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Old 12-31-2012, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Joker the FeLV cat, update

It's been over a month now since Joker was brought into the house. I can't believe how well it's gone. He's found every nook and cranny in the house and appears and disappears at will. Used the litter box from day one and uses the scratching posts as well. I think that he watches the other two cats and does what they do.

No fights.

Mealtime is a bit of a mixup as he still has his everybody-out-for-themselves attitude and he still complains bitterly that he can't eat whenever he likes. He stares out the window, but won't go outside if the door is held open. Tonight he was grooming the other indoor male cat who didn't quite know what to make of it all. They've become friends of sorts. Early morning and late evening the two of them play "stalk and pounce" accompanied with lots of heavy pawed running.

He trills, something that he never did as a garage cat. He just loves to be petted and will roll over on his back and accepts tummy rubs with nary a claw to be seen. I've started clicker training him and he learned "stick" in one session.

All this from a 2+ year old feral, FeLV+, garage cat.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's so awesome, Lyle. Keep up the good work!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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that is great mews lyle, i am so very happy for Joker and for you as well.

that is too funny that he trills, that is exactly what spottie (the FIV+ one that is now living with my parents) has done since he became socialized/comfortable with my parents. even funnier, spottie does it while he is eating! it ends up giving him gas though, so not so funny for my parents. i guess that after god only knows how long of scrounging for meals he is just so ecstatic each and every time he eats that he can't control himself.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One of the reasons that we brought Joker inside was that he was barfing. I thought he was sick. Turns out that he was eating out of garbage cans (go figure) . Now that he's inside, he will eat just about anything. Any cat food that we have, chicken,beef,pork,shrimp,oatmeal,popcorn,crackers, broccoli,butter,cream cheese,eggs. The two indoor cats just stare at him in wonder. Anybody who goes into the kitchen at any time day or night, has a cat wrapped around their ankles, meowing for food.
He's actually done me some good. I don't eat between meals anymore because he makes me feel so guilty eating in front of him while he's meowing like he's on death's door from starvation. When he was a garage cat there was a bowl of kibble out all day and he couldn't really over eat from all the running around that outdoor cats do. The adjustment has been tough on him
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So happy to hear this!
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Joker made a great transition. This kind of story is my favorite.
And he's a smart boy, too.
My ex-feral Stubby hung on to some unusual eating habits even after being domesticated. Even now when I put plates of kibble on the floor, he takes a big mouthful, then backs away and drops it on the floor in front of him so he can have it to himself. He was originally from a large colony and had a lot of competition at mealtimes.

By the way, what is the 'stick' command? Does Joker have a stick he plays with?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenport ferals View Post
Joker made a great transition.

By the way, what is the 'stick' command? Does Joker have a stick he plays with?
Yes he did transition much better/faster than I hoped for. Of course much of the kudos go the indoor cats, Hero and Misty, who were very accepting of him.

"Stick" is trick #1 in the clicker training book I have. It's the "go-to" command from which all the others supposedly follow. Kind of like "heal" for dogs, I suppose. It is based on the cats natural curiosity and tendency to investigate with their noses. It's just a short stick that I hold like a wand. I point it towards the cat and say "stick". When they come up and put their nose on/near the stick I click the clicker and give them a treat. It's pretty easy for the cat and they quickly associate the click sound with a treat which makes subsequent tricks easier to learn. The sound "stick" seems to stay with them as well, kind of like "kitty".

Last edited by lyle; 01-01-2013 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyle View Post
Now that he's inside, he will eat just about anything. Any cat food that we have, chicken,beef,pork,shrimp,oatmeal,popcorn,crackers, broccoli,butter,cream cheese,eggs.
One important thing to remember with FeLV+ cats is that they stay healthiest if you feed them the best quality food available. Grain free is best. I used to feed mine Wellness. Pricey but worth it for a positive kitty.
Sounds like you are already giving him the best thing of all. Lots of love in a stress free home.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. I feed him Wellness (Core) grain free with lysine and interferon as supplements. My wife chews my butt out for turning him into a "begger-kitty" as she calls it, but I'm fascinated by what he'll eat! He just gets a taste of the other food though By contrast, the two indoor cats have to be begged TO eat and they'll just eat a few brands of cat food.
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