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Q: Has anyone had success in taming a totally feral cat?

December 8, 2008 | By Dstrykr | 8 answers | Expired: 2186 days ago

Dstrykr

I adopted an adult female cat who is totally feral. I've had experience with semi feral, younger cats, and was able to get to the point where they would let me pet them. But this cat, Kellog, is totally feral.

Readers' Answers (8)
Kirsten C.
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Dec 08, 2008

I have done this twice and it takes much patience. Our cat tiger was so feral he peed on everything and was a nightmare to deal with. We kept him in a seperate part of our house (in a nice large bedroom with a window). This seemed to destress him a bit. We gave him his own little box and food in his room. We made sure to have him neutered. After a couple of months of coming into his room to see him we let him explore the rest of the house and animals. There were plenty of fights and peeing disasters but after 6 months he was a reformed cat. He is a big sweetie now. It just takes time...lots and lots of time.

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k b.
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Dec 10, 2008

I suggest using gerber ham baby food. Cats love it- and you can feed it to them on a spoon so that they will get close but not too close. Then eventually wean her off of the spoon and use your finger. When she is more comfortable with that, then try petting her. Baby steps. But make sure that she doesn't have free roam of the house, she will never socialize if she can run and hide all she wants.

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Kelly
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Dec 22, 2008

You've got some great suggestions here. I've worked with feral cats & have a couple that live with me & are now the biggest lap kitties in the bunch. I can't stress Time & Patience enough.

For starters, food will be the key. Once Kellog has gotten used to you filling his bowl for him, try hanging out nearby (as close as he will allow) while he eats. Sit or crouch on the floor so you won't hover over him & appear so threatening. Always talk to him in a friendly soft voice while you're filling his bowl & while you're spending time with him. Leave something with your smell on it near the food bowl so he can associate you with a pleasurable experience when you're not in the room.

I've used a kitty cage with one & confined one to a bedroom. I covered the cage for the first few days so the cat would feel secure & hidden yet could still get used to the sounds of the house. I would pull back the cover just enough to peek in & talk to her for a few minutes several times a day, then I would let her process & de-stress. For the one in the bedroom, I would just go in & read, take a nap or do whatever I could in there so he could get used to being around me while he remained hidden.

Here are some sites that cover taming ferals. Maybe you can get some info from them too:
www.wellpet.org/aboutcats/taming-ferals.htm
cats.lovetoknow.com/Taming_Feral_Cats
www.gomestic.com/Pets/Taming-Feral-Cats-and-Wild-Kittens.76035
drnelsonsveterinaryblog.com/2008/10/24/taming-feral-cats.aspx

Good luck.

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