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Ferals from grandma's

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok so I know I have been writing about wanting to start fostering for a shelter in my area but I believe it will be waiting a while.

My Grandma and Grandpa have been feeding some feral cats that have been living under their deck. A mom and her 4 babies to be exact. They started feeding her before the babies were born and they are almost as big as she is now (shes a skinny small kitty) My grandparents took them to a low cost spay neuter clinic so they are all fixed now.

My grandparents are going away for the winter in their Rv and I ahve volunteered to keep the cats here. I plan to keep them in a dog cage to start out I hope to be able to get them use to people. The mom does come close to people but she won't let you touch her. The kittens however won't let anyone anywhere near them. I will be catching them in a humane trap that my grandparents own.

I will be taking them to get the combo FIV/FELV tests and will treat them for fleas. I wont be able to comb them though so that will be hard.

Any Advice is much appreciated!!!!
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add I have three cats of my own. So I will be keeping the feral cats in a seperate bedroom. Is that enough isolation? i know for sure that my cats will be right at the door trying to sniff them and check them out. Just want everyone to be safe and healthy and happy!!
post #3 of 6
You can try putting a towel down at the base of the door so the cats can't interact under the door (I know our cats do this when we occasionally lock them out of our bedroom or the bathroom. Might be a good idea, especially until you know the ferals are healthy.

You might also want to get some flea/tick stuff on hand for use on the ferals and your cats (in case any bugs manage to spread) and probably change your shoes/clothes and wash your hands after handling the ferals. I would go ahead and relax on those after a couple of weeks when the ferals are for sure clean, then you can start to get your cats used to their smell. Are you planning on keeping them? Or just socializing them so they can go to good homes?

There are tons of people on here that have had a ton of success with ferals!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I really hope to get them to good homes but they are pretty old and big now and I am afraid of their chances because it will also take a while to socialize them. I tried so hard to get my grandparents to let me trap them when they were tiny but they were too attatched I think. My grandma thinks that if you take them to the humane society its like a death sentance.
post #5 of 6
Unfortunately for old ferals, this is partially true. Usually around here they just make sure they're fixed, clip their ear to indicate that, and let them go on their way.
post #6 of 6
Many shelters, even many "no kill" shelters mean that they don't kill cats and kittens that they think can be adopted out - but they do kill cats that they don't think are social enough. It's really very tragic - but there is SUCH a shortage of people willing and/or able to foster!

What a wonderful thing you're doing for these cats!

I think keeping the new family in a separate bedroom is just fine. It's not clear to me when things are happening - but I would talk to my vet and see if it's possible to bring them directly to the vet as soon as they're trapped. That way they can get initial treatments for fleas and other parasites already under the belt before they even enter your house.

The towel under the door is a good idea. If they have fleas, you may want to purchase flea collars at the supermarket. Do NOT put them on the cats - flea collars can kill them - but cut them up and put them in your vacuum cleaner. Vacuum frequently, and the collars will kill any fleas/eggs you vacuum up.

As to socializing them... get a nite lite so it's never completely dark in the room. Consider putting a radio in there tuned to a classical station. Then... just spend as much time in there as you can! Sit in there and read, read out loud, knit, sew, whatever hobby you may have... The whole point of socialization is to build trust. And just getting them used to a human presence is the building block. Of course interacting with them from time-to-time is OK. Wand toys are great for this. But ignoring them is the first, most important part of earning their trust. It sounds strange - but it works.

The first step in socialization is for them to learn and understand that they are safe - they have food, water, clean litterboxes, hidey places - and you don't want anything from them. The less you seek them out at first, the quicker they come to trust that you're not trying to do anything to them.

Actually, Heidi wrote a great piece on socializing ferals:


Finally, the most important thing you can do for these kitties is to have them spayed and neutered! Especially if mom is going to be released at any point. Since it seems like the kittens are already weaned, you may want to consider taking mom directly to the vet after being trapped, and having her spayed right away.

And it is safe to have the kittens spayed or neutered as early as seven weeks old. Many vets don't have the experience or aren't familiar with the study, but we simply don't adopt out kittens unless they've been sterilized. Here's a link to the study in case your vet is interested: http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/repo...ly-neuter.html

If you need low-cost spay/neuter services, you can use http://www.pets911.com/services/spayneuter/stamp.php (just type in your zip code) or click on the link in my signature line for more links to help you search for services in your area.

Keep us posted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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