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During the summer my fiancee, the furkids and I moved into our current apartment. There was a cat hanging out (Sailor Jerry) in the back yard and it took a while for him to warm up to us and he has. Just out of curiosity I often wonder if he is a stray or feral.

  • He will run away from most people (especially men) except me, but like I said, that took a while.
  • He isn't fixed
  • He is like 100% muscle and a big ol' tom cat at that.. now that its winter he put on his layer of fat- immediately- like if he was used to doing it
  • He has no front teeth, just fangs and molars
  • He has a gorgeous coat, and though it gets dirty a lot, he is pretty attentive as far as cleaning himself (unlike most unneutered cats)
  • No one else can touch him but me, again this took a while but now he seeks me out for lovins
  • He hunts decently
  • He used to only come out at night and then the more he warmed up to us the more that he would come around all the time, even sleeping on our patio. Now that its cold out, he is reverting back to only coming around at night
  • He has learned his name and comes when called (My neighbors got a kitten that they had on a leash tied to a pole outside their patio and now it roams the back area, Sailor Jerrys territory. Im not sure if its male or female though the features look masculine, and Im pretty sure its fixed but not positive. It ran into Sailor Jerry while he was relaxing on the patio and of course Jercat (Sailor Jerry's nick name) got mad and chased him. I went out side and Jercat was fighting with it last night and when I called him he stopped and looked at me. I said "C'mon Sailor Jerry lets go eat" and he came trotting over like the other cat had never run into him in the first place)
  • He usually eats like if he was raised with raccoons, dipping his paw into his food and eating it off his pad/toe area. He ate like a regular cat when he first started coming around and it seemed like the more comfy he got with us the more he started eating with his paws.
  • He is really picky as far as cat food goes. It has to be Friskie's and it has to be sea food flavor. He wont touch any other cat food but he will eat hot dogs, the little weenies in the can, fish, tuna, sardines etc. but he wont eat dog food. He'll eat ferret food sometimes..
  • Now that we've spent a significant amount of time together, he will jump into my lap looking for love.
  • When he first came around he and my dog, Tequila, didn't get along at all, and Sailor Jerry seemed to relish in Tequila's anger when I spent time with Sailor Jerry. Now, the only time he and Tequila don't get along is when Sailor Jerry jumps on my lap when I'm sittng on the couch (Tequila's bed- hes a very spoiled chihuahua)
  • He is afraid of my ferrets (Kahlua and Mojito)
  • He doesnt like being in small spaces or being in the house for too long
  • He cries by the door when hes been inside a while and has to go to the bathroom
  • Every morning in the summer I found him asleep on our patio in our lawn furniture but inside the house the only furniture he will go on is the couch (only if i am in it) and the coffee table (only if his food is up there)
  • When he first came around he would only eat after I went inside and left him alone, now I have to sit outside with him or he stops eating.
  • He responds well to communication like if he hears something he will stop eatting and I will tell him its ok and to keep eating and he will start again.
  • He seems more comfortable/at peace outside than inside
  • He is very vocal inside, yet silent outside
  • I have tried to play with him using string, cat toys, toy mice, paper- everything and he always gets scared and runs off. He is more the strong silent type. I think this is why he is afraid of the ferrets, they want to play with him so bad.
I worked in a refuge for feral and stray cats and I met "feral" cats (usually younger ones) who warmed up to me after a while when they didnt with the other employees. The other employees lacked compassion for the animals and the entire place was in such a disgusting shape that I reported them to the ASPCA and PETA when I left, w/o two weeks notice. I cried almost every day I worked there while i sat in my car on lunch due to the state the facility was in. It was just aweful. I think those animals were better off when they were in the street. But that is beside the point. Also, I am pegging his age between 2-4 y/o though I am not sure.. So, I was just curious what you all think.. stray or feral? Age range?


When he first started eating while I was outside, the wet spot by his head is the first can he ate, hes working on can #2


Looking at these pics from when he first came, i'd say hes almost doubled in size since then.




Pretty much as soon as he was done eating he sat kinda off to the side like "look at me, i am gracing you with my presence. Don't touch or I'll run"


The first time he ventured into the house.. he was really nervous.


I tried to closethe door and he got super scared and ran for the door, I kept it open and he sat infront of it looking out like he sometimes sits and looks in


I lost my camera so I dont have any newer pics on it, they are on my phone I am sending them to my email now and will post them asap
 

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He sounds like a feral to me. I guess if he was a stray for long enough he could have gone a little feral (esp. if his previous owners never let him indoors), but most strays that I've rescued tend to be like "OMG, People, HELP ME I'M STARVING!." Where ferals tend to think that all people and confined areas = scarygetaway until someone tames them down.
 

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He sounds like a feral to me. I guess if he was a stray for long enough he could have gone a little feral (esp. if his previous owners never let him indoors), but most strays that I've rescued tend to be like "OMG, People, HELP ME I'M STARVING!." Where ferals tend to think that all people and confined areas = scarygetaway until someone tames them down.

Thank you, thats what I think too. I cant get over how handsome he is, when you see him in real life you really cant help but think how unique he is, he gives off a really different vibe.
He is so well behaved too, even when he was still cautious around me he was always very respectful.
I just wish I knew what I could do about his disinterest in play and about his teeth.
I want to get him to a vet but I know that as much trust as I have gained with him, we are still in fragile stages. So even though I worry for his health I am scared to overwhelm him and make him not trust me. This is also why I don't want to give him a bath, even though the fur around the pads of his feet is like black and nasty. and they reek. Im afraid Ill scare him and he wont come back
 

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I would just keep working on getting him more and more friendly. Older ferals can take a long time and some of them will never be completely tame. It sounds like you've done a great job so far. I would also suggest if you get him to the point of being comfortable inside to keep him in, esp. since he isn't neutered (unneutered males tend to wander), and if something does upset him, he won't be able to take off for good. You may also end up with kittens if an unspayed female shows up, so the sooner you can snip, the better, otherwise you'll have a bigger problem in your neighborhood. ;)
 

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Also, we had a few ferals/strays that literally took years to learn how to play. Sometimes it just takes time and for them to feel safe, which sometimes meant spending more time indoors where they learn it is safer than outside. Maybe it has something to do with hunting to survive vs. expending energy playing.
 

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I would just keep working on getting him more and more friendly. Older ferals can take a long time and some of them will never be completely tame. It sounds like you've done a great job so far. I would also suggest if you get him to the point of being comfortable inside to keep him in, esp. since he isn't neutered (unneutered males tend to wander), and if something does upset him, he won't be able to take off for good. You may also end up with kittens if an unspayed female shows up, so the sooner you can snip, the better, otherwise you'll have a bigger problem in your neighborhood. ;)

I'm not sure if neutering him is a good idea, at least not right now. I heard that if their fixed they wont defend their territory and like I said hes not really fond of the indoors. I dont want him to not have the necessary feisty to defend his land if he decides one day that the house life is not for him. I really think the only reason he is staying inside as long as he has been recently is because of the cold and I'm sure he will revert back to being miserable in the house again once it gets cold. There are a lot of strays in my area and I was really surprised how few there are around my apartment (i lived in apartments less than a mile away that are riddled with strays) so i think he has been holding down his area successfully for a while. Getting him fixed isnt an issue of money, there are places that do it free near me as long as you are a student in the collage near me. I have friends who are that could easily claim him as their own. I just worry that once he goes back to being outside he wont be able or have the desire to protect his property. It would be/ will be different when we get a house but until then I dont know.
 

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Also, we had a few ferals/strays that literally took years to learn how to play. Sometimes it just takes time and for them to feel safe, which sometimes meant spending more time indoors where they learn it is safer than outside. Maybe it has something to do with hunting to survive vs. expending energy playing.

That makes a lot of sence, I feel bad because he watches the others play together and looks so interested but as soon as I or, they, attempt to engage him he runs off. He lashed out a Kahlua once, she has a thing for cats. She finds them facinating but shes so tiny --- when i adopted her she came from an abusive home, not in that they hit her obv because shes a ferret and that would kill her, but they didnt take even mediocre care of her. She is blinder than your average ferret from a life of malnutrition and shes smaller than she should be at her age, when she came home she was near dead- her fur was in bad shape, you could feel every bone in her body and she weezed. It took a lot of time and TLC to get her back to good health) and even though she is fat and happy now she is still tiny and sailor jerry is big so I worry. He used to lash out at Tequila a lot too when Tequila wanted to play. Its been rough getting them all to understand how to act around eachother but we're getting there. He cleans himself infront of us and the furkids my best friend said thats a good sign that hes getting more comfotable. I am hopeful :smiles
 

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Please get him neutered. If you don't, he will wander off, get female cats pregnant which adds to the whole overpopulation of cats and he will get himself hurt in fights trying to defend his property.

He will also start marking and you really don't want that smell anywhere near you or your house.
 

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Please get him neutered. If you don't, he will wander off, get female cats pregnant which adds to the whole overpopulation of cats and he will get himself hurt in fights trying to defend his property.

He will also start marking and you really don't want that smell anywhere near you or your house.
I dont want to argue or anything, but he always stays around here and there arent any females in the immediate area. I've smelt him spray and its god aweful- of course I want to get him fixed, I just worry it isnt the best idea since he likes being outside. He will get a lot more hurt if he doesn't defend himself at all or if he wont mark what is his territory and some other tom does and sees him as a threat.
 

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I don't know how it is with other people's experience but there was a rather big cat colony where on e of my friends lived. However there was one cat who pretty much acted like the one you have. She managed to get him neutered and he seemed to be doing fine. He just stopped being interested about being near any of the other cats once he was fixed. He became friendlier with the people in the building and they all started feeding him. I don't know if his case is a one in a million type chance. Hopefully someone else has known of a similar case. Good luck with your kitty. :)
 

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I don't know how it is with other people's experience but there was a rather big cat colony where on e of my friends lived. However there was one cat who pretty much acted like the one you have. She managed to get him neutered and he seemed to be doing fine. He just stopped being interested about being near any of the other cats once he was fixed. He became friendlier with the people in the building and they all started feeding him. I don't know if his case is a one in a million type chance. Hopefully someone else has known of a similar case. Good luck with your kitty. :)

Thank you! I will think about it, maybe I'll do some research to see if anyone else has had that kind of reaction, I would be so happy to fix him and then I could bring him in with out too much worry of him spraying
 

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You can search if you want. I've wrote my story in the forum before. I live trapped Captain Jack in mid-October. I didn't know whether he was a stray or feral. He was skittish, but polite cat. After trapping, he was kept in my bathroom for about a month before I got him neutered. Then I moved him to a bigger room with a window and transparent doors after neutering. After 2-3 weeks, I let him have the run of the house.

It's only recently..within the last 2 weeks, that he's finally started to play. I thought he didn't know how! But I think it's because he's finally learned that no one is going to eat him here and he's relaxed enough to play.

When I read that Sailor Jerry is pure muscle I had to laugh. Jack's the same way! Maybe all outdoor cats need to be like that to defend their territory.

But yeah, where I am, I'm glad I live trapped him when I did. Not long after the temperatures started to drop and it rained the next day as well. Poor Jack would have been cold and shivering outside. Now he's happily living in my house with his bossy sis Miu and his very own protector dog, Rocky, all warm and fed. It's friggen -20 outside now.
 

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I think the term stray cat is used for cats that are somewhat friendly and just scared and lost outside and wants a home, likely these sort of cats wouldn't take long time to open up to someone. What you seem to have is a semi-feral (used to be owned by someone so has had previous human contact but has reverted to a feral state) or a feral (never owned by someone and little to no human contact). More likely feral, since he isn't neutered.

I've tamed a semi-feral (she was spayed and had unreadable numbers in her ear), and a lot of the characteristics you describe apply (or used to) to my cat.

I wrote a story on my cat: http://www.catforum.com/forum/56-feral-cats/137714-taming-cat-success-story.html

Good luck with your boy! Although I would suggest not feeding tuna (mercury poisoning), or anything but cat food.

Here's a few replies to your comments about your cat, though a fair number of what you list is just your cats personality. Some traits you've listed are of course more common in outdoor or feral cats.

He will run away from most people (especially men) except me, but like I said, that took a while.

This is like my cat. Well, not gender specific, but if she doesn't know someone she won't come near them unless the person is in a trusted enviroment with people she trusts present. A lot of cats and animals in general are gender specific though, either preferring the male or femal sex. Most often in cats this tends to be female from what I've seen - but then this could just be that there are a lot more "cat ladies" than "cat men" (haha, there isn't even a term for men that have lots of cats!) Some or all of this personality could just be from your cat being feral and not trusting humans or having negative past experiences. I consider a cat a lot smarter when they have this mindset.

He has no front teeth, just fangs and molars

Mine has bad teeth as well. You might want to take him to the vet, teeth problems can be very serious and like in people can directly affect the heart.

He hunts decently

My cat is fed well and so doesn't care much for hunting - but sometimes brings lovely little mice inside... I think most cats are decent hunters if you give them half the chance and if they need to hunt to survive.

He usually eats like if he was raised with raccoons, dipping his paw into his food and eating it off his pad/toe area. He ate like a regular cat when he first started coming around and it seemed like the more comfy he got with us the more he started eating with his paws.

This likely just means he is more comfortable around you and feels free to eat how he likes instead of eating like he won't get a second chance later - by the way, I have heard of a cat that lived with raccoons before... lived with them for 12 years!

He is really picky as far as cat food goes. It has to be Friskie's and it has to be sea food flavor. He wont touch any other cat food but he will eat hot dogs, the little weenies in the can, fish, tuna, sardines etc. but he wont eat dog food. He'll eat ferret food sometimes..

My cat is picky too. She hates the gravy chunky kind of food and complains when wet food gets a little old.


When he first came around he and my dog, Tequila, didn't get along at all, and Sailor Jerry seemed to relish in Tequila's anger when I spent time with Sailor Jerry. Now, the only time he and Tequila don't get along is when Sailor Jerry jumps on my lap when I'm sittng on the couch (Tequila's bed- hes a very spoiled chihuahua)


My cat and dog aren't the best of friends. My cat would likely snuggle with the dog but the dog doesn't like it and leaves the bed when my cat comes up.

He doesnt like being in small spaces or being in the house for too long

My cat HATES this, as well.

He cries by the door when hes been inside a while and has to go to the bathroom


Well, if he has to go pee, no wonder! My cat is the same though even if she doesn't have to go to the bathroom. She doesn't like the feel of being trapped anywhere. Although if she's in my room relaxing she doesn't mind if the door is closed on her.

When he first came around he would only eat after I went inside and left him alone, now I have to sit outside with him or he stops eating.

The same with my cat when we fed her outside.


He seems more comfortable/at peace outside than inside

My cat loves being inside - spends most of her time inside in the winter, but heads out as soon as anyone is over that she doesn't like... and won't come in. You might notice this change as the cat get used to living in doors.

I have tried to play with him using string, cat toys, toy mice, paper- everything and he always gets scared and runs off. He is more the strong silent type. I think this is why he is afraid of the ferrets, they want to play with him so bad.

This kind of reminds me of my cat. I gave up playing with her since she isn't often in much of a playful mood, but when I do play with her it lasts five minutes or less before she bolts out of the room and doesn't come back! I don't think she's afraid, just she has so much energy and doesn't know what to do with herself. It's odd. it might have something to do with them not having enough "play" interaction when they were younger.
 

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re the neutering...we had last indoor outdoor neutered; had been a 6 mo old stray. He was very very territorial and stayed that way. Unfortunately he still fought any cat he perceived as muscling his territory, or even crossing it. I don't believe he ever lost a fight, although he was wounded many times. AFter he was neutered, I felt that at least that was one thing he didn't fight about! Have it done.
 

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Stray/feral cat

I take care of a cat colony now numbering eight cats. Most were at one time some one's pets. How can I tell/guess: the number of foreclosures in the condo complex where I live (people move out and leave their cats) and I could pet some of the cats almost as soon as they joined the colony.
Two months ago some volunteers and I TNR (trapped-neutered-returned) seven cats, including one cat I'd not seen before. Of the seven cats we trapped, all were male except one female (kitten). One cat has become more friendly, less standoffish. The cat I'd not seen before has become a regular; he is less food aggressive. The one cat we could not trap is male; I noticed last week he had an absess around his ear that I attribute to his fighting/mating. The way cats get FIV is typically through such wounds; spaying-neutering would lessen the possibibility of this happening. (Plus usually when you get they spayed-neutered, the vets give them all shots and a dewormer.) Also I have just introduced "play" to them. They seem to enjoy it, and lets them know that not only to I feed and shelter them, but I give them something fun to do.
 

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You can search if you want. I've wrote my story in the forum before. I live trapped Captain Jack in mid-October. I didn't know whether he was a stray or feral. He was skittish, but polite cat. After trapping, he was kept in my bathroom for about a month before I got him neutered. Then I moved him to a bigger room with a window and transparent doors after neutering. After 2-3 weeks, I let him have the run of the house.

It's only recently..within the last 2 weeks, that he's finally started to play. I thought he didn't know how! But I think it's because he's finally learned that no one is going to eat him here and he's relaxed enough to play.

When I read that Sailor Jerry is pure muscle I had to laugh. Jack's the same way! Maybe all outdoor cats need to be like that to defend their territory.

But yeah, where I am, I'm glad I live trapped him when I did. Not long after the temperatures started to drop and it rained the next day as well. Poor Jack would have been cold and shivering outside. Now he's happily living in my house with his bossy sis Miu and his very own protector dog, Rocky, all warm and fed. It's friggen -20 outside now.

It broke my heart three days in a row, a day and a half of which it was snowing and Sailor Jerry refused to come inside. The first day that it started snowing he was inside but when he saw the snow he immdiately wanted out, about 3 hours later he came back looking to come in but then he didn't stay too long which made me sad, the two days after that he refused to come in and took his meals outside. I got him a cat house for xmas and sewed him a big pillow/bed thing with a pocket to put a hand warmer in and he wouldn't go inside. I put some of the towels he usually sleeps on inside and I put treats in too and still he slept on the patio chair. :( baby steps I guess. Maybe I did something to make him mad and I didn't realize? Since the snow he has only come in for short periods of time- if at all. I havent made any changes to our schedual/interaction times. . . the only thing i can figure is that freakin kitten... I don't know if its fixed or not and i dont know if its male or female but my neighbors have a kitten that they want to be trained like Jer (they had it on a leash to 'train' it where its yard is.. like for real- we live in an apartment complex-- there is no yard) It has a bell and collar with its name but it wont let me close enough to it. I tried to read it through the sliding glass door the other day and i think its 'cheetah' which doesnt really help me as far as guessing gender. ANYWAY jerry and this cat used to fight like the dickens and now they are like best buddies ever. I have even seen this cat curled up with him on the patio furniture and I'm wondering if he isn't wanting to come inside because he doesn't want to leave that cat alone, they have gotten quite close and he is a sincere boy. I wouldn't put it past him to sacrifice his comfortable warm indoor life to make sure this little kitten doesn't freeze. I would complain to my neighbors about their treatment of the poor little thing but I tried to tell them to keep it away from my dog (it attacks poor Tequila when he tries to go to the bathroom, even scales trees to jump down on him- nails out. He has the scars to prove it) and they acted like they didn't understand me (they're asian. I speak english and spanish and definately not asian, lol) so I was kinda boned and even if they were faking it and understand english (like my fiancee and cousins have been known to do in the past -_-") I'm sure any complaint I made about the kitten would get the same reaction. But off the tangent, maybe pity is why Jerry doesnt want to come in? The kitten tried to fallow him in once but I was worried about ticking off the neighboors and i was worried it would attack the dog (or the ferrets) so I didn't let it in, i tossed it some kitty treats though. It makes me sad, I wish i could do something
 

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I think the term stray cat is used for cats that are somewhat friendly and just scared and lost outside and wants a home, likely these sort of cats wouldn't take long time to open up to someone. What you seem to have is a semi-feral (used to be owned by someone so has had previous human contact but has reverted to a feral state) or a feral (never owned by someone and little to no human contact). More likely feral, since he isn't neutered.

I've tamed a semi-feral (she was spayed and had unreadable numbers in her ear), and a lot of the characteristics you describe apply (or used to) to my cat.

I wrote a story on my cat: http://www.catforum.com/forum/56-feral-cats/137714-taming-cat-success-story.html

Good luck with your boy! Although I would suggest not feeding tuna (mercury poisoning), or anything but cat food.

Here's a few replies to your comments about your cat, though a fair number of what you list is just your cats personality. Some traits you've listed are of course more common in outdoor or feral cats.

He will run away from most people (especially men) except me, but like I said, that took a while.

This is like my cat. Well, not gender specific, but if she doesn't know someone she won't come near them unless the person is in a trusted enviroment with people she trusts present. A lot of cats and animals in general are gender specific though, either preferring the male or femal sex. Most often in cats this tends to be female from what I've seen - but then this could just be that there are a lot more "cat ladies" than "cat men" (haha, there isn't even a term for men that have lots of cats!) Some or all of this personality could just be from your cat being feral and not trusting humans or having negative past experiences. I consider a cat a lot smarter when they have this mindset.

He has no front teeth, just fangs and molars

Mine has bad teeth as well. You might want to take him to the vet, teeth problems can be very serious and like in people can directly affect the heart.

He hunts decently

My cat is fed well and so doesn't care much for hunting - but sometimes brings lovely little mice inside... I think most cats are decent hunters if you give them half the chance and if they need to hunt to survive.

He usually eats like if he was raised with raccoons, dipping his paw into his food and eating it off his pad/toe area. He ate like a regular cat when he first started coming around and it seemed like the more comfy he got with us the more he started eating with his paws.

This likely just means he is more comfortable around you and feels free to eat how he likes instead of eating like he won't get a second chance later - by the way, I have heard of a cat that lived with raccoons before... lived with them for 12 years!

He is really picky as far as cat food goes. It has to be Friskie's and it has to be sea food flavor. He wont touch any other cat food but he will eat hot dogs, the little weenies in the can, fish, tuna, sardines etc. but he wont eat dog food. He'll eat ferret food sometimes..

My cat is picky too. She hates the gravy chunky kind of food and complains when wet food gets a little old.


When he first came around he and my dog, Tequila, didn't get along at all, and Sailor Jerry seemed to relish in Tequila's anger when I spent time with Sailor Jerry. Now, the only time he and Tequila don't get along is when Sailor Jerry jumps on my lap when I'm sittng on the couch (Tequila's bed- hes a very spoiled chihuahua)


My cat and dog aren't the best of friends. My cat would likely snuggle with the dog but the dog doesn't like it and leaves the bed when my cat comes up.

He doesnt like being in small spaces or being in the house for too long

My cat HATES this, as well.

He cries by the door when hes been inside a while and has to go to the bathroom


Well, if he has to go pee, no wonder! My cat is the same though even if she doesn't have to go to the bathroom. She doesn't like the feel of being trapped anywhere. Although if she's in my room relaxing she doesn't mind if the door is closed on her.

When he first came around he would only eat after I went inside and left him alone, now I have to sit outside with him or he stops eating.

The same with my cat when we fed her outside.


He seems more comfortable/at peace outside than inside

My cat loves being inside - spends most of her time inside in the winter, but heads out as soon as anyone is over that she doesn't like... and won't come in. You might notice this change as the cat get used to living in doors.

I have tried to play with him using string, cat toys, toy mice, paper- everything and he always gets scared and runs off. He is more the strong silent type. I think this is why he is afraid of the ferrets, they want to play with him so bad.

This kind of reminds me of my cat. I gave up playing with her since she isn't often in much of a playful mood, but when I do play with her it lasts five minutes or less before she bolts out of the room and doesn't come back! I don't think she's afraid, just she has so much energy and doesn't know what to do with herself. It's odd. it might have something to do with them not having enough "play" interaction when they were younger.
Thank you for typing all that out, I will read your story soon :] I think Sailor Jerry hunts for sport more than anything else, he is super well fed. I don't give him too much tuna just every once in a while. Thank you thank you for all your info!
 

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It sounds like to me that this cat was once someones cat but has been outside and learned to survive. I dont consider that a feral cat. I would consider it a semi feral. Its imparative you get this cat neutered asap and vaccinated. A semi feral can be tamed.

I hope you will provide a warm place for him to get thru the winter in. There are stickies at the top of the page on how to construct a winter shelter for a feral/semi feral outdoor cat.

One of the first cats I TNRed was a semi feral. It took us 4 years to bring him around. He started by coming in for short visits with the indoor cats. We alwasy let him out when he wanted. He learned to trust us. Then we began by touching him and talking to him to get him comfortable with us. I took him in to be Felv/Fiv tested before letting him interact with our indoor cats.

4 years later he is now a 95% indoor cat and sleeps on my sisters bed each night. He is the alpha in the house. Accepts most cats.
 

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It sounds like to me that this cat was once someones cat but has been outside and learned to survive. I dont consider that a feral cat. I would consider it a semi feral. Its imparative you get this cat neutered asap and vaccinated. A semi feral can be tamed.

I hope you will provide a warm place for him to get thru the winter in. There are stickies at the top of the page on how to construct a winter shelter for a feral/semi feral outdoor cat.

One of the first cats I TNRed was a semi feral. It took us 4 years to bring him around. He started by coming in for short visits with the indoor cats. We alwasy let him out when he wanted. He learned to trust us. Then we began by touching him and talking to him to get him comfortable with us. I took him in to be Felv/Fiv tested before letting him interact with our indoor cats.

4 years later he is now a 95% indoor cat and sleeps on my sisters bed each night. He is the alpha in the house. Accepts most cats.
I got him a kitty house and even made him a pillow with a pocket to put hand warmers in and I was replacing them frequently so they stay warm but he doesnt like small spaces and he doesnt like the box. :(
As far as T-N-R.. I am pretty new to this whole cat thing and from what I understand it sounds like people are forcing strays and ferals to stay inside, i understand this is done for their own good but that makes for an angry cat, right? I have a one bed room apartment, my other pets are a chihuahua and 2 ferrets. Two ferrets who need 4-6 hours of play time. I don't know if you've ever met any ferrets but they really like to play, a lot. And my two, especially my small female- She was adopted before we even got the apartment and I had to nurse her back to health. She was nearly dead when she came to me and due to living 2.5 years in a neglectful home where she was malnurished before I got her, she will never be the size/have the strength of/have the eyesight of a normal ferret- no matter what I do, the vet was surprised I got her as healthy as she is now. She has a thing, however, for cats and Sailor Jerry is scared to death of both ferrets, which ends in swatting. Kahlua, my female, is usually the target and although she's mostly blind and usually pretty slow (unless she is super excited for some random reasons, she has her days as we all do) Jerry has only ever hit her once and it scared me so I brought him back outside. Now he swats at her and gets almost too close for comfort, though he hasnt hit her since. Now.. if I force him to stay inside, he will be mad and mad kitty who wants to go outside will probably not care if he does something to scare the crap out of me, so mad kitty will probably hit poor Kahlua who just wants to play, full force.
My best friend's cat is fine with her three ferrets, and even Kahlua, that cat was a feral (born and partly raised in the colony that lives behind her old house) and my friend brought her inside when she was about 6 months. And if she does get annoyed with them, she saunters off and hides- not attacks. I asked my friend how she accomplished this feat and she said that her cat just kinda took to the ferrets. Jerry isn't taking to my babies at all and it is throwing a giant wrench in the works...
Like I said, he is welcome to come and go whenever he wants. I hear him and I open the door. He is happy this way and doesnt hurt anyone, I don't trust him to stay that calm if he is scared and angry and I feel as though it would defeat the entire "learning that my home is a happy, good, safe place" experience.. not that anyone would EVER hurt him but, like I said- I dont know if youve ever met a ferret but with other animals they play using their teeth. I dont think that would make him feel safe. :\
 
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