Monday, February 27, 2012

Taking ferals into your home

Taking ferals into your home can be a precarious undertaking. Even though the cat seems well-socialized to you, unless the cat is hand-raised by humans from birth, you will find that there are things that are just "different" about the cat, and they are things you may not ever be able to change, no matter how hard you try. Above is Cricket Fluff 'n' Stuff, a lovely female cat we found in our yard when she was just 2 1/2 months old. As a baby she wouldn't let me put her down it an adult, forget about it. She lets us pick her up but she does not really like being held. She will start biting you when she feels she is done being held, which is usually around the one-minute mark. She also has issues with human faces and hands being close to her face - she'll bite and scratch viciously. She isn't much of a lap cat either, but does enjoy extended cuddling and petting. We wonder, even though we raised her since she was a baby, if those 2 and 1/2 months on her own were enough to alter the course of her socialization to humans permanently. 

Above is Squidley. We took her in at about 5 months old. She's almost 1 and we cannot pick her up - she runs. Our 3rd cat Chewy we took in at 9 months. He's been with us inside for a year and he remains terribly shy and cannot be picked up. Jackson Galaxy the Cat Daddy talks about this on his video blog, that this is an all too common characteristic of formerly feral cats, and his position is that we as guardians must accept this and deal with it. It is what it is. But this can be frustrating and heartbreaking for people who so very much want to adopt these wonderful furry babies from their yards. 

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