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74

If she's not satisfied with food/drink it may be that she is actually seeking nothing more than attention. Adult cats don't meow to each other (in cat-world it's only used to communicate between mothers and kittens) so she's definitely trying to say something to you. As to what, well that's a bit harder to be sure on (sadly there's no cat-translator yet) as ...


36

Maybe a better alternative to picking him up and dragging him to the vet is getting him to go into the carrier on his own volition. It's basically what zoos do with animals that can't be handled by humans. The process will take a few days (maybe two weeks) but is rather simple. Put his carrier somewhere where he likes to be every day. Put some yummy treat ...


31

Feral cats tend to stick to specific areas, and may form loose colonies with other local feral cats. These colonies can range in size from a handful to dozens of adult cats, and, in the absence of concerted spay and release efforts, the size of the colonies tend to continue growing. Larger populations of feral cats in neighborhoods can become a real ...


30

The gist of the question is how to infer what a cat is asking for. Generally, I make myself available to the cat. Acknowledge their meow, make eye contact, stand in front of them, and wait for the cat to explain what it wants. That seems to generally work. From experience, cats understand your silent attention as not knowing what to do. Usually, I'll get ...


28

Kittens can be taken from their mother without physical risk to their health as soon as they are weaned, which should be at about six weeks of age. The advice to wait longer is based on the idea that staying with mom and their siblings longer helps them to be better socialized pets. It may reduce behavior problems like play aggression because they learn from ...


26

I have almost no kitten experience, but Alley Cat Allies is the leading advocacy group in feral care. They say in the beginning of their Socialized Cat Guide: Kittens who do not have any contact with humans after they are born will be feral, regardless of whether their mother is a lost house cat or a feral cat living in a colony. They will be ...


26

As a veterinarian I would caution against this. Obviously nobody wants this cat to be in pain, but I do not feel that aspirin will provide much benefit and could actually cause some harm. First, although you seem confident that your cat broke its tooth, I do somewhat question the diagnosis. Unless there is significant trauma leading to the broken tooth, in ...


18

First, my wife and I have experience with 11 feral cats over the past 10 years. I don't intend this as bragging but I know a great deal about feral cats, some of it learned the very hard way. Now, there are three types of cats you encounter outside: Cats whose owners let them roam - that is very dangerous in urban and suburban areas in the US. Brits - I ...


17

Mick's comment is on the right track here. I've experienced similar things, with cats that were arguably even worse off; so I hope my experiences can help you in approaching your problem. For reference: We have two cats who were born in the wild, and lived there until they were 6-7 months old. They lived inside a prison building, which means that they grew ...


14

Feral cats can be domesticated, but that is somewhat dependant on why they're feral in the first place. A cat born wild is likely to stay mostly that way even if it is comfortable with other cats or one human. A cat that is feral because it was "kicked out" or abandoned is more amenable to human contact and can be brought back to comfort with humans as a ...


12

While capturing a cat is relatively easy, keeping it is another thing altogether: There has to be a potential owner available. The animal itself should be relatively tame. The purpose of such programs is to reduce the number of reproductively active animals in the streets, eventually reducing the number of stray animals itself. As far as recapturing an ...


12

Feral cats can be tough. I applaud you for bringing one into your home. I've had a few experiences myself with one and it can be a challenge. However, I think you've got the right approach. In my opinion the most important key here is patience. Letting her set the pace will go a long way in her trusting you. That being said, there are a few things that you ...


12

Feral cats don't meow at people, as a rule. I have cared for some ferals that eventually meowed at me after years of consistent feeding (I have a managed, TNR-ed colony). Your visiting cat has had contact with people at some point. Its shyness indicates that some of that contact has been negative/abusive/scary, or else the cat has been on its own for so ...


11

You have a feral cat which is, basically, a cat that has not been properly socialized to humans. Generally domesticated cats have been socialized to both their fellow cats and humans (and potentially other animals, depending on source) during the earlier kitten stages by being around and handled by humans and that is what allows them to interact in a ...


10

Your Alice is, as John says, basically feral (although not quite, since she clearly sees you as her "provider" (the crying for you to feed her and coming back to your home when she's been outside)). Some things you can consider for her, particularly if she gets on well with Kesha, are: Build her a cat run in your garden. This doesn't have to be ...


10

It sounds like you are on the right path. All the positive reinforcement will help him learn to learn and trust you as well. Don't give up... you will get there. If it feels like you have hit a wall it's probably one of two things. ..or a combination. Either he has figured out the "game" or you went to fast at some point. Either way it will help if you ...


10

What area of the world are you in? Get in contact with a local trap-neuter-release (TNR) program. If nothing like that exists in your area, see if you can at least find a local vet who knows something about feral cats. They will have the right equipment to trap feral cats safely. The cats will still definitely make really awful noises to complain about being ...


9

Most vets offer home visits. Giving cats some sedatives or similar medication to reduce stress is possible. However, dosing is very important and should only be handled by a vet. If your budget allows a home visit, I would definitely suggest that. He will be in his familiar turf while having some potentially unpleasant (for him) interaction with the vet. If ...


9

I was in a similar situation with my 14-year-old cat a few months ago. Because of the pandemic my vet wasn't able to do a house call, but she advised me to try Zylkene to calm her nerves. It is a natural product that reduces stress. It comes in capsules with a powder that you can just sprinkle on top of some wet food. My cat took to it wonderfully and I ...


8

Kittens in the Shelter The ASPCA states Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners. However, I couldn't find statistics about the fate of kittens (versus adult cats). Generally, kittens are considered more adoptable. Adult cats who are found ...


8

Yes! It is absolutely humane! This kitty is very fortunate that he has lived this long. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is only 4 years. After moving him, the first thing you must do is get him neutered. This will help his urge to go "catting around" at night. It will be difficult, and likely noisy (do to the howling when wanting outside), but ...


8

The bites of free-roaming animals like stray cats and dogs are always risky, because these animals may have recently had contact with rodents, vermin and filth. As pointed out by this Wikipedia article about cat bites: Cat bites are usually considered minor injuries but can result in serious infection. Bites from cats develop infections more frequently than ...


7

TL;DR [S]he insists on keeping them locked in her garage of late because kittens can "suddenly become feral" if allowed outside. Your neighbor is technically wrong, but possibly doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. However, without proper socialization of the litter she is likely to end up with a colony of feral cats living in her garage. Human ...


7

I think that the cat has learned that you are a reliable source of food, and so she does not run away from you (as she does with everyone else in your family). However, she does not completely trust you and the fact that she has kittens probably makes her trust you even less. So the hissing is a warning for you to keep your distance. This might diminish over ...


7

To your title: No, its not quite normal. Depends what kind of feral cat it is, really. Feral doesn't equal feral. Cats can be strays but they still have a past, f.e. this one maybe had some positive experiences in their formative months and therefore isn't completely opposed to human contact now. Plus, of course, you seem to be doing a good job :) I would ...


7

I can come up with the following points: Avoid using machines that are too noisy. Cats get easily scared by noise. Give her a nice name and always speak sweetly to her by addressing her by her name. Slowly she will start responding to her name. Try giving most tasty food to cats. Foods is one of the most trust building measures. Never let dogs ...


7

See the related post Can feral cats be moved? it has a lot of detail about moving feral cats. Reading your link blue collar working cat, they have a few words about the initial commitment, but not a lot. I suspect they will tell you more if you reach out to them. In short the first couple to few weeks is going to require more work and responsibility for ...


6

It's sounding to me like the main issue is the clicking of the buckle. So perhaps for the time being, if you can use some paracord to fasten a harness that he can wear, just to get used to having something around his neck/shoulders. Then in the meantime, you could try to get him used to the sound of the buckle clicking together. Keep playing the games you'...


6

It's best to get them to the vet for spay/neuter, FIV/FeLV testing, shots, and general health checkup first thing (this will run $200-500 per cat depending on your local area). You will probably need to buy/rent/borrow a trap to do this. The cats already don't trust you, so you won't be hurting your relationship. After the vet visit, set them up in a small,...


6

It's not a responsible choice from either a pet-owner or ecological point of view. Whether any particular cat survives going feral, and for how long, is a crapshoot. You'd certainly be dumping them into a life of illness, hunger, competition with other cats and the injuries resulting from that, predation by coyotes and hawks and such, and abuse by humans ...


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