TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › I have a feral kitten but know nothing about cats
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I have a feral kitten but know nothing about cats - Page 2

post #31 of 48
It's great you're learning about kittens and cats. They can be very puzzling, annoying, even maddening at times, especially if you don't know where behaviors come from.

There is nothing as soothing as a purring kitten next to you in a warm bed, however.
post #32 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
There is nothing as soothing as a purring kitten next to you in a warm bed, however.
I look forward to that. Having her in bed with me hasn't worked out too well so far though. I have a few hurdles to get over before she and I can enjoy the bed together.

The first two nights I had her in bed with me, her digestive tract was still really getting used to food that didn't come from her mother. As a result, I woke up a few times with my sheets and even myself covered in poo (always fun).

After her stomach got settled and I thought she had the litter box thing down, I ran into another snag (see my thread in the Behavior forum for details). So she's sleeping again in her bed from Pet Supermarket with her blanket down in the area I created for her in the living room bar.

As soon as she's more used to the new litter box and I've figured out a way for her to easily get down off the bed and back up (I don't like the idea of her jumping off the bed at her age) I might give it another go.... or I might wait until she's a little bigger and stronger.

Right now I'm going to bed myself, and I have to admit I'm a little nervous about her second vet visit tomorrow. Tomorrow she gets tested for FeLV, FIV, and the like. My worry is that what if she was abandoned because her mother died of something like FIV? If that's the case, she'd have it too wouldn't she? .... it's just my nerves. I'll just have to wait and see.

Some encouraging news is that the mother MIGHT be ok afterall. The same neighbor who coincidentally found 4 of her littermates is now telling me that he's seen what appears to be yet another littermate (same age) still out in the neighborhood following a female feral (and nursing from her too). So, either that's the mother, or a female feral with a big heart. My neighbor and I are going to discuss what to do about the remaining kitten (must be 6-7 weeks old) and this feral that the kitten is with.

I'm leaning towards trapping them both, and considering getting both adopted. The kitten won't be a problem to be adopted. If the feral adult is, maybe TNR is the best route. We'll talk it over tomorrow. He knows much more about cats than I do (which isn't hard considering I still know very little).

ETA: I have to admit, if we do go about trapping them both... I will kind of feel bad about separating them. Either the feral is the mother and I'd be taking her baby away from her, or the mother has adopted the kitten as her own and I'd be taking her adopted kitten away. I'd hate for a sweet cat to be almost punished for doing the right thing.
post #33 of 48
Congrats on your kitty its great to hear stories like yours!

Any questions you have, please feel free to pm me or ask away
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
I'm leaning towards trapping them both, and considering getting both adopted. The kitten won't be a problem to be adopted. If the feral adult is, maybe TNR is the best route. We'll talk it over tomorrow. He knows much more about cats than I do (which isn't hard considering I still know very little).

ETA: I have to admit, if we do go about trapping them both... I will kind of feel bad about separating them. Either the feral is the mother and I'd be taking her baby away from her, or the mother has adopted the kitten as her own and I'd be taking her adopted kitten away. I'd hate for a sweet cat to be almost punished for doing the right thing.
Great! Splendid!

Do not have bad conscience. As long you know with yourself you are getting them good solutions everything is OK.

Even a catmother repels her kittens when that time is coming. More important: cat mothers, like human mothers, knows instictively what is best for their kittens. Thus taking care of a feral mother and her kittens is usually surprisingly easy. Once she realises nobody is mean to her or the kittens, and nothing bad threatens them, she accepts the situation. Ie, she being feral is still very shy but she accepts humans touching the kittens, handle them and fostering them as long they are gentle and non-threating... Yes, pregnant ferals may even allow the human rescuer to help her deliver...
Thus we see the most important for a cat mom, even feral cat mom, is NOT "freedom" but the welfare of her children.
Im sure this feral mom will understand in some way her baby is going to get adopted and have a good life. This being, after all, the most important for her.
Adopting her, or adopting both, is an option. Perhaps the optimal option. But the adopter must know it is much of time, patience, job fostering a grown up feral... TNR of her is easier and a feasible solution: she IS a survivor. Spayed, and with some help from your neighbour she will manage quite fine. (Unless, of course, she is a dumped homecat, dumped because she got pregnant. She still did survive the worst, but is of course no feral).

....................

"When she bites my finger or hand as a play-bite I say "OUCH" and then pull my hand away for a few minutes.

The problem arises when she goes to play-bite my finger, kind of puts my finger in her mouth, but then doesn't bite. Do I still say "OUCH" and pull away? I wonder if that would confuse her since it isn't the same as biting.
"
Excellent! You are educating her, precisely like her littermates would usually do.
In the second case, dont say ouch. Let her play OR take away the hand.

The standard advice is as mentioned earlier, not to play with the hands. I myself have different experience. I let both our cats bite on my fingers, as they always did it very gently. - If necessary, I did this Ouch me too...
They played so when kittens, ended with it when grown ups.
They are still VERY careful when "biting". Our younger sometimes bites a little
when Im petting with him and he is in extase... He is VERRY careful.
Our older, "threatens" sometimes when we are clipping his nails. VERRY careful, it does NEVER hurt.
I think actually you can proceed as you do here.


Last remark. About her coming to the door and "wanting to go out". I agree with LDG: You are reading in here too much. She is simply too young to want to go out. And the outside is NOT a land of joy to her. It is sooner where she was often afraid and had to hide, where she also was going to die a slow, horrible death.
No, I think she feels safe and comfortable in your house, so she tries to explore it. And the doors are such an interesting boundary...
post #35 of 48
Thread Starter 
Gotcha guys on me projecting. Maybe she's just peering through the window and thinking, "Oooh. It's a nice day outside. Huh. Look at that."
post #36 of 48
I took in a stray last summer (dumped or abandoned pet, not feral) she'd been outdoors for at least 3-4 weeks by the time I brought her in the house. She loves to sit at the window or door looking out, but if I open the door she just sits there still looking out. She KNOWS it's a big bad world out there.
post #37 of 48
All three of our cats were picked up as strays, so they had to be outside for a little while. However, the signs are that none of them were out very long...except for Ella, who is a Katrina rescue.

Punkin will go out, then panics. Sterling will go out exploring; he's the worst one about trying to get out.

Ella, however, you cannot drag outside. Open a door, and she goes the other way as fast as she can.

Keeping the kitten in a small room, with its food and litter, is a good idea. You ARE dealing with the equivalent of a toddler, with all that implies about bathroom habits.

In addition, not to try to worry you, but outdoor cats are subject to worms (no danger to you, by the way) and intestinal parasites. Some are quite nasty, such as giardia, coccidia, and TTF. All three are fairly common, and all three can be treated.

As far as FIV and FELV is concerned, while there is no cure, it is possible for a cat to live a fairly normal life with them, although usually the disease will shorten its life significantly.

Definitely get the vaccinations the vet recommends.
post #38 of 48
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the vet. My dog is great for his age... but this is a cat site, so I'll skip the dog portion and get straight to the cat.

She got her first shot today. She will get another in 3 weeks.

She was tested for all parasites today and is 100% free. The last vet tested her too at the emergency animal hospital on new year's day, but I wanted a second opinion from the vet that I've known for 17 years or so with my dog. So she dodged that bullet.

Unfortunately, contrary to what I was told on the phone by the vet's assistant, they did not test her today for FIV and FELV. Supposedly she is too young for the test to be accurate. She will be tested for them in a month or two.
post #39 of 48
Glad all went well! It's so usual for outdoor kitties to have internal parasites, but I think she was young enough to have avoided that - and she was.

And yup, she's too young to be tested for FELV and FIV. But like Mike pointed out - FELV and FIV cats can live longer-than-we-expect but very happy lives. It's just that if she turns out to have either ( that she doesn't), all that means is that you get to rescue another kitty with FELV or FIV and THOSE kitties REALLY have a hard time finding homes.

The biting your finger without biting? More like suckling. Also, our kitties ALL give us "love bites." When we're petting them, they'll turn put their mouths on our hand us to say "enough pets for a minute" - but it's so gentle, we think of it as a "love bite" because they don't bite down.

So.... long answer - don't play with her with your hands with your fingers being the "toys," but if she gives you a "love bite" or suckles on your finger, let her do it. If she's trying to play with your fingers or feet, or is actually biting/chewing, tell her "ow" and give a short, sharp puff of air directly in her face. That's how her mom would get her to stop if she were doing something she shouldn't - by hissing at her. Hissing by people doesn't work so well, but that puff of air in the face is absolutely the best way to teach her "no." It works for everything. Does it mean she'll stop doing it? With time. If accompanied by the word "no," she learns the meaning of "no" VERY quickly. But if it's something like jumping on counters you don't want her to? Like most cats, that kind of "no" means "while they're not looking." :lo3: Does that help?

Glad to hear your dog is great for his age!

BTW - when you're nearing move time, you may want to read up on how to make a move easier on the kitty. I know I've said it before - but cats are territorial, so moving, for a cat, is much more difficult than moving for a dog. There are, however, lots of things to do to make it not traumatic. And she'll also be young enough it won't be as hard as if she'd lived in the same place for years and years.

BTW - it sounds like you have a TOTAL sweetheart on your hands there! And you're doing great with her!

My hubby HATED cats. He had NO idea the range of emotions they have. He is constantly amazed by the length and strength of their memories, they depth to their personalities, etc. etc. etc. Now - he loves dogs still, but he totally thinks Cats Rule and Dogs Drool!

Funny thing is - so many of those cutsy sayings are true.

Dogs come when called - cats take a message and get back to you.
Dogs have owners - cats have staff.
You're nobody until you've been ignored by a cat.....

OH! I totally forgot - our cats were all rescues so all lived outside. They ALL hate the door, and one of them runs to hide whenever he hears it. NONE of them ever approach it - in fact - none of them even go near it when it's closed!

OH! In case you haven't figure it out - cats and kittens LOVE paper bags and boxes to play in! (Just make sure the bags don't have handles - they can get caught in them. And don't let her play in plastic bags, even though they're just as fun - they're insanely dangerous).

Little example - one of our foster kitties, Mae Mae:



Laurie
post #40 of 48
OH! Something to have fun with - making cat condo mazes. Lots of cardboard boxes, taped together with holes cut in them to match up for a large, 3D configurations. Toss toys or treats in there and watch kitty go nuts!

Also remember - cats are 3D. Giving them lots of vertical space is great for them. Don't know where you're going to be living, but you can buy movable cat trees and condos - or I've always dreamed of being able to do stuff like this: http://www.katwallks.com/

How cool are these? http://www.katwallks.com/customerphotos.htm

Laurie
post #41 of 48
Thread Starter 
Kitty is not doing well now.

After getting her shot this morning, I let her rest. When I came to check on her a few hours later, she was having trouble moving.

She is VERY tender on her belly. Is this where they give the shot? Also her back is almost equally tender. Just about any movement hurts her. I tried to hold her to comfort her but she let out these little crying sounds that made it apparent that it hurt.

I put her in my bed, covered her up, and am staying with her for the night so I can be close to her to both let her know that I care, and that I am there to take care of her.

It's really hard to see her like this, especially with her just being a baby. I've seen my dog like this too after shots and it always breaks my heart. The worst part is just feeling like there is nothing I can do but offer love as support. I called the vet's emergency line to ask if I could give her a small dose of coated aspirin, but he said no.

I made things worse unfortunately for a brief second by accidentally tripping and grabbing the sheet she was lying on sending her flying about a foot in the air and landing back on the bed. It wouldn't have been a problem at all if it wasn't for the fact that she's in pain.
post #42 of 48
Poor boo-boo. Hope she's feeling better soon. It's always worse when they are that young.

Even if she's not comfortable with you touching/petting her, staying near her will help. She's a lucky kitty having you.
post #43 of 48
The shots are given under the skin usually at her shoulder, scruff of the neck, or hip. I don't know why her belly would be tender. My cats didn't react at all to the shots, but I haven't heard this one before. Maybe some others here have had experience with it.

Which shots did she get? Is she eating and peeing normally?

You should call the vet as soon as you can to find out if this is a typical side effect or whet her there is something else going on.
post #44 of 48
Thread Starter 
My mistake guys. I should have posted last night that I branched this thread off to here:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=184867

In summary, she pulled through thankfully.
post #45 of 48
Been catching up and reading about your progress.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
It's great you're learning about kittens and cats. They can be very puzzling, annoying, even maddening at times, especially if you don't know where behaviors come from.
So true. I don't know how many times I threatened to make a white fur handbag out of Aristotle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
There is nothing as soothing as a purring kitten next to you in a warm bed, however.
My Dad found this out after he married Mom and her cat soon became his cat.
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
Been catching up and reading about your progress.

So true. I don't know how many times I threatened to make a white fur handbag out of Aristotle.


My Dad found this out after he married Mom and her cat soon became his cat.
We always threaten to make them slippers!

Laurie
post #47 of 48
we threaten to sell Luna to the Chinese restaurant!


It's my uncle who started it


he has a 17 year siamese and a siamese mix, both rambunctious .
post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starfish View Post
we threaten to sell Luna to the Chinese restaurant!


It's my uncle who started it


he has a 17 year siamese and a siamese mix, both rambunctious .

I was thinking about this today when I was driving during my break to get lunch. On the way to get the food, I see a vet clinic on the left which I saw a few times before. But today I noticed what was next to it: a Chinese restaurant. I should think twice before eating there .
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › I have a feral kitten but know nothing about cats