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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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shy semi ferl cat

how do you get a shy feral cat to come out of its shell to become brave around people?

Juno is a big cuddle bug! follows be all over the place. loves to sleep on the couch with me. gives me kisses.. hes a great cat!

summer on the other hand is nervous around me. I try to get close and he runs the other way. hes been sleeping in the window which is up high. when I reach out to touch him he jumps off the window sil and runs off.

He is going to be hard to adopt out if he is so scared of people. its going to be hard to catch him as well. I don't want to set the trap on him again. that wouldn't be nice at all.

How do I get him to be happy around people?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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This is Summer. The Shy cat.


here is Juno.. the brave cat. the cuddle bug
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 03:44 PM
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Let the cat come to you, you coming to him is scary. Set scheduled feeding times and only give them food at those times, remove it when you aren't there. They will come to see you as the bringer of food. Bring treats with you and try and entice the cat close to you. Do not make eye contact (in cat language before they understnad humans eye contact is a direct threat), move extremely slowly. If the cat is close you, you could slowly offer your hand, or just let your hand sit close to the cat for a few minutes... then remove your hand if the cat shows no further interest. Sit on the floor in the room, ground level is not as intimidating. Speak softly to the cat, bring in a laptop or a book and read aloud. Let the friendly one get lots of pets while the timid one observes... that can help them come around, too. Play games with the friendly one, like with a wand toy and maybe the other will one day join in. Spend as much time with them as you can, hopefully at least an hour every day. Patience is the key.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 03:55 PM
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One of my cats was semi feral when I got her as a kitten. She could be the nastiest little thing and the shelter was ready to make her a barn cat (she was biting), but she slowly came around and is now a snuggly lap cat a year later with zero aggressive tendencies.

Keeping her in a confined area really helped when I first got her. She had a safe spot/hiding place, but she couldn't get anywhere I couldn't reach. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor near her talking to her and letting her get used to me. Will Summer eat if you are nearby? You could try sitting nearby while he eats, getting a little closer to him/the bowl over time until he doesn't mind you right there while he eats.

Does he like toys? Maybe a fishing rod/wand type toy could help because it's interactive. As he sees you as a provider of food and toys, he should begin to trust you a little more. If Summer is willing, include Juno in play and feed them together. It will likely take some time, but don't force Summer to do anything and try not to chase or trap him, as that may make him more fearful (even if you're just trying to give him a treat).

Also, how old is he? It may take more time (and way more patience!) if he's older/not a kitten. Keep spending time with him and hopefully he'll come around soon
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 04:04 PM
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Everything CatMonkeys said I 100% agree with. I just didn't want to type it all out. I actually got timed out before adding to move the food bowls closer to you over a period of weeks. Those are all the main ways people tame cats.

It's important the cat can't hide on your somewhere completely out of reach, they need to know that you know where they are but aren't coming to attack them. Otherwise, you get stories of cats hiding behind couches or under beds for years where they only come out "when it's safe". They need to observe you and know you're observing them or there's no progress.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Both Juno & Summer are 6 months old(give or take). They were born sometime over the summer and have been growing up outside. So on November 12th mom said I could bring the 2 kitties inside and down to the basement. That way they wont freeze there butts off when the temps drop down to single digits at night.

Today it was 23 degrees and going down to 18.

So these 2 guys have been living in the basement for 13 days. They use the litterbox. which is great.

I hang out in the basement every day. I work in the morning. So when I come home,i eat breakfast with them and take a nap with juno on the couch.

Summer hangs out in the window and gets the morning sun on his back.

I have 2 plates of dry food out on the floor for them. I keep one by the closet and one on the other side of the room.

The plate by the closet is in the tv area of the basement. so im on the couch while the kitties eat. the other plate is under the pool table. So I peak over to see who eats that plate of food.

Summer is okay with me watching him eat. I just have to stand far away while hes eating.

Juno loves the cat toys. I gave him many paper tubes to play with. He bats those things all over the place. Infact... I think hes hidden them somewhere.. now I cant find them.

I got him 3 new toys the other day....1 is missing already! Every day while im down there I look for those toys. I have no idea where they can be! I think juno has a secrect stash somewhere.

Juno mostly plays on his own. Summer just sits back and watches. its hard to get him to interact with juno..

I do talk to summer though. I say hi to him and stuff.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 06:53 PM
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That's a good sign if Summer will eat while you are there, even if you're not close by. He trusts you enough to eat in your presence. Try sitting a little closer to him while he eats every few days (spend a few days across the room from him then move a foot or two closer for a few days, then closer, etc.). Like Carmel said, you want to spend time in the room with Summer, even if you're not directly interacting with him. Watching tv or laying on the couch in the same room is good.

It sounds like you're doing good so far, it just takes extra time with some cats I find random stashes of cat toys in unexpected places when I'm cleaning- I don't know how the cats manage it!
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