Feral cat behavior expert needed - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Feral cat behavior expert needed

I have a couple ferals I have TNR'd and have cared for now for years. One of my ferals wants very badly to come into the house and be a house cat. I am considering it, and have let him in for short supervised periods of time.

He is incredibly good with people, but he is, or at least used to be a Samurai warrior when it came to other cats (males). In the last year I have seen him pal around with a couple neighbors cats, one of which I know is male. He seems to maybe have mellowed since being neutered.

I have observed him fight in years past and he gives NO WARNING, he goes for the kill. My inside cat, who we tried a kitten once with, is the opposite, all hiss and smack and no bite. He's not necessarily a cream puff, but he's just had the luxury of never having to be in a real fight in his life.

When I bring knucklehead in for short supervised visits, he pushes inside cat with his face. I don't know if he is marking him, sniffing him, but he pushes him back hard with his face. They seem generally curious about each other, and outside cat pushes his face into me too. I mean some of the hardest head-butts, and nose-butts I have ever seen a cat give.

They are both definitely alpha males though.

Any thoughts from you guys?

Last edited by smilodon; 08-03-2011 at 09:36 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 09:53 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "pushing him with his face"... do you mean face to face, like a headbutt? That's a very friendly gesture.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Carmel View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "pushing him with his face"... do you mean face to face, like a headbutt? That's a very friendly gesture.
No, he pushes his nose into inside cats neck. Pushes him back, but he pushes me that hard too.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking of getting a harness and a leash for outside cat, and keeping it on him for longer visits inside. So like if he tries to beat up my inside gut I can gently & quickly pull him away.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2011, 11:27 PM
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Have him tested before you start bringing him inside. If her has felv then vaccinate your other cat. The head butts are gestures of friendliness. Good sign. This cat wants to join your family. He will mellow out the more time he spends with you, your cat and in the home. Slowly, gently nudge his comfort levels with you. It helps bring him around. A cat circled my sister's neighborhood for a couple years. I daily fed him but he wouldn't let us touch him. He was one of my first TNRs. My cat befriended him by laying by his kennel during recovery. Then he wanted to start coming in for short visits. We gentlely pushed his comfort levels. 4 years later he sleeps on my sister bed. Let's us hold him and carry him around. He is social with all the fosters coming thru my sister's house. He only goes out 5% of the time now. It just took time and patience. Read Heidi's Kitty Boot Camp in the stickies in the Feral cat forum under taming ferals. This boy has made a huge transition by choosing you as his own. What a sweet gift from him.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, all the vaccines are taken care of, I will check out Kitty Boot Camp - Thanks!

Last edited by marie73; 08-04-2011 at 08:57 PM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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I let outside cat in today and gave him more freedom and time than I have in the past. He definitely is trying to be friendly with his head-butts that push the receiver back (but he head-butts me just as hard). It's just that he is a little much. He is like the kid that wants friends so bad that by overdoing it, he winds up turning people off. But he is like that with me too.

My inside guy was curious at first, but then walked away from him; yeah good luck with that inside cat. Outside cat followed him everywhere constantly rubbing and head-butting until my inside guy began to bite him. Not hard at first, but it lead to some firm biting. My formerly feral outside guy then laid on his side and happily allowed himself to be firmly bitten by my inside cat. Total submission.

I was shocked. I thought this formerly feral cat was about as submissive as Hannibal Lector. I then quickly separated the two and carried outside cat back out so they could both take a break.

I am really curious if he did that for my benefit, and maybe he would have fought instead if I wasn't there. Are cats capable of telling a lie? I think they are smart enough that I wouldn't put it past them.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 03:31 PM
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[QUOTE=smilodon;789706
I am really curious if he did that for my benefit, and maybe he would have fought instead if I wasn't there. Are cats capable of telling a lie? /QUOTE]

No, they aren't.
That's the great thing about cats.

Outside cat recognizes inside cat is alpha and is OK with it.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet! I guess it's just a matter of how much outside cat is going to let inside cat push him. I mean until he decides he has had enough and has to draw a line. I believe the two of them might have two different ways of saying "Enough is Enough". Outside cats idea of saying that might be more violent than inside cats way of saying it.

But I am glad, VERY GLAD to see that there is potential there for them to be pals.

Maybe I might let him in for 5 to 10 minutes every day now, supervised, to get them more used to the idea. Instead of forcing the situation upon both of them.

Last edited by marie73; 08-06-2011 at 05:53 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:48 AM
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When we were letting Toby inside the house, he would go meow and pace by the french door to be let back out when he had enough. Does your feral have a name?
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