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reassurance needed for newly homed feral kitten.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
yesterday we brought coco home. she is 5 months old and was part of a feral population living in a barn. she has spent the last 2 months living with a family with her brother and sister. the kittens were kept in the conservatory which was closed off from the rest of the house.

so now we have her in my daughters room with her litter box, bed, toys, food and water. my daughter is 15 and very keen to do the right thing by this little girl. coco has used her tray and eaten a little too.

i have 3 other cats, tabitha 9, milo 20 months and shinobi 16 months. they are all aware that 'someone' else is around but acting fine.

coco is very nervous but when you pick her up and stroke her, she purrs like a little steam train and will give little headbutts. she won't willingly come to us and one thing i want to know is how often should we be picking her up?

and are we doing everything right?

i have read through quite a few of the threads and i guess each case is unique although there are basic groundrules!
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
update on coco. she was so affectionate last night, loads of headbutts and purrs for me and my daughter. she has eaten well and used her tray so i'm happy that things are going the right way for her.

she doesn't appear to be bothered at being shut in one room and seems happy that all her 'stuff' is around her. only thing is that she isn't very interested in playing with her toys. she just wants to be loved! is that a normal thing? at 5 months i thought she'd want to play.
post #3 of 9
Well, I guess it may just be her personality, or perhaps its because she doesn't know what to do with all those toys. Did the previous family play with her using toys often? If not, then you may have to teach her... Meaning, just take them out and wave them around using short jerky movements that all cats seem to love. She'll eventually get it, not to worry.

Its really good that she loves being cuddled! She sounds like an extremely sweet little kitty. You're very lucky to have her, and she's lucky to have found you and your daughter
post #4 of 9
My Molly was picked up as a feral when she was around 1ish years old. She was at the shelter for awhile - then was going to be euthanized so I brought her home. She still isn't that used to being picked up, but does stop running (like "catch me if you can"!) to get picked up. She purrs like mad when you do. She's always remained a bit "flighty" but at the same time is cuddly.

I just go slow....give them time & they'll warm up to you.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
Well, I guess it may just be her personality, or perhaps its because she doesn't know what to do with all those toys. Did the previous family play with her using toys often? If not, then you may have to teach her... Meaning, just take them out and wave them around using short jerky movements that all cats seem to love. She'll eventually get it, not to worry.

Its really good that she loves being cuddled! She sounds like an extremely sweet little kitty. You're very lucky to have her, and she's lucky to have found you and your daughter
i think they did a bit and she has actually started making tentative attempts at patting her toys now. it seems that when you are with her she just wants to headbutt you and be stroked! my son and his new girlfriend met her for the first time yesterday and she was all over them too. it's weird for me cos normally my kittens take a little longer to trust everyone. and yet she still runs away as soon as she sees you if she's on the floor.

the differences are quite subtle in a way and yet i've never had to separate a kitten before but it was immediately obvious she was happier when i did. dylan my collie came in the bedroom too and she completely ignored him. so my gut feelings are that she will integrate really well when the time is right and now i need to concentrate on building her confidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
My Molly was picked up as a feral when she was around 1ish years old. She was at the shelter for awhile - then was going to be euthanized so I brought her home. She still isn't that used to being picked up, but does stop running (like "catch me if you can"!) to get picked up. She purrs like mad when you do. She's always remained a bit "flighty" but at the same time is cuddly.

I just go slow....give them time & they'll warm up to you.
lucky molly! she sounds very similar with that 'running' behaviour but the total transformation into loving, purring lovebug when she's picked up.

she is showing no interest in life outside of my daughters room and i think i'm right in saying that when she is feeling more confident, that will be the time that she'll want to investigate and come into the rest of the house. time is not an issue and we are all happy to go at her pace!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
last night as both my kids were out and the house was reasonably quiet, i shut all the other doors so coco would basically have the landing, stairs, hall and lounge to investigate. only milo was around as the other 2 were sleeping.

after about 5 minutes coco came downstairs and had a sniff around. her tail was up most of the time and she even played a little with a ball. a couple of times she ran back up to my daughters room but i thought that was good that she sees that as her 'safe' place. we let her do that for an hour and then i had a long cuddle with her back in her room.

she's playing alot now, infact i can hear her thundering around up there as i type this!

i figured on letting her out every evening for a short time and also to let the others see her. milo and shinobi are showing alot of interest at her door too.

is this all ok? i'm basing it solely on the fact her confidence has blossomed and she no longer runs from me when i enter the bedroom too.

i'm delighted that this scared little scrap has become a happy, curious kitty and so adorably affectionate.
post #7 of 9
You'll never go wrong going more slowly than she could possibly integrate, but going too fast can have disastrous consequences, so careful is the right word here.

It sounds like you're doing fine. Feral kittens are frequently unfamiliar with the concept of playing with toys, but they usually catch on soon.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
You'll never go wrong going more slowly than she could possibly integrate, but going too fast can have disastrous consequences, so careful is the right word here.

It sounds like you're doing fine. Feral kittens are frequently unfamiliar with the concept of playing with toys, but they usually catch on soon.
ok, well as i type this she is charging around upstairs with shinobi. she has shown no hostility or aggression to the other cats and shinobi has become intrigued with her. she will come downstairs and when she sees him she does a 'witches cat' pose and then rushes off with him!

as we have been home all afternoon i have left her door open and she has come downstairs quite a lot. she did take herself back to her room and slept for a while but i'm happy that she looks so relaxed.

i won't push it though and will limit her time out until she shows no signs of being nervous at all.

all in all i feel really happy that she is interacting with the others, has made friends with shinobi and is a truly wonderful addition to our family.

oh and she has used the downstairs litter boxes twice now, which is great!

thank you for your advice and i will continue to follow it!
post #9 of 9
I worked with Zoey every day for about 3 yrs .... we are entering our fourth yr together and most folks never know she was the one once wild cat
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