Very scared fosters - thoughts? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Very scared fosters - thoughts?

Hi all,

We have three foster cats right now - little black pregnant lady, Venus and just got two of her relatives. All three were picked up recently from a reserve and have not really been indoors before. Venus went into foster care right away as she can't be adopted until after she has her kittens. The other two got spayed, vet care and went into a pet store that the shelter works with in order to get adopted.

After about a week the shelter called to see if we could take one or both in - they were both absolutely terrified in the pet store and weren't doing well. We picked both up last night and they seemed past the point of terrified. They were almost depressed / giving up. The older one had just been staring at the wall and the two cuddled together not moving. They barely meowed on the way home.

I let them settle in overnight, just left wet and dry food and water out. They stayed hidden it seems, not moving. Didn't eat, they seem too nervous to. Today I fed them a bit, wiped food on their mouths so they would lick it and then lick it off the spoon. They ate some wet food mixed with water, but only seem to eat when I spoon feed - otherwise they seem very depressed, almost given up.

Any suggestions? I know eating and drinking is incredibly important, so I'll keep spoon feeding 3-4 times daily to make sure they are getting food and water in. I know they need lots of quiet time to settle in and to not stress them / approach them too much. Have catnip and honeysuckle in there and lots of bedding to burrow in. Any other thoughts? Anyone else dealt with cats that almost seem to have given up on life? I can spoon feed and give them all the time they need to settle in, just wondering if there is anything else I can do. Thanks!
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 06:21 PM
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You may try some Feliway spray or the plug in to see if they will calm down a little. Maybe try enticing them with yummy treats or feathery toys. Poor babies, they sound so scared.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Have feliway, they are way past the point of interest in toys or treats. No interest in food at all.

At least I was able to get them to eat once they started licking it up. Watered the wet food down a bit so it was warm and so they are getting lots of water.

They are beautiful - all white with blue eyes, one DSH one DMH. Both seem to hear well / respond to sounds.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 07:25 PM
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The poor babies! They just need time. Be calm and soothing around them, make an effort to spend time with them alone and pet them softly and just talk or read quietly to them. And keep feeding them watered down wet food as you are.


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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - glad I'm not missing anything.

I was worried about the food part as one didn't eat much - the older one ate about 1/3 of a can of Wellness once I got her started with spoon feeding but the other barely licked at it. Just tried Almo Nature tuna which is pretty much kitty crack for my boys and it worked. Took a while but she started licking it up and then ate out of the bowl. So each have at least 1/3 of a 5 oz can in them. I got them to return slow blinks as well, so that seems promising. I'll try to get more Almo Nature - I usually use it as treats only because it is just muscle meat (no bones / organs) but if that gets them eating then it is better than nothing!

I called my sister last night and spent about half an hour on the phone with her in their room so they could get used to my voice so I'll keep trying to do that.

Thanks for the suggestions and support.
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 08:19 PM
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The poor critters. They must be so scared.

I don't really have any advice. I just wanted to say good for you for stepping up to help these two.

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 08:33 PM
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I think those cages in pet stores can be scary for most cats with people poking at them and dogs coming in, etc. I was reading notes of a rescue locally that pretty much described the process from the cats point of view and it made me very sad. If these cats weren't used to living with people no wonder they are scared to death. I am sure you can break through but I wonder how you will be able to get them adopted out.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat owner again View Post
but I wonder how you will be able to get them adopted out.
They will stay with us until they can comfortably go into the pet store environment or until they find loving homes. They are ready for adoption health-wise, so they are on the website available but must go to quiet homes with no young children and the page is very clear that they will need lots of TLC and lots of time to settle in as they are extremely shy. So if potential adopters want to meet them, we will have them come here to meet them and I guess the kitties are here until they are comfortable enough to go back to the pet store or until they find forever homes.

It could be a long commitment. Poor things.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 05:51 AM
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Sounds like the pet store is not a good option. I don't think I would do that to them again. Poor things - strange people tapping on glass, kids screeching in delight, lights on almost all (if not all) the time. Just the whole "on display" thing with no place to hide would be terrifying. If you can post them on social media or Craigslist that would probably be better. Sorry I can't be more help. I hope they get adopted soon - preferably to a quiet house. Thank you for taking them in and caring for them.

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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiliqua View Post
They will stay with us until they can comfortably go into the pet store environment or until they find loving homes. They are ready for adoption health-wise, so they are on the website available but must go to quiet homes with no young children and the page is very clear that they will need lots of TLC and lots of time to settle in as they are extremely shy. So if potential adopters want to meet them, we will have them come here to meet them and I guess the kitties are here until they are comfortable enough to go back to the pet store or until they find forever homes.

It could be a long commitment. Poor things.
I like that they put the restriction of a quiet home. I hope they would also say that they have to be adopted together. From your description it sounded like the only hope they had left (until you came into their lives) was each other.

I agree with Mumof7 - just having a person sit on the floor in the same room with them, speaking quietly to them, will start to build their trust back up.


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