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Feral Kitty Family in Sacramento

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi there!

I found this forum trying to find some feral cat forums that might be able to help me with the cats, I've been trying to tame for a few weeks now.

Basically it's a stray momma cat (she just doesn't have that fully feral vibe though she is timid of humans) and her three kittens (though we've only seen two kittens after the first few sightings of them crossing our backyard.

We do have a stray cat (which I think is male) that lives under our house and I think the momma and her kittens live under the neighbor's house.

The kittens are obviously feral since the momma appears to be a stray - and I started feeding them because I truly feel that ALL of these cats are fully tameable and are highly adoptable.

I think we've pretty much already tamed the brave kitten, but the momma and the timid kitten ... well we are making progress, but man it is slow going.

I'm afraid to fully start taming the brave one because I can use him (I still don't know the genders so I'm guessing) to bring my scent to momma and thew other kitten to start having them associate my scent with the scent of food and that fact that the kitten doesn't get hurt.

I can't seem to get any responses from the feral resources in my area, I've emailed and called and gotten no replies. So I'm pretty much on my own with this.

I know that I can get both kittens tamed but not sure about momma, might be best to just get her spayed and then release her again so a new cat doesn't move in.

But they are BEAUTIFUL cats!! They really are quite gorgeous.

So I;m trying to put out feelers for possible homes for them now ... as I think they'd adjust very nicely.

Both kittens are eating from a spoon that I hold, and in my kitchen. Both have been petted and even picked up multiple times. Tonight we even had MOMMA in the kitchen eating - which is a HUGE step. And she is such a pretty kitty!

So any advice would be great! I am really poor right now so trying to find ways to do the right thing that I can afford. I'm trying to find a large cage that I can house them in so I can get them inside and start to letter box train them and get them used to seeing humans as being good.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated!

If you'd like to see them, we've been taking pictures of them and posting them on Flickr for easy viewing.
post #2 of 10
You fed mommy and her 2 kitties. From a spoon, no less, and they let you pet them. I think that they are yours, now. Please try to get that female spayed and find them a good home but it sounds like yours suits them just fine.
Can't give you any advice about that male (?) though.
You are wonderful to care and take care of them!
post #3 of 10
First of all, thank you for caring.

I know you said you tried contacting some resources in your area but here are a couple in case you haven't tried these.

As far as a large cage goes, perhaps you could check some thrift stores in your area. I have sometimes seen them in our local ones here. You might check with Animal Control too to see if perhaps somebody donated a large kennel that they would let you have.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sadly, I cannot afford 3 other animals in my household. I firmly believe in only having enough animals that you can provide medical care for as I consider emergency visits and regular medical care a part of what a pet costs, not just the cost of pet food or toys.

I already have a puppy and an adult cat - and *that* is my financial limit. Plus I don't want to start becoming a cat hoarder, lol. I'm happy with just trying to find them homes and helping them get a start towards a better life for themselves.

I cannot afford to even FEED these guys, but it is evident that they were REALLY REALLY hungry, hungry enough that it's overpowering their extreme fear of humans ever so slowly.

And it's SO cold this year - it's hitting the low thirties in Sacramento, which isn't normal. We might even see snow this winter. It is BRUTALLY cold, and they obviously need the calories.

Thanks for the links - I had called and emailed them both to no avail when I first discovered the queen with her kitties were in our yard frequently, but I HAVE re-emailed them again. Maybe this time one of them will respond.

I have put up a page for them on my dog's blog and started a set for them on our Flickr for our puppy, the page gives a little bit of background. It is my hope that someone will read it and be interested in adopting, since so far I'm doing this on my own, it means that i have to really start putting out the word that soon there will be a need for homes for this little guys. And maybe I can find someone that has a large cage that is willing to donate it.

Anyway here is their little page:

I'll be reading this forum to learn more tips and ask questions I'm sure. I love that idea about the rubbermaid containers, not sure where to find straw in Sacramento, or how to tell the difference between straw and hay, but I can try!
post #5 of 10
As other posters have already said, it's great that you're caring for these kittens!

I looked at the website, and you're right --- they are adorable! Just one brief thought: when they're not being spoon-fed, you might want to empty the contents of the canned food into a small bowl or plate. I would worry about them getting cut on any sharp edges on the inside of the can where the lid was. It probably wouldn't happen, but I'm a member of the better-safe-than-sorry crowd.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hmmm You might be right. I thought of it and rubbed my finger on the edge and it wasn't sharp like they used to be when *I* was a kid (back then they would slice you like a razor!) but still, aI bet it's possible. I'll hit up the dollar store tomorrow!

And aren't they just too cute? We are going to try to get the whole clan on video tomorrow or next week sometime. And I think we'll grab more pics tonight when I feed them.
post #7 of 10
Alyssa, have you gone to and researched rescues there? Of course, making sure that you contact no-kill shelters. The Momma and babies are absolutely GORGEOUS! And I believe you when you say the animal welfare groups in the SAC area are overwhelmed. That is true across the board. But keep trying. As animals are moved out into homes, spots open in rescue foster homes, etc. And since these guys are such stunning cats, they would have a chance I think.

Some other posters here have suggested that people caring for ferals go to some of the major chain stores and get expired food. It's still fine, they just cannot sell it. The PetSmart we partner with does that for us. We get their just expired Authority brand for our fosters and for our storefront cats. As a big company, PS just writes it off.

EDIT: If you are willing to foster in place with some financial support from a rescue, would that work?
post #8 of 10
Alyssa: Try with United animal nations for a ONE TIME grant to help these kitties be Spay Neuter and vaccinated.

try with low cost spay neuter 1-800-spay usa for your area. These vets give low cost spay services.

Your outdoor kitties need this help. Consider a TNR and don't WORRY about medical, -many feral friends can help you with that part.

With animals that live as feral the care they get is basic. Most are VERY hardy and MORE healthy than normal cats. I should know I manage a colony
of 15. Can I afford meds? Not really, but I've learned where to go for assistance for medical, and accepted that if I am the best and only care and food they get, that i will do my best within MY budget. (I have 4 at home).

I get food from rescues, help for medical from rescue vets, and anti bios are fish meds I have wormer in bulk and Revolution from australia for them,... all sort o stuff I do!!

I've made cheap and good outdoor shelters, rescued 17 kittens from this colony (placed with rescues to "rehome" after taming) and I've managed ot maintain 8 adults. Way to go eH? Lots of work, but worth it.

I beg and scrounge and make it work, and truely - I feel the cats ar emuch better of for having me. they get a one time rabies, spay/neuter, distemper and worming and then they are on their own. I feed, provide the shelter.

When one was hit by a car, I could not care for her, because she would not let me hold her to take to vet so, it becomes a moot point. She died of shock trauma I believe. It was peaceful. She passed in one of the shelters, in her sleep, with her litter mate purring beside her.

Nothing really sad- when I realized what a good life she'd had with me in it up to that point.

And let me add - I've 2 of these cats at home!

Please consider a TNR and release. Ask Hissy on this board for more info
on how to do this, and try to find those local rescue groups! We are out there, and WE HELP!

Hugs and best wishes in the Xmas season for your generous heart.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I did make them a shelter by following your advice, and they seem to be using it!

I couldn't find straw though - so am shredding newspaper instead and have a cardboard box lined with fleece blankets inside the rubbermaid container.

I'm in contact with some people that manage colonies near me so they will help with some things they said so that is good. The funding though will be largely mine to handle and come up with I think though.

I'm making big strides with them though so they are doing well so far!
post #10 of 10
Kudos for not giving up!!! you could get straw from a feed store, but it's sold by the bale, but the store might let you have the scraps from the floor.
Also, call the local vets - sometimes people who have just had a cat put down are willing to step up to the plate in such an emergency situation (even when they are too grieving to go to the animal shelter, which can be a traumatic experience in and of itself, having to walk away from so many sad kitties). I am a firm believer that you will make this venture a success
Sending {{{{prayers and vibes}}} that you find both assistance and homes
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