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Discussion Starter #1
So 6 days ago, I took in a semi-feral kitten that I found wandering around my apartment complex. He came up to me for food and I just picked him up and brought him inside.

I've already brought him to the vet once and because he has ear mites, he has to stay confined to our bathroom. The room is nice though, there's a carpeted area and a window as well as a nightlight so that it isn't pitch black in there at night.

ANYWAYS, he has already gotten comfortable enough with me to let me pick him up occasionally and he will also purr and enjoy petting sessions. Do you guys think that he's the type of cat that will adjust well to indoor life? He is doing well, but he does still hide most of the day and has never once approached me. I just want to make sure he'll be okay indoors and can adjust before I take him to the vet again. The first trip alone cost me $70 and the second one is going to be MUCH more because of testing for a few feline diseases.

I don't want to sound cheap or anything. I just want to make sure that he sounds like a good candidate for an indoor lifestyle before I commit any more financially. I'm currently in college and it can be difficult to pay large sums of money all at once, but if this cat can have a happy life with me, it is well worth it. If he's going to forever feel trapped inside though, it might be in both of our best interests for me to try and find him a safe indoor/outdoor home.

Any thoughts on the matter? I hope I'm not coming across wrong! I only want him to be happy! I've been working hard to make him feel okay, but I haven't done this in years either so it's hard to gauge how it's going.

Thanks for your time : )
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I also forgot to mention that he is already 4 months old, so he missed that optimal window for socialization by quite a bit.
 

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ANYWAYS, he has already gotten comfortable enough with me to let me pick him up occasionally and he will also purr and enjoy petting sessions.
There are lots of other people here who know much more about cats than I do, so I hope they chime in, but to me this is an excellent sign! Plus the fact that he is still a kitten seems to me that he will adjust fine and be very happy inside. It's only been a few days, so I'm sure it's all still very new to him.

What's his name?
 

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Thank you so much for rescuing this cat.
At four months, he's still relatively young, and based on the simple fact that you were able to pick him up, I think there is an excellent chance your cat will be happy inside. If truly feral, he wouldn't have let you pick him up. Ritz and her litter mates were successfully socialized at around six months old, and some cats I re-trapped after TNRing (long story) were closer to one year; they have been adopted into Furever Homes.
Just give him lots of time to get to know you. Sit with him in the bathroom, reading aloud quietly and working on the computer, etc. Let him sniff your finger(s) if he approaches. Move VERY slowly at all times. With Ritz, I told her what I was going to do (still do): "I'm getting up now"; "I'm behind you", etc. This gets your kitty use to your voice. And enter with treats in hand; a way to a cat's heart is (initially) through his stomach :)
Regarding additional costs, the main one with be neutering. Check around your local non-profit SPCAs and rescue organizations. Where I live the cost is anywhere from $60 (non-profit) to $300 (vet). Many clinics as part of spaying/neutering, will also de-worm. (And, it's a given that the cat has worms. Comes with the territory of living outdoors.) They may also offer FIV/FeLK testing at a reduced cost.
And in answer to your question: yes, there are some cats who cannot adjust to an indoor lifestyle. Some cats simply don't have it in their "DNA". Some cats were too abused when a kitten to ever trust humans or lived on the streets too long. But your kitten sounds lovely, and a good candidate for a happy indoor cat.
PS: we looovveee pictures :)
 

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PS: at four months of age, he should be spayed ASAP. He may go into heat in another month (varies) and then he WILL want out to mate.
 

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I think just the fact that you were able to pick up this kitty means he will probably adapt to an indoor life with people. I had a truly feral cat come to my house for a while. I fed him, but he never let me get close. One time, he wandered into the house to look for food and I was able to shut the door behind him. A torn up room (literally) and MANY scratches later, we had him in a carrier to go get neutered. After that, I tried to keep him inside for two days at least to recover from the surgery, but he was only hiding and refusing all food and water. I had to let him go after a day and acknowledge that he really was more of a wild animal than any cat I ever met. What you describe sounds very different - plus, the kitty is still young, so I think you have a wonderful pet there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much to both of you!

LadyK, I named him Tiberius (he looks very regal), but I typically just call him Tibbers.

Ritzpg, that's all very helpful and good to know. Sounds like you have a ton of experience with this kind of thing! It's so good to hear that so many of your cats adjusted to an indoor life. I'm even more happy to hear that you think Tibbers can adjust to being inside. I've grown quite attached to him, but I've been worried that he'd always be happier outside.

As far as costs go, he's already been neutered. He was caught by a catch and release group apparently. At least I won't end up having to pay that cost. Besides that though he needs almost $200 worth of tests and treatments for his mites and worms. It's doable of course, but I wanted to make sure before taking him again that he wasn't going to be forever unhappy inside. I was considering taking him to Petco (or Petsmart, I'm not sure which one does this) because they offer some vaccines at a reduced cost. However, I dropped by to scope it out and there was a very long line with barking dogs and I'm not sure he would be willing to have a needle prick him after waiting in that mess.

Anyways, thank you both for your replies! I'll keep him and continue to work on everything with him. Here's a few bad quality pictures of him. I'll get some better ones when he's less afraid of my camera!







These were all taken on different days. He does come out of his little crate now too, but I don't have pictures of when he's out.

Thanks again you guys!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Irene, I posted before reading your post, sorry!

I'm sorry to hear you had to let that cat go. Makes sense though! I can completely understand that there are some cats who are just to adjusted to a life outside. At least you got him neutered though. That was very good of you!

Thanks for the advice : )
 

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Oh look at him! Tibbers is gorgeous! Thanks for caring for him. I wish you many happy years together! You'll have to keep us updated on how he adjusts.

About the vet visit, maybe try to get the first or last appointment of the day, there might be less commotion at those times. A lot of people recommend a cat-only vet, where there wouldn't be intimidating dogs in the waiting room. Maybe that would be another option if you have one near you.
 

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I think we're due an update?

Tibbers doesn't seem like a feral cat, he's probably a stray and he's probably long ago decided to adopt you and move in - cats just prefer, if possible, to make us think it's OUR decision and that we have to woo them to stay. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tibbers has been doing very very well since I brought him in. He behaves like a normal cat now for the most part. He sits on my lap sometimes and is okay with being held and carried. I don't even have a hard time clipping his nails! Luckily, he stopped lashing out at me and will actually bat my hand away (without using claws) when he's annoyed as opposed to his previous habit of scratching without warning.

Tibs is also allowed full access to the apartment now. He stays in my room usually though, which is fine with me. He is a little uncomfortable with my roommates or strangers, but that's also okay with me. I feel like we have a special bond since he trusts me much more than anyone else.

The only thing he does differently than the other cats I've had is that he's much more reclusive. He spends most of the day sleeping under my bed but he doesn't seem to do it out of fear. I think he just likes the solitude of it. He comes out to visit me throughout the day though!

OH MAN one more thing. Tibbers is ABSOLUTELY in love with the other cat we have here. He will follow her around and always trys to sit with her. She and him are definitely friends now, but she doesn't share the same admiration that he does for her. It's cute to watch him endlessly seeking her approval though!

Here's some recent pictures:









Thanks again for all the help and support you guys. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn't for all of your kind words!
 

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Yay, so happy for Tibs! And beautiful photos!
 

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So cute! Is that kitty popping up out of the sink in the first one? I love it when they get in the sink. Tibbers is looking great, very handsome.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey guys,

I'm back with another question for you all. Tibs is still doing well, he's healthier now and is very cuddly and happy. However, maybe 3 weeks ago, he started peeing on my roommates bed. I thought it was just because she had piles of clothes on her bed and he liked the feel of them, but after cleaning everything, he just peed on the bed again. We used an enzyme cleaner and steam cleaned the mattress, so it was a thorough cleaning.

I'm pretty sure that it's territorial urination. He only pees on the spot that my roommates cat sleeps on. The two get along fine though so it seems odd. I don't think it's a medical thing, there's no blood in his urine and he drinks a lot of water. He also doesn't strain in the litterbox or anything. He got a clean bill of health from the vet last time I took him in, which was a few days before the peeing started, so I;m pretty sure it isn't medical.

The only options I've been able to think of to stop it though are preventative measures and I'm worried that he'll start back at it whenever he gets an opportunity. Do you think that covering my roommates bed with a tarp when it's not in use would help? I've considered those motion detector things that will make noise when cats are near to deter them, but my roommate's cat sleeps there so I don't want to upset her. Besides that, I'm not sure what else I can do to curb the situation quickly. I've been feeding him his meals on a tray on the bed and have been considering confining him to the bathroom for awhile until he builds up a better relationship with his litter box.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I really don't want to have to replace the mattress or continually wash my roommates bedding, but I'm not sure what the best route to take is.

Thanks in advance!

Also sorry if this isn't the best place to post this, but I figure urinating inside is a common ex-stray problem and I already had this post going, so hopefully it's ok!
 

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Matrix is my little rescue from the outside world.

His previous owners moved here from (I think) Indiana. He spent the entire first 10 years of his life outside.
They were used to him feeding himself (probably not too difficult for a farm cat), but it can be a bit more challenging in Mesa suburbs.

Long story short, I stole him and brought him inside and he is one HAPPY kitty. :) He likes sitting on the windowsill, but spends most of his day sleeping, considering I won't let him steal ALL my blankets at night.
 

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Hmm. There are plug in diffusers which emit a hormonal scent or something to calm cats down from anxiety or depression. The enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle should help with cleaning.

I know what you're going through, but with me it was a 13-14 year old dog who pooped on my roommates bed o-o

Maybe with the kitty it's territorial but I don't know enough about cat behavior. Has he been neutered yet? I know you stated that he was, but maybe his testicles just hadn't dropped at that point. I don't know.

Let me just say though. He's one lucky cat! He's adorable. Cats are never happier long term outside. Ferals are a different story, but with disease and a fractioned life span and all the dangers, I doubt they're really that happy outside.
 

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It's probably territorial. I find it can help to make the "favoured" area impossible to wee on (hard on a bed but placing something that blocks the cat but could be easily moved works) - sometimes it just a case of breaking what has become a habit.
 

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What a sweet kitten! Frankly, I think all cats enjoy the outside, but I think they can all get used to being indoor cats. At 4 months old, he is fairly "trainable" to your lifestyle.
Since you were able to handle him, I wonder if he was simply dumped.
If he has been neutered, someone knew enough to do that, thankfully.
We had a feral cat spray our home in WI; we caught him and had him fixed and he never left (of his own choosing). He refused to let us touch him till I continued to feed him and slowly sing-song to him each time I put the plate down. He finally let me touch him. We moved and he came with us (and the other 2) and he won't leave our side.
Sometimes I think people don't understand that animals bond and tossing them out because it is "convenient" is just cruel.
 
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