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hoping someone here can help

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
When our neighbors moved about a month ago the landlord went in to clean a few days later and found she had left her cat and 2 kittens.They turned them loose outside.Well that evening the mom cat came back to there porch and i went and got her and bought her to my house.I already have 3 cats but convinced my husband to let me keep her.We kept an eye out for the kittens but didnt see them until 2 weeks ago.I saw one behind our house but it wouldnt come to me.I left food out and watched it come eat from my window.The next evening i put food out and snuck around the house and tossed a blanket on it and bought it in.It went crazy running everywhere i opened my basement door and it ran down there.Problem is it got up in the ceiling in the basement and we have not seen it since.We leave food down and everynight the food is gone.I put a litter pan there and it is getting used.My son caught a brief glimpse of it the other day but as soon as it saw him it jumped on the water heater and back into the ceiling.I am at a loss as to what to do.To top it off i took the mom cat to get spayed and she was already pregnant the vet said she would be due in about 2 weeks and that was 2 weeks ago so i guess any day now we will have more kittens.Any ideas?
post #2 of 17
Well the good news is that he's eating, drinking and using the litterbox! Can any of your other cats get down to the basement? Keep them out and you can set up a humane trap with the food in it down in the basement and you should catch him pretty easily that way. Once he's caught, get him checked out by the vet (and especially neutered, but remember that they can still impregnate a female up to a month after they've been neutered). Once his tests come back negative and he's had his shots, you can keep him in a spare room without any of your other cats (including the preggers one) and work on socializing him (there are tons of people here that can help) and you can find him a good home (if not your own!). Try catching the other kitten that's still outside as well. If you do and they both get fixed and UTD on shots, they can be put in the same spare room together.

As for the Pregnant Cat, keep her in her own room and start setting up a box with towels and such in it for her to give birth in. A closet is supposed to work really well, nice and isolated. Did the vet say she was healthy? Post on the Pregnant Cats and Kittens board about her and you'll get a wealth of knowledge!

If you can take a pic of the little guy (once he's trapped) then some people on the site might be able to help you estimate his age, but the vet will have a better idea (ok, I'm just trying to get you to post pics )

Keep us posted!
post #3 of 17
Oh yeah, I'm sure someone will be along shortly with a list of low-cost spay/neuter clinics in your area for you to take them to. Also, if you contact your local rescue group/shelter/humane society, you may be able to either 1) have the kittens sent to one of their foster families to be tamed or 2) get funding/supplies for you to foster them until they can go to a permanent home!

Thank you for taking them in, judging by how quickly the Momma Cat got PG again, you're saving a lot of potentially feral unwanted kitties.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Taking them to a vet and getting them fixed is not a problem.My husband is a carpenter and has remodeled the house of our vet so we take our animals to her and unless they need medicine which we got at her cost she does all there care.My 2 littlest cats are 6 months old now and this one that is in my ceiling looks to be the same size.I am glad that it is eating and using the litter box and it living in my ceiling isnt hurting anything but i just think it must be getting pretty bored up there.My other cats dont go down there unless they follow me down to do laundry.If we can catch i have no idea how to tame it as it went crazy the day i brung it in.I have 5 small children so i have to be careful that it wont hurt them.The kittens the mommy cat is expecting now i have 1 gave away.My daughters teachers little girls bithday is in january and she wants a kitten so that will work great they will be ready to leave there mom by then.I only have a regular camera but i will take a picture of all my cats and get them on disc soon.We have tinkerbell who is 3 years old we got her as a baby.Shiloh and midnight our 6 months old they were my birthday present we went to the flea market and a lady was giving them away.My kids have named the mommy cat angel and they call the one in the basement wild thing.I tell ya between the cats and the kids its never very dull here plus my daughter has a cage of pet mice.
post #5 of 17
Haha, those poor mice in a house full of cats!

Since you don't think you'd want to tame them (given you have enough cats and children of your own to tame!), I'd call your local shelter and explain the situation, they'll probably have a foster family that can work with them, they should also be able to loan you a humane trap (or your vet can) to trap Wild Thing and his still MIA sibling. I'd go ahead and try to trap him soon since you don't know what he's doing! I'd hate for you to later find out that he was chewing on something or spreading fleas around your basement!
post #6 of 17
This is what you call learning from experience, lol! Bet you'll never bring in another rescued kitty and let it loose in the house, right?

I know the situation isn't actually funny - it just makes me think of all the crazy things we learned along the way.... and a separate kitten-proofed room is where we let trapped cats go. :;

Most importantly - thank you for rescuing these cats! How can people just leave their cats behind - and confined to the home to boot? GGGRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

I agree with jkrodger - best to try to trap the little guy. You can contact local vets, shelters or orgs to see if someone has a Have-a-hart trap you can rent or borrow to do it. Lay newspaper down over the floor when you set the trap, and put tuna or herring (no sauce) in it - something stinky that will definitely draw him in. Just make sure you know where you're taking him when you do it.

He won't hurt your kids unless they try to play with him. Are they old enough you can explain that he needs to be left alone? If you don't want to work on taming him, it would be best to contact local shelters to see if there's some place that can take him (and the litter-to-come if need be - but sounds like you've got that already worked out). PLEASE make sure they are no kill shelters and WILL foster feral kittens! Some "no kill" shelters mean they don't kill cats they think they can adopt out - but they will kill "unadoptable" cats.

Good resources for finding shelters or organizations that may help: http://www.pets911.com - just type in your zip and click on the "Find a Local Shelter or Rescue" button on the left.

If you want to foster the wild kitty so he can be adopted out, or if you decide to socialize and keep him, it is possible if you have a guest room or will keep him confined to your bedroom or an older child's room or something.

The basic idea is to get him used to people, to learn that he can trust people, and to let him get used to the idea that people are OK. Simply providing food, water, and a clean litter box is the start. Being in the room with him but ignoring him is next. Leaving a radio on a classical station may help. Working on a computer in the same room, doing the ironing, folding laundry - any basic work or chores that can be done in the same room are great. Reading aloud. Singing. People are around and doing things - but aren't trying to do anything to him. And he'll get used to the sounds and presence of people and the sounds of the house. The less you seek him out the better. When he's willing to come out to eat in the presence of a human, or there are signs that he's been playing with toys left out for him while everyone sleeps, wand toys or food on a spoon can be used for interaction - but for short periods of time, and they should not be "forced" on him. The basic idea is to let him learn to trust on his own time. After whatever time he needs, he'll get curious. Maybe he'll sit in a corner and watch. Maybe something will just "click" one day, and he'll want to play, and a few nights later you'll wake up and he'll be asleep on your bed - but the minute you reach out to pet him, he'll run away. This is the process of socialization - one step forward, two steps back - or three steps forward one step back. It could be a couple of weeks, it could be a couple of months. But when you've fostered a kitty like this for a couple of months, it's darn hard to adopt them out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you want a read of a socialization like this, but with an older kitty (6 - 7 months), this is just amazing: Lucky's story

It is with this type of cat that the most special bonds are formed. There is no other bond or trust like that between a formerly feral cat and a human/family that has come to earn his trust.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
WELL I CALLED OUR ANIMAL SHELTER AND THEY SAID THEY CAN SEND A HUMANE OFFICER OUT WITH A TRAP AND THEN THEY WILL PICK THE CAT UP THE NEXT DAY BUT THEY are 100% positive that if it is not tame it will be put to sleep because they are full of cats.That to me is not acceptable.I will let it live in my ceiling as long as it wants before i let them kill it.It was to late to call any vets the one we use does not have traps but i will try some more places tomorrow.my husband says its getting in a big crawl space under our bathtub and this weekend when he has time he will try to make an access panel to it.We dont have a spare room upstairs but there is a seperate small room in the basement that has no holes or anything.I would put it in my room but that is where i am going to keep angel and her kittens.My husband made me promise if we get this cat tamed i will not bring another cat into this house for any reason so i guess if we can tame it we will keep it.A friend told me there is a rescue here called hearts from heavon but i cant find a number or anything for them.
post #8 of 17
It's good that you are willing to keep this cat.

There are a few TNR groups in WV:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html#wv

Katie
post #9 of 17
could you ask the people that want to put the poor kitty down if they'll just trap it for you? then you can get it into the spare room (make sure you put toys in there otherwise he might start destroying anything and everything.

Thank you for sticking with this kitten! And congrats on the babies (I read in your other thread).
post #10 of 17
You and hubby truly are angels!

I do think using a trap to capture him will be the least traumatic way of going about it.

To tame the kitty, once he's in the separate room, just have one person at a time in the room doing something in there as often as possible. Do make sure he's got lots of hidey places so he feels safe. Cardboard boxes turned on their sides with cat beds or blankets in them work great. Keep a nightlite on in there for him, and the more time someone can spend time in the room, the quicker he'll come around.

You can also do things like get an old T-shirt really sweaty, and set it down with treats on it. Or put it under his food dish. Or both. This will help him come to associate your smell with "good" things.

You're absolutely wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #11 of 17
any update on this little guy?
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
My husband found a friend who has a have a heart trap he is getting it tonight.He took part of the wall out in the kitchen and we cant see the thing no where but every morning the food dish is empty and the litter box is used.I think he is invisable.
post #13 of 17
Good lucking trapping the little fella!
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
My husband caught it this morning after a race thru the house knocking over everything in its process.The cat would run straight toward us and try to jump on us to get past us.After we finally got it cornered in the bathroom my husband thru a blanket over it and caught it.As long as he was in the blanket he would let me rub his head but if i loosened my grip at all he would try to bite and scratch.Becaese we have 5 small kids we let him go back out doors.I feel real bad for the little guy but like my husband says i cant save them all.I will put food out for him tho if he comes back around to eat it.On a brighter note the mom i took in and her babies are doing great.They are almost a week old and have grown so much already.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
It's good that you are willing to keep this cat.

There are a few TNR groups in WV:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html#wv
Perhaps you could contact one of these groups to at least trap and speuter him/her so that the cycle of kittens does not carry on, otherwise you may have problems with those kittens as they get a little older

Its great that mama and kittens are doing well
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbnpjtasa View Post
My husband caught it this morning after a race thru the house knocking over everything in its process.The cat would run straight toward us and try to jump on us to get past us.After we finally got it cornered in the bathroom my husband thru a blanket over it and caught it.As long as he was in the blanket he would let me rub his head but if i loosened my grip at all he would try to bite and scratch.Becaese we have 5 small kids we let him go back out doors.I feel real bad for the little guy but like my husband says i cant save them all.I will put food out for him tho if he comes back around to eat it.On a brighter note the mom i took in and her babies are doing great.They are almost a week old and have grown so much already.
That is actually pretty typical behavior for a cat who is feeling threatened. Actually a feral will do all that he can to stay away from you, and will only bite and scratch when he has no other choice (in his mind). I don't know any cat, domesticated or feral, who would have responded positively in that situation. I know you were trying to do the right thing, but chasing him down and cornering him, throwing a blanket over his head, and then forcing contact with him must have scared the life out of him, and really isn't a fair test of his potential for socialization. Like Icklemiss said, I really wish he had at the very least been neutered. It would have made his life on the street easier, and would have prevented future offspring for him.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbnpjtasa View Post
My husband caught it this morning after a race thru the house knocking over everything in its process.The cat would run straight toward us and try to jump on us to get past us.After we finally got it cornered in the bathroom my husband thru a blanket over it and caught it.As long as he was in the blanket he would let me rub his head but if i loosened my grip at all he would try to bite and scratch.Becaese we have 5 small kids we let him go back out doors.I feel real bad for the little guy but like my husband says i cant save them all.I will put food out for him tho if he comes back around to eat it.On a brighter note the mom i took in and her babies are doing great.They are almost a week old and have grown so much already.
I can appreciate that this was a very scary experience for you...but it truly wasn't his fault regarding his reaction. If he does come back.....I would recommend using a humane trap and taking him directly to the vet for neutering. If you do not intend to follow through with getting him neutered...I wouldn't advise putting out food. I know you feel awful...but putting food out will only encourage him to stick around and if there are any intact females...come this spring, you will find yourself having to save more litters.

I'm glad that the mom and kittens are doing well...but a bit of advice....we've had several posters who have taken in "very sweet" pregnant cats who once they have had their kittens and have gone back into heat...do exhibit more feral behaviors. I would make sure she is well secured in a room with 2 doors between her and the great outdoors and plan to have her spayed once the kittens are weaned.

Katie
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