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Feral kittens...better to be adopted out individually??

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Today our rescue took in 3 feral kittens. One is definately more social than the other 2...but all 3 are going to take a very caring and patient owner. Normally our policy is to try to adopt littermates together (if possible)...but one of the boardmembers said we should adopt out these kittens individually (but to homes that currently have cats or kittens) as they may bond to each other and not to their owners if 2 of them go together. Since there are many feral cat/kitten caretakers who post here...I wanted to see if that is in line with your knowledge of feral kittens.

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 4
Our Humane Society will separate feral litters as soon as practical. If left together, the feral behavior in one can amplify the same behavior in others. With that said, each litter is assessed individually. One litter we took on last year had 3 kittens - 2 were more human friendly and they were fostered together. The wild one was separated and put in a foster home where all the cats were non-feral origin. They are then adopted out once they have been socialized. In the case of this litter, all 3 were adopted to separate homes and all 3 turned out fine, even though 2 were in the same foster home for about 4 months.

I've brought in a number of feral litters over the years. Of all of them, I have only adopted a pair together once, and those were orphaned at 10 days old therefore were highly socialized. I have kept feral pairs (Tigger and Eightball, Pinky and Ruby, Morrison and Hendrix, Muddy and Koko) with success. Only Tigger and Eightball show the very scared signs of being feral, and interestingly, they are the pair that didn't hang out together in my house. So their feral behavior is simply part of who they are, not based on the fact that they live together.

I'd recommend separation if they are extremely wild, but allow them together if somewhat tame.
post #3 of 4
When socializing difficult feral kittens I put them in separate cages but the cages are next to each. By being able to see and touch each other they are comforted, but they can’t cuddle with each other. They need to depend on humans for not just food but also need to depend on us for calm reassurances. We need to become their safe place. Although we don’t adopt out single kitten, we wouldn’t place to semi-feral together. One kitten must be people orientated.

post #4 of 4
Casey and Clarence were feral kittens when I adopted them from a shelter. Clarence was slightly more social than Casey when I got them, but both didn't want to have anything to do with me when I brought them home. Both have bonded to me very well, I think having them together made them both feel more comfortable more quickly and also gave them someone to play with since I have other older cats who would have been annoyed with me bringing in just one of them... It still took about 3 months to win their hearts, but now two years later they are both extremely loving little boys. Clarence is still more social and comes out and visits company when I have people over where as Casey will only meet company when I bring them upstairs for a while. They both love me very much.

I would adopt them out together to a very patient owner who knows what they are getting themselves into. I also think having other cats in the household helped socialize my little boys too.
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