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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Treats reward alternative?

I am trying to tame a feral kitten. I read articles that say you should reward the "sit in a lap calmly and be petted" sessions with treats. PLUS, I need to give her medicine twice a day (I have "taming sessions" about 4 times a day...first and last with meds). So I really want to give her a treat, not only for the "you were a good girl and didn't fuss about being with a human" AND taking her medicines. BUT! She won't eat treats! No canned food, no moist Pounces... I haven't tried table scraps yet, because I don't really cook and don't want to give her processed junk that I normally eat.

So how do I give her extra reward, other than the little snuggling time, so she knows this is a good thing?
She's perfectly fine, (snuggly, kneading, purring up a storm) while she's in my lap... if she's out (before and after), and I get near, she gets all hissy...it's kinda funny the total change in her!

P.S. Although I'm treating her pneumonia and taming her, she'll remain an outdoor/stay-with-the-colony cat. My landlord won't allow any cats in the house, I can only keep them outside. So she's staying in a puppy training crate on the patio, and I just bring her into the bathroom for the taming sessions - just in case she escapes my lap, then she really has nowhere to run off to and hide.

This is similar to what I have, but I have a dark blue blanket draped over the cage, and a wool blanket in the carrier (no straw yet, so still needed something if it gets damp from her stepping in the water, she'll still be warm)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2010, 11:54 PM
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Just like with kids, you don't always need to reward with food. It can be done with praise, fun-play-time with interactive toys or extended petting sessions where you do everything that makes her happy and purr.
Best of luck, it sounds like you're doing a great job by helping your feral colony to be healthy!



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Eh, she doesn't really like toys, either! I have a foil ball, fuzzy mouse and a jingle ball in her cage...completely ignored! Ignored 'fishing pole' toy too. Heck, the other night when I was trying to catch her and got the brilliant idea of distracting her with the laser pointer...she couldn't care less about the little red thingy! Wild cats are boring! LOL
But... I'll just be very gentle when I -do- have her with me, so she knows being handled isn't something to fear. Maybe she'll take treats eventually too..it's only the first night, after all!

I keep thinking I could sneak the cage in and hide it behind my couch. Buuut, if my landlord were to hear her meow, out she goes again anyway
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 12:20 AM
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Most cats love cheese and ice-cream....have you tried a little of these?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 12:28 AM
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Wow! You're already able to do all that only on the FIRST NIGHT?!?!?!?!? You are AMAZING! Seriously, you must be a natural at this. Good job!



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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Progress!

All what on the first night? I still have to wear leather gloves and long-sleeve sweatshirts when I try getting her out of the cage...otherwise my hands and wrists would be totally mangled by now! LOL

This morning, though, I got her to eat canned food! (with a little NutriCal mixed in). After she was settled and purring, I put a bit on my finger and put it right under her nose. She tried to turn away, but I quickly smeared some on her lips. After one lick, then she couldn't get enough and scarfed down half the bowl!

I think I will try sneaking her into my bathroom at night. I went out this morning, and her cage was in total shambles (along with the feeding station). I bet raccoons were there, trying to get food. I took the adult cat food away, but kept Zinny's little dish of kibble for her to be available whenever she wanted it. Her shelf was almost knocked over, water and food dishes empty and upside down, and she was cowering in the corner.
So when night meds/snuggles are over, I'll just close the door, and then in the morning after meds/snuggles, I'll put her back outside.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 11:41 AM
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What a shame! I'm concerned about the weather, since she has pneumonia. She should be kept warm. Straw is the best idea, if she can't come in, and covering the cage will help.

You're doing such a good deed. Thank you for caring.




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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Vivid Dawn View Post
All what on the first night? I still have to wear leather gloves and long-sleeve sweatshirts when I try getting her out of the cage...otherwise my hands and wrists would be totally mangled by now! LOL
Oh .... but she's in your LAP and she's PURRING while you PET/HANDLE her!!!! That is nothing short of AMAZINGLY AWESOME in my book!



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2010, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Jeanie - I know... it is getting rather chilly at night. I do have an old wool sweater in her carrier/bed, as I figured that was second best as straw. And a big fleece blanket over the cage to keep out breezes. BUT! I decided I'll just keep her inside at night for sure... and when she needs to "hide" - my landlord is coming tomorrow to fix the sewer, so she'll be out then. But right now, she's on my couch, curled up in the corner of the armrest/backrest.

Heidi - AND she rolled over to put her belly up a couple hours ago! I wanted a nap SOOO bad, after doing a bunch of errands for the rescue group today, so I brought her in and didn't feel like the usual session. So I put the carrier on my bed, got under the covers, and let her come out when she wanted. She started purring as she peeked out, then finally ventured over to me for some pets...and flopped down and rolled over! When I finally dozed off, she wandered off to explore. Now she's napping on the couch. And didn't hiss when I just patted her head before logging on!
Paizly did growl at her a bit, but then Paizly is afraid of everything anyway!

I'm going to leave her out, when I go back to Petco to help take down cages (it's adoption day). I hope my dad doesn't come downstairs and see her! I live in my dad's basement, so he's my landlord...though even being related won't let me get away with stuff: "my roof, my rules" kinda thing
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 11:57 AM
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That's great news!

As for your landlord, my father ruled the roost too, so I understand.




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