Stray cat, considering bringing her inside.

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ImaRobot

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thanks you to whichever moderator merged my post!

So yesterday I noticed that the spot she likes hanging out in the most was leaving good amount of fur so I decided to give her a little bit of a brushing, just on her rear so she gets used to it. I wasn't sure how she would react because, ironically, my boy with the longest fur just gives me a hard time with it, but my other boy enjoys it.

She was skeptical at first but she was laying on her side and making air biscuits. She did try to swipe one time, but not fully, her hand just twitched but afterwards she fully accepted it. I still didn't get close to her head as she'll flinch with unknown things approaching her, but just more upwards on her back. Going to start doing this more regularly so she gets used to it, also because she's shedding.

This was her midway through:
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I bought two 23" tall pet gates so I can stack upright in the door so all my little ones can get better acquainted, and some Churu on hand to hopefully create a positive environment whenever I feel like putting the gates up. Individual time with her is going amazingly, but the true test has yet to come.
 
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ImaRobot

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The two stacked gates were a success, there was not a single hiss last night from anyone. It's usually only her and my oldest Moomoo, the white and orange fluffy boy as shes the newest and hes the Alpha. He's a big ol softy though. I didnt realize until I got it all together, but I was out of Churu but I did play with all of them together with a wand toy and that seemed to work well. I don't remember if I posted about it, but I ended up naming her Litto because for those 7 or so months we interacted outside I would just call her little girl, not knowing that I was going to eventually adopt her so she now knows that as her calling for the most part.

We all sat there for about 30 minutes just hanging out and playing. After that second picture, Litto and Moomoo were playing with the banana but one fast movement ended up startling each other. There was no hiss still, but they both did slap the gate once, though not full power, and both kept their paws up. I decided to end the face-to-face time right there just incase there would be any increased agitation. Hobbes, the Orange Tabby is the sweetest, hes very curious and is not hostile or aggressive whatsoever, he just wants to get to know his new housemate. I think she'll get along with him better. He waits by the door all day and prrrttts at her under it, I'd imagine they have the most interaction while I'm at work. He's also sticking his little paws under the door constantly, its so funny. Even touching her tail in the process and she doesnt seem to get mad at him.

All in all, I'd say that was a success. The first time I gave them face to face time was with a milk crate with the door slightly cracked and a box blocking the rest of the way. There was hisses on eye contact and hard slaps against it, so that time it was ended immediately almost.
 
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ImaRobot

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I've been giving them face to face time with the gates every other day or so and it continues to go well. No hisses at all. I picked up some Churu this weekend for some rewards during the face to face time. They all loved it, and were all practically touching faces at the gate, even though my oldest Moomoo was extremely stingy and kept pushing Hobbes, the orange Tabby, out of the way to eat it all.

The little girl did flinch once or twice which caused a reaction from everyone, but no paws this time so I let the face to face time continue. I get why though, she still is unsure of fast movements by her face, she even flinches when I try to pet sometimes but immediately realizes its ok. Kind of reinforcing my idea that the last owners must have abused her in some way. I don't want to fully introduce her until this little habit calms down a bit more. She's making great progress with that though.

This Churu is definitely going to be the way to their hearts I feel like. My oldest goes crazy for this stuff and its been a while since I've had any in house. I bought a 20 pack and use about 2 per interaction so it should last me a bit. Once that's out maybe I might attempt an actual face to face.

My sleep has been terrible. My boys aren't used to closed doors in the apartment. In the 4 years we've been here I've never closed them, so they are just so confused. I've been transitioning my time all day, and even my sleep, trying to make sure everyone gets enough attention. My boys are cuddle buddies and will sleep with me 100% of the time, so I don't want to exclude them in anyway through this process so I've been spending half my sleep time with Litto, and then half my sleep time in the living room on the couch with my boys. My couch is definitely not set up for long sleep periods, thing is breaking my back it feels like lol. I can make this sacrifice though, its all for a great reason.

I believe I mentioned the vertically standing couch in my room, but heres a video of her getting down from there, looking like a Spider-cat! She loves it up there, but she is hesitant to jump off I'm guessing due to her small frame. The boys will just jump down completely onto the cushions.
 
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ImaRobot

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wow! that's too fun, thanks for sharing :vibes::heartshape:
Its just funny to see. It was interesting to me that she knows to push her body weight against the wall and cling to the couch on her way down, pretty clever little girl.
 
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ImaRobot

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She's progressing wonderfully.

This weekend I came into the room and saw her snuggled up on the bed. This is the first time she willingly went on the bed, she's usually so cautious of it for whatever reason:


This eventually led her to gain confidence to snuggle up at my feet when I'm laying down:


By the end of the end of Saturday night she was sprawled out and obviously enjoying it:


She also snuggled up on my feet again last night, seems like she's trying to normalize this a bit and I'm more than willing to let her. Puts a smile on your face.


I think it's time to let her explore the rest of the apartment. Sometime this week I'm going to hold my boys up in the restroom for a bit and let her roam. Then Transition one of the boys to her room cus I know they've been extremely curious what goes on in there now that the door is always closed. She's making great progress and I feel like I'm close to an ungated face-to-face time within the next week or two.
 
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ImaRobot

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The day of my last post, I held the boys up in the restroom and let her explore the place. Of course she was nervous and skittish, a ton more than usual, but she got a good half hour of explore time alone and at her own pace. I opened the front door, but still had the gated door closed, so she can see outside - she looked out to the driveway for a minute or two, seeing what used to be her old life, and then went on her way to explore some more. My boys started getting a little rowdy with the bathroom door so I decided it was time to call it quits, but right before I put her in the room she decided to poop in the boys litter box. I couldn't help but get a laugh out of that.

My youngest, Hobbes, has always been so extremely curious of her with absolutely no aggression. He's a gentle cat, and he sits with her by the door and plays footsies constantly and talks to her in little prrrtts all the time. She probably knows his scent the best by now. So I decided that he would be the first to get face-to-face time without the gate, while I help up Moomoo in the restroom. Upon the gate opening, Hobbes walked in the room and she walked out, no aggression, no changes in stance, and no hesitation between the two walking right by each other - They just simply swapped rooms to explore their other sides respectively.

About 20 minutes pass with both of them still swapped places, and eventually they came face to face again - still no kind of altercation at all! They even went nose to nose in a little kiss/scent inspection, I was actually shocked about that. While Hobbes is so gentle in nature, he's also very playful so not too long after they finished that up, he wanted to play and scooted over to her but accidentally startled her so she hissed, but that's it. Afterwards she scurried over to her room, but Hobbes saw that as playing because Moomoo and him always play chase. I knew immediately that if he caught up to her she would feel trapped so I picked him up immediately and closed off the room.

Tomorrow, or sometime on the weekend, I'm going to introduce Moomoo by himself this time and lock Hobbes up. I feel this one may be a little trickier and might actually have to use some treats. He's very social with both humans and animals, living with me in two different locations that had upwards of 2-3 cats at each spot, and lots of human traffic, and he got along with every single one. So much so that our friend brings his dog over every weekend and they coexist just fine in the same space. Though my friends dog has separation anxiety so one time heleft to his car and his dog got worked up and jumped right on Moomoos bed, which ended up with a minor altercation with scratches. Though that was a single instance and never happened again.

This is becoming a blog, of sorts, but it feels good to just write it down and have the history of it.
 
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ImaRobot

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I wanted to edit the post and insert a new photo but I forgot about the time constraints.



They were actually all sleeping here, I accidentally woke them up with my loud phone when I took the photo. You can see how small she actually is, she was probably a 1 1/2' to 2' from each other. Moomoo is right there front and center, the largest of the bunch.
 
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ImaRobot

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I just picked up two Feliway Diffusors last night and plugged them in immediately, and I don't know if it's just a placebo affect on my end, but it seemed like it worked fairly quickly? I had knocked out on the bed while I was hanging out with them and when I woke up they were all asleep around me, although Litto was spaced out from Hobbes and Moomoo. Hobbes also ended up just trying to walk by Litto and that was closer than I've ever seen her allow him, but eventually accidentally got too close so she hissed and swiped. Also, at one point she went to lay down at the same foot of the bed as Moomoo while he was asleep, and even though he woke up and made I contact and she hissed at him, neither moved and they both went back to sleep. I don't even know what to make of that lol.

Either way, I know I have a long road with her. She's obviously been traumatized by other animals and humans but shes progressing so well. My oldest, Moomoo, is doing some following right now so I'm just keeping an eye on that. The main problem I'm encountering right now is that they want to play so bad, especially when they see her playing with me, which shes obviously not ready for, but I feel bad for stopping my boys when that happens. Just the other day She had jumped up on that same couch I have sideways in my room and didnt realize Moomoo was up there, she screamed bloody murder and I had to run to the room, but my boy was just on his back upside down with his hands out wanting to play, as she scurried down the couch.
 
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ImaRobot

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This is quite a positive update--good on you!
I'm not going to lie, now that they're getting free reign of the place while I'm home, and only while I'm home, it is definitely significantly tougher. Definitely get it though because now shes breaking away from her safe room that shes been in for 3-4 weeks and into brand new territory, so of course shes a little edgy. I'm hoping these Feliway Diffusors help out in that regard.

She still explores, plays, sleeps, and eats with them around and even goes off to do her own thing sometimes, so that's the biggest good sign for me.
 
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So I just remembered that I have to take her to the vet this Friday. The first time was an absolute pain for everyone involved, so much so that the Vet gave me some oral liquid calming meds/sedative to give to her about an hour or two before the visit. The tough part is going to be actually getting her to ingest it as while she trusts me completely, holding her in a manner that is not strictly petting, she will start to try to jump away. To add to that, she doesnt like things encroaching on her face/immediate view.

Would it be possible to possibly mix it with a tiny bit of wet food? I was thinking maybe I can squeeze a little bit of churu onto her plate and see how it goes. I suppose if anything I can give a little tester tonight as they also recommended feeling it out prior to the vet visit anyways.
 
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ImaRobot

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You might double-check with the vet just to be certain but that would probably be your best approach to this.
Thanks! I'll give them a call tomorrow as they'll be closed by time I get home. I don't exactly remember the name but it's in my cabinet, so I'll do some research on it in the meantime as well.
 
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So the Gabepentin that the doctor prescribed for her didn't seem to do much of anything, which I'm surprised after reading up and seeing examples of it working. I tested it a week prior to the vet, on the lower ranges of the recommended amount and that night I couldnt really tell any symptoms of it working.

The day before I had called the vet and they had said it was ok to give her a dose the night before and one the next morning, at least 8 hours apart. So I did that, her second dose was about 2-3 hours before the appointment and honestly she was still completely aware, even playing most of the morning. She immediately yowled and went to the usual attacking the crate in every corner, so I just let her out and canceled the vet appointment for now. After calling they did recommend upping the dosage, but I had already did that on my own seeing how she was still seemingly completely normal the night before - I gave her about 1/8th more than the recommended higher range. It was very odd to say the least, shes a tough one for sure.

Aside from that, there's still hisses, my boys don't know how to give her space as this is something completely new they're used to. The younger boy Hobbes will back away as soon as he gets a bop/hiss so he's slowly understanding the situation, but I feel so bad for him cus hes the nicest that can be and he just wants to be a friend and I honestly don't have to stop any times because he already knows. The older boy Moomoo is the alpha and a bit territorial, I can tell but its just odd seeing it now because the last two places we lived he was definitely not at all, and he got along with all the cats at his new living spaces when he was the outsider.

With all that said, he's slowly turning around though, especially more so because I think he's getting used to me stopping his behavior if I notice anything weird - Sometimes I see him following her down the hallway slowly and then sitting there blocking her path and she looks too scared to run by. Just the other night though, he was laying on the bed in my room when I open the doors for everyone, and watched her from a distance, then he would roll around on his back, and keep rolling back and forth trying to get her attention to play. Its hard to see exactly what he's feeling in this situation because he'll go from odd behavior to playful behavior. He did give her one good bop on the top of her head last night though when I was trying to bribe everyone with some Churu, but it was more reactionary because she was slapping him everytime she would get too close too him so he was sorta waiting for it to happen. He didnt even react immediately, it looked like he was gauging the situation and she came in a bit too close while trying to get some Churu and he let one go. She came back for more snacks and I just made sure she kept a little bit more distance this time and it went well.

Sorry for the walls of text! Here's some photos to make up for it:


 
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ImaRobot

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Crazy to think its already been two months since I brought Litto inside. She's still isolated to her own safe room and gets supervised free exploring time when I'm home, most days. Her hisses are seemingly getting less aggressive and shes not so quick to swat anymore, at least not as a first option now. The other day I held up the boys in her room and let her explore around, after a while she got up on the couch with me and took a nap while I was playing some video games. While she was sleeping I let the boys out, they all eventually just went to sleep on the couch. She was to the left of me and the boys to the right.

The boys are anxiously awaiting the time where they can finally play with her, my oldest will always lay on his back on the bed and playfully roll around, slowly getting closer to her. I'll eventually stop him before he gets too close to her but he'll just stay there rolling around and rubbing his face on everything. I actually think him doing that might be easing the transition for her, at least a little bit. I feel like it's showing her that he's not a bad guy and she doesn't have to fear him.
 
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So unfortunately Litto had some swollen/infected Anal Glands this weekend. It was very sudden, she didnt really exhibit any of the typical signs leading up to it. Saturday night, everything was normal, she was active, eating, playing but come Sunday I noticed a change in her behavior. She was very lethargic, she wasnt eating(I offered her a Churu stick the end of the day to see and she gladly ate that though), and she threw up bile about 3-4 times throughout the whole day so I decided to set up an appointment first time the doc was available Monday.

I had woken up in the middle of the night and noticed her rear had a bit of a smell to it, it wasn't poop or pee but was an odor, but not powerful enough that I can smell it from a far. A couple hours later I get up to get ready for work as I planned to only do a half day as her appt wasn't available till about noonish, but noticed that her usual sleeping spot had a brownish colored discharge, with some white tinge to it and it was a similar odor to what I smelled. At this point I sort of had an idea what it was and informed the doctor ahead of time before our appointment. She still wasn't eating and I even gave her wet food, it was untouched when I got back from work. I also found some orange/reddish discharge on the rims of her litter box, so it was pointing towards the glands pretty strongly at this point. She did, however, eat a full other stick of Churu before the vet so she at least got some sort of sustenance.

After the vet, she is back to her normal self as if nothing even happened. She woke up an hour before me today, was jumping into the windows, on top of boxes, walking around on me, sitting in my face staring at me waiting for me to get up. She also ate her kibble before I left. She was also overly loving and affectionate this morning, as if she knew I took her to the bad place(The Vet) to help her out.

As an aside, the room still has a small amount of smell. Nothing overpowering and you really have to focus on it, but does anyone know of any cat-friendly deodorizers I can use? I did wash all the blankets and spot checked the floor and cleaned areas, but I'm not sure where else it could be coming from. Today I'm going to put a fresh batch of cat liter as I'm thinking that might be the culprit.
 
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