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

December 8, 2008 | By Dstrykr | 8 answers | Expired: 1949 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.

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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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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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Sarah J.
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Dec 08, 2008

Both of mine were partially feral they were mice hunting farm cats. It has taken quite a while but they are both really friendly now. It can be quite hard to get a totally feral cat to come to you and give love but I believe with the right amount of love and patience it can be done. Just keep trying and good luck.

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KitnAlex
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Dec 08, 2008

I agree with the other responders. It will take lots and lots and lots of time...and some cats it may not happen. Feral cats will often only trust one human, too. Remember, you are dealing with a WILD cat. Those instincts just don't go away.

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Djmoser
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Dec 08, 2008

It is possible but it does take patience and a calm spirit on the tames part. They can feel the love and will respond. I have two ferals that come in at n9ght and sleep with me. They feel safer when I am lying down. But I can brush them and pick them up and carry them around.

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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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Jo D.
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Dec 08, 2008

I have had minimal success with taming feral cats. WE have been able to trap and fix and release, but thats it. I have had great success with getting kittens and getting them used to humans and getting those guys fixed and adopted. Good luck to you!

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Jeanette2562
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Dec 08, 2008

i hve worked with a few like her, give her time your in for a long haul took me about 6 weeks to even touch the one then it seems to get easer as the weeks passed now i can brush out his fur he still dont liked to be picked up but it can be done with a few scratches and lots of noise

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