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Domesticating stray kittens?

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Posts

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Okay folks, I'm fixing the no photos on this page problem.
    Today I took another step without consulting the interweb: when he came out of his hole and was more-or-less allowing patting, i scruffed him, put him in my lap, and lavished affection upon him. He freaked out and hissed for about three minutes but then started liking it against his better judgment. I spent a few hours in there feeding him in my lap. Eventually also picked him up and walked around with him a bit, he did not seem to mind, so after a while I showed him around my house. I was going to just take him back to the laundry but he was being pretty well-behaved so I have hands-offed him in my study. I let go of him on my desk, he went behind one of my monitors and is sitting there sounding discontented. Maybe a bit soon after all.

    On the other hand here are a bunch of cute pictures.

    Here he is purring with his head on my arm.

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    Here I am showing him the miracle of the mirror. Mirrors are good for sniffing apparently.
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    Here he is being like holy shit where am I.
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    And here he is 30 second before I started this post.
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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Aww it went onto the next page anyway, nuts.

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  • TayaTaya Happy ___ Day Registered User regular
    That's good progress. He looks alert but not scared in the pics of him in your arms.

    tayatagi.gif
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
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    i think he quite likes the heater

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    Hidden kitten <3

    Also /hi5 Ye Old Style buddy

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
    Dear Satan...
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Everything was pretty much fine until my girlfriend came home and I was silly enough to try to introduce them. Two people is apparently a bit much right now. Oscar took it upon himself to piss all over my pants while I was wearing them, so I took him back to the laundry. Upside:
    -they were uniquely unimportant pants
    -cat piss actually doesn't smell any worse than regular piss, I guess when they spray it's something different (which I think I had heard anyway)
    -this was just an unfortunate end to a day full of snugglin' and niceness.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    LaCabra wrote: »
    -cat piss actually doesn't smell any worse than regular piss, I guess when they spray it's something different (which I think I had heard anyway)

    Wrong. So very, very wrong. It might not have smelled right away, but if that sat on your pants for a bit you'd sure smell it. For example, you don't want him taking a pee on your carpet anywhere. You won't know until it's too late. Cat piss is very hard to get rid of.

    daniant wrote:
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  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    He LIKES you! You still have a ways to go to get him fully socialized with other people, but with that cute bundle of fur purring in your lap, you've basically done it. So happy for the little cute kitty.

    Before following any advice, opinions, or thoughts I may have expressed in the above post, I feel I should warn you: I found Keven Costners "Waterworld" to be a very entertaining film.
  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Both of my cats are pretty skittish when new people come around. One will insist on hiding under the bed until about an hour after everyone leaves. Then she'll preceed to cuddle with me for a while as if she's saying, "I'm sorry mom, please don't stop loving me!"

    Both cats eventually got used to my parents visiting though. Mostly because they know a parent visit= the GOOD treats.

    Oh yeah, also, don't stress too much about the cat acting all scared when it first came to your study. Cats get REALLY attached to places/territory, and it can take them a bit to get used to a new place/area.

    Lovely on
    steam_sig.png
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    There is always the chance he simply won't be a snuggler ever. We have two cats, Oreo and Hydrox (Droxie to his friends). Oreo has always been a lap cat...he's a very odd cat with strangers but for the three of us he's probably too loving. Droxie has always been more standoffish - its only in his old age (he's 10 now I think) that he comes up to sit with a person, be patted and purrs a bit. He's still not one to be picked up or snuggle much - and is more likely to sit next to you than actually on you. Oreo was caught as a feral kitten in a have-a-heart trap, Droxie was a shelter kitten.

    For reference:

    Oreo
    Spoiler:

    Droxie
    Spoiler:

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  • MyDcmbrMyDcmbr Registered User regular
    OMG.

    Oreo is adorable!

    Steam
    So we get stiff once in a while. So we have a little fun. What’s wrong with that? This is a free country, isn’t it? I can take my panda any place I want to. And if I wanna buy it a drink, that’s my business.
  • HotandnerdyHotandnerdy Registered User
    They are SO cute!!

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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Daww he is adorable clinging to your arm like that. Peeing incident aside I would consider him 80% tamed, at least with you. Don't let your guard down though, if there is a crack in a door or window, he will bolt. Even most completely tamed cats will do that. But unlike most pet cats I doubt Oscar is at the point where he would beg to come back inside.

    Next time you hold him start to gently check him for fleas. With his mostly white coat they wont be hard to find if he has them. When you check the price on neutering also ask about vaccinations and de-worming. There are over the counter de-worming products, but since he has been living off god knows what in the wild plus his most likely stray mother would also have transferred her parasites means he might have lots of different kinds. Some of which might need something stronger to get rid of.

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Noted! I just now went in and fed him for the first time since the incident yesterday. I don't know if it's generally considered to be a good idea or not but I closed off the hidey hole he had down the side of the washing machine with boxes and a blanket on top, so now he sits at a much easier height to interact with and feed. He still hisses a bit when I come in, and acts like it's a big deal when I start patting him with the stick, but only for 30 seconds or so, and only 30 seconds after that I was patting him with my hand while he ate from the bowl I held out in front of him. He hissed at me a few more times when I made sudden movements or anything, but he hasn't done any swiping or anything so it seems more like he's just being super cautious than he thinks I'm going to try anything.

    Also, soooo soooofffft.

    Also, it seems like the more relaxed he is the smaller his pupils are, and when he's scared they're bigger. Is this a thing? Like it seems to me that it goes
    comfy
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    cautiously curious
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    scared shitless
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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    Yeah, big black eyes are a red alert thing. Can mean fear, aggression, playful or aroused. Once he is a happy kitty completely comfortable in your home you will see it a lot when he is playing stalk the prey.

    Izuela.png
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I might be about to upload a ten minute video of Oscar confronting a slightly out-of-reach meal. As source material for the advice you guys are giving.

    Also for the daww.

    LaCabra on
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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Awwww maaaaan there was no space left on my phone so it didn't save the video. Huge sigh.

    I put his bowl on top of the washing machine. The video was him repeatedly climbing up on there, eating some food, and then someone would make a noise in the kitchen or he'd see someone through the window and jump down again, survey the scene, and jump up again. He did this like ten times, it was super cute. He also ate a couple handfuls out of my ungloved hand today, which totally tickles.

    Consolation prize: video of Oscar just being super cute for three minutes.

    soundtrack: whatever crap was on the radio

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  • EchoEcho staring is caring Moderator mod
    Yeah, big eyes = more light into eyes in order to spot movement. It's an "I'm on high alert" thing, but like said, it can be while playful as well as scared.

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Oh yeah he did it tonight while clearly being playful. I was petting him with the glove-on-stick-thing and he decided to nuzzle it and then just flop over onto his side and bat it around with his paws. Hnnnng.

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Hopefully there's no statute of limitations on that "never too many kitten photos" ruling because czech it out
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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    some cats just don't like to be watched while eating. our ma Sigmund will only eat if no one else is in the room and will run away if you walk in on him eating. he is also kind of skittish with noises. so just because he spooks easily doesn't really absolutely mean he is scared, it could just be his personality

    nice work and way to be persistant. i personally thought you wouldn't get this far with him :^: good job. (get him neutered)

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  • EchoEcho staring is caring Moderator mod
    mts wrote: »
    some cats just don't like to be watched while eating. our ma Sigmund will only eat if no one else is in the room and will run away if you walk in on him eating.

    My cat often insists on me keeping her company so she can start eating. She wants me to watch for bugbears or something.

  • TayaTaya Happy ___ Day Registered User regular
    He doesn't look scared in the video at all so good work. I think you should attempt more pets and chin scratches with your actual hand and try to get him out of the laundry room again. I think he can get out of his comfort zone a little without flipping out.

    tayatagi.gif
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    You may want to start "ignoring" him in the laundry room. Right now, he's comfortable there, so you're teaching him that he never has to leave that room to get petted and comforted. Wait for him to start making a little move forward (either by encouraging him with food or your voice) and then start petting him before he stops moving again.

    This should help him be more comfortable leaving that room.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Yep, I find ignoring a cat will slowly teach them that you being there, and they being there, isn't a big deal. Personally I'd just leave him be for a couple days.

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  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Also, wow he's really got a motor on him doesn't he. :)

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Why don't you just start leaving food out in a dish for him? Get a couple of cat bowls and leave him food and water in a particular spot. Stressing him out by watching him eat, poking him with a glove, etc., might seem like progress at first, but you're setting a precedent on how things will be in his new home.

    If there weren't the fear of him pissing all over your house, I'd say even leave the laundry room door open. He needs to explore to be comfortable.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Glove-onna-stick made me laugh. I have no experience domesticating stray cats but I wanted to chime in to say that this thread is adorable.

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote: »
    Why don't you just start leaving food out in a dish for him? Get a couple of cat bowls and leave him food and water in a particular spot. Stressing him out by watching him eat, poking him with a glove, etc., might seem like progress at first, but you're setting a precedent on how things will be in his new home.

    If there weren't the fear of him pissing all over your house, I'd say even leave the laundry room door open. He needs to explore to be comfortable.

    This. Again, I know it's hard not to want to make that cat like you NOW!. But with cats especially, you just need to give them time to do their own thing and get to know you and their new home. Be non-chalant when you see him around the house. Let him explore. Be friendly, but don't pursue him. He'll come around.

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  • TrillianTrillian Registered User regular
    We had a once-feral cat at work that turned into the snuggliest most attention-whoring cat that ever whored.
    It's just a matter of patience, and letting them come to you on their own terms, in a controlled environment, where they don't actually have a choice in the matter.


    They cast a shadow like a sundial in the morning light. It was half past 10.
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote: »
    Why don't you just start leaving food out in a dish for him? Get a couple of cat bowls and leave him food and water in a particular spot. Stressing him out by watching him eat, poking him with a glove, etc., might seem like progress at first, but you're setting a precedent on how things will be in his new home.

    If there weren't the fear of him pissing all over your house, I'd say even leave the laundry room door open. He needs to explore to be comfortable.
    I have been leaving him food in a corner some of the time. I would leave the laundry door open, but it doesn't actually open into the rest of the house, so he'd just, you know, leave.
    Today I brought him into the kitchen, doors closed, and let him do whatever while I ignored him while I made lunch and cleaned out the laundry (starting to smell rather bad). Even when I wasn't around though he just sat in a corner looking forlorn and hissing at me when I passed too near. Couple hours later I patted him for a minute with the glove (which is all that's required before he'll let me do it manually now), picked him up and put him on the kitchen table, where he got way more friendly and found out that he likes to sit on those things you use to not burn your table.
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    He got super comfortable with me at that point, purred and stuff. When it was time to put him back in the laundry I picked up him (didn't need to scruff him) and held him, he clung to my chest, and I walked him around the yard a bit first. Both my housemates also said hello during this time and he didn't freak out too much. When I did get him back in the laundry, he went straight to the sink, for some reason, and took a piss. I'm hoping that he actively preferred not to piss on me rather than just being a coincidence. He wasn't terrified, so he probably just had been away from his litterbox for too long I guess. Absolute best place for him to piss anyway.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    You really need to get this cat to the vet for neutering/shots/worms. I will admit that I've never had a cat, but I've had dogs my whole life. I'm sure cats and dogs are quite different, but especially if you're letting the cat get into other parts of the house, he needs to be checked for parasites ASAP. Fleas, ticks, worms, there's a host of unpleasant things that may be on or inside that ball of fluff.

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Yeah, that is going to be infinitely easier now that he lets me pick him up.

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  • ceresceres Just your problem OooModerator mod
    If you think he may get cranky or mean, warn the vet.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Yeah absolutely. I will make sure there are gloves.

    Also, I might have uploaded ten minutes of Oscar purring to youtube.


    just sayin'.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    What do you mean by "didn't need to scruff him"? Have you been scruffing him? How and why?.



    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I have scruffed him twice or thrice, once to put him into my lap (the first time, and then he would just deal with it) and a couple of times when he was freaking out and needed to be taken to somewhere in reach of a hiding spot (like when I took him around the house that time, and it was fine until he met my girlfriend). Seems like now, once I'm patting him, he has no problem with me picking him up conventionally, and pretty much settles wherever I put him.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Scruffing in the sense of just grabbing loose skin on his neck or scruffing in the sense that some people lift the cat like this? In any event, be cautious. Scruffing a cat (the proper, former mentioned way) should be done only when absolutely necessary. To give it shots, etc.

    I think once you get him to the vet, and everything checks out, you should just let him be in the house. If he pees and continues to do so, even with easy, clean litter access, you might just be out of luck getting this guy house trained. That should be rare, though.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Just loose neck skin so he can't piss off. He has a lot in the way of loose neck skin.
    So far he's been really good about only peeing where he's supposed to with two exceptions: getting terrified by seeing multiple people at once, and this evening when he pissed in the laundry sink for whatever reason. I mean, I don't mind him peeing there as such... but it's the first time he's been non-terrified and pissed anywhere but the litterbox. The fact that it was convenient for me was probably not important to him.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Dawwwwwwww


    Also, I now want a cat.

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