Behaviour Cat Care

5 Ways to Help a Semi-Feral Cat Adjust to a Domestic Home

There’s a lot of time (and patience) that goes into helping a semi-feral kitty adjust to a new home—but it’s all worth it! Here’s how to succeed where others have failed.

Helping a semi-feral cat adjust to her environs can be time-consuming and challenging—because of this they are more likely to be sent back to their adoption agency. Semi-feral cats have a harder time finding good forever homes—but this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the effort; to the contrary. While it can seem like a battle (one that sometimes threatens to verge on stalemate or out and out loss), there are a few key things you can do to make your new cat’s transition to a happy domestic life easier. And trust me, from personal experience, your time and love will definitely pay off, as once semi-feral cats who have adjusted into their new lives are some of the most loving, affectionate, and appreciative cats you could ever hope for. These five easy steps will help make your feral cat’s adjustment as quick and problem-free as possible.

1. Have a Dedicated Cat Room

When you bring your new cat home, have a safe room ready with all of your new cat’s amenities ready and waiting for her. It should have scratching posts, a few toys, food, water, and a litter box (ensure the food and litter are on opposite sides of the room). This room should be quiet and, for the time being, not for human use. This space should also have some small and safe hiding places, like a cat house (check out this adorable cat teepee) or a blanket draped over a chair, but no places that are completely inaccessible to you, like under a bed, to prevent serious hiding as that allows the cat to completely remove herself from her new environment.

You should spend time in this room every day to help the cat acclimate to your presence. While in the room read out loud, or call someone, and just talk. This lets the cat learn the sound of your voice and become comfortable with it.

2. Put Food to Use

Food is the initial key to your new cat’s trust and eventual affection. Cats domesticate themselves for a steady food source. For the first little while, it is crucial that you stick to a regular feeding schedule so that your cat learns that you are, without fail, the bringer of delicious food. Once the semi-feral cat is comfortable enough to eat (it shouldn’t take too long), begin sitting in the room while she eats.

Do not interfere with her or the food during this time; this assures the cat that they are safe with you. If the cat is difficult to convince, you may have to start withholding food unless you are in the room. Food is also a great way to get your cat to do new and scary things. You can keep special food for the cat (“chicken in gravy” baby food is pretty much a guaranteed hit) to encourage new steps in becoming more comfortable with you. The offering of delicious food will help your feral cat come to you and become more and more used to her new domestic life.

3. Avoid Eye Contact

If you find your cat staring at you, do not engage. Eye contact is an aggressive act to feral and semi-feral cats. If you accidentally find yourself in a staring contest, the best thing to do is to calmly blink. Keep your eyes closed for a few seconds and turn your head away. This shows your cat that you do not mean to threaten them, and are taking a submissive role, which helps them feel safe and confident in the new space.

4. Don’t Force Physical Contact

Your cat will come to you when she feels safe. This can be encouraged with food once the cat is more comfortable. Put a bit of the special baby food on your finger and have them lick it off. This initiates contact and allows the cat to have positive associations with you. To begin petting, extend a closed fist while you look away, and let the cat come to you and initiate any contact she feels comfortable with. Semi-feral cats take a lot of coaxing and letting them approach you will build trust.

5. Have Patience

Finally, the most important thing when adopting a feral cat is patience. These things take time, and cats are notoriously guarded. You need to let them have their space and learn that they are safe in their new home. This can take much longer than you would like, but your patience will be rewarded with such love and affection as will prove all the effort worthwhile. 

Some other ways you can help feral, semi-feral and community cats

  • Learn the difference between feral cats and community cats, as not all cats on the street were originally born there!  You can find cats that were displaced and simply need a new home. The displaced cats can be re-homed without much extra coaxing for human communication. The same goes for kittens born to a feral cat, young cats have a much higher chance of being socialized successfully.
  • For older cats that are completely feral and unlikely to become a household kitty, one of the most humane ways to stabilize and reduce the feral community is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). Work with your local animal shelter and learn how to help. TNR means fewer cats will be feral, therefore current feral cats will have a reduced risk of disease and more food.
  • Care for your local feral cats by making a cat shelter!

Learn more about why feral kittens can still make great pets here!


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  • Charmaine Caffrey

    Hi, I’ve just received my first issue of Modern Cat, thankyou. Last October I took in a feral cat that I had been taming for several months previously. She came to trust me, she had kittens, I couldnt find them, after a few weeks of searching. She spent longer and longer on my front veranah and it was assumed that they perished. I decided to trap her one day and take her to the vet for spaying, vaccination etc. She is about one year old and is now my cat. She is beautiful and a lovely temperament as well. I believe she choose me for adoption and lives alongside my other cat (also a rescue) as an indoor house cat. Everyone is more than happy with this arrangement and we all get on really well! I really love this little girl, I’ve called her Smudge. My other girl is Shelley. They amuse each other as well as me! We are all as happy as peas in a pod. By the way we are from Sydney, Australia.

  • Sharon Ray-Cassedy

    we have a feral cat who once I posted the picture there was a lady who thinks that is hers. I was able to capture it yesterday and it is now in our upstairs bathroom. I have everything set up in the bathroom as it should be along with the calming diffuser plugged in. I have been coming in for short amount of time and I’ll read something or just talk to him. I feel badly to bring him in because I know he wants outside. We have an established Colony already out behind my house and they did not accept him. He’s been around for about 8 months now, with two failed attempts to catch him. It was amazing that we were able to catch him yesterday. Anyway the lady who stated it was hers is not sounding too enthusiastic about him now after I spoke with her yesterday. So now I’m faced as to what to do with him because I don’t believe he deserves to go back outside fighting everyday. He reminds me of the one Tom Cat that I had who was orange who lived to about 17 years of age. This guy is just about as big and has the same. I’ll try to keep you posted on his progress. We already have a few rescues already in the house so there’s no way we can keep him

  • Brigitte hall

    I caught feral cats and kept them and i tamed them in a couple of months the three cats are 4 years old and i had them spayed shots etc
    I would like to know what their life expectancy might be now
    They are inside cats and gained lots of weights
    Any suggestions?

  • Shelly

    I have two 3 month-old feral kittens that have had little to no human contact at all. When I go to see them they become frantic and start to Attack the container of food that I am scooping out for them. Is there anyway at all to calm them down around feedings?

  • Ruby Carter

    I adopted a cat about 10 months ago and still he runs away from me as I walk by him or just towards him. He wont come directly near us, He will come sit with me and my husband if we are relaxing on the couch and asleep on our bed. I wake up and he is right next to me, but when my alarm goes off he goes running out the room. When im getting ready for work he rubs against my legs so a major difference because he came around a lot more since we first brought him home. But why does he still run and he does not like to be picked up at all, he will fight me. He left the house a few times but came back, the day he came back after a week and a half he was very cuddly and followed me around the house. He was purring next to me and when he came back I picked him up and he didn’t fight me holding him. But as of today he still runs like he doesn’t like me near him, hell come to me when he wants too. he will follow me and stay in my room just not right by him. I just want to love him

  • Joanna Laska

    I have just adopted a stray cat approximately 2 weeks ago. He used to come back to the complex of flats after his previous owner left her, due to health issues. Kitty was left locked out and wondering on her own for years. Used to come to our garden and I fed her for a few months. She then was not around for about a week or more and when came back, meowed at me loudly! So I fed her again and she let me stroke her. She was very skinny. I managed to catch her and bring her home.
    I also have another cat of 2 years, Taylor who was not impressed by the presence of the new cat (named her Jaffa).
    So Jaffa stays in our bedroom and has litter tray, food and water, some toys. She loves cuddles and actually manages to cuddle up with me at night and purrs away. She does not know how to play with toys. All in all she is settling in fairly well, has a few moments of distress. She reads body language well and gets timid when someone approaches her suddenly. It will take some time but I think it will be worth it.
    Little Taylor was not very accepting of the new cat at first and growled hissed at her, now after 2 weeks I am slowly managing to feed them two treats a short distance away from one another. I also got feliway diffuser but do not think it works on my cats. I am trying to settle Jaffa in, and get the two kitties to get on well. Will see how it goes.

  • Carol Murray

    I had tamed a feral cat and turned her into a house cat. She had a nice house with lots of windows and cat trees. She had good food and lots of attention. She was in our house for 2 years. A few months ago, she bolted out of our patio door and ran in the woods. I was not able to coax her back and I have not seen her since. I thought she was happy being our house cat, but she must have had the urge to be wild again.

  • Debbie Carlow

    When pupils get large and tail starts swishing pull hand away! Ready to attack!!

  • Tony

    I befriended a cat that was abandoned. She was a talker (meowed often). I named her Gabby. It turned out that she was pregnant. She had 3 feral kittens. I tried to adopt them out but they were too skiddish. So now I had 4 cats. One kitty was a male and the other two female. I moved and brought all 4 along. Where I moved to had a colony of cats. I had a little cat house on my porch. A kitten claimed that as home. He still lived outside. He was rounded up by animal police. They fixed him, cut the tip of his ear and released him about a week later. He came back to the porch. I started coaxing him in and he became an indoor/outdoor cat. He was caught again and they snipped his other ear. I didn’t see him for about a month, but he returned. Being that he had 2 strikes, I made him an indoor cat. I ended up moving again. Once again there was a colony of cats around. I befriended a litter of 4 cats although they remained outdoor. Two of the 4 were hit by cars. Two females remained. They each had litters about 5 days apart. One had 5 kittens (1 died at birth) and the other had 3. I was able to catch one from each litter and got them adopted out. I feed the others and eventually was able to catch two from each litter (all female). I got them fixed and they continued to live outside. Slowly, through food, I got them to trust me. I was able to start petting them, although that took months, but they still ran from strangers. While sitting on my porch, I watched someone with a pet cage dump a couple of cats. I immediately went to check on them. They were both kittens around 9-12 months old. One was siamese(the youngest) and the other solid white. These were not feral. I brought them in with my other 5. Took them awhile due to pecking order, but they fit in. In the interim, I was still friending those outdoor kitties. Well I was moving out of state. My house/porch were where those cats stayed. It wasn’t easy, but I rounded up the females (4). So to make a long story shorter, I now have 11 cats – 8 feral and 3 domesticated. All live indoors and for the most part get along great. So I started out with one rescue and now have 11. They are all very affectionate with me. I have six of them on my bed right now. The last 4 feral cats have become quite loving with me. I don’t recommend having this many cats, but they do give me great joy. Feral cats can be tamed, but it does take patience.

  • Jay Malone

    I’ve h ad two adopted rescue babies for 16 years now. About two years ago, a tuxedo type cat moved into my backyard. I put food out for him and others, no real colony though.

    My two “adoptees” would see their new buddy, but not seem too interested. Even though the weather stays mild, winters can get into the low 30’s. So I put a couple cat houses outside.

    Last week, I noticed my backyard resident had injured his back leg, and he seems to be blind in one eye (clouded up). I arranged a for a local TNR group to stop by, we caught him within 10 minutes of setting the trap.

    I decided to keep him indoors,I’m worried about him living outside in the cold with a bad leg and partially blind. The TNR group returned him, and I had asked them if they thought I could eventually get him to adapt to living indoors.

    It’s been a week, he’s living in a spare bedroom for now. Tonight he actually came out to eat while I was sitting in the room watching TV. He’s “slinking”, I just leave him alone and don’t move. One of my other boys “talks” to him through the closed bedroom door. The newest addition seems to talk back, but he also talks to me occasionally.

    I’m hoping this is a good sign. I really want to eventually give him full run of the house, hoping he will eventually get along with his new “brothers” and be a content indoor baby.

  • Pat L

    Hi! I have been gaining the trust of a feral kitty for the past 4 (almost) years. She now eats inside and stays-in overnight (when SHE wants to), however she still prefers to be outside.
    I need to move by the end of May and I want to take her with me. I’m stressing about it, but I see many good tips here. One thing I’m concerned about is that she has never used a litterbox. If she is going to be an inside cat, how do I go about getting her to use the litterbox? I was told to mix-in some dirt with the litter, since litter can feel strange to ferals. Then I thought about letting her go outside once she has adjusted to the new house, but it would kill me if something happened to her. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • Aleisha

    We trapped and neutered a feral cat. Age 2-4 years old. The SPCA confirmed definitely wild, they could not handle her at all. I’m pleased to say that after 2 months of feeding and patience she comes in the house for food and will let me stroke her. I think this is amazing progress, we never thought possible. She usually turns up with a stray cat (not feral) and I wonder whether he has helped her to trust us. Anyway if anyone says you can’t tame a feral it’s not always true. It’s very satisfying and worth the time and effort.

    • Ashley Lee

      Hi Aleisha, I’m so glad to hear she’s doing well! Thank you so much for being patient and taking the time to care for her. It’s wonderful to hear stories like this. -AL

  • Sharon

    I adopted a feral cat who was rescued from the streets of Sydney with her kittens. The kittens found homes but Rani, as I called her didn’t. So as I didn’t have a cat at the time, I took her. I did not know all of the excellent tips you have given here, but she is now an indoor cat and has settled in to a comfy life with a warm bed and regular food. She has been with me for four years now and still will not let me get close enough to touch her. I have not pushed her, thinking she would come round in time. She does like to play with toys and be in the same room as me when I am reading or watching t.v. and she follows me around the house when it is time for food. I do worry that if she gets sick or needs the vet for any reason, (I haven’t been able to have her vaccinated), I won’t be able to help her.

  • jill williams

    My stray,Ferrell kitty does not let me touch,she’s Deaf & I think she’s pregnant,I’m doing baby steps she’ll come in now 4 food by the front door,then runs out when she’s done. She loves cat-nip.O don’t know what 2 do if she is pregnant & try 2 set up a BEDDING 4 her.I NEED HELP!!!

  • Penny

    My cat Aubrey was left with five other cats in an empty house for 6 months. Someone was putting food pouches through the letter flap which the cats had to fight for amongst themselves. He acted quite aggressively with me the first few months,jumping on the bed in the night and scratching my face.
    Eventually I started giving him carefully timed time-outs whenever he acted aggressively. He would be shut out of my room. Within weeks he calmed down,and now I couldnt have a nicer cat. He snuggles up and noses my eyelid instead of clawing it.

  • Sue

    Your article is great but we have a studio apt and took in Delilah, wont come out from under bed,only to eat,almost a year now.cant brush,check nails,will never put her back outside.any help,thanks

  • Chloe

    I am considering the possibility of bringing a feral into my house. He lives out in my apartment’s parking garage on the 4th floor. Poor little guy is running for his life to dodge all the cars all the time. It has been difficult but feeding and watering him daily for a few months have really allowed me to gain this cat’s trust. He seems around 2-3 years old. I feel so bad for him but I live in a studio apartment with no extra room I do not use. Does anyone have any recommendations for bringing him indoors? I will get him neutered first obviously. He is such a sweet little boy with he brightest green eyes I’ve ever seen. Such a trooper out there but I think it’s time he gets some TLC and air conditioning from the 110 degree heat…

  • Nancy Eade

    I adopted a feral cat with , at the time, a healing broken pelvic. He’s been with me for 10 years when all of a sudden he stopped eating. Help, he’s one of three now and isn’t very interested in eating.

  • Cheyenne

    I took in a semi feral last Wednesday had him neutered and vetted. I didn’t know ibshould have removed the bed from the cat room (it is easily accessible to me as invisible easy to crawl under it but of course won’t do that). What do I do now? He comes out to eat and uses the litter box. It looks like he freaked out a moment some time this morning. Any input truly appreciated. He is FIV positive by the way since has to be in his own room for a longer time.

  • Sally

    I’ve recently taken in a 4 year old cat that was adopted from a stray cat’s litter at approximately 10 weeks. Her sister was missing for 3 months. During this time, Lulu, our new cat was indoors being a lao kitty and was very sweet. When the sister came back, she began to bully Lulu to the point that she began to stay outside and ate on the porch. That is the reason I took her. Now she is isolated in a nice room with two windows, food, water, toys, cat tree, litter box. She is eating, drinking, and using box. Problem is she staying up in the bedsprings. I cant see her at all. I did accidentally startle her when she was under a window shade, and she flew back under the bed. What is the best way to handle her?

  • Jay

    Thanks for the good read. We just took in a stray momma cat 2 weeks ago that had been coming around suddenly, we let her in & she happily came in and looked around like she knew the house and us as well, we had her all checked out & all shots. and have a dedicated room and feeding time. She wanders through the house at night trying to avoid the dogs & crawled in bed with us for a bit. We are still struggling to get her to come out while we are up. Hope she will overcome this soon, she is so good and loving. Patience is virtue we hope

  • Vicki Stach

    Thank you for your supportive advise. I am hoping to be a foster mom and have adopted one of three kittens.

  • Deborah lalwani

    Pat L. Wrote in may 2019. Could she pleSe contact me. I have the same cat issue and need help too. My name is deborah.

  • allison

    thank you for your help my kitten is great thanks to your site

  • Patti Jo Knight

    My adopted kitty (from the outdoors, not a shelter) was adjusting well after months of love and patience but now suddenly is peeing on the floor every time she comes in. She’s never used a litter box, but in all the months we’ve been trying to domesticate her she’s also never peed inside our house until now. Why would this be?

  • Barbara Dreyfus

    I have 4 feral now I would call them semi -feral they come to me to eat I can pet sometimes but can’t pick up and of course no kisses any comments that would help

  • Valerie Oliver

    About 4 years ago we took in a mother cat and 2 of her kittens. She was very friendly but she kept her kittens away from us. This has now gotten worse. 1 of her kittens, Fraidy Cat will occasionally come over for a scratch but the mom, Precious hisses and swats him away. Scaredy Cat will not let us touch him, although he enjoys sitting near us. If it looks like I am paying him too much attention, Precious will hiss and growl and swat him away. We have had them for awhile and both boys are bigger then their mom but they always listen to her. Is there anything I can do to get these boys to come to us?

    Valerie Oliver

  • Laurel Thorpe

    I have a 4 yo kitty. She came to me from my patio as a feral kitty, about 4-5 most old. I fed her and played with her for about a week, she would not come near me. Eventually, she warmed up to me and I brought her was getting cold. I had her spayed and shots thru the Humane society and ended up keeping her. She has always been allowed to go outside in the back of my condo, has stayed close, and comes in…usually mornings and evenings. She stays inside all day and after her evening outing, sleeps inside. I’m wanting to keep her inside all the time now because of COVID, and she is having a FIT! She has her own room with all amenities and bed. How can I train her to stay inside and not meow and scratch and knock things over. She is NOT happy. She said s the first cat I have had.

  • Rita Maldonado

    Its only 2 days. I used to feed this cat outside. Now she is with me in a room. She is not eating 2 days already. I have 2 cats of my own as well. They are intrigued about the closed room. She is a feral cat, 6-7 years old. I want to care for her on her last days here in NJ. Any advice will be appreciated.

  • Khadijah H

    5-1/2 years ago, I adopted a family of four feral cats off the streets. I had worked with the mom for some time to earn her trust. I actually only wanted one cat. However, she became pregnant and gave birth to three kittens before I could get her to feel safe in my house. Patches had her kittens, 2 boys, Blacky and Tiger and one girl, Booties, behind my shed.

    After she brought them out, I was able to let her into the house (I had finally managed to get her to not panic if the door was closed behind her, then, I went about getting her kids in. I had a room just for them all ready and waiting for them.

    First, I put my hand down in front of Tiger. He IMMEDIATELY jumped onto it, looked up at me like “TAKE ME!” and we went.

    Next, I put my hand down in front of Blacky, he started to fight. But, after a few seconds, he said “well, I really don’t want to go anywhere with you, but, since you insist, ok”. So, he went to the cat room.

    Booties was the one who was determined to no sell. She told me where I could go, AND the horse I rode in on! I had to win. She was too young to be on her own, and I did not think that life on the street was for her anyway. I eventually got my hands on her and put her in a box and off to the cat room we went.

    Now, in the cat room, Patches already knew that I was ok. Tiger immediately started coming to sit on my lap. Blacky was upset for about a week. Eventually, I converted him to lap sitting. (Blacky LOVES it!). Booties was still telling me where she thought I should go…and that horse I rode in on, as well…for a month. Patches was still nursing her kids.

    Yes, Booties did come around. She is loving the easy life and enjoys getting attention from me. Tiger is the brave one. He tends to stand his ground when I have company. Everyone else just runs away and hides.

    A couple of years ago, a newcomer came along, Tabby, a new feral. It took some time, (Booties is VERY territorial), but, she has said, “yeah…all right…if I have to…” towards Tabby.

    Right now, I have also taken in a temporary boarder in a feral cat with kittens. She will be spayed after her kittens are weaned.

  • Bridget Gethins

    I am for the third time helping a feel cat become our indoor cat. Kitten showed up on our porch with two other cats I was feeding. No contact at all. Then we realised Kitten was having a litter, three found homes.
    We caught Kitten and took her the vet for neutering and shots and set free. But everyday Kitten came and most times stayed on our porch, we fed her twice a day. That was the arrangement. Then April 26th,2020 our neighbor’s cat went missing, my cat Talula who was also feral (but has domestic for 11 years) would sometimes go outside at night for a half hour at most. Talula disappeared the next night! Then the following our young cat Ertha Kits ran outside at 1am as I was going out look for Talula. We could not find Ertha and was really late so we would her in the morning we thought. Ertha was gone.
    The three more cat disappeared. Vanished.
    Then May 7th, my neighbor heard strange noises that night went out her backdoor only to see a coyote running off with our other neighbor’s cat Fluffy.
    So, when I heard what happened to Fluffy I caught our porch kitty Kitten and she is the guest room adjusting to indoors. We can’t let be outside with coyote killing cats.
    But it is true, once the feral cat adjusts they are very happy to sit in your lap.
    I am heartbroken about our dear cats and our entire neighborhood’s loss of some truly lovely cats. I do have hope about Ertha Kits, she is very fast and a great climber. Our SPCA suggest we contact the local group who care for feral and community cats. Ertha might show up in one them. That is my hope.

  • Alyssia Corbett

    Great advice my kitty 🐈 absolutely loves to play with her toys all her mouse toys which some of them were Lulu and Jacksons toys but she didn’t care she plays with all of them anyway, got her some new toys last year not sure where they are now need to look for them, Lily by the way is just 3 yrs 1 month old, she’s just a baby to me, she will always be my baby girl.

  • Alyssia Corbett

    I have both caster magazine and modern cat magazine and I also get cat watch every single month the cat watch the modern is every few months same with the caster magazine but they’re really great magazines to be reading if you are bored or even have no idea about having a new Little kitty 🐈 cat in your life, once you adopt or take in a kitty 🐈 or even feed it it’s considered your kitty 🐈 because you take great care of that kitty cat.

  • Susan Cuckler

    After repeatedly seeing a Semi-Feral TNR male near my work numerous times, I knew I had a long road ahead If I was to help. I never imagined how hard it would be, nor how much it would change my life considering I had previously adopted stray Family members. After 120 daily trips and nearly 400 hours spent around, near, or with him, I was able to gain his trust and habituate him to my car enough to get him home on October 28, 2019. I’ll never forget that day, as we had both given so much to get there. There were many sleepless nights to come, followed by several more months re-framing trust in this new environment. The breadth and depth of our mutual respect, adoration, and the unwavering love I have for Louie to this day can bring me to tears. Please know this was truly one of the longest, most trying, emotionally exhaustive experiences I have experience. There were many nights I left him, only to cry myself to sleep once returning home. But, our experience has fostered a mutual love, respect, and true adoration between Louie and I that we alone will ever know. And, that in itself, has forever changed my life.

  • Chelsea Moore

    Hi there!
    I adopted a kitty just about a year ago from a Feral Feline program. She was a little older than standard rescue age (around 8-9 weeks) and was a little harder to break of her feral habits. To this day, she will run away terrified if you walk within a couple feet or her, even without acknowledging her. She is not food motivated, and will not approach anyone under any circumstance. However, in the middle of the night, after it’s been quiet for a couple hours and I’ve been laying still sleeping, she will jump up on the bed and suddenly become THE MOST AFFECTIONATE kitty I’ve ever seen! She rubs all over, purrs so loud, loves being rubbed or scratched and will even get upset if you stop and won’t let you sleep until shes satisfied. She snuggles up and cuddles too for the remainder of the night.
    Come morning when you move to get up, she begins her standard “run away and hide” behaviors all over again.

    What’s up with this?? She’s a sweet girl, but after a year still feels so threatened by me unless I’m laying down for a long period of time.

  • Margaret Bradley

    My semi feral kitten bolted the moment I got her home.I didn’t expect that as I didn’t know she was semi.She IS in the house even though I can’t see her I know because the food started disappearing!! I can hear her but can’t see her. Well she is eating so that’s good.but it is hard .should I call to her as I do but she won’t come out so I can get her to a single room.She is upstairs .which is 3 rooms I want to coax her into the bathroom there .so far she’s like Houdini !! Thanks for listening.

  • Susan knight

    Hello, I am fostering a female cat named Wendy. We think she is about 1.5 yrs. I’ve had her for about a month, she still hasn’t let me touch her. She would hide under the bed in her room but I got her a little cat house or cat cave and I blocked the bed so she couldn’t get under it. Now she loves her cat cave and is always in it. I sit with her every day and I talk to her or read and sing to her for about an hour 3 or 4 times a day. Sometimes I play relaxing cat music for her that I found on utube.
    My question is this–i have 4 awesome pet cats. Would it be a good idea to let one of them in her room? Like to maybe show her how to play etc? She ignores the toys I bring her, won’t even acknowledge them even if I put cat nip on them.
    She is soooo scared. I want to comfort her so bad. Today she did let me pet her with my back scratcher, she hissed at it and bit it at first but after a few seconds she let me.
    Ant tips on what else I can do to help her relax and trust me is greatly appreciated 😻.

  • Melissa

    Hello, I just got done reading some comments, while not a cat “expert “ I have taken a lot of time to read up on a lot and have a lot of experience as we have a huge population of feral cats here in AZ. First, to whomever commented cat is now having accidents outside litter box, this cat needs a vet, this is not natural and may be underlying health concern. I have saved almost 100 kittens when I first moved to my house (since then I have happily TNR my entire group of feral cats ) and now we have no more kittens but I would foster them until I got them to shelter, a healthy cat/kitchen will use litter box naturally and I personally have not ever had any issues with accidents but I don’t have them, I try get them to be adopted within a week as kittens easily tamed before they are 3 months old, sadly last year I couldn’t get 2 of a litter of 4 and they are still here but Like most feral cats extremely skittish. I am working with one calico I fixed last year that is feral but never leaves my porch, this winter I am going to attempt to socialize with my 2 indoor boys, she lets me pet her and tries to come in my house but will have to visit vet before I can allow with my cats, plus loads of fleas here in az, if u are taking in kittens give flea baths with dish soap and flea comb before allowing in house!!! Last kitten I took in I had to give 5 baths before I could bring out, but after a day it wouldn’t leave my side and I was heartbroken to have to bring her to shelter to be adopted.

  • Tassy Alessio

    I took in a feral kitten, few months old and I cannot get her to come out.. after a few weeks I blocked her hiding spots and pet her.. left her alone and after a month I flipped couch and oet and picked her up. She plays and eats at night and does sleep under my bed while I sleep.. she isn’t agressive at all, just really frightened. doesn’t bite or hiss or scratch. She did seem to like the petting and holding after a mere few minutes .. I feel like I ruined her life taking her in.. Took her a few weeks to come out and play with toys but I think that is progress. Should I keep picking her up and petting every so often? I’d just like her to come out and get used to me and not have to live in hiding.

  • Miss Sylvia Laney

    I have just acquired to semi feral cats, a male and a female, both now neutered, the male frantically cries at night and tries to open the window! If he succeeds he has a 50ft drop. How can I avoid this, I barricaded the window but he is a big cat and knocks it all down. This is only at night

  • Kelli J Pestano

    I am mom / caretaker /owner of several feral & semi feral cats that live in my home. All trapped Neutered spayed with no where to return since they closed & destroyed the trailer park they lived in for generations. 40 in all including 27 kittens now adults. Some opt for the outdoor facilities I have, but most love their new lifestyle inside. All info and wisdom about feral kittys , please, send it my way. Kelli’s kittys

  • Donna Watkins

    We have a 6 month female Ferrell, she was spared and brought back. I have her in my bedroom we have 2 cats ,their mother was a Ferrell that lived inside she just passed. Is it possible this new cat will be able to get along with the other cats eventually?

  • Abe

    Hello, I adopted a semi-feral cat about 3 months ago. For the first month she hid under the bed and would not come out except when she thought I was asleep… then she’d eat and poop (thankfully in the right places) After that she began coming out and being very friendly (was she in heat?) rubbing up against me, letting me pet her, brush her, etc. Now she seems to alternate… one week she’s friendly, one week she hides… during her hiding times, if she comes out and I put my hand near her, she’ll scratch and bite. I’m a patient person, but this is getting old. Any advice?

  • Narelle Drake

    I just adopted a “feral” kitten from my workplace. They are rampant and breed here.

    She is 6-8 weeks – after 4 days she has decided that at night – she jumps on my bed – she is relegated to my bedroom/walk in robe / ensuite – to also get used to me when I am home.
    So she has learnt to climb up on my bed – and curls in for a pat – exposes tummy etc. Is this a good sign.

  • Luci

    I am not sure if i did a mistake this time..
    I took a feral cat in my bedroom in order to find her home. According to the veterinarian she could adjust in home life and she managed to pet her. Towards me though she keeps hiding underneath the bed where i can’t reach her. I wanna earn her trust but the room is too small and the bed is too low i can barely have eye contact with her..
    Any advise?? She is 2 weeks now under the bed and only comes out when i am in deep sleep. A couple of times she has smacked my feet (but not really aggressively more like pissed off) i don’t really wanna stress he, should i just wait more till she comes oht on her own?? Another solution is to use a trap and move her into a crate but i feel this will piss her off more.. Any advice is welcome

  • Betty Molner

    We adopted a semi feral cat from the shelter about 6 days ago. I have followed all the suggestions – dedicated cat room, allowing her space, Feliwal spray, etc. She is now coming out and will sit on my lap, but she refuses to leave her room. any interaction with her outside the room is impossible. We cannot pick her up, but have been trying very carefully and slowing to try to get her accustomed to being held. my concern is getting her to the vet. Right now she won’t even allow us to put her in a cat carrier. I know we need to be patient, but would closing off her room be a good idea to get her to come out into the rest of the living area? Or is it too soon? I don’t want to rush her.

  • Kathy C

    I agreed to foster and to my surprise adopt two feral kittens. The male was about 3.5 months old while the female, I think was closer to two. Too old to be easy. The girl took about two months of petting for 3to5 seconds at a time several times a day. My hand looked like I was stirring a pot of rose bushes. The male is just starting to let me pet him using a wand with a stuffed finger from a glove. Anything else he swipes at and hisses. He is loves it under the chin, but whoever said you need patience is spot on. They have been with me for 3 months. The girl now rubs against my legs, sleeps near me. SUCCESS!!!!! I also replaced the solid door to their dedicated room with a french door so they can look out at what is happening not just hearing the noise. My 17 year old doesn’t like them but doesn’t hate them either. She is a diva anyway. Jenny and Johnny are now my future.

  • Buff

    We found a ferral kitten and he sat and looked at my husband . So husband picked him up. He is now living with us in house only . My husband plays rough with him where as I am very gentle andclean kitty litter boy feed him his snacks de flea him. He cuddles and sleeps on my chest or up agains me a lot. But sometimes he pounces on me and wants to bite . Why would he do that. His name is Mister. I so love hime

  • Terry

    I have a feral cat that loves me petting her. Took 2 or 3 months to get to this. I have to bring her inside tomorrow. It’s going down to -37 Sunday. To cold for her out side. Question is. I know if I pick her up be the fur at the back of her neck. I am safe. Any one know how the cat feels about this. I don’t want to hurt her. She has come so far and waits for me every day.

  • lilly

    Hello! i am a twelve year old and my mom and i rescued a kitten about a year ago. and she never acted like she has been now. she was loving slept in my lap for hours and purred until she fell asleep. now i can’t hold her get close feed her without her attacking me and hissing and slapping please if you can help please respond! i really hope we can keep her!!!! and i be able to re bond with her.

  • Audrey

    At the moment there are 2 feral kittens that have been sterilized. The male is calmer and can be regimed. The feral organisation is telling me the female is too fiesty. I have 3 adult cats and 2 dogs. My one adult cat has a growth on her lung and needs calm and quiet. She was also a cat I took 2 years to encourage to live with me cause she was a stray and lived in the gutter. She is a nervous older cat. The other 2 cats were also strays and are nervous of loud noise. What are the chances I can adopt the 2 ferals and all my animals get along?

  • Kathleen Daley

    I adopted a semi feral, she was 2 yes old at the time. She is now 7 and trusts me. She sleeps next to me and loves scratching and petting… everywhere! But she will not ever let me pick her up. So I can not take her to the vet if she absolutely needs to go. The feeling of being trapped makes her crazy. I understand how she feels about being up as a threat. But how can I change this behavior???? Is is possible.

  • Jeanne

    Please help !
    I brought in a semi feral cat Nov 2020 when he had showed at my door with a very bad abscess on his arm. I took him in got him fixed up , neutered and shots. Brought him home and tried my best to acclimate him to his new home . I’d seen him for a couple years and had been leaving food out for him.we moved but before I looked for an owner just in case. A neighbor told me he had been abandoned by his owner when they moved. Seems to happen often in that area. Anyways I had 2 resident cats one family new only from that summer a boy and our girl we adopted at the local pet shelter .. girl.
    Boots my semi feral he started stalking and attacking my other cats .. though he is well potty trained is very lovable and is incredibly smart .. he still fears new people and he attacks boy cat especially. It’s gotten to where everyone is staring everyone down and grumpy all the time . I must stay on top of them every minute of the day . .. for if I o not and slip by distraction.. there is a show down for a fight. Sometimes I feel he wants to be the other cats friends … But he has attacked them so many times neither trust him now. We have to keep the two in our room at night and him in the living room.. which he cries and meow’s forever or untill I give in and come out with him and sleep on the couch away from my husband..but if I allow him to sleep in the room he sneaks up on the other cats or they try to fight him not wanting him in there. I recently came up with the idea of a hole in the door with chicken wire so he can still see us be close but not sneak up on anyone while they sleep . This is the best I can think of. I’d like peace and dream of the day. He gets so worried to be away from us I never want him to feel abandonment again. I’m desperate for help and out of ideas. I’ve tried calming collars and diffusers they seemed to help a little but not enough. Id like the fighting to end. Any tips appreciated.

  • Sheree Slayton

    I have a wonderful boy named Fred. He has been with us for over 5 years. He is affectionate to me sometimes, just depends on his mood. He has been vetted, neutered, etc. We will be moving in the next 6 months and I don’t want to leave him behind. He is FIV and FIP+ and I’m afraid for my indoor cats (3) if he comes in. I don’t know what to do for Fred. My Son In Law and granddaughter live across the street and said he would be welcome but new home owners might not like him hanging around and be cruel to him. He literally lives on our front porch heated house, rocking chairs to sleep on, fed twice a day. I’m scared for him.

  • Antonio Fonseca

    i was feeding a outside cat for 3 months than i gone a cage, caught him, it 8 months now he still hiding, hissing at me, how can i get this cat to be my friend?

  • Kathy

    I adopted a 3 month old semi feral kitten. She had been spayed and got her shots 4 days before I got her. I was told she had been handled? (kinda doubt it since she hissed and growled at me anytime I got near). A
    I bought her home and put her in a large crate. It was only to be for a few days but she squeezed through a 1.5″ space. She has been loose in the house since, and I’ve had a hard time finding her. Once I find one hiding space she hisses and growls at me and finds another. As of this writing I don’t know where she is?

    I do have another adult kitty, a small and medium sized dog. The medium sized dog could care less, the adult cat isn’t much interested either…the small dog knows she’s a baby (she loves babies and has helped me locate her.
    I have left her litter box, food and water in the crate but that also means the adult cat and small dog can get in there and eat the food.
    I’m just wondering if you have any tips on how I can wrangle this kitten so I can tame her? I really don’t want a wild kitten running through my house that I can’t handle, touch etc. for the rest of it’s life. HELP!

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