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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3912
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Last winter a black feral kitten showed up at the edge of

Customer Question

Last winter a black feral kitten showed up at the edge of our deck. We began feeding it dry food and then consulted our veterinarian, who suggested that we trap it and bring it in to be neutered. It turned out to be a female kitten who had to stay in our house (second bathroom) for two weeks in order to heal where it was warm and dry. We were never able to get near her. When we approached to feed her or to get something from the room, she was hiss and spit. After two weeks we tried to trap her gain to bring her in for her second set of shots, and she (Bennyt) drew blood from both of us. We eventually released her back outside, where we continue to feed her dry food and water on our deck. My husband is able to touch her on the head, but she immediately draws back. IN OTHER WORDS, we can't seem to make any headway in taming her. We have four Persian cats who are usually in the house and don't want to let Benny in while we are unable to catch her and she may bring some disease or other in with her.
How do we go about taming her? Is it even possible?
Thanks so much,
Meg and Don
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bruce replied 9 months ago.

Hi Meg and Don! Thanks for giving Benny this attention and care. You have very big hearts to be doing all this for her. Can she ever be tamed? I would say that there is hope that her social comfort with you and your husband can be increased. Where is the plateau as far as how comfortable she's going to be? That is something that is not known. I've seen some indoor tame cats that are still very unsocial despite all the care and attention that the owners give them. I've then seen some feral cats that are as sweet and loving with absolutely no previous human contact. The best thing that you can do to try and tame / socialize her is to be there during feedings to continually reinforce that you're the provider of the food and that you're not a threat to her. With persistence and time, hopefully she can continue to blossom her understanding that you and your husband are there for her. The absolute unknown here is how she would acclimate to an indoor environment with the other cats. Could she become tolerant of them or would she be stressed?