I found this website while looking for information on feral cats. I've been a cat owner for most of my life and feel I understand cats pretty well, but ferals are a whole new ball game for me.
I'm living and working in South Korea, and I'd been feeding a feral cat for over a year here. However, recently I have 'adopted' her after trapping her and realizing she'd already been fixed. Not sure if it was a previous TNR operation or if she was a domestic cat once. I've named her 'Myulchee'.
The vets treated her badly. They let her escape from the cage and then it took four guys to control her, and they taped up her legs. Now it seems she hates humans. She's at my home now, mostly spends time on the covered balcony/veranda but she's eating well. She's extremely shy and hides almost all the time, and is still adjusting... so the saga begins. Not sure how it will end...
Hoping to find advice and info here and maybe offer some of my own as well to future cat owners thinking of trying to adopt a feral.
Interesting story. I really hope Myulchee adjusts well and eventually opens up. Does the name mean anything by the way? As a Korean myself, I tried figuring it out to no avail... but that's not surprising considering how limited my Korean is.
Thank you for taking her in and taking care of her. I never heard of a vet resorting to such drastic measures. It was cruel. She needs time to get over that trauma and learn to trust you. It might take a year, but I bet she will. Let her warm up to you on her terms; never force anything. Lots of good food and treats; perhaps some toys will help.
I'm trying to remember the movie, "Horse Whisperer"...seems that it involved a very skittish horse that no one could handle? and the whisperer used some tactics to gain trust? Maybe someone can help out here. I know it was just a movie and maybe was not based on a real life story but the idea could be the same. You have to find the key, have patience with the animal, and take it one step at a time. i think food is a good method of beginning that bond.
I know once when I was about 10, they bulldozed an old farm near our neighborhood. It was known to have dogs and some were very wild back in the fifties. The older ones probably ran off or got killed on the highway. One day I was looking at the farmhouse after it was torn down and trees uprooted and saw a young dog in the distance. He wouldn't let me get near him and the next day and next I brought food with me and set it out where he saw me put it. Then he let me touch him and finally we lay down under one of the fallen large trees to shelter from the spring cold wind. We stayed together most of the afternoon...same time the next day there was no dog...never saw him again. I wanted to bring him home but my folks said he was one of Bowman's wild dogs and he would never take to living in our house.
My most excellent cat Mr Clyde's was a feral kitten and we had a wonderful 17 years together. You just need a lot of patience. I found just talking to them helps. Let the cat set the tone. He or she will come around in time. Good luck to you and your new buddy.