Earlier in the summer, we took on a rescue Savannah called Bob. It turned out that his history was a bit "chequered", shall we say, having come from a cat-hoarder (60 cats, small 2bed house), and it looked as if we'd have our work cut out trying to integrate him into our house. After one short week, the little bugger escaped, and we couldn't catch him, no matter what we tried. We weren't happy about leaving him out, but he was proving impossible to catch, and didn't know where or even what home was, so wasn't going to come strolling in the door one day.
Fortunately we live on a large farm, and he spent the next 11 weeks living rough, but moved nearer to one of the hangars where there are people about all day. After harvest, I guess his readily available supply of rabbits and mice dried up a bit, and the hangar people started feeding him. He got used to them being about all day and 2 weeks ago Friday, we finally got him in the cat trap and brought him home.
He was pretty fit, considering. Lost a fair bit of weight but otherwise unharmed, no fleas or bites or other injuries. We bought a big dog cage (4" x 2") and put him up in our quiet spare room for a week or two to get him calmed down. Middle of last week we brought that downstairs and he's now settling in fairly well. He has free run of the room, but the cage is left open for his tray and bed, we will give it a few more days before removing the cage altogether. Our other cat is less than impressed, and that's going to be the big job, long term, but Bob's making progress.
I've recently been made redundant so am at home most of the day and he's really started to explore today. He starts chattering as soon as he steps out of his bed or hidey hole, and still slinks with his belly almost on the floor when walking about - he did this before, and we think it's an echo of the hoarder house - keep low, and nobody will see you. He's been exploring the kitchen today, but as soon as I look to see where he is, he legs it to his safe spot. We need to figure out how to get him to trust ua and let me stroke him - any ideas?
Please 'scuse crappy phone pic - he's really not ready for me to be sticking a camera in his mush yet, though I can see he has some great potential!2012-10-08_10-50-59_168
, on Flickr
Does anybody have any advice on the trust issue? he doesn't seem to have any "favourite" foods, it seems he's driven purely by the need to eat food before anybody else does. We're free-feeding at the moment, wet food and biscuits. Should I start taking it away and only feeding at set times? we don't feed them in the same place, bur other cat has breakfast, tea and a late supper (it actually helps reduce the overnight kill rate if she's fed late at night, means she goes to bed rather than heading out the door with her rifle and NVGs)
I'd like to encourage his curiosity (up to a point), but need to balance that with the house rules (ie no cats on the workstops or cooker). At the same time though I don't want him thinking he's not allowed to do anything
. I mean presently, he goes in the kitchen, I follow to see what he's up to, he runs back in the front room. If I leave him alone, and he gets up on the cooker, I'm then going to have to break that habit later, right?
Any thoughts gratefully received!