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Old 11-08-2012, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just now, after 2 full years of feeding and pampering and lavishing attention, day in, day out, rain or shine, my black stray came up to me and rubbed his side on my legs, then stayed with his tail wrapped around my leg for a minute. Just like that, so naturally and peacefully, as if he'd always done it.

He was so much the opposite of that, that I had never even dreamed of such a possibility, let alone hoped for it or expected it. I'm still amazed.

For over a year he'd only walk around the perimeter of the area of the feeding station, never coming anywhere near me. Then he trained himself to come near me when I had very yummy food for him. Which led to him always being near me, even following me around lately.

Which proves once more what I always say: cats have an immense capacity for positive change, if allowed the amount of time they each need and given the amount of positive attention they each require to start trusting.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wonderful feeling, right? Something cat haters or rather non cat lovers will never comprehend or understand. When ET was a stray, the 1st time he rubbed my leg after 2-3mths (he didn't take 1yr), it was wonderful and something I least expect, cos he is a terribly timid cat, still is now though not as bad as before. Even now, though he is with me, I am still giving him alot of time to relax, to learn, to accept being handled/cuddled. Its tough but worth it.

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm curious. Are either of your intentions to eventually tame and then bring the cat inside or adopt out or something similar? If not, do you feel that developing a close bond with the cat could be beneficial to the cat?
The reason I ask is that I have 4 feral cats (siblings) who have been living in the garage for about 3 years. They are not adoptable (FeLV, etc). As a result I have not made any effort to train them or get them to be "friendly". One will let me pet him if I am sitting down. One will let me extend my had to within about 3 inches if I am slow and deliberate. One will let me get within 3 feet and one wouldn't be around me at all except when they are fed. Being a lap kittty for any of them is out of the question. They do feel comfortable around me in the garage as long as we all keep our distance. I feel bad about the situation of course, but thought it was best for them (living as ferals and all) that we not develop too close a relationship so as not to look on people as approachable.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Being a lap kittty for any of them is out of the question.
Well, I wouldn't count on it, but then again the cats around here are all strays, there are no ferals, as it's a very densely populated area and they're very used to humans. So a few of them have gotten to be lap cats along the 2 years. Other people feed them as well. I understand your concern, but from what I've read and observed, they don't become too trusting of all strangers, only 1 person whom they "adopt" as a mummy or something like that.

It's funny to see that when I show up just showered and in my office clothes, they don't recognize me and flee if I try to get close. It's only when I start speaking that they realize who I am and run back to me for cuddles.

Even my 3 rescues who live with me - they're not one bit more trusting of strangers than when I met them.

When neighbors come up and converse with me while I'm feeding, the cats go away to hide. There's one neighbor who spends HOURS talking to me, and it's only recently, after 2 years, that they've stopped running to hide when she arrives.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good reply. Thanks. I just assumed that if you trained them and bonded with them too closely that they would be friendly with anyone which around here would not be good. It's interesting how siblings in the same environment can be so different wrt how they relate to people. My wife claims that it's because my voice is low and I swear too much
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just assumed that if you trained them and bonded with them too closely that they would be friendly with anyone
From what I've read, I've understood that's indeed the case with young stray kittens, but not with adult strays.

There were 2 adult strays that had me HORRIFIED because they wanted a home so badly that they trusted any stranger and followed them!!! I'm not worried anymore because now they're not looking for a home - I adopted both of them 1 and 2 years ago, hehe.

I've had 2 people want to adopt 2 of my adult strays and give up because the cats wouldn't warm up to them. Well done for the cats, I didn't trust the potential of those 2 homes either.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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And location too. Inside of the garage is " common ground" and it is only there that they let down their guard some. Just outside the door is hostile territory as far as they are concerned and none of the cats can be approached or will approach any one. Sometimes one or two of them will sit and stare at me from not to far off when we are outdoors. Plotting my murder no doubt. They are true ferals, from a line of ferals. The few strays that have come around have been trapped and rehomed without much need to establish a bond between us.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I just assumed that if you trained them and bonded with them too closely that they would be friendly with anyone
When we found ET as a stray, I have no idea I will be adopting him eventually. I have no intention whatsoever to hope he would come forward to rub me, it just happen naturally, when he is ready, he just comes over to rub. We found him in April 2011, I decided to adopt him in mid Dec 2011. During those few months as a stray, its not like he's gotton used to human company, he is still just as afraid and timid, though he bonded with me quite well.

He is still not a lap cat till now after spending near 11mths indoor, though he is certainly getting very very loving, but only towards me. He wouldn't even allow my hubby to pet him and is still a little afraid of him. He is certainly still very afraid of strangers and the previous feeders who have fed him before, together with me back then.

I train him to make it easier for me to help him, like brushing him so he won't have hairball problem, touching his ear and eyes, so when he gets ear and eye sore, I can apply drop or clean them, touching his body, so I can feel if he is overweight or if there is any lump or whatsoever. Ultimately, I am helping myself when I help him. I'm not expecting him to be a lap cat though, that will probably take longer, just let him go at his own pace, and let nature take its own course. When we don't expect anything, we will certainly be rewarded with many many surprises.

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Old 11-09-2012, 02:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Haha...just to add, so much about ET not being a lap cat, maybe it should be that I don't know how to make ET go on my lap. ET is my 1st cat and he happened to be one that is insecure. Being a new owner myself, there are just too many things I do not know. To tell the truth, I don't even know how to carry him properly, all I did was to hold on to his 2 front legs from behind. So, instead of saying I am giving him time to adjust, I should say I am at the same time also giving myself time to adjust to having a cat and time to learn how to handle one. Yes, never giving up is the way to go cos in the end things will work out, it just takes time and patience, for us to get to know each other.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyle View Post
And location too. Inside of the garage is " common ground" and it is only there that they let down their guard some. Just outside the door is hostile territory as far as they are concerned and none of the cats can be approached or will approach any one. Sometimes one or two of them will sit and stare at me from not to far off when we are outdoors. Plotting my murder no doubt. They are true ferals, from a line of ferals. The few strays that have come around have been trapped and rehomed without much need to establish a bond between us.
My house cat Stubby is just like this (minus the planning my murder part.). He was a true feral who now likes to be petted, half picked up and fussed over - but only in the kitchen at mealtime. Forget about trying to pet him in the living room. Outdoors, he still flees from me as though in mortal danger.
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