We’ve had a new pair of foster kitties in our house for over a week, but I haven’t been able to get pictures of them because they’ve been hiding under the bed! On Sunday, Terry of F.U.R.R. (whose rescue kitties we’re fostering) came to our rescue and helped us move them to another room with fewer hiding spots.
Tonight we had our first real one-on-one (without Terry) interaction with the cats. These two — sister and brother Mango and Mandarin — are much less acclimated to people than our previous fosters and take much more effort to work with at this stage. They were hiding under a dresser when we came in and we had to gently pull them out — with much hissing — and make them interact. In short, as trained by Terry, you calmly follow them around until they get bored and allow you to pet them.
And don’t you know it, it worked! We got both kitties out and purring and being generally okay with us petting them. They were calm enough for us to get some pictures. Here’s Mandarin:
And here’s Mango:
They’re beautiful kitties, and actually quite docile once they’ve calmed down! If you know anyone in the vicinity of Charlotte interested in adopting these two, please point them towards Terry at F.U.R.R.! You can also donate to F.U.R.R. here.
Update: F.U.R.R. now has a YouTube video about their kitties. If you love cats, however, be warned: you may tear up a bit at this:
I just wanted to add that they are really beautiful kitties and so soft. They are going to make wonderful pets for someone. We’ll continue to work with them to get them more socialized and better adapted to living as domestic kitties. Soon they’ll be spoiled monsters just like our batch of bad kitties.
Here’s my technique, for hard-core feral cats that would shred your hand if you tried to haul them out from under the dresser:
It boils down to “Ignore the cat” for a long time and then slowly nudging the cat’s boundaries without provoking fear or defensive reactions. My roomie says it is “boil the cat slowly”.
The most recent of the ferals to have this treatment was an adult rescued from a very bad cattery – not at all socialized. We committed to keeping her no matter what happened. It took a year and a half, but she went from hiding, hissing and hand-shredding to actively demanding petting.
We’re working on making her more at ease with being picked up, but she’s light years from the terrified creature we acquired.
Very interesting — thanks for sharing!