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Need some advise with Feral Mom and 4 kittens

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok about 1/2 yr ago my mom was adopted by this very sweet feral girl. She feed her and started coming to see mom on a daily basis. Abt. 2-3 months ago my mother noticed that she had gotten thin over night. Hmmm, I think you can guess what happened - she had 4 wonderfull red tabby kittens which she after a week or two brought along (PS - they have not left since)! They are basically weened, they eat dry & wet food and nurse whenever she allows them to.

I have found a local no-kill shelter that at this time will take 2 of the kittens and after some more are adopted would take the other 2. It just so happens that 2 of the little ones, we think they are girls, mom has no problem petting, picking them up, etc. So it would be easy to get them into the carrier. What is the best way on approaching this since we do not want to shy away mom and the other 2 kittens. We also have plans on getting mom spayed, dewormed, vaccinated etc. and would like to bring her back with us. She'll always be a feral BUT she would always have food, shelter and medical care. Thanks for any advise..
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
PS: ....and mom loves her to bits...
post #3 of 7
If you can freely capture up two of the kittens and they are on dry food and not nursing, then I suggest you do so. As long as you continue to feed mom and provide her with shelter, she will not move the remaining kittens to far away (especially if you are her only food source) Her biggest anxiety would be for you to take these kittens before they are ready. They should be at least 12 weeks old before leaving Mom, so she can teach them a lot of things you as a human can't. Once they are old enough, you should be able to (if I am reading your post correctly) handle the kits and the only thing that will get mom upset is the mewing of her kitties in distress, so you have to be swift about capture and take the kits away from mom's earshot quickly or mom might attack you. Even if she has allowed you to pet her in the first place. The best thing is to wait till they stop nursing and then trap them, but sometimes the best thing doesn't always work out. Good luck!
post #4 of 7
As iIwas trapping Goldie's kittens I usually waited until they were old enough for her to have wandered back around the house, etc. I swiftly got each that way. Goldie did not know really and kept coming each time. She would act shyer for a couple of nights afterwards, but would quickly return to her old ways.
Good luck and God bless you and mom for caring for this little family!
post #5 of 7
We had a feral family where the mom would never come near, but the kittens would. We waited until the kittens were for sure 12 weeks before we trapped them or mom - but the family disappeared regularly (giving us heart attacks). We adopted our Lazlo at what the Vet estimated was between 9 and 11 weeks because the family left him alone for several days and we felt so sorry for him, crying. The family ended up coming back, but we kept the kitty! Then we adopted his brother (Sheldon) the next week. The family, however, did always come back, even after we picked up Shelly and brought him inside.

For the rest of the family, we borrowed the have-a-heart trap from our Vet. Once we were sure the other kittens were 12 weeks, we trapped the kitties and took them to the vet. Then we trapped Mom and had her spayed. Mom pretty much disappeared after that - we see her far away and we know she eats the food and water we put out, but only her kittens come near when we put the food out. We just recently re-trapped one of the males to get him neutered. Even though he was young, he was big enough and healthy enough.

Our feral family didn't disappear when we "adopted" Sheldon. If you can find homes for the two "social" kitties, you probably should, although like everyone says, you should wait until you know they're 12 weeks if you can. If the family is coming and going and the kittens do not appear to be nursing, maybe you should make "the grab." Like Hissy says, things always don't work out the way you want them too, and the best thing for the little kittens, in the long run, is a loving home.

If you start putting the food in the trap, but not setting the trap, it should be fairly easy later to just set the trap once they're already used to eating in there. Even the big kitty (Julius) we trapped and took to the Vet we were able to trap again to get him back to the Vet to be neutered. Just make sure you wash the trap each time you use it, and when you actually want to trap them, use very stinky food, like tuna or herring to make sure they slink in there!

What an angel! Please keep us posted, and Good Luck.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the advise !!!

I want to make sure I understand you correctly. You are saying that even thoughthey are eating wet & dry but are still nursing at times, not frequently, you would suggest that we wait a bit longer before starting our effort to snag the little ones. We want to do the right/best thing for them.
post #7 of 7
Helen it is best to leave them with mom till they are off her teats, if you can see they are actively nursing her more than they are eating dry- then they still need her around. But if they are not going to her on a regular basis and are eating dry and wet food without a problem, then they are old enough to leave her. That is a judgement call on your part though.
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