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Long Island NY / Need help socializing

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have 3 kittens from the same litter that are aprox 12 weeks old.

they will be fixed, vaccinated, one of them will be tested for feline aids and luk.

they will be wormed and frontlined.

they have been at my friends house in 3 separate cages for a month now.

we were making progress until a mishap happened and one of the kittys
leaped out of my friends arms.

since that happened the kittys took 100 steps back.

I am hoping someone with more experience will be able to socialize them
and bring them back to where they were previous to the mishap.

IF they are totally socialized they will be going to a rescue who has told
me they will take them as long as they are still kittens. they already have
plenty of full grown cats and have stated kittens get adopted faster.

IF they are not totally socialized I will be returning them to the yard
where they came from of another member of this forum.

now that they are aprox 12 weeks old (not sure of age as I am Not good
at telling kitten ages) time is quickly running out for them. they will soon
be so big that they will no longer look like kittens.

I will not be permanently leaving them with anyone who agrees to try
to socialize them.

No matter what happens they will be coming back with me.

I will give that person my work tel number and my home tel number so
they know I am legit and if necessary I will give the tel number of a
local vet that I use and who has known me for years as a reference.

IF anyone on long island thinks they can help please please contact me
at my email which is JLBA58@YAHOO.COM

thank you in advance.

PS .... right now I have No internet at home so I may be delayed in
reponding to you.

I only have access to a working computer while I am at my friends houses
or while I am at work.
post #2 of 8
Building trust with feral kitties is a very slow process. Feed them at the same time each day, sit in the room and speak softly to them. Let them get used to being around you and only then should you introduce them to new people or pets. Handle and pick them up only as much as they will allow. They will come to know that you mean them no harm.

I adopted a 10-week old feral kitty about 6 years ago. For the first 2 weeks he kept himself confined to one room; then for the next month or so he came out only to eat and use the kitty box. Today, although he lets me pet him, pick him up and give him hugs, he lets me know in no uncertain terms when he’s had enough. He is always ready to play and has come to be curious about new people and other animals. He's become my good buddy.

Please don’t put the kitties back out into the yard. Give them a chance to get to trust you. They will, just takes time. I wish you and the kitties much luck.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
thank you for your reply sunnyday.

i agree with you that eventually the kittys would come to know and trust
me or whoever else.

all three of my kittys were born outside and were not trusting of anyone
and with time all three came to know and love and trust me.

unfortunately these kittys are not mine. did not come from my yard.
and i only took them from keith under the condition that i would try
to socialize them since i found a rescue that said they would take them
but only if their two conditions were met (other than the kittys being tested)
they said they would take them as long as they were still kittens and
they would take them if they were social enough that they came to the
front of the cage for everyone.

i told keith i would try my best to get them socialized before they were
out of kittenhood but so far thats not working.

believe me i don't want to have to put them back outside but i can't keep
them. i am in my own personal crisis at the moment and i live in one
room with 3 cats.

these kittens are at a friends house in 3 cages. she can't keep them either.

we are heart sick that they are not coming around but i think as a last ditch
effort if i could find some one who is really good with wild kittens that they
have a better chance of coming around for them, which is why i was posting
as a last shot to find someone on long island that might be able to give
it a shot.

right now the plan is to get them fixed and back to keiths house in the
next two weeks unless a miracle happens and they start making progress
or i find someone to take them just to socialize them.

i plan on taking them back from whoever takes them to socialize them.
i am not leaving them with them. i know alot of people are probably
afraid that is what is going to happen but i would not do that.

so if anyone lives on long island wants to give this a shot and has the
room please contact me.

thanks again.
post #4 of 8
Hope this helps:

Tompkins County SPCA
Feral Cat Series
Socializing Feral Kittens

Kittens who are not exposed to humans early in their lives learn from their mothers and quickly become feral. However, if they are caught and handled at a young enough age, feral kittens can be socialized and placed in loving homes.

Remember that spay/neuter is the single most important thing you can do to help feral cats. It is best to alter as many cats in a colony as possible before you begin socializing.

Kittens under four weeks old can usually be socialized in a matter of days, and kittens up to eight weeks old can take approximately two to four weeks to socialize. 10-12 weeks old kittens can also be tamed, but it may take longer. Taming feral kittens over 12 weeks old can be difficult and they may never be fully socialized to people.

Getting Started
•Kittens cannot be socialized while they are still in their colony. They must be brought inside and confined so you have regular access to them. If you cannot do this, have the kittens altered and return them to their colony.
•Kittens can be taken from their feral mothers when they begin weaning-at approximately four weeks of age. To determine a kitten's age, see our fact sheet "Basic Kitten Care."

Housing the Kittens
•You will need to confine the kitten(s) at first, preferably in a dog crate, large pet carrier, cat condo, or cage. If you do not have a cage or carrier, you can keep the kittens in a small room. Be sure to block up anything they could crawl into or under and remove anything that could injure them.
•Do not let feral kittens run loose in your house. They can hide in tiny spaces and are exceptionally difficult to find and coax out. In addition, a large room can be frightening and hinder the taming process.
•If possible, kittens should be separated from each other to facilitate taming. Left together, one kitten can become outgoing and playful while another remains shy and withdrawn. If you cannot separate them, the kittens can be housed together, but be sure to spend time alone with each one.
•The cage should contain a small litterbox, food and water dishes, and something to cuddle in like a towel or piece of your clothing.
•Food is the key to taming. Make dry kitten food available at all times and give the kitten a small amount of wet food at least twice a day. The kitten may hesitate to eat in your presence at first, but be patient. Eventually the kitten will associate your presence with food.
•Chicken-flavored baby food is a special treat that almost no kitten can resist.
•How soon you begin handling the kitten depends on the kitten's age and
temperament. Older kittens and those who are more feral are harder to handle. With these kittens, start by offering baby food or wet food on a spoon through the cage. Once they are used to this, you can begin handling them.
•Younger and less feral kittens can be picked up right away. Wear gloves if you will feel more comfortable, as it is important to be confident and gentle when picking up any animal. Wrap the kitten in a towel allowing her head to stick out. Offer baby food or wet food on a spoon. If she does not respond, dab a tiny bit on the end of her nose. Once she tastes it, she will soon want more.
•When petting a feral kitten, approach from behind his head. Gradually begin to pet the kitten's face, chin, and behind the ears while talking gently. Try to have several feeding/petting sessions (15-20 minutes) with each kitten as many times a day as you can.
•Progress will depend on the kitten's age and temperament. Each day you will notice improvement-falling asleep in your lap, coming towards you for food, meowing at you, purring, and playing are all great signs. Once the kitten no longer runs away from you but instead comes toward you seeking to be fed, held and pet, you can confine her to a small, kitten-proofed room rather than a cage. Siblings can also be reunited at this point.
•Expose the kittens to a variety of people. Everyone should use low voices at first, and approach the kittens in a non-threatening manner.
Important Tips
•Handle feral kittens cautiously-nails and teeth are sharp.
•Do not give kittens cow's milk-it can make them sick.
•Once the kitten is willing to play, offer toys and use a string (not yarn) or a cat dancer for him to chase. Do not let the kitten bite, scratch or play with your hand.
•If the kittens are staying awake at night, try to play and socialize with them more during the day and cover their cage(s) at night with a towel or blanket.
•Leave a television or radio on (not too loud) during the day so the kittens get used to human voices.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for posting that houseofcats.

right now the kittens are in 3 separate cages as suggested by what you

and they do have food, litterbox, dry food, water and lots of toys.

two of them just recently stopped spitting, hissing, clawing and biting at
us when we put our hands in the cage but the third one has not stopped
that behavior. she is terrified of us. basically the only progress that one
has made is that she has stopped peeing and pooping the second we
open up the cage door which she was doing every time we opened the
door to clean out her litterbox or feed her wet food.

she will eat roast beef out of my hand sometimes but thats it. i can't touch
her and the second i open the door she hisses.

the other two have finally let us pet them but not pick them up. they will
also eat roast beef out of our hand.

i'm sure that had these kittens gone to someone more experienced they
would have come around alot quicker. we were making great progress
until one escaped and it was all down hill after that. our inexperience
will be their doom unfortunately. but i did not want to not try. we were the
only ones offering to try. so i wanted to give them that chance.

maybe a miracle will happen. we can't keep them too much longer since
they will need to be outside to start to grow their winter coats.

does anyone know when cats start to do that ? like what month here
on the east coast of the usa ? i'll have to see if i can find that info.

thanks again for the info. what we did not do is put something in their
cage with our scent on it for them to cuddle with. so i am going to try that.

thanks !
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
so the update with the kittens are that this past saturday they were
fixed, vaccinated, fecal tested, dewormed, frontlined and named.
smokey was tested for lukemia and aids and tested negative ...YAY !!
the rescue said i only needed to get one tested since all three were
from the same litter.

the two females are callie and squeakie and the male is smokey.

the male (smokey) is coming along fine but the females have proven
to be difficult. squeaky is braver than callie but neither of the females
are ready to be adopted. the rescue will not take them like this.
so unless a miracle happens they are going back to keiths house in 2 weeks
from this past weekend. so not next weekend but the weekend after that.

the male cat i will be bringing to a rescue that agreed to take all three
IF and ony IF i was able to socialize them well enough where they would
come to the front of the cage and where they can be petted and picked up.

however, i emailed the head of the rescue and have not heard back from
her yet and that kind of concerns me.

so anyway..... saturday i pick them up at about 4 pm and keep them in
the carrier as instructed until about 630-7pm and then put the carrier
in their own cage and open the door for them to come out into their
cage and they do. the first night they had no interest in food or water
and we were told to remove it if that was the case because they could
start vomiting during the night.

the next morning (sunday) callie and smokey seem better and are interested
in food and water BUT squeaky is not herself and is still not interested
in food and water but we leave it all in her cage with her. sunday night
still nothing out of squeaky as far as interest in eating.

at this point i am totally NOT happy and trying to stop panic from setting in.

monday morning my friend (they are staying at her house) tells me that
squeaky is still not interested in food.

okay so now i am gearing up to get myself into a full fledged panic since
squeaky will not let us pick her up. we had to grab both squeaky and callie
with gloves on to get them into the carrier to get them fixed SO obviously
i can't do that now... they just had major surgery. i would rip their stitches
out ! what in the world am i going to do if i can't get her to a vet ???!!!

monday night after work i go there (my friend is not home yet) and i clean
all the cages, litterboxes, and feed and give them fresh water and squeaky
is still not interested. i also try giving her baby food (i only had turkey) and
she sort of licks it once and then sort of took a sip of water but that was it.

in my head i'm am screaming
OMG DON'T YOU DIE ON ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!

so i get my self to WALBAUMS which is a supermarket because i remember
a vet tech telling me when my mamakitty was sick and not eating that
when that happens to them they get the WALBAUMS brand seafood cat
food in JELLY and that it is smelly and looks and smells like fish parts.

so i get several different fish brands in jelly and i get boneless skinless
sardines, and i get salmon in a package and i get tuna in oil and i get 3
different kinds of baby food (chicken, veal and beef) and i just start grabbing
one, two or three of everything i can think of that anyone has ever
mentioned to me that might work with a cat or kitten that has refused
to eat. SO about $20 later i leave the supermarket and head back to
my friends house just as she gets home and show her everything i have
gotten to try out on squeaky to see if she will eat any of it. i figure whatever
she turns away from i can give to either my friends cats, or the outside
cats or my cats at my place but i am determined to open every single
thing i bought until she eats something. i also tried nuking the baby food
earlier and that didn't work.

so the first thing my friend picks out is the walbaums brand mackeral
in jelly and gives her a little bit of that all mashed up.

she goes over to it ...... she smells it ..... and SHE STARTS EATING IT !!!!

we both remained like statues ! we did not move a muscle nor speak a
word while she ate !!

it was like once she tasted it and liked it she discovered how hungry she
really was and did not stop until she finished it. then my friend gave her
some more since she had only given her a little and she ate that too !!

YAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so if anyone ever has this problem please add on to your list of things to
try for them to eat... WALBAUMS BRAND SEAFOOD IN JELLY....
they have a few different ones.

so thats the update. although i am sad that it looks like two of them will
have to go back to keiths house, i think that they got a good enough
start that it is possible that keith may be able to continue to socialize
them well enough so that maybe someday they can be adopted too.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
the kittens will be release next weekend back into keiths yard.
we did bring smokey to the rescue but he did not eat etc for 2 days
so they told us we had to come get hiim. we did.
but they said they would continue to work with us and if they become
socialized enough that we can try again.

some of the pictures i took as i was cleaning out their cages which is why
sometimes the cage is empty and sometimes it has stuff in there.

in one of the pictures you can see my friend is kind of petting smokey.

callie (callico) and squeaky (black and white) are the girls and smokey (gray) is the boy




post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
all three were released today back into keiths yard.

they all ran off in the same direction....behind the garage and over the fence.

i hope they come back. i'm so so worried about them.
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