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Advice on taming feral kitten - Page 2

post #31 of 42
Thread Starter 
PS. I forgot to mention - you can use a babygate to keep the cats in the room, but allow them to hear the sounds of the house. Also, since yours will LET you pet, try scenting your fingers with catnip and spraying w/ Feliway before you try petting. Also bring treats and feed them while you pet.

And of course don't forget to NOT stare directly at them, ignoring them sometimes is the best. Then they want YOU to be near them

Cats can be contrary!!
post #32 of 42
Opilot, you know what I'm thinking - especially after this thread? That the crate method is best for really old kitties or really young kittens. Young kittens because they don't need the space, and older ferals, because maybe it makes sense to force contact. But we don't have and didn't have the heart to contain kitties, so we always use the room method - but then we're never in any hurry.

I can't believe your petting him! I told you food is your best friend!

BTW - are you still just fostering this kitty?


post #33 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yeah, Laurie I am foster by default! Orginally I was sent to trap kittens because I was close by. I got one before Xmas, then left for break, came
home and immediately went to try for other kittens. I got Baby.

But then The lady who was to take him, the tamer, had to leave town on a trip. So, naturally he couldn't go to her right away.

Then, he escaped cage and she never followed up asking me to give to her. So long short, I told them I would keep and tame him.

They say the crate works for kittens, but he was about 12 wks at the time,
and too large. 8 wks would have fit the crate, but his size is big because he is part (very obviously I might add) Maine coon. (I used to live in MA so I am familar with the Coon breed and the mixes - this is NOT a long hair, a persian or angora type. Definitely a Coon in the mix.)

So now Baby is mine to tame! this morning we had more breakthroughs!
I went to get up and the baby gate had been knocked down by one of the kitties! LOL. Baby after I got up and went down stairs (leave door open)
moved OUT of his room, into the hall, into my bedroom and back to the kittey room!

Then we ate baby food - and I got to stroke! Now at least once a day, I feed the baby food and I pet him while eating. I have to manuever VERY carefully, from behind - he still is very very shy of hands to body movement.

But if he doesn't see me, LOL he lets me pet AND purrs and purrs!!

Yayyy! I am so glad I rescued. The rescue folks say a crated kitten can be handled by one week - but his one has taken 2.5 - HOWEVER - he is confident around me, and NOT scared. GRINNING.

If as i believe he is a sweetie pie (Coons usually are very people oriented and quite fearless) then this trend to taming should accelerate.

Meantime, I will keep at it slow and steady. I just want him to be tamed and socialized ASAP ahead of kitten season, so he gets a good home.

I've contacted the Coon Breed rescue folks to help me, as well as other groups to cross post him. He has SUCH potential!!

You can see it when he sits and watches me come in the room. And last night he didn't run when I came in he was actually SITTING ONTOP of the massage table pillows!!! Yayyy!!

I guess, he will come along nicely, and if I had a friendly kitten to put in
with him, he'd be competing like made for affection, LOL. I really really think
the room way is best, if you want a happy cat and they are older than 12 wks when you get em....

So far, all mine have been 4-6 months and they responded beautifully to room taming, plus my other "tame" cats..

And god how this little guy races around leaps, jumps, climbs and rolls LOL. He is a real acrobat! Its the Coon hunter in him
Oh gota go. My day off and one of my OTHER feral kitties (now a permanent cat) has spay surgery today - plus Goose my other feral kitty now permanent has a sore paw and is upset I am not allowing out. HE has VET apt this afternoon too. I'm runing cat express here, LOL
post #34 of 42
I was asking about the fostering - because you were starting to sound like maybe he wasn't going anywhere.

I'm so glad things are going so well! I am really unfamiliar with the crate method, and it may work great. I just agree with you - he seemed SO miserable in there. I think you've done the right thing and are doing great!

Please just be cautious with Maine Coon Rescue. Make sure whether or not THEY are using adoption papers or whether you need to use your own. We adopted a kitty out - we THOUGHT - through Maine Coon Rescue, and it turned out they were "just making introductions to potential adopters." Long story short - no adoption papers, no recourse when we were concerned about the adoption. We adopted our Coon mix rescue to one of THEIR fosters - and she turned out to have serious problems, and they wouldn't help us. It was a horrible situation. So just letting you know up front - make sure you know where your kitty stands if you find a "taker" through them.

post #35 of 42
Thread Starter 
Laurie thanks. That is SO GOOD to know! I don't know much about them at all. There is a group at our Petsmart and they are active in our VA area - because Coons are breed here quite a bit.

But again, I don't know how that would work. I have a second rescue group too, that might help, and I know they are excellent.

Siamese Rescue was terrific with T.T aka Vinnie. The foster mom sent me email and pics on him, and told me about his placement. I felt really good about it - very secure in knowing his future was okay.

Baby deserves the best - he's playing right now with his toys, he
actually was being difficult about letting me pet him while he ate his yummmy AD cat food, but finally got some petting in, then HE DIDN"T RUN right away when my hand was near his head!! Yayyyy!!!

No picking up yet, but this is just so huge. I think by next weekend (his spay time) I will have made enormous progress.

Just got my 2 cats back from vet. Frogie is very high strung nervous and
not wanting alone, and Goose is very upset. He peed him self on the way home *sigh*

They gave buperol to both, he has a torn out claw that is inflamed/infected
so he is on Baytril, the other Frogie is standard spay, with buperol for pain.

Makes em kind of loopy, LOL. Sleepy too.

I got both of them chipped while I was at it. No loosing these two
without some way of tracking!!!

I can't tell you how marvelous it is to see Baby progressing. I happen to think he is making HUGE progress in 2.5 weeks. I know the crate method he'd be tame to handle by now, but it seems too stressful to me. I rather they
"come to" themselves and learn to trust people at their own pace, rather than forcing.
post #36 of 42
Thread Starter 
Update on Baby -

Well I fear I set things back. For a while, baby let me pet while he gobbled baby food. Then after 5 days of this, he got scared or something, and started to not let me pet!

so today I sort of chased and caught him, he struggled I immediately let him go... I was trying to pull into my lap to cuddle/pet. The darling boy didn't even put a scratch on me SO HE WAS NOT USING CLAWS OR TEETH on me!

I think he was just not wanting to be held. But I was so amazed he didn't bite or try to hurt me? He didn't seem paralyzed by fear either.

He has seen repeatedly that I pet my Frogie and pick HER up, so he must
know that I will not hurt him?

anyway, I think its a set back, but it my fault. Sigh. Hang head in shame. I should have known better...

I just wanted to pet him!
post #37 of 42
Yeah - it's so often the case. Two steps forward, one step back. It can be so hard not to reach out to comfort or cuddle..... but you've learned the result. That's why it just can't be said enough - patience is the key.

Don't worry! He's fine - and he didn't completely freak!

post #38 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yeah Laurie, its such slow going. Frustrating!! Grrr.

He came right out today and played for me, so I KNOW he's not permanently frightened. Also I let the gates down last night, locked the pet door and stood back - he dEFINATELy wandered the house, with big guys watching.

Frogie seems to chase him and be jealous of him. Bummer. I had hoped
they would play together or at least Baby not be afraid of her. Sigh.

Anyway, he seems better today, so we will work on it tonight again.

Slow n steady. He just needs a bit of confidence. And I just hope he gets it soon. I thought when I get him neutered I may take the advantage and put him into the bathroom to recover, then He will be closer to me, and not run n hide automatically. Or I could put him in my bed room, and sleep with him, keep the other guys out of the bed room... On step at a time!

I just don't know when he will decide to come out and wander the house
and / or get loving. He is still quite a young one, so it should mean he is MORE likely to be loving than not. I know he liked pets when eating, he PURRRed after all while eating.
post #39 of 42
Thread Starter 
Baby thrilled me! Today he ran round the upstairs, chased by Ms. Frogie!
But it was clear she wasn't hurting him or hissing, she was PLAYING!

YES!! Then HE CAME DOWNSTAIRS in the MORNING! And played with Frogie and me!!

Then just before I had to leave for work, Ms. Frogie chased him back upstairs!! YES!!!

Progress. Of course we still don't touch him, but less shying from hands now, and more play time with me, less hiding and running from my feet. Its slowly coming together. A few more weeks and I might turn him to a foster home for more socializing...

I still think he has a good chance to be tame to other people. My BF needs to start working on himl.... I'll post Baby's pics to flickr soon!
post #40 of 42
Oh that is too sweet!

Are you working with a rescue group with Baby? Because it might make more sense to adopt him out directly. ????? Moving him to a new territory might set him back a few steps - taking him out of a place he's just gotten comfortable. It would take less time, but to a certain degree it'd be an issue of starting all over given that the comfort is so related to the territory. I'm just thinking that if his new family is understanding to the fact that it may take a few weeks for him to get comfortable, if they're given tips to help him and are willing to do so - it'd be easier on Baby.

Just a thought......

post #41 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thank Laurie. Yes I think Bay ought to go directly to an adoptive family. My feral Siamese did very well, but I had him so well socialized that he didnt miss a beat going into the Rescue's foster home.

He is adopted now too - email update at the bottom!

I got a great inquiry from someone in upstate NY who saw his Petfinder posting - I would love to place him there, LOL. Course there's the little matter of GETTING him there. Sigh.

He would have a good indoor only home, lots of other kitty buddies and a nice quite home with experienced cat owners (4 cats , 2 of whom are coons...) Low stress and no "demands" on him. I think it quite a good
placement actually. Now, if only I could get him done at the vets!

Still waiting in line...

Meantime, I felt terrible cause the taming lady who cage tames told me I was too soft on Baby for not scruffing and medicating him. Well, I feel bad, but you know I have problems medicating MY OWN cats, let alone a semi feral I'm trying to tame! I felt sort of offended.

I mean, after all the REASON i have this kitten is the tamer lady wouldn't TAKE him AFTER sending me out to trap!! Because she was on travel!!
That's how he got lose in my house in the first place!! GRRRR.

So again I got stuck with a cat no one wants to help me place, and which if it stays with me, will wind up being an doordoor kitty (as my feral youngesters can't be weaned off it - particularly my former feral male).

So I feel Just like with T.T. Except T.T. was an unusually sweet kitty and there are people who WANT a special breed like him, and he tamed with no effort at all.

And Siamese Rescue (they SO ROCK) helped me with him. I owe em a few favors - transportation or something like that, since I don't quite qualify for foster home status.

In fact this is the heartwarming email I got from the new adoptive parents of my formerly "he will never tame feral Siamese" cat - sent via Siamese Rescue:

He is the sweetest little boy! Not only loves to cuddle me and purr, but he and Skye are so well-suited to each other's temperaments, they are adorable together, perfect brothers. As soon as he came out and they met, everyone has been eating well, using the litter box, and playing well. Mr. Van Gogh (I didn't get the whole reference til I noticed part of his ear missing!!!), now Sunny (it suits his coloring and disposition, and I knew a Vinnie I didn't like) is the sleuthing investigator, goes everywhere he shouldn't, flattens himself like a pancake and can fit around and under furniture where no other kitty has gone before (including my plants, but no damage yet.) Mr. Skye is the artful dodger, laying in wait for him, so he can pounce, run, and roll around together. There is no nastiness at all, they share the toys, perches, and windows, watching the squirrels and birds together. My favorite is after they rough and tumble play, they groom each other and fall asleep together. Very
entertaining, and very cute. They truly seem to love each other as playmates and companions, and we are all a very happy family. Please pass this on to the wonderful lady who rescued him from the feral life- what a blessing for all! Thanks,

So maybe I can hope for the same with my little Baby. He has the most lovely of Coon style faces - looks very wild, LOL.
post #42 of 42
Aw, what a wonderful affirmation of your work!

And poo on cat tamer lady. You're doing great. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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