What does this semi-feral want from me?

tutubean

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
84
Location
NJ, USA
One of our community cats, about 2 yrs old and spayed, often mews at us, a high-pitched whining sound that lasts about 2-3 seconds. The mew is always accompanied by squinted eyes. She does this often--it's the only sound she makes at us giant furless cats aside from the occasional soft warning hiss. She makes the mewing sound when she brushes up against me when it's food time. She makes the sound when she's already eaten or was given food and won't eat it. My suspicion is that she is crying for the treats we sometimes give them, which are nutritious but are meant to taste like catnip, and it says to only give a cat about 10/day.
She's in good health, was literally just seen yesterday by a vet to get microchipped. She's a tiny thing, 5.5 lbs and doesn't eat large meals. She's perfectly lean for her size, not 'skinny' at all. And except when it's super hot, she's very active. (She also gets some food from neighbors).

It really seems like it's a "feed me please" cry, perhaps a "I know humans fall for this sound!" manipulative cry. Today she mewed after eating a bit, and despite having more wet food and kibble (which she prefers) and water in front of her, after not getting what she wanted, she went to have a nap.
I'm left wondering if she just wanted more treats, or if there's something else she wants that I didn't give her.

It isn't a cry for pets: she doesn't let us touch her.
It isn't to come inside: she doesn't understand houses, it seems.
It could be "get my brother away from me; I am a princess who deserves all attention always". (Indeed, she doesn't much like other cats, but definitely tolerates her brother, who is neutered now). But I'm not sure she'd be asking my help for that when she can swat at him perfectly well. :lol:

It's probably just "more treats, please!" but I'm curious as to your ideas!
 

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
3,240
Reaction score
3,770
Location
Houston,TX
received_1849215415308314.jpeg
If you have indoor cats that is one reason. She could also be thanking you. When my cat meows for food or wants attention the meows sound different. I had one cat stop by,female and fixed,would hiss and growl. If I went outside she was very loving. Do you know who else is feeding her? It could be that the cat doesn't always want to eat because she already has eaten. If so you can ask about if she is feeding her and when. My cat Coco used to be a stray. I found out someone else was feeding her and now we are friends. Coco is now inside only with me and does not want to go outside.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

tutubean

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
84
Location
NJ, USA
If you have indoor cats that is one reason.
Nobody in our house, but there are about a dozen cats in the area.

She could also be thanking you. When my cat meows for food or wants attention the meows sound different.
Her mews are the same all the time, including before I feed her. But I suppose this could be possible.

Do you know who else is feeding her? If so you can ask about if she is feeding her and when.
One neighbor feeds this girl and her brother by leaving one can out during the day and some kibble. They don't know of any other cats coming to their door and waiting for food, despite there being others around.
Another neighbor leaves out a dozen cans for however long. But I think it's the other cats who remain mostly around this house. They seem to be a different colony from our siblings, who avoid those cats.
We feed the girl and her brother whenever they show up, sometimes leaving kibble out during the day because the girl is a nibbler and eats throughout the day. They do have a schedule, somewhat, but it has changed from what it was in the spring.
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,762
Reaction score
34,368
Location
Southern U.S.
A slow blink? Maybe she has accepted you. She may be wishing for more time with you just sitting with her as another feline since you have proven yourself as a great hunter, provider who deserves thanks. If she objects to other cats , you may be her only accepted colony member besides her brother. I think she is a very good candidate for socializing and having a human as family. She may be lonely. No siblings besides brother? She is definitely telling you something. Is brother healthy too? She may be telling you something about someone besides herself. I have seen cats try to communicate about other cats and even other types of creatures. My Banjo will call me to come see her friend. A frog! Lol Her brother does a very long and whiny meeeeeeee with big round eyes when he wants treats. Thus, his name is Whistle. Lol Kitties! I’m guessing, since she eats, rubs against you and then lays down, she might even be wishing for you to lay down near her.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

tutubean

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
84
Location
NJ, USA
A slow blink? Maybe she has accepted you. She may be wishing for more time with you just sitting with her as another feline since you have proven yourself as a great hunter, provider who deserves thanks. If she objects to other cats , you may be her only accepted colony member besides her brother. I think she is a very good candidate for socializing and having a human as family. She may be lonely. No siblings besides brother? She is definitely telling you something. Is brother healthy too? She may be telling you something about someone besides herself. I have seen cats try to communicate about other cats and even other types of creatures. My Banjo will call me to come see her friend. A frog! Lol Her brother does a very long and whiny meeeeeeee with big round eyes when he wants treats. Thus, his name is Whistle. Lol Kitties! I’m guessing, since she eats, rubs against you and then lays down, she might even be wishing for you to lay down near her.
I will definitely attempt a lay-down next to her on the lawn next time. But I did in fact wonder if she was trying to get me to follow her somewhere. Before I knew she was already spayed I would have guessed it was a litter, but who knows. Sometimes she does whine and then walk away....
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

tutubean

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
84
Location
NJ, USA
So I followed her around the house today as she squeed at me over and over. I gave her treats but she kept squeeing. She walked away slowly, so I followed, calling her name and trilling. She then led me to a rodent burrow in our backyard that she at one time led me to before. She then bellyflopped, which she's done before. We proceeded around the house in this manner. She then bellyflopped again on our front walkway and we proceeded to have a squee (her) trill (me) conversation while she bellyflopped. She then walked to the garden and I followed, but at this point she seemed like she didn't want me following her, so I let her be.

Is it in any way possible that this cutie, who is 18-24 months old, was trying to play with me? She's obviously cautious and still human shy (hands are terrifying, apparently), but with all the bellyflopping, I really wonder.

I have a catnip mouse I can attach to a string that I can try. It was my cat's favorite toy.

Here's an older photo of her bellyflopping:
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

tutubean

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
77
Reaction score
84
Location
NJ, USA
Update: her brother just did the same for me today! He's never once "talked" before (excepting cries for help from his trap during TNR). Today right before AND right after giving him a big dinner, he gave me the same high-pitched mew-plus-squinty-eye that his sister does which I have no doubt he learned from her. He mewed, showed me his belly multiple times, and then went to take a nap in the shade. I wonder if he wanted more food, but there was kibble he didn't finish right there waiting.

If I didn't know these kids were feral-born I would think them shy strays, but nope, they're just this way with me. I still don't know exactly what they're saying, but it has to be something good, right?? ❤ ❤
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
6,762
Reaction score
34,368
Location
Southern U.S.
I would guess that they have adopted you. Rolling over to expose their most sensitive spot, the belly, exhibits that they are offering you their trust. You have been given the greatest gift they can offer. They are very good candidates for becoming indoor kitties. They obviously need family and are letting you know. Love coming your way!
 
Top