Taking In A Feral Cat

Discussion in 'Pets & Critters' started by Ken Anderson, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Well, we're happy to have you so just jump in. :D Sorry you are having health issues but I suppose it goes with the territory on "senior" forums! I want to hear your Felix story.
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    That sounds like he may have had a home once before, and was dumped or somehow lost. On their own, cats will re-wild themselves to an extent, but they still have a memory of having had a good relationship with a human.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I moved a few posts that suggested a new cat topic to a new thread.
     
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  4. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Ken, you might be right.I suppose that a truly feral cat would take even longer to acclimate to people than mine did. All I know for sure is that my cat Barney is a great companion and a treasure. I've had both dogs and cats all my life and I never understood the people that disparage either in favor of the other.
     
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  5. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Beth, I would see Felix passing by my window occasionally. He was a big strong gray tabby and I would see him mostly when the neighborhood kids were absent for a while. I used to leave him food outside and coax him and talk to him. Eventually he started coming up to my glass door and just sit calmly while my two girl cats came up to the glass to hiss at him. They did not want him around.at all.
    When I finally coaxed Felix inside he would, again, just sit calmly while my two girl cats hissed and struck at him. He was amazingly patient. I think he wanted a family so bad that he would put up with anything. Anyway, when they all reached the point of eating out of their own dishes together, Felix would groom my girl cats by licking their heads. It was very amusing to watch.Eventually they all became fast friends and would settle down and sleep with each other. Felix retained some mischief from somewhere or other and never failed to whack at a cat toy I had dangling from a string from the wall. He was very loving and gentle with me and my other cats and I'm at a loss to account for how a neglected animal could retain any quality of mutual trust with others. I have been pretty lucky, overall, in my dealings with all the dogs and cats I have had as my companions.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    That doesn't make it any less of a wonderful thing to do for a cat in need. In fact, a cat who grew up in a home and no longer has one is probably even in greater need than one who was born feral.
     
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  7. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Sounds like Felix and Barney had the great luck to find you, Dwight. Is Barney the only one you have now? You have a good heart and lots of patience to give a loving home those little ones.

    I am mostly a dog person since I have allergies to cats, but I understand how it is to love a pet. There is nothing to compare with it. I lost my little dog Harry three years ago and I am still broken hearted over the loss.
     
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  8. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Beth, yes, Barney is the cat I have now. I've never known how old he was since he was filly grown when I adopted him. I suspect now that he is around 14 or 15 since he has slowed down quite a bit in the last year or so. He misses his jumps and falls off things. As Ken was saying, I suspect that Barney was feral because he doesn't know how to play fight. If you try it with him he will tear you up. He does, however, like to be chased. He'll let me chase him back and forth through the house until I finally "catch" him and ruffle his fur.
    I have two questions for you, Beth, that may seem a little personal. I hope not. Do you miss Harry so much that you won't consider having another dog? If not, why not get yourself another companion? I just realized I'm talking from ignorance. Maybe you have already done this.
     
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  9. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Supreme Member
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    Well Barney is a lucky fellow to have made his way into your life. I hope you have each other for many more years.

    You aren't talking from ignorance at all. It's hard to explain, but Harry was just one of a kind and somehow we had a real bond. He was my little shadow and we had a kind of "telepathy," if that makes sense. From the day we brought him home at 8 weeks old, he was mine. I say this because normally dogs gravitate to my husband. He's one of those "dog whisperer" types that dogs seem to be drawn to, but Harry had to be wherever I was. (He lived for 9 short years and in that time I hardly ever got to bathe or use the bathroom by myself. :D)

    So from time to time we talk about getting another dog, and our daughter has threatened to show up with a puppy...but my heart just isn't in it. I always say, "I don't want A dog; I want MY dog." There will never be another Harry.
     
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  10. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I've mentioned elsewhere that I've recently been trolling the Farm & Garden section of Craigslist. Here's an ad I've seen pretty regularly:

    Barn Buddies.jpg

    It's an interesting concept, but I can't believe that no human care is required at all. I mean, do they "just find" water during the winter months? And I've always taken my pets in for annual physicals. When I first moved here there were a couple of cats hanging around, but I could never coax them to come near me. They eventually just vanished.

    If I had my shed torn down and tractor barn erected, I'd consider this. But as it is, the only outbuilding I currently have is destined for the dustbin.
     
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  11. Mary Stetler

    Mary Stetler Veteran Member
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    We have feral cats sort of move in on their own, sometimes. They are mostly bachelors run off by surrounding farms. They take over my barn cat's territory, bed and food so I moved him to the barnhouse when he asks. We keep it locked normally. But I can heat it in the winter time and he takes over MY bed in there when he has competition. Water is where he finds it and like all the animals, I give it to them daily, sometimes twice a day if it ices over. I hope the program people point the actual needs out to adopters, otherwise, the end might be worse than staying at the shelter to that end. I was going to trap a recent addition but he disappeared.
     
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  12. Teresa Levitt

    Teresa Levitt Veteran Member
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    there's a few feral cats in this neighborhood...and many in this small town...we live at the end of a dead end road...
    a lady in next house over had been feeding them for years...
    a small group "paws and prevention " ..will trap and neuter spay thru humane society....
    during winter we started early morning feedings...hot broth...meat mix with cat food...they all come...
    one cat needs to be euthanized..but the group doesn't do that....so..we just keep going and know we will find it there by the tree...at least warm weather now
     
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  13. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    There's a similar group around here. At some point they started to "notch" the ears of fixed cats to identify them. I tell friends that it's really for the other cats to know who to not waste their efforts on. ;) "Don't go out with Bootsy...she's notched!"
     
    #43
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  14. Jessica Morgan

    Jessica Morgan Very Well-Known Member
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    I once had an elderly neighbour, she had a cat but used to forget she had him, so I turned my outside cupboard into a shelter for him as it was winter, I placed a towel in there and food and water, he used it all winter one year, I last saw him sat outside my home staring into space, I never saw him again, I presume his owners family made other arrangements for him but as he was also elderly he could've passed away, I like to think though that I helped him when he could've otherwise been starving and cold.
     
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