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One of my cats (she was originally a foster, but we decided to keep her!) is about 90% feral....for the first 6 months we had her she hid under the bed 24/7. After 3 years now, she loves to be out and about in the house, she never hides, loves to sleep on the bed with us, purrs and blinks at us etc. The only issue is, we still cannot touch her......once we make a movement in her direction she takes off running. I think she's hardwired against human touch for some reason, but she seems to have adapted to everything else in our household well.

Has anyone else ever had a cat like this? What can we do to help her know we won't hurt her? We usually try just to not make any moves toward her, and just help her to see we won't try to hurt her, but I would love to see her move past this last barrier she has.

Any suggestions?
 

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She sleeps on the bed with you, but won't let you touch her? At all? What have you tried?

Have you tried tempting her with a yummy treat and when she is eating it lightly scratching her on the head? I would try that, and do it a lot until when you pet her on the head while eating her treat she doesn't run away. I would think that would be a first step. But, what do I know, I've never had a formally feral cat!
 

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We've tried the treat thing, but while she'll come very close (if it's on her terms) once we make a move to touch her she runs off. It's very strange.....
 

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Do you try putting the food in your hands? Or as gross as it sounds, rubbing wet food on your fingers so she has to lick it off? Baby steps are always the best way. If you're patient and you keep it up, it might pay off some day. But of course, once she chooses that she doesn't want to be touched, let her be. It has to be on her terms, which you have done very well by recognizing. You're doing great!
 

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I would try feeding her every day in a location where she has to come close to you. You could put her food dish on an end table next to your couch. If you just sit and read or watch tv while she eats, but make no move to touch her, she may begin to feel like it's okay. If you slowly move the food closer and closer to you, as days pass. You may get to a point where your arm is touching the bowl that she is eating out of. Once you get to that point and she seems okay with your arm there you could begin to try to give her a scratch on the head.

You may have to start out pretty far away from you maybe on the floor near the end table and progressively move it closer over a seris of weeks or months.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Forjazz!! We've always let everything be on her terms, so she feels safe. She's so cute and funny, and I see her going up to our other cats all the time for love...so I know she would love it if she would let us shower her with affection! But, like you say, it's best on her terms. We'll keep trying though...I think I will give the wet food on my hands a try.

Thanks!
 
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