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Criteria for determining a semi-feral's readiness for adoption

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
so the socialization continues on the (now) 6 kittens we have taken in. three of them are making incredible progress, i feel confident they could be housecats and no one would ever know they had grown up on the street. must just be a personality/genetics thing.

but the other 3 are more worrisome, even as they make slow progress. but what i wonder is, at what point are they ready to be adopted out? these kittens are very comfortable living in a home and are not particularly scared of humans; they just won't let us touch them. They run up when it feeding time, one pounces on our feet when we're in bed, they all chase each other and play during most of their waking hours.

so assuming they break through and let people pet them, etc., and like it, what's the criteria that determines they've 'graduated'? one of the tamer cats, his only shortcoming is he doesn't like to be picked up and held. but i've known many a cat that hates being picked up, so i don't necessarily think that should be held against him.

do you folks have any ideas about determining a cat's readiness for the adoption circuit? i've adopted cats out before, but they've all been raised from infants, these are a lot more challenging (frustrating!) especially now that i can see their potential for being great pets!
post #2 of 4
About these three "slower" cats. One aspect is, I believe, they are three semiferals together. This making the positive reinforcing and learning slower.
If you had them, say, in pairs - one shy one daring, or adopted out to an understanding and knowlegeable home (fostering home?) with a friendly homecat - I believe the process would go quicker.

This of course easier to say than do.

Meanwhile, try to give them good examples through these three daring kitties.

This is not what you asked for. I dont know sure answers. Hope others fill in.
post #3 of 4
The criteria our no-kill shelter uses is they take the cat in a room and just socialize with it. They see if it comes to you, will let you pet them without hisses or swating, and basically just lets you handle them. If they pass these tests then they will put take them in and put them up for adoption. You should try this with a willing "stranger" to see how the cats react to them. Hope this helps a little.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks for the thoughts! HOC, i was thinking about that, and many people i know have been allowed to adopt cats from the shelter without really seeing them outside of their cages. i was just talking to a woman who adopted a cat that had been feral and hid for the first months of being home. after a long time it has become tame and loving, so there's a happy ending.

but if i have people over to my house to look at the kittens they'll expect to play with them and generally 'test drive' them, so they'll have to be somewhat friendly. it's kind of a paradox.

Stefan, i have been thinking similarly to what you're saying, that having the brothers together is allowing them to remain untamed because they have each other and don't need people as much. but they also are seeing that there are several cats in the household who are getting petted and basically getting whatever they want, which seems to motivate them. actually there's only one kitten now who still seems stand-offish, the others are right on the cusp of coming over to our side. i suspect he'll crumble soon!

i suppose in some ways, as long as the cat is used to people and has some guarantee of not freaking out and destroying somebody's house, then they may be ready IF they meet the right people. i'm trying to walk a line between being as honest as possible in the adoption ad while not scaring away potentially good humans.

anyway if anybody else has any ideas, please let me know!
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