Very skittish semi feral, would appreciate any tips!

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
22,106
Purraise
59,166
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Felt like it's time I jump on here with an update. We made it through the move and early adjustment period. Honey claimed a spot in the walk in closet and stayed there for a month or so, only coming out to eat, but she seemed comfortable enough. I eventually got her out of the closet, but now she hides under one of the dressers instead. She's perfectly content to be fed by me, but any other attempt at interaction gets a loud, angry hiss and a very aggressive swat with claws out.

In early August, I ended up bringing home another approx 6 month old cat (female, Harlow). She was intended to be a temp TNR foster while recovering from her spay, but within hours she had adjusted to me and being inside, and long story short she stayed. I didn't want to upset the balance by bringing another cat into Honey's territory, but I was also hoping she may help Honey to warm up, but so far no dice. Honey hissed at her once, but now mostly just ignores us both. I suppose it could be worse, they could be fighting. We did a slow introduction period, and they do share space now, but I can't always feed them together because Honey is a very slow eater and I can't always stay to play interference, and if not watched Harlow tries to eat Honey's food. Harlow is very sweet and has adjusted wonderfully, other than some killer farts and early morning zoomies that wake me up way earlier than I need to be 😂. Still occasionally cautious, but is very friendly and is often meowing, trilling, rubbing all over me and flopping down on the rug for belly rubs and playtime. The difference in the way they've responded is remarkable. Only other hiccup is she has a weird callus or something on one toe that causes her to avoid putting weight on one foot (only on wood, she walks normally on the rug), but she doesn't seem to be in much pain and we have a vet visit scheduled.

I'm still at a loss when it comes to Honey. I know ferals can take a long time, even years, but I really continually question whether or not this is the right thing for her. It seems pretty clear to me that she isn't happy, but no shelter would take an aggressive cat like this, or if they did I fear she would be immediately put down due to personality/behavior issues. I will never be able to handle her even to take her to the vet, and she will likely just keep hiding. Which is really of little consequence to me, since she keeps to herself and doesn't cause any issues other than the fact that I can't touch her. You wouldn't even know she was here if not for all her "cat stuff" everywhere that she does not use 😂. I just really don't think she is happy, and I can't help but feel like I'm doing her a disservice by keeping her here. At the same time, I don't know if there's a better option for her.
YES. YOU ARE doing the best thing for Honey. You know she would be at great risk outside or in a shelter. Please don't even think about it! She is safe, comfortable, receiving regular food, water and care, and she has a feline friend as well as you. In time, she may come to know that she has it good and that she is part of a family. Keep doing what you're doing!!! Getting Honey spayed would be optimum for her health, but even if you can't right away, she is MUCH better off indoors.
Welcome Harlow! *We love pix here at TCS!**hint, hint*
Very glad you are all moved in and hopefully you are enjoying your new place?
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
8,768
Purraise
12,056
Location
Los Angeles
I have a very similar cat living in my house, as she has done for years. She keeps to herself, causes no problems, does not challenge other cats, and is extremely clean. What I finally realized is that she is probably very happy. Her personality has remained much more on the feral side of things, but she loves her bed, which is heated in the winter, waits for her food expectantly, and feels safe.

Yes, vet care is always a question mark and she has not had the care that I would routinely give to my other cats, but she also shows no signs of discomfort. If she did, I would trap her inside in some way, and get help for her.

There really is no better option. Eve is unadoptable, would be put down at a shelter, but has her life here in the house, so we coexist.

Harlow is an entirely different cat and probably recognizes Honey's reticence and is happy to have you for a friend.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
22,106
Purraise
59,166
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
Thank you for that, fionasmom fionasmom -- for adopting and loving Eve, and for giving that profile! Though "experts" may give their opinions on how happy they ascertain cats to be, in reality, what's "happy" for us may not be "happy" at all for them. Safe, comfortable, with all needs met and affection offered? That would definitely make me, and many others, VERY happy in this world where so many have so much less. ;) :winkcat:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #44

berry89

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Dec 6, 2021
Messages
12
Purraise
19
tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 Thank you! I would never consider giving her up unless I was certain it was a better situation for her. She is spayed actually, at least I'm almost certain she is since her ear is tipped. We are loving the new place, although they have each now caught a mouse in the bedroom. Not wonderful for me, but it gave Honey probably the most excitement she's had in months, and as former ferals they are both excellent mousers! Here are 2 pictures of Harlow. The one in bed is when she first came home, she doesn't really look it in this picture but she was VERY skinny. The other one I just took. From a distance Honey's ear tip is pretty much the only way I can tell them apart. And Harlow is still a bit skinnier.

fionasmom fionasmom Thank you for sharing that, they do sound similar and that eases my worries a bit. My concern really was that I don't want to keep her for selfish reasons if she would thrive in a different environment, but it sounds like there really isn't one. We do coexist quite peacefully when I'm not bothering her, so I'm happy to keep her as a roommate!
 

Attachments

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
8,768
Purraise
12,056
Location
Los Angeles
She looks like a young version of my Eve. Small and entirely black. Her picture shows no fear or wariness aside from the feral side of her personality and she looks very comfortable in that chair.
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
22,106
Purraise
59,166
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 Thank you! I would never consider giving her up unless I was certain it was a better situation for her. She is spayed actually, at least I'm almost certain she is since her ear is tipped. We are loving the new place, although they have each now caught a mouse in the bedroom. Not wonderful for me, but it gave Honey probably the most excitement she's had in months, and as former ferals they are both excellent mousers! Here are 2 pictures of Harlow. The one in bed is when she first came home, she doesn't really look it in this picture but she was VERY skinny. The other one I just took. From a distance Honey's ear tip is pretty much the only way I can tell them apart. And Harlow is still a bit skinnier.

fionasmom fionasmom Thank you for sharing that, they do sound similar and that eases my worries a bit. My concern really was that I don't want to keep her for selfish reasons if she would thrive in a different environment, but it sounds like there really isn't one. We do coexist quite peacefully when I'm not bothering her, so I'm happy to keep her as a roommate!
They are both so gorgeous! I love all cats, but black and tortoiseshell are my favorites, aesthetically. Such beauties!:loveeyes:
 
Top