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Need support/advice caught 3 of 4 feral kittens(sorry long post)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Good morning good people!
I am so glad I found this board and the kind people that frequent it.
I have already learned so much by reading through the threads and the many rescources on the internet. But, although I have taken in strays before, I have never dealt with ferals and I can sure use some support. I'm so afraid of messing things up.

These past couple of weeks I noticed feral kittens in my yard. These tiny babies could not be more then 8 weeks old. Of course I started feeding them. Little by little, two of the four where eating out of my hand and letting me pet them while they ate. I wasnt sure what I was gonna do with them seeings how I already have two of my own cats (Jo-Jo-16yr and Callie-6yr), plus one I picked up in Sept. that was dumbed in a parking lot (Freya-1yr ..got her all fixed), plus three I took home cause their dumbass owners left them when they moved (Mufasa, Nanna and Booful-approx 4-6yrs). The threesome are in my husbands large office waiting for enough money to get vet checked. (They all seem to be altered already)
So here I am thinking what the heck am I gonna do about these babies? When the answer came to me little at a time. A woman who works at a house the cats where hanging around has also been feeding them and said she would love one of them to keep. Cant just catch one now can I? Just wouldnt be fair. So I did some research and found a place I could rent a trap from. Was planning to pick it up this weekend when yesterday my son came home telling me the kids next door where messing with the kittens. I go out there and see one of the kittens running in the street and almost getting hit by a car! Ok, some creative plans need to be made here. Lucky me, I have a small spare bathroom ...no toilet or sink cause we are gonna remodel it, and a fiberglass shower stall that hasnt been used in ages. Grab a box, put a cushy towel in it, make a small kitty pan and put it in the shower stall and wala! A kitty enclousure.
Go out with the food, lead the kitties there, start petting, grab one and run! Thank the gods I had sence enough to wear gloves or my hands would have been swiss cheese! Ok one down, three to go. Go back, start petting, grab it and run home! Whew! Two down! Now these were the only two that ever let me touch them so I figure Im gonna have to wait for the trap for the other two. One of them, a long hair gray and black, wasnt around when this happened so didnt see me do it. Well 6:00 AM this morning, this one kitty is in my yard scampbering around and meowing ..never heard them meow before. My hubby (bless his feline loving heart) wakes me to tell me this. I grab the cat carrier, some ham left over from Thanksgiving, go out and start throwing kitty some food. Then I threw some in the carrier He went right in and I got him!!!!!!!!!! Brought him right to his brother and/or sisters I can swear he was relieved to see them and almost glad I took him too.

Im planning on getting number 4 today the same way. This one is much more skittish then the others and he saw me take the first two so it may be a challenge but it seems my luck is pretty good at the moment.
Ive been feeding them chicken baby food and talking to them a bit, petting them when they allow.

Now for the questions: I read its best to seperate them but this is impossible for me to do as there is no more room at the Inn.
Is this gonna make the tamming process harder for me?
I do not have the money needed to get them vet care right away. I still havent been able to get the threesome downstairs done although that is gonna happen soon ..found a good low cost clinic too.
Plus I figure its best not to put them through too much right away anyway ...agreed?
What should I be doing for them in the meantime to help them stay healthy?

Does it sound like Im doing the right things so far?
Right now Im keeping them in the shower stall, but once they warm up a bit, I can leave the shower door open and they can have the bathroom as well. And then, maybe after the threesome are all vet checked and vaccinated and dewormed, those three can move into the basement and the kittens can have the large office. By-golly I think I might have this down pat! I think mostly I can just use the support and some kind, experienced people to answer whatever questions Im sure are gonna come up. When I talk to others about the cats and the sad state of affairs with homeless cats, I kinda get looked at funny and told stuff like *Kali has a cat fetish!* ...would be nice to have some people that can relate.
I havent been having any luck finding homes for the threesome cause they are older, but the kittens should be easier, no?
Im sorry this post is so long, Im just so reved up and excited by my little *captures* Any advice you guys and gals can give will be greatly appreciated

post #2 of 4
Way to go Kali! You're an for taking in these kitties (all 7 of them!) Good luck with the kittens. I don't have any advice for you. I'm still working on getting my ferals to show up every day for food!
post #3 of 4
Welcome to the boards...have you gone to the Alley Cat Allies or Neighborhood Cats sites??

They are both chock full of good information on ferals...from maintaining the colony to catching them to providing bedding etc.



I also want to thank you for caring!!! Every cat/kitten fixed is one less litter in the Spring.

post #4 of 4
I saw you caught them all - again - way to go!!! Next, I want to say what an angel you are for doing this for them!!!!

OK - sounds like the bathroom will make a great home for them until they can see a vet. It's really important that you do not let them have any contact with your other cats until they've been tested and vaccinated, dewormed, etc. I'm really glad you found a low cost clinic. This year we simply asked for gift certificates from our vet for Xmas, LOL!

I would keep the four together, but separated from your other cats. And wherever they are, spending time with them will help socialize them - even if it's just sitting in there reading to them. And they're kittens - they'll need some toys. They'll play with them! Playing with them with wand toys is a great way to stimulate them, spend time with them - just make sure you don't leave the wand toys unattended, they might eat the string (or worse).

They'll learn to use the litterbox(es) quickly. Older ferals sometimes take time. When we first brought in Lazlo, he was 8 - 10 weeks old. He held out going to the bathroom for over a day. We put dirt in a small box. When he went, we scooped that out and put it in the litterbox. That's all it took. The others we brought in learned from him.

Any more specific questions, and we're here to answer them!

Just when you take them to the vet, make sure you explain they're feral. They need vaccinations as if they're going to be outdoor cats, and they will definitely have internal parasites that will need to be treated, and checked for external parasites.

Adopting younger kittens out usually isn't too hard. Sometimes vets help. Put posters out and around. Definitely charge something for them. Anyone adopting kittens who will care for them understands that spaying/neutering, vaccinations, etc. cost something and will be willing to pay. People who pay nothing for pets are more likely to abandon them later in life than people who pay something for them. We have a VERY stringent adoption agreement up at www.savesamoa.org (in the Rescue Resources section) - but if you want to make sure they're going to be OK, please use an adoption agreement! We have it in Word format so you can make any changes to it you want to.

If you're going to release them after being spayed and neutered and provide shelter for them outside, have the vet make a small notch in their ears. That way you will always be able to tell if a "new" cat that turns up on your property is, in fact, new or not. I think they sound a little young to survive a tough Winter, depending upon where you're located. But cats can survive amazing things, and with food and shelter, having been spayed or neutered (to reduce fighting and wandering - and of course, Spring kittens), and with vaccinations, they might survive just fine. One of the "outside" kittens last year for us was probably just three months old when she turned up around Thanksgiving - which means she'd survived a month of snow and cold from about 8 weeks old on her own. (We named her Thanksgiving. )

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