Originally Posted by LawGuy
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.
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...