Cat Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Briefly, Lucky was a feral from a dumpster colony given to us by a tnr team member. 6 mos old. neutered now/shots given. Socialized to the point of loves to be petted, comes when called, rubs us, and tolerates being picked up, seeming to enjoy being on my shoulder looking out the patio/front door. we love him to pieces. But I've never had a true feral before.
Funny thing is he doesn't seem want to be on anything that belongs to us. Not the couch, not our clothes, not the table nor counters (not complaining here), not our bed. (He will get on the couch in the living room where almost no one ever sits, and he will get in the guest room chair & sleep/look out the window) He has one cat bed he will get in which I put him in after we got him home. He was so filthy with poo/pee I washed him, dried him & put him in this catbed in a small bathroom with dishpan of litter, food/water for a couple of weeks. (Found out later I did the right thing, just by dumb luck!) This bed he loves, and I have it infront of the patio door so he can wash, nap, get some sunshine & look out.(another funny thing, he doesn't want to go out. Backs up when you open a door) But as winter comes on, I wanted him to have a warm place in our bedroom as well cause at night he follows me into the bedroom & sleeps on the floor up against the wall there, sometimes out in the middle of the room at the foot of the bed. So I bought a catbed very close looking to the one he likes. Will grab toys out of it, or even eat a piece of catnip out of it, but won't go in or lay down in it. I even tried taking the cushion out of "his" bed & putting it in, using the lint brush on the new one whch I use on "his". No deal. Somehow I keep thinking because of his behavior re our stuff that he thinks the new bed is ours! Is this a feral trait? Is there anything I can do to get over this hump???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,309 Posts
I've never had a feral cat, just a stray or purebreds. It would seem to me that he learned his lesson when he was feral that another cat's scent meant it wasn't his property, whether it was a favourite sitting area or piece of material. He may have got attacked for sitting on another cat's "property". So it could be a carryover of learning to avoid something with another scent---a survival behaviour if you like. The fact that he likes his own bed seems to speak to that. I wouldn't worry about it or try to force him to sit where he doesn't want. Perhaps as he grows older, he'll feel more comfortable and confident in mixing scents when nothing bad happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Cats are picky creatures so I never know what they like until I spend the money and show it to them. A new bed, toy, food, etc. Sometimes it just takes a while before they will start playing with a toy or sleep in a new bed. Be patient, keep it where your cat likes to hang out and you may be surprised one day to find him sitting in his new bed in the future. It took my cat about 5 months before she would go on the treehouse that had scents of my other cats on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both. I guess patience is the key. He really is a sweetheart; considering his background, he's done really well. A friend used to have a pet skunk, and said skunks don't like to be on anything. Maybe he was raised by skunks! He is black with a small white triangle on his chest. Guess he could have blended in! But probably as suggested, he may have had a bad experience with being on some other cat's place to be. He was only 6 mos old when we got him. At first, even when he began to venture out of his box and come near us, he would lay hunched down with his front feet curled back, laying as low as possible, with only his neck sticking up. At first I thought he might have some deformity or other physical problem. He's come a long way agreeing to our terms, guess we should just let him do some things on his terms. He's only been with us @ 7 months now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
Hey, as you said, don't complain about him not getting on counters and stuff! LOL

Nebbie was not a feral, but got surrendered to the rescue group I volunteer for. I was going to just foster her, but ended up adopting her (not that I don't like her, mind you!). I sometimes wonder if her other family taught her not to go certain places. She won't enter the bathroom or the kitchen. She'll follow me around, until at the doorway of those places and stop in her tracks... kinda like a witch and salt! (or is it vampire and salt? whatever).
She does get up with the TV (I finally got a new flat screen, to replace the old "box" type, so now I''m afraid she'll tip it over) and on the nightstand. The latter I really have no problem with, as I keep my drink in a sport bottle that can't spill, and my alarm clock will still ring if it ends up on the floor ;)

Oh, and she likes to sleep on my dresser... especially when I toss dirty laundry there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Can Lucky read?

Just a follow-up: :kittyturnMaybe he is reading my posts when I'm gone, because a few days after I posted all this, he began getting up on our bed, during the day after it is made & I am at work, and napping on my side of the bed up by the pillow. Then, a few days later, he followed up by getting in his new bed at night when he follows me into the bedroom, instead of sleeping against the wall. I have also lured him up onto our fam rm couch with me (not on me) to eat catnip, which I had tried & tried in vain before. He'll even stay there & let me pet & scratch him for a while. Soon we are going to add my husband-on-the-couch to the equation, as that seems to spook him now, even tho he seems otherwise comfortable around him. If you are reading this, Lucky, now you know what the next step is!
So thanks, patience was the key, and I really didn't need even need much of it at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Ferals take a lot longer to adapt into new situations. It's all extremely unfamiliar to him. Youve been saying it right all along. Just give him his space, let him go at his own pace but continue the positive encouragement. Never try to force him. Somethings he may never like.

My cat was a barn cat and it took her over 4 months to use the little bed I got her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Aww that is progress Lucky, way to go, you are making mommy and daddy very happy! (in case you are reading this! lol).

I think my cat Oreo who I rescued from the streets was too friendly to be a feral but does not like to be held at all. However, it did take her a long time before she would sleep on my bed. Lately I have been finding her on my side of the bed before I go to sleep. I will get in the bed and lie next to her and attempt to cuddle but as I start petting her or try to hold her next to me, she jumps off. But she does stay longer each time and then in the middle of the night I will feel her sleeping next to me by my legs or feet. I love having her on the bed with me, just wish she would cuddle next to me while I hold her. That is what my previous cat did but I guess it just takes time.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,855 Posts
Great progress! It takes a lot longer for feral/semi-feral cats to open up and trust people sometimes. Who knows what experiences they've previously had with people. Them being willing to sleep on the bed with you, or sit on your lap can take a lot of work. Some cats, even if they aren't from a feral background, always have more of a stand-offish approach.

Keep working at it though, sometimes they just need persistent positive reinforcement that they can snuggle with you... I type this as my once semi-feral is snuggled up on my lap in a ball sleeping - like she always does. It just took a few years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Congratulations! It sounds like it is going very well. One of my girls was rescued from the big bad world outside, and though she wasn't feral it took her months to get up on any furniture or sleep in a cat bed. She slept in a corner on the cold kitchen floor, it drove me crazy, but like you with Lucky, I just let her adjust in her own time, and now she owns the house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just had to update this.
Just last week Lucky suddenly began getting on the couch with us, between us, just to get pets & brushes & take his nap. No lures of catnip needed. Does it frequently! And stays there! Just before he started it, we had been gone overnight, and I always think he seems friendlier whenever he's been left overnight. Hmmm.
Also, couple days after we got home, my daughter & son-in-law were over & he came out from under the bed in short order, watching from bedroom door, & came to my daughter who just happened to be holding a piece of chicken toward him. lol. Then, the amazing part is he came to my son-in-law, who had NO chicken, put front paws on his chair and gave him a good once-over, then let him pet & scratch him several times, and actually rolled over in front of him! (They have several cats, and daughter calls son-in-law cat whisperer).
Still no lap-sitting or getting on bed when we're in it, but there's always tomorrow, right?
 

Attachments

1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top