Originally Posted by Jeanie
That is not the method approved by behavior experts.
Surely you could have been more diplomatic and less...abrupt...towards me.
Because every step that I outlined I found in the information you posted, so it looks like the experts and I actually are in agreement. The only difference between your experts' excerpts and my own post? I did not begin my (and may I point out: my very abbreviated
) outline of what I do relating it to a completely feral cat (like my Pretty and Malibu were
) and instead tailored it to her description of a "formerly feral" cat and the things she could try.
NONE of the things I detailed are things I would ever try with a completely feral cat who has had no human contact, which is what your two examples detailed. I worked long and hard to get Mallie and Pretty to the points of handling I described, and I did so without the benefit of having the cat contained in a house or a room. They were both outside cats and I did state how long both took me to achieve just that first touch. It was weeks/months (and in Pretty's case, a year
) after that first touch before I could push physical handling with either of them. Because of our outdoor setting, everything
is dictated by the cat's acceptance and there is no way I could proceed without the cat's approval.
I shared what procedures worked for me. Certainly a person needs to do it at the cat's speed, but you do need to make progress while you listen to what the cat can tolerate.
I will say again:
"Advance/retreat. You need to advance to make progress, but you need to retreat before you've reached her maximum tolerance level."
Worked for me and Flash, Inky, Bonnie, The Wanderer, Blaze, Tiger, Oscar, TonyHawk, TiggerThreeToes, Tabby, Tess, Daisy, Dagger, Diego, Todd, Malibu, Shadow, CalicoBob, Toddson, Cheetah, Lilly, Domingo, Winston, Pretty, Dusty, LuckyDuck and is continuing to work with Bella and Luna. I have been lucky that I have not yet failed in an attempt to tame a feral. So, while I haven't yet met my match, and I'm sure I will at some point
, surely I'm doing something right to have such success with my ferals?
Lilyb, good luck with whatever methods you try with your kitty. I wish you both success and the best of everything. I'm sure you will find a way that works for you both, suited for both your cat's temperament and your willingness to try.