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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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feral question

I have had my little feral in the house now for almost 3 years. She will sit on my lap, let me pet her all over and give her kisses, she also head buts me, but only in her room. She now has the run of the house, I was wondering if she will ever feel totally "comfortable" in the house, or if this is the best I can hope for? I know I have read in some cases it can take up to 5 years for them to be totally domesticated. She likes to look outside, and I wonder if she will ever lose the urge to go outside? She had no human contact when I trapped her when she was over a year old. How long has it taken some of you for your ferals to come around? Thanks for any information!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 01:05 PM
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My 10 year old former feral female too a long time to fully domesticate. Her preferred method of communication remains to this day a purr or a hiss. She does however seek out and enjoy laps. When we figured out how food focused she was treats became a way of altering her behavior. She will never be a companion like a kitten raised in a home, but overall she isn't bad. It sounds like you are doing just fine.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 01:14 PM
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Read this post by Heidi on Kitty Boot Camp. Many of us who work with cats who are semi feral (probably once someones cat but abandoned outside and now skiddish) use the technics to bring them around to be adoptable or a member of our cat family. I have a feral that wouldn't let us near him or touch him for two years. Gradually made his way into the house and we used the technics to bring him to a point of he will let me do anything.... yes anything to him. Good luck with your precious rescue!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Where do I find "the feral boot camp"??
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 01:42 PM
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https://www.catforum.com/forum/56-fer...boot-camp.html

Sorry.... going a million miles an hour today and trying to do toooooo much!

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 12:00 PM
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Milady, a stray that lives in the building parking lot, is about 10 y/o. She was always used to humans but never let anyone touch her, not even those who feed her. Not even me, who spend about 1 full hour with her every day (4.5 years now) and pamper her more than many house cats. I just lost hope and accepted that's the way she is and will always be like that. About 1 month ago, she suddenly changed her mind and now she won't give me a respite, she's constantly on me for petting. It doesn't surprise me because I've always said cats don't change gradually but in sudden leaps of trust. They study the situation and prepare for the big day, sometimes for many years.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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That is exactly what I found with mine!, out of the blue one day (now two years ago), she sat in my lap. I find that when she changes for the better, it is usually "out of the blue". Maybe she has been thinking about it for a long time and decides the time is just right. I have not given up hope that someday she will be a "domesticate" cat, if not, that's all right too, I will love her just the same!!! She is doing better and better every day, will follow me from room to room. I am waiting for the day where I can reach down from standing and pet her!! As I said when I took her in 3 years ago, I have nothing but time to give her, so howevery long it takes----!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 12:33 PM
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In what ways is she still feral?

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 12:45 PM
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My house cat Nikita, adopted at around 2-3 y/o, is still changing and has a long way to go. She suddenly jumped into my lap one day after about 1 year of living with us. And she stopped going back to her territory in the street and staying there for days only a few months ago. After 3 years she started letting me touch her tummy, and even lift her.

My 3 house cats are adopted straight from the street here downstairs. I'll know for example that touching paws is off-limits so I won't do it, then one day after a very long time, even a year or longer, I do it and it's welcome. Who knows when along the way it became ok.

Nikita is still a bit feral. She only recently after about 3.5 years stopped attacking the other cats when feeling threatened at the drop of a hat. She's only now exploring high places in the house and lounging in them. And I'm sure she'll still change a lot.

It's not just time, it's also constant reassurance along the years that ends up convincing them that something is safe to try.

One of my strays, who sits on my lap for hours on the park bench, has only recently after 4 years stopped attacking my hand when I stroke her head me standing and she sitting, i.e. from above. It's taken years for some of the strays downstairs to try out and love the cushions I place for them during feeding hour.

The Royal von Meouw Dynasty: His Royal Highness the late Prince von Meouw,
Her Royal Highness Princess Gatita von Meouw, Nikita Duchess of Meouw and
His Highness Cuchi-Cuchi, next in line for the throne of Prince von Meouw.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if this is "classfied" as feral, but she startles very easily - noises, especially people, she is only comfortable with me, she is still very weary of my husband and will usually run when she sees him, sometimes she stays in the same room as him, but very weary - I am training HIM, to talk to her softly, blink the eyes and so on. I can pat her only when I am sitting on the floor in her room, she sits on my lap and lets me pat her all over and she will give me kisses and head buts when she is on my lap, but any kind of petting other than the usual and she will back off. She will curl up on my lap while I sit on the floor and sleep. I usually do this several times a day. I am trying to get her to come to my hand when I am standing, especially in the other rooms, she does follow me from room to room and will usually come when I call her. But again anything out of the ordinary she will run. She has only scratched me once in the three years she has been in, and that was my fault, I put my face down to hers when she was only in the house a few weeks, and she let me have it!! Other than that she is not agressive. I cannot pick her up, but the my niece who is a vet tech can, but she doesn't like it. I am trying to get to the day where I can pick her up, she has to have medicine put on her lip when it flares up, and she won't let me do it, so my niece comes over and puts it on. I have my grandkids over and she will hide for a while, but then I start to see her coming out of her room, nobody can get close to her but me though.
I think maybe this is semi-feral?, I have never had a feral before or have done anything like this before, so any input is welcome!!
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