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Feral cat and kitten



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 29th 04, 05:33 AM
Ar Fai Ve
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Feral cat and kitten

I discovered a feral cat and her kitten living under my
deck last Monday. I fed them dry food outside a few times,
and they immediately caught on to the pattern, and by
Wednesday morning they were coming to my door to wait for
the food. On Thursday, I used a live trap and caught them
and took them to the vet. They got a full health assessment,
all the standard tests for diseases and parasites, and
both were neutered. I am going to try to make both cats
indoor cats, and my main concern is the ability to which
the mother cat can be rehabilitated. She is about 1.5
years old, and as far as I know has spent her whole life
outdoors.

The kitten is only 8 weeks old, and he is really friendly
and social. The mother on the other hand is pretty much
hiding in a corner of my walk-in clothing closet. I tried to
offer her some wet cat food from a plastic spoon, and she just
spits and hits the spoon when it is offered towards her. I am
wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to proceed in
working with the mother cat. Should I let her stay in the
closet until she is ready to venture farther, or should I
have her live in a cage during this adjustment period?

Thanks.
  #2  
Old August 29th 04, 05:19 PM
Priscilla Ballou
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article
,
Ar Fai Ve wrote:

I discovered a feral cat and her kitten living under my
deck last Monday. I fed them dry food outside a few times,
and they immediately caught on to the pattern, and by
Wednesday morning they were coming to my door to wait for
the food. On Thursday, I used a live trap and caught them
and took them to the vet. They got a full health assessment,
all the standard tests for diseases and parasites, and
both were neutered. I am going to try to make both cats
indoor cats, and my main concern is the ability to which
the mother cat can be rehabilitated. She is about 1.5
years old, and as far as I know has spent her whole life
outdoors.

The kitten is only 8 weeks old, and he is really friendly
and social. The mother on the other hand is pretty much
hiding in a corner of my walk-in clothing closet. I tried to
offer her some wet cat food from a plastic spoon, and she just
spits and hits the spoon when it is offered towards her. I am
wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to proceed in
working with the mother cat. Should I let her stay in the
closet until she is ready to venture farther, or should I
have her live in a cage during this adjustment period?


If it's not horribly disrupting your life, I might let her be, since
this would communicate to her that you're letting her stay where she
feels safe. Make sure she has easy access to food, water, and a litter
box. Is there another closet you can use most of the time for your
clothes, etc? Now, this will probably mean it'll take longer to
socialize her (if it's possible to socialize her at all), since you'd be
relying on her to twig to the fact that you're an OK animal, but it may
be more respectful of the cat.

The other way, which is probably more "proper" is to confine her in a
small space and by tiny incremental steps make incursions over her
boundaries with gentleness and treats.

Perhaps begin with approach A (let her be), and if she makes no
discernable progress in, say, a month or so, move on to approach B
(pro-active gentle boundary-crossing)?

I've only socialized one feral kitten (12 weeks plus), and I used a
modified approach B. It took 16 days before he let me touch him,
although he was touching me before then. The feral kitten in my
guestroom cage right now (maybe 6 weeks old) came pre-socialized. It
thinks I'm its new Mommy and wants me to hold it and groom it. :-)

Good luck and keep posting. I hope others with more experience will
respond to you as well.

Priscilla
  #3  
Old August 29th 04, 05:19 PM
Priscilla Ballou
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article
,
Ar Fai Ve wrote:

I discovered a feral cat and her kitten living under my
deck last Monday. I fed them dry food outside a few times,
and they immediately caught on to the pattern, and by
Wednesday morning they were coming to my door to wait for
the food. On Thursday, I used a live trap and caught them
and took them to the vet. They got a full health assessment,
all the standard tests for diseases and parasites, and
both were neutered. I am going to try to make both cats
indoor cats, and my main concern is the ability to which
the mother cat can be rehabilitated. She is about 1.5
years old, and as far as I know has spent her whole life
outdoors.

The kitten is only 8 weeks old, and he is really friendly
and social. The mother on the other hand is pretty much
hiding in a corner of my walk-in clothing closet. I tried to
offer her some wet cat food from a plastic spoon, and she just
spits and hits the spoon when it is offered towards her. I am
wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to proceed in
working with the mother cat. Should I let her stay in the
closet until she is ready to venture farther, or should I
have her live in a cage during this adjustment period?


If it's not horribly disrupting your life, I might let her be, since
this would communicate to her that you're letting her stay where she
feels safe. Make sure she has easy access to food, water, and a litter
box. Is there another closet you can use most of the time for your
clothes, etc? Now, this will probably mean it'll take longer to
socialize her (if it's possible to socialize her at all), since you'd be
relying on her to twig to the fact that you're an OK animal, but it may
be more respectful of the cat.

The other way, which is probably more "proper" is to confine her in a
small space and by tiny incremental steps make incursions over her
boundaries with gentleness and treats.

Perhaps begin with approach A (let her be), and if she makes no
discernable progress in, say, a month or so, move on to approach B
(pro-active gentle boundary-crossing)?

I've only socialized one feral kitten (12 weeks plus), and I used a
modified approach B. It took 16 days before he let me touch him,
although he was touching me before then. The feral kitten in my
guestroom cage right now (maybe 6 weeks old) came pre-socialized. It
thinks I'm its new Mommy and wants me to hold it and groom it. :-)

Good luck and keep posting. I hope others with more experience will
respond to you as well.

Priscilla
  #4  
Old September 21st 04, 05:58 PM
formerly known as 'cat arranger'
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Ar Fai Ve" wrote in message
...
: I discovered a feral cat and her kitten living under my
: deck last Monday. I fed them dry food outside a few times,
: and they immediately caught on to the pattern, and by
: Wednesday morning they were coming to my door to wait for
: the food. On Thursday, I used a live trap and caught them
: and took them to the vet. They got a full health assessment,
: all the standard tests for diseases and parasites, and
: both were neutered. I am going to try to make both cats
: indoor cats, and my main concern is the ability to which
: the mother cat can be rehabilitated. She is about 1.5
: years old, and as far as I know has spent her whole life
: outdoors.
:
: The kitten is only 8 weeks old, and he is really friendly
: and social. The mother on the other hand is pretty much
: hiding in a corner of my walk-in clothing closet. I tried to
: offer her some wet cat food from a plastic spoon, and she just
: spits and hits the spoon when it is offered towards her. I am
: wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to proceed in
: working with the mother cat. Should I let her stay in the
: closet until she is ready to venture farther, or should I
: have her live in a cage during this adjustment period?
:
: Thanks.

We have had so much fun and learned so much with out two
feral kittens, and they bit hard and scratched. I never thought
they would get on the bed, much less become the happiest
and friendliest of all of our cats. Dangling something like a string
when they aren't receptive to affection worked and put them in
a less fearful frame of mind. That wasn't possible for at least
a week though. They were really scared and fierce. Putting
another kitten that knows you with them helped a lot too. One
of our older cats that we call "CPS" for cat protective services,
because he protects all of the foster kittens, honestly, was a
big help too. He was licking and laying next to them a long time
before they would even not hide when we came into the room.
We were keeping them in a storage box, plastic with holes
drilled for air. They escaped and we thought they were going
to hide forever, but being under our bed actually helped. I
wish you luck. They are so friendly and unafraid now which
I can't say for the set of feral kitties we raised in the garage
who seem to be skittish, although the exception is when I am
playing the piano, one sits on the piano and rolls over and makes
noise and tries to play too, which is weird because I have
headphones on. : -) and no one can hear the sounds. I guess
cats can though.




  #5  
Old September 21st 04, 05:58 PM
formerly known as 'cat arranger'
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Ar Fai Ve" wrote in message
...
: I discovered a feral cat and her kitten living under my
: deck last Monday. I fed them dry food outside a few times,
: and they immediately caught on to the pattern, and by
: Wednesday morning they were coming to my door to wait for
: the food. On Thursday, I used a live trap and caught them
: and took them to the vet. They got a full health assessment,
: all the standard tests for diseases and parasites, and
: both were neutered. I am going to try to make both cats
: indoor cats, and my main concern is the ability to which
: the mother cat can be rehabilitated. She is about 1.5
: years old, and as far as I know has spent her whole life
: outdoors.
:
: The kitten is only 8 weeks old, and he is really friendly
: and social. The mother on the other hand is pretty much
: hiding in a corner of my walk-in clothing closet. I tried to
: offer her some wet cat food from a plastic spoon, and she just
: spits and hits the spoon when it is offered towards her. I am
: wondering if anyone has suggestions for how to proceed in
: working with the mother cat. Should I let her stay in the
: closet until she is ready to venture farther, or should I
: have her live in a cage during this adjustment period?
:
: Thanks.

We have had so much fun and learned so much with out two
feral kittens, and they bit hard and scratched. I never thought
they would get on the bed, much less become the happiest
and friendliest of all of our cats. Dangling something like a string
when they aren't receptive to affection worked and put them in
a less fearful frame of mind. That wasn't possible for at least
a week though. They were really scared and fierce. Putting
another kitten that knows you with them helped a lot too. One
of our older cats that we call "CPS" for cat protective services,
because he protects all of the foster kittens, honestly, was a
big help too. He was licking and laying next to them a long time
before they would even not hide when we came into the room.
We were keeping them in a storage box, plastic with holes
drilled for air. They escaped and we thought they were going
to hide forever, but being under our bed actually helped. I
wish you luck. They are so friendly and unafraid now which
I can't say for the set of feral kitties we raised in the garage
who seem to be skittish, although the exception is when I am
playing the piano, one sits on the piano and rolls over and makes
noise and tries to play too, which is weird because I have
headphones on. : -) and no one can hear the sounds. I guess
cats can though.




  #6  
Old September 22nd 04, 09:14 PM
Sharon Talbert
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Mom would be best contained in a small space, even a cage. She is in the
closet now; you might just close the door to that room (the room, not the
closet) and let her get comfortable there before she ventures out into the
rest of the house/apartment.

Be careful with your love-offerings. Her teeth or claws could do you
serious harm. (Bite wounds are the more serious.) Your story reminds me
of our old girl, Kaspurr, who hid behind the toilet and hissed the air
blue for a solid month. I would offer her baby food on a plastic spoon
and the spoon and contents would be sent flying. Kaspurr was a kitten at
the time, by the way; I've had better luck with a few adults I've taken
in. We have only once given up on a feral and released her (into our
backyard, not back to the street where she had been run down). Wild
Ginger, as far as I know, is still living in the neighborhood and comes to
our feeder on a regular basis. Other adult ferals live with us in various
stages of socialization, some coming along better than others. Only one
still takes swings at me if I get too familiar. (In fact, I have a goodly
bruise on the heel of my hand, thanks to his quick claws.)

Good luck to you. Your little cat may take a long time to settle down.
That's part of the joy in the socialization of a feral cat, watching them
bloom. Be patient, be careful, and most of all be patient. I have a
blurb in the Campus Cats website that might help you, "Taming the Tiger."
Thank you for taking the cat in.

Sharon Talbert
Friends of Campus Cats
www.campuscats.org
  #7  
Old September 22nd 04, 09:14 PM
Sharon Talbert
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Mom would be best contained in a small space, even a cage. She is in the
closet now; you might just close the door to that room (the room, not the
closet) and let her get comfortable there before she ventures out into the
rest of the house/apartment.

Be careful with your love-offerings. Her teeth or claws could do you
serious harm. (Bite wounds are the more serious.) Your story reminds me
of our old girl, Kaspurr, who hid behind the toilet and hissed the air
blue for a solid month. I would offer her baby food on a plastic spoon
and the spoon and contents would be sent flying. Kaspurr was a kitten at
the time, by the way; I've had better luck with a few adults I've taken
in. We have only once given up on a feral and released her (into our
backyard, not back to the street where she had been run down). Wild
Ginger, as far as I know, is still living in the neighborhood and comes to
our feeder on a regular basis. Other adult ferals live with us in various
stages of socialization, some coming along better than others. Only one
still takes swings at me if I get too familiar. (In fact, I have a goodly
bruise on the heel of my hand, thanks to his quick claws.)

Good luck to you. Your little cat may take a long time to settle down.
That's part of the joy in the socialization of a feral cat, watching them
bloom. Be patient, be careful, and most of all be patient. I have a
blurb in the Campus Cats website that might help you, "Taming the Tiger."
Thank you for taking the cat in.

Sharon Talbert
Friends of Campus Cats
www.campuscats.org
  #8  
Old October 2nd 04, 06:54 PM
formerly known as 'cat arranger'
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Sharon Talbert" wrote in message
. washington.edu...
:
: Mom would be best contained in a small space, even a cage. She is in the
: closet now; you might just close the door to that room (the room, not the
: closet) and let her get comfortable there before she ventures out into the
: rest of the house/apartment.
:
: Be careful with your love-offerings. Her teeth or claws could do you
: serious harm. (Bite wounds are the more serious.) Your story reminds me
: of our old girl, Kaspurr, who hid behind the toilet and hissed the air
: blue for a solid month. I would offer her baby food on a plastic spoon
: and the spoon and contents would be sent flying. Kaspurr was a kitten at
: the time, by the way; I've had better luck with a few adults I've taken
: in. We have only once given up on a feral and released her (into our
: backyard, not back to the street where she had been run down). Wild
: Ginger, as far as I know, is still living in the neighborhood and comes to
: our feeder on a regular basis. Other adult ferals live with us in various
: stages of socialization, some coming along better than others. Only one
: still takes swings at me if I get too familiar. (In fact, I have a goodly
: bruise on the heel of my hand, thanks to his quick claws.)
:
: Good luck to you. Your little cat may take a long time to settle down.
: That's part of the joy in the socialization of a feral cat, watching them
: bloom. Be patient, be careful, and most of all be patient. I have a
: blurb in the Campus Cats website that might help you, "Taming the Tiger."
: Thank you for taking the cat in.
:
: Sharon Talbert
: Friends of Campus Cats
: www.campuscats.org

Get some leather gloves. It was a big step forward when our ferals
quit biting and just hissed and scratched. I didn't realize it at the time.
Letting them be near you, like over nights under the bed, seems to
help... like the more time they are around realizing that you aren't
actively hunting them, in their minds... And if you walk near them and
do something unrelated to them, ignore them sometimes, seems to
help too. Don't look them in the eyes, I would guess now thinking
back. If you have other cats that seem to get along with them, it helps
and the one big thing that I'm remembering now was that I would
pet another cat where the ferals could see, before trying to pet them,
and when you get to a point where you can pick them up, put them
near each other. It's a motherly thing to do.

Our two ferals are named Snobol and Killer. One of them bit me, but
I couldn't tell which one because they look alike. So one is Killer but
we don't know which. They are the friendliest cats I've ever had or
even known that belonged to other people. I'm not sure why. They
both will let people approach without flinching and like to get petted
by everyone. I could go on for 10 minutes.



  #9  
Old October 2nd 04, 06:54 PM
formerly known as 'cat arranger'
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Sharon Talbert" wrote in message
. washington.edu...
:
: Mom would be best contained in a small space, even a cage. She is in the
: closet now; you might just close the door to that room (the room, not the
: closet) and let her get comfortable there before she ventures out into the
: rest of the house/apartment.
:
: Be careful with your love-offerings. Her teeth or claws could do you
: serious harm. (Bite wounds are the more serious.) Your story reminds me
: of our old girl, Kaspurr, who hid behind the toilet and hissed the air
: blue for a solid month. I would offer her baby food on a plastic spoon
: and the spoon and contents would be sent flying. Kaspurr was a kitten at
: the time, by the way; I've had better luck with a few adults I've taken
: in. We have only once given up on a feral and released her (into our
: backyard, not back to the street where she had been run down). Wild
: Ginger, as far as I know, is still living in the neighborhood and comes to
: our feeder on a regular basis. Other adult ferals live with us in various
: stages of socialization, some coming along better than others. Only one
: still takes swings at me if I get too familiar. (In fact, I have a goodly
: bruise on the heel of my hand, thanks to his quick claws.)
:
: Good luck to you. Your little cat may take a long time to settle down.
: That's part of the joy in the socialization of a feral cat, watching them
: bloom. Be patient, be careful, and most of all be patient. I have a
: blurb in the Campus Cats website that might help you, "Taming the Tiger."
: Thank you for taking the cat in.
:
: Sharon Talbert
: Friends of Campus Cats
: www.campuscats.org

Get some leather gloves. It was a big step forward when our ferals
quit biting and just hissed and scratched. I didn't realize it at the time.
Letting them be near you, like over nights under the bed, seems to
help... like the more time they are around realizing that you aren't
actively hunting them, in their minds... And if you walk near them and
do something unrelated to them, ignore them sometimes, seems to
help too. Don't look them in the eyes, I would guess now thinking
back. If you have other cats that seem to get along with them, it helps
and the one big thing that I'm remembering now was that I would
pet another cat where the ferals could see, before trying to pet them,
and when you get to a point where you can pick them up, put them
near each other. It's a motherly thing to do.

Our two ferals are named Snobol and Killer. One of them bit me, but
I couldn't tell which one because they look alike. So one is Killer but
we don't know which. They are the friendliest cats I've ever had or
even known that belonged to other people. I'm not sure why. They
both will let people approach without flinching and like to get petted
by everyone. I could go on for 10 minutes.



 




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