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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone I'm new on the forum. My name's Michelle. I'm a kitty caregiver to a number of stray cats in my neighborhood. Most of them are feral. I was able to get one of the cats to come inside and I took him to the Humane Society because he seemed most likely to be adoptable. They had some trouble socializing him but eventually he was adopted.

I love animals in general and my husband says that animals seem to trust me easier than him. I'm thinking that animals seem to know that I only want the best for them and that I won't hurt them.

Hope to meet other cat givers and learn new things along the way.

Michelle
 

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Advice needed please

I look after outdoor cats. Most of them are feral. I have been feeding some of them since they were kittens so they pretty much know me very well.

There is this one cat named Gizmo. I have been feeding him since he was a kitten. It took him a year to actually trust me to pet him and now he just luvs the attention. He even gets along with my dog as my dog just loves cats in general.

The last 2 or 3 weeks I have noticed Gizmo coming into the apartment. I did a mistake and closed the door behind him and that freaked him out. He ran to the door and meowed a lot so I let him out. That hasn't kept him from coming into the apartment but I have been leaving the screen door open enough for him to leave if he gets scared.

With the weather being so cold here in Ohio it's hard to keep the screen door open for too long. So my question is how do I go about making him an inside cat. I don't want to rush into it and freak him out. I have been going by what's he's comfortable with.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Michelle
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I would like to give an update about Gizmo. We can now close both the screen and front door and he's ok with it. He spends a lot of the daytime here with my dog and I. He's stayed all night on few occasions. Just recently he wanted to go out after his breakfast and we didn't see him for at least 3 days. This is not uncommon for him but both my husband and I tend to worry when we don't see him for more than 2 days.

I purchased some cat litter and put him it it a few times. He enjoys being petted but doesn't like being picked up. I just read that I should put dirt and grass shreds in the litter box. I also read that the litter box should be somewhere private. I live in a very small apartment. When I lived at home we always kept the litter box in the bathroom but all my rooms here are too small. At the moment the litter box is in the living room by the door. He spends most of his time in the living room. My other concern is if I put the dirt and grass shreds in the litter box, how do I keep my dog away from it.

Overall both animals get along really well. I have yet to leave the apartment with just Gizmo and my dog Poochie inside because I don't know how Gizmo would react. This is a work in progress and I want to go at a pace that he's comfortable with.

Michelle
 

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I did a little reading and I'll be rearranging the living room to put the litter box a little more private. All I need to do now is make the litter more appealing to him. Gizmo has added more luv to our little family.

Michelle
 

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Dr Elsey's Cat Attract litter is supposed to be a good one - does what it says- attracts the cat. (I use the non-attract Dr Elsey's litter). Is he using the litter box? If so, you don't need to sprinkle dirt on top. If not, the dirt is supposed to give him a familiar scent so to encourage him to use it.

That's great that he is feeling more comfortable around you. Has he been neutered?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He hasn't used the litter box once. He lets me know when he wants to go outside. I am trying to make him an inside cat.

Michelle
 

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I plan to get him a cat carrier and sit it in the living room with the door open so that I can get him used to it b4 making an appointment for the old snip snip =)
 

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This is going to sound bizarre but it can work! If you see where he goes outside, collect some traces of it and put it in the litter box - his own smell will draw him.
 

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Here is another update on Gizmo. He is still letting me know when he wants to go out. The weather last nite and today has been very bad with high winds, rain then switched to snow. Gizmo has been letting me now when he wants to go outside. I can't seem to figure out where he goes to do his business. I do plan tomorrow to get the potting soil and I'll try to get the Dr Elsey's cat attract litter. If that doesn't work I was thinking of grabbing some cat poop from my friend's litter box and place it in the litter. I have the litter in the living room near his food table. I just read that his litter should be at least 15 feet from his food. The only place I can think of putting it is in the kitchen. Today was the first time I left him in the apartment alone when I went to walk my dog. I have been reluctant to leave him inside as I wasn't sure how he would react. When I came home he was just relaxed and just laying in the living room. I then went and left him and my dog alone for about 5 to 10 minutes and when I came back he was not freaked out at all. I trying to do this process as slow as I can. I don't want to rush him and risk freaking him out. He luvs the attention that I give him and it's great that my dog Poochie gets along with him so well. She's very mothering towards Gizmo and he lets her know when he's not in the mood to be bothered. Gizmo is still getting used to my husband. I been teaching him that when he's walking around when Gizmo is laying on the floor to just walk softly until Gizmo gets used to having my husband walking around him. Overall I have to say that I'm really happy about how things are going for Gizmo. My next step is to get a cat carrier and place that in the living room so that he can get used to it so that I can make his first appointment for cat check up and shot and them eventually to get the snip snip. I definitely want to get that done b4 spring time when he'll most likely wanting to go out more. I would like to thank you all for the advice that you have given me. All other cats that I had were still young enough to be trained. I just want him to have a happy and comfortable life.
 

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Ive never had a feral which didnt use a cat box so I dont buy into the idea to use dirt in a box for cats. Cat Attract is an excellent product and Ive had great sucess with it esp with kitten who don't want to stop playing and will crouch right where they are to do their business.

Hats off to you for caring for feral cats. There is a great post on socializing feral cats from Heidi in the Feral Cat section on CF where all the TNR people hang out! Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Kitty Cat Boot Camp
 
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