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kittens inside hollow steps- how to get them out?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My co-worker has been seeing two young kittens in her neighborhood since Sunday night. They can't be more than 12 weeks old. They seem to stay in the bushes, but run when anyone approaches. I went over tonight after work to try to help. I looked at the steps, and noticed that there was a crack at the edge just large enough for them to squeeze in. I looked carefully and saw a little face peeking out about 4 inces from the edge. We tried luring them out with food, but they only went out once and we couldn't catch them. I felt inside and realized that the steps are hollow and they have large area under there. We tried poking something through the other side, but it didn't help. The other side doesn't have as big of a crack. We can't do anything to the steps b/c it is a condo and not her steps. She is leaving food on the neighbors steps for now. She says they sometimes come out at night when it is quiet.
The only other thing that i can't think of worth mentioning is that when one of her cats (indoor/outdoor) ate some of the food, one of the kitten joined it. Any ideas? Should we try moving the food further away?
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by zak&rocky
My co-worker has been seeing two young kittens in her neighborhood since Sunday night. They can't be more than 12 weeks old. They seem to stay in the bushes, but run when anyone approaches. I went over tonight after work to try to help. I looked at the steps, and noticed that there was a crack at the edge just large enough for them to squeeze in. I looked carefully and saw a little face peeking out about 4 inces from the edge. We tried luring them out with food, but they only went out once and we couldn't catch them. I felt inside and realized that the steps are hollow and they have large area under there. We tried poking something through the other side, but it didn't help. The other side doesn't have as big of a crack. We can't do anything to the steps b/c it is a condo and not her steps. She is leaving food on the neighbors steps for now. She says they sometimes come out at night when it is quiet.
The only other thing that i can't think of worth mentioning is that when one of her cats (indoor/outdoor) ate some of the food, one of the kitten joined it. Any ideas? Should we try moving the food further away?
I would start leaving food out at night...but I would also borrow a trap from a humane society or a feral cat rescue group. After a few days...put the food inside the trap and hopefully you can catch them that way.

Katie
post #3 of 16
Get a kitten trap and bait it, put it on the exit hole of the steps and just wait. They will come out and venture into the trap and then you will have them. But then, what are your plans for them after they are trapped?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
We are hoping to find responsible homes for them. My coworker, Joann says at least one neighbor is interested in one. She has two and according to the condo, she isn't supposed to have more, but she doesn't think that they are going to enforce that rule. I have two myself and have room for more, but I'm a litle bit hesistant. We would like to try to keep them together. At this point we are taking it one step at a time.
I think at least one is a girl, it looks like a dilute tabby/tortie (hard to tell when it moves real fast! And the other is a orange marmalade.
post #5 of 16
Trap them quickly before they grow too big to get back out from the crack in the steps (Should they make a mad dash into it, with the force of their speed carrying them through...if they become frightened)
When we first got our Toby he was only 8 weeks old and would jump through the heart cutouts in the legs of our coffee table.....then one day when he was playing...he ran and leaped through....only he`d grown so much since the last time he`d done it, that he actually got stuck! We had to pull him out backwards to free his chubby little belly. He was NOT happy either...and i`m sure these little strays would be even more frightened if the steps had to be taken apart to free them.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am fearful too that they will eventually get too big. I did notice that they could potentially dig underneath to get out if they had to. One seems to be a bit bigger than the other. I am going over tonight to put some food out and see if they wander out. If we can we are going to block the crack off while they are out.
post #7 of 16
I don't think you should try to block off the crack, they will be even more frightened. Try putting a nice warm box, with towels (or clean straw) inside, and maybe they will move into it.

If you give it a week or so, you can probably tame them by sitting nearby while they eat. Call them when you put the food down, and then sit back and just let them eat. Don't stare, if they look at you do a slow blink. If you move closer to the food by 6 inches every night, you will end up taming them. There is nothing like hunger to entice a growing kitten.

If they do not seem to be taming up, then get a trap, like Katie suggested. It is very likely that even if you can catch a few, one or more may need to be trapped to catch them.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
After a few false starts, we managed to get them out! They are now safe and sound in my computer room. Orange kitten is asleep under the computer desk. Orangie may have a home, and I might keep the little tabby one. Only problem she is very shy. I just put a post over in behavior forum. If you have any suggestions, please post! Thanks for all the suggestions.
post #9 of 16
Great update.

Katie
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I figured I'd update this thread...
The kittens are now 5 months old. They are doing great! We are going to keep both. They were flea treated and wormed as they had both. The orange tiger boy is very friendly and going to be a BIG boy. The gray girl w/ a bit of orange girl is still very cautious, but very cute and she is making progress everyday. The boy is now named cookie, and the girl is suzie. I don't think he'd ever fit under those steps right now!! He is very friendly, and snuggling on my lap right now!!
post #11 of 16
I just read your "kitten story," and wanted to say, "Yeah!"
Thanks for the update. The female may always be more reserved than the male, but I have been surprised in the past by how time, gentleness and affection can really bring a shy cat out of their shell.
post #12 of 16
I just caught up too, how cute! I think it is great you are keeping them both so they can stay together. Keeping them together might help to bring the female out of her shyness


P.S. Are you getting them spayed/nuetered? If the boy is getting large he might start spraying soon, and neutering will probably lessen the chances of him starting.
post #13 of 16
Pics! I want pics!!

They sound gorgeous and happy.

Thank you for sharing your sweet story.

They sure are lucky kitties to have found you!
post #14 of 16
Oh, what a happy ending. Maybe now you can post ideas for the rest of us who are working with feral kittens!

Sounds like Cookie and Suzie found a very happy home!
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier... I don't usually read this thread.. I am going to call to set up their spay/neuter very soon probably right after new years. The boy is not spraying yet thank god. I have not yet had that problem with my boys.. I do provide ample litter boxes (5 for 4 cats) so hopefully that will deter him. Here are some pics but they are from 2 months ago. I have some new ones but its a matter of getting them in the scanner. Also, supposedly my co-workers neighbor was able to get a few when they were real little babes outside, but it's a matter of getting them from her. I don't know if I can add much to the feral thread, the cat's friendliness seems to be a matter of purrsonality.
Here they are:


Here they are with Rocky:


And here is a really cute pic of Suzie!
post #16 of 16
Aww...they're adorable! Thanks for the updates and pictures!
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