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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
mackeysmom
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OMG - Am I really going to do this again?! SIX MONTH UPDATE 6/26 - Post #54

I swear, I must have "sucker" written on my forehead.

Some of you may recall that 4 years ago, I trapped a feral kitten that I was feeding and turned him into a house cat. He was completely untouchable, and I had to cage train him for nearly six months. I was about ready to pull my hair out and swore "never again".

Well, here we are, 4 years later and I'm about to do it again. I've been feeding a stray for about 6 months now. When he first started hanging around, he was super skinny and very skittish. Now, he's fattened up nicely (thanks to 2 square meals a day) and will come within about 2 feet of me. He won't let me touch him, but doesn't run away.

I guess as soon as I named him, I knew one day I'd bring him in. I call him Moo because I think he looks like a little cow.



I already have the humane trap ready, and hope to get him this weekend. My vet already knows about my plan, and will let me bring him in without an appointment. I want to get him neutered, de-flead, de-wormed, etc. before I bring him in the house and introduce him to Blackie and Sunny Doodle.

Please tell me I'm not crazy!!

- Laura

Last edited by mackeysmom; 06-26-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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That is a face that is hard to resist. What a cutie!!!!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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I would love to read about this feral to house cat journey. I hope you keep us updated. Moo is a great name.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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What a cute kitty! Congrats
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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I have taken in & fostered feral kittens ( and even kept some), but never grown cats. I have sheltered and fed older cats, but never tried to make them house cats.

Can I ask you a question?...

Why do you want to make a feral cat into a house cat and put yourself and him through all that? Why not continue to feed him and provide shelter?

I'm not criticizing you...you are doing a good thing caring for a homeless kitty. Just curious...

Thanks
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancygirl1 View Post
Why do you want to make a feral cat into a house cat and put yourself and him through all that? Why not continue to feed him and provide shelter?

I'm not criticizing you...you are doing a good thing caring for a homeless kitty. Just curious...
If I was planning on staying put, I would continue to just feed him and provide him with a shelter on my covered deck.

However, I'm planning on moving within the next year and feel that I've gotten him so used to relying on me, that once I move - it would be a really hard adjustment for him to go back to providing for himself.

Does that make sense?

- Laura
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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A mama kitty once brought her litter of kittens to our house. They had to have been around 6 weeks when we found them. We adopted all three of them. They were wild when we found them and wouldn't let us touch them, much less pick them up. Over time, two of the three warmed up enough to be considered pets. The third allowed us to house him and feed him but was never fully domesticated. In many ways he was my favorite because of his personality and his refusal to let us love on him. One of the three became the best pet I ever had. She followed me every where I went. She would even sit on the corner of the tub while I showered to keep her eye on me. She was the best cat I've ever known and was more of a companion than many dogs. Good luck with your new kitty. I would imagine it would be tougher to tame an adult cat than a kitten.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackeysmom View Post
If I was planning on staying put, I would continue to just feed him and provide him with a shelter on my covered deck.

However, I'm planning on moving within the next year and feel that I've gotten him so used to relying on me, that once I move - it would be a really hard adjustment for him to go back to providing for himself.

Does that make sense?

- Laura
That is so sweet. Really, it warms my heart to know there such kind people out there...thank you for what you are doing for Moo.

I'll be thinking of you and Moo and would love to see more pictures when he settles into his new home...
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:40 AM   #9
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No, you're not at all crazy! As I type this, I have one feral curled up on my lap that just showed up on our back porch, crying, all skin and bones, about 10 months old (he didn't do well as feral). It took us about 6 months to get near him and gain his trust. He is now about 8 yo and I can't get rid of him lol .

We also have a cat who was born in the wild from a feral mother. Our dog came across the litter, slobbered on this one, then the mother moved all the kittens except this one. They were only about 10 days old, eyes not opened yet. Well, we couldn't leave this one there so of course she came home. She is 15 1/2 years old and still acts like a feral cat at times! She hates all other cats, will hiss, bite and scratch when peeved, but yet when she is ready to cuddle, you just melt. Eh, she stole our heart.

There is always room for one more here, no matter how tough they are!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:31 AM   #10
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Having rescued too many cats over the years, I know EXACTLY how you feel. You know you'll do it. And you know it's hard.

But why do we keep picking up abandoned cats that are at death's doorstep?

It's totally worth it, even with the awful parts like no sleep because you're bottle feeding, or shelling out all your vacation money so that a kitten can get its eyes fixed, or winding up with a 4th cat because no shelter group will touch a black kitten at the height of kitten season, even if you promise $100 donation.

It's worth it. We both know it.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:02 AM   #11
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There is no way I could resist that face, absolutely adorable. Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Laura, I totally get where you're coming from! I'm going through something very similar. I've had a few questions about doing just this so I hope you don't mind if I hijack your thread for a moment!

I have a kitty, Bear, who is about 4 1/2 years old. Ex-DH and DS had gotten him from a rescue group when he was just a kitten. Bear came to live at my house when ex-DH moved and couldn't keep him. I've had him now for 3 1/2 years.

The neighbors (attached houses in a mid-sized development) have a cat - Cosmo - that was an indoor/outdoor cat. He was mostly outside but they'd let him inside when it got really cold out. Last summer they got a pit bull. They put the litter box out for garbage and basically abandoned the cat. They never leave food or water out for him but he keeps hanging around outside. I've taken pity on him and started leaving food and water out for him a few months ago. He's slowly warmed up to me - he wouldn't let me near him at first but now he even lets me pick him up and hold him. The other week... he actually started purring while I held and pet him.

This past summer I started noticing another cat. I think it's a female because I think she was pregnant early on in the summer. She's really pretty but VERY skittish. After months of seeing me around and eating the food I'm putting out, she's gone from running at the sight of me to allowing me within 4 feet or so of her. She and I were "talking" in feline the other night as I was filling the food bowl. I wish I knew what I had been saying!

Now the weather is getting pretty darned cold. I'd like to take Cosmo in but I worry about the other kitty - do they keep each other company? do they keep each other warm? I don't usually see them together but I don't really know how feral cat families interract with each other. If I do take Cosmo in, I'd definitely need to take him to the vet and get his shots/dewormed/tested for FHIV. That expense is daunting. Plus I have a rather small house - I'd need to keep him in a bedroom for a while until I knew it was safe health-wise to let Cosmo and Bear interract with each other. If he does happen to have worms or mites or whatever and he's "living" in my or DS's bedroom, would DS or I be at risk? If he winds up having leukemia or FHIV, I wouldn't want it spread to Bear but it would break my heart to kick Cosmo back outside.

I've never taken in a feral (or semi-feral, in Cosmo's case) cat and I've been wrestling with the above for a while now. Any advice?
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Last edited by It'sWDW4me; 12-12-2012 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Shorted Cosmo's name by taking off the last two letters and it winds up being filtered? LOL
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:43 AM   #13
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Bless your heart!
Thank heavens for people like you who make the difference in a poor animals life.
You change it forever..for the better. You are not crazy. I have been there - done that many times myself and there's something about a kitty or dog that we 'save'. They are forever grateful...

Look forward to hearing how things go!
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #14
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I know that rescue people may disagree with me but not all feral kitties want to be domesticated. Some just want to be fed. We had kittens that were born across the street from us in an abandoned house. We used the have-a-heart and brought them in. They were probably around 6 to 8 weeks so still very young. One adjusted immediately. We still have him and love him to pieces. After about 2 weeks, he started sitting on laps and letting us pet him. The second cat, a female, hated us. She would eat the food but poop and pee everywhere in the house. The male cat was cleaner. She would scratch and claw. If you tried to pet her, your hand came back bloody. We tried. We tried. We tried. After 2 years (yes years), DH opened the back door one day to get something and the cat ran out. She sat on the back deck for awhile and finally just left.

Same litter, different personalities entirely. The male cat sleeps on my legs every night. When we moved, he was the first animal in the house with me. I have no idea why the situations ended up so differently. They were treated and fed the same.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #15
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You know how I feel about it. Moo is lucky to have you, though I think this might throw poor Blackie over the edge lol

Good luck!
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