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Carefully Getting A Feral Cat To Trust And Love Its Owner

Some people have trepidations when it comes to bringing feral cats into their homes. It's hard work, we know, getting them to relax and trust you, but we also know that every cat needs love, care and protection, especially those who are feral but find their ways into our homes. A lot of times, someone like us is their best if not only hope, and though it's true that it's hard work, it is worth it. 

This viral thread by straightcreepen on imgur proves just that. Feral cats are not easy to work with, and it takes a long time to get them to trust you, but once you do, there is nothing more gratifying and heartwarming. Most cats' love is hard-earned, but the love of a feral cat is especially hard-earned, but it is also especially worth it.  

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  • 1

    "Meet Eden- she was estimated to have been born outside on the mean streets of Saskatoon, SK (Canada- the middle, VERY cold in the winter) in Dec 2019"

    Carnivore
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  • 2

    "She lost her ear tips to frostbite but it’s actually pretty crazy she survived a Canadian winter at all given how late in the year she was born"

    Comfort - rtyKat
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  • 3

    "Eden had never been in a home, she was living in a run down shack behind an auction house downtown"

    Vertebrate - Smartykat
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  • 4

    "She was surrendered at our local shelter that had no resources to work with her"

    Cage
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  • 5

    "I was working at my local cat rescue at the time and although I just committed to take on another feral cat something about Eden’s eyes made me break my own rules and go get her"

    Vertebrate - ortyKat
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    "Her other option was euthanasia because we can't TNR in our area due to bylaws"


  • 6

    "Left is the first week with me- right was a couple months in- I was so proud she was less scared (left I compared to that look when seaweed touches your foot lol)"

    Whiskers - PIC COLLAGE tylats
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  • 7

    "After a couple months decompression hand realizing I probably wasn’t going to eat her - she started getting curious"

    Textile
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  • 8

    "And comfortable"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 9

    "And we started building trust in one another"

    Vertebrate
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  • 10

    "Snacks help a lot"

    Vertebrate
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  • 11

    "So did some catnip ?"

    Vertebrate
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  • 12

    "Soon she was fully relaxed so long as I made no sudden moves"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 13

    "She loves to play with toys"

    Cage
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  • 14

    "The stare down"

    Whiskers
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  • 15

    "Belly showing is a really good sign"

    Cat - SmartyKat
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  • 16

    "My fav cat move the meerkat"

    Mesh - artykat
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  • 17

    "Meat tubes helped a lot in creating a positive association and show her I meant no harm"

    Small to medium-sized cats - INABA Churu Chicken Recip Recette au poule
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  • 18

    "Then dinner started coming up on the couch"

    Vertebrate
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  • 19

    "She started wanting to come up even without dinner"

    Brown
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  • 20

    "Felt confident enough to catch a quick snooze"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 21

    "A computer barrier was helpful in getting her onto the recliner with my legs"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 22

    "Luckily lots of school work to be done"

    Small to medium-sized cats - MeCarkl Co ta
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  • 23

    "Hard to believe she was born on the streets with a snuggle game like that"

    Vertebrate - Preview
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  • 24

    "Seriously? And they say ferals can never be tamed SMH"

    Comfort
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  • 25

    "The truth is Eden isn’t a one off- during my time working at my rescue we took in roughly 162 feral presenting cats on intake over 4 months of age - most are tamed in 6 months - 1 year and off to their forever homes"

    Felidae
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  • 26

    "You really just need space and patience to keep gently pushing boundaries"

    Small to medium-sized cats - armandbam
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  • 27

    "It’s not glamorous but it’s a super important role to fill in a city like mine where my rescue can’t trap a cat of unknown temperament unless they have a feral foster willing to take them if they are feral"

    Electronic device - 12 DOUBLE DUTY NES 00
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    "(probably a solid 9/10 cats in my area that seem feral outside are friendly once inside within 1-4 weeks, they're just in survival mode when outside)"


  • 28

    "Eden is a huge goofball"

    Wire fencing - Fancy Feast Trio Crevettes
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  • 29

    "And we are reaching the point in our taming where she’ll be ready to move to a regular timid foster soon"

    Whiskers
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    "where she can integrate into the whole house (my resident cat won't allow it - she redirects aggression to her cat sister and my husband and I if another cat is around, not worth the stress on her)"


  • 30

    "She DGAF about messes"

    Small to medium-sized cats - no Science Cesta de besura Symply rurrfect
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  • 31

    "She loves cuddling though that’s her favourite"

    Whiskers
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  • 32

    "And creeping 24/7"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 33

    "But overall she’s a real goof and it’s hard to tell sometimes that she was born and raised feral for 8 months"

    Small to medium-sized cats
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  • 34

    "My point is that feral cats can be tamed if given the right space and time to do so. "

    Vertebrate
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    "TNR is necessary work, but taming is also possible and not everyone can foster kittens. Being a feral foster you mainly just need a spare room and a couple hours a day. If your local rescues aren't working with feral presenting cats then timids are also great to work with... 

    Eden is unique as her finder watched her grow up outside for 8 months- I KNOW she was "feral" and in just under 6 months she's the snuggliest girl. She's not alone in this - either we've never had a truly feral cat come through our rescue or 162 cats are "outliers" in the data. Many of these cats could've been owned and abandoned cats too that have "gone to bush" basically going into survival mode. My point is you won't KNOW if they can be tamed or even if they're just freaked out and actually tame already unless you try."


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  • 35

    "Eden loves brush pets- just working on hand pets now (hands might be toys or they might be trying to grab her- either way she wants to put her paws and her very long claws on them)."

    There was a problem rendering this video - it may have been deleted.
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    "Just hoping to change some hearts and minds around feral cats, especially in climates like mine where Oct-March we are somewhere between -15C to -50C with windchill where TNR would be great but bringing them in and giving them the space and patience to learn to trust people is better. You can follow Eden and her foster buddy Xina at @feral2friendly on Instagram if you're interested in seeing more on working with ferals.  

    Every feral is unique, and everyone is worthy of a good life, and this means different things in different climates. Areas with much warmer year round temperatures a pure TNR program is great, but for climates like mine a feral foster program and hopefully one day a TNR program to get in front of the problem is the best solution."

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