Working cat program error?

car0

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Hi new here 👋🏻 and am looking for guidance/confirmation that my instincts of my new cats behavior is on the right path.

I have two barn cats who lost a friend this winter so we adopted two new cats last weekend from a local shelters working cat program. I adopted a 2 yr old gray female and a 10 month old Siamese male. The female is very scared hiding doesn’t want anything to do with me yet. Typical. I’m used to that with barn cats. No problem. However, the male siamese really intrigued me by his second day.

He is hissy when you move fast. Clearly fear. But within minutes he’ll walk up to the edge of the transition enclosure smell my hand. He’s eaten food off a spoon. He’s even playing with toys and trilling rolling around like a... kitten! I’ve never experienced this before with a barn cat.

Day 3 I found some blood in the combined enclosure and decided to separate the two cats. His, dare I say, “normal” kitten personality might have been clashing with her fearful feral personality.

After much deliberation and consulting with a few folks, I made the decision to move the Siamese boy inside and attempt to make him an inside kitty. So far so good he’s not freaking out. He hides, uses his litter box like a perfect gentleman, comes out to eat now when we are in the room, plays with the wand with me. I’ve got high hopes!

There’s one thing I’ve noticed about him since he arrived. His eyes seem a little off which I am reading is common with Siamese. The shake left and right quickly especially when he’s stressed. Also sometimes it seems like he’s looking in the wrong direction.

Is it possible this little guy has vision problems which have caused fear which is causing the hissing/human avoidance and the shelter dumped him in the working cat program? I should also mention the cats came from a hoarding situation so I’m assuming there was little human reaction.

Thanks for your input! I’ve attached a pic of my beautiful Simon.
 

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car0

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I should also mention that we are using the crate method for transitioning inside. I have consulted with a few professionals that say this is the right way to expose him to our daily lives. He’s right in the middle of everything we do but has the option to hide. He’s been observing us from his little box and comes out to test the waters once in a while :)
 
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car0

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Yikes typo. I mean to say I’m assuming there has been little human interaction. 🙄
 

Dario the GreyCat

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Who knows how he ended up in the working program. Over the past five years we’ve had a local feral who came around but wouldn’t get close. In the past three months he finally really opened up to us. Now, he’s an indoor cat. After he got neutered he needed to be kept under close supervision. He has actually settled into indoor life way better than the three working cats my parents adopted ever have. He uses the litter box, uses the cat tree and either sleeps on the bed or in my lap. He seemed fearful and pretty feral at first. Now he’s a lap cat.
 

Caspers Human

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When is eyes twitch, does he tilt his head, walk in circles or seem to lose his balance?

 
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car0

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car0

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Who knows how he ended up in the working program. Over the past five years we’ve had a local feral who came around but wouldn’t get close. In the past three months he finally really opened up to us. Now, he’s an indoor cat. After he got neutered he needed to be kept under close supervision. He has actually settled into indoor life way better than the three working cats my parents adopted ever have. He uses the litter box, uses the cat tree and either sleeps on the bed or in my lap. He seemed fearful and pretty feral at first. Now he’s a lap cat.
This gives me so much hope! 😄🙌🏻
 

Norachan

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Oh, he looks a lot like my Albert! Also a rescued former feral cat, also a bit Siamese looking, also a bit cross eyed. Even though Albert's eyes look really crossed he has no trouble chasing around his enclosure or interacting with my other cats. He does seem to have trouble focusing on things close up, but he makes up for that by using his paws to pat at things in front of him.

I think cats adapt really well to having vision problems as they have their other senses to rely on. He is nervous around people, but he was at least six months old when I brought him in off the streets so that's not surprising. He has the same sweet, playful personality as your Simon.

:heartshape:
 
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car0

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Oh, he looks a lot like my Albert! Also a rescued former feral cat, also a bit Siamese looking, also a bit cross eyed. Even though Albert's eyes look really crossed he has no trouble chasing around his enclosure or interacting with my other cats. He does seem to have trouble focusing on things close up, but he makes up for that by using his paws to pat at things in front of him.

I think cats adapt really well to having vision problems as they have their other senses to rely on. He is nervous around people, but he was at least six months old when I brought him in off the streets so that's not surprising. He has the same sweet, playful personality as your Simon.

:heartshape:
Thank you so much for your reply this makes me feel better. I’m sure it will take time for him to get used to his surroundings, due to vision and also because he wasn’t socialized properly.
He’s currently playing with the wand with my kids which is another huge step. Woohoo 🙌🏻
 

Caspers Human

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C car0 It’s hard to tell from just one picture but you guy, Simon, doesn’t LOOK like the sort that should be a barn cat. His posture and expression doesn’t say, “barn kitty,” to me.

It’s my impression that he has a touch of vestibular imbalance that makes it hard for him to get along in the world. I think he might just be one of those that fell through the cracks, so to speak.

Since vestibular problems are often curable or, at least manageable, it might be possible to rehabilitate him as a house cat or, maybe, a “go-between” cat that lives in the house, part time, and outdoors, part of the time.

I say to give him a chance to settle in and see what happens. :)
 
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car0

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C car0 It’s hard to tell from just one picture but you guy, Simon, doesn’t LOOK like the sort that should be a barn cat. His posture and expression doesn’t say, “barn kitty,” to me.

It’s my impression that he has a touch of vestibular imbalance that makes it hard for him to get along in the world. I think he might just be one of those that fell through the cracks, so to speak.

Since vestibular problems are often curable or, at least manageable, it might be possible to rehabilitate him as a house cat or, maybe, a “go-between” cat that lives in the house, part time, and outdoors, part of the time.

I say to give him a chance to settle in and see what happens. :)
I agree! I’m very used to barn/feral cats and his body language and attitude was just so normal I couldn’t leave him outside there with my mean rugged barn ladies lol.

He’s really blossoming and it’s only been 3 days.I’m being patient and not expecting him to change over night but he just keeps surprising me. I ordered some pheromones to help him feel more relaxed. I’m excited to see if that will help him. But I think this little boy is going to settle in just fine.

Thanks so much for your reply. Glad I trusted my instincts! He’s already brought a lot of joy into the home.😺
 
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