Feral cat behaviour? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Feral cat behaviour?

Hi all,

I have a stray cat who has adopted me, he doesnt seem completely feral I am sure at some point he had a home with people as he isnt totally wild. he lives in my garden (in my shed) and I feed him every day. He wont come anywhere near me and is not tame, but he does come and sit on my window sill every evening and looks in, I'm trying to figure out why he does this, because I feel so sorry for him that he is outside. He will sit there every single night looking in at my cats and chatters to them or meows at them to get their attention. I've tried to let him in, in the warm a few times but he runs to his shed as soon as I open the door.

I'm also getting concerned how he is going to cope over the winter, I will have to try to build a shelter for him as the shed is only small (plastic tool shed) and not wind proof as I leave the door open for him to come & go.

He seems happy living in the garden, he has food and fresh water every day, but it breaks my heart that he sits on the window staring in at my cats playing I'm sure he wants to be a part of it all but he is too scared

thanks Jo
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 11:08 AM
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No advice, but that makes me sad. Like you, that would break my heart. Perhaps in time he will decide to come in for a bit and become an indoor kitty. Bless you for taking care of him.

Mom to Abby & Gizmo
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 11:43 AM
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How long have you been feeding him for? If it hasn't been long, he may come around and get friendly eventually. It sounds like he's getting good care from you, so keep being patient!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 11:52 AM
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Yes, patience is definitely key. Another member of the forum had an outdoor feral and/or abandoned cat who adopted her and it took a long time before he felt comfortable enough for her to get him inside. He is now a strictly indoor cat and gets along famously with her resident cat.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 04:04 PM
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I had a similar circumstance for 2 years. He would sit and look in at all hours of the day or night, but as soon as the door opened, gone. We fed him for 2 years, through a winter, through hurricaine Sandy. He was in the house 3 times and all three times he broke out (jumped through the screen) when he realized he was trapped. The resident cats did not seem to mind him and I suspect he was simply looking for a mate. The last time we saw him was January. He came, he ate, he walked part of the way in and then scooted out. That night we had a bad storm and freeze and we never saw him again. the best you can do is continue to offer food and hope your visitor develops trust.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 04:20 PM
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Just patience - our oldest kitty had to be coaxed into initial interaction by prime tid-bits that involved getting closer and closer to us. She is now over 12 years old and while still very feral where other people are concerned is our darling - not to mention that she is the "matriarch" of my mini pride.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone

I've been feeding him for about five months, he turned up in my garden one day looking very thin & unkept, he was obviously a stray, so I started putting food out for him. I figured he was about a year old when I first found him there, hes not very old and I was hoping he would learn to trust me enough so I could catch him and get him to the vets for a check over, but I've abandoned that plan for now - hes too skittish and I feel if i try to trap him he will lose the small amount of trust he has built in me. Since he has been 'living' in my garden (and he doesnt seem to leave the boundary of the property anymore) he looks a lot healthier and is no longer upkept & skinny, so I am not that concerned about getting him to the vet at this point, I am more interested in building up the trust so he can at least come indoors at night out of the cold. If I can just get to the point where I can coax him into the kitchen/bathroom, I can keep him isolated from my cats until such time as I can get him to a vet and get him checked over

Its frustrating as progress seems to have stopped, he knows I will feed him twice a day & give him fresh water but other than that he will not come out of hiding unless we are in the house, if I walk too close to the window he will run, I've tried sitting out the garden with cat treats but nothing seems to work. I guess it just needs time and patience.

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