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January 19th 06, 07:18 AM
Hi,
About four months ago, I trapped some wild kittens. I kept one and
gave 2 to to a family member.

My wild kitten is truly a wild cat. I have another cat too, and it
seems to have helped the wild cat feel more comfortable having another
cat in the home. I live in an apartment, and both cats are indoor
cats.

The wild cat has done much better than I expected socially. Some
background: I caught the wild kitten and 2 of his siblings by 1st
feeding them outside the apartment for a few days. One of the kittens
was the leader, and the other 2 followed him when I put food out. They
seemed to be very hungry when I found them. I had the idea to catch
them and find them a home. Once they got comfortable coming up the
steps to my apartment outside, I opened the door one night and put the
food inside. I trapped them in the apartment.

My cat stayed at my mom's outside for abou a month. I used a racoon
trap to catch him and bring him back to my apartment. He wen nuts when
I caugt him. He was literally banging around in the cage and screaming
at the top of his lungs and boy could that little kiteen scream loud.
He is fairly sociable. He comes around me when I'm watching tv in my
living room. He gets under the coffee table and pokes his head under
it when I'm sitting on the couch. I likes to play and I try to play
with him some each day.

But he won't let me touch him (just in that one place if we are
playing). He pretty much runs away in other parts of the aprartment if
he sees me coming, and he won't let me pet him. He hissses at me if I
try to get close to him and runs off.

Should I be forcing him to let me hold him? I have not been forcing
him. He seems pretty happy but not a lap cat and I can't even pet him.
He's very shy.

Should I get him fixed?

Thanks

January 20th 06, 03:47 AM
Yep. Get him fixed. Even if he's indoor-only, it will have a calming
effect on him.

When dealing with a wild cat, the best thing to do is to stop trying
for a while and just pretend that you don't want to pet him. This will
give him a chance to stop reacting to your assaults and observe you.
Greet him with your voice, talk to him, but don't directly interact
with him for about a week. If you're in the same room with him, pretend
he's invisible (cats often hope that they are and enjoy this sensation)
and let him watch you cooking, cleaning, reading or whatever, without
him becoming the object of an interaction. Eventually, he will come a
bit closer. Whe he does, don't sweep him up in a big hug (as much as
you will want to), but just talk a bit, and move very slowly, if at
all. He will show you the pace at which he feels comfortable (which may
be like molasses) and if you startle him, apologize and withdraw until
he comes over again. Start with one pet. Stop. He may be satisfied and
walk away and don't chase him. Or he may linger, in which case you can
count to 10 and then try one more. And so on. When you've worked your
way up to 10 or so pets w/o a retreat, then try moving a bit closer or
briefly picking him up and then releasing him immediately. It's all a
dance, and you want to let him dictate how fast it goes.

And at that age, wand toys are a great ice-breaker. Get him chasing
something and he may forget how scared he is for a while.Catnip can
also help to disarm him a bit if he doesn't want to play at first.

If you take this deliberate pace, you should see results in a month or
two.

Good luck!

cybercat
January 20th 06, 12:36 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
> Yep. Get him fixed. Even if he's indoor-only, it will have a calming
> effect on him.
>
> When dealing with a wild cat, the best thing to do is to stop trying
> for a while and just pretend that you don't want to pet him. This will
> give him a chance to stop reacting to your assaults and observe you.
> Greet him with your voice, talk to him, but don't directly interact
> with him for about a week. If you're in the same room with him, pretend
> he's invisible (cats often hope that they are and enjoy this sensation)
> and let him watch you cooking, cleaning, reading or whatever, without
> him becoming the object of an interaction. [...]
>

I think this is great advice, all of it, Tracy. You are a good cat
psychologist!
My former feral Gracie runs from us all the time, unless she is a) up on our
bed where she always sleeps or b) being ignored by me as I talk on the
telephone or try to get something done. In the latter case she will NOT
leave me alone, rubbing up against me, purring, trying to get between
me and the phone, etc. Granted, this is a cat that our local shelter spent
four months socializing before we took her, and she has been with us
for four years. Still, the impulse to not be pursued is still there. She
does
want to be close, just not chased, held, picked up of her feet, i.e. out
of control of the interaction. (Of course I still do this sometimes, because
she is just too cute to resist. Heh.)

Mr Tibbs
January 20th 06, 05:03 PM
wrote:
to disarm him a bit if he doesn't want to play at first.
>
> If you take this deliberate pace, you should see results in a month or
> two.
>
> Good luck!

I agree,
and if they can see even a hint of progress, then it's on!

like you say, it's just a matter of time

i also agree not to interact with them especially if they see it as a
threat

Rhonda
January 22nd 06, 04:58 AM
Hi there,

Sounds like you have one of those challenging, lovable, former-feral
kitties. We have a few here, one that lives under our bed and only comes
out at night.

Tracy already gave you good advice. I'd just chime in that I don't think
they have to be trained to be a lap cat, that's asking a lot from a
former feral. I do think you need to keep working (and playing) to the
point that you can touch him and pet him, and be able to catch him to go
to the vet (still a challenge with some of ours.)

Be patient and persistent. Keep playing more and getting closer every
day. Talk to him constantly. Former ferals are funny, it can be okay to
pet them in one room or on one piece of furniture, but not somewhere
else. They can keep you guessing! Keep at him though, it takes a lot of
bravery on their part, but they can come around to accepting humans.

Oh, one big thing is food. Food is many times the way to a former
feral's heart. That's what broke the ice with our Abernathy. After one
week of sitting on floor in front of a chair (he was hissing at me from
behind it,) I finally got him to eat a piece of chicken from my hand.
Curiosity (and his stomach) got the better of him.

Good luck with your guy. And I'll second or third the idea to get him
neutered! Worse than a wild kitten is a spraying wild kitten.

Rhonda

wrote:

> Should I be forcing him to let me hold him? I have not been forcing
> him. He seems pretty happy but not a lap cat and I can't even pet him.
> He's very shy.