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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited by Moderator)
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.
 

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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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I'm not sure what the question was. I just took in a ferral and years ago took in a ferral and never had any problems aside from hiding from humans. They adapted immediately to the liter box and ate when nobody was looking. They got along fine with my other cat(s). The only problem is catching them to get them to the vet to make sure they're not carrying an infectious disease and parasites and to apply flea medicine and trim their nails. Ferrals are so cool! However, clawing at furniture and window screens can be a problem but the same can be for any cat you adopt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Okay, it's been awhile, but updates galore on this original post.

I have been letting outdoor cat in daily for periods of 2 to 3 hours at a time. And while there have been some scuffles with indoor cat, they have been really few and minor. He is definitely letting inside cat be the boss, and they are developing boundaries.

The major issues are that while outside cat will let inside cat bite and hold to show dominance all day long, he has no tolerance for getting smacked. But the initial tension has gone way down.

Outside cat is like the kid who wants friends so badly, his over-the-top attempts at being friendly turn the other kids off. He head-butts so hard it's almost uncomfortable for me, and he head-butts alot. He follows inside cat around constantly head-butting, to the point that they just go in circles with inside cat trying to walk away - It's kind of funny, but inside cat doesn't think so. He just stays generally annoyed most the time.

Outside cat initially was overwhelmed by the privilege of being in the house, and consequently was VERY extroverted, and high strung, but has now settled down to the point where he'll take naps while in the house.

My Biggest Question & Concern:

My biggest concern is that inside cat obviously is not happy about all of this, but does tolerate it to some extent. He'll turn his ears back a little and swish his tail, and generally does not want to interact with outside cat, but I have seen him initiate play also.

My inside cat is the most important animal in my life, and I don't want to ruin his quality of life on account of my selfishness and wanting this formerly feral cat, who has bonded with me very deeply, to be an inside cat also. I care so much for both of them, and I worry about the physical dangers to outside cat, when he is outside.

Inside cat had a litter mate who had a genetic condition that got so bad this year that no treatment would fix it. He got to where he was in so much pain, we had no choice but to send him over the rainbow bridge.

I worry that inside cat might be better off in the long run with a buddy, but in the short term, he is not thrilled.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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Having a household of cats (9, and as many as 14) who were former ferals ... I'd say give it more time. If nothing majorly negative has happened this far, keep moving forward.
 
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