. Tuck's body language, despite the hiss, is one of trust. Cats only show you their stomach if they trust you. As I have said, my cats are all rescued ferals and while they have transitioned to being very affectionate and domesticated house cats, they still hiss randomly. I think that they retain that "warning device" that their mom's taught them. In Jamie's case, he is not warning off the coyote who could have eaten him, but is warning me off from applying Advantage to his neck....but same mentality.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #115

ChirpySquirrel

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
47
Purraise
81
Well this has not been a good week. I’m posting this from the hospital where my mom is in the ICU fighting for her life. Unfortunately spending all my time at the hospital or driving to/from the hospital (1 1/2 hours each way) the past few days means that I’m not able to work with the kitties or make any progress on their accommodation upgrades. I’m barely able to feed them and get them clean water (they all end up with litter in their water dishes) once a day and I’m just doing my best to clean litter boxes when I can but that’s really it.

The lady that was going to come on Thursday cancelled because she got sick. That was actually ok (not that she got sick but that she cancelled) since I had to get to the hospital anyway. So getting any help is still up in the air and she has sort of been my only hope as far as someone that would be willing and able to get involved directly to figure things out.

Meanwhile when I got home late last night I noticed a pretty big chunk of fur missing from Marshmallow’s side. I couldn’t see any chunks of fur laying around either. I started googling and doing that it could be ringworm which sounds really bad. I’m really scared that if that’s what he has then I’ve probably spread it to not only my cat Puffy but to all of the kitties in the kitty room as well. After a rough day/night at the hospital, that thought was almost too much to bear. I need to find out if it’s ringworm but I’m certainly not in a position right now to care for him and I’m not even sure when I will be able to have a vet examine him. I had been petting and scratching him every time I go out to feed him. Now I’m going to have to stay away and not give him the love that he really desperately needs. It’s just so hard to have all this happening at the same time.

Sorry this is such a downer post. I’m beside myself with what to do and just have to take things day by day. Here’s Mallow’s missing patch of fur 😢
B3D33473-9C3D-4117-9043-95300ADA43BA.jpeg
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Well this has not been a good week. I’m posting this from the hospital where my mom is in the ICU fighting for her life. Unfortunately spending all my time at the hospital or driving to/from the hospital (1 1/2 hours each way) the past few days means that I’m not able to work with the kitties or make any progress on their accommodation upgrades. I’m barely able to feed them and get them clean water (they all end up with litter in their water dishes) once a day and I’m just doing my best to clean litter boxes when I can but that’s really it.

The lady that was going to come on Thursday cancelled because she got sick. That was actually ok (not that she got sick but that she cancelled) since I had to get to the hospital anyway. So getting any help is still up in the air and she has sort of been my only hope as far as someone that would be willing and able to get involved directly to figure things out.

Meanwhile when I got home late last night I noticed a pretty big chunk of fur missing from Marshmallow’s side. I couldn’t see any chunks of fur laying around either. I started googling and doing that it could be ringworm which sounds really bad. I’m really scared that if that’s what he has then I’ve probably spread it to not only my cat Puffy but to all of the kitties in the kitty room as well. After a rough day/night at the hospital, that thought was almost too much to bear. I need to find out if it’s ringworm but I’m certainly not in a position right now to care for him and I’m not even sure when I will be able to have a vet examine him. I had been petting and scratching him every time I go out to feed him. Now I’m going to have to stay away and not give him the love that he really desperately needs. It’s just so hard to have all this happening at the same time.

Sorry this is such a downer post. I’m beside myself with what to do and just have to take things day by day. Here’s Mallow’s missing patch of fur 😢View attachment 414954
*PRAYERS* from the heart, for your dear mom, for Mallow, and for you all, my friends. One step at a time. You're doing amazingly. Just know that and stay strong because you must.:hugs:
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,395
Purraise
10,184
Location
Los Angeles
How to Deal with Ringworm in Cats [Inc. the Housecleaning Regime] – TheCatSite Articles

Ringworm In Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals

Ringworm and Cats: It's Not That Scary – The Barn Cat Lady
Here’s some good news: Ringworm SOUNDS scary but it really isn’t! Ringworm is usually mild and self-limiting in adult cats. That means it’s a minor issue and will often resolve on its own. Most adult cats and humans are often resistant to infection so the chances of you catching ringworm from your infected cat is very low, even if you weren’t being careful. And if you or your cat do catch ringworm, it’s super easy to treat. It just takes time.

Sometimes no treatment is necessary. Most mild ringworm infections in cats will heal on their own due to a cat’s immune system. That’s excellent news for us feral cat caretakers! I don’t bring in my barn cats or cat colony for ringworm unless it is making the cat miserable or it is severe or persistent. The trauma of treating an unsocialized cat for ringworm and bringing him into the vet is more harmful than the ringworm infection itself.(These are excerpted from the barncatlady cited above).

First of all, I am very sorry that your mom is facing a serious illness. As for the cats, do what you have been, meaning the minimum, and they will be fine. They are still safe and cared for and you need to accept that for now as you try to be there for your mom.

When you get a chance, you can proceed from where you were. Mallow will still understand that you are his friend even if you don't handle him for the time being.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #118

ChirpySquirrel

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
47
Purraise
81
I’m so very grateful for your prayers and thoughtful comments. It was so good of you to post the info about ringworm fionasmom fionasmom . I had read a bunch of stuff about how terrible it can be so it was great to have the perspective that it may not necessarily be that bad. It breaks my heart to not be able to give him the love he needs but it was touching that you mentioned he will still know I’m his friend. I certainly still worry about the feral kitties especially because I can’t test them and even if I knew they had it I couldn’t give them any type of topical treatment or baths. I still don’t think I can really risk the possibility of repeated exposure to Puffy if any of them are potentially infected or are carriers either. I am doing my best with very limited time to prevent spreading but I just don’t have time to continually disinfect my clothes and everything I touch. I am not sure when I’ll be able to get a vet to check Mallow but I certainly need some help from someone with more experience and knowledge if it does turn out to be ringworm. I still worry this might be too much to deal with. I don’t know if or when my mom might start improving to where I can shift a little focus back on the kitties. Even if she turns a corner, she will need a whole lot of care and attention for the foreseeable future. I don’t have any idea what I can do with the feral kitties but it would kill me to have to release them back outside after all this. I talked to the construction site supervisor last week and they expect to be removing the tree pile this upcoming week. I could release them after that but their field is already about halfway gone and they would no longer have shelter so who knows where they would go. At the same time I don’t know how long I can just keep them so confined. Without having any direct interest or involvement from an organization with better resources, I’m not sure if there’s a better option with what I’m up against.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
20,947
Purraise
55,633
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
I’m so very grateful for your prayers and thoughtful comments. It was so good of you to post the info about ringworm fionasmom fionasmom . I had read a bunch of stuff about how terrible it can be so it was great to have the perspective that it may not necessarily be that bad. It breaks my heart to not be able to give him the love he needs but it was touching that you mentioned he will still know I’m his friend. I certainly still worry about the feral kitties especially because I can’t test them and even if I knew they had it I couldn’t give them any type of topical treatment or baths. I still don’t think I can really risk the possibility of repeated exposure to Puffy if any of them are potentially infected or are carriers either. I am doing my best with very limited time to prevent spreading but I just don’t have time to continually disinfect my clothes and everything I touch. I am not sure when I’ll be able to get a vet to check Mallow but I certainly need some help from someone with more experience and knowledge if it does turn out to be ringworm. I still worry this might be too much to deal with. I don’t know if or when my mom might start improving to where I can shift a little focus back on the kitties. Even if she turns a corner, she will need a whole lot of care and attention for the foreseeable future. I don’t have any idea what I can do with the feral kitties but it would kill me to have to release them back outside after all this. I talked to the construction site supervisor last week and they expect to be removing the tree pile this upcoming week. I could release them after that but their field is already about halfway gone and they would no longer have shelter so who knows where they would go. At the same time I don’t know how long I can just keep them so confined. Without having any direct interest or involvement from an organization with better resources, I’m not sure if there’s a better option with what I’m up against.
Just go day to day. They are safe. They are watered and fed. Weighing the options, this is the best one now. Don't overthink or stress needlessly. Just keep on doing what you are doing. Change is the only constant of life. Right now, this is good. Change will eventually happen, but maybe not right now. As long as they are safe and their basic needs met, they are better off than most.
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,395
Purraise
10,184
Location
Los Angeles
I hope that your mom is getting a little better, day by day. Don't put a big guilt trip on yourself about the cats. As tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 said, they are safe and fed, so just try to hold the line. Hopefully the woman who was going to come to visit will be able to make that happen.

Stop thinking about how much freedom they need and how they should have a much better life than what you are able to do right now. That is not necessarily true. The rescued feral I took in 6 weeks ago has not even left the bathroom, despite the fact that the door, and all interior doors, are open. To her, it is her safe room and is much better than what she had before.

Years ago I kept 3 kittens in a bathroom for 5 months. It was that or die on the streets. One is still with me and is 17 years old, so clearly it did not damage her permanently.

These guys all know that you are taking care of them.
 
Top