Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Slow Transition

Ever since our feral cat Priscilla disappeared in November I have worried about the one remaining feral kitty left outside.  It's a cold time of year to be on your own.

So we are attempting a slow transition.

From Funnyface the outdoor cat


to Funnyface the indoor cat

I'll have what he's having
Food was a major motivator to get him through the front door.  Inside, with all the unfamiliar noises and smells, can be a scary place and he was initially reluctant to venture indoors.  It's true there are unfamiliar dangers lurking around every corner.


Funnyface is not the only one struggling with this transition.  Gino doesn't like sharing his space but we're all learning.  Even I have some issues to work through.  Training a feral cat can be frustrating at times - Stay off the kitchen counters!  Were you raised in a barn?!

But a little catnip helps to ease the tension (I prefer wine myself)


And things are progressing slowly but surely.  The ultimate deciding factor in our favor appears to be radiators.


Nothing beats snuggling up to a heater on a cold winter night.

24 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you bring him in, and that everyone is adjusting, it can't be easy for anyone.

    Jen

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    1. Definitely a learning curve but he's been with us for three years now - living outdoors but becoming very familiar with us - so bringing him inside is just another small step.

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  2. Awwww. He is so cute. I hope he doesn't mark his new territory. What a handsome dude.

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    1. Lisa, we had him fixed a couple years ago specifically because of that issue. Thankfully it's no longer a problem but we haven't figured out teaching him about litterboxes yet so there's that.

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  3. Been through this...and you know, ours sure looked like your Funnyface, but ours was called Tigger. Yup...so original. She went back to feral in the end though, don't think that ever leaves them. Funnyface is female right?

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    1. Funnyface is a boy actually. I'm the lone female in this household! I know what you mean about it never leaving them. Food is such a major issue for feral cats, they eat like they'll never see another meal. And outdoors is still his preferred domain but that's okay by me. I was just worried about when storms hit, I wanted him comfortable enough to bring indoors in the worst weather.

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  4. Cute! I bet that warm radiator beats the cold outdoors any night! I've never owed a cat so I don't have any words of wisdom but I imagine it takes some time to become domesticated and learn manners :)

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    1. We've been working with this cat for 3 years now so yes - time is definitely key! He was completely wild when we first met him so he's come a long way since then.

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  5. Know Funnyface will be a happy kitty come middle of February. He is cute. So how do you train a cat to stay off the counters??? I used to think our old cat never got on the table or counters then I found footprints on the tablecloth.

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    1. Janet, right now it means consistently reprimanding him when he tries to jump up. So far it's working wonders, his urge to jump up and lick all the dishes has diminished greatly - but I still don't trust him alone with food around :)

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  6. Our Chocolat was born feral, but he would deny it now as he sits with us in the livingroom! Counters, moi? Never! But I can remember yelling OFF the table at one cat.

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    1. We've been so fortunate, all our previous cats never bothered much with counters. They got yelled at a few times or sprayed with water and the behaviour stopped. But this one's food drive is so strong that it's a bit of a battle of wills right now.

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    2. (do keep coming to Elephant's Eye - not leaving that blog until I'm dragged from my garden, along with Chocolat shrieking in indignation!)

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  7. This is very nice of you. Any chance you can make him a fully indoor cat, so that he is not out hunting birds, or is that not the goal?

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    1. I doubt very much we could make him indoor only but thankfully I don't worry much about the birds with the cats we have now. They're both a bit hopeless when it comes to hunting. Priscilla (the cat who went missing) was the hunter of the bunch. Unfortunately that might mean we have a major increase in the mouse population too.

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  8. Good for you! We've brought 'found' cats in, not too feral 'cause they like us and liked pats when they were in the barn or garage. I'm always amazed at how quickly they take to the litter box! Harder when there's another cat (or dogs, in our case, too) that have to get acquainted! Patience...that's what you need the most of now!

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    1. Norah, still working on the litterbox issue. Right now he's meowing at the door when he wants out to do his business. Seems uninclined to use the litter even though I've put out an extra box. At least he's asking to be let out though, I'm appreciative of that.

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  9. Aaaw, so cute, but lots of work for you, well all of you I guess. I have also brought outdoor cats into live with the family cat, never really got them to become like the family cat. I had to resort to have one set of rules for the family cat and be a bit less strict with the newcomer. None of the cats questioned the discrepancy!

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    1. You may have a good point! Not sure if I'll ever get them both to adhere to the same standards. Two very different personalities to deal with as well.

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  10. Awww. Nice of you! I took both my cats in. It is a tough transition, but the first cat showed the second the ropes.

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    1. If these two would get along it would make life a lot easier. Competing males though, whaddya gonna do?

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  11. So glad they are trying to get along. It's cold out there and it just doesn't seem fair when we have a warm house to offer, but these feral cats can be very set in their ways.
    I had a visitor on the door step yesterday a beautiful red fluffy cat sitting on the mat, but when I opened the door to give her some food she/he just took off like a shot. I felt sad but hopefully she/he will return and enjoy sitting on the front mat. Hopefully everything will work out as they adjust to each other. Keep us posted.

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    1. I think you mentioned you might want to take in a cat, maybe this new visitor will be the one? I agree, seems a shame to let them freeze out on a cold night when they could just as easily be inside. Our garage is pretty cozy with a straw filled carrier for him to hide out in but there are those nights where the temperature really drops. I thought if I could get him just comfortable enough to bring indoors when a storm blows in. I think both he and I would feel better.

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  12. I love that you've convinced him to come inside! It's a huge compliment that he's decided to stay. I'd take a warm radiator over being outside any day!

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