Settling down with feral feline

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Welcoming a feral cat is just a systematic process. Here are a few tips to welcoming them.
Building trust and having patience is vital. Dr C Ansar Kamran, a vet from Bengaluru informs, “The first few days of his a cat play a crucial role in  settlement in a family. Time, love, trust and regular meals can be the perfect way to break the ice with a new feline.” If they love you, they make it clear. If they aren’t comfortable with you, they make that obvious as well. An extra bit of sensitivity is, of course, required while settling them in. Hence,
never expect a miracle while settling down a new or stray feline overnight.
Making them feel at home

  • Individual temperaments of cats differ. So, never generalise.
  • Use food and water to build a bridge.
  • At the first place, either a feral or normal cat may show some fearful behaviours for several reasons. She needs time and patience to calm down.
  • ‘Trust’ is the key to cool down a fearful cat. She must not be cornered, chased or picked up. Not only it may result in scratching or biting but also
  • undermine the animal forever.
  • Be patient and take time to develop a relationship with a feral cat. A five-week-old kitten may adjust to her new home in two days. But the same cannot be expected from an older feral cat of more than one year of age. It may take weeks to pet her, don’t rush!
  • Let there be some consistency in handling – too many faces and voices will confuse them.
  • Use safe play methods. l Just as much as human contact helps, take precautions since they aren’t really used to reading human body language yet.
  • Kitten-proof the home.
  • Brushing is an action cats associate with their pet parents. Use a soft brush and gentle strokes to let them know your parental love and concern.
  • Try and avoid eye contact for prolonged periods when the feral is new to the home.  They view it as an action that needs to be countered in their own way.
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