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First time to foster kittens

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to post for some advice and encouragment! Tomorrow I'm taking in two kittens, maybe 10-12 weeks old. I've been helping a friend with a stray/feral colony that she feeds and TNR's, and last week we found 4 kittens. All underfed, with fleas, worms, etc. She's had all 4 in her tiny bathroom since Friday, (in addition to her other 3 cats in her very small apartment!) I'll be taking in two tomorrow, one tuxedo (male) and one all black (female). Both have the greenest eyes!

We were able to get these two fixed already, for free with the city's services, so we hope to tame them and get them into a rescue to be adopted. She'll continue to foster the other two, both torties.

Here is the black and white:

here's the all black, pictured with an orange that's been fixed, but then released:

Anyway, tonight I'll get the extra room in our house ready, with LB, toys, beds, places to hide, etc. I just hope that my two cats don't freak out!
post #2 of 18
Hi Missy Ro Ro,

They are adorable! But then I've never met a kitten/cat I didn't like...I'm sending encouragement your way! It sounds as if you will have everything all ready for them. Your friend and the kittens are so lucky to have you! Keep us posted on how you are doing with them! You are doing a great thing!

P.S. Thanks for the nice posts!

post #3 of 18
Awww, those babies are adorable. Good luck fostering them. Have fun with them too!
post #4 of 18
They are beautiful! Bless you for helping these two darlings
post #5 of 18
I don't know about the history of you're cats or these two kittens, but I have to ask....have the kittens been FeLV tested? I would not let them have any contact with you're cats until they are.

I only post this because we just had two 6 week old kittens test FeLV+ & the foster mom has 2 cats that had contact with the kittens. She is heartbroken.
post #6 of 18
They are beautiful! Those green eyes are stunning.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
To White cat lover:

I believe that these have been tested when they were fixed, but I will double check with my friend Misty. But I will have them in a separate room so they can't mix with my cats.

They do all have beautiful green eyes! I'm calling the all black one "Jade" because of those eyes! The black & white is "Tom", he just looks like a Tom to me!

Thank everyone for the kind words! I don't have them yet but hope to pick them up tonight.
post #8 of 18
I just wanted to be sure.

I myself have a kitten named Jade, my bottle baby. She doesn't have those gorgeous eyes these two do, though!

Let us know when Tom & Jade arrive!
post #9 of 18
How are your two little guests doing?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
They're here!!!

I picked up the two little kitties last night, Jade and Tom. They were so scared and didn't make a peep the whole car ride home (only 15 minutes). They were in one large carrier together, laying on top of each other. When I got home, I set them in the spare room near the LB, and opened the door to the carrier, then left so they could explore the room a bit.

I came back about 30 minutes later, Tom had left the carrier and found a hiding place behind one of the cat beds (but he wasn't in it). Jade was still in the carrier.

I spoke really softly to them, and even was able to pet Jade a tiny bit on the head. I think she only let me pet her because she was in the back of the crate and had no place to run. But she didn't bite, hiss or scratch me, so I think that's a good sign, right?

Later when my husband Tony came home, he went up to see them. (Tony was never a cat person and resisted letting me get our first cat Chloe. Now he loves her, and Anya too. He has been resisting the idea of fostering for about a year, but finally agreed). Well, he took one look at Jade and renamed her Mistress Midnight, and says that he loves her and we aren't giving her to anyone! LOL! I am not so sure about that, but it's not something we have to decide about today, the main goal is still to socialize them and find good homes.

This morning I could not find Tom anywhere when I went to check on them. Last night he had managed to wedge his head in between a bookcase and a 3drawer rolling cart that I have in the room. I was able to lift the cart and free him (it's not in the room anymore). So this morning I figured he had found another tiny hiding space. The close door (sliding) was barely open, about 1/8 an inch, but I thought that must be where he is. So I spent 20 mintues going through the closet, half expecting a scared cat to jump in my face. But he wasn't in there! Where could he be??? Finally, I glanced at the bottom shelf of the bookcase, and noticed a black blob in between some books. Tom had wedged himself in between two books! It was so cute, I had to take a picture. I ran to get my camera and he was stilll there when I came back. I took a quick picture and then moved some books in case he was stuck. He took off across the room, pretty scared. I'll probably go home at lunch time and check on them. I hope they are adjusting ok! They had used the LB and ate some of the food I have out.

Thanks for everyone's encouragement, I'll try and post a link to the picture of Tom wedged on the book case tonight! By the way, Tony has now renamed him Wedge! I think that I'll stick to Jade and Tom when referring to them here, so ya'll don't get confused!
post #11 of 18
I'm glad they made it! With some love, they'll eventually come around! Can't wait for pics!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to post a little update on the foster cats, Tom and Jade. I've had them since Wednesday, and they are still very shy, and won't eat, play or move if I'm in the room. I've been spending time in there each day, talking to them, trying to interest them in play. So far, there doesn't seem to be any progress, but I understand it's going to take time.

Since I've had them, Tom has managed to get himself into some very tight spots. I really thought I had cat-proofed the room, but I guess I didn't! Saturday I found both cats inside my 1954 sewing machine, the old kind that folds down into the desk. They were both in there snuggled around the machine, thread everywhere! My husband and I had to force them out with a spatula, both hissing and spitting at us. Once we got them out, we had to move the sewing machine out the room.

This morning I couldn't find Tom anywhere, until I opened the top drawer on my desk. There he was! It's an old desk, and I didn't realize that the back of the drawer opened up under the top of the desk. So I pulled the drawer out and he ran for cover! Honestly I don't know where he'll hide next! And I do have safe hiding places for them both, Tom just refuses to use them! Jade is almost always in the same place, under my glider/rocker chair.

Well, that's all for now, I hope the ice starts to break soon with these kitties!
post #13 of 18
just keep spending time with them. the more they see you and know you are ok, the more likely they will come around I have 2 I'm dealing with as well! alot younger so i think i can get them to turn around fast. but I sleep even in the same rooms as them. when they wake you up, you can talk to them. but they usually do their own thing.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to post an update on the two kitties I am fostering. It's been two weeks today since I got them, and there has been very little progress. It's so frustrating!

They constantly hide whenever I am in the room. I can interest Jade in a piece of string or yarn, and she'll play with it a little, but still hisses at me quite a lot. And even when she's playing, she's hiding under my rocker/glider chair. Tom just stares me constantly, but is not interested in play at all. What can I do to bring these cats out of hiding?

I am afraid that I have taken on too much with this project. I work all day so I don't have lots of extra time to spend with them. Probably less than 1 hour a day. Plus, I just discovered that I am 6 weeks pregnant, and I am contantly tired, so I have even less energy and patience to work with them.

Thanks all for listening and offering any advice that may help!
post #15 of 18

I am no expert but I have seen other posts here that say to spend time in the room with them, but don't pay attention to them. Sit quietly and read a book, etc,or watch TV is one is in the room. I would do this as much time as you possibly can so they get used to you, but don't try to approach them or look at them. Eventually, they will feel safe and maybe try to approach you. Just speak quietly when this happens and maybe have a feather type toy to entice them, when they decide they are ready, not you.

Douglas, Deacon and Lady's Meowmy
post #16 of 18
I fostered a 15wo scared kitten last year, and the rescue recommended a cage rather than a room, and it did work quite well, after a while she was moved to the room and then improved even more. Scared cats are very good to show how well you need to catproof!! With the adult, I wished I had used a cage, but I didn't, and I just used to sit on the floor reading out loud, he did eventually come round slightly.
With regards to FeLV, just because cats come into contact with it, doesn't mean they will go on to develop it, they could develop an immunity to it (or even already have one).
post #17 of 18
I am afraid that I have taken on too much with this project. I work all day so I don't have lots of extra time to spend with them. Probably less than 1 hour a day. Plus, I just discovered that I am 6 weeks pregnant, and I am contantly tired, so I have even less energy and patience to work with them.
Well that's no good, they are still kittens, and they need a mother, and that is you. Working all the time, and being tired will not help any bit, they are learning life as being mostly alone. They may get over it over a long time from now as they get used to you, but you will more than likely never have them totally affectionate to you or strangers. If you do want to find them a new home, they need someone who is home all the time, and care for kittens as babies. If you are having your own baby, well he/she will be your number one.

I have seen kittens that are totally affectionate at first, lose that because no one is ever home during the day and they don't sleep in the same bedroom, during the most important time of their life, (kittens) they lose their mother, they still need a mother. They are also alone during the evening. They go from being affectionate and loving everyone to running way from everyone. We would never do that to children. Take them away from their mom at age 2 or 6 and expect them to live on their own. But some people just see cats as pets, but I see them as family members. It is possible to take a scared wild kitten and turn it around, its just really hard to do, and you need to constantly be doing it, throughout the day. But you don’t have long once they become an adult, they are set in their way. Just like children, if they have hard lives during their early years, they grow in dysfunctional teens and adults.
post #18 of 18
You are a dear (and so is Tony!) for giving these cats the chance they deserve! Sounds like things are going great, your instincts and experience with cats are in good shape! Thank you for "sharing" the two kittens with us here!

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