Pet Rescue/Adoption/Feral cat

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Question
Six months ago I have taken in a feral cat from my backyard, we named him Jesse.  He is adorable and sweet.  I have 6 other cats all of whom I have taken in from my backyard.  I have neutered/spayed all......even the other feral cats that come in my backyard.....I feed them all as well.  The problem with Jesse is that he is very feral to the point that he still will not allow me or my husband pick him up.  It was a huge ordeal to put him in the cat carrier when we first took him in to be neutered at the vet.  Recently we discovered that our cats have ear mites for which we are treating them all.  We suspect that Jesse has ear mites as well for which he needs to have drops put in his ears and have his ears cleaned out with a cotton ball.  I don't see how we can do this when he will not let us pick him up.  He does allow me to pet him when it is feeding time and I put his bowl of food down....he purrs so sweetly.  I have managed to sneak in a couple of drops of the ear medicine into his ear when I have petted him.  Now when I go to pet him he runs away.....I guess he caught on to what I was doing.  If you have any suggestions as to how I can manage to get the ear drops into his ear and to also have him trust us more I would greatly appreciate it.

Answer
Thank you for helping the cats. So many are abused, neglected and forgotten about. You have a good heart!
If you can borrow a humane trap from a local animal shelter it will allow you to catch him. If there is a small room you can keep him in with food and littler box that is quiet. Go in at intervals and sit and talk to him. Also when he makes eye contact give an exaggerated blink with both eyes not wink. This is a feline sign that you mean no harm. It will reassure him. Offer him treats at first in front of you without touching him...another time make the treats closer to you until he is finally taking them from your hands. Cats hate stuff in their ear so I am not surprised he isn't trusting right now. You will need to wrap him in a towel to do ear drops...if it can wait a few days while you get him calm and trusting you it may help. He will again want to avoid you but you have him contained so you can continue with quiet visits with treats and toys. It can take awhile but I promise this will work :) Some may not become indoor pet quality but can still be loving outdoor cats. Once you feel confident with your relationship with him you can let him back outside. It can take weeks but will pay off in the end.
Good luck and thanks for what you do for the cats!
Ruthie

Pet Rescue/Adoption

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Ruthie Augustein

Expertise

Ask me anything about rescue and adoption. I've been involved in rescue for over twenty years. I have experience in rehabbing abused dogs, adoptions and rescue efforts.

Experience

I've run my own rescue for over twenty years. I have experience with timid and/or aggressive dogs. I have a 99% successful adoption rate. I am a hands on and out of my home rescuer.

Publications
I've written numerous (published) open letters to the local papers.

Education/Credentials
It's been a hands on experience. Though I have read and continue to read everything I can on the topic.

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