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Having adult role models can help the feral babies adapt to indoor life and the safe, loving home you've provided. A. I've only had experience with lost or dumped off strays, but not with feral cats. Bringing home a feral cat can be much more difficult then a domestic. Anything to get your feral safely inside the box is good. https://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/felinelifestressors/bringing-cats-indoors It’s not a transformation that happens overnight—socializing kittens is a … Now he's letting me pet him more, but still a little spooked. You also need to spend more hours per day to treat a feral cat. Sometimes a cat shows up in your neighborhood or on your doorstep, and it’s obvious that the cat is feral. 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. [see Petfinder staffer Sara’s great homemade feral-cat shelters here]. This is to stop them trying to get back to their old owner, shelter, etc. The cat will learn that you aren’t going to smother or frighten it. 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. With the help of our experts, we’ve compiled a guide to what to expect when you’ve taken in a former street cat. In fact, the kittens will probably bond more easily with your pets than with with you. Well, as you know feral/stray cats can be quite aggressive. Feral cats will almost always run away, even from humans that feed them on a regular basis. Can a cat born feral ever really become a friendly, happy pet? Feral kittens should be checked out by a veterinarian and tested for diseases contagious to other cats before you bring them home. And rest assured: the rewards to rescuing a cat are worth it. When family or friends are faced with mixing FeLV-negative cats and FeLV-positive cats in the same household, there’s no simple answer. Related: 8 Simple Ways To Change A Cat’s Life For The Better Speak with your vet about the cats’ ages and the feline dynamics involved. Pet cats should be indoors, not wandering the streets like strays and ferals. I raised Mittens from 8 weeks old, bringing my count up to 4 cats at this point. Upon turning 20, I was in a relationship and he brought 5 cats home to our one bedroom apartment. While it can seem like a battle … Continued Following the initial introduction, it can take a very long time for a relationship to grow. My feral cats seem to have it made compared to other feral colonies nearby. 3. A humane trap is the safest way to capture and transport a feral cat; cover the trap with a blanket once she’s inside. 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. 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. If you’re bringing a new cat into your home, be patient. Social cats are not to be confused with socialized cats who are fully domesticated, and accustomed to being around, and being touched by humans. Many can, especially if you catch them as young kittens and work steadily to socialize them. Keep it out of reach and clean up any spills! Well, that didn’t happen—he decided he was happy with me and didn’t have any intentions of leaving. 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. Take the amount of litter into consideration too. This is what happened when Splash spent his first night inside a people house on December 9, 2016. 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. What Are Your Tricks to Keeping Your Ferals Warm? Access to a litter box also includes how the cat gets inside. It may take weeks before a feral cat feels confident enough to enter a box. The cats least likely to be adopted are feral cats, because they aren’t people-friendly. Q. A stray cat is a feline that used to have an owner, but lives on the streets. Over time the cat will learn to trust you. These cats have been around humans and probably lived inside, at least part time, at some point. They could crawl inside for a protected and warmer place to sleep. If she does have a tattoo in her ear that means she probably has been checked before. 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. Bringing my cat count up to 6! This is also the time of year for antifreeze, which often tastes irresistible to cats and other animals, but is toxic and deadly. Feral kittens, often born into a colony, can warm up quickly to house cats. Shelter: In the winter, shelter helps keep community cats comfortable. Discover more here. This is assuming that the cat is tame enough for you to catch. In addition, shelters simply do not have the resources to prepare feral cats for life indoors. Trusting you won’t come easily to a semi-feral cat, so you’ll have to be committed to the socialization process. And that ok - I just let them watch me from trees :) This was a great Hub - Im off to share now. With some time and attention, however, you can work with young feral kittens to help them become affectionate and loving companions. 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. Make sure the cat is a stray Many outdoor cats get mistaken for strays, as do feral cats. 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. To start the process of bringing a feral cat inside, you can put out a cat bowl full of wet food, and then sit near it while the cat eats, moving the bowl closer to you over time until you are able to pet or scratch the cat while he eats. Though semi-feral cats have interacted with humans some, they’re still distrusting and skittish. Once you’ve coaxed the cat close, let them do the “petting” first. It could take weeks or months to acclimatize the cat to your family and environment. Cats are very territorial and attached to their environments, and bringing an outdoor cat indoors can be very disorienting and anxiety-inducing. 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. This is true for tame cats only. 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. The introduction must be gradual. 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. 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. kelleyward on February 21, 2012: This is a beautiful story. Furthermore, bringing cats to the veterinarian can cost a lot of money and you may have to do it in the future. Taming a feral cat demands much time. 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. It takes most cats eight to 12 months to develop a friendship with a new cat. Google Adsense—> Cat Behavior and Cat Training Bringing an Outdoor Cat Indoors Bringing a cat indoors. It could also involve a similar process with cat treats. It’s important to be aware of the challenges that arise when adopting a community cat. Cats often bump humans or rub against them with their heads to mark territory and show trust. 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. Elderly cats would appreciate a box with low sides rather than a high-sided one. But it is possible that she has already been spayed meaning she won't be as aggressive. 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. A semi-feral cat isn’t quite that easy though. Feral cats are not socialized to people—and can’t be adopted. 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. Before you fall in love with the cat, it's important to note that it could be someone else's pet. Especially during the night when temperatures drop the most. Now everyone assumed I was collecting cats, and I became the crazy cat lady! https://petcube.com/blog/feral-cats-and-you-tips-to-put-wild-cats-at-ease He was born from a feral mother about 3 years ago. I started by touching his head while he was eating. Do all the testing recommended. My mother did a similar thing with a feral cat she found. 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. We found this feral cat in our live/humane trap and decided to try taming him down a little. 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. Don’t give up. 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. By the time I turned 19, 3 of those cats had passed away. 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