Rehabilitating a Stray

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Member Since
Purred: Mon Sep 23, '13 6:02pm PST 
I haven't had a cat for 12 years, I have 2 big Labradors and less than a week ago, I have a cat smile There were 3 ferals I was in the process of trap, neuter, releasing. This one cat, a pretty grey calico I named Olive, was the only one that meowed at me and rubbed on me and let me pick her up. She obviously knew people and someone probably dumped her frown She was spayed on Thursday, they estimated her age to be about 2 and she's adjusting great. She has the run of my bedroom in my tiny house. It has 3 windows and I've ordered a scratching/climbing post for her. She has toys, but she has no idea what toys are for. I ultimately want all inhabitants to coexist in the whole house. My dogs are fine with cats, they have chased them, but only because they run. The problem is that Olive is terrified of dogs. She goes from ragdoll to very feral in half a second when she sees a dog. And of course she does! She lived as a stray! Dogs would be her #1 predator out there. She stays locked in the room to adjust to the smells & sounds of the dogs. I hope it isn't cruel to lock her in the room. She seems content. Uses the litter box like a good kitty, eats and drinks... the dogs are curious and have been very patient. One of my dogs is used to sleeping right next to my bed. Do you think it's possible that she will one day roam the house with the dogs? My ultimate goal: leave all doors open when I am there, but make sure she is shut in with her litter box when I am not. I do NOT even for a second trust my dogs with access to a litter box wink Has anyone had success taking in a stray and ultimately getting along with dogs? Do I need to do anything differently?


I may meow to- you if you're- worthy
Purred: Sun Sep 29, '13 11:04am PST 
I think you have the right idea. It will probably take a long time, as she is instinctually afraid. Maybe take a towel that the dogs have laid on, or rub them with it & set in the room for her to sniff. A Feliway diffuser would prob help, and I do know they make them for pups too. After a while, maybe put Olive in a carrier, and set her in a room with the dog - one at a time. see how that goes. What I really would not do, is let the dogs in the room where she lives. Right now that is "her" space, and I think it would be upsetting for her as that is her safe zone you know? I think this one is going to take time & need alot of patience. I hope it works out - I really do! cheer