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Locating feral kittens?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, it's getting to be that time of year again... I've seen several ferals in the neighborhood breeding.
I would like to try to locate some of the feral kittens before they are too old to tame. Does anyone have advice on this? Should I try renting a cat trap and trapping them that way, or would it work better to just start looking under porches and things with a cat carrier in tow? I've raised orphaned and feral kittens before but I have never actually sought them out?
post #2 of 11
The best time to find them is when the mamas start bringing them out. Mamas will move their babies a couple of times from birth to about 4 or 5 weeks and you should leave them alone during this time. Sometime around 6 to 8 weeks the mamas will bring the little fur balls out to teach them to hunt and protect themselves. They will usually be weaned by then, as mama is probably pregnant again. I rarely have to use a trap to get them, I find that if I put food out mama will show them the way and often trust me to handle the kittens. Feral cats can be really trap savy and usually by the time you catch one or two that way, the word is out. Remember to keep them separate from any cats you have at home, they can have ear mites, kitty flu and worms and in some places distemper can be a big issue. Catching the kittens are easy, now the mama, that's a whole different story. We have a pretty good spay/neuter program designed for feral cats so we try to get the mamas too and stop the cycle. Good luck
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kat89447 View Post
Remember to keep them separate from any cats you have at home, they can have ear mites, kitty flu and worms and in some places distemper can be a big issue. Catching the kittens are easy, now the mama, that's a whole different story. We have a pretty good spay/neuter program designed for feral cats so we try to get the mamas too and stop the cycle. Good luck
Thanks for the tips! The only problem I have is there is no really safe place I can put food out where I can wait nearby... The ferals all stay out of my (fenced) yard because I have dogs, and I also can't leave any cat food in the yard because when the dogs go outside they would gobble it up.

I know I need to keep them separate... Church was a feral kitten, I caught him on a fluke at about 6-7 weeks old. He had worms, a URI and herpes. He was also very skinny and anemic when I caught him, although amazingly he did not have any fleas... The last time I raised orphaned feral kittens a number of years ago they were crawling with fleas when I rescued them and had eye and ear infections as well. Luckily we don't seem to have a problem with any of the really nasty diseases (FIP, FelV etc) in the area though, none of the ferals I have caught have tested positive.

I've wanted to do TNR for a while, but I have no way to hold adult ferals while waiting to take them in and no way to transport them. I did trap, neuter and ultimately release a feral last year but I had thought he was not feral and had been hoping to rehome him.
post #4 of 11
Night time is the best time to go checking. I saw my kittens at night for the first time. You may have to play Inspector Gadget to find them. If you see a feral mother lingering in the same area all of the time you can bet that the kittens are near. Setting traps in those areas are probably going to get some results. Ask people if you can trap in their yard. I am finding the people in my neighborhood thrilled that I am going to try to catch the strays as some people find them a nuisance.
post #5 of 11
I agree with asking if you can trap in other people's yards or feed in hopes of capture. Alot of times they will help you feed and try to befriend as long as you will take them. This is how I met my neighbor. She has since helped me raise my 3 weekers (she did day shift when I was at work) and I have my little boy because she trapped him and asked me to help tame him for rehoming. Turns out he rehomed to my house lol. Once you get one of the babies you will get more, its completely addicting lol Good luck.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
One of my neighbors from a few blocks away told me today that there are four kittens near her house (actually she asked if I knew anyone who wanted to adopt one.) I'm not sure if she was planning to catch them herself but if not I'm going to ask her if she can help me catch them. She feeds several feral cats near her house and I think she has one semi-feral living with her too...
post #7 of 11
Good luck with your venture. Of course the best thing is to spay the mamas and neuter the papas. Perhaps your neighbor is willing to help with transportation, etc.
post #8 of 11
Sounds like my neighbor. Its great to have a "partner in crime" lol good luck and let us know how it goes.
post #9 of 11
Definitely enlist others if they will come on board. I found out today a neighbor wants to help. So it makes it easier.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I talked to my neighbor yesterday, she thinks the kittens near her house are about 6-7 weeks old. I told her if she can catch them I will take them in and get them fixed/vetted. She said they go onto her neighbor's enclosed porch, so we might be able to catch them there.
post #11 of 11
They are still young enough to be socialized which is good. Keep us posted on your progress.
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