Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-23-2019, 12:46 PM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 12,581

Anyone have experience taking in feral cats?


There's a colony of feral cats living under the neighbor's deck. Just about every summer a new group of kittens appears on my porch to eat the food we leave out for the yellow cat that's been living on our porch since before we bought the place.

This summer's batch was 4 kittens that were all on our porch one night a couple of months ago. After that night we've only seen two of them return, a little skinny grey one that I'm pretty sure is a male and a calico, and they've taken to basically living on the porch as well. I've been feeding them wet food and over the last few weeks they've become friendly, friendly enough to the point they'll run up to me just for pats and attention. They will let me pick them up, and they follow me around the yard like a parade, it's quite adorable. They're still quite kitten-y and small.

My wife and I are considering taking them in, at least until we can find them another home. Or maybe we'll just keep them, though I'm not sure how happy our two existing cats will be about that. We're at least going to get them fixed and vaccinated and stuff.

Anyone have any experience bringing in feral cats?

You want kitten pics? I got your kitten pics right here! From that first night they were on the porch:

https://i.postimg.cc/pTrmRdnW/IMG-2691.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/BZdBYrdL/IMG-2692.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/8PMBqySy/IMG-2693.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/sxZ1G0cb/IMG-2695.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/rwTCcSyq/IMG-2697.jpg
https://i.postimg.cc/dDP32mN3/IMG-2700.jpg

Sorry if they're blurry.
  #2  
Old 09-23-2019, 01:17 PM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,832
Any feral friendly enough to be touched is almost certainly friendly enough to be tamed, if they functionally aren't already. The younger you start doing that the better. Best thing to do is trap the kittens, tame them and adopt out the ones you can't/don't want to keep. Trap mom and her neighbors and neuter them to try and stop the constant kitten re-load. That last part is easier said than done, cats breed like rabbits . So that might be beyond your ability. But it sounds pretty promising for at least getting this set of kittens into a better life.

I don't know where you are, but if it is a major city there are likely organizations dedicated to trap-neuter-release programs that might lend a helping hand, including paying for the neutering. As far as taming feral kittens goes there is a lot of great info on the web. Best of luck .

Last edited by Tamerlane; 09-23-2019 at 01:20 PM.
  #3  
Old 09-23-2019, 01:27 PM
elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,804
When we were still living at my great-grandmother's house, a stray cat had kittens in the garage. My mom managed to catch one of the kittens when it was between eight and ten weeks old, and gave him to my aunt, with plans to catch and rehome the remaining two as soon as we could buy a have-a-heart trap which weren't in-stock at the hardware store. Unfortunately two days later a possum attacked the two remaining kittens, killing one and wounding the other. The mother cat must've thought they were both dead because she abandoned the wounded one. We were eventually able to catch the last kitten and take her to the vet - she had an infected bite but was otherwise okay.

Kitten three, named Boo, hid in the pool table for the first three days, but eventually became quite friendly to humans although not super fond of our other cats. We had her until she managed to escape outside after being scared by something (Mom thought it was a fight with another of the cats) eight or so years later.

Kitten one, Sam, was my aunt's beloved cat for nineteen years. He died two days after my mom did, however, making for a extra terrible time for my aunt.

So...if you get them very young, in my experience feral kittens can become very good pets.
  #4  
Old 09-23-2019, 01:28 PM
DorkVader's Avatar
DorkVader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 2,738
Sounds to me like the feral humans at your home have already been adopted and just haven't picked up on it yet.

I've taken in feral kittens a couple of times (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned Mouse The Fearless Coward and Princess The Hateful Snake Hunter before). Those kittens may be wild yet, but from the sounds of it not really feral, the behavior you describe sounds to me like you've become part of their conspiracy(of cats). By all means, work them into the indoors and get them all fixed up. There's a good chance they'll be some of the best pets to ever own you.
__________________
"The Wonka will show you the true nature of the chocolate, He is your master now."
Darth Desserticola, Sith Hare
  #5  
Old 09-23-2019, 01:32 PM
Quttaus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
My mom caught a feral kitten about six weeks old back in 2003 or so. You have to get them as early as you can or they never lose their feral instincts (around 4 weeks is the cutoff, so i been told)
  #6  
Old 09-23-2019, 02:57 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,817
Even adults or old feral cats can be very friendly, or grow to be so if you are nice to them, not only kittens. Unless they are orphaned or there are other exigent circumstances, you must never separate kittens from the mother or otherwise take them in before the age of 8 weeks or so. There are also different types of cat flaps and cat doors that can be used if you are able to let them go in and out.

The essential responsible thing to do, though, is to trap and sterilize all the cats over the age of six months, so that they will not keep reproducing.
  #7  
Old 09-23-2019, 04:39 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,004
Yeah, people who love cats need to also realize that they're an invasive species that wreak havoc with indigenous fauna. I'm sure they're also not adapted to the colder climes of human colonization, so it's extra-miserable for them to eke out an existence outside their original range.
  #8  
Old 09-23-2019, 05:26 PM
Anny Middon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,201
I was going to say that my sister-in-law adopted two feral cats, but actually they adopted her.

A woman in her neighborhood works to trap feral cats, have them checked out and neutered. My SIL is one of the families in the area that feeds the feral kitties and helps trap them. Two kittens -- a male and female from the same litter (and almost definitely the only two from that litter)-- took a look through their patio door and decided this was going to be their house. After a couple of weeks, sure enough they became indoor kitties in their new home.

I was a bit concerned that they would always hear the Call of the Wild, but they really exhibit very little interest in the great outdoors. It seems though that early on one of their favorite activities was looking out the patio door and lording it over the outside cats.
  #9  
Old 09-23-2019, 05:35 PM
Roderick Femm's Avatar
Roderick Femm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: On the cusp, also in SF
Posts: 7,256
Please beg or borrow or buy a humane trap (if necessary, if you can't just pick them up and put them in a box) and get the adult cats fixed so there aren't continual litters of new kittens. Not just the kittens, but all the adult cats as well. The adult female cats' lives will be much better without the stress of continual litters, and the world really doesn't need a constant new supply of feral cats.

Check with your local SPCA to see if they have a free feral fixing program like we have here in San Francisco. If not, they might be able to direct you somewhere that does.
  #10  
Old 09-23-2019, 06:11 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,261
Pic 4: I can haz home, please?

Those kittens as you describe them aren't feral at all any longer; they sound very human friendly. The one thing you need to be careful about is that if they've never been indoors they may panic when they first find themselves shut inside. If possible let them wander around inside a bit with the doors open before you put them in a room with a closed door; if you can't do that, make sure there's someplace in the room where they can hide -- that's a good idea in any case.

I've tamed feral kittens easily who were over 4 weeks old; I think the cutoff age is probably closer to 10 or 12 weeks -- but that's for first interaction with humans. Once they'll let you pat them, you're set.

And I have friends who tamed an adult feral cat once. He was sick and starving on their porch; it wasn't until food and a vet visit had him recovered enough so that he had the strength to resist handling that they realized they'd taken in a feral who was on their porch in the same way as a raccoon or a starving fox might have been, just because there was food there, not because he'd come to humans for help. It took them a long time -- he spent much of the first couple of years in the rafters in their basement, and it was several years before he'd let them pat him, and longer than that before he'd come to them for pats. Well before he died (at an advanced age), though, he had become quite affectionate, and not only came to them for pats but would also let me pat him when I visited, even though that wasn't often. So it is possible in at least some cases; but taming a fully adult feral can take years, and lots and lots of patience. But young kittens are generally easy.


Even outside big cities, there may be a trap-neuter-release program that can help you with the adults. Not everywhere has one; but it's worth trying to find out. Ask the local veterinaries, and/or any local humane society; they may know.
  #11  
Old 09-23-2019, 06:57 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,715
I hate to say this....



You have 2 new kittens. Congrats.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 09-23-2019 at 06:58 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-23-2019, 07:27 PM
Mundane Super Hero is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 152
They are the most angry vicious animals which will ever scar your arms, draw pints of your blood, and make you love them.


One checks on me at 3AM every night to make sure I'm still there.
  #13  
Old 09-23-2019, 07:35 PM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 12,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Pic 4: I can haz home, please?
That's the little grey one. He's a sweetie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
I hate to say this....



You have 2 new kittens. Congrats.
I know. We're just negotiating the terms.


Thanks for all the stories and advice. Tried to get people to come out and take care of the adults a few times, but we've yet to have any success in getting a hold of them (the people).

Probably sometime next week we'll make an appointment to take the two kittens in to the vet and get them fixed and vaccinated and everything. Then we'll start working them into our little indoor family. We think we have a friend who will take them, but if not, we don't have a problem with keeping them. Being siblings and seeing that they're always together we don't want to break them up.

Those pics were taken June 5, and they were very tiny. I'm guessing they were 3-4 weeks old then, which would make them about 16 weeks old now. They're very skinny, I'm worried if they're getting enough to eat, but then again, kittens at that age tend to be very skinny anyways.

Here's a pic of them from a few days ago (and Oscar, the yellow cat; and yes, he actually does live in an old trash can on my porch ): https://postimg.cc/hh7M6F8X

Anyone got ideas for names?
  #14  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:30 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Anyone got ideas for names?
Kandinsky and Pollock.
  #15  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:36 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Those pics were taken June 5, and they were very tiny. I'm guessing they were 3-4 weeks old then, which would make them about 16 weeks old now. They're very skinny, I'm worried if they're getting enough to eat, but then again, kittens at that age tend to be very skinny anyways.
They may be older than you think; lack of food can stunt growth. Once they start getting enough food (they can haz home, yay!) there may be a rapid growth spurt; enough food soon enough can let them catch up.
  #16  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:53 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,715
Names:
Boots and Socks
  #17  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:50 PM
gkster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,180
The calico looks like a classic "Patches"
  #18  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:01 PM
raventhief's Avatar
raventhief is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5,016
I have a former feral kittencat. Well, full grown cattenkit? She hid a lot at first. Now I can't get her off my pillow when I'm trying to sleep. She had stunted growth, or maybe she was the runt, but either way she's a very loving very small cat now.
  #19  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:04 PM
raventhief's Avatar
raventhief is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5,016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quttaus View Post
My mom caught a feral kitten about six weeks old back in 2003 or so. You have to get them as early as you can or they never lose their feral instincts (around 4 weeks is the cutoff, so i been told)
My little girl was definitely older than 4 weeks, we think about 8 or 9 weeks, and she's a lovebug now.
  #20  
Old 09-23-2019, 10:40 PM
HoneyBadgerDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Torrance Ca
Posts: 8,117
I have a feral cat now I got when it was only about 2 weeks old, I had to bottle feed it for several weeks. No different than a cat born in captivity. Lots of feral kittens are rescued each year and they become fully domestic in a short amount of time.
  #21  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:44 PM
Beckdawrek's Avatar
Beckdawrek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: So.Ark ?
Posts: 17,715
I bottlefed a few fosters that were feral. One in particular was so so needy and nearly dead when I got him. He was maybe 3 weeks old. He was brown til I had given him several baths turned out to be nearly all white with a very few grey stripes. I bottle fed him 6 weeks and taught him how to litter box and eat solid food. He would get under my hair at the back of my neck any time I was still. I really, really had to force myself not to adopt him. I go see him regularly, at his forever home. He's about 4yo now. When I see him, he crawls right up to my neck and tries to get under my hair. He purrs like crazy. His forever Mom said he doesn't do that to any one else. He's a good cat and they really love him.
  #22  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:08 AM
DorkVader's Avatar
DorkVader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: boise idaho
Posts: 2,738
Aw Beck, thats really sweet. They say you never forget your first crush, must be true for cats too(some anyway)
__________________
"The Wonka will show you the true nature of the chocolate, He is your master now."
Darth Desserticola, Sith Hare
  #23  
Old 09-24-2019, 04:52 AM
purplehorseshoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 10,099
My late Other Shoe's mom found a feral kitten about 3 or 4 weeks old. (Well, technically, their beagle found a kitten. They had, like, 7 or 10 housecats at the time anyway.) Little kitten had to be bottle fed for a couple weeks, and came complete with a massive ringworm infestation all over her face.

*looks over at sleeping lump of fur 18 inches away*

Can't be tamed, my ass.

That thing is literally within 5 feet of me all day & all night, now that I work from home full time. Sleeps with me, either by my ankles, or by my arms so I can half-hold her like a stuffed teddy bear. Rolls over if I so much as glance her direction, to show off her floofy tummy and beg for more scritches.

If you know where to look, she's still got scars on her nose from the ringworm.
__________________
I can haz sig line?
  #24  
Old 09-24-2019, 05:18 AM
Alessan's Avatar
Alessan is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tel Aviv
Posts: 24,728
Five years ago, I found a tiny coal-black ball of fluff crying by himself by my building's garbage cans. We took him in, and after establishing his social position vis-a-vis our older cat (specifically, he's in charge, she's terrified of him), he went on to grow up into a warm, cuddly, playful, ginormous ball of lard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
Yeah, people who love cats need to also realize that they're an invasive species that wreak havoc with indigenous fauna.
Not necessarily where I live, and anyway, so are humans.
  #25  
Old 09-24-2019, 02:03 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
Not necessarily where I live, and anyway, so are humans.
I don't get what you're saying besides you living within cats' natural range. Are you OK with them running rampant and killing off native species because humans are doing the same?

Last edited by Trancephalic; 09-24-2019 at 02:04 PM.
  #26  
Old 09-24-2019, 02:17 PM
Tired and Cranky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,562
My family had a few cats growing up most of which were from someone trying to get rid of kittens they found in their yard. The sweetest and friendliest of the bunch was a feral kitten who was abandoned or orphaned when she was about four(?) weeks old. She had to be hand fed with a syringe every few hours. She was a scruffy pathetic looking little thing but she was healthy her whole life until she died around the age of 15.

My friend was also adopted by an adult feral cat. My friend used to feed it on her porch every day. One time, the cat came in her house and didn't ever want to leave even when given the opportunity. She was very sweet to my friend but otherwise shy around people.
  #27  
Old 09-24-2019, 02:27 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
My family had a few cats growing up most of which were from someone trying to get rid of kittens they found in their yard. The sweetest and friendliest of the bunch was a feral kitten who was abandoned or orphaned when she was about four(?) weeks old. She had to be hand fed with a syringe every few hours. She was a scruffy pathetic looking little thing but she was healthy her whole life until she died around the age of 15.
With orphaned or abandoned cats there is no choice- you can buy powdered kitten milk formula to feed them (get the good stuff, not the cheap shit, it does make a difference). Also, very young kittens are blind and helpless, besides feeding them you have to help them urinate and defecate, and keep them clean and warm.
  #28  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:22 PM
Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 15,030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
Yeah, people who love cats need to also realize that they're an invasive species that wreak havoc with indigenous fauna. I'm sure they're also not adapted to the colder climes of human colonization, so it's extra-miserable for them to eke out an existence outside their original range.
Well, so are people. And we're a long way from the Serengeti Plains, too. So what?
  #29  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:36 PM
Trancephalic's Avatar
Trancephalic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net View Post
Well, so are people. And we're a long way from the Serengeti Plains, too. So what?
Nice whattaboutism.
  #30  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:37 PM
Morgyn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 5,819
Check out TinyKittens Rescue. They specialize in feral cats. The short story is that, handled properly, it is possible to get adult or even senior ferals to turn in their feral cards.

You might also want to see if there are any TNR groups in your area. They can get the adults spuetered. About 1 in 4 feral kittens survive, and the mammas can have up to 3 litters a year, which is very, very hard on their bodies. TNR saves a lot of lives.
  #31  
Old 09-24-2019, 10:40 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,817
If you live in the Scottish woodlands, African desert, Chinese mountains, or anyplace else with genuine wildcats, you should not mess with them, but normal feral cats in the city or countryside should be neutered and returned to their place afterwards.
  #32  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:11 AM
purplehorseshoe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 10,099
I just wanna get "speutered" into the general language. What a great alternative to the multisyllabic "spayed and neutered" runaround.
__________________
I can haz sig line?
  #33  
Old 09-25-2019, 08:22 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 85,051
My mom is one of the key figures in her neighborhood's catch-and-release spay program. There's a couple (we think siblings) who live on/around/under her front porch, and who are by now closer to being outdoor pets than strays (especially the female, who will actually refuse to let you feed her until after she's been petted). There have been a lot of others over the years, but some have died, some have moved on, and some we don't know what's become of them.
  #34  
Old 09-25-2019, 09:24 AM
StarvingButStrong's Avatar
StarvingButStrong is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 5,789
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehorseshoe View Post
I just wanna get "speutered" into the general language. What a great alternative to the multisyllabic "spayed and neutered" runaround.
And why is it 'spayed or *neutered*' anyway? We have a perfectly common and understandable word for what is done to the males: castrated. Why do we need to be euphemistic about that?

To reverse it, what is done with the females is perfectly well covered by 'neutered', so why don't we just use the single word?
  #35  
Old 09-25-2019, 10:51 AM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingButStrong View Post
And why is it 'spayed or *neutered*' anyway? We have a perfectly common and understandable word for what is done to the males: castrated. Why do we need to be euphemistic about that?

To reverse it, what is done with the females is perfectly well covered by 'neutered', so why don't we just use the single word?
Neutering: Overarching term for the removal of reproductive organs.

Castrating: Most common form of male neutering.

Spaying: Female neutering.

They all have a time or place for proper usage . I suspect people( maybe more men )found the word castration cringey and neutering or fixing was inserted as a neutral-sounding euphemism. Meanwhile spaying was always a term used specifically for non-human animals, so didn't have the same cringe effect.
  #36  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:19 AM
mack is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NYC
Posts: 3,496
I inherited a cat from my sister. He was rescued off the NYC streets and neutered before my sister adopted him. Actually I inherited two cats, but the one we kept was the one that successfully hid when it came time to go to bide-a-wee after a couple of weeks in our apartment. I just didn't have it in me to chase him down and take him away after the first fiasco. The only sign of life from him for the first few weeks was his business in the litter box and disappearing food and water. Otherwise he was invisible.

We've had him for about 10 years now. After the initial wariness wore off he pretty much always came to me for pets but only in the past year or so did he start settling down in my lap (only me). When we first got him, the rustling of plastic bags and the intake of my breath would set him off running. Forget about picking him and holding him. He was traumatized somehow when he was little but we can only guess. Rattling plastic bags still makes him clench if not run away. He has no interest whatsoever in leaving the apartment. He's cool with the way things are and he's not going to rock the boat.

He's mellowing out bit by bit as he gets older but he'll never be like the cats I had growing up. He's just a skittish little guy and I think that's the way he'll stay.

Last edited by mack; 09-25-2019 at 11:23 AM.
  #37  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:37 AM
StusBlues is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 4,649
Some friends of mine took in a pregnant feral female for the kittens' sake. They thoroughly socialized the kittens -- they're as friendly as any cats you're likely to find -- but they planned to have mom spayed and release her, as she wanted nothing to do with humans. They gave mom her own area and stayed away from it. She was as hostile to humans as any cat you're likely to find.

However, after seeing all the fun her kids were having, mom came around. She even approaches people now and nudges their hands to be petted. Their plan now is to try to place her in a home, as they already have seven cats in-house.
__________________
"I'm scared, sir." --Lieutenant George St Barleigh

"How much easier life would be if people asked outright and took no for an answer." --Annie Xmas
  #38  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:47 AM
tullsterx is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 934
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.
  #39  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:30 PM
Tired and Cranky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 1,562
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
With orphaned or abandoned cats there is no choice- you can buy powdered kitten milk formula to feed them (get the good stuff, not the cheap shit, it does make a difference). Also, very young kittens are blind and helpless, besides feeding them you have to help them urinate and defecate, and keep them clean and warm.
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.
  #40  
Old 09-25-2019, 05:35 PM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
If you get a kitten under 12 weeks or so, it's going to acclimate to people and grow up like any other cat.
Usually. The older they are, the longer it seems to take - i.e. 12 weeks old is typically a fair bit more work than 6 weeks old. And I've talked to people who do/did a lot of TNR and kitten socializing who say that very occasionally you'd get one( usually one of the older ones )that simply wouldn't tame down enough to be adopted by normal folks. Those would end up going to "expert volunteers" willing to put up with a unsociable, semi-feral cat.
  #41  
Old 09-25-2019, 10:57 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,817
Quote:
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.
Eyes will be open by 2 weeks or so. By 3 weeks they are starting to be able to stand up and walk. Around 4 weeks they will be able to pee and poop on their own; before that you absolutely have to help them. Get someone to show you if you don't know how. Once they are doing that, you can start to introduce (non-milk) cat food.

Maybe there is pre-mixed formula, but I've only seen the powder. Buy the good stuff, and follow the directions carefully.

Last edited by DPRK; 09-25-2019 at 11:00 PM.
  #42  
Old 10-01-2019, 10:44 AM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 12,581
Update: I've successfully lured them into a pet crate. Haven't closed the door on them yet, just put the crate out on the porch with the door off and have been feeding them inside of it. They have an appointment tomorrow afternoon at the vet to get shots and general checkups, then we're going to bring them into the house.

We've set up our guest room for them, with blankets and water and a litter box with litter on the bottom and mulch from the yard, where they go now, on top. The plan is to get them using the box, then gradually reduce the mulch. We'll keep them in that room for a couple of weeks.

Once they're comfortable inside the house, I'll make them an appointment to get fixed. After they are recovered from that, we'll start mixing them in with the two cats we already have in the house.

My wife is still deciding on a name for the little grey tabby, but I've decided to name the calico "Opal." Was flirting with "Marzen," but my wife vetoed that, so Opal it is.

Here's a photo of Opal from yesterday: https://i.postimg.cc/mD3VqsC5/IMG-2806.jpg
  #43  
Old 10-01-2019, 11:59 AM
cochrane is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 22,186
Must resist...

Hi, Opal!

She is a pretty gal.

Last edited by cochrane; 10-01-2019 at 11:59 AM.
  #44  
Old 10-01-2019, 12:49 PM
panache45's Avatar
panache45 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Ohio (the 'burbs)
Posts: 47,330
Be careful you don't end up like this.
  #45  
Old 10-01-2019, 01:30 PM
DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3,817
Put some kitty toys (balls, mice, ball of yarn, cardboard boxes...) in the room.

Last edited by DPRK; 10-01-2019 at 01:31 PM.
  #46  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:25 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,261
Very pretty Opal, well on the way to being not kitten but cat!

-- make sure the room's got places to hide in it (under beds, under other furniture, in boxes should work); and that any openings (even if you think they're too small to matter) to anywhere that you don't want them to hide are blocked off. I grabbed a barn kitten once just in time to prevent her disappearing into the floor via the opening a radiator pipe was coming through, and redirected her under the bed, where she spent her first three days or so in the house. (She is now 16, and generally prefers the top of the bed to hiding under it.)
  #47  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:48 PM
gogogophers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 1,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
Nice whattaboutism.
OK, point taken. What do you feel should be done? And why cats? (reverse whattaboutism)
__________________
Don't ask me to explain others' notions...
I can barely justify my own.
  #48  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:59 PM
gogogophers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 1,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post

Here's a photo of Opal from yesterday: https://i.postimg.cc/mD3VqsC5/IMG-2806.jpg
I'll take that cat!
I wish good fortune to you, being the most recent subservient to the new cats.
__________________
Don't ask me to explain others' notions...
I can barely justify my own.
  #49  
Old 10-03-2019, 07:36 PM
Baker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Tottering-on-the-Brink
Posts: 20,425
My cat Atilla is the offspring of a feral mother. She would let us stroke her back, I never attempted to pick her up. My neighbors and I both made a "nest" for her, as she was obviously pregnant. She had the kittens in my back yard, and did not object when they were transferred to the nest on my back porch. Two eventually disappeared,a couple months down the road, another person took in one, and I adopted Atilla. He seemed like any other cat, did not act any wilder than most kittens.

He's fourteen now.
__________________
At least my dog loves me.
  #50  
Old 10-04-2019, 10:14 AM
TubaDiva's Avatar
TubaDiva is online now
Capo di tutti capi
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: In the land of OO-bla-dee
Posts: 11,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
Kandinsky and Pollock.
Isn't that cat more of a Klimt?

Jenny
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017