Dec 30, 2013

To Tame A Feral Cat

a feral cat gets her first petting
The Smart Tortie, this photo was taken over the weekend with my camera phone, so the quality is not great, but it's the idea that counts. You can see some cat food here... it was a kind of lure, I suppose.

Two weeks ago, this adult feral cat had not been touched. At least, not voluntarily. She was born feral and had a natural distrust of people. This is her, from a while back.....


I called her the Smart Tortie because she was clearly curious about everything, and willing to investigate. This gave me an opportunity. Or maybe it gave her an opportunity, depending on how you look at it..

Over time, she started coming close to me at feedings, to get the maximum opportunity at food. The first time, I just brushed her back while she was concentrating on eating. This startled her and she jumped back. But she didn't go far. She went back to her food and I went back to feeding. We did that more and more.

Last Thursday, I stroked her back while she was eating and she didn't run away.  Soon, she started purring. By Friday she came to me, purring, anxious to be petted.
She really enjoyed her petting. She purred and purred...
Now, probably petting and food are at least equal priorities for this feral cat. She has learned - taught herself, really - that at least one person is okay. Now petting is something we anticipate... she leans into my hand and quivers with delight.

This morning, we touched noses for the first time.  It's a small victory, perhaps. But it is also proof that even cats born wild - adult ferals, can sometimes be tamed, under the right circumstances.

I always called her Smart Tortie because I could tell that her level of curiosity was strong. Curiosity can sometimes be dangerous for feral cats - but sometimes, it can save them.   Her little poof of a tail quivers with excitement as she is petted. I used to call her Smart Tortie.....

Now I'm calling her Little Bunny Rabbit.




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