Falling for a Half Tame Feral

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Purred: Wed Jul 24, '13 11:13am PST 
I have happy progress and wouldn't mind a bit of advice if anyone any that can give me some options.

When I bought my house three years ago, I didn't imagine I'd be finding so many cats! Rumor has it that a lady who lives in the roads behind our neighborhood is hoarding cats after she lost her son two years ago. Last year, I found one litter of ferals that I acclimated as much as I could and rehomed. This year I've caught one, and my SO is petitioning that we keep her for many reasons.

The ferals last year I caught by hand because I was in a rush to get them taken care of. But they never fully trusted me and have done much better with their new owners. When we saw a tiny kitten a street over, I decided to try a more hands off approach and set a live trap. I wasn't terribly optimistic, but it worked after two days, and I brought the skinny, dull little kitten in to one of my foster crates.

It was just so irritating because I had already agreed to foster a whole litter for the rescue that has let me use their vet for the other cats I found. I had them on two different floors to try to avoid the risk of any transmissions and went hands off for a few days, just providing food. Three days later, she was starting to meow. A day after that, she was meowing and rubbing her head on the bars. And after less than a week, I managed to scritch her on her head and she was so desperate for touch and reassurance that she was practically falling over in my hand.

We don't know what happened to her mother. We never saw a strange cat in the neighborhood leading up to it. But when my SO saw her before we went on vacation, she was trying to hunt for herself at five weeks old. When I got back, a neighbor had been feeding her food but she was still trying to hunt lizards. She was totally on her own and starving.

Being with the foster litter and the mom has really helped, I think, and I hope she doesn't have any lingering socialization issues. They know she's not their sibling, but they do all play, and the mom especially likes to play with her and sometimes groom her.

I was still ready to go through the same motions of getting her ready for adoption as previous years when my SO started taking a specific interest in her. She got her name, Leeloo, and there was talk of keeping her. I think what really put the nail in the coffin is when she got loose in the car when she went to get her snap test. She freaked out, jamming herself under my car's front power seat and tangled herself in the bars and wires. My SO was nearly having a panic attack looking under the seat for her before I pushed her out of the way to get a good look and saw that she'd strangled herself unconscious. I was able to unwedge her head and get her neck off one of the bars and then slide her limp limbs out with no harm.

It was like my SO had survived Speed and had formed a need to protect Leeloo. So here I am. Trying to figure out how to make a properly integrated household.

I hadn't planned on getting any more cats until Tai and Kisa were gone, if at all. My SO has pretty intense cat allergies. She's ok with two cats, and just deals when there are fosters in the house, but three pushes it.

More than that, Kisa especially has never appreciated the helping out of stray or rescued kitties. She's attacked other female cats before, or has gotten herself attacked because she can never put a sock in her constant growling when another cat is around other than Tai. She tolerates kittens in a way, but still doesn't want then near her. I've tried treating, feliway, rescue remedy, associating, slow introductions. Nothing seems to turn off her great big B switch. She's on some calming treats she takes once a day now that seem to help. Moving her food bowl tends to get her to not eat. I'm going to try all of that, but if anyone knows any additional acclimating assists, I'd be happy to hear them.

As long as I can get them to tolerate one another, this little girl has a home.


Knead softly &- carry a big purr
Purred: Fri Aug 30, '13 2:56pm PST 
I am late to this party, but I wondered how Leeloo was doing. I hope things have worked out. I had to stop myself at 4, but there is another feral outside that is soo sweet that I TNR'd boy would I like to invite him in, but my Tig would flip a gasket, a he had a hard time with Felix. All is good though. I hope all worked out for you.