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trapped kitty- I'm new! what to do??

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hello! I am NEW to this and can use your advice!

I have been feeding some ferals for the last couple months and last weekend, I saw a wounded cat so I freaked out and called animal control. They were very kind to loan me a trap at no FEE BUT on the condition that once I caught this wounded cat, that I'd call them and give him to them to dispose. OF COURSE I wouldn't do that but I was desperate for a trap and didn't know where else to go for a trap late at night. I will lie and tell them that I had no luck trapping the wounded cat next week when I return the trap.

To make a LONG STORY SHORT, I ended up trapping a small kitty (looks about 2-4 months old??) tonight instead. (The wounded cat seemed better yesterday- had a golfsized bald spot with some raw area on it from what I could see which wasn't much but stopped limping). STill trying to decide if I should go ahead and try to trap him and have the feral vet check him out anyway. Your advice on this would be greatly appreciated also!

Anyway, now this kitty is in my bathroom still in the trap with a blanket over the trap with the bathroom light turned off. He/she has a saucer of food and another saucer of water in the trap. I have wired the trap door open so he can go in the litterbox which I have placed near the trap. Now, all this is IN the bathtub- I also have newspapers in the trap on top of the wires with towels BENEATH the trap. I have a TINY bathroom and have LIMITED space in where I can put stuff in the bathroom.

I live in a SMALL basement apartment- one living room and one bedroom with no doors. That's why I put the kitty in the bathroom. I have 3 indoor cats of my own. I don't know at this point if the kitty has any kind of disease/worms/fleas, etc so I want to keep him separate from my cats and have no contact between them until I get him checked.

I am planning on taking him/her to Petworth Animal Hospital which I understand deals mainly with ferals on Sunday. If everything goes well and he has a clean bill of health, a friend of mine will adopt him to keep her kitty company.

My question is what do i do with him tonight and tmr all day?? I HATE the thought of keeping him in the bathroom but what can I do? I have gone in a few times to check on him, make sure water and food was still there and spoke very soflty to him. I have also touched/petted him LIGHTLY a few times to try to comfort him and get him used to people.

Let me know if I am doing anything wrong so I can immediately correct it. By the way, I have been reading up on tips regarding ferals and trapping so I am trying to follow the instructions I've read but still would like some PERSONAL advice.
post #2 of 32
I'm glad you rescued this little kitty. I hope you keep on trying to get the wounded cat once you get a handle on what to do with the little one you already caught.

There is absolutely no problem with keeping the kitten in your bathroom. In fact, being in a small confined space will be more comforting to the kitten than being loose in the apartment with three big cats roaming around. It is an excellent sign that the kitten is okay with you being in the room with him and that he will let you touch him. This means that he will likely be easily socialized and will make a good companion to a lucky person some day.

So...keep reading the other posts on trapping and socializing ferals for other ideas. And, if you are planning to release the kitten, make sure the hospital neuters and vaccinates him first.

NOW....on to the injured feral. When you do trap him, do not let him out of the trap! Set the trap up on some bricks so it is off the floor and cover the floor underneath the trap with several layers of newspaper (or put it on top of a couple of litter boxes) so that when he goes potty it will go through the cage and he won't have to sit in it. I try to trap my ferals the day before the surgery so that they have to spend only one night in the trap. The reason I don't let them out of the trap is that if they are truly feral they will freak out and trash the bathroom and you might get hurt trying to capture him to put him back in the trap to get him to the vet. When he is in the trap, cover it with a sheet or large towel so that he doesn't have to be frightened by all the strange things around him. Also, make sure that the hospital neuters and vaccinates him in addition to treating his wounds.

Please visit http://www.alleycat.org This is the web site for Alley Cat Allies. They are a wonderful orginization devoted to the care of feral cats. You can find an incredible amount of information on the best ways to work with feral cats on this site.

Good luck and let us know how things work out.
post #3 of 32
I am standing up and applauding you as well!!! THANK YOU! Lotsocats gives excellent advice always. You want to keep the trap covered with a dark cloth to keep the kitty calm. Also, if you play classical music softly in the background that really helps to calm them down. I would caution you though, if you do elevate the trap, make sure it is stable- some ferals get so worked up when they are confined that the trap could capsize and further traumatize the cat.

I have been working with ferals now for over a dozen years. Here is a link to an article, perhaps you can find something in there to help you out.

Handling Ferals
post #4 of 32
What a wonderful person you are for caring about these cats!!!!

Couple of questions - are you planning on keeping the little guy? Is there a no-kill shelter near you? (There is link to rescue services, including a list of no-kill shelters in my signature).

Keeping him/her in the bathroom, like lotsocats said, is definitely the best thing! (When friends moved into a new home, their two cats stayed in the bathroom despite door being open for a week. The point being, the little guy/girl is definitely happiest in a small, safe place for now). You might want to consider replacing the trap in the bathroom with a box with a hole cut into it, and a sweaty shirt with your scent on it inside to curl up in).

Don't push petting and touching - there is a GREAT thread here about socializing ferals (you might have already read it, but it isn't obvious from it's title that it's all about someone who brought in a feral and the process of socializing her) - here's a link: A Friend Needs Help..... Whether or not you plan on taking the little kitty to a shelter or not, patience is they key word here!

And I sure know what it's like to live in a small space! Hubby and I live in an RV, so we have about 210 sq. ft. of space. We don't even have a bathtub!

When we had to introduce a new (feral) rescue into the mix (of our two original feral rescues), we bought a large dog crate to create the separate space. We made a make-shift litterbox out of a cereal box so it could fit in the crate, leaving space for playing, food/water AND sleeping. But that only works for kittens, not full-sized cats. But it's something to consider. A little curtain hung in back and taped to the top (inside) of the crate creates a little private space for kitty - and the door on the crate provides a way for existing cats to see and smell kitty and vice versa. Then, "introductions" can be made by opening door on crate (only supervised, to prevent existing kitties from going inside). Then little kitty has his/her own space to run to and hide. Something to consider.

Any other questions, PLEASE ask away!!!!!

Oh - But DEFINITELY get kitten seen by a Vet before any interation with existing cats! You're instincts are right on that one too!

post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
THANKS for all ur advice!! I really do appreciate this! I was ready to cry last night after I had composed my first note on this forum. I felt and still am feeling sooo guilty because this poor kitty is TERRIFIED still.

Let me clarify and/or answer a few questions/comments mentioned in your postings.

It is an excellent sign that the kitten is okay with you being in the room with him and that he will let you touch him. This means that he will likely be easily socialized and will make a good companion to a lucky person some day
Actually- I'm not sure if he's ok with me in the room. He starts meowing like crazy and trying to hide whenever I come into the bathroom and/or touch him lightly. I have tried not to go in too much because I don't want to continue terrifying him for the first few days! At the same time, i want to get him used to people. However, he doesn't try to fight me or hiss/claw at me. So is it still a good sign even though he'd meow and scurry around trying to hide?? Does that mean he won't be socialized? (i rescued a baby kitty in Nov (found her trapped between a sliding door and screen door in an apt complex and BOY did she HISS and fight!! She was about 7 wks old- Got Lisa to adopt her-kitty's name is Sparky) and I have been trying to convince Lisa to get another kitty to keep Sparky company. Finally Lisa agreed because she saw how lonely Sparky gets during the day so she has been looking for another kitty to adopt. I told her about this kitty and she'll come over tmr (Sun) to see if she wants him. I am pretty sure she will adopt him.
So I see a BIG difference between these 2 kittens and Sparky now ADORES her family. So should I still worry that this kitty might not be sociable??
Another comment-
Also, if you play classical music softly in the background that really helps to calm them down.
Unfortunately, I don't have any musical instruments/equipment to play. I am deaf. Would tv with sound work- if I turn tv onto animal planet or would that scare him more?

are you planning on keeping the little guy?
I wish I could adopt this kitty but I have 3 cats of my own and am having a hard time keeping up with their mischief! (LOVE them to death anyway even with them breaking almost everything in my home!) My friend Lisa hopefully will adopt him. If she won't I will try to find him a home. One question- if Lisa doesn't want him, should I release him outside or give him to one of those no-kill shelters?? Because his mom comes everyday to eat- it's her territory and I'm sure he is MISSING his mom and sibling...

You might want to consider replacing the trap in the bathroom with a box with a hole cut into it, and a sweaty shirt with your scent on it inside to curl up in).
I have removed the trap -didn't like the idea of keeping him cooped up in a trap two nights in a row and have put one of my dirty sweaters in the room. That's a good idea about making a box with a hole and I will do that.

I will keep u posted on what the feral vet says tmr. Plan to go the first thing in the morning- it opens at 7. I have been trying to decide if I should take him in the trap OR in one of the pet carriers I have? I am inclined to use the pet carrier cuz I think that'd be more comfortable for him. What do u think?? Wish me luck with this!!
post #6 of 32
Hi Pamela,

Actually- I'm not sure if he's ok with me in the room. He starts meowing like crazy and trying to hide whenever I come into the bathroom and/or touch him lightly. I have tried not to go in too much because I don't want to continue terrifying him for the first few days! At the same time, i want to get him used to people. However, he doesn't try to fight me or hiss/claw at me

He probably is not okay with you being in the room and he hides because he sees you as predator, not friend. You can help him adjust by keeping a schedule (if you can) of routine feedings and even play time, if he will play with a feather or something like that. His whole world has just been turned upside down and he misses his freedom, his siblings, his mom and he is going to be understandably quite frightned of you. The fact that he does not hiss or claw at you is a big bonus. It does not mean he WON'T be socialized, it will just take time for him to accept people.

If you have cable then go to the music station and select a classical music channel and leave that on for him.

If you cannot find a good home for him, I would not release him outside until he is vet checked and neutered. Once he has been neutered, wait at least 4 days, and before releasing him, rub him with cornstarch to take away any remaining vet clinic smell he carries with him, otherwise the other cats might fight with him. Put him outside and place a big bowl of wet food somewhere that you know the cats gather. That is so he won't run off to far.

I would take him to the vet in the trap- because it has his scent on it and he is already accustomed to it. Plus he will be really upset and be spraying and the traps are easier to get cat pee off of then a carrier is. I would cover the trap with a dark cloth while he is in the car with you to calm him down.
post #7 of 32
Hi! I'm so glad you're finding some help here - that's the point!! You're so wonderful for helping him - I know I said that before, but you care so much, and that is so heartwarming.

Almost any cat can be socialized if handled properly. This little guy sounds young enough - I'm sure he'll be fine if your friend decides to adopt him.

But he should be kept separated from her other kitty, and if you have any way to pass on all the advice we've given, it will help both of them immeasurably.

He should be given a box to "hide" in, while being kept separate from the other kitty. She should get a good sweat going, and put a sweaty T-shirt or sweatshirt in the box, and even another one near where his food and water bowls will be.

Leaving a classical radio or cable station on will really help, and keeping the room fairly dark (with a night lite at night) will also make him more comfortable.

If she just spends a little time in the room with him reading to him every day, that'll help him learn to trust her. It turns out a lot of us sing to our cats - that works too!

With cats, it's all about trust and space. The best thing to do is to take it on their schedule, and to not reach out to touch or play with them until they're ready for it. Of course, there are always exceptions, but you'll almost always get great results if you go it slowly and wait for them to come to you. Your friend should do everything she can for kitty to associate her with safe and good things - food, treats, etc. - and not scary things - hands reaching out at him, etc.

It can take days to months for wild (feral) cats to trust their new "owners" and surroundings - but a young kitty probably won't take long! Ours took just a couple of days - although two of them still run when we open the door! I expect they always will. Once they're sure it's us in the house, then they come back out.

Please let us know how it goes at the Vet!



post #8 of 32

Were you able to get your kitty to Petworth? That's where I take all of my ferals. I still have two more I have to trap. Have you been to their website? It's http://metroferals.org/.

Good luck,
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 

Yes, I was able to get Smokey (temporary name for the Kitty) to Petworth on Sun and went in shock there after seeing how many people brought in how many traps! It amazed me how many traps one person would bring.One lady told me one lady brought over 20 traps herself last Sunday! I got there at 7:30 am and there was already 6 people there with at least 20 traps!! I didn't leave until 11:30 and I would say I saw over 40 traps being brought in and out. It was great to see how many people are involved in rescueing ferals!

Smokey passed with a clean bill of health and was spayed. I have 3 cats of my own and Zebra (female) was already spayed before I adopted her and the other 2 (Spike & Buddy) are male so their operations weren't biggies so when I saw Smokey at home after the surgery, I almost threw up! Didn't expect to see such a BIG cut and how gross it looked. However, it seems to be healing up great. She stayed in the carrier all day Sun then tried to climb the bathroom cabinet Monday morning so I could see she was already recovering.

As of now, I have transferred her from the bathroom to my bedroom and let her out of the carrier. My cats are very curious of her (smelled her thru bathroom door first then thru carrier then now with no barriers during the past few days). She is currently hiding under my bed and has eaten, drunk and used the litterbox with no problems.
Tonight, I will be bringing her to Lisa who will be adopting her into her family (herself, hubby and one other kitty- Sparky-female also).
So she will be going to a great home!

Again, THANKS for all ur advice and support!! I really appreciate this! U all are a lifesaver!
post #10 of 32

I'm glad you found a good home for the kitty. I also have a feral under my bed. She'll only come out from under the bed when I'm with
her. She's scared of my other 7 cats.

Your first experience at Petworh was a lot like mine. I got there right at 7:00 and there was no one around. I thought I was the first one there. When I tried to open the door it keep hitting something so I peeked in and there were traps piled up on top of traps. You barely had room to walk and 15 minutes after I came in a lady came with 26 cats. She had to leave them outside till there was room for them.

I had Little One and Muffie with me that day and when they were ready to go I went over to pick up their traps and almost pass out when I saw their cuts.

Sorry to ramble on I was just suprised to see someone here mention Petworth.

Thanks for caring for the cats,

Waldorf, MD
post #11 of 32
I am so happy to hear that everything is working out so well with Smokey. You are a real angel to do so much for this liitle girl and I am pleased as punch that you have already found her a home.

I am also excited to hear about Petworth and their work with ferals. It is so wonderful what they are doing and it makes my heart sing to hear about how many ferals are being neutered/spayed each week. WOW!

Thanks for sharing about that wonderful organization.

Any news on the injured male? (or did I miss something about him in an earlier post?)
post #12 of 32
Glad to hear everything went so well! I'm sure your little baby will be happily ensconced in her new home in short order.

I have the same question as lotsocats - have you seen the injured kitty recently? Sending hopeful thoughts your way!

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi. Sorry I haven't had time to check in this forum and didn't know that u guys wanted an update on the wounded cat.
I started classes at a university I attend so that really is taking up a lot of my time away from home and work is very hectic so I tend to work overtime also.

ANYWAY, I saw the wounded cat several times and he'd come and eat and drink as usual but didn't go into the trap. He seemed to be getting better - wasn't limping. I still planned to trap him so I could have him fixed and checked to be safe but I had to give the trap back to animal control. Unfortunately, for the last wk or so, I haven't seen him around (I am not sure if it's due to me taking night classes on mon and tues and coming home later during the week) and I've noticed that there are less cats coming to visit so I am getting worried. Not sure if snow would affect cats not coming?? Am keeping an eye at nights though so hopefully I will see that cat and others soon.

By the way, I am planning on buying a trap but when i went to this website which was recommended, it didn't work. wondered if u guys know of this website? www.tomahawklivetraps.com?? Let me know if this is the correct addry.
post #14 of 32
Pamela try this link

post #15 of 32
Snow will sometimes affect the cats. We have one feral that travels pretty far, and when it snows, it usually takes a day or two for her to show up. Either she also has someplace else to eat, or she decides that hunger is worth not braving the snow? I don't know.

Last time I needed it, the link to Tomahawk live traps from Meowhoo.com worked.

Hope Smokey is doing well. Any word on how its going in her new home?

BTW - just wanted to say again you're an angel! For the most part, those of here work full time too, so we can relate to the problems of time juggling. !!

post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hello u guys. Smokey (the kitten I trapped and gave to one of my good friends and now is called Stitch) is doing good. Unfortunately Lisa's other kitty (who I also rescued) is being a "BULLY" to her and it is taking a while for her to adjust to having another cat around. HOwever, she's getting better.

Guess what?? Yesterday morning, I managed to coax a pregnant feral (a regular feral customer of mine )into my home with wet catfood cuz I knew there was a snowstorm coming and didn't want her out there freezing especially since she looks ready to give birth. I can feel the babies moving inside her when I pet her on her side. Is that a sign that she'll give birth? Her sides are BULGING and is hard to the touch.

She's a real SWEETHEART and is very affectionate.

I haven't seen the wounded cat for quite a while- over (I think) 1 1/2 wks to 2 wks sooooooo I am worried about him. Hope he is okay.
Guess that's all for now. Hope to hear from u guys about my question about feeling kittens moving in her belly..
post #17 of 32
I have no experience in this area, but I dug up a couple threads that may be of help to you.


post #18 of 32
As far as the pregnant feral...has she always been this affectionate? Queens tend to get very lovey just before going into labor. We adopted a cat from the SPCA two years ago only to find out a few weeks later that she was pregnant (since before we got her) and she got HUGE right before the kittens were born, and also got very sweet and lovey-dovey. About 12 hours later, the kittens came along.

Keep us posted!
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi! Sweetie, the pregnant cat is doing good. To answer your question, momof10cats, she was affectionate before she got pregnant but now she s a lot more affectionate soooo.... I know she's due to give birth anytime!
She will be going to a foster home tmr afternoon . I know this is for the best because I have no experience with pregnant cats and I am not home much on Mondays-Wednesdays. This foster home she's going to has a room all set for her and the lady has lots of experience with pregnant cats and stay home all day so she will spend time with Sweetie then after Sweetie gives birth, homes will be found for all.

Originally, I was going to bring her to Petworth and give her to someone to take to her foster home. However, when I brought the carrier in the bedroom this morning and tried to coax Sweetie toward the carrier, she went crazy. I ended kup with wounds all over my hands! I put food in, she wouldn't go in, I left the door open to see if she'd go in out of curiousity but she was too smart, I tried to push her in with no luck so I gave up and now have borrowed a trap from someone. Tmr afternoon (taking time off work), I will put food in and have her trapped (EEK!I'm very nervous due to her pregnancy- just hope that it won't traumautize her too much and start her labor right there!)

I wish I could keep Sweetie but I know I can't since I already have 3 cats and they are more than I can handle!

Now I'm going to talk about another cat-the wounded cat. I haven't seen the wounded cat that I had originally started this forum on !! I don't know if he is alive or has been trapped and found a new home or what. I am trying to think positive but I feel so guilty that I haven't trapped him and now it's too late.It has been over a month...
post #20 of 32
Pamela, you are a dear, and a cat angel. Please try not to fret too much over the injured kitty. You tried to trap him, and you did what you could. That is part of the pain of working with ferals. Sometimes you simply never see them again, fate unknown. It is a painful reality that we all have to live with.

I don't know what to recommend about getting a pregnant kitty into a carrier. Normally I'd recommend not feeding her at her normal time, removing the dry food for a while, and then putting something really stinky like a bit of tuna or something into the carrier. But this could be dangerous for a (very) pregnant cat, I would think.

I'll PM one of the Breeders to see if she has any recommendations for you.

You are doing wonderful things for these cats! It is hard not to feel guilty for the ones we couldn't help, but the best way around that is simply to continue to focus on the ones we can help.

post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
GUESS WHAT???? Sweetie gave birth to 4 kittens!

Maybe that's why she went crazy when I tried to put her in the carrier. I spent all afternoon/evening yesterday with her to try to calm her down and she was very affectionate but a few times would bite me so I thought she was still mad about yesterday morning but apparently she must've started having contractions and felt pain and struck out at me in the afternoon/evening.

I left her alone in the bedroom around 10 pm last nite to go to bed and this morning when I walked in, she didn't come to greet me as she ususally did so I went over to the box to look in and saw 4 kittens nursing from her! She and her babies look good (from what I can tell- I have NO experience with newborn kittens)and clean.

This makes it more complicated cuz I don't feel comfortable transporting her/kittens to a new home because I know moving can be very upsetting and Sweetie has gone thru so much with babies last nite I'm sure sooo for now, it looks like I will keep them for at least a week or up to 12 weeks. Depending on how Lori, (who works a lot with ferals, feel- she might feel it'd be more benefitical for the cat/kittens to be with a foster mom who's very experienced with kittens.

Will keep u posted.
post #22 of 32
I am so glad she had her kittens okay. You are probably right about why she got so upset at the carrier. You are really doing a great thing for them. If they were mine, I would keep them in one room together until they are at least 6 weeks old. It's true that sometimes the stress can lead to problems with taking care of the little ones. If you don't have to, I wouldn't move them just incase. I hope she continues to do great with the babies
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
I was wrong- Sweetie have FIVE kittens. I guess I didn't see the fifth kitten this morning or she wasn't finished with birthing.

She is still affectionate this evening and came out, kept rubbing against me and begged to be petted but once in a while while I'd be petting her, she'd hiss, bite/swat at me out of the blue then the next minute be begging to be petted again. Any idea why she'd be doing this?

I am confused about this...

Would appreciate any advice regarding this!
post #24 of 32
It's most likely the result of hormones. Is she letting you near the kittens?

Newborn kitties are sooo sweet...
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Well, she let me near the box with kitties inside to look in but if I put out my hand to try to pet Sweetie, she'd hiss and swat at me so I know she won't let me touch the babies at this time.

Just got some bloody scratches on my leg from her because as I walked past her to put down a rug on the door to hide the space between the floor and door (my 3 cats were putting their paws under the door so Sweetie would attack them and I don't want them getting hurt) and as I passed her, she went crazy and scratched me.

Now when I pet her, I am nervous about her scratching me again- I try not to show this but I already have over 10 scratches (within 2 days) from her! So now I am more hesistant about petting Sweetie. SIGH. Can't wait for her to calm down!!

Two more questions- the box is starting to smell - I'm sure the kittens peed. HOW can I change the towels?? I know if I try to pull the towel out and put in a new one that she'd attack me sooo what do I do???? And how often do I do this- once a day or every time they make a mess or what?
post #26 of 32
Pamela, again, I have no experience with new moms and kittens! I'm sure Sandie will check in again - I'll PM her just in case.

I don't know about hormones and cats, but I do know ferals are frequently like that. They want the love, but get sometimes get overstimulated very very easily. Watch the tail. I don't know if it's different with new mums, but as soon as the tip of the tail twitches, stop petting. What we do with our "outside" gang is give them just one or two real good hard pets (almost all ferals seem to like it rough, for some reason). Stop a minute - watch the cat - and if it leans in again for more, we give 'em another pet. Stop - watch. Then we head back inside with our hands still intact! This might be good advice for you now, hormones in Mum or no.

But generally as soon as the tip of the tail starts to twitch, that is also a signal that the cat is becoming overstimulated and has had enough - though often just for a minute or two, and then they want more. :tounge2:

Pamela - I'm sure everything's going to be just fine - so far, you're being a terrific Grandma! We'll do everything we can to help get you through this - and hopefully without too many more scratches.

BTW - please treat those immediately with some type of antiseptic. Cat scratches can be bad.

Keeping you and kitties (and Mum) in my thoughts today,

post #27 of 32
She is exhibiting typical feral cat behavior. Wanting to trust you, but unsure of what you are going to do.Please do not even attempt to handle this kittens unless she rejects one or two and pushes them away from her. Instead see to her comforts, food and water, and don't even pet her. Mom's in feral state are very unpredictable and they strike lightning fast. Sit near her but far enough away, and read aloud to her softly. Put some of your sweaty clothes near her food bowl, but please no matter how tempting, leave her alone for awhile. She has a lot of adjustments to make and trust me, you could really get hurt here.

I have one upstairs that is pregnant and we are working this out as well. I hope to bond with her before the kittens come, but she is shredding paper, so I think it probably won't happen (the bonding I mean) kittens are quite near at hand.
post #28 of 32
I know it's got to be really hard with her being so protective. I am only telling you this as someone who works at a vet clinic and has had to push the issue sometimes. If the linnens are that dirty, I can only give you 2 suggestions. If she is okay eough for you to pet her away from the kittens, I would try to gently scruff her for your safety. You can also try setting a nice smelly can of wet food away from her queening area. Mom should be cleaning and consuming the kittens waste, so maybe it's her making it dirty? Have you seen her leave to use the box? If it's her, I would try and change it as often as possible. If not, every few days or so.
Oh, and we have done this a few times and it's help a bit. We started putting the Dr bachs rescue remedy in moms drinking water. It may help with her, and it's actually helped newborn kittens that were under stress, so nursing from mom wouldn't be a problem.
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
HOORAY HOORAY!!! I finally saw that wounded feral cat the other day and he's still alive and looks good!! He must have just come back or have been coming during the day while I'm gone DURING THE DAY. .

Now, about Sweetie, the feral mom with 5 kittens- She is doing GREAT and is one of the MOST AFFECTIONATE cats ever!!! She has calmed a lot now- if I pet her too much or I play with her kittens too much, she'd give me a GENTLE bite on the hand. The only times she draw blood from me is when I STOP PETTING HER and she'd rear up on her hindlegs and try to stop me from leaving with her claws and her claws would rake me by accident. Once one of her claws got stuck in my leg- MAN THAT WAS PAINFUL- but she didn't do THAT on purpose. So now, if I stop petting her and want to move away, I have to watch her and avoid her claws. She has stopped hissing and would CONSTANTLY rub against me begging to be petted.

I didn't touch her kittens for the first few days then one morning I saw one kitten fall out of the box (didn't fall down too far) but was stuck. I waited to see if Sweetie would pick her up and move her back into the box but she didn't sooo I SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY moved my hand toward the kitten while watching Sweetie for her reaction. Sweetie just watched me as I nudged the kitten toward the box then finally I picked the kitten up and put her in the box with Sweetie. Since then, I have been able to pick up the kittens.

HIssy, I know you said not to touch the kittens but several other people told me I need to get the kittens used to being touched by humans and be ready for adoption.. I don't take them out of Sweetie's sight and only hold them for a few minutes.

Sometimes it seems she's more concerned about beint petted than about her kittens! I would pick one kitten up and Sweetie would be rubbing against me so I'd move my hand with the kitten on it to her and she'd start rubbing against my hand ignoring the kitten!

I guess she's OBSESSED with being petted. It makes it really difficult for me to do my research for classes because I end up petting her instead of doing research. It kinda worries me though because I don't want her bonding so much with me so when/if she gets adopted out she wouldn't bond with another person. Could that happen?

I'd love to keep her but I already have 3 cats and several times Sweetie has attacked them (THIS was during her pregnancy/early days after birth soooo I'm not sure if she'd still attack them now). Also,I am afraid to try to introduce them because I can't pick Sweetie up if she start attacking the cats. I have used a brush on my cats then on Sweetie and vice versa to get them used to the smell of each other - same thing with towels... I also am not sure it'd be fair to Sweetie because it seems she need a lot of attention/affection and I am barely able of keeping up with THREE cats (giving affection, working, attending an university, etc). As of now, I try to spend at least 30 min in the morning with Sweetie then about 1 1/2 hours in the bedroom with her and rest of the time I'd be in the living room/kitchen with my 3 cats so that way Sweetie will still get attention. Any ideas on this/feedback/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
post #30 of 32
Without being there to see Sweetie and judge her temperment, me telling you not to touch the kittens was for your own safety. Feral moms are unpredictable and can strike lightning fast before you know it. Handling the kittens right after birth, is not a good idea, unless you know what you are doing, and you have the mom's trust. Once the kittens eyes are open, they are easier to handle. There have been times, when I was handling a kitten of a long-time feral mom and while in my arms, the kitten mewed, and the mom struck out nailing me pretty good.

If you cannot seem to make time for multiple cats, then you shouldn't have multiple cats, and don't count on the fact that Sweetie giving birth has mellowed her out towards other cats. I would encourage you to try and find a really good loving home for Sweetie with someone (perhaps an elderly, or even a shut-in) that needs the cat as much as she will need that person.

Good luck!
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