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  #51  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tullsterx View Post
Those cats sound pretty tame to me. A friend of mine got a feral cat and I went over to her apartment, and she said "it's in here, but you won't see it, I never see it." About a week later she said she saw it come out and eat some food she put out but she couldn't approach it. I remember getting glimpses of it darting between hiding places out of the corner of my eye. I'm not sure how things evolved with her, but if you can pick a cat up, it's pretty tame in my opinion.
We had a feral cat have her first litter on the doorstep. ON the doorstep.

We think it was her first litter and it came upon her and she didn't know what to do. She birthed three when she got spooked by another cat, snatched up the latest kitten she had given birth to and ran away, jumping over the fence. Leaving the other two mewling on the doorstep.

Whatchagonnado? We took them in, got the afterbirth off them, kept them warm. The next day we got kitten formula -- If this happens to you be sure to get kitten infant formula ard not WEANING formula, which is easier to find, I guess, because it's more usual to have to wean kittens than to take care of them from the jump -- and fed them every two hours for what seemed like forever.

One of them, sadly, didn't make it. The other one is now full grown, thriving, and running around my Mom's house. Very sweet kitty, very affectionate. All he's ever known is people loving up on him and he loves right back.

While cats figure out how to use a litter box pretty quickly, when they're little babies the mama cat has to stimulate them to make them poop, their system are not yet fully developed. People do it by rubbing their bellies softly with a towel. Then you clean up the kitten and go about your business. That's an important part of kitten tending but unless you get a situation like we did when they come to you two minutes old, that's not necessary. If they can run around on their own and their tails are not at perpetual "kitten flag" attention, you can set up a box for them.

Jenny
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  #52  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:59 AM
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Update: they got full checkups at the vet and both were disease- and internal-parasite-free. Opal had some ear mites and they both had fleas, but we were expecting that; I'd have been surprised if they didn't have fleas. Vet took care of both of those things, too.

The vet and his techs were all very smitten and impressed with our domestication of these two. They were telling us normally when they hear someone is coming in with feral cats they get ready for war, but they couldn't believe how tame these two were. They actually purred while getting their vaccinations.

They are currently locked in my guest room. We took the mattress off the old rope bed that's in there so it's just a wood bed frame and some bookshelves that I put hard plastic barriers over. They have a blanket on the floor, the crate that we took them to the vet in (that they are still using as their "kitten cave"), some toys, water, dry food, cardboard scratching pad, litter box.

They seem pretty smart. Having never used a litter box before, they figured it out immediately. They've been going in the mulch in the yard, so I just put litter in the bottom of the pan and put some mulch on top. They seem to have made the connection. They also intuited what the scratching pad was for and have been scratching it and not the walls and furniture.

I was a little afraid they were going to be lonely and meow-y when we left them alone but they're fine. Apparently we inadvertently trained them to not be needy; every day while they were living outside I'd feed them and give them attention for 10-20 minutes, then I'd just go inside and close the door. They are super affectionate when I'm in there but they are fine when I leave. When I spend time with them in the room then leave, they just accept it.

We have to keep them apart from our other two cats because of the mites and fleas, for 3 weeks. After that we'll take them back to the vet for a booster vaccine then we'll get them fixed and they can meet Whitney (13) and Pixie (3). We think Pixie will enjoy having some friends; Whitney's an old lady and has no interest in playing with her.

Kitten pics! The calico is Opal, the gray tabby is Willa.

At the vet: https://i.postimg.cc/rsLVGzfB/IMG-2821.jpg

Kitten pile in their new room: https://i.postimg.cc/tT6RVFNd/IMG-2828.jpg

Kitten pile on my lap last night: https://i.postimg.cc/FK8sRT3s/IMG-2847.jpg
  #53  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:21 AM
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SQUEE!

Congratulations on the new additions to your family.

I wish more people had your heart and your smarts; you've done all the right things for these cats. Which is not so common, too many people think because cats are independent minded they can do for themselves, don't need people, don't need anything. This is how we get these herds of feral cats under people's porches and etc. My old neighborhood has such an enclave. It's too difficult to catch 'em to get 'em neutered/spayed, no one can afford it even if they could catch them. My mother feeds them because she can't bear the thought of them being hungry. They're often weeded out by coyotes or loose dogs too, and that is heartbreaking. Sometimes we see cats that people have simply turfed out in the mix as well; try to rescue them when we can. My mother takes kittens in for spay/neuter when she can catch them.

Jenny
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  #54  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:51 PM
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Yes, get them young. I still feed a mom and one of her kittens. Unfortunately, the kitten was older when we realized he was in need of a home. We spayed and neutered seven cats that year.
  #55  
Old 10-04-2019, 12:56 PM
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Yes we adopted two from the backyard that we are technically "fostering" but I am sure we are keeping them- brother and sister. TNRed. Now after a few years they still dont want to be picked up but they both love getting petted and will ask for it.
  #56  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:37 AM
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They are currently locked in my guest room. We took the mattress off the old rope bed that's in there so it's just a wood bed frame
IME leaving the mattress there would have been no problem -- at least unless you consider hearing kittens bounce on and off the bed to be a problem. Mine enjoyed the bed greatly once they came out from under it (which doesn't seem to be an issue with yours; judging by the pictures they don't feel it all that necessary to hide.)

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They seem pretty smart. Having never used a litter box before, they figured it out immediately.
Yup.

The trick to housebreaking kittens is just to give them only one thing in the room they can dig and bury in -- remove any potted plants, for instance. Healthy kittens will use the pan if it's the only such option in there.

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I was a little afraid they were going to be lonely and meow-y when we left them alone but they're fine.
They're not alone: there's two of them, so they have each other.

This is one of multiple ways in which it's easier to have two kittens than one.

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Kitten pics!
Seconding Squeeee! and adding D'awwwww!

-- has your tabby got several small patches of orange? looks like it in the picture; especially in the picture at the vet. if so, is that actually a tom?
  #57  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:49 AM
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IME leaving the mattress there would have been no problem -- at least unless you consider hearing kittens bounce on and off the bed to be a problem.
The reason we took it off is the fleas. Vet said the stuff he put on them would take 3 days to fully work, and in the meantime we wanted to remove everything that we could from the room so it would be easier to clean, both of the remaining fleas and just in general.

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
-- has your tabby got several small patches of orange? looks like it in the picture; especially in the picture at the vet. if so, is that actually a tom?
Yes. She has a little sliver of orange on the top of her head, some random short orange streaks on her body, and her feet. The vet saw it and remarked "Same father."
  #58  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:52 AM
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awww, congrats on your new pets.

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Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
I don't remember having to help her pee or poop. I also thought that the kitten formula was premixed but maybe my brother was mixing it ahead of time for us. I may have forgotten the details over the last couple decades. She was pretty helpless. I don't remember if she was blind but she certainly didn't move much under her own power.

It occurs to me for purposes of this thread, feral cats shouldn't really include kittens. If you get a kitten under 12 weeks or so, it's going to acclimate to people and grow up like any other cat. If you get an adult feral cat, I'm guessing it's more likely to be skittish or violent with people. It probably takes a while for a cat to learn to be a real feral cat with the questionable behaviors that entails.
We cared for orphan kittens, once. We definitely had to help them pee and poop, but it was easy, we just gently wiped their bums with a warm wet washcloth.

And yes, babies aren't "feral". They are not-yet-socialized. Those kittens were the tamest, most human-centric kittens we ever fostered. We also fostered some older, semi-feral kittens and young cats, with the goal of socializing them enough to live comfortably with humans.
  #59  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:54 PM
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awww, congrats on your new pets.


We cared for orphan kittens, once. We definitely had to help them pee and poop, but it was easy, we just gently wiped their bums with a warm wet washcloth.

And yes, babies aren't "feral". They are not-yet-socialized. Those kittens were the tamest, most human-centric kittens we ever fostered. We also fostered some older, semi-feral kittens and young cats, with the goal of socializing them enough to live comfortably with humans.
Oh yes, we have two raised from a day old cats, they follow us everywhere, they are super affectionate.
  #60  
Old 10-05-2019, 02:54 PM
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The reason we took it off is the fleas. Vet said the stuff he put on them would take 3 days to fully work, and in the meantime we wanted to remove everything that we could from the room so it would be easier to clean, both of the remaining fleas and just in general.
Ah. That makes sense, about the fleas. Flea eggs in the mattress are well worth avoiding.

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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Yes. She has a little sliver of orange on the top of her head, some random short orange streaks on her body, and her feet. The vet saw it and remarked "Same father."
Or else two orange fathers --

Pretty kitty. And female, I gather.
  #61  
Old 10-05-2019, 04:29 PM
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Willa looks like my Figara.

I miss my Figgy.
  #62  
Old 10-05-2019, 07:11 PM
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Or else two orange fathers --
How is that? The "orange" gene is sex-linked, to the X chromosome. If the mother has at least one orange gene, then a tortoiseshell female can result even after a mating with a black (i.e., non-orange) male. Unless I have misunderstood the origin of the orange patches...
  #63  
Old 10-05-2019, 08:56 PM
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Could be a chimera. There's at least one notorious (in the cat show/breeding world, at least) case of a purebred Maine Coon who is a.) calico colored, and b.) very proudly, and prolifically, a virile male.

https://www.dmagazine.com/publicatio...w-controversy/
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  #64  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:24 PM
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Up at the farm the folks were having a problem with feral cats eating all the birds and squirrels. So Dad started a system of live trapping and shooting them. These were not "nice" cats either but mean tomcats. Over the years he killed dozens. The birds began to come back.

Now normally he would check the traps and the cat caught would be mean and hissing and angry until one day the cat he noticed was female and seemed friendly and docile. He just let that cat go. Next day the cat was back in the trap and he let it go again. Soon that cat would not run away but stayed around him. A while later they decided to let the cart come into the house and sort of adopted it. She became their new cat and was a good pet. She would go outside alot and rarely used a litter box. She would just scratch on the door and want outside then let them know when she wanted back in. Sometimes she would be gone a couple of days.

Later she had one kitten. She died later and the kitten is their cat.

Dad still caught and killed any other ferals.
  #65  
Old 10-06-2019, 09:56 AM
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How is that? The "orange" gene is sex-linked, to the X chromosome. If the mother has at least one orange gene, then a tortoiseshell female can result even after a mating with a black (i.e., non-orange) male. Unless I have misunderstood the origin of the orange patches...
I was assuming the mother had no orange showing; because if she did, then orange showing up in two female kittens wouldn't have said anything about the father at all, and the vet. presumably wouldn't comment on seeing the orange that they must have had the same father.
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