I was so happy when I found this site and I am hoping that someone will be able to offer me some words of wisdom.... Up until recently I have never been around cats (sans pet sitting for a friend). Approximately 3 weeks ago I captured 5 feral kittens (They were in my neighbor's backyard and the conditions were horrible.) They are all from the same litter, but each one's temperment is distinct. Currently, they are all in 2 cages in my kitchen. I have been able to hold and pet four of them. (One within the past 2 days - this one is terrified though and not progressing very well/speedily.) Kismet is the most advanced and she now allows me to pick her up, hold her, and she purrs contentedly when I pet her. (She is a very loving kitten and I feel blessed that she is here. ) The others are much more resistant and scared. The process now includes feeding them via a spoon 1x/day (They get normal wet/dy mixture, but I use a gourmet catfood on the spoon to enhance the bonding process.) I hold 3 of them 10 minutes each on a daily basis and we play 1-2 times a day for 15-20 minutes. The runt is very skittish and hisses and cries when I try to pick her up, so I have been reluctant to scare her that much. I am getting concerned because those that I have been holding have not reached a point where they like being pet (only Kismet does). In fact they generally seem to despise it. In order to get them out of the cage, I have to scruff them and then hold them via the scruff when I pet them. They are too scared to eat when out of the cage - I am trying whatever tricks possible to make the experience pleasant. They will play within the cage and love it. Is there anything more I should be doing/can do? I don't have a lot of time left and hate seeing them in a cage for this long. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated - I don't want to give up on these guys.
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8/27/07 at 1:29pm