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mother cat and 4 kittens living in my garden!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello !

Please could any one help me.

I have recently found a mother cat and her 4 very small kittens living in my garden, I assume they are strays and have been feeding them tuna and milk every day. The mother, although initially hostile and hissing at me, is slowly getting to know me but the kittens run away whenever i go even remotely near.

I would love to have them as pets, or even for them to stay where they are if they prefer it, but I want to know how to build their trust. Also, are they likely to be riddled with diseases?

Any help much appreciated, it is very cold here in the UK now and I hate the idea of them being in the cold


post #2 of 7
Ah, if you willing to have them as your own, so please, go ahead! I beg you.

As for possible diseases: do you have own cats to worry about? If they fully vaccinated it is not SO great danger, but if not vaccinated: yes, there is some danger.

Anycase, count with fleas, earmites, some worms - much probabable, almost sure. With a little luck nothing worse as they would probably not see healthy out - or even died off...

Anyway, when (not if) you take them in, the first time you will keep them in one room. Feels safest for them. And if you have own cats - it will be a sort of quarantene. - It is the standard precautions procedure.

Now. It is getting cold. AND the small ones are most easy to get domesticized when small, 2-7 weeks. So dont wait. Take them in as soon you are prepared.

I propose you take them in (mother first, the small are much easier to catch). If necessary, talk with some shelter in neighbourhood and lend a catch box from them.
The shelters usually dont have place, but they will surely gladly help you if you take care of the family. They will also get you advice, and help you with contact with a veterinary who is cheaper for ex-homeless.
So contact them, even if a catch box not necessary.

(catch box is good, the mom-cat will not feel betrayed by you but by a box. consider this)

Take in them, have them in one room.

Details, how to do - look at the threads in this forum and the behaviour forum.
Or ask again...

Good luck!
post #3 of 7
One winter I had a couple of feral cats living in my back garden. They were used to me feeding and watering them. When it got real cold I made a shelter for them (I think it was a doghouse) and gave them an blanket. Every day, twice a day while it was freezing outside I took boiled water and food to them. I assume they didn't burn their little tongues, and they had water all day. By spring, they had both become lap cats.

I have never had too much trouble getting ferals to trust me. All you have to do is feed them at the same time every day. They are not even picky about what you feed them. My experience is that the adults become friendly first, and then the kittens.
post #4 of 7
Tuna and milk is not the ideal diet for kittens.
post #5 of 7
If you have an outbuilding, start feeding momcat inside. Don't trap her separate of her kittens, they will need her, and feral kittens are NOT easy to catch at all. I would feed her inside, and make several cavelike beds in the building to encourage her to bring the family inside. Once she has the kittens in the outbuilding, then you shut the door to keep her and the kittens safe, but right now they need her, and if you trap her and don't get the kittens, they might die die. They need her smarts and her warmth. Just keep feeding them to gain mom's trust
post #6 of 7
It probably would be best if you could feed mom cat some kitten food instead of the tuna and water rather than milk as I understand cats can be lactic intolerant and the cow milk could give her diarrhea.
post #7 of 7
Splendid also other cat-friends did answer, including people with experience of helping feral cats.

It seems american cat-friends have a lot of positive experiences of helping and tameing the ferals also outside, - not necessarily inside at home. Especielly if they live in your own garden.
Swedish feral-cat friends usually tryies to take them in - especially if they DONT lives in their own garden...

Good there is more than one good way. Stick to this which seems to be most appropriate.

ESPECIELLY if you are not 100% sure you can catch both mother and kittens at the same time - ie kittens immediately/almost immediately after the mother - yes, it may be a very good alternative to keep them all outside in a temporary shelter of some sort. Im the first to admit it.

The important thing is: you do help them, and let us know how you are doing!

Good luck!
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