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Catching Kittens

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Theres a mom cat that I just discovered living behind my fireplace. I thought she was feral but she isnt after feeding her 2 days she now lets me pet her and hold her. Ive gotten permission from my rescue to foster them. But I have no clue how to catch the kittens. They ARE feral and dont want to be touched they run back in every time I see them. I would guess they are about 4-5 weeks. Just starting to venture out. Ive only seen 3 so far. I think thats all she has. Mostly white kittens with some black markings. Mom is mostly black with some white. Dad is mostly white with brown tabby spots. So any tips on how to catch the little buggers.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fostermomm View Post
Theres a mom cat that I just discovered living behind my fireplace. I thought she was feral but she isnt after feeding her 2 days she now lets me pet her and hold her. Ive gotten permission from my rescue to foster them. But I have no clue how to catch the kittens. They ARE feral and dont want to be touched they run back in every time I see them. I would guess they are about 4-5 weeks. Just starting to venture out. Ive only seen 3 so far. I think thats all she has. Mostly white kittens with some black markings. Mom is mostly black with some white. Dad is mostly white with brown tabby spots. So any tips on how to catch the little buggers.
Hi,

Please just use a safe box trap, even though you may not think you "need" to. It is a lot safer for them compared to being grabbed by a strange creature (you!). And simply because you do not know for *certain* what their health status is, it is important to respect that you don't. In some places, if an animal scratches or bites you and you don't have a documented rabies immunity for it, it is fatal for the animal. (Not to mention that a lot of people have a great fear of contracting rabies from animal bites).

I often see people claim "they aren't really feral" because they think that "feral" HAS to mean very wild, very shy, very unmanageable. But, consider that an ill feral cat may simply crouch in one spot. It may allow someone to pick it up. A feral cat that has been TNRd and fed and watched over, may be trusting enough of some humans (often, it seems, particularly slight persons, like young people or women) to seem quite "tame."

The fact is, these cats are living outdoors. That, in itself, says that they don't have the full socialization of being indoors with toys and regular feedings and high levels of interaction with friendly people. Please don't let the term "feral" be such a stigma -- it isn't that they are "bad" cats, it isn't that they are not in every way DESERVING of your care and affection. There is a broad spectrum of socialization, and ferals can fall along most of that scale.

If you make a grab for even a relatively tame cat, outdoors, and that cat spooks, consider that YOU may wind up hurt, the cat may end up with a twisted leg (there are discussions on TCS right now, of exactly this kind of injury!), and you WILL have made the cat reconsider its trust in you. Use a box trap, and (at least) the cat may dislike the trap, but it won't think of human hands as "the enemy."

Best,
Linda
post #3 of 19
A good trap is one possibility as they dont come near you.
Another is, as the mom seems to be friendly and let herself be cuddled, so cuddle her. When the kittens see their mom dares be near you and eats, and lets herself be cuddled, they will hopefully come near... It shouldnt take long. Perhaps even inside. And then you close the doors... Of course everything prepared inside: some hide places, water, food, litter.

What Linda says may also be true: the mom not really ex-homecat but sick/injured feral. And also needing protection for her kittens now when she is sick. Thus she accepts human help.
This variation isnt necessary bad at all: feral cats are as most easily socialized when very young, 3-7 weeks. Later it is more difficult.
But the Window opens again when they are sick or injured - and get friendly help from a kind human...
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks. The mom cat was an ex pet that someone abondend when they left as a 4 month old kitten. My neighbors guess shes around 8 months old now and shes been on her own since then. I did some digging around and before she had the kittens (before I moved here) she was very friendly but when she had them she became very aggressive. Which is why I thought she was ferasl. She would always hisses and run away if she saw me. But after I started feeding her she is now very sweet to me. Yesterday after I posted she pranced inside my apartment like she owned the place. I had to shove her back out because she cant come in till she has the all clear from a vet. Because I dont want my other fosters infected with anything. I think I might try a trap for the kittens. But they dont really come out much and arent eating the wet food I put out so I dont know how to convince them to go in the trap.
post #5 of 19
This may sound crazy but you have nothing to lose. Our foster kittens love the empty boxes from 12 packs of soda. Even the shy kittens are curious enough to join in the fun of climbing in and out. We just bend down the part that you open for the fridge and throw it on the floor. They spend hours going in and out of it. Good luck!
post #6 of 19
My foster kitten, Confetti, was a feral. She was live-trapped at 6 weeks. That might be an option.
post #7 of 19
I found Spooky Bear in the barn when he was about 5 weeks old, no momma cat around that we could find and it was very cold outside... I couldn't leave him out there. He was a scared, hissy little thing. I enlisted the help of my boyfriend for catching the kitty. It was difficult because there is a hole in the barn wall where he could run outside, and there is a room in the barn that has a bunch of room underneath it and he could hide there. It took about 2 hours and both of us, but we managed to corner him under a junk pile and John had to lay down on the wet ground and reach underneath and pull him out. We were able to get him into a carrier right away so he could settle down.
It was really the only option with him because he wasn't eating foods yet, so trapping wouldn't have worked.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just caught one of the kittens a male. I think she might have lost one of the kittens because Ive only seen 2 the last few days. I almost caught both of them but wasnt fast enough. This little guy is a little scared but doesnt seem to wild now that I caught him. He isnt happy but he did enjoy being petted. He only hissed at me when I first grabbed him. Now hes crying for mama. My foster cat Skye is having a fit trying to get him!
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update I now have officially caught all THREE kittens. All of them plus mom cast are in my bathroom. One of the kittens has some nasty looking eyes. Its the one that I hasdnt seen for a while. I dont think he can see. He bit me pretty gopod because I reached in and grabbeed him out of their little hole. the other two seem to be pretty friendly. But that little guy isnt feeling well at all. We are off to the vets soon.
post #10 of 19
That's great news! Great that you got the mom as well. She needs to be spayed and then adopted out since she sounds like a nice cat as well.

However you might need some medical attention yourself, where was the bite and how bad? Cat bites can be dangerous and turn very nasty very quickly. One friend of mine ended up being hospitalised for days after her cat bit her in the thumb joint. If she had gone immediately to see a doctor rather than waiting around a day it would have healed better and less danger of loosing the finger. She ended up being fine but there was serious danger of her loosing her thumb.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks. She will be spayed as soon as the kittens stop nursing. She was sooo happy to be inside she kept on kneading and rubbing on me. Kittens think inside is scarey. As for the bite he bit me on my pinky. My finger nail took most of the bite except for a little scratch looking puncture wound. I guess Ill set up an apointment for me too. I dont want to loose the finger. He seems to have calmed down and I can handle him fine now. But Ive got alot of bruising under my nail. He also clawed me up but most of the scratches you cant even see now. They just look like little white lines.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here are some pics of the cats.
Mom


The first one I caught


All 3 boys together again.
post #13 of 19
I'm so glad you caught them!! Soon enough, they'll all calm down. At least they are safe now.

Make sure you get yourself to the dr. That(a bite) can get nasty, really fast!
post #14 of 19
homeless outside born kittens have often problems with chlamydia in their eyes. This is probably what that one kitty has.
He must have medical attention by a wet; and get proper antibiotics.

(and you too a doctor and antibiotics).


Signature Malena had feral kittens with a lot of chlamydia.
Try to find her threads, perhaps you will find some of the many learning useful to you too.

If you need something to wash of the eyes:
kitchen-salt, a teaspoon, in a litre of water. Cook up, make it hand warm.

Almost exactly the same is bought from the apothece/drugstore. But this is free.

Ask the wet if it is oK for you to use this, or if shehe wants you to use something else.

Good luck!
post #15 of 19
Wow, they are so cute. I am glad that mom is so grateful to be inside.
Sorry about your finger. Healthy vides are being sent for your little family and your pinky!!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
The little mostly black kitten died. By the time he got to the vet he couldnt lift his head. The vet said it was water on the brain disease? Basically the fluid around their brain increases until theres no more room. The vet said it is congenital. Poor guy didnt have a chance. I noticed that his head looked really round and his eyes were realy bulgy. At least I know now that it wasnt something that could have been helped. He got to eat one last meal of KMR and then we let him nurse on his mom and put him to sleep. I was petting him and he was just cuddled up so sweetly to his mom. It was so sad. Im crying all over again. But the other kittens and mom are doing well. Tested negative for FELV. Estimated age for the kittens is 7 weeks.
post #17 of 19
Ah, sad about the little one. But he got at last nice last moments in comfort. If homeless he would have a long, no nice dying waiting for him... This "water-brain" disease happens sometimes to humans too... Nowadays it may be treated by surgery, opening a shunt for the excessive water, but before that it was a truly horrible sickness.

Was chlamydia his least problem, or had he no chlamydia at all? Your description wasnt so clear.
If no chlamydia, it is good news. Chances good his surviving siblings have no chlamydia they either.
Thus you dont need to treat them for that...

From now on everything should go on better and better, with any luck.

Keep us updated!
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
Ah, sad about the little one. But he got at last nice last moments in comfort. If homeless he would have a long, no nice dying waiting for him... This "water-brain" disease happens sometimes to humans too... Nowadays it may be treated by surgery, opening a shunt for the excessive water, but before that it was a truly horrible sickness.

Was chlamydia his least problem, or had he no chlamydia at all? Your description wasnt so clear.
If no chlamydia, it is good news. Chances good his surviving siblings have no chlamydia they either.
Thus you dont need to treat them for that...

From now on everything should go on better and better, with any luck.

Keep us updated!
Thank you. No he had no chlamydia the yuky eyes were because of the pressure build up behind them caused them to buldge out and he had trouble closing them. So they got dirty and infected. The other kittens are perfectly healthy.
post #19 of 19
I am so sorry to hear that you lost the little black kitten - but as StefanZ said. at least he had a little bit of comfort and love before he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. And I am glad that the other kits and mom are doing well.
I am sure this is a dumb question, but do you stay current on tetenus shots? If not, you should try to do that!
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