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Separate or not?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So it's been about a month since I took in my 2 feral kittens They're both doing well, 1 has taken a liking to me but the other one still somewhat fears me and hides under the bed all the time.

I guess my question is should I be making more of an effort to split them up temporarily and work with the shy one more? Right now the two are pretty much inseparable, they always want to be with each other. Other people who work with ferals told me I should be splitting them up but at the same time I read people saying that if the shy one sees me playing with the other kitten he'll be less afraid. What's better?

To be honest though I don't like splitting them up. I've tried I'll closing myself in with the shy one in the bathroom to work on him individually but then he just starts calling for the other kitten. Then they'll run to the door and stick their little paws under the door to touch each other. (meanwhile totally ignoring me and my yummy treats -_-)
post #2 of 5
some cats are 'cat cats' & some are 'people cats'. when i got Pixel & Mouse, i chose Mouse, & told them, 'that one & whichever other one is her best friend'. Mouse was my cat, & Pixel was her cat. since Mouse passed, Pixel has become more of a meowmy's girl, but never as affectionate as Mouse was. so i wouldn't worry about the one that's not as interested in you - s/he'll come around!
post #3 of 5
some cats are 'cat cats' & some are 'people cats'.
I second this! We took in three semi-feral kittens about six weeks ago. Of the three, we have one that is much shyer - he always has been. We aren't too worried about it, as he loves his sister and his brother.

I do think that if you play with the more social one, however, the shy one could catch on. Obviously all cats vary, but our kitten, Paddington LOVES to play. So, I when we first took them in, I would spend quite a bit of time in the bedroom just playing with him (Conor - our girl kitten- does not get ignored - she just likes a different sort of play than her brothers). Soon, I noticed Stevie (our shy kitten) would come out and watch. This carried on for a week or so, and gradually he started moving closer and closer until he was able to play. It was so great! Now, when Paddington is downstairs playing with us, Stevie will usually creep down and try and get involved as well. Now that he is a little bit bolder, I am going to try and have some one-on-one play time with him, but it took his brother playing with me for him to realise that I could be used as a play thing. They definitely learn from each other.
post #4 of 5
One of our six ferals was more shy than the others, and the younger kittens were dominating play. So what we did is start giving all of them "alone time" play. So I wouldn't suggest separating them on a 24-hour a day basis, but maybe for 15 minutes a day or so (at first), shut the outgoing kitty out of the room and see if your shy kitty has any interest in playing. I would use an interactive wand toy, and not try to touch shy kitty - just play with shy kitty at first. Get shy kitty focused on the toy, not you. Shy kitty will come to associate you with fun things.

However - if, after a couple of days - shy kitty only seems afraid and won't engage in play, then I just wouldn't worry about it.

Laureen is absolutely right. Some cats are "cat" cats and some cats are "people" cats. Your shy kitty will come around with time.

In the meantime, to help shy kitty along, get a t-shirt really sweaty, and put treats out on it at the same time every evening for both kitties.

post #5 of 5
If all of the kittens are not socializing, then I would separate them. But cats learn best from each other, and if one sees the other being social, it is possible that it will draw out the shy one. I wouldn't separate them all the time, but I would continue to work 1 on 1 with the shyer one.

I've had a house ambassador cat for many years. They make friends with the newcomer and they set the example for the feral kittens. Whenever I've brought in littermate ferals, there has always been one that socialized quicker than the other.
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