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Taming a feral Kitten

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Tuesday while I was at work my husband trapped a kitten, she's adorable but still a little too wild. We've been keeping her in a dog crate with a litter box, with food and water always available.

I took her to the vet Friday and got her started on her shots. They estimated she's about 16 weeks but a little thin. Our neighbors plan to take her when they get back in town. They will finish the vaccinations and spay her, she will be an outdoor cat.

Yesterday we let her out of the crate and she was being so sweet, I got over confident and let her outside for a while. Bad idea, she didn't go far but would not come back to me, tricked her into the cat crate this morning with raw liver. So now she's back in the box. I have a 6 day work week ahead of me and can't spend as much time with her as I have. She needs a crash course in domestication, before her new owners come home.

I appreciate any advice you can give.
post #2 of 12
i'm probably the last one to give you any advice..... have 3 kittens now
at a friends house and am failing desperately at taming them.

someone just told me to get some roast beef and to give them little
pieces of that... but not the outside as they don't like the seasoning.

so i did and wow two of them responded great to that.

can you pet this kitten or pick it up ? that would be your first goal
but if you can pet it or pick it up make sure to do that while the kitten
is inside the cage. if you get too confident and take the kitten outside
the cage and it freaks it will leap out of your arms and set you back weeks.
that is what happened to me. my friend was making great progress with
two of them and took each one out of the cage and the phone rang when
one of them was in her arms and it freaked and leaped out of her arms.

by the time we recaught the kitten it was so traumatized that it is now
the most scared out of the three.

so if you get to the point where you can pick up the kitten to pet it
make sure you are standing right near the door of the cage and have
the kittens head facing the OPEN door of the cage so that if the kitten
freaks it will jump inside the door.

i had told my friend that a few times but i guess she forgot or got too
confident and now the kitten is paying the price.

if we can't get these kittens tame enough to go to the rescue to be
adopted out they will have to go back to the kids yard where they
came from.

also, maybe you can convince your neighbors to keep their new kitty

so good luck and be careful. what a nice thing you are doing !!!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have been able to pet her since Wed and could hold her on Friday, Saturday I let her roam around the house a little then got over confident and went outside. That has set be back a little, but she was pretty easy to trick when she got hungry. I am trying to spend as much time with her as possible without neglecting my other animals. All that stuff I had planned to get done on my 4 day weekend pretty much didn't happen.

She is actually reacting surprisingly well to the dogs, she was playing with one of their tails yesterday. I have been playing with her a lot and have a few toys in the crate.

I'd say there is pretty much a 0% chance the neighbors will keep her inside. I live in a rural area where most pets are free to roam as the please. Our neighbors will spay/neuter and feed any cat social enough to get to the vet in exchange for their hunting services. They get attention but not pampering.

I am using feline pine for litter and a lot seems to be tracking out for the small space she's in, is there another litter that tracks less that will work as well on the smell?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
oh yeh, Prettyboy, good luck with those kittens, it's a lot of work it's been a long time since I had to tame a kitten, I've forgotten how much work it is. It's a lot easier when they are younger.
post #5 of 12
sounds like your kitty is coming along great !!!

i would say that if kitty is not socialized enough for them in the period
of time you said you had that you just tell them you need a little more
time to get her fully socialized.

thanks for the good luck. i sure do need it.

i use yesterdays news for any kittens or cats that are being kept in a cage.

and good luck right back at ya !
post #6 of 12
Awww, she sounds adorable..I have no advice for you but wanted to wish you luck with her
post #7 of 12
If she's wild, she needs lots of love and attention over time to tame her - she will not change overnight, and you can't expect her to.

I would keep her inside though until she's had all of her shots and is spayed - otherwise she will escape and will risk getting diseases and possibly pregnant if she goes into heat early (yes it can happen that young!!).

Good luck with her, sounds as though you're doing a great job as it is
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouragement, I've been a little stressed out lately. When they come home they are their kids and grandkids will be there for a month so there will be much opportunity for attention.

I will probably show up this weekend with a few beers and a couple of kitties. Then come home and give mine all some stinky fish I'd never eat and lots of scratching behind the ears.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I still have the kitten, she came back from the neighbors, twice.
She is still a little shy but very sweet. She is also spayed now and has all of her shots. She was starting to hang out with some rough stray males so I got her to the vet as soon as I could.

I'm still asking everyone I know if they want a kitten but don't have much hope, she may just be mine. She's totally adorable but the last thing I need is another animal to feed with a baby human coming this summer.
post #10 of 12
Awww.... It can be difficult to adopt an older kitty.

But thank you so much for rescuing her and caring for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a great resource for people looking to adopt out homeless animals - includes a flyer-maker and lots of other ideas:

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I finally asked the right person at work if they needed a kitten. Yesterday a coworker told me her daughter wants the kitten. She is single with no kids or pets so this shy little girl will get ALL the attention. Now she is 1 of 6, I think she will warm up nicely to the idea of having her own personal human.
post #12 of 12
Wonderful news! I am SO glad this precious little kitten is getting a home all of her own. If you get any updates on her, make sure to tell us too...I'd be interested to see how she adjusts.
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