Paladin masters playing with toys!

When a feral cat becomes transformed to domesticity, we see certain changes. We believe our home is Paladin’s first home. The vet who neutered him believes he is four years old. That’s a long time for a cat to sustain himself with a roaming life.

Signs of a feral cat transforming to domestic status are wanting to be around humans, desiring to be in a home, exploring his home room by room, and engaging with humans and toys. Playing with toys is indicative of home life. Feral hobos don’t pack toys. They wander from porch to porch seeking to be fed, not looking for toys to play with. Feral cats fear opening doors because they fear the doors will close behind them and trap them.

Paladin began his life with us a few months ago. He came to our porch for food. He would come for one, two, or three meals–morning, afternoon, or evening, almost every day, and I worried about him if he didn’t show up at all.

At some inexplicable point, I became attached to Paladin and gave him his name. Paladin seemed to attach himself to my husband and me, and we to him. We wanted him to be in our house, but first he would need to be neutered.

Paladin was neutered March 22, just a bit more than two weeks ago today. Our cat Effie accepted him graciously. Paladin took to his new litter box immediately, with no mistakes. He loves his food. We gave him a box to hide or sleep in, and he used it for both. He now sleeps under our bed. Effie sleeps with us, and I don’t think she’ll give that up.

Following the neutering surgery, the vet told us to keep Paladin indoors for ten days, and two weeks before getting him wet. It was a happy day for Paladin when he could finally go out!

Paladin spends his outdoor time in Effieland, just as Effie does. They are sometimes outside together, and sometimes individually. Effieland is fenced all around and overhead to exclude predators. Eagles, hawks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, errant dogs, and other cats abound on and around our 2.4 acres. Roaming free is no longer an option.

Paladin now roams freely throughout our house. At first I carried him through rooms he had not yet entered on his own. Now he considers every room to be his to visit or nap in. He has mastered his indoor and outdoor territory, including our laps.

And we have begun introducing Paladin to toys. He hasn’t yet taken to chasing toys, but he likes to tackle bobbing things suspended over his head. The toy shown in these photos taken by my husband cost exactly nothing to make: a scrap of fabric attached with fishing line to a yardstick. Paladin’s engagement with his toy tells us he is home.

16 Comments

Filed under Cats, Encouragement, Home Life, Paladin, Photos

16 responses to “Paladin masters playing with toys!

  1. That’s awesome how well he is adapting. You guys are doing a great job. What type of fencing do you use for Effieland? I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing, but don’t know what to use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Cat9984…thank you for your your kind comments. I think the feral life at some point becomes conducive to desiring a home life. Paladin has very definitely accomplished the transition from ferality, if there is such a word, to domesticity.

      I am a strong believer in cats having safe indoor and outdoor environments and spending lots of time in both. Effieland is fully fenced with steel mesh fencing, all sides including overhead. It’s 1,000 square feet. Overhead fencing is necessary–raptors abound. We have eagles, hawks, owls, etc., that are known to be predators of cats.

      My husband enlarged the fenced yard that was in place when we purchased our house, and he put the overhead fencing in place. He is a busy lawyer, and extremely competent with home projects, but most people would need to hire a fencing contractor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He is really cute and looks in great shape! Bless you guys for taking him in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He’s so cute! I love it when they sit up on their haunches and wave their chubby hands!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 15andmeowing

    I am so happy that he is adjusting so well and can be safe outdoors too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ellen! You are so supportive, and I really appreciate you. We think indoor-outdoor is best, and my husband built that very plan the safest way possible into Effieland. Effie and Paladin really enjoy it out there, next to our house so I can keep an eye on them. 😽♞💕❤🐾

      Like

  5. Mary McNeil

    Welcome home, sweet lad !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane

    It all just makes me heave a contented and happy sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paladin looks very happy, and is lucky that you took him in.

    Liked by 1 person

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