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I caught a feral kitten

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am new to this group.
I caught a feral kitten this weekend. I am working on catching it's sibling.
I currently have it in my basement, it was in a small storage room, but then it got out and is now in the larger part of my basement. It likes to hide behind the dryer.
I am afraid I kind of jumped into it and thought with my heart and not my head. I didn't think to use soil in the litterbox, so I am doing that tonight when I get home. I brought it into the house on a weekend when we were doing some repairs so it was quite noisy. Also, I need to get it to a vet to be spayed/neutered but I can't catch it. I can wait for the vet though, it is safe in my basement for now.
It hasn't eaten yet, but I know it will when it gets hungry.
I didn't wait 24 hours before I started talking to it and feeding it.
I am willing to take the time to socialize it. I have 4 other cats (none were ever feral) and I grew up around feral cats so I have some experience socializing them, but I have never taken one into my home before so this is all new for me.
I know I did the right thing,but I am feeling guilty.
Does anyone have any tips on how I can start off fresh with the kitten?
post #2 of 21
I have taken ferals alot of times.
I always start with the bathroom because its small.
Make sure it stays away from the other cats because it can have sickness or something. I would go slow with it.
I would put food and water and do not bother it alot until it gets more used to people. Let it sniff you at first then pet it slowly.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
I am making sure my other cats do not get into the basement. I am going to make it a shelter out of an old rubbermaid container when I get home tonight and then try the potting soil as well.
I plan on sitting with it for a while tomorrow when I get home. I have a man from the gas company coming out tomorrow so I know the poor thing will be freaking out
I am just going to take it one day at a time and be very patient, that is all I can do for now. I am just glad it is out of the cold and has food!
post #4 of 21
Feed it in the same place every day, at the same time. When the kitten realizes where it's food will be, gradually make your presence known. Sit at the top of the stairs for awhile. It may run at first, but it will get used to your presence. Then move closer and closer over time. Soon the kitten will eat while you are sitting near. It took me four to eight weeks, before I could touch my feral kittens. It takes alot of patience!! Good luck.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jamara!
It has found itself a little hidey hole and it pooped and ate some food!

The feeding schedule is a good idea, I will have to work out a time. I hope it eats all of its food. I have some dry food sitting out, but I also give it wet food, do you think I should pick the dry food up and just stick with the wet for now?

I didn't have time to get the potting soil last night so I placed the poop in the litter box. I am getting the soil today for it.

At least it has never hissed at me, just meowed at me to leave it alone. It has been quiet so far.
I am really hoping it is a boy, I don't want a girl cat in heat getting my other 4 cats (all boys) riled up!
post #6 of 21
I have a former feral that I caught after she had a litter of kittens, we were able to rescue 2 of her 3 kittens. She was about a year and a half and it took a very long time but now she is the most loving and sweet cat. I am sure things will work out with her, and I hope you get her littermate.

Are your boys neutered? If not, I would absolutely keep them separated.

Good luck with your kitty!
post #7 of 21
You did a wonderful thing by giving it a safe home. Like others have said, just take it slowly. There is much information in the 'sticky' section at the top.

I learned that it is better to leave dry food out for a rescued feral and bring wet food in at scheduled times. By leaving some dry out they know there will be a food source in that exact place. Many ferals have to search for food and it may not know yet that you will be coming back. Especially if it is a kitten. They need more food and more often.

It does need safe places to hide. The rubermaid storage box is good. A box with a hole cut in the side works just as well. I throw a blanket over a table chair so that creates a hiding place.

To get it to the vet you may have to set a trap in the room unless you can get it into a carrier. Should not be difficult.

This article has very practicle, well written info. http://www.feralcatbehavior.com/375/room-service.html

Hang in there and keep up what you are doing.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice and words of encouragement!

My feral has been using the litterboxes that I have out, one has all dirt, the other has a dirt/litter combo-so far so good! I am going to change them out tonight and put more litter/dirt combo in both.
Last night I heard it meowing-that was the first time it has made any noise, so I was happy it was being more vocal. I finally put a radio down there and I have it tuned to a classical station and I have a light on. It still goes to it's hidey hole in the rafters when I am there. I sat with it last night and talked to it-I got a few meows in return!
I have been giving it wet food both morning and evening around the same time and I leave dry food out for it, it has eaten everything-it is a hungry little thing! I gave it some turkey last night too. I am trying my best to get it to think "good food=good people"
I am going this Sunday to try to get it's sibling, it is getting colder here and we have had some snow, I haven't been there all week to check on it (the location is kind of far from home/work) so I hope it is ok.

My other cats have been going to the basement door and meowing and wanting in when I am down there, but they are not allowed in! So far, I don't think they realize there is a cat down there, but they are getting curious as to why I am down there a lot and why I keep taking food down there!

I will keep you updated!

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to update you on my little feral. I caught the Momma a week ago, she is eating and I got them both to use the litterbox with only litter in it, so I am happy about that.
I am most excited though that my little one is showing interest in toys! I have some feather toys for it to play with including da bird. I have been getting it's attention with the toys and it looks interested.
I left da bird with it (the wand was stuck in a hole so the feather part could dangle down) and this morning it was moved! They had gotten it out of the hole and had been playing with it! The other feather toys were moved as well.
I picked it up and put it up so I could play with them later (and so they wouldn't eat the toy!)
I know it is just a small step, but it is very encouraging. They still hide, but I am working on gaining their trust little by little.

I also discovered that one of them has been laying in my dirty clothes pile, I found a pair of black pants coated with their fur! So I took one of my extra pet beds and put it with them to see if they will use it.

I am still working on catching the rest of the family, I tried yesterday but no luck! I did hear from the fishermen who hang out there that the kittens eat the minnows that they leave behind and they gave me some to take home to Momma and Little One (which got gobbled up!) and I saw cat food cans in the trash, so I know someone other than me is making sure they have food.

Thanks for listening!
post #10 of 21
good work, sounds like things are progressing well, and if the kitten is meowing at you, it's a good sign towards socialization with humans. truly feral cats don't really meow at each other, it's a kitten behavior they transfer to people, since we don't seem to understand them any other way keep playing with the toys, it builds up their confidence in being around you. keep it up!
post #11 of 21
Good job so far!

Glad to hear all of this! Oh, don't use potting soil-it has bad stuff in it for cats (fertilizer, then they step on it & lick their feet). Use plain dirt from the yard.

that you catch the other one soon!
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by KatKisses View Post
Good job so far!

Glad to hear all of this! Oh, don't use potting soil-it has bad stuff in it for cats (fertilizer, then they step on it & lick their feet). Use plain dirt from the yard.

that you catch the other one soon!
Or fill dirt or bagged topsoil.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!
The dirt I use is topsoil, I am going to take it out of there tonight since they are being so good about using the litterboxes!

The kitten is more interested in watching the toys now than watching me, so that makes me feel good.
I am still working on Momma, she has only been with me a week and I know she will probably take more time anyway since she is older.

Thanks again for the support and encouragement!
post #14 of 21
Sounds like everything is going great!

Good luck!
post #15 of 21
And don't forget to post pics for us!
post #16 of 21
very good news. Are you going to try and get them to the vet? Do you plan to keep them both? keep us posted.
post #17 of 21
That is so great!I am sooooo happy to hear they are doing well!sounds like your doing an awesome job!keep us posted and show us some pics
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I finally took some pictures! Of course later that day, the two of them were cuddling and Rocky (the little one) was playing! They are both doing well, Rocky has been coming out and playing. I saw he was a boy!
Minnow (Momma) came out one day, Rocky was making noises and I think she wanted to make sure he was ok. He often goes to her for reassurance before he starts playing again, it is really cute!
I tried to catch another sibling yesterday,but the little rascal doesn't want to be caught! The search continues....

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
How do I post pictures?
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Rocky (above) Minnow (below)

post #21 of 21
Pretty kitties!! Hope you catch the sibling!! Good luck!
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