Gransnet forums


Feral kittens

(23 Posts)
apricot Mon 11-Nov-13 19:38:42

Last year I adopted 2 kittens from a feral colony. They had been trapped at 4 weeks old and fostered along with about 12 others. At 8 weeks they were wild about food but friendly and tame.
Now I'm disappointed that they still have feral traits, they hide away whenever anyone comes to the house, spend all day outside and one pulls his fur out.
I've had rescue cats before and know they're all different but these 2 don't seem to want a loving home.
Any thoughts or reassurance from anyone?

Tegan Mon 11-Nov-13 19:45:16

apricot; soops cat, Rory was a feral cat. I'm sure she can give you lots of advice [check out soops kitchen extension].

Charleygirl Mon 11-Nov-13 20:12:06

I agree, there is nearly half a page telling us what Rory has been up to and he appears to be totally tamed.

merlotgran Mon 11-Nov-13 20:22:34

My two rescue cats are mother and son. The mother made it quite clear from the start that she wanted to be part of the family, make friends with the dogs and chickens and be the perfect pet. Her son had other ideas. He is still feral after three years and lives in an outbuilding. He will let me pick him up but no one else can get near him.

I think some cats will always want to remain feral but that doesn't mean they won't turn up in time for supper!

Ariadne Mon 11-Nov-13 20:23:51

I once took in a feral kitten, and he gradually settled in - really bonded with our slightly dim older cat. But I was the only person he would come to, or by whom he would be stroked. He was a rewarding experience, was my Charlie!

penguinpaperback Mon 11-Nov-13 21:58:53

Oh I wandered into soops kitchen extension the other week, looking for biscuits. I read a little bit about Rory but thought he was a dog. grin
Many years ago we 'found' 2 feral kittens. Someone drove past, stopped and left them outside our isolated little cottage.
We think one was shot by some chaps out rabbiting, we never found him. The other was always timid, would hide under beds when we had visitors but as long as they are allowed their funny little ways feral cats usually fit into the household. I would seek help about the little one pulling his fur out though.

Flowerofthewest Mon 11-Nov-13 22:44:11

Have you tried Felaway plug-in. It's a plug-in which gives off the natural 'happy' hormones of cats. We used it when we had to look after our son's two adult cats and had an older cat of our own. It did calm them - this may help - it's available from Amazon.

Granny23 Tue 12-Nov-13 00:04:52

We now have our fourth cat who has just walked in and taken up residence. Nearly 40 years ago, we had a dog but within a week of her demise two kittens turned up in the garden and moved into the dog's abandoned kennel. Then went on holiday and returned to find the small black one crying on our doorstep, her brother? the three legged tabby had moved into an elderly lady's home at the other end of the village. We called our one Panther. She did not grow and we eventually realised that she was not a kitten just a very small cat. She lived with our family for some 12 years and one day, while we were on holiday and she was in the cattery she just went to sleep. The vet said she was at least 21 years old.

No more than 10 days later, a big gallus Ginger Tom walked into the house and refused to leave. We discovered he was one of a pair that our three doors down neighbours had re-homed from the Cat shelter in Glasgow. He, walked out of their house the same day that their female cat give birth to kittens. We think that as he had been dressed he took offence at the obvious adultery of his mate. Although the neighbours tried everything to tempt him home, he remained, stubbornly with us. Unfortunately he kept the name his original owners had given him - Tiddles - totally inappropriate for this big, swaggering cat, who did not purr but rather chortled, especially when he had us all dancing attendance. He ruled the roost until he disappeared for a few days, returning home with what appeared to be 2 tails. The vet said that he had been caught in a trap and had stripped the skin and fur off his tail in an attempt to get out. The tail was amputated and Tiddles was never the same cat thereafter, kept looking round for his magnificent ginger tail and hiding away in corners. A year passed, he regained his confidence and then was shot in the spine with a slug gun. It seemed in keeping with his Glasgow Gangster personality. The paralysis crept forward from back legs until it reached his lungs.The vet was in tears when he phoned to say he had gone, as were we when we buried him and swore that there would be no more cats.

Within days Norbert turned up. He was the loudest cat anyone had ever heard. The only way to shut him up was to feed him and so he joined the family. He was quite an old black and white cat, going grey round the mouth. His previous family had moved away and taken him but he just kept returning to the village. The saving grace from his loud caterwauling was that he also had the loudest purr ever heard & simply loved to curl up on DH's lap. He became a great favourite with the DGC, allowing them to tuck him up in cots and wheel him about in wheelbarrows or toy prams. We lost him a year ago when he suddenly was sick and shaking. We rushed him to the vets. She shook her head, said it was a brain tumour and they could operate with little chance of success or we could have him put to sleep. While we grappled with the decision, Norbert went into a fit and that was that.

So, it has been a year with DDs and DGC urging us to have another cat and then who should turn up but Cassidy. He? She? is another 3 legged cat, appears to have been born that way and Hops along at great speed. A big tabby with beautiful markings and lovely big eyes, wearing a blue collar but no tag attached. Enquiries have not found an owner but at least three of the neighbours have been feeding him/her occasionally since the summer. It has been a month now and Cassidy is quite at home, even nimbly goes in and out via the cat flap. We have never been cat OWNERS, but here we are OWNED by a cat again. smile

Tegan Tue 12-Nov-13 00:43:36

That's so not fair. I never intend to have another cat but I'd love it if one decided to come and live with me. To add insult to injury, a feral cat gave birth to a solitary ginger kitten in my neighbours garden; she was rehomed but the kitten still lives next door [and my neighbour is allergic to cats as well]. I wouldn't go out of my way to get a cat as I've lost so many on the road, but if one knocked on my door I wouldn't turn it away. Mind you, the first night that I was in this house there was a knock at the door [the letter box being near to the ground] and it was the cat from next door. He used to live in this house and was just asking to come in.

Granny23 Tue 12-Nov-13 12:11:19

Tegan Next one that arrives is earmarked for yougrin

soop Tue 12-Nov-13 13:03:46

apricot Yes, Tegan is right. Rory was feral. He lived in a colony somewhere in the nearby forest. He and his female friends and kits came calling well over 15 months ago. We trapped the females [horrendous experience] and they were duly spayed and released back to the forest. One female still visits for food. The sensor light goes on when she appears on top of what was once upon a time Rory's kennel. She hides when I go outside with her supper. Once the door is closed, she reappears and enjoys her meal.
It was a very long time before we managed to get Rory to the vet for the "snip". In the early days he lived in a wee shelter that Mr soop made for him. He then moved into a wheelie bin [on it's side] in which we placed an igloo cat basket and several fleece blankets. Then we purchased a smart dog kennel. Last winter he lived inside with all mod cons: door mat, cat basket and thick rugs. At first he was unapproachable and attacked me when he came into the house. Gradually he became used to us. He is now fully domesticated. He never ventures beyond the garden. He can be petted. He spends lots of "quality time" on Mr soop's lap. He has special blankets all around the house. However, some months ago, he was attacked by something in the forest. He came home in a terrible state...soaked to the skin...injured leg...torn ear and petrified. He had antibiotics and was poorly for some time. Now recovered BUT since the fright of his life, he's developed a syndrome called hyperesthesia. He has panic attacks. We know when he's about to go into a "flat spin" and can reassure him with kind words and such. A characterful cat in every sense of the word.
Why not try to give your cats a shelter out of doors. Somewhere dry and cosy, where you can leave their food. It's worth a try. Please keep us updated. smile
penguinpaperback I shall inform Rory of your comment. wink Watch this space...

NfkDumpling Tue 12-Nov-13 15:16:56

Granny23 you sound a bit like my MiL. She always said her house was made for three cats. When one passed on to the great hunting ground in the sky, within a week or too another would have moved in. When she moved to a small bungalow she was temporarily down to two cats. One died fairly quickly (old age) but no cats came to take his place. The last one out lived her to keep FiL company. Obviously the bungalow was one cat sized.

apricot Tue 12-Nov-13 17:51:12

Thanks for replies. My cats aren't really feral now, just not as loving as I'd like. They're shut in at night and sleep on my bed, though probably for the warmth rather than my company.
I've tried the pheronome diffuser and it didn't help the fur pulling-out. I think he just likes doing it.
I felt very bad taking just 2 out of so many rescued kittens and still worry about the others. I had a very old cat too and was told that 2 kittens would play together and leave old cat alone. They all slept together and old cat loved the little ones.

Deedaa Tue 12-Nov-13 22:27:10

My daughter's current cat was a feral kitten. She is now about 9 years old and very beautiful - think Norwegian Forest Cat with an amazing tail. You could never imagine her living wild now.
We once had a little black cat that I had personally removed from a feral family in the East End. She took to living in a house instantly and our vet always refused to believe that she had ever been wild!

penguinpaperback Tue 12-Nov-13 22:37:45

I'm so sorry soop it wasn't the wine A friend's dog is a Rory, perhaps that's why. confused A cupcake especially suitable for cats.

soop Wed 13-Nov-13 15:04:12

penguinpaperback Rory accepts your profound apologies. It didn't take too much bribery to get him out of his "strop". Extra petting, a tasty morsel or two, a nice clean fluffed-up blanket...the usual wimpy stuff that cat owners are all too familiar with. grin

soop Wed 13-Nov-13 15:07:00

Deedaa Norwegian Forest Cats are the absolute champions of the feline world. Of course, I shall not be letting Rory read this. He's already a tad grumpy since penguinpaperback mistook him for a dog!hmm

soop Wed 13-Nov-13 15:07:59

I'm about to add a pic of Rory in my album. Wait for it...wink

soop Wed 13-Nov-13 15:11:30

Rory's pic is in sixth position in the album. Should of course be number one. grin

Tegan Wed 13-Nov-13 15:13:56

I had a 'fur sucking cat'; I always assumed that it was because I had her when she was very young [kittens are supposed to stay with their mums till they are 12 weeks, and she was much younger than that]. Maybe the fur pulling is for the same reason?

penguinpaperback Wed 13-Nov-13 19:21:44

Yes I must admit Rory looks very cat like in that picture. grin

Deedaa Wed 13-Nov-13 21:31:04

What a handsome boy soop rather like a bigger and better looking version of one of mine!
My daughter's cat is well aware that she is a champion grin sadly we are never able to live up to her high standards!

soop Thu 14-Nov-13 12:10:22

grin grin grin