Feral cat - give her a home?

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octopussy
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Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by octopussy » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:31 pm

Hi everybody
This is my first time on this forum, just registered as a I will have to make an important decision soon: Found a cat, about 3 months old, in a sewer in Morocco. Fed her some tin foils and she devoured them, never seen such a hungry cat in my life. Decided to get her out and maybe take her with me, hoping my two cats (14 and 15) might accept her, Upon taking her out I saw she was very wild (she was put in the cage without the use of the sling as she just bit and clawed into the stick). She had half a dozen areas where the coat was gone, mainly on her tail. They have all but one gone now.
It's now 4 months and she is ready to come with me, having stayed the whole time with a vet. Only one nurse there can touch her, she's still very aggressive to everyone else. Last week I spent 3 days there and had her with me trying to see if we got along, however, once she escaped and trying to catch her she hit me whilst I did not expect her to be where she was, prompting me to hit back. For most of the time she seemed quite relaxed and I even got as far as her taking food out of my hand and allowing me to touch her without attacking me but when I took her back to the vet she peed in her bag and after our 'fight' I could no longer leave the bag open.
Since returning I have been wondering if I do the cat actually a favour by taking her out of Morocco or if I just should set her free there. The vet suggested a charity would find a place for her against a donation, but I think the only two real solutions are setting her free in a rural area or taking her with me.
If anybody with experience with that sort of cat would give me their opinion would be appreciated.

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Crewella
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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Crewella » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:54 am

Well done for rescuing this little cat. I have had a couple of ex-ferals and, though it has taken some time and they still remained wary and frightened of strangers, they usually do come round. If you have already got her to eat from your hand, and there was a nurse she was beginning to trust, then I'd say you stand a good chance with her, though it's a shame you snapped back when she went for you. The best thing you can do is just spend as much time as you can in the same room with her - I usually read aloud to them to get them used to my presence and my voice, and it helps them to feel more secure if you are not directly focused on them most of the time. It may take weeks or months, but it's so rewarding when they do begin to trust you. Good luck! :)

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by octopussy » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:56 am

Thanks for your reply, one of my biggest fears was that by snapping back I might have killed off any chances to get her to trust me. During the time I spent with her I did a lot of talking to her and it seemed to calm her down. I'll try to give her as much time as possible but I also have to make sure my old ladies here don't feel neglected. Got some nice pavilion in the garden which I intend to be for her alone. That way my ladies won't feel her intruding in their space and she should have her very own space. How long did it take you until you were able to let your exferals out on their own?
Just hope things work out with the documentation as the vet does not seem to be exactly in top of things about what documents are required and the airport where she is due to come in doesn't seem to do much better.

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Crewella » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:14 pm

No, as long as you don't carry on reacting like that I don't think she'll hold it against you for too long. Cats love routines as it helps them to feel in control when they know how a situation will go, so try to be consistent in how and when you interact with her, and definitely do start her off in a room of her own - this link explains about introducing a new cat, which you might find helpful:

http://www.catchat.org/index.php/new-cat-in-the-home

As to when you can let her out, to be honest it will depend on her - it could take months. You don't really want to let her out until she feels properly safe and secure in your home and so will therefore run back to it as a place of safety if something scares her outdoors. My personal feeling is that she will be better off in the house with you at first so she gets a chance to become accustomed to ordinary household noises and can hear you moving about, even when you aren't in the room with her. All of that will help her to overcome her natural fear of people.

Good luck, I hope the journey is not to difficult. Please let us know how it works out.

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by octopussy » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:54 am

Thanks a lot for the very helpful post and link.
The cat is now almost 2 weeks with me living on her own in the pavilion in the garden. I spend about half an hour a day with her, but she does not seem to be willing to interact. Except for yesterday - when I approached a bit quick looking for her - she hasn't been hissing at me, however, I also try not to
approach her until she shows some signs of confidence, I want her to see that she's the one deciding when I can come closer.
I wonder what she does when I'm not there as she seems to run pretty wild around the place when nobody is watching, most things that are on the sofa or elsewhere she can reach will end up on the floor. Last night I left a roll of toilet paper in the pavilion which was torn into small pieces the next
day.
Got her a cat tree but after staying in one of it's huts a couple times she now only uses it to find a space under the roof where she can squeeze herself in so she can hide.
One of my cats popped in a few days ago just when I was about to leave and surprisingly it was my cat who started hissing at the newcomer. On the plus side she does not seem to hold this against me, she just behaves as always.
Two weeks and nil progress...doesn't look good, does it?

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Crewella » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:02 pm

Sadly I really don't think that half an hour a day is enough time to forge much of a bond - she has 23.5 hours a day on her own to reinforce her solitary status. You may get there in the end, of course, but it will take a lot longer that way. However, if you are happy with the status quo, and she is, after all, cared for and well fed, then that is not a bad outcome for her. It's lovely that you have been able to take her on and look after her. :)

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:58 pm

I agree with Helen. Could you spend a little more time with her. Take a cup of tea (and perhaps a book/magazine) with you and just sit with her. Let her come to you.

It is always when I'm reading or on the 'pooter that one of mine decides they want my undivided attention and jumps onto my knee, 'oy, you, pay me some attention!' :lol:

It is still early days and she has a lot to overcome. As my Aussie friends would say 'she'll be right, mate.'

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by octopussy » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:19 am

It is pretty hard to spend even 30 min with her when all she does is hide. And the time I spend with her is time I have to take away from my two old ladies, who may not have that much more time left with me, so every moment with them is precious to me.
However, today happened something that seemed a small step forward: she came out of her box whilst I was sitting on the sofa. She just came out and checked what I was doing, but sadly I think that was more down to the fact that her food tray was empty...I was hoping she'd go and eat something but instead she decided to wait for me to leave again.
Wonder if it might be helpful to get my old ladies with me in there and let her see how they interact with me - if she bothers to even look. But I'm a bit afraid that this might end up with somebody getting hurt...

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by bobbys girl » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:00 am

It might be worth a try. I wouldn't have thought there would be any harm if you are there with them.

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Kay » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:09 pm

I wouldn't myself risk it if your end plan is to bring her indoors and have all three living together, because the chance of one or more of them freaking out on first meeting would be quite high, I suspect

it might help if you divided up her food and went in to her several times a day, as the more she associates you with good things (food) the less she will resent your presence - and as she is really young she needs to play - have you tried an interactive toy, such as Da Bird with her? few cats under I can resist it, and it would be great for encouraging her to forget her fear of you

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Mrs Kane » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:53 am

From someone who has friends and colleagues in Morocco, I congratulate you on being able to get this kitty out of her slum.
The cities are full of cats like this little one because no one bothers to neuter in Morocco. They're still so very conservative and worried about the letter "I" rather than the people and animals around them. Ramadan is SO important but starving poor animals isn't on God's list of "to do". :cry: (Yeah, because not eating a sandwich is totally going to get you into heaven) (Sorry I still get angry over these countries that think a day of starvation whilst not caring for fellow people/animals is the key to God. ("You're not eating? Bully for you! How about giving your lunch to the guy that can't afford to eat?")

The folks above have given many good tips about how to help this kitty live a good long life. I hope that in time she will learn to be a happy cat who can chill out and enjoy the sunshine and perhaps enjoy the odd rub or two. She deserves it.

EDIT: Sorry I was a little angry earlier. This country just really annoys me.

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by bobbys girl » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:16 am

Mrs Kane - it's not just that country and it's not just that religion that lets humanity down. I know several regular church go'ers who think it quite acceptable to drown unwanted kittens. :twisted: :twisted:

They obviously haven't read that God see's every sparrow! I read that the prophet Mohamad once cut the sleeve off his robe, rather than disturb his cat -and we've all been THERE haven't we! :lol:

What octopussy has done reminds me of the story of the little boy picking starfish off a beach and throwing them back into the sea. A man askes him what he is trying to achieve as there are SO many stranded starfish, the little boy can't hope to make a difference. As the boy throws another one back he says 'yes, but it made a difference to THAT one'.

Let's keep making that difference and bxxxxr the others who don't!

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Crewella » Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:34 pm

I was about to quote the piece that Sue did, that the prophet Muhammad cut off a piece of his own robe rather than disturb his sleeping cat Muezza. The domestic cat is revered in Islam, so I don't think it's fair to blame religion - I think the differences are cultural, and whilst I deplore neglect and cruelty everywhere, I do understand that life is tougher for everybody in countries like Morocco. As Sue says, there are examples of humanity falling far short of the ideal wherever you look. :(

There are also wonderful stories of people helping each other and animals from all over the globe. I also agree with Sue that we can all only do our bit to help what and whom we can in our own little corner. :)

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by OHWS » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:20 am

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Last edited by OHWS on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by GillianH » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:14 am

I belong to a group who rescues strays in Cairo where people just put their unwanted cats out on the street as though there is a "Cat Fairy" who will magically care for them. Of course we all know that is not the case and there are so many of these poor cats and of course kittens who are in desperate need of love, care, food and medical help. It sounds similar in Morocco from what you have said.

With regard to you spending time with this new addition, it doesn't have to be one on one time, if you just go into the room where she is then your presence is there and given time she will come out to see you, curiosity will get the better of her. I have a ginger boy who I have had for 11 years. I got him when he was 18 months old, as a rescue. He was so afraid and nervous he spent the first two weeks under the bed in our spare room only coming out for food and water and to use the litter when we were asleep. Of course he doesn't do that now but he is still cautious at times and still will not let me pick him up - he goes rigid and looks terrified poor boy!!

So I would say give her time to get used to you and let her come to you which she will. Best of luck :)

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by bobbys girl » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:32 am

Crewella wrote:There are also wonderful stories of people helping each other and animals from all over the globe. I also agree with Sue that we can all only do our bit to help what and whom we can in our own little corner. :)
'You in your small corner, and I in mine.'

How is it going octopussy?

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Re: Feral cat - give her a home?

Post by Crewella » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:41 pm

All good. xx

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