Archive for June, 2015

Taming a feral cat

Simba at cat haven

After four weeks taming a feral kitten, I rescued a feral tabby male cat (aged unknown but looked young) from a death row on Sunday, 31 May 2015. A lady in the rescue group lent me a big crate. As I have no more free space at home, I put the crate inside my indoor garage. I prepared the garage and placed a cat litter tray, water and food bowls, some toys and a pet cave for him to hide inside the crate. I am still working on taming him. It is a lot slower than taming my feral kitten, Cory.

Day 1:

I released him from the cat carrier into the crate. He just walked straight into the pet cave inside the crate, which was good at least I didn’t get any scratches. He was very quiet and kept hiding all day. He only came out when I was not there. Hissing and growling when he saw me or heard my other cats’ meow.

Day 2:

He made a mess with the water bowl so I moved it to the other edge where his cave was and I got scratched. Ouch! He let me clean the litter tray inside the crate. He didn’t move from his cave at all. Clearly he was afraid of me.

Day 3 – 16:

I got scratched again when trying to grab the water bowl. I decided to move the water bowl back to the original location.

Day 14 – 17:

No improvements. He only came out to eat or use the litter tray when I was not there.:-( Still hissing and growling. I started watching a kitty boot camp – taming a feral cat from day one on youTube. I bought him a pocket radio and play it for him. I heard his meow for the first time 🙂 I kept talking to him and said when are you going to come out to eat in front of me, when are you going to trust me.. la la la.

Day 18:

I went to buy a fluffy stick. He attacked it when I tried to touch him with it so I left it there for him to smell and getting familiar with it. I also left my stinky stock next to the food bowl for him to smell. lols! I kept talking to him and said when are you going to come out to eat in front of me, when are you going to trust me.. la la la.

Day 19 (19  June 2015):

He allowed me to touch his face with the fluffy stick! 🙂 yay! I was so surprised. He still hissed and growled but I kept going. I left no food for him overnight so that he thinks of me when hungry lols. I kept talking to him and said when are you going to come out to eat in front of me, when are you going to trust me.. la la la.

Day 22 ( 22 June 2015):

I came to see him in the morning. He said good morning to me with hissing and growling. I kept touching his face with the fluffy stick then cleaned the litter tray and refill his water and food bowls. I noticed that he only came out when he heard the sound of the door twice (opened and closed). I then pretended that I left the garage and waited. After about one minute, I heard his munching sound…yay!! 🙂 So I walked slowly towards my car and watched him from distance. He saw me and looked at me and then went back to eat. He ate, looked at me, ate, looked at me… till he finished eating. I looked at him but didn’t stare at him. He then stretched his legs and walked back to his cave. I walked slowly towards the crate and then bent down. He didn’t hiss or growl at me this time. I kept talking to him and said when are you going to come out to eat in front of me, when are you going to trust me.. la la la.  What a big improvement! 🙂

Day 23 ( 23 June 2015):

Same thing… he greeted me with hissing and growling. I already prepared his food and cleaned the tray. I then sat there touching him with the fluffy stick. He still growled but I kept going. I kept talking to him and said when are you going to come out to eat in front of me, when are you going to trust me.. la la la. What happened next surprised me! He decided to come out of his cave when I was still sitting in front of the crate and he then walked slowly towards the food bowl and ate. He ate, looked at me, ate, looked at me.. till he finished eating. YAY!!!! 🙂

I have to admit, it’s such a hard work but it’s worth it.

Simba (before)

Simba (before)

Simba (after)

Simba (after)

28 June 2015:

Moved Simba to my bedroom as she had not progressed being isolated in the garage. The move was stressful as she got out of the cage and went to hide in the garage, in between the wheel of my car. Luckily two people from the rescue group came to help getting her into the carrier. They got scratched pretty bad though.


30 June 2015:

Cory got out of the bathroom last night into my bedroom where Simba‘s crate is. He saw me cuddling and playing with Cory. Since then he has been meowing overnight. It sounds like “auuuu”. He meows randomly throughout the night. I responded to him with yeah Simba auuu. I slept very lightly. He finally ate and peed. He was very quiet and now he hisses at me. Is this good? Right now he still auuuu at me not coming out to eat his breakfast. What does he really want? I am confused.

Some feedback from the rescue group:

I would say he’s just putting out some feelers to work out if you’re going to eat him alive or if you’re safe!
It’s a good thing he ate and went to bathroom as it shows he is comfortable enough to do so!
I’m surprised their was no hissing at the other kitty!
Keep doing what you’re doing and talk to him lots! Sit next to his crate and talk to him so he gets used to you etc!
Sounds like you’re doing a fine job smile emoticon

Leave his bed in there and in the morning when you go in put his food and litter back in there. If he feels safe in the crate he will get back into it when he is scared. Even when you are in the room you could start to leave the door of the crate open.. but obviously the door to the room closed. Try and make sure there are no places in the room where he could hide under or get into and not get out of. I think eventually cats curiosity takes over and he will begin to explore.

Have you tried sitting by the cage and slow blinking? Then putting your hand up to the cage slowly to reassure him. Can you leave a radio on during the day?

Yes I have been sitting next to him. He ducked out when I came closer. His crate is on top of a desk next to my desk. So he can watch me using my laptop and sleeping or playing with the ex feral kitten, Cory. I am surprised to hear no hissing. Cory walked underneath Simba’s crate and Simba just kept quiet but watching from his cave. I have been playing radio when I am not around. I play him the cat music before I left for work. This is the very first time I heard him meow constantly. What a difference it has made by moving him from the garage into the bathroom. smile emoticon

Awwww colony cats usually love other animals! Sounds like he liked seeing Cory! Well done!

Cory bolted out of my bathroom into the bedrooms as soon as I opened the door this morning. Simba just went quiet but watched us. I am surprised to see such reaction. I could hear Simba meowed from downstairs. Is he starting to not to be so frightened? I know maybe it’s too early since the incident last Sunday.

Crying means meowing non stop? Simba meows randomly lol

It’s never too early. When Jack arrived he bolted out of the crate, ran up the walls and freaked me out. Two hours later we were having purry cuddles wink emoticon

The slow blink often will begin to work. I also use the words “Its alright” in a soft soothing tone often. It has taken 10 days for my little feral to literally take over the house, purr like a truck and come when i call his name. He loves it when i open the door to his room in the morning and he gets to see me and my cat. Do you leave him locked in the crate at night? I would open it in a closed room where he is by himself and put his food and litter outside of the crate. Get him confident doing that with noone around.

Simba blinked at me once yesterday. smile emoticon yes I lock him in the crate a night. If he gets out I am not sure if he will get back into the crate though. His crate is on top of a desk so will he jump back in? Lol

Leave his bed in there and in the morning when you go in put his food and litter back in there. If he feels safe in the crate he will get back into it when he is scared. Even when you are in the room you could start to leave the door of the crate open.. but obviously the door to the room closed. Try and make sure there are no places in the room where he could hide under or get into and not get out of. I think eventually cats curiosity takes over and he will begin to explore.

2 July 2015:

Simba has been waking me up every night and hisses at me when I approach him. What does he want? I am going to buy ear plugs. feeling concerned.

Oh no! The blanket didn’t work?

No it didn’t work

Jewel used to call out like that at night before i interacted with her more. I find if I spend the evening playing with her, she’s quiet, otherwise she calls out.

4 July 2015:

OMG Simba is more interested in Cory than me. Simba is a female! Definitely need ear plugs tonight. Lol..

I came really close with Cory in my hands. He hissed and backed off. Cory hissed at her.

5 July 2015:

Simba growled at me but “called” for Cory.. sigh.. should I prohibit her looking at Cory?

Cute looks like he/she wants to make friends

His vet work is due in 2 weeks two days after Simba‘s. Both are not fixed gasp emoticon

Simba confirmed a Queen and Cory is a Tom. How to let them play?

yeah, if she were on heat she would be rubbing herself against the sides of the cage and sticking butt up in the air

Yep that’s not calling that’s just meowing. Unfortunately no way until at least one is sterilised.

She just rubbed her cheeks against the side of the litter tray and the crate and kept looking at Cory. Her bums not yet seen raised in the air.

She growls at me when I approach.

8 July 2015 – 10 July 2015:

Is Simba in a heat?

She saw my ex feral kitten, Cory and meowed a lot since then.  She was believed to a male but when she got excited seeing Cory, she turned around with the tail up and I saw no balls there so it’s a female not male. The rescue group told me that she is not in a heat just lonely and wants a company. She loves the other cats but human. 😦

Feedback from the rescue group:

  • No she wants attention. She is talking to you and your other cat.
  • Oh really but she still hises at me
  • doesnt quite look like it, though she looks to be flirting a bit, maybe wants to get out and play…when theyre on heat there is a lot of howling and vocalising. The rubbing on the cage by itself is just scent marking
  • My desexed girl cat calls me like a cat in heat. You can hear her in the background of buddy’s video. Just talking I think smile emoticon.
    Until she has had a lot of company, talking to her and gradually touching her through her cage she will. She is trying to be friendly but does not know how to react because she is in a different environment to what she is used to. It all takes time and a lot of patience and perseverance. But no she is not on heat.
  • She started cleaning her face after eating. She hissed and growled at me when I brought her dinner. So I decided to ignore and left the room without serving the dinner to her. I want her to stop hissing and growling at meal time. I waited for 30 mins and she just sat in her cave waiting for dinner to be served quietly. I hope this will work? smile emoticon
  • Naw so cute. She wants to make friends with your kitty. Adriana was meowing and rubbing up on the cage like that flirting with my 2 big dogs hahah
    is Adriana still flirting with your big dogs after sterilisation?
  • Awww she is happy!!! That is all good!
  • It’s called trust. She does not know you and has possibly not had a good relationship with us humans so why not hiss. It’s supposed to be scary. Her way of getting heard and her message across. All in good time.
  • Nah Chin it was a few weeks ago before she got done. When she was out in the hutch in the kitchen hehe
  • Yeah I just keep going not expecting much nowadays. . She managed to move her cave closer to the food bowl. And I know she has been playing with the toys when I am not around. She bit the string of the toy.
  • Is she in the cage all the time?
  • Be around her as much as you can. Can you let her out of the cage to run around? Even just once a day? Or not?
  • Yes she has been in a cage in my bedroom all the time since we moved from the garage to my bedroom. I wish I have a spare room If I let her out will she jump back into the cage? I have ex feral kitten not sterilised in the bathroom next door.
  • How about you give her a few hours a day in your bedroom alone out of the cage with the bedroom door closed. My feeling is that the meeowing is because she is stuck in there all day. Do something quiet in your bedroom for a little bit of the time….
    Okay I have had the feeling of letting her out just don’t have the confidence. I will try that but need to put some stuff underneath my bed first so she can’t hide in there.
  • She is a lot happier in my bedroom and got to meet with Cory the kitten than in my garage for sure.
  • Yes great idea… make sure she cant get under the bed or into any other hiding place. Maybe even put her cage in the quietest corner of the room and not in full view of the door. Lie on your bed with a book or doing something quiet and open the cage
    Should I put the cage down on the ground instead of on top of a desk?
  • Might be an idea Chin. Adriana came out of her cage just for like an hour and went back in there herself. I think if they are familiar with something it’s their safe place to go back to hehe
  • Try and imagine where she would feel safe and put the cage there…. in a corner on one side of the bed away from the door perhaps. Also if you let the other cat in a little bit when the cage is on the floor at least they can sniff each other more.
    I see. Will try this weekend. smile emoticon feeling worried but if I were her I would not like to be caged.
  • Or even just let her roam around the laundry or bathroom with the doors shut. Anywhere she can stretch her legs and move around. Being caged 24/7 mustn’t be nice at all.
  • You meant swap place with Cory? Cory sleeps with me and Simba stays in the bathroom. Cory is so energetic running around jumping on my face eating my hair biting lightly on my arms and fingerd wanting to play all the time that’s why he still stays in the bathroom because I can’t sleep with him being so energetic lol
  • You guys are right. I carried Cory and then opened the cage. Simba got up and jumped down straight after. When I moved a bit she jumped back in straight into the cage lol. I took Cory out of the room now to leave Simba alone. smile emoticon
  • I am in the room with the cage open for Simba. She doesn’t want to get out. What to do?
  • leave the door open all night, so once you are asleep and she thinks it is safe she will creep out and explore smile emoticon
  • I put Cory back into the bathroom. Left the cage door open. Simba is in a awe why the door is open. No hissing. No growling. I will sleep with the cage door open tonight. smile emoticon
  • yay for Simba, I hope she feels brave to come out and explore tonight
  • Finger crossed she comes out to explore but please no loud meowing lols. Please Simba.
  • how did you go? Dont be alarmed by the meeowing. Some cats are just a lot more vocal than others. I had a Burmese who meeowed every waking hour… and i walked around the house saying “What?” all day.
  • I left for work leaving Simba with the cage door open and bedroom door closed. She growls when I brought in her breakfast but surprisingly doesn’t hissed at me this morning as usual. It’s like “I am hungry but I don’t trust you yet”.
  • Good result, Chin!
  • She stopped meowing but I woke up with her loud litter movement. She used her paws moving the litter up and down repeatedly. I had no idea if she came out though.
  • I think that you sleeping with her alone in the room with the cage open is a great idea. I give it less than 2 weeks before she sleeps on the bed with you if you keep doing it. And i bet she comes out of the cage to explore while you are away. The litter thing is also nothing to worry about, just an annoying thing cats do sometimes…
  • I have till 21 July to make her trust me a bit more before her complete vet work takes place lol. Will she go backwards after the vet work?
  • Yep I will keep doing it smile emoticon thanks everyone for the great advice
  • Yes she might go backwards after the vet work, but you do what has worked again and it should only take a few days to come good again.

 12 July 2015:

Simba not trusting me at all. She won’t jump down to eat. I pretended to sleep (ended up taking a nap for an hour) and when I woke up the food was still there. I then left the room. Half an hour later the food was still there. She wanted me serve her dinner in front of her inside the crate!!! She knows I am still inside the house.


Good thing is she stood up looking at the food bowl in my hand, meowed, touching her face on the cat hutch, feeling happy to know it’s mealtime but hissed when I came to stand in front her. I really hope she has improved even though just a little.

I purposely open a can of cat food and served half to Cory on the floor. Simba stood up waiting for her share. She growled a bit but allowed me to drop her share with a teaspoon into her serving bowl hahaha.. cattitude! And a copy cat haha.

Simba hissed and spitted at the wooden spoon with the wet food on top.. sigh… didn’t like me holding it.  Imagine that was my fingers! Ouch!

She’s been cleaning up herself and grooming very often lately even at night when I am trying to sleep as I could hear the movement of the crate lol

well done Chin, she is a slow learner Queen Simba but she is learning.

13 July 2015:

Simba finally got out of the cage looking for treats that I left. When I entered the room, she wasn’t in the cage lol. I thought yay time to clean the crate. She sat on the chair hiding lol. I have been waiting for this moment! Should I let her back into the cage?



yes leave the cage door open so she has a safe place to retreat to when she wants to. Congrats!!

I opened the crate door and left the room. Would she rather not going there? Lol. Surprisingly no hissing and growling.

No the crate would be her safe haven. So leave it for her to sleep in or escape to if she is scared, but leave the door open.You will know when she is ready to roam the house and doesnt need it anymore…

She is still hiding behind the chair. I am with Cory the kitten inside the bathroom next door.

Its ok she is beginning to explore. If you are worried you could always put a line of treats from the chair back to her crate, but dont shut the door.

No I will leave the crate open for her if she needs to go in there smile emoticon

Simba still hasn’t returned to her crate. She hissed at me this morning when I saw her on the chair. She’s moved hiding somewhere now.. arggggh. She used the litter tray on the tray overnight. I hope she eats the breakfast. Stubborn queen!

Yay for Simba. She is getting brave.your patience is being slowly rewarded

Simba ate her breakfast. She’s still nowhere to be seen. Why doesn’t she go back to the crate, the safe place?

maybe she is feeling brave and is liking the freedom of choice, its not a bad thing that she dislikes the crate as long as she uses the litterbox and is eating and less hissy I’d say all is good and that this is progress smile emoticon xx

Yep she is using the litter tray and eating. She’s hiding so no more hissing.

do you know where she is hiding? can she see you?

I put a mattress in between the wall and my bed frame. I think she squeezes herself in there to hide.

ohhh so you dont know where she is…I always try give the ferals no sneaky hidey spots so I am in control of how much they hide. It takes a lot of effort but found it works better if they have to be where we can see them especially after a few weeks of being in our house.

Mattress removed and she was dragged along with it lol. She’s gone back hiding on the chair haha. No hissing.


Simba finally ate after seeing Cory but when I went closer she ran off. She hates me frown emoticon

Cory is watching her eating haha..

15 July 2015:

Simba is still on the chair. No hissing or growling when I stand next to the chair without staring at her. I started to think that she hates the crate. She starts grooming as soon as I lie down on my bed.



thats good, I was always led to believe grooming is a sign the feel comfortable

let her feel she has control but you set the limits.

She has been grooming her whole body for the last 10 mins on the chair.

mine do that before they go to sleep

She hasn’t been vet checked coming soon for the big one next Wed. She does look healthy and clean smile emoticon

I’m sure she is much much happier out of the cage.

Keep doing the slow blink. Also try to introduce some toys to her. I found the best one… if you have got some is just a very long piece of string ( or three shoelaces tied together). That way you can be away from her and only one end is near her. Stand as far away from her as you can and dangle and wiggle the other end near her.

16 July 2015:

OMG! Have a look! I just bought a new pet carrier and put Cory in there. Simba jumped down wanting to make friends with Cory but Cory hissed at her when approached. She’s back to her chair totally ignoring my existence but still afraid of me. However, her trust in me is growing 🙂






Well done!!! That’s a relax kitty right there! She may be scared of you but that is SUCH good progress!

I am damn surprised. I am sitting really close to the carrier!

Simba the feral is due for her sterilisation this Wed. Anything I need to know, buy and watch out for? As I still can’t touch her so how would I put an E collar on if required or pill her etc?

No pills or collars required.

Don’t panic Chin, she doesn’t need anything. No food from 10pm the night before, only water. She’ll be with me anyhow and I know this. After the op, you have to try and keep her quiet, no running or jumping for a few weeks. After the op, only give small amounts of food, sometimes they vomit after being sedated, it’s normal for a few days.

Yep pretty easy, if she is feral they use dissolving stitches

Do you need help getting her into the carrier?

Someone will be coming over on Tuesday to help me getting her into the carrier and she will stay overnight there smile emoticon. I will get Simba to eat inside the carrier from now on.

Tue, 21 July 2015:

Remember about your fosters sterilisation tomorrow.

Remember no food after 10pm tonight but water is okay!
Drop them off between 8-9 am
Pick them up between 4-5 pm

It took an hour to get Simba into the carrier. She got so scared that she decided to squeeze in and hide under a drawer as pictured below. So we put a box on the side and Brigitte then cornered her so she had to go inside the carrier. Phew!!!!

my drawer
Brigitte said – It’s amazing the small places they fit under lol. I was happy she went under there, made my job easier!

My cats reclaim the bedroom now lol..they have been sniffing.

Simba didn’t attack or scratch or bite, just kept staring at Brigitte without hissing or growling. She was just very scared. I was surprised to hear no hissing. Simba had a sleep over at Brigitte’s place. Brigitte would drop her off at the vet and then pick her up.

Simba at Brigitte

simba at brigitte

Wed, 22 July 2015:

Simba is due for her complete vet work i.e. blood test, vaccination, sterilisation, microchipping and vet check. Let’s hope it goes well.

A vet nurse told me this lols  “you should also be very happy with the progress of Simba… She’s pretty feral 😐 growling the whole day and no one was even near her!”

“How is everyone’s kitties after surgery today? They may still be pretty out of it due to the heavy sedative they needed to have.”

Simba is awake and hiding. No hissing or growling as yet.

Simba hiding

She may have been sedated but she was kind of a little awake

She was a bit wobbly when she came out of the carrier into her igloo. But then she decided to walk looking for her missing chair. She is eating the wet food as I am writing this. I am slowly feeding her a tablespoon at a time.

I can’t believe she is 3 years 1 month and 3 weeks old. How did they calculate her age? Lols.. they put her name down as cheeky Bernie/simba on the desexed certificate hahaha.. she is cleaning up after eating now.

I can’t believe that Simba seems pretty normal!

Simba is sleeping and snoring but in a sitting down position.

Simba snoring

She prefers the carpet than the new bed.

Simba poop and peed last night. She meowed for a bit and played hide and seek alone with the tunnel waking me up but I continued to sleep. When I woke up, she was on top of the new bed. She ate her breakfast like a hungry ghost. No hissing or growling.
It sounds like she’s recovered from the sedation smile emoticon


Once you get her back home you may be surprised to see a more sociable Simba xx i do hope she hasnt gone backwards.

That’s not going backwards after desexing. My extremely domesticated cat will do that. It’s fear. I am sure she will be fine given time to resettle.


Simba after desexing:

To my surprise, she has become calmer and more trusting day by day.  She has also recovered exceptionally well from the desexing. No drugs required or special diet etc.

She likes to walk around me when I walk into the room with her tail up and gradually I could hear her purring too. She allows me to touch her back and tail but only briefly. I tried to touch her head once but she backed off and hissed. She also likes to play with me or alone under the bed. She still won’t eat from my hand only smelling it. She still won’t approach me when I put my hand fist down on the floor, however, she rarely hisses at me now.  No more growling and spitting.

I bought her a four tier scratching post two days ago (16 Aug 2015) but she has not used it. I am waiting for her patiently to let me touch her face and cheeks and eventually carry her…  🙂 She still hisses at strangers such as the vet so she is well known as the “feral” at the vet now. Look at her picture below how relaxed she is now :-).


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Taming a feral kitten

I rescued a kitten from a death row on Sunday, 3 May 2015. They told me the kitten was a female aged 12 weeks, but in fact it is a male because its balls started to form after 3 weeks. I was very lucky to be able to tame this feral kitten in 3 days. The kitten is at the top right corner on the picture below. All of these kittens were saved from the death row by our rescue group.


First day afternoon:

I released him from the carrier into my bedroom. He is my first feral so I had no clue. Most people will confine them in a small area like bathroom or a crate/cage. He was scared of me and kept hiding behind the blinds or under a furniture or bed. I put a food bowl closer and he ate it. I watched from a distance. I then left him alone in the room for him to familiarise and relax. He kept hiding didn’t want to move so I left him there and went to sleep. At 3 am, he made so much noise and jumped up and down trying to reach for the top of the glass door. So I woke up chasing him and he just ran off from me. He jumped on to my bed and peed there. I was like.. not happy and emptied my bathroom. I then chased him down (of course I got scratched) till he went inside the bathroom and I then quickly closed the bathroom door. I decided to confine him in the bathroom. I could no longer sleep so I went into the bathroom looking for him. He was inside the shower. I then sat on the floor looking at him and then prepared to work.

Second day after work:

I fed him as usual. He peed on the pet bed so he was not toilet trained.

Third day after work:

I placed two more cat litter trays inside the bathroom so he had 3 litter trays now. Surprisingly he allowed me to touch his face. He was happy to see me because his tail was up and he started purring and then jumped on my laps and started kneading 🙂 He pooped on the third day! yay! He also started cleaning himself up after eating and grooming.

Fourth day after work:

He was more toilet trained but still afraid of human voices. I was able to clean his face and ears. I thought the black dirt from his ears was just dirt but in fact it was ear mites! Yuck! Also fed him with BARF food to fatten him up.

Fifth day onwards:

I gave him Revolution spot on for kitten and kept cleaning his ears. He is still being quarantined until his vet work completes in about 4 weeks from now (i.e. 25 July 2015). He is pending vet check, blood test, sterilisation, vaccination and microchipping. I first named him “Bella” and Bella name was taken so I then named him “Cora”. I then found out that it is a male so I named him “Cory”. I also bought him a pocket radio and play it every day so that he gets used with human voice. He is now a very affectionate kitten, cuddly, full of energy and very cute. 🙂   Look at his photos below (before and after). He has been grooming himself and look at him now. I have not bathed him at all.

Sat, 25 July 2015:

Cory is due for his complete vet work at Cat Haven i.e. blood test, sterilisation, vaccination, microchipping and vet check. Hope it goes well!.

Cory (before)

Cory (before)

Cory (after) 20150606_200700_Cory_after

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