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Discussion Starter #1
Last August we noticed a new stray cat in our forest. We set up trail cameras to watch her at night. By Sept. she was pregnant so we fed her in the forest until Nov. while she nursed her babies. When the weather got cold she brought her 3 babies into our hay shed where we live-trapped them. Our vet took good care of them and they have all been adopted out. We finally trapped the mother, Allee about 5 weeks and brought her into the house. She is a beautiful grey tabby about 9 months old and in good health.
Our problem is that after a month of trying to get her to accept us she still cowers away and goes into a limp state whenever we are near. She shows no signs of aggression and purrs when we handle her but as soon as we put her down she just lies in one spot motionless.
At night in her large pen she is very active and plays by herself. She eats well and uses the poddy ok and has no health issues. For a cat that has shown such bravery and fearlessness in the wilds and raised 3 lovely kittens she certainly is very timid.
We have rescued 14 cats over the years and placed them in wonderful forever homes but Allee is a real challenge.
Does anyone have any suggestions how we can get her to show an interest in life?? She seems so depressed! We carry her on tours of the house and sing and talk to her and she seems very interested but once we put her in a spot she just shuts down. Thank you.
 

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It took longer than a month for my female ferals. My males were quick. I used calming pheramones(plug-in and a spray) and I got Zylkene off Amazon. I used the large dog dose for our 10lb kitten. It's all natural, so it isn't possible to overdose and very easy to mix into wet food. Sit with her while she eats and only give pets and cuddles if she comes to ask for it. I would sit and read or crochet next to mine for hours. Reducing stress is key. The cat dancer toys really helped too.

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I agree with @FluffyLove in regards to doing things like sitting and reading with or to her, maybe put her on your lap/besides you while watching TV and other things you do naturally to get her used to things. Don't make it obvious in regards to what you're attempting to do if that makes sense. She may sense that you're slightly stressed/frustrated over the fact she's not reacting the way you want. If there's a particular spot she likes to stay put in try sticking a blanket or bed there for her to lay on. Allee may be more of a challenge now but she'll be worth it when she comes around no matter how long it takes. According to your post it's only been a little over a mo.
 

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I wonder if she's missing her kittens. There was a young cat at my local shelter who had given birth recently and her kittens had all found homes. She also seemed depressed. I brought her home for a few weeks, and she perked up while she was with the 2- to 3-month-old kittens I was fostering at the time. She has since found a home herself.

Not sure how this will help you and Allee, unless you can find another cat or kitten(s) to keep her company.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your posts. We have 3 rescue cats of our own that we brought in over the past 8 years but they are not very welcoming of Allee (or each other!) as they are territorial. Allee will be spayed on Tuesday so maybe that will help. She is still so shy and fearful but strangely she purrs all the time and cuddles with us. When she is alone in her large pen she is very active but with us she just stays put wherever we put her by the window. As soon as leave the room during the day though she runs all over the bedroom and plays. We tried the pheronomes and the cat chaser toy but so far no effect. Here is a photo of her - she is sooooo sweet!
 

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She sure is a pretty girl. As others here have suggested, maybe she just needs more time to adjust. She was very young when she had her kittens, and who knows what she experienced before that. I've had mostly male cats, so I'm not sure how spaying affects a female cat's personality.
 
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