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a cat question - 8/6/2021 8:57:41 AM   
loki100


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So ... really looking for advice/re-assurance.

Last March (2020) we got 2 feral rescue kittens. They were rescued from a farm where the cats ran wild, they are not related (the tom was one month older than the queen) but had bonded as a pair. As far as we know she was around 6 weeks old when removed and there was no obvious maternal relationship (or they would have tried to keep that together).

When we got them, we had an older Tom and once things settled down he was a useful role-model and seemed to help them to socialise. He died, and they carried on, they've never been particularly domesticated (never sit on laps) but for some time it seemed like we were making slow progress etc.

Last 6 weeks they seem to have reverted to being feral. Where we live is relatively rural and the better local farmers keep outdoor cats. These can be quite friendly, get fed and so on but never interact domestically. Thats what our pair have reverted to, if they see us, they will accept a stroke, they come in to eat but even in poor weather (and our typical summer can be pretty cold and wet) sleep outside.

So anyone had anything similar? I don't think this is normal just for fit young adult cats (being out is, even going on multi-day tours is), but wondered if there was any reason to think this is just a phase. But, as above, our summers are not dry and warm so its not just them reacting to average weather.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 9:05:36 AM   
ElvisJJonesRambo


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They're cats. What else is there to know, maybe they don't like air conditioner life.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 9:08:17 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ElvisJJonesRambo

They're cats. What else is there to know, maybe they don't like air conditioner life.


you don't need air conditioning if you live where we do

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 9:12:34 AM   
ElvisJJonesRambo


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I've have currently and cats in the past. Everyone one has been a 'tad different'. Everyone has their opinion.

Here's mine:

1) Never de-claw them
2) They get on your nerves or want outside, open the door
3) They want back in the house, let them in.

It's all about the dynamics for me. Can I take the smell and the hair shedding.
Same with dogs.
Same with women.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 10:05:26 AM   
wodin


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Sound like healthy cat behaviour

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 10:15:46 AM   
Freyr Oakenshield


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If they aren't fully domesticated at an early age when they're still kittens, it's hard to do so later when they've become mature. They've developed habits and ways of behaving that are hard to eradicate at that stage. You're lucky they let you stroke them.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 10:31:57 AM   
Zovs


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I don't have much experience with feral cats, all of mine have been pets in and out of the house. But I found this article interesting.

https://blog.udemy.com/feral-cat-behavior/

Don't know if it will help, but its another piece of 'research' to hopefully aid you.

My sister-in-law's husband won't let cats live in the house, they live on a farm and she feeds them, they let her pet them, but they live and sleep outside on the farm. It gets very cold in Michigan, so my brother-in-law who was a contractor, built then a "log cabin" for the winters. Its made out of 6-8 inch diameter logs and is about 4 foot by 2 foot in size and about 3 feet high. He used foam insulation and places for them to sleep and put carpet in it. It has a removable roof and they put water in food in the winter inside. So these 3 cats may be free roamers they don't mind humans petting them for a bit but enjoy their freedom outside and supplements from the human care takers (my brother and sister in law) lol as they hunt mice, moles and birds for meals.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 11:45:29 AM   
RangerJoe


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I got a cat from a shelter that did not want to have any contact with me for 3 months. When she finally relaxed in the home, she was very lovable. After I moved into an apartment, I could open the door and ask if she wanted to " out" which meant the hallway. She always turned around and went into another room, away from the exit.

She used to comfort me and one time when I was laying on my stomach, she walked across my back to my shoulder blades and laid across them to comfort me. She used to do that when she was alive but she had died three weeks before that.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 2:16:49 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Freyr Oakenshield

If they aren't fully domesticated at an early age when they're still kittens, it's hard to do so later when they've become mature. They've developed habits and ways of behaving that are hard to eradicate at that stage. You're lucky they let you stroke them.


thanks for this, its my fear. We have always had cats from rescue centres or even off the street strays but never real feral cats before.

I don't think anyone just with experience of rescue cats understands the difference (hence the less than helpful comments above), we certainly didn't. Our last batch of cats came from a house where they started trying to breed kittens for sale and lost control. So we got 3 toms who had grown up in a house, but were basically human indifferent (they hadn't been mistreated, just ignored). So getting them to accept us was slow but based on a solid foundation.

I think we are stuck with 2 cats that roughly hang around, will tolerate some interaction but have become completely out of doors cats again.

... and so glad you decided not to leave the forum, always like your posts and posting style


quote:

ORIGINAL: Zovs

I don't have much experience with feral cats, all of mine have been pets in and out of the house. But I found this article interesting.

https://blog.udemy.com/feral-cat-behavior/

Don't know if it will help, but its another piece of 'research' to hopefully aid you.

My sister-in-law's husband won't let cats live in the house, they live on a farm and she feeds them, they let her pet them, but they live and sleep outside on the farm. It gets very cold in Michigan, so my brother-in-law who was a contractor, built then a "log cabin" for the winters. Its made out of 6-8 inch diameter logs and is about 4 foot by 2 foot in size and about 3 feet high. He used foam insulation and places for them to sleep and put carpet in it. It has a removable roof and they put water in food in the winter inside. So these 3 cats may be free roamers they don't mind humans petting them for a bit but enjoy their freedom outside and supplements from the human care takers (my brother and sister in law) lol as they hunt mice, moles and birds for meals.


thanks for the link, yes I think we inadvertently have ended up with the type of farm cat that tolerates/expects some interaction.

No idea what to do, we can (just about) trap them, but its a grim process and I'd rather leave it for emergencies. See little point in dragging them in and stopping them going out as that isn't going to shift their attitudes,

Roger

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 2:40:29 PM   
Lobster


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We got two kittens from a feral farm cat. They had reached the point where she would go hunting and leave them to their own devices for hours at a time in a pipe yard behind a warehouse about half a mile from the farm. Took them home, one male, one female. The male passed away last year at 16 years 7 months. The female is 17 years 6 months now. Indoor cats their whole kitty lives. Had five cats at one time. The oldest lived to be 19 years and 8 months. BTW, no one gets declawed. Horribly inhumane pratice.

Read an article last week where U.S. and U.K. differed in indoor/outdoor cat practices. In U.K. the vast majority of cats are routinely let outside. In the U.S. it was almost exactly the opposite where the vast majority are kept inside. Seems to me if you want to domesticate a feral cat it needs to be kept inside for quite some time.

< Message edited by Lobster -- 8/6/2021 2:41:04 PM >


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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 2:53:37 PM   
ElvisJJonesRambo


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Egyptians before the time of Christ (aka BC), adored & worshipped cats. Even mummified them for eternal life. Wonder how they turned out.
When I was in Korea working, there were no cat issues.


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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 6:31:37 PM   
LarryP


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My experience with cats... they are one weird fickle animal. Mine sure is.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 6:39:12 PM   
zakblood


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you never own a cat, they do as they please, when they please is my only understanding of them, what you want, and they want from hour to hour are maybe 2 totally different things, just feed them and give them water and let them do as they please, they will either enjoy your company and stay, or go

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 7:12:30 PM   
Rebel Yell


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Yep, it's their world, you just live in it.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 7:22:36 PM   
LarryP


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel Yell

Yep, it's their world, you just live in it.


Very well said! True.

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RE: a cat question - 8/6/2021 8:48:05 PM   
sPzAbt653


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I've had cats my whole life, I had 11 at one time! Rescues and hand me overs, kittens from one of mine, etc. My opinion, if it's worth anything, there are indoor cats and there are outdoor cats. Getting one to become the other isn't impossible, but it darn near is. I actually had one that was in and out. It wanted to carouse outside at night and spend all day inside lazying around. The point is, you kind of have to let them do what they want, otherwise the outdoor cat will be miserable inside, and the indoor cat will get killed outside.

For a more professional evaluation, look up Jackson Galaxy, the cat behaviorist. He has a show on animal planet and I think he knows what he is doing.

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RE: a cat question - 8/7/2021 1:42:58 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sPzAbt653

I've had cats my whole life, I had 11 at one time! Rescues and hand me overs, kittens from one of mine, etc. My opinion, if it's worth anything, there are indoor cats and there are outdoor cats. Getting one to become the other isn't impossible, but it darn near is. I actually had one that was in and out. It wanted to carouse outside at night and spend all day inside lazying around. The point is, you kind of have to let them do what they want, otherwise the outdoor cat will be miserable inside, and the indoor cat will get killed outside.

For a more professional evaluation, look up Jackson Galaxy, the cat behaviorist. He has a show on animal planet and I think he knows what he is doing.


all of my cats have been a mix of in/out with some fairly extreme in their preferences, equally we've had them shift from outdoors a lot to only going out when its warm as they grow older. We've always set things up so they can choose.

I think the problem here is this pair had started to settle into that sort of mixed routine but something has happened to trigger their early orientation. So all we can do is to try and get them back to some sort of in/out balance or just accept we have 2 basically feral cats who see us/where we live as useful for food and strokes when that is what they want.

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RE: a cat question - 8/7/2021 6:30:56 PM   
Randomizer


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Ours is a rescue feral as well, adopted at five months and now a mature seven-years. He's an indoor/outdoor cat but in the hot,drys summer he spends all of his daylight time outside. We have had him on a dusk to dawn curfew since November last when he came home pretty beat up and cost us some $600 CAD in repairs and drugs. During the rainy season he spends most of his days indoors, is affectionate, likes to be groomed (he's a long hair) and enjoys playing with his many toys. In the summer during daytime he only comes home for meals (more like refuelling than eating), is aloof and shows little interest in being brushed or toys.

I refer to this behaviour as his "wanna be a feral" stage, all of the action of a feral with five meals a day and a soft bed.

Keeping him in at night keeps him safer but it's usually something of a trial. For the first hour or so after dark he runs from window to window, sits by one of the doors mewling loudly and aggressively snipes at my heels when I walk by. Then he settles down and becomes his lap cat self until it's time to wake me up at first light so that he can go back out.

All Cats are different, but I suspect that you may be seeing something similar and would not be too concerned, or at least be any more worried than is normal when they're outside.

-C

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RE: a cat question - 8/7/2021 6:47:56 PM   
RangerJoe


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I have a cat that fights the brush when I try to brush her but she will go up to one to clean her teeth! She does like to be vacuumed and will ask for that.

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RE: a cat question - 9/17/2021 7:16:53 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

Ours is a rescue feral as well, adopted at five months and now a mature seven-years. He's an indoor/outdoor cat but in the hot,drys summer he spends all of his daylight time outside. We have had him on a dusk to dawn curfew since November last when he came home pretty beat up and cost us some $600 CAD in repairs and drugs. During the rainy season he spends most of his days indoors, is affectionate, likes to be groomed (he's a long hair) and enjoys playing with his many toys. In the summer during daytime he only comes home for meals (more like refuelling than eating), is aloof and shows little interest in being brushed or toys.

I refer to this behaviour as his "wanna be a feral" stage, all of the action of a feral with five meals a day and a soft bed.

Keeping him in at night keeps him safer but it's usually something of a trial. For the first hour or so after dark he runs from window to window, sits by one of the doors mewling loudly and aggressively snipes at my heels when I walk by. Then he settles down and becomes his lap cat self until it's time to wake me up at first light so that he can go back out.

All Cats are different, but I suspect that you may be seeing something similar and would not be too concerned, or at least be any more worried than is normal when they're outside.

-C


thanks for this post, it was re-assuring at the time. It also seems to be what has happened, in that they have very recently reverted to a more normal mix of in/out and returned to being fairly interactive with us

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RE: a cat question - 9/17/2021 11:39:59 AM   
arvcran2

 

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Psychiatrics ... just because you are looking at a mammal does not mean they are not affected in the same way humans are.

Trust requires a long time to be earned, and even then, one can trust another's intentions 100%, but one may not be able to trust the relationships of the relation.

Cats live shorter than we do, so they evolve faster. It is a sad thing to loose a cat friend. Feral friends are probably the best kind of friends you could possibly have I imagine. When they bring you nourishment, then you can agree that they value you for something.

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RE: a cat question - 9/17/2021 11:52:32 AM   
arvcran2

 

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From original post:
quote:

So ... really looking for advice/re-assurance.

Last March (2020) we got 2 feral rescue kittens.


By 'feral' which concept are you referring to?

  • cruel
  • excited
  • fatal
  • funereal
  • savage
  • none of the above
  • subliminal phonetic inference: fair-all

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RE: a cat question - 9/17/2021 12:07:10 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: arvcran2

From original post:
quote:

So ... really looking for advice/re-assurance.

Last March (2020) we got 2 feral rescue kittens.


By 'feral' which concept are you referring to?

  • cruel
  • excited
  • fatal
  • funereal
  • savage
  • none of the above
  • subliminal phonetic inference: fair-all



Probably a semi-domesticated animal gone wild animal.

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RE: a cat question - 9/17/2021 12:27:40 PM   
loki100


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oddly I often use language to mean exactly what I want to say

so first post, they were born on a farm (not a well run one) where the cat population lived wild and had no feeding etc. They were rescued and rehomed with us.

By my definition that makes them feral cats, they are not strays, not simply abandoned or ill-treated

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