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Advice on taming feral kitten

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Taming a Really Feral Kitten:

Okay, advice please. I have a feral kitten. Maybe 2 by the time I trap tonight!

The kitten I call Baby is about 12 wks old. Too old to tame they say...

He's very fiesty, hisses and paws at me but I CAN pet when he is in his
shelter box, and I lift lid and pet him from behind - just a finger tip or so scrtaching his ears... he seems to not mind.

If he sees the hand coming at him tho he freaks and hisses.

He is in a big dog kennel cage, with a hiding box, litter box, food water
and cover. I want him to get used to my voice so I constantly am talking to myself now!

I have had him for 2 days now. The first day/night he was in a trap, then the big kennel.

Baby is a Maine Coon, he has a huge huge ruff already...

My question - how do I proceed? My other feral foster kitten that I tamed were fast tamers - I let the lose in the house and they hid but observed
and finally came out for loving etc.

I don't want to do that with this little guy just yet -

He is intersted in play, and my idea was to let him observe the big guys
getting petted, loved/played with, and then eventually the idea would
click in his brain. I would let him out upstairs in the kitten room -
to roam free, till he was "handleable".

I read how to do this with gloves etc but am not sure I'm up to that...

Any suggestions on what I might do? My T.T. Siamese feral did laps for me, and hid for 2 days in the bathroom cabinet/wall before coming out 2 days under the bed, 2 days later showing himself, playing and 1 wk later, letting me pet him. He was 4 months too.

So I know this depends entirely on the kitten's pursonality.
This one seems very bold and yet, aggressive. Not mellow.
More high strung I think, yet very curious. I think he will come round.

Any advice?
post #2 of 42
It is possible to socialize feral cats up to three years of age. After that - they're ferals. The older they are, the longer (usually) it takes. However, 12 weeks is definitely not too old! Thank you for rescuing this baby (these babies?)

Someone posted advice for socializing feral kittens if using the crate method: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=138285

I think the key here is food - and as with socializing all ferals, having a very regular schedule for everything you do with them really helps. Also, if the crate is in a room with a door that is kept closed, it's really best to gently knock on the door before entering to "warn" them you're coming. If no door - maybe just say something softly before you enter the room the crate is in.

Food is going to be your friend. The baby food recommendation is fabulous - it is safe for cats, easy on the tummy - and they almost universally love it.

Keep talking to yourself! Singing is good too. Spending time in the room NOT interacting with him is great - helps him get used to the idea that you're not a threat.

Maybe get a radio or CD player to leave in the room with quiet music on. If you can find harp music, ferals seem to respond really well to that.

Just remember - the main goal in socializing is for kitty to learn to trust you. Being comfortable being handled is important - but should not be your first concern.

Play is also your friend. He should have toys. Maybe some pipe cleaners tied to a couple of the bars with the long ends in so he can bat at them - helps use up some of that aggressive energy. A wand toy you can dangle through the crate bars too - maybe just take a dowel rod (available at any hardware store), tie/tape some thick string or strip of leather to it, and tie that to one of those furry mice. Ferals tend to love the mice - and the string attached to it (the "tail). That should get him pouncing when he's comfortable in the crate as his territory.

Just make sure that if you are going to work on touching him that play time and touch time are VERY different times.

I'd also consider investing in some Feliway. Maybe even some rescue remedy (flower essences) - both are available here: http://www.catfaeries.com

This isn't about socializing kittens in a crate, but you may find it helpful: http://straypetadvocacy.org/html/soc...feral_cat.html

Are you adopting him? Or fostering?

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thank Laurie! this little boy is a REAL challenge. My method is not the crate method - basically I've let my OTHER cats, tame the kittens ...its worked very very well, WHEN I have a good match in cats temperments.

This one, tho - I've done EVERYTHING wrong from get go, as to crate method.
He is REALLY afraid, hissing and batting at me, and basically just shivering.
However, I have seen glimers of his getting curious about me and the other kitties and defintely about play.

First, the crate is not the right kind, too small for much beyond box
and food and shelter hiding box.

This is why I think the kitten room approach a better method idea. Of course, I will then have trouble if it come to transport time. Would have to try to get him into a trap again

OTH, he will be more comfy less stressed and come along in his own
time. I am basically keeping for another person who does cat rescues.

She has space, and though she could turn him around ... he is the most beautiful maine coon kitten ... I really would say pure breed if I didn't know his origins at the feral colony.

Daddy is a cat I've named Gigantor because he is the size and color of a Racoon, LOL!! When I first saw Giagantor, I thought it was a racoon coming to eat the cat food. Boy was I WRONG, LOL!! It was a genuine large large large cat!!

Offspring is Little Baby whom I now have.

I did get one other of the litter, but trapped her at 10 wks of age, just before Xmas. Leigh is blk n white coon cat, and not nearly as wild. The tamer lady says she hisses but was able to handle within 2 days of us trapping.

Baby, OTH is a tabby grey/black with brown and touches of white. he is wild I think, and a shyer cat, made aggressive by fear.

Anyway, I've had amazing luck in kitten taming, usually because of friendly kittens showing the scared/fearful ones its okay to come out etc.

Seems to always work much better IMHO than this crate stuff...

Right now he is in the living room in his crate, and I have watched TV all night long, he is not so much worried about noise anymore, but he
really don't like me much. (pardon bad english!!)
I have patted with a toy wand, he doesnt' mind it. Endures is the description I have for it.

He loves babyfood and 've given him that at least once today...

He seems to be regressing, so I am leaving alone. Tomorrow when I am at work, I will leave TV on low, on weather channel for him, and let him
"see" the couch where the big guys like to sleep...

I have a really sick cat right now, vomiting and dirreah, so having the kitten as long term foster is hard. I am just hoping that I can persuade the tamer lady to take him on... I REALLY think he can do it, and fast, with the right handling.

BTW, my feral Siamese? He did laps round the bathroom and hid on me, and i was so sure he would NEVER tame. Well, today he is in Siamese Rescue (look up Vincent Van Gogh on Virginia's Siamese Rescue cats for pictures of him!).

The foster mom says he is the sweetest cat ever, and he plays fetch!
He purrs, sits in laps and loves loves attention. You would never know,
except for the ear tip, that he was born a feral kitten with no real human
contact till age 4 months!!

My Grey Goose tamed in 4 weeks. He gets more tame in the house and outside, even though he is easily startled. He is also a beautiful half coon cat - grey with the most amazing silver shadings. And he has the MOST magnificient tail I have EVER seen on cat. It wafts around in the air like a plume...

My Laphrogie, the lavender tabby (she truely is beautiful shades of grey on grey tabby), is tame now to me. Not to others, but she does come out and hang around the BF. Sleeps with him, but won't let him pet her, LOL...
She got out of a carrier in the house, escaped out the pet door, and
lived in the sewer for about 2 wks, till she decided the in/out of the
house was much to be preferred. Goose showed her the way, LOL...

Each of these was 4 months of age when I got. So yes, they can tame and do, but at different rates. I still think the no cage method is the way to go...
Esp. with a friendly kitten playmate to show them the way...
post #4 of 42
I don't have any advice for you, but I wish you the best of luck with your new kitty.
post #5 of 42
If you've got a room you can confine him to, then you don't need the crate. It's just the crate method basically forces the cat to interact with you - it's not the way we do it.

On the other hand, the problem with the room method is he doesn't get to see you interact with other kitties, and you have to figure out a way to spend as much time as you can in a room you probably don't normally use - and given how wild and aggressive this guy seems, he'll probably just hide for some time - no way to know how long.

But that's just it with these cats - you just don't know how long anything's going to take! If he's got a safe hiding space under a bed in a spare room or something, and you spend a fair amount of time in there - he may get comfortable and it'll be just a week or two before he's bumping you and running out to play or get treats!

If you do release him into a room, put a bunch of boxes in there on their sides - maybe with the top flap hanging down. That way he's got lots of hidey places. And if he takes up residence in any particular area, get a t-shirt good and sweaty and put it on or next to his bed. And get another one good and sweaty, and put treats out for him on it - don't necessarily wait there for him to eat them. But it'll help him come to associate you with "good things."

I would consider a heavy dose of Feliway and some Rescue Remedy.

post #6 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks Laurie. I have Feliway, hadn't thought of using. Is catnip okay?
for a 12 wk?

I think I like the sweaty shirt too, I'll put one in his box. I just have
feeling he would do better where he felt in control and not threatened
by me.

Today after good nights calm quiet rest, he was coming out almost to see me play w/ Frogie. V. interested in that. That's why I think friendly kitten would help alot in the whole process!!

I spend time in the upstairs bedroom (kitten room) its where all the ferals
kitten are isolated. Sunny, big, a nice bed/table to hide under - lots of
space windows to look out etc.

I still think room might work better. Sigh. Just wish he was nice n friendly under ti all.
post #7 of 42
If you can have a net in the door opening, or a net door, it would be a way to have him free in a room, and yet seeing the homecats, and you interaging friendly with them.
post #8 of 42
Cats that are under 1 year of age don't often respond to catnip. Doesn't hurt to try though, I guess!

post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update: I sprayed Feliway and immediately little boy was sniffing it!
I could tell it seemed to calm him some.

Then I upset him. You see he's been sleeping in a dirty litter box, and I had no way to schoop it out. So I wanted to put a smaller box in the cage and a clean one.

I put on winter mitts and moved him, he hisssed swatted and generally wasn't happy, but I got him out of the litter box into the shelter box and
changed out the litter box. He came out immediately and went back in box.

This morning however he a) didn't come out to greet and was back in shelter box.

I put out food, he didn't want to come out of his box and let me see him, tho he peered out at me and big cats.

I STILL think letting roam in kitten room is best way to engage. Will play with him tonight. And move upstairs to kitten room for roaming round.

I think this will work for him better. I really think he isn't going to be wild.
I just think he needs work and time. And to see other cats playing and not afraid... that seems to be no. 1 assistance.

I'll spray more Feliaway tonight before working with him...
post #10 of 42
Yeah.... with more room, he probably won't lie on the litter. He's probably a little old for the cage socializing - especially if it isn't large.

I'm sure you know - when it comes to socializing "ferally ferals," it's almost always two steps forward, one step back - and sometimes two steps back, and sometimes three steps back.

I think I'd release him into the room (if you haven't already). Getting comfortable in the territory is half the battle sometimes.

for working with this boy!

post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 

He must have been getting more comfy. A 5 day stay in the cage and he was ready to roam the house.

Next thing I know, he's out of the cage! I only left door open to clean and walked away, and out he scooted!! Brave little boy!

He wandered upstairs to my bed room to hid (think Frogie chased him)
then at last I tempted him to wander into the kitten room upstairs, which I had vaccumed and prepared for him. Lots of room to roam, good hiding spots, sunshine and warmth and windows to look out, lots of toys and
where ALL the cats hang out. I closed door, and left him after a play session with him and Frogie my friendly cat.

The encouragement of seeing me play w/ Frogie (my younger cat). brought him out. Seems a friendly cat interacting with me, makes him more confident, LOL!

Wish me luck. Still hisses, won't let me touch, but has litterally run into me a couple of times in his mad dashing round playing with string toy!

I lie down when I play with him, spray w/ Feliway and now will take up the
kitty buffet so that he is hungry when I come. He knows when I cometo check for food/kitty milk (loves that stuff) and babyfood! Smart boy.

I am sad he doesn't come out right away though. But its only been about
7-10 days so maybe this is too early for him??!

Any advice or feed back from others who've tamed completely wild shy guys?

He purrs loud and i KNOW he wants to out playing with me, and willl LOVVE being petted once he gets his confidence up!
post #12 of 42
What a great update!

He's doing great, and so are you. At now 13 weeks old - it may not be long before he's totally comfortable. Patience can be so hard - but so worth it!

At this point, I'd go for getting a couple of t-shirts really sweaty. Put one under his food dish, one on or next to where he sleeps, and at a regular time in the morning and evening, or after one of your play sessions, put treats down on it for him. This will really help increase his comfort level around you.

I guess the crate method is really for younger kittens or MUCH older ferals.

for doing so great!

post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update on Baby the feral:

Okay, Baby's come out for me to play! Yayyy! Once today when I was
actually sitting up too! He watched my little Frogie girl VERY closely, to
see if it was okay to do this. Then she growled (non puffed tail, and sort of chased him (no claws out) back under the bed/table. I thought it was more of a a warning to leave her to play with ME (jealous of my attention) than a
"angry / want to hurt" type of reaction. If she'd wanted to hurt little Baby she could have...

anyway before that point, he was OUT playing with us. I KNOW KNOW in my heart if I had my fearless Dewey around, he'd be playing and wrestling up a storm by now.

He WANTS to be petted, he's just not sure poor thing.

He's engaged his purr motor too - I can hear it sometimes, LOL!

Basically he's hiding under the massage table, drapped with cloth. He
comes out when I lie down to play with him, which is every chance I
get when i go into the room.

I want him to associate ME with good play time, food and clean
box. Today I put a radio in with him, as he had been isolated
upstairs with no other noises - I will also start baby gating the
room door, so he can HEAR the house noises at night, when I'm
watching TV cooking and eating, and the other cats can see "in"
to the room. And he can see "out" of room...etc.

Eventually when it turns colder again, I will let him roam the house.
Basically, I didn't want to do that if I could not handle him, but
it maybe that in order to handle him get him tamer,

he will have to see the other
cats at play, rest around me and
so become "de sensitised".

Laurie, how do you think I'm doing? I have no way of knowing
if its typical for him to bolt when I get too close, but to come out
and play with me, when I am sitting up. Is this okay?

When will he get close/comfortable enough with play for me to "touch"
while playing??

Anyway, any thoughts on how to speed us along greatly appreciated!
He will be going to the taming lady soon - she uses cage method, and I
do not know how well he will deal with that. He needs a vetting
fleas for sure, and of course worming... but since I can't handle I
can't administer the meds. I think Pam and others will do better
with him, though I am thrilled I've brought him this far so quickly.

I only got him Dec 31! 8 days and he's already letting me see him, coming
out to play and allowing me FINALLY to sit up when playing. Saves me alot, LOL on shoulder pains!!

Okay, off now... just read this over and give me some hints on what
else I can do/be doing.
post #14 of 42
I would do the following:
If you have a spare room in the house, close all places that he can hide (under furniture etc) and make him a nice bed, litter box and spend some time with him there.... take some treats with you of course. when he will eventually learn to be with you then you can start introducing him to other members of the family (two and four legged)
It works for me when i take strays for recovery in my house.
Good luck !!
post #15 of 42
I am so sorry to hear he's going to someone that's going to use the cage method. It sounds like he's really going to bum out having to be put back in a cage.

I'm concerned that it sounds like other kitties are allowed in the same room? If he's got fleas and hasn't been dewormed yet, you're risking exposure to your other kitties. And since Advantage (for fleas) and dewormer weren't administered by a vet, I have to assume he hasn't seen a vet? This means you have no idea what you're exposing your other kitties to. Even through a baby gate.

I'm so sorry - I really should have said something about this initially. But if he hasn't seen a vet, he really shouldn't be allowed to interact with the other kitties - or share a space with them at all.

That said....

Bolting when you approach, and approaching you when you're stationary is VERY typical of feral behavior. This is why we recommend people spend as much time in the socialization room as possible - letting kitty get used to you, your presence, your smell, sounds, &etc. Don't approach kitty at all when moving around - but spend some of the time down on the ground at his height, and let him approach you (reading or reading out loud while sitting on the floor is great) - and otherwise ignoring him.

Of course, it depends upon each kitty and how they react. Not reaching out is a pretty universal no-no at first. But getting him to play with a wand toy if he's interested is a great tool. So is holding out wet food or baby food on a spoon.

Play and food are great socialization motivators - but other than the food on a spoon and interactive play, it's really best not reach out to touch kitty until he approaches you. In fact, even though it can drive you crazy, it's really best not to reach out to touch him until he's walked up to you and head-bumped your leg (if standing) or your knee or whatever if sitting.

Remember - the whole point of socialization is to build trust. A feral cat doesn't know what play is at first. They definitely don't know what love is - and after that first pet, they often can't stand more than one or two pets on the cheek at a time as they get overstimulated very easily at first. Unlike dogs, cats do not come pre-programmed to love people and to want love. The feral kitty has no idea what you're going to do, and doesn't know what you want from him. So the "trick" is to just let him get used to you - and to "teach" him that you don't want anything from him at all. You're just there to take care of his needs, at first - and then as he comes to understand you're not going to harm him, he's slowly come to understand you're there to entertain him.

Also, IF you're going to reach out at him, do it with your palm down. It's the opposite of dogs. Looking at kitty directly in the eyes or reaching out with a palm up are both signs of aggression to him. It's always best to look at his forehead or over his head - not directly in the eye (until you've got that trust built up). Doing things like lying down, sitting, yawning, stretching, "looking" at him with your eyes closed - these are all things that help build trust. Especially if done at his height.

However, with the fleas, this is a real issue. If he's got fleas, they're leaving eggs on the floor, and then you're picking them up and transmitting those eggs to the other parts of your house.

Unfortunately, he really needs to be treated with Advantage. This is much easier than deworming - you do need a vet prescription for Advantage - but all you have to do is squirt it on the back of his neck. It may be a case of one step forward and three steps back to do it, because you may have to scruff him to get him to hold still for the 10 seconds you need to get it on him. But have lots of treats ready to put near the table for him.

....and, unfortunately, because of the exposure of your house and other kitties to fleas now, I'd really recommend an Advantage treatment for the whole crew. I'd also recommend purchasing a flea collar from the supermarket, cutting it up and putting it in your vacuum cleaner. Flea collars may kill cats, which is why they should never be used on a cat - but they do a good job of killing fleas and flea eggs - and for the next week, you really need to vacuum the entire house every day while the Advantage does its job.

Everything you're doing sounds great. And you can tell it is, because he's responding.

The only problem is that we didn't have the vet discussion up front, and I am so sorry about that!

post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
Laurie, thanks! First, not to *worry* - we have a rescue vet he will go to shortly for spay neuter, rabies and distemper plus advantage.

Secondly all MY kitties are vaccinated etc. Also all mine are indoor out door on Advantage, and the room has been treated (baseboard) for
fleas prior to kitty arrival Fleas not an issue. more worried
about URIs.

Also, no contact directly between kitties. Just thru the kitty gate

So don't worry little guy is/will be getting his stuff done, and isn't
directly interacting with big guys (grooming, sharing food or litter boxes etc.)

Now, I've done all the liying down stuff. Working on sitting up.
He let me touch his behind this morning! Ran into me litterally, now he
knows I just dont do "anything" except pulling strings for his entertainment and give him yummmy foods!!

Gotta go, post more later. Hugs and thanks for advice!! And the progress is phenom considering I've only had him since Dec 31!
post #17 of 42
What a relief! *phew*

And - he has come SO far for his age and in - 1 week?

He's so lucky to have you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yeah, if I had fearless Dewey around to throw in w/ him I would. Dewey was fixed, vaccinated etc so he was okay round others - I don't worry about the Combo - most cats from this site have been negative.

Dewey "taught" T.T. the siamese (now named Vincent Van Gogh and ADOPTION PENDING ) to be tame in under a week.

If i could handle little boy, I would be the happiest person, that way
he could get flea meds, worming etc. BEFORE vet visit. As it is, will do
it while he is "under".

Not going to give him over to taming lady until I can touch him. I think he's the type does better with "freedom" and "quiet". Once he has that he'll start to blossom.

Can't be far now! If I can get him to almost touch (he didnt' know it was ME touching his little rump, briefly!) then to eat near me (which he doesn't do)
when the room door is open, he won't come out unless i start play with him.

Now, LOL he expects me to play with him when ever he hears me, LOL

I am keeping it predictable - early am feed/box change and play short session.
Evening when I get home same thing, then leave baby gate on door, so he can HEAR / See out. Other kitties can see "in"

I have heard little guy purr when I lie down and play with him. I think he's got the general idea I'm harmless! Now I am *dying* to pet but I will wait till he bumps me playing, or takes treat from me. I figure its been about 8 days
so I have about 8 more to get to the petting point. I SHOULD be able to get there soon - given time. My BF is saint, he lets me put in this kind of time!

So glad he's shown he can tame. I think now there will be NO question of putting him back out. They were skeptical cause he was so old (My GUESS is he is 9 weeks to 3 months). They thought he could NOT tame. I would have thought so too, given the hisses and swatting at me he did while
in cage first 5 days. But he's come round nicely to not swatting at my hand any more... sees it as an extention of me, and me = play & food.

I think he just needs a bit of encouragement. Watching me play with my guys
makes him come out to play too. He seems much more comfy when one of them is around. I really think cats learn from each other and tame faster when tame cats "teach" em to tame down...

Anyway, thank you Laurie for the advice. I will let you know how it is going with Baby. If I can I'll post pics too!

And if I get him to tame in 2 wks to hand touching... I will have EARNED the "Kitten Whisperer" title, LOL
post #19 of 42
OOOOO - kitty pics! We want kitty pics!

post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yes if I can, I'll post him to the flickr page - once I get a good photo op that is!! Hee hee. Wouldn't it be GREAT if I could touch him again?

I know not to push, but he's getting really comfy with me now.
When i put food under the bed at the edge - he immediately goes
to eat. (next to my smellly T shirt n old panties - stinkiest things
I could find, LOL!)

And he really relaxes once he sees the big (LOL tiny) Frogie cat
watching jealously through the baby gate!

I'll post pictures soon.
post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update: Major break through with Baby!

This am he sat on the floor in the middle of room, and WATCHED me through the baby gates when I left the room! Yayyyy!! He's less fearful. Before the minute I moved he ran back under the bed. But not today, he sat and looked out at me!!!

Its slow going, but I think soon I will be able to touch. I have put chicken grease on my fingers (roasted chicken) and scented w/ Feliway. He is now
so close I almost breath on him when he comes by!!

But I've held off on touching him. I want him to come to me. He has turned on his purr motor while playing with me, no longer hisses or runs
immediately I move. I think he's discovered I = play & food!

This process would be greatly speeded up if I had a friendly kitten to borrow, LOL. Alas, will have to do the hard way. Soon as he has his vetting he will be allowed to roam the house, observe the other cats and play with us..

Yayy. meantime my adorable feral Siamese that tamed down has BEEN ADOPTED. I am SO HAPPY. The lady fell in love when she met him, LOL.
And she drove a long way to see him, 2 hours. She definitely wanted HIM.

So happy today!!
post #22 of 42
Wow - just good news all around!

Congrats on the adoption!

And... he watched you leave! What a coup!

I don't think it'll be too long before that first headbump. I know how frustrating it is - but he's purring while playing! I'm just busting for him and you!

post #23 of 42
Thread Starter 

You have so much experience. I am a bit new to this. My other ferals from the colony *knew* me - and tamed well. Although Ms. Laphrogie is not at all tame to any other than me. She is very standoffish w/ bf too.
(But she WILL sleep with/on him, LOL at night!)

And my siamese rescue TT (now named Vinne short for Vincent Van Gogh!)
tamed almost immediately due in large part to having a fearless foster kitten Dewey with him. Dewey taught him to be more outgoing. Though I think TT would have gotten to it in time...

Baby is a bit of a challenge. I got him round I figure 12wks or maybe younger - hard to say. But not the 8 wks age.
He does seem more comfortable round cats -
but coming from a colony yeah, he would, wouldn't he??

He is afraid of BF, and we are going to start working
on that soonest I can pursuade the BF. to spend time with him, LOL.

Of course, I have an English Bulldog I want him to adopt too ...
(Sadly someone abandoned or it wandered. Microchipped to a place
in MN and the breeder seems OUT of biz now. ... ) Imagine a MN
dog in WVa! Anyway the co worker who found, is looking for good
adopter.. My BF is dogs best home, and I am cats best home, LOL!

Anyway, its hard to judge it, but Baby seems to limit himself to the door
of kitten room, he's not quite ready to roam the house yet. And he
needs his vetting first. But before that, I want to be able to touch him.

It can't be too long now, the purr motor being on, and so forth gives me REAL hope he is looking round and deciding about being loved / touched.
He has watched the big guys getting pets through the petgate and seems very interested. Definitely observing it. Also today he saw my oldster
Diablo (17 yrs) a giant black cat, give me his usual tail up straight and
quivering greeting. And get pets, and not run. I think he was WAY interested. He also observed Frogie give me her trills and mews and get

But he does have to be drawn out from under the bed - where he hides when he hears noises he doesn't "know".

I really don't know how to proceed to touching. Short of throwing a towel on him and letting him get burritoed. Not the method I htink would work on him.

But alt leat he's in a clean room, using the litter box perfectly
and eating now, at the edge NOT under the bed. I move the bowl a bit
each day out to the room, so he has to stick his head out, etc etc...

I think 2 more wks we may have head butts. If there are no set backs.
Please send me vibes for Baby *loving* Mommy and Baby *getting pets*
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update on Baby - Baby appears to be a Maine Coon, however there
seems to be something a bit SHORT about his leg height to body ratio.

I can't swear to it, but I suspect he may be a munchkin cat/kitten. Has anyone ever heard of this breed? Is it a common mutation?

I guess its possible he is just in an awkward growing stage, but the body
does seem over long for the leg height! Tail length seem to be in proportion to body however.

He scoots and climbs just fine, dispite that ... it just sometimes looks odd to me?

Anyway, exciting thing was this afternoon (home sck) I touched HIS TAIL.
Yayy. Then he turned round an put his wee paw on my hand! Claws were not "out" ... Yayyy!! Baby's getting bolder!

Wheee... so happy. off now to care for my cold. Shower, soup and
lots of hot strong tea.

Send vibes for RAPID taming from here on in. This wee one needs to do what my lovely Flame point feral did - tame to such a level you would never know wehre he come from!!
post #25 of 42
I'll send vibes for rapid comfort and ease to Baby...

....but that said, I KNOW how exciting it is, and I KNOW how frustrating it is - but you really just have to turn off any thoughts of "a clock." Cats love routine - but they don't work on schedules.

Lazlo we rescued at about 10 weeks old just after 4th of July 2002. Shelly we rescued a week later. Of the five in the litter, we have four - the fifth was successfully adopted out. Spooky we brought inside in November of that year. Tuxedo we brought inside in March of 2003. Spooky and Tuxie were tame to us - Spooky from when we adopted her out and rescued her back, and Tuxedo was tame to us, though outside, from sometime in December (what a nasty little cat he was initially!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Lazlo's purr motor turned on the first day we brought him inside. He was playing and comfortable within the first week. But..... he STILL bolts at a loud noise. A cough, a dropped pan, a new person. This is to say - a lot of it has to do with the cat's personality.

He doesn't need to be drawn out from under the bed. He will come when he's ready.

He comes out to play with wand toys? He comes out for chicken baby food or something on a spoon? He's doing great!

I don't know how large a space you live in. If it's an apartment and not a large house, maybe take the gate down while you're in there for 1/2 an hour or an hour so the other kitties can come in. Play with or pet them in there. If there's no hissing and they're OK with each other - maybe just take the gate down. He may come out at night to explore while you're sleeping.

Also, if his separation room isn't a guest bedroom, maybe grab a sleeping bag or something and sleep on the floor in there! I don't know if you read the sticky about socializing Lucky at the top of this forum - but Lucky used to sleep on the bed when she thought they were asleep - but wouldn't really interact otherwise. Being asleep is a TOTALLY non-threatening situation.

For now, he's comfortable in his territory.

post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Laurie today he crawled OVER my hand sniffed and poked head under it, all while i played dead, LOL! He's getting better. He still doesn't stay out in the room when I am watching from outside, but sometimes he does for a short time. He is really getting there.

My pictures will be posted to flickr soon. I will send link soon. He is totally Maine Coon faced! The pics show that adorable snout the Coon's have. And the ruff and britches, not to mention ear tufting!!

I think now he younger than his size would suggest - I think he is simply big!

I am still wondering over the body and leg configuration. He may just be
awkward. and growing into a larger body.

In any case he is totally delightful once he gets over the shyness. I
am SO hoping he learns to come out soon!

I left his baby gate open, and he still won't venture out... but if I do it
tonight and let him travel he may do so... Wouldn't that be terrific??

Course I would prefer it if I could corral and pick him up when he
does that. Frogie girl is not so tame herself, just to me. And
even then I sometimes have to work on the "picking me up"

Okay off to play some more. His room is 12/20 feet, so he has room and sunny windows to look out too. I can definitely spend a night in there
next week. Right now neck is out, so I'm in pain and not doing it.

But I will SOOON!

Just wanted to tell you the good news. A sniff! under my hand!! He is curious, and getting there... he just needs to learn more from the others...

post #27 of 42
Originally Posted by opilot View Post
Laurie today he crawled OVER my hand sniffed and poked head under it, all while i played dead, LOL! He's getting better. He still doesn't stay out in the room when I am watching from outside, but sometimes he does for a short time. He is really getting there.
WHAT a brave boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He's coming along so fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #28 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update to Baby:

He allowed me to PET him while eating Babyfood yesterday evening!!! Yayyyy.
I did 4 or 5 strokes of his back, no moving away from food, growling or anything, just fixed lapping up of yummy babyfood!

Hee hee! I tossed him some turkey bits after dinner too

He also comes right up to my lap when playing now. Still bolts if
he SEES my hand coming at him, but is more comfy now than
before. Let me watch him use his BOX today.

He MUST be feeling comfy now... I think he's getting ready to venture
out of his room. I have a spay neuter for him next weekend, so after
that he's clear to roam the house, with supervision...

AT night I will have to shut the pet door so he doesn't go out, and the
others all STAY inside...

Could be v. interesting. Would hope they all get to playing gently/nicely...
Baby does want to make friends and play!

Using feliway again, to help him relax round me....

Hope that he soon comes tame to touching... slow progress but
I rather feel that the room method has advantages over the
other more harsh and stressful cage containment method...

What do you think Laurie? Is cage faster but harder, and more
prone to slippage or does hand/home rearing in the house
provide a better rounded more relaxed cat?
post #29 of 42
I took in 3 feral cats yesterday after immediately getting them spayed/neutered and fully vetted. The mother is only a few years old (background unknown) and her 2 kittens are approx 3-4 months. I had to get them out of the traps, so I put all 3 in one of my smaller bathrooms. They've been taking turns hiding behind the toilet, in a little cat bed, and on the countertop in the corner. My vet told me to touch them as much as possible, so I was sitting on the floor with them on my lap and petting them for 5-10 minutes at a time. But they just sit there transfixed and carefully watching me... they're completely scared and won't move. The kittens won't hiss, bite, or scratch... I pet them and they won't move a muscle. Finally, this morning I brought a dish of wet food in, and after putting one of the kittens on my lap and showing him the food, he very carefully moved as little as he possibly could to get to the dish. The mother is surprisingly docile, and was even good at the vet... she'll hiss a little, but if I move slowly enough, she won't hiss when I pet her, although its obviously she's very scared. So now, after reading people's posts, my plan is to spend some time in the bathroom with them reading a book and let them come to me. Should I touch them at all? Any suggestions on what I should do? Thanks!
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
Sunny I am not sure I'm best to advise, but from what I've seen (4 tamed now) the cats like to have your voice, scent and being near them. BUT
they DO hide - you have to draw them out slowly, with string toys. Use Feliway (pheremone that smells good to cat) and you have to play
soft music or low radio when you are away. Sleep with them in the room if you can. Always bring treats and toss under to them.

Even with all this, it will take the cat time to come out. Some are faster and some are slower but they ALL come round eventually. Very few remain completely feral. See the story of "Jimmy's breakthroughs" on this forum.

Jimmy took 1 year to come out of his shell, and he had a HUGE lot of
cat friends to help him along the way!!

Patience, no expectations and steadiness. Also consistency. Cats like their routines, LOL.

And of course food bribes, toys, catnip and Feliway are also useful!!!

Evenutally, your cat will slowly come out to you. Just keep doing what you are doing - patiently. One day he'll be watching you, the next interacting with you and one day, it will be like a bulb went off in his head

"oh yeah, she's food, pets, toys.. my slave!!" LOL
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