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Advice Please on Our Feral Cat.

Advice Please on Our Feral Cat.

by Pauline Walker
(Salobrena, Spain.)

Sooty the Feral Cat

Advice Please on Our Feral Cat: Over the last 7 months we have tamed a feral siamese cross cat from a pack, he is now very friendly, he stays around us nearly all day and goes off with the rest of the pack early evening. He is so loving towards us but still afraid if we have visitors. My husband can pick him up and he even will sit on our laps. The problem is, we are going on holiday for 2 weeks. What do we do, put him into a cattery or just let him fend for himself?

There is a lady who feeds all the feral cats each day and he used to be feed with the pack but now relies on us to feed him. If we leave him would he revert to being feral, and would we loose any trust that he had in us? A friend said it would be cruel to put him in a cattery because he is still feral in someways. He goes missing for a day sometimes but then comes back and rubs his head against us and follows us about the house. I really love this cat, can someone suggest what is the best thing to do?

Cheers Pauline

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Advice Please on Our Feral Cat.

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Jul 02, 2009 Thanks for getting back
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Feral cats give more reward to the human than the most glamorous of purebred cats. There is a special joy in seeing them start to trust us. It is almost like recreating what happened 9,000 years ago when the first wild cats were domesticated. All the contributors to the site who have spoken about their feral cat relationships send the same signal: A very close bond is formed. I wish Sooty and yourselves the best.


Jul 02, 2009 Sooty the feral cat.
by: Anonymous

Hi Micheal,

Thank you for your comments, we do not go away until August 1st, so I still have a little time to wait and sort out what to do. I like your idea of asking the cat lady, although she feeds all the cats just a short distance from my house.

I know that Sooty will be well fed, she puts heaps of dry biscuits down every day and all the cats know that. Sootys brothers and sisters go to be fed, Sooty often plays with them, but he always comes back. He is very frightened of other humans, even the cat lady cannot get near him. We have spoken to her and she could not believe that we had tamed him, he still spits and hisses at her.

We have spoiled him, he has dry food in the morning but late afternoon before he goes off, we give him special treats, and he also sits at our feet whilst we are eating our evening meal,but never mews for any tit bits even though we give them to him.

We bought him a toy mouse that rattles and he loves it, we play with him for an hour then off he goes until 7am in the morning when he is waiting for us to let him in.

I will have a word with the cat lady and perhaps as you said she can feed him at our house.

I will let you know what happens. I am glad I have found this site it really is so informative.

Cheers from sunny Spain
Pauline.


Jul 02, 2009 Advice Please on Our Feral Cat
by: Anonymous

My first thought is that Sooty will not forget you when you come back from holiday even if you did nothing and let the lady who feeds the feral cats take over.

However, you want more certainties and anyway you feel responsible, which is lovely. Well done I say. It would seem that Sooty is almost your cat except I think your friend is correct in that a cattery might be too unsettling for Sooty. Indeed it may cause unexpected problems, which you would have to face on your return (but I am only guessing and that is unlikely but just possible). Once again you are seeking certainties or a more predicable outcome. You live where the red push pin is:

I feed a part-time cat who I don?t see for a week or more at a time, and she recognises me from a good distance and comes over to me and says hello and then follows me to my home (
for food!). So cats have good memories and they know where they get the best treatment so will come back normally unless there are obstacles. This supports my idea that Sooty want forget you. If the cattery is not an option, it seems you have three other options:

  1. Let the lady feed and care for Sooty in the usual way.
  2. Ask (and pay?) the feral cat lady to feed and water Sooty at your place to help maintain the connection between home and cat. Also perhaps to stay a while to keep Sooty company. Basically act as a kind of part-time cat sitter.
  3. Get in a professional cat sitter on a minimum bases to feed and water Sooty.
  4. Use one of those programmes where people stay at your place and care for it for free in exchange for the pleasure of being there. There are people who do this. And they service Spain.
  5. Find a friend to put out dry cat food and water at your place and let Sooty use that as well as be fed by the feral cat lady.

These are just some off the cuff thoughts. My favourite is 2, if it can be arranged. Please come back and leave a comment when you return from holiday or to tell us what you did and how it worked out.


Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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