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URGENT help - I took a feral kitten from its mom!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your help. I wish I could say that I was as helpful as the rest of you toward your ferals!!

Here is my story. I have a garden in my apt (can enter by doors from 2 bedrooms) and one day I noticed a mom with 4 kittens out there. The maternal instinct in me kicked in and I immediately starting leaving milk out for it, did some research and then got involved, stopped the milk, bought cat food, left out water. I know nothing about cats other than they are considered to be rats in this country for eating in garbage cans and breeding like crazy. These kittens seemed adorable, playing with each other all day. I would put food in the doorway and they were getting better at approaching, but very rarely could I pet them without them running away. If I ever walked outside, they would run in a waterhole and the mother would hiss like crazy. When I would try to pet them in my doorway, they would hiss. The mother would still disappear for food since she either didnt trust me to always provide, or the dry food (I would mix with canned) wasnt tasty compared to garbage food.

So... I then started thinking about taking one in the house, I really wanted 2 since they are so cute together. I spoke to a neighbor who has a garden adjacent, had all his weeds cut and saw the newborns there (they since moved into my weedier garden) and I figured the kittens to be around 7 weeks old today and after some internet research and talking to a vet, I decided to try to get one or two today. When the mother went out, amazingly I tiptoed quietly enough to grab the one I really wanted. I took him in with a towel and he was pretty calm in my arms - at first. Then the mother came back, started meowing like crazy, jumping up on our windowsills (she has NEVER done that), and I tried to keep the kitten away. I put him in a bathroom with food, litter, and had a vet come and give him the shots, flea stuff, etc.

He is hiding in the bathroom, hisses, snorts, when I come near, and I am suffering from a broken heart that I separated him from his mother and siblings. I keep saying I am doing a good thing getting him off the streets, but will he ever come around? Did I take him too soon? Should I go ahead and grab another one so he has a companion (my hubby doesnt want one, I would do 2 for the kittens sake, but no way more). There are tons of ferals always walking around out here, and this is the first time I really took any notice. I am not in the position to catch the mother (wow - I can hear her now in a huge catfight with some other cat - hope she is ok - last time, she came back with a HUGE gash on her face)

So sorry for being so long. I just want to know if I should return the baby to its mom or how to go about this?

Thanks for your help!!

post #2 of 6
I don't know if you should have taken ihm quite this early, but of course what's done is done. I think it would be easier for the little guy if you got one of his siblings in there too. And also know that you did a good thing biy taking them in, because they may have had a very tough life otherwise.
post #3 of 6
Yeah it's a little early, but what is done is done. I would also take another at this point. It will be easier on the kitten to have a sibling, but if not done quick enough, they won't remember each other. Mom is bound to be upset and I don't know what country you are from, but cats eating out of garbage is not a healthy lifestyle. If there is anyway you can get the momcat captured and spayed that would be a godsend for her.

They will come around, it will take time and patience on your end, and your need to throttle back your need to have a lap kitten for now. They will come around in time but feral kitties are not domesticated and you are an immediate threat to them. They will bite and scratch you, and trust me you don't want that to happen.

Please feel free to email me for help on socializing either one kitten or both- maryanne@thecatsite.com I do it often and have a procedure that works but it is to long and involved to place here on this post.
post #4 of 6
Im in your same situation.... I took 2 kittens from their mom. We are trying to round up the remaining 3 kitties and momma to save them from foxes and traffic.
It may be early, but the kitten will adjust. Give it a day or so, make sure she is eating, drinking, etc. and she will eventually let you hold her. The day after I snatched the kittens they allowed me to hold them and as of a few days ago (my neighbors are keeping them) they were eating and adjusting very well. My advice at this point: Take kitten to the vet to get a good estimite of age and testing for any diseases

good luck!
post #5 of 6
I agree! Keep that kitten, and try to catch the other one. I also believe that it will calm down if left alone for a few days. Just let the kitty adjust to life indoors. Then in a few days you can pursue further contact.

Hissy is a great resource, you should e-mail her and get her pointers. That way you will have all the knowledge of an experienced cat owner. Best of luck with this baby!
post #6 of 6
Just to let you guys know, these cats are true ferals- the cats in Israel that are called feral are very wild, and unlike any "ferals" in the United States, except for those in remote areas. Here in the U.S. imo feral gets overused, most cats out there are strays with feral tendencies, not pure feral like the cats in Israel.
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