It’s important to be aware of the challenges that arise when adopting a community cat. If you recall, Nutter The Cat was a stray cat that I brought into my home with the intentions of getting him into a local cat rescue. I started by touching his head while he was eating. Although some cats … Anything to get your feral safely inside the box is good. Elderly cats would appreciate a box with low sides rather than a high-sided one. Cats are very territorial and attached to their environments, and bringing an outdoor cat indoors can be very disorienting and anxiety-inducing. Cats often bump humans or rub against them with their heads to mark territory and show trust. Though semi-feral cats have interacted with humans some, they’re still distrusting and skittish. Don’t give up. If you’re bringing a new cat into your home, be patient. Sometimes a cat shows up in your neighborhood or on your doorstep, and it’s obvious that the cat is feral. Keep the kittens isolated from your pet cats, wash your hands, and wear a smock (or change clothes between handling visits) to protect against the spread of disease from the kittens to pets or from pets to the kittens. This is what happened when Splash spent his first night inside a people house on December 9, 2016. A semi-feral cat isn’t quite that easy though. Now everyone assumed I was collecting cats, and I became the crazy cat lady! It’s not a transformation that happens overnight—socializing kittens is a … But if you adopted an indoor-outdoor cat or adopted a feral that refuses to stay indoors all the time, then please bring them inside. Semi-feral cats have a harder time finding good forever homes—but this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the effort; to the contrary. The cats least likely to be adopted are feral cats, because they aren’t people-friendly. If you can I would recommend bringing her to your vet to check her out for fleas, worms, and if she has been spayed. kelleyward on February 21, 2012: This is a beautiful story. A stray cat is a feline that used to have an owner, but lives on the streets. Make sure the cat is a stray Many outdoor cats get mistaken for strays, as do feral cats. Feral kittens should be checked out by a veterinarian and tested for diseases contagious to other cats before you bring them home. Especially during the night when temperatures drop the most. My feral cats seem to have it made compared to other feral colonies nearby. Feral cats are not socialized to people—and can’t be adopted. My cat never contracted the disease, but it was a difficult decision nonetheless. Access to a litter box also includes how the cat gets inside. By the time I turned 19, 3 of those cats had passed away. Q. Feral kittens, often born into a colony, can warm up quickly to house cats. It could take weeks or months to acclimatize the cat to your family and environment. It could also involve a similar process with cat treats. This is true for tame cats only. Some people have trepidations when it comes to bringing feral cats into their homes. Well, that didn’t happen—he decided he was happy with me and didn’t have any intentions of leaving. Unlike feral cats, semi-feral cats are vocal and may make eye-contact with you, even if they don’t allow you to touch them. Take the amount of litter into consideration too. Taming a feral cat demands much time. And that ok - I just let them watch me from trees :) This was a great Hub - Im off to share now. While it can seem like a battle … Continued It takes most cats eight to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. You may think you’re helping feral cats by bringing them to the animal shelter, but you’re actually hurting them and drastically decreasing their chance of survival. Discover more here. Once you’ve coaxed the cat close, let them do the “petting” first. Speak with your vet about the cats’ ages and the feline dynamics involved. Google Adsense—> Cat Behavior and Cat Training Bringing an Outdoor Cat Indoors Bringing a cat indoors. Once the thermometer drops below 32°F, however, you should definitely think about either bringing it inside or setting it up with an insulated cat shelter. With the help of our experts, we’ve compiled a guide to what to expect when you’ve taken in a former street cat. What Are Your Tricks to Keeping Your Ferals Warm? Can a cat born feral ever really become a friendly, happy pet? Keep it out of reach and clean up any spills! This is also the time of year for antifreeze, which often tastes irresistible to cats and other animals, but is toxic and deadly. Many can, especially if you catch them as young kittens and work steadily to socialize them. Well, as you know feral/stray cats can be quite aggressive. Bringing a friendly stray cat in from the cold or keeping an indoor/outdoor feline entirely inside is not as difficult as one might think. Social cats are not to be confused with socialized cats who are fully domesticated, and accustomed to being around, and being touched by humans. And rest assured: the rewards to rescuing a cat are worth it. A. The cat will learn that you aren’t going to smother or frighten it. Stray cats may have a difficult time adapting to living on the streets, especially if they have lived indoors for a long time, and they are looking to find a new home. Alley Cat Allies recognizes that a cat’s level of socialization and behavior is not always black and white, particularly for feral cats who recognize their caregiver. Trusting you won’t come easily to a semi-feral cat, so you’ll have to be committed to the socialization process. It may take weeks before a feral cat feels confident enough to enter a box. These cats have been around humans and probably lived inside, at least part time, at some point. Related: 8 Simple Ways To Change A Cat’s Life For The Better 3. Therefore, when your cat starts to get old, you should move the box to a new place with easy access so that uses the box more often. It is advised to keep your new cat inside until they adjust to their new home which can be months or longer depending on the cat. Shelter: In the winter, shelter helps keep community cats comfortable. I've only had experience with lost or dumped off strays, but not with feral cats. Feral cats will almost always run away, even from humans that feed them on a regular basis. Thanks for watching and thanks for subscribing! It's hard work, we know, getting them to relax and trust you, but we also know that every cat needs love, care and protection, especially those who are feral but find their ways into our homes.A lot of times, someone like us is their best if not only hope, and though it's true that it's hard work, it is worth it. https://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/felinelifestressors/bringing-cats-indoors Over time the cat will learn to trust you. Furthermore, bringing cats to the veterinarian can cost a lot of money and you may have to do it in the future. My mother did a similar thing with a feral cat she found. Instead of expecting her to become an indoor cat right away, ease her into it by feeding her indoors and keeping her inside for gradually longer stretches of time after she has finished eating. With some time and attention, however, you can work with young feral kittens to help them become affectionate and loving companions. The introduction must be gradual. In addition, shelters simply do not have the resources to prepare feral cats for life indoors. Now he's letting me pet him more, but still a little spooked. In fact, the kittens will probably bond more easily with your pets than with with you. We found this feral cat in our live/humane trap and decided to try taming him down a little. You also need to spend more hours per day to treat a feral cat. Upon turning 20, I was in a relationship and he brought 5 cats home to our one bedroom apartment. Following the initial introduction, it can take a very long time for a relationship to grow. A humane trap is the safest way to capture and transport a feral cat; cover the trap with a blanket once she’s inside. If you’re finding it hard to entice a cat inside the box you could use simple tricks like shining a laser pen onto the food!You could also place a few toys inside. When a feral cat that I've been keeping an eye on for the last 2 years allowed me to pet him, I was surprised. When family or friends are faced with mixing FeLV-negative cats and FeLV-positive cats in the same household, there’s no simple answer. Stray cats are often in danger outside as they don't have the same fight in them as do feral cats. Feed the Cat Outdoors, But Also Get The Cat Spayed or Neutered. But it is possible that she has already been spayed meaning she won't be as aggressive. If she does have a tattoo in her ear that means she probably has been checked before. Bringing home a feral cat can be much more difficult then a domestic. This is to stop them trying to get back to their old owner, shelter, etc. Helping a semi-feral cat adjust to her environs can be time-consuming and challenging—because of this they are more likely to be sent back to their adoption agency. https://petcube.com/blog/feral-cats-and-you-tips-to-put-wild-cats-at-ease [see Petfinder staffer Sara’s great homemade feral-cat shelters here]. Before you fall in love with the cat, it's important to note that it could be someone else's pet. Kittens and Older Cats: Much like indoor cats—and whether or not they've spent most of their time outdoors—you should not leave older cats or young kittens outside when the weather drops below 45°F, especially at night. I raised Mittens from 8 weeks old, bringing my count up to 4 cats at this point. Keep Your Pet Cats Inside. I have feral cats in my woods too (15 acres) that I feed and some I have been able to get to like me and others I just can't. Pet cats should be indoors, not wandering the streets like strays and ferals. Having adult role models can help the feral babies adapt to indoor life and the safe, loving home you've provided. The cat can be released once she’s in the “safe room” – open the door of the trap and leave her alone with her food and water to allow her to decompress. They could crawl inside for a protected and warmer place to sleep. Do all the testing recommended. 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