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Thread: Feral Visitor

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    Mom has been feeding some of the local wild cats. She seems to be intent on 'civilizing' this one.

    This may not end well...
    Last edited by Bhu; 2012-11-09 at 01:40 PM.
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    Why not? Looks like a darling.
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    Im not entirely sure this one can be domesticated. His looks are deceiving.
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    One of our two cats was wild. We took her in when she was about 8-9 months old. The first thing we did was got her fixed, so that if we had to release her at least she wouldn't become a baby factory. (Fun fact: vets will clip off the tip of the left ear of any wild cat they spay/nueter. That way if the cat ends up back in a vet's office again for whatever reason, they'll know the deed has already been done.)

    She very quickly took to a litter box. That was never a problem. We've had her about 3 years now, and she's still jumpy and gets panicky with too much attention. But she's starting to calm down, she likes being in the same room as us now, will cuddle at night, and so forth.

    Judging by your picture, yours took to "civilization" a lot faster than ours did. I'd encourage your mom to take him to get nuetered as soon as possible - along with closing the baby factory, it also can keep male cats from marking territory.

    I'd also recommend your mom look into local ordinances about feeding wild animals, and whether such ordinances cover wild/feral cats. She's doing a good thing, and I'd hate to see her get into trouble. (and, of course, this isn't legal advice, I'm not a lawyer so I can't give legal advice, etc, etc.)
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    He's only just now willing to get on the couch. He doesn't like being touched and will try biting if you do. He often swats at us as we get near, and if i wear dark clothing, he doesn't recognize me. He gets spooked and runs. Effectively he shows up for the free food, naps here during the day cause its safe, and meows to be let out when he wants to run about or poop.


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    Taking hm to the vet would require a herculean effort to get him into a carrier, and both the vet and myself would get some scars in the process.
    Last edited by Bhu; 2012-11-09 at 03:33 PM.
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    Yep, all that sounds like what our cat was like when we first caught her. The more you earn their trust, the better it'll get; but it takes a while.

    If you don't have other cats, your vet can give you medication that you can lace the food with that will knock him out for a bit so you can safely transport him. If you do have other cats but can keep them away from the laced food, it'll still work. It's really only an issue if you have other cats and they all share food.

    There's other advantages to taking him to the vet other than getting him snipped. A general check up is good, to make sure he doesn't have things such as feline HIV and other nasty diseases that easily spread. He can get de-wormed and get at least a basic round of vacinations. And so on.
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    You should call him Mr. Scruffy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhu View Post
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    Mom has been feeding some of the local wild cats. She seems to be intent on 'civilizing' this one.

    This may not end well...
    Do I detect some mild inter-feline jealousy here?

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    Well, it depends on whether the cat is truly feral or if the cat was raised with humans and then went stray for a while. We ended up adopted by two stray cats who hadn't had people for at least a year and they became the most affectionate of all of our cats.

    Granted, one of the cats we nursed back to health after he survived being hit by a car after we'd started getting to know him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zherog View Post
    One of our two cats was wild. We took her in when she was about 8-9 months old. The first thing we did was got her fixed, so that if we had to release her at least she wouldn't become a baby factory. (Fun fact: vets will clip off the tip of the left ear of any wild cat they spay/nueter. That way if the cat ends up back in a vet's office again for whatever reason, they'll know the deed has already been done.)
    However, they do not do this with domestic (non-wild) cats, some of which get dumped. My grandfather took one in recently. When he took her to get spayed the vet opened her up and found the job already done. He was nice enough to charge a lower rate.
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    Mom fed him for a few months gradually getting the food bowl closer to the door.

    It took a couple more months of leaving the door open with the bowl sitting on the edge to get him to come inside.

    It then took another month or so for him to get comfortable with us approaching, and another couple months before he would let mom touch (and he's still mighty twitchy about that). He won't let any other living thing come near him except me, and he doesn't let me really pet him. If I wear different colored clothing he hasn't seen before, he panics and begins running around the house trying to find a way out (does it to mom too).

    He has all his claws, and his testicles so I don't think he's a pet unless he was put out into the wild very young. He definitely does not understand about using his claws on people or furniture, and is a chewer.

    He won't stay inside, he just sort of eats, naps for a few hours, lets mom pet him in exchange, and then runs like hell.
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    I've never considered it before but for animals us changing clothes must be weird as hell. They probably perceive it as something like us skinning ourselves and then putting on a new skin/pelt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffh View Post
    I've never considered it before but for animals us changing clothes must be weird as hell. They probably perceive it as something like us skinning ourselves and then putting on a new skin/pelt.
    Maybe the first couple of times. I imagine that after a while, they just shrug it off as one of those weird human things.

    I know our cat seems to be infinitely more concerned with showering than changing of clothes. He stands there looking at me with this WTF look in his eyes.
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    We had a feral cat once. It spent the first several months hiding behind my parents bed, only coming out at night to go to the bathroom when everyone was asleep. We rarely ever saw the cat. It took months before my stepdad managed to make friends with her and she would let him pet her and cuddle with him. But noone else could get close. It took a full year before the rest of us could slowly approach and pet her without her freaking out and running. Several years before she fully calmed down, though she remained a bit standoffish to everyone but the stepdad. As for treating you like a restaurant, join the club. Heh, my cats have always been outdoor enthusiasts. They come in to eat and sleep. Sometimes they hang out with us, but generally they spend all day outside doing whatever it is cats do on the prowl.
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    I have had over a dozen cats in my young life, including 7 at once when I was a kid (remnants of a neighborhood stray who kept having kittens in our wood pile).

    They tame just fine, all you have to do is set down guide rules and enforce them consistently.

    I don't think cats really count as domestic animals, so on that count she is unlikely to succeed. Take the average house cat and scale it up to the size of a large dog and it would become extremely unsafe. All of those little scratches become massive wounds, and you wouldn't want to live with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Maybe the first couple of times. I imagine that after a while, they just shrug it off as one of those weird human things.

    I know our cat seems to be infinitely more concerned with showering than changing of clothes. He stands there looking at me with this WTF look in his eyes.
    I just wish they could understand when other species are going to the freaking bathroom. I have this cat now that insists on coming in and winding itself in and out of my legs while I'm sitting on the commode.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I know our cat seems to be infinitely more concerned with showering than changing of clothes. He stands there looking at me with this WTF look in his eyes.
    I remember how my cat once was drinking out of the toilet, and decided, "hey, I'll check out that cool shower-y thing with the running drippy stu-OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE OH MY GOD NO NO NO NO AGH THIS IS SO WRONG NO PLEASE HELP ME."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starwulf View Post
    I just wish they could understand when other species are going to the freaking bathroom. I have this cat now that insists on coming in and winding itself in and out of my legs while I'm sitting on the commode.
    Mine's taken to using the sink for a litter box. I think he may be trying to copy the wife and I using the commode. I'm honestly not sure if he's a fuzzy little genius or a fuzzy little moron, since the litter box is on the floor right next to the bloody sink.

    Quote Originally Posted by Triscuitable View Post
    I remember how my cat once was drinking out of the toilet, and decided, "hey, I'll check out that cool shower-y thing with the running drippy stu-OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE OH MY GOD NO NO NO NO AGH THIS IS SO WRONG NO PLEASE HELP ME."
    A cat I used to have had a similar run-in with the bathtub. My grandmother has a big nice tub, but since she can't move very well she never uses it, she uses the water-closet next to the commode instead. This cat had taken to sleeping in the always-empty tub in the summer because, "hey, this cool porcelain is feels nice."

    One time though, for whatever reason that I've long since forgotten, the poor little guy found the tub more than half-way full and came scurrying through the living room soaked to his skin. He just glared this "not a {Scrubbed} word " look at me and began grooming himself under the end-table while I was laughing so hard I nearly choked myself on the couch.
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    Default Re: Feral Visitor

    Just to make sure (and I think the picture supports that) you don't mean an actual wildcat, you mean a cat that has gone feral, right? Because the first wouldn't be a very wise idea.

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    You could by some Feliway to get him to feel more comfortable. Mom's trying it with her cats now, to reduce bullying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Maybe the first couple of times. I imagine that after a while, they just shrug it off as one of those weird human things.

    I know our cat seems to be infinitely more concerned with showering than changing of clothes. He stands there looking at me with this WTF look in his eyes.
    I'm pretty sure that cats use scent (and, to a lesser extent, voice) to verify identity much more than sight. Cats' eyesight isn't terrible, but they rely much more on their other senses than humans do. If a cat isn't all that familiar with your scent, showering might confuse it because your scent will change slightly. With clothes, it's likely the same (assuming that you're putting on clean clothes) although in both cases you'll still smell a bit like yourself, so after they get more familiar they won't be bothered by it so much. The mere aesthetic fact of changing clothes, though, they probably don't even notice.

    Cats do have a tendency to get freaked out by the tiniest changes to their environment, in any case.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2012-11-10 at 08:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zherog View Post
    (Fun fact: vets will clip off the tip of the left ear of any wild cat they spay/nueter. That way if the cat ends up back in a vet's office again for whatever reason, they'll know the deed has already been done.)
    Fun fact: Sometimes you'll find a stray female cat missing the corner of her left ear and the vet will just tell you that's the mark of the spay-your-strays programs and that's she's already been fixed. Sometimes this is not actually the case.

    After we got her she was perfectly content to stay indoors, but a couple weeks earlier we had picked up a stray, unneutered male cat that had been hit by a car, and then we had kittens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Just to make sure (and I think the picture supports that) you don't mean an actual wildcat, you mean a cat that has gone feral, right? Because the first wouldn't be a very wise idea.
    He's a feral yes. Opened mom up last night when she pet him against the set of his fur despite my warnings it would happen.
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    We had a stray cat wander onto the place and 'let herself be brought inside, cared for etc. That was about twelve years ago. Turns out she's a horrible creature who hates everything and appears to subsist on pure malice towards all other life. About the most that can be said for her is that she does kill mice, and so far nobody has found a good enough reason to shoot her.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhu View Post
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    Mom has been feeding some of the local wild cats. She seems to be intent on 'civilizing' this one.

    This may not end well...
    He looks like a nice cat. Though appearances can be deceptive. He seems to be in good condition for a feral cat, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    We had a stray cat wander onto the place and 'let herself be brought inside, cared for etc. That was about twelve years ago. Turns out she's a horrible creature who hates everything and appears to subsist on pure malice towards all other life. About the most that can be said for her is that she does kill mice, and so far nobody has found a good enough reason to shoot her.
    My cat that went for a swim in the bathtub started to act like that just before the end. Has yours always acted like that or is it something new?
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    He's only just now willing to get on the couch. He doesn't like being touched and will try biting if you do. He often swats at us as we get near, and if i wear dark clothing, he doesn't recognize me. He gets spooked and runs. Effectively he shows up for the free food, naps here during the day cause its safe, and meows to be let out when he wants to run about or poop.
    So essentially, he acts like any other cat?
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    I've had some very cuddly cats, so no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    So essentially, he acts like any other cat?
    I was practically raised by cats. They are much snugglier than this one is.
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    Meh, I have seen them on both sides of the scale. From the fluffy snuggle bunnies, to the "touch me and ill tear your face off!" types.
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