1. FelicityMe
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    FelicityMe New Member

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    Turning a farm cat into a house cat...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by FelicityMe, Feb 15, 2013.

    Okay, So last night I was at a friends farm, they have many stray cats running around. Well, I managed to catch the one and brought it to my house. I bought everything a need to care for this cat. Its probably about a year old. How hard is it turn this farm cat into a lazy house cat. Its not running around acting crazy. Its mainly just hiding. I think it finally ate a little while ago.

    Has anyone else attempted such a task?:redface:
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's not really a kindness to take a creature who's been free to roam and live as nature intended it to and make it live 'in captivity'... i doubt it will thrive, no matter how well you treat it...

    consider how well you'd do if a huge creature of a much different species were to 'catch' you, take you away in a space ship and then keep you in a strange structure and never allow you to leave... you'd be fed well and treated kindly, but would never see any of your family or your own kind again and never be allowed to live the way you had before... do you think you would ever get used to that new way of life, or ever come to like it?...

    i'm sure your intentions were good, but the poor cat can't know that... and that won't make it be happy to have lost its freedom...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  3. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    From the sounds of your post this was a spur of the moment decision. Never a good thing to do, when it involves another living creature. And simply having the accoutrements for a cat, does not a responsible pet owner make...Trying to make a lazy house cat out of a barn cat is totally senseless.

    There are cats in shelters across the country looking for homes. Take a look at some of them. Barn cats are used to freedom, not boredom. That boredom and fear will get translated into destructive tendencies. For both your home's sake and the cat's, return that cat to its home. At a year or more in age this cat will not adapt well to an indoor environment. There are feral tendencies to deeply ingrained. If it had been a kitten it would be a different story, but to do this to an adult animal, who clearly knows how to fend for itself is not doing it a kindness.

    Cats were among the last animals to be domesticated and are among the quickest to revert to a feral state...In all honesty, having to chase one down in order to catch it should have been a huge red flag. You know nothing of its history, if it has had any human interaction, or even basic vet care. There are disease like Feline Leukemia and distemper that ravage these barn cat populations. Take into account litter box training and clawing issues, as well as, spay and neuter surgeries.

    Have you even owned a cat before? One has to wonder what you were thinking...There are much better ways of going about this.

    Sorry about the rant, but my sister is a vet. I've heard the horror stories first hand. If you want a cat, please look into the shelter pets. All three of my pets, two dogs and my 11 year old cat, are all rescues. They have never given me a moment of regret.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, if it had been a kitten, it probably would've melded in within a few days (we found a feral kitten a few years ago and she basically took over within a week of bringing her inside). But a year old - I'd take it back to the farm and get a kitten instead. (I feel the need to differentiate between letting farm/feral cats roam freely and letting house cats do so - I hate that.)
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    No offense, but the reason the cat is hiding is because it's flat out terrified and confused. It has no idea where the hell anything is right now. It was likely doing just fine wandering around the barn doing things farm cats do (like hunting mice, etc.) All the old, familiar scents and sights are now gone, so this poor feline is doing the only thing it knows how to do right now. Hide. It thinks you are a predator, since, from what you've said, you had to go chase after the cat, much like a predator to prey. Oh, sure, its finally figuring out you don't intend to kill it to eat it, but even the best intentions can go wrong. Is this what would make this cat happy?

    The best thing you could do for this cat is to return it to its home in the barn, where it can run around with its friends and resume normalacy.

    Since you already have all the stuff needed to take care of a cat, the next thing to do is to find a no-kill shelter and adopt a kitten or two. That way, the cat you found can resume what it used to be doing, and you can provide for a lost kitty (or two) found in a no-kill shelter.

    Sorry to sound harsh, I know you had the best intentions, but Darkkin said it best. What were you thinking? That cat is used to the outdoors. It knows how to survive by itself, likely with zero help from humans. If you want a floppy housecat that relies on your care, there are loads of no-kill shelters filled with kittens who could use your help.

    And why am I harping on about no-kill shelters? Because I believe killing animals just because no one wanted them is inhumane. With no-kill shelters, the animals who are not adopted spend their lives in the care center.
     
  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    My last cat started life as a farm cat, we were able to domesticate it by letting it get used to us, and come to us.

    Not going to lie, it is hard to get a cat to understand that you don't mean it any harm. Cats are ... well I've heard dogs have a higher collective IQ and I can believe it. Cats are just not the most social of creatures.

    My advice is, give it a week or two. If the cat is unresponsive take it back and get a more domesticated cat. Don't give up on it though, a cat can be a nice addition to a household. My last cat was, when he got used to us, and treated us as friends, he was a loving and loyal companion, and I miss him.
     
  7. JohnW
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    JohnW Member

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    She or Tom

    You didn't say whether you have a She or a Tom. If it's a Tom a visit to the vets will help to calm it. If you have a She and She has not yet had kittens then the visit to the vets should be made after her first litter are weaned.
     
  8. JessWrite
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    JessWrite Word Nerd & Proud! Contributor

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    I think even cats from the shelter hide for the first few days. We got our cat (then a three-month kitten) from a pet store and was she something else. Somehow she got inside our Organ through the foot pedal to hide. My dad had to nearly take it all apart to get her out of there. :rolleyes:

    All cats are different, some will be friendly right off and some will be skittish. Like Lemex said, don't give up on it! If I would've given up on my high-strung Macy, I wouldn't have my best cuddly friend.
     
  9. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I suggest you ignore the cat. don't go looking for it in the house. Just feed it and change its toilet and leave the cat to come to you. The cat will get curious about you and seek you out. Cat's are like that - you don't make friends with a cat they make friends with you. Be patient it will take time.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    This I don't believe. You may have heard it, and I'm sure there are plenty of folks who've asserted it, and perhaps on some standardized measure, dogs may have come out ahead. But the impossibility of measuring intelligence across species makes it impossible to assert which animal is, in fact, "the smartest." Animals have different needs and motivations. Just because you can get a dog to follow a command easier than you can a cat doesn't make the dog smarter. In some respects, it could imply the opposite. I'm reminded of a cartoon, where the caption indicates they are attempting to prove which animal is smartest by who climbs a tree the fastest. The contestants are various animals -- dog, cat, monkey, but also a fish, a snake, a pig, etc.

    Feral cats are unlikely to come around, but it can happen. They can live difficult lives as feral cats, and they can also be a menace to birds, which has led to some virulently anti-cat groups in some locales. Has the cat had any human contact prior to you? What was your friend's thought about taking a cat? Did he or she suggest it? Have other people taken cats from this group? If this cat doesn't work out, I hope you follow the advice of some others and adopt a cat from a shelter. They are wonderful. The first cat we adopted from a shelter was an adult orange male cat, who was just the greatest creature ever. We brought him into our apartment, and he never once hid. He walked around, found the litter box, jumped on one of the beds, and acted like he owned the place. We adopted him on a Sunday, and my husband (then fiance) and I both had to work the next day. When we got home, he greeted us at the door. He slept in our bed next to me from the second night we had him. (We didn't let him in our room the first night because my husband has asthma, but that didn't last long.) He was 8 years old when we adopted him, and we had him for 10 years, when he died. I still miss him.

    We adopted another cat from a shelter, but at that point we had a dog. So the cat coming into the house had reason to be nervous. We lived in a house at that point, and had the laundry room set up for her, with a gate at the door, so the cat could get out, but the dog could not get in. She did hide quite a bit, but not completely the first few days, but once she believed that the dog would not harm her, she was out and about. She rarely hid. We actually just lost her last week, and now we are cat-less for the first time in years.

    There are cats in shelters that will respond to you even the first time you meet them. I've even had some sit in my lap. So, they're not all skittish and stand-offish. The right cat can be the greatest pet ever. So, depending on the circumstances, if this one doesn't work out, keep looking.
     
  11. Merkabah
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    Merkabah New Member

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    Sometimes outdoor cats make excelent indoor pets. Sometimes they hide all day and night, only coming out to eat and pee on whatever personal possesion you happen to value most at the time. It mostly comes down to how much human contact its had up till now. Most outdoor cats that have had regular positive contact with people have better personalities than indoor cats, But a cat that is never seen or touched by a person will be practicly ferral by the time its one year old.

    If it has had regular contact with people just leave it be untill it gets used to its surroundings and it should warm up on its own. Do not chase it around the house trying to pet or hold it, Thats counter productive.

    If not, it will probbly be happier back in the barn you got it out of.
     

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