HomeHuman to cat relationshipsocialisationEnticing my feral kitten out from hiding with cooked prawns


Enticing my feral kitten out from hiding with cooked prawns — 33 Comments

  1. Wow! He really chowed down on those prawns. A hearty appetite, I take it.
    I love the sort of banding on his front legs.
    You’ve done so well in just a few days.

  2. Is there any school of thought out there that has investigated the use of psychotropic compounds – specifically the “feel good” class of pharmaceuticals – in “un-feral-ing” a kat?

    Before anyone jumps on me about this idea, please consider the fact we use such drugs on millions of school-children every day.

    Having been ‘parent’ to a feral (the late AndyKat) for over a decade, who due to the circumstance of moving to North Dakota became a 100% “inside kitty”, my wife and I discussed at length what we might do / have done to enhance his experience of life. We eschewed any thought of administering dear AndyKat any form of drug, because we were not trained, knowledgeable or competent to administer such compounds to ourselves, much less some poor kitty.

    But the thought and desire to ‘warm him up’ a bit emotionally always tugged at us, and I am still a bit curious if anyone knows if there is any research on the subject of using ‘proper’ drugs to effect behavioral changes in a feral kat.

    In years past, I had seen more than one idiot (or ‘stoner’) blow marijuana smoke in/on/around a kitty to “Just get ’em high!” Please know, I happen to applaud the occasional practice of law enforcement agencies of testing animals for exposure to drugs, and the resultant charges of animal abuse those tests sometimes garner. I feel it is an appropriate application of law.

    BUT: all that having been said, ain’t there something that just a few drops in the water dish would make life easier for all involved???

    • You thought is sensible. As far as I am aware, veterinarians don’t really have a handle on the treatment of cat “mental health” with drugs. They are often incorrectly administered to calm so called aggressive cats. The trouble is we don’t really know the effect they have on cats because we can’t get the necessary feedback.

      Feral cats are unsocialised so it would be hard to find a drug which socialised them. All you could do I suppose is to calm them and that is worse than the original problem.

      • Yes mind altering drugs are never a solution, we don’t know how they make cats feel, we can’t know unless we are a cat, the thought of giving a feral cat drugs is horrifying, far better just time, kindness and patience to socialise them.

    • I wouldn’t want to alter my feral cats’ perception of reality with chemicals myself.
      I would, especially, not want to lace my colony cats’ food. Ferals, semi-ferals, even domesticated ones need to be alert for their own safety.

    • Having had a previously healthy cat die within a week of being prescribed Valium for a tail-chasing behaviour issue, I’m strongly opposed to the use of “mind altering” medication to treat cats.

      Bruce: I’ve read that many cat owners have success using Bach Flower Remedies to treat emotional/behavioural problems in cats. You can add several drops to their drinking water or rub it on the top of their head. Another option is a natural food supplement called Zylkene which is said to help them feel calm and relaxed. As with Feliway, natural remedies can take several weeks of continued use before you begin to notice the benefits because they work by gradually building up a sense of well being in the cat. Sadly they don’t work on all cats.

  3. Feral tag team event-asking for food.
    They learned to do this on day 2 after Pebbles arrived. Two ferals plotting together 🙂 Just stare at the silly humans until they open a can. Sealy thinks of Pebbles as a gift to him. He even washes her up.

      • You should consider clicker training with his food. A good way to get him out if there’s ever an emergency like a fire.

        In case you haven’t realized it this is your new cat 🙂

      • He is cute 🙂 I like how he has a mix of mackerel stripes and spots where the stripes have broken up. Are spotted tabbies fairly common in your neighbourhood?

        Charlie would be very proud of you for opening your home to cats in need.

  4. Renny slinked along the walls the first few months we had him. So a corner litter box is a great idea. We won him over with raw chicken gizzards. And I caught Pebbles with slightly warmed gizzards and hearts I bought for under $2 at the store.

    Renny never got over being skittish. He prefers quiet and heaven help me if I step on his tail. He shuns me for a week 🙂

  5. What a dear little soul Gabriel is, I wonder what it is about prawns that cats like, a friend of mine used to buy prawns for his cat, Tinkerbell, but she got so that she wanted them all the time and was nasty to him if he didn’t give her them 🙂 he had to stop buying them in the end. LOL They seem to have worked a miracle with Gabriel anyway, Michael I think you have the right ideas, just slow and steady and letting him have his space. I loved the video.
    RIP Tinkerbell x

  6. Isn’t he just gorgeous! How old is he Michael? Well done for thinking about prawns, he was obviously enjoying them bless him. You’ve made great progress already 🙂

    • Not sure of his age to be honest. My guess he is at weaning so about 10 weeks or thereabouts. I could be wrong. He is quite stocky looking but that might change.

      He is extremely timid. Any moderately fast movements by me and he runs. He is still hiding. He came out last night and explored. I heard him.

      He cries out from his hiding den when he wants food. Bless him. I leap into action 🙂

      • You may need to use a soft blanket when you begin trying to hold him. Renny bit the crap out of Laura the first time she picked him up. Ferals don’t know to let go. They kind of hang on to you until you start screaming from the pain 🙂

    • Yes, the prawns were from Canada! They cost £3 for a small container 😉 . It was the only product available within walking distance for me. It did the trick though and got him to come out because he is extremely timid. I could have got cheaper ones is a large supermarket but wanted to buy immediately.

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