Took In Two 1 Yr Old Ferals

calicosrspecial

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I was a bit calmer than normal with her as Im usually pretty cautious around around her. She seems to be slowly coming back around. She completely stopped playing with me for awhile but out of nowhere I found her sleeping right under my chair while I was sitting on it - and she normally does not come this close to me unless I have food. Last night I initiated play when it looked like she wanted to play - she was extremely cautious but she did play for a short while from a good distance until she started to seem too uncomfortable and stopped. When I lay down on my bed she seems alot more at ease and will also lay down and look at me and slowly blink which I also respond with slow blinks, almost like talking to her. Another thing I notice is she has taken to my clothes as her literal bed. She likes to sleep on my shirts or clothes and play with them when they're present. She seems to be alot more at ease when Im sitting or laying down and usually wont hesitate to move around as much as she used to but she gets very cautious if I start moving.

I've been talking to her more and more lately, slow blinking whil calmly speaking to her. sometimes she will slow blink back, sometimes she will just stare, or she will just close her eyes and lay on my clothes and fall asleep.

Update: While playing with the string, she caught it and when I tugged it back it got caught on her claw and she hissed and jumped back and hid.

Right now as Im typing this she's actually being fairly playful with Panda, thats kind of another thing, she has been hissing less during play with him than she used to.



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First things first. Sandy is so GORGEOUS!!! Wow. And Panda is just ADORABLE!!

Let's do the videos first.

The first video - Playing with the laser. GREAT!!! Sandy looks absolutely normal and happy there. LOVING the laser pointer. Great body language, loving playing. Very normal cat. A lot of confidence. PERFECT. And Panda. What can I say? Panda loves you. Totally confident and at ease.

Second video - Again Sandy is looking great. Again, playing with your shirt. GREAT relaxed, confident body language. I see a cat that just looks happy and great. I still think Sandy is WAY AHEAD of where I thought she would be. And that is because of how you have interacted with her to build her trust and confidence.

Thanks for the videos, these are VERY helpful!!

Now to your written post:

Cats can sense even little changes in our emotions and actions so it is possible Sandy was sensing the change and got a little more cautious. I wonder if this was going on when she stopped playing. BUT the videos sure show me a cat that looks happy AND you mention she was sleeping under your chair with you there. Which is a HUGE positive. She chose to be there and that tells me there is a lot of trust.

When you mention last night (must have been Tuesday night) she wanted to play and she did until she got "uncomfortable" and didn't seem to want to play anymore and you stopped. It happens sometimes, they don't want to play. And sometimes we read too much into things. From what I see in the videos she is very positive in her body language. Use those videos as a base to interpret her body language.

Cats do get more comfortable when we are more still or lower etc. So I am not surprised she is more calm when you are in bed.

I LOVE that you are giving her "eye kisses" (slow blinks) and she is responding with them as well. THAT is a sign of trust and love. GREAT JOB!! And it tells me there is a big bond between you two. A cat would never close their eyes with a potential threat.

Using your clothes as a bed. Again, probably a sign of that bond. She wants your scent on her and she wants to put her scent on your things. Ownership. Another great sign of the bond between you.

Again, totally normal that she is more at ease when you are sitting or lying down on the bed. When we get up and move that can cause some unease for a former feral. But the key is to make our movements as normal as possible (same speed, movements etc). Ferals can be cautious as that is their instinct but it is not anything I would worry about. i would only worry IF she is changing her behavior etc. If she just seems on edge and watches it is not an issue. A cat on the streets had to learn to be cautious in order to survive. I have all ferals and if I make a movement that is sudden, too fast etc they get cautious. It is just how many ferals are. Not an issue. As long as they aren't showing lingering behavior issues (hiding, avoiding areas, etc).

Great on talking to her more. Just be your loving self. Keep slow blinking (eye kisses). I LOVE that sometimes she will just lie on your clothes and go to sleep. THAT tells me there is A LOT OF TRUST. Perfect!!

On the UPDATE about playing - Yes, getting it caught on their nails and then pulling it can get a hiss. But that is normal. Something different, she wasn't sure what is happening and warned with a hiss. Nothing abnormal about it. It happens. And as long as she didn't have a lingering cautious response after she learns that it was nothing.

playing with Panda and hissing less. again, GREAT. Play is always great and hissing is just communication and maybe Panda is starting to listen to Sandy's hissing and not doing things that annoy her.

PICTURES - Sandy exposing her belly?????? WOW!!! TRUST!!! She looks fantastic there. And of course, Panda is Panda, doing great. But I can;t emphasize enough how the pictures of Sandy exposing her belly tells me Sandy is doing really well. You have built a bond and trust between you!!

SO overall, this post is FANTASTIC!! I see and read a cat that is doing phenomenally well. I really don't see anything that worries me.

To the second post with another Sandy video eating -

Were you on the floor? Sitting up? It seems like you may be about 2 feet above her head? You mentioned you were about 5 feet away.

How did the food get to her? Did you slide it to her? Did you kind of toss them and they bounced? I typically like to put them down while approaching with my hand well below their head.

If you notice, she was a little on edge at first (maybe the first minute and a half) THEN she relaxes and starts eating. GREAT!!!

And did she use her left paw like a human would?????? She is something!!

About 3:20 in there is some low noise. She responded pretty well (you said "it wasn't me"). She looked like she wanted that food in front of her but was just not willing to go there yet. That is fine. It is a process.

It looked like she gave you some eye blinks right before you said "you don't look happy". I think her body language is fine. She seems relaxed. I think she gave you eye blinks. I think that is just her look you are seeing. Remember to look at her body language not just her face. Her ears look fine, her body looks fine. She actually looks like she wants to go to sleep. She seems pretty relaxed to me. She may be thinking "I want that treat, should I go for it or wait". At this point just maybe look away from her and see what she does.

She seemed awfully relaxed. I saw all positives. What would happen if you sat on the floor with your legs extended and your back against the wall about 4 feet to her right? Would she "escape" along the wall other left?

The music is great, the calm, loving voice is great. Feel free to look away from her to give her "space".

But overall, I think that video again tells me that Sandy is doing just fine.

Is it possible to re-position the cat tree in that corner? I would like to see if she would choose to go high at some point. She seemed comfortable in that area.
 
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MikeAW2010

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When treating her I've been usually sliding them to her. I had a habit of tossing them to her from a distance because she'll swat me if I get too close to her.. I started deciding that may not be a good idea because it may remind her of people throwing rocks at her when she was still outdoors and feral (I'm not sure if that actually happened to them but the neighboring businesses had major complaints about the cats and they started disappearing) so I started sliding them toward her but not at her.

Now I'm placing them down infront of her but not so close where she can reach and swat me and I typically leave the area immediately after placing them.

That area is her favorite area because its between my computer and the wall and the least visible area from the doorway. It's fairly close to where I sleep as well. When I sleep she will sometimes come much closer to my bed and sleep there. Usually on one of my shirts I have laying around like she's doing as I type this. Got cold here so I had a sweater on and she fell in love with my sweater.

This is what happened when I sat near her.


It's super tempting to try to pet her but dont want to startle or surprise her.
 

calicosrspecial

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Great. You are doing the treats in the right way. Sliding is good and I am glad you are now placing them near her. If you approach low she should be less inclined to swat etc. You know cats and know Sandy so just trust your instincts on how to proceed. I highly doubt Sandy wants to hurt you so I thin she would be cautious in how she would respond to you but I know your apprehension. Just trust your instincts and stay as calm and confident and move at normal speeds and stay as low as possible.

Is it possible to at some point get a cat tree in that area for her? She might enjoy being up a bit as height tends to bring more confidence. It is REALLY GREAT that she tends to come closer when you sleep. Again, that is the bond showing. I think at some point in the next year she will be sleeping on the bed with you. I just have a feeling. Some cats do, some don't but I get a sense she may.

Going on your shirts and sweaters is again a sign of wanting to be close to you. A real positive again.

The video. PERFECT. Close, eye blinks. Perfect. It is great she sleeps on your bed as well. Yes, they like the middle. I understand your concern about going on with her up on the bed. Just do what you think is best. The good news is she is comfortable being around your scent (your bed).

Her body language is great with you near here as you mention in the video. She looks calm, comfortable. She likes it.

The sweeping of the floor sure didn't cause her any lasting concerns. She looks great in the video. That is great she can rebound quickly.

So overall, I think that was a great response. I think she has a real bond with you. She seems totally fine with you there. We'll start trying to get a touch closer and using treats as well soon. Just to continue getting that trust.

Just keep building that trust with her. Letting her know you love her. Play if possible. When possible try a cat tree in that area. But overall, she seems really comfortable, happy, trusting. She really doesn't seem as feral as a person would have thought she would have. So I think you have made amazing progress.

Does she ever like to look out of the window? Is there anything she can get up on to look out? Maybe a dresser, or a cat tree, or maybe a window perch? She might enjoy looking out.

Keep up the great work with her.

How are the resident cats doing? Everyone doing better?
 
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MikeAW2010

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Resident cats, with the exception of Ginger are okay. I still havent figured out what is wrong with him. The next step is a specialist but I'm looking at thousands of dollars for that which I just cant foot right now.

I ended up having to buy another house, I move this January (I live in a town home and this place is too small for me and 6 cats plus the cost of housing is about to sky rocket here so I wanted to get something before it was too late). The new place will give them alot more room and will also give me a place to put my office without having to worry about them tearing into wires.

Panda is a normal cat now. He isnt afraid of my family members, loves to be pet and follows me everywhere (especially the kitchen). He is super super super super super cute and remembering the time from when he was a scared kitty sitting under the office porch or under a car and running when he saw a human to now is amazing.

I have had some progress with Sandy.

She hasnt hissed at me in a good while even when I'm standing, although she still is very uneasy about me being close to her. What I have been doing is routinely approaching her directly with cat treats and lowering myself when I'm fairly close to her but not close enough for her to reach me without moving, putting my hand down on the ground with treats. I usually keep it there for a moment without moving it as to make my hand look stationary and non threatening before removing it and revealing treats then I walk away and do something else to give her space and let her eat them.

Not long ago she was on my bed and I was tired. I didnt really want to rush her off my bed as to not make any negative associations so I just had to take a chance with her. She was in the middle, and I slowly laid down while giving her eye kisses. She watched me and was uneasy and alert but she didnt move. When I laid down and stopped moving she retracted her attention from me and went back to sleep. She slept there with me for 2 additional hours before she ended up getting up and moving to another side of the room.

This morning I was awoken to Panda playing with some wires so I had to put him out the room, Sandy didnt like it but I cant let him chew on my PC cables. I tried to initiate play with her, she got uneasy and hid under my desk so I stopped. About an hour later I got up and sat near her by the desk where she was laying down under. She was uneasy again but didnt make an escape, just kept an eye on me so to speak. I spoke softly to her and gave her slow blinks and she kind of calmed down a bit. I then got cat treats and slowly lowered them down and slide them to the point where I could see her ears starting to go flat (this is my barometer that I believe I'm too close to her) and released and quickly retracted my hand. The treats were right next to me and between me and her. I turned away and stared in another direction and remained as calm as possible, without moving. I chose to stay there and see if she would come from under the desk to eat them (Trust me, I was probably as scared as she was). I just remained still, didnt move and after a few moments, she carefully crawled from under the desk and ate them right next to me. I said and did nothing but remained still and quiet hoping she wouldn't out of nowhere attack. She didn't. When she was done she went back under the desk and I just calmly told her it was okay and calmly spoke to her and gave her eye kisses. Afterward I left and gave her space and from a distance I calmly spoke to her. She kind of looked at me for a bit before going back to sleep.

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I've been alittle more ambitious lately on socializing her because pretty soon (January 10th) I'm going to have to move her with me to a new home and need to hopefully beable to be cooperative as possible in moving her.

I'm alittle worried about how the ferals will take the new environment. The resident cats typically adjust between 3 - 5 days but not sure how Panda and Sandy will like it. I'm also hoping they don't find the carpet as another litterbox.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Poor Ginger. You might want to post on the health area and see if someone has some ideas. I am glad everyone else is good though.

Congratulations on the new house. That is wonderful.

I am so proud of you and Panda. Panda is the cat he is because of all your efforts. It really is an amazing result. To see a cat trust from being loved and having a great home. This is what it is all about. Making a difference in lives. REALLY GREAT JOB!!!!

You are doing exactly the right things with Sandy. Building that trust. Using something good (food, treats). I think she is going to be fine with you. She may never be a snuggle bug but she is going to be fine with you. And a bond with a feral tends to be very strong. She knows she has it great. And the fact she trusted you to come into bed AND she stayed and slept with you is the sign. THAT is trust and a bond. I know how that moment feels. It is amazing. You are definitely doing the right things!!!

That is a great job with Sandy. Removing Panda would cause some concern for Sandy so she would be on edge a little. But it sounds like you handled it really well. Remember our emotions can be picked up on by cats so your anxiety can cause Sandy to be more cautious and that is why she is probably showing some unease. And if we move differently (faster or slower etc) that can put them on "caution mode". But you handled it great. I personally think it would take a lot to get Sandy to attack. She would have to feel really threatened and cornered to attack most likely. I understand your concerns though. just make sure she has multiple exit paths and don't push it. I deal with unknown ferals all the time so I kind of know when something bad might happen. And I know how much human emotions play in dealing with cats. Typically cats will only strike when they are really scared. I don't think you will put Sandy in that spot. Just be smart and trust your instincts though. You will learn to trust her. I think she is doing really great.

The move will be a challenge since cats don't like change. But having the same bedding, cat trees, scratching posts, litter boxes (things with their scent on it) should ease the transition. And if you stay calm (not stressed) and give them good food/treats and play that will help them. They are confident cats it seems so that helps a lot. We'll deal with the move when we get there.

I think the ferals will be fine if we do that above. It is all about confidence and building that territorial security. It is all about ownership and scent and confidence. I think they should be fine but making sure they have that ownership through scent on all their things should help. Ferals are pretty resilient and Sandy and Panda seem pretty confident so I think it should be fine. But when we get there we'll do the things needed to make sure they adjust well.

Keep up the great work!! I am really proud of Sandy and she is coming along well.And of course Panda is great. All because of your efforts. Let's hope Ginger gets better soon. I would post the issues on the health site and maybe someone can help.Fingers crossed.
 
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For Ginger, I took him back to the vet for a free T4 count and the results were sent to a lab instead of inhouse but even the lab came back with the T4 being completely normal and not even slightly high or low. I'm unsure whats going on with him but its deeply concerning but Im too tightly budgeted to do anything else.

I've had some progress with Sandy.

At this point, she eats with the rest of my cats as I want them to be fairly associated but the only one she really gets along with is Panda. For now I guess thats fine. She went through another stage where she started to recluse and shut off again and wouldn't come out even to eat. I took her food to her where she hides behind my computer but don't like the idea of feeding her there so I would leave her food out (and make sure the other cats wouldnt get it) but if she didn't eat, I didn't move it to her until she finally would eat. While going through this I started to come and sit by her, pretty close to her while she was in her reclusive spot and talked softly to her. She at times seemed nervouse but would usually calm down and fall asleep.

One day after talking to her and she seemed asleep, I got up and sat down at my computer desk and she immediately perked up and walked to the bed and laid sideways against it while looking right up at me and seemed to want to play so I initiated the laser pen and off she went into playfulness.

She allowed me to sleep on the bed with her twice so far and didn't get up and immediately move. She's also becoming less afraid of my family who walks in and out of my room as she doesn't immediately hide, just watches them.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to pet her. Panda has taken very nicely to petting and will allow me and my family members to pet him. He will also stand on his hind legs when he sees a hand coming to him and rub against it. He is super super cute.
 

calicosrspecial

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Well, normal is good. You may want to post a new thread and describe how Ginger is different and what others may think is going on. That may be helpful. I hope he gets better soon.

What?!?!?!?! She is eating with the rest of the cats? Like with no door, barrier between them? If so, that is why she became more reclusive. That is a bit too much, progress should move a little slower.

So I am a little confused. How and where is she now eating?

Wow, I would say you are making great progress with her. But we had been seeing progress (with you) for a while.

ON petting we will know at some point. Just let her initiate contact. It will start with her rubbing on your legs probably. Then we will move from there.

The fact she is getting better with your family is a great sign of her confidence being built. That is fantastic. It tells me that you are doing a lot of great things with her to build her trust and confidence.

I would like you to go slower on the intro to the resident cats as we want to slowly build trust between them and make positive associations. Going through the formal introduction process is really important. The biggest mistake I see is rushing it and though it may go well early on the base or foundation isn't really built and negatives can quickly build and it takes longer to retrain them to build that trust between them.

Panda has come along amazingly thanks to your efforts. REALLY GREAT job!!!

So let me know about how Sandy is eating and where and also how much contact she has with the other resident cats. Maybe it is time to start the formal introduction process with Sandy.
 
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MikeAW2010

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They've been eating in the same room for awhile now. I kind of had to because Ginger and Marshmallow are extremely aggressive toward the other resident cats and fight / steal their food when I'm in the room alone with Panda and Sandy so I took Baxter and Rabbit in here to feed them instead because I can't watch them when I'm with Panda and Sandy. Sometimes she's okay with it, othertimes she goes off to a corner and waits for them to finish or I end up just feeding her in the corner.

Sandy approached me a few mornings ago. She came right up to me and walked by me while I was standing. She was alittle hesitant but still went by me. I gave her a treat for that. She isn't running away like she used to and I can sit by her and talk to her without her seeming to get nervous. She seems to be afraid of my hand and I think its because how rough I had to handle her early on as she gets a bit anxious when she sees my hand / arm moving and is reluctant to play with the string while Im handling it. Sometimes she will paw at it but she seems a bit nervous with that.

I'm starting to run into an issue with Panda. He likes chewing on cables and has been going into the back of my computer to chew on them, he already severed an ethernet cable. At night I've been having to keep him out the room or I might wake up to an electrified cat. I move to a much bigger place in January which I can hide the computer equipment in a secure room away from all the cats but until then I need to figure out how to handle it.

Ginger went to the vet but once again his T4 count was perfectly within margin, not to high or low or even close within the barometers and this was done by a lab. I scheduled Marshmallow to have a tooth extracted which is bothering him. He's been trying to sleep in the litterbox and I've been having to give him pain meds (prescribed) so to keep him out the litterbox I've had to let him sleep with me instead.
 

calicosrspecial

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WOW!! Sandy is doing amazingly well with Baxter and Rabbitt eating in the same room. THAT is amazing!!! Baxter and Rabbit do seem like they are pretty accepting so they are a good conduit to do it but still that is impressive. Keep working with Sandy to get her to eat while they are and making it as positive as possible for everyone. SO if everyone is focused on eating and there is no intimidation or chasing or bullying that is a positive encounter. Wow, I am REALLY proud of Sandy!!!

That is great with Sandy. She is definitely bonded with you and is gaining more and more trust and confidence. Just keep making positive associations using food and act normal (calm and confident). She is doing GREAT. It is normal for a feral to worry about hands whether there was prior handling or not. It is how we move, how we approach with our hands, etc. Just keep associating your hand with positive things. She will get better. If I move my hand too quickly or in a certain way my cats can get cautious so it is not abnormal but every time nothing bad happens more trust is built. It is like if something moves in the dark we (humans) may jump. Things can make us skittish and with a feral skittishness helps with survival. Sandy is going to be fine with you. She'll keep learning to trust you more. You have an innate skill with cats, she will be fine.

I would try to give him more toys he could bite on instead and as you mention try to keep him away from the cords. He probably thinks they are toys. :( And if he paws it I am sure it moves like how a string would. :(

Marshmallow is sleeping with you and Sandy?

Hmmmmmm, well, is Ginger better or is it just not being found? T4 seems normal. Can it fluctuate that much? It has been normal the last few times, correct? Could it be the new cats are just causing some issues?

You definitely are doing a good job. Not textbook but given your cat skills I would say just keep using yourself as the bonding agent for the cats to get along. You are definitely the reason they are doing so well. Very cool!!
 
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MikeAW2010

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I haven't updated in awhile.

Sandy is really progressing now. She comes up to me when I come with cat treats and will let me put my hand infront of her without swatting me as long as I do it slowly. I made a video of playing with her and Panda here:


I usually reward her when she comes up to me. I also managed to brush her with a duster twice so far. Although admittedly she was very evasive at first and I had to keep pursuing her until she gave up but then she let me rub her with it and she seemed to enjoy it after awhile.

She is a really adorable but also shy cat.
 

calicosrspecial

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I can't get over how GORGEOUS Sandy is and how handsome Panda is. And I think this is the first time I ever saw Baxter. What a HANDSOME kitty!!!

Sandy looks like she is doing really well. Loves to play. Great to read she is doing well. Panda is of course Panda. Doing great. And I love that Baxter is intro'd to them.

How is Rabbit doing with them?

How is Ginger doing?

Sounds like you are making great progress with Sandy. She looks great and happy. And I love she is doing so well with Baxter.

Sandy really is adorable!! She is gorgeous. Honestly, I am really amazed at how well you have done with her. GREAT job!!

Thanks for the update. I love to see how well they are doing (and of course seeing them). Keep up the great work!!!
 

calicosrspecial

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Also, I just saw a cord chewing post from Cat nap on another thread and thought it might help you. Here it is:

Preventing cord chewing by cats.
  1. "Bitter Apple" with some success, since it lightly coats the wires, and gives it a slight bitter taste (though the wire has to be fully intact with no teeth puncture marks). and one cat ignored it.
  2. The cord protectors I have used for squirrels in garage were called "split loom").... Search results for 'split loom' | Princess Auto
  3. if you go to Home Depot or some electronic store and buy electric cord "protectors" that can keep all your cords covered. Cable Management - Electronics - The Home Depot
  4. (they also sell "electrical wire race-way covers"....but they are pretty expensive)
  5. you can also cover the cords in clear thick vinyl tubing which the Home Depot carries for plumbing.
  6. like other TCS members mentioned, ... using empty paper tubes from paper towels or toilet paper rolls, but you would have to tape these or arrange them to cover the wire in total length. (worked for a bit, until I made some cat toy feeders from the tubes, and placed dry cat treats inside, which then confused my cats. They could not understand why it was okay to play with some tubes, but not the paper tubes that cover the wires. totally my mistake there.)
  7. lastly, I tried clear wide tape and duct tape, to tape away the cords, which made the place look awful, but prevented access to the cords behind the t.v., phone, answering machine.
  8. some TCS members said trying out a lemon, or citrus, also worked (I never tried that)
  9. also using 'aquarium tubing' from a fish store
I know you are getting a new home but this could help now and in the new home. Thanks to Cat nap for the list!!
 
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MikeAW2010

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So we're in the new house now.

Sandy was surprisingly much easier to move than Panda was. Panda put up a decent fight but I managed to get him in the Kennel. He wasn't happy for awhile but he's seeming to come to terms. It does feel like I've lost alittle bit of progress with the both, although Sandy is still seemingly pretty calm, I can't touch her. She isn't taking to well to the duster either so I guess I have to be more patient with her.

Panda does allow me to touch him on his own terms.

The move was expensive so Im a bit set back and unfortunately I've had to temporarily put them all on dry food until I completely recover financially...which hopefully will be soon.
 

calicosrspecial

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I had a feeling you were busy moving into the new house. Congratulations on the new house!!

That is really interesting that Sandy did better than Panda. Maybe Sandy is more confident that we think?

Yes, change like moving houses (territory) is VERY challenging so a setback is not uncommon. So make sure you step up play with them, feed them, stay calm and confident and loving with them and reassuring. Try to keep them to a routine as much as possible (feeding at the same times, playing, etc). Just hang out with them. Hopefully you kept the cat trees, bedding, litter boxes as the common scents help them claim ownership faster.

I am not worried about them transitioning. You have a great relationship with them and a lot of love and they respond. So I know you can help ease the transition and they will own that new territory and be confident.

I can imagine it is expensive. A change in food does create unease so with the move it is not surprising that they might have a little adjustment time needed. But just let them know all is ok and you love them and do the above and you will help them get over it.

Thank you for the update, so happy you are in your new home and things are going pretty well so far. Keep up the great work and please let us know how things go. Enjoy your new home!!
 
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MikeAW2010

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Definitely enjoying the new home. Its in the area I wanted to move to and I worked pretty hard to get here.

Panda is alot more relaxed now. Sandy is too when she's alone but she seems to stare at me with a very strong unease lately. She won't eat treats if I try to hand them to her unless I leave the room. She's also been evading the dust mit I've been petting her with. I will usually (slowly and cautiously) follow her for about 3 - 4 rounds but after that I let her go. Tonight I handed her treats and offered her a chance to sniff my hand but received a hiss instead and she went to the other side of the room. I left the room at that point.

Not sure what happened. She was a bit better earlier.

I'll record what I'm doing next time, but I usually put the treats in my hand and ball it into a fist and point the backside of my hand toward her incase she swats me and slowly lower it, not directly at her face but fairly close to her and gently toss a treat toward her face as I can't get close enough to her without getting swatted or possibly bit.
 

calicosrspecial

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That is wonderful. Your hard work has been rewarded. Congratulations!!

I wouldn't worry about Sandy. What sometimes happens is the cat is more aloof, the human gets a little uneasy/disappointed. The cat senses that and gets more defensive. The human gets more cautious. And on and on.

How are the other cats acting? That could be having an impact.

Just sit with her, let her know you love her. Give eye kisses, talk lovingly. In other words, just be your loving self. Stay calm and confident, move at a normal pace, act like everything is fine. If possible, try to get her to play.

Things happen. How are your emotions? A little more disappointed? Worried? Or are you feeling the same as always?

Is that the way you have been giving her treats now for a while? When I give food to an unknown feral I always have my hand open, the food in plain sight, I watch the body language and don't go further than the body language allows. I approach from lower. I gently put the food.treat down. I stay calm, confident and move at a "normal" pace. Not too fast, not too slow (it does depend on the cat and their body language). I don;t toss a treat as it may be deemed "aggressive". I always put it down. And then I hold my ground or retreat a few feet, get low, and try to look away (as that is a sign that I don't fear the cat since no cat would take their eyes off a potential threat). Then I let the cat feel comfortable enough to get the treat. Not looking at the cat tends to be very helpful.

Moving can be stressful so it is not surprising Sandy may be having some adjustment issues. But there is no doubt in my mind that she will respond to you. Maybe don't try as hard as you may be right now. Try to get her to play then feed after. Just be yourself around her (calm, confident and loving). Give those eye kisses. Look away.

Also, be aware of where she is. If she is in a corner sit alongside one of the walls as it then gives an "escape" route. That helps ease any concerns.

Don't worry, you have made great progress with her and this is just a blip. I take in older female ferals and they can be challenging but Sandy has responded much faster than the vast majority. You have been doing the right things so far and I have no doubt they will continue. You will get through this.

Let me know how it is going. Hang in there, it is going to be fine.
 
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MikeAW2010

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Sorry for the long delays in updates. I'm still getting situated in the new house. I just found out of a major HVAC issue which the seller didnt disclose to me and it's not exactly been great in that aspect but it is what it is.

Panda is doing great. He will rear up on his hind legs and ask me to pet his head and will lay down and let me rub him as long as I'm careful. He's basically at home and very happy.

Sandy seems to have calmed down a bit but I have also separated her from the other cats for now. When I come in my room she has surprised me quite a bit lately. She will come up to the side of my bed while I'm sitting on it within a few feet of me and just lay there and stare at me and even invites play. She's actually pretty smart about inviting play. She will stay there eyes wide and staring at me then she runs to the area I normally play with her at and waits for me to come there with a string. Tonight she stayed at the side of the bed and played with the string and literally came and played down within about 2 feet of me on her own... she stayed there on floor next to the side of the bed after I was done and fell asleep which she still is doing now.

I've been giving her treats palm open (hoping she wouldnt swat or bite my palm) so far she is receptive to it.
 

Furballsmom

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What a terrific update regarding the cats, good for you and them!!

Hang in there with the other!
 

calicosrspecial

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I am so sorry to hear about your HVAC. Check to see if there was a warranty included in your purchase (sometimes the agent includes that on a purchase) or look into some other options. It is often tough to prove an owner knew of the problems but worth a look into it.

Panda sounds like he is doing awesome!!! I am not surprised. BUT with a move it is challenging. You definitely have the gift with cats!! So glad to hear he is doing so well.

Wow, Sandy sounds like she is doing really well. GREAT job!! Again change (a move) is incredibly difficult for a cat. Good job on separating her to help her feel more confident and secure and it is great that she is responding so well (wanting to play etc). It sounds so cute how she tells you she wants to play. I love how she stayed by your bed.

Remember cats respond to our emotions and can sense our emotions amazingly well. I can't believe Sandy would want to hurt you. Sure there could be a mistake but if you stay calm and confident and loving and feed her the treats I think you should be fine. I feed ferals all the time and see how they respond. If I see someone nervous it often can go badly but if I come in and act like there is no issue then the cat calms and things go well. Trust is really important. And cats don;t tend to lash out unless they feel threatened so just make sure the cat isn't cornered or feeling threatened and stay calm and confident and I think Sandy should be fine. Just watch her body language and if something doesn't seem right then de-escalate and try another time. You have a great instinct and a great way with cats so you should do well. Just be smart.

Keep up the great work. I love to hear this update. Good luck on the HVAC. Hopes it works out.
 
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