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Feral 'Aggression'

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi there; New here, need some advice..
My fiance and I rescued a 4 week old feral kitten off the highway three weeks ago. She is now 7 weeks old and a (NAUGHTY) sweetheart BUT - she is quite aggressive. She wont growl or hiss but she will bite and scratch your hands if you attempt to stroke her. I was wondering if feral cats ever get over their 'wildness' and whether it is 'bred' into them.. Like say for example the three generations leading up to her birth were also feral - does that make her wilder than average? Or is this just a stage she is going through?
post #2 of 5
She is a true feral and she has not had the interaction with people that she needed by 2 weeks of age. She has no clue about you or your intentions. I would stop handling her, cease petting her. See to her needs, food, water, litter pan patrol, vet visits, but otherwise ignore her. This will allow her to relax and learn (over time) to trust you. It takes patience on your part, because you have a set idea of what this kitten should be to you, and she has other ideas. Taking the pressure off of her shows her she is "safe." I have one kitten here that is now 7 months old, I have had her only a month, and every time I went to pet her she bit or scratched me, so I stopped. It was hard, because she is so dang cute, but I stopped. Now, she is coming up to me and head-bumping me and I can touch her but not often and not long. it is a slow process to show her that humans are okay and not all of us are evil. Lord only knows what she endured while roaming around an abandoned campground.
post #3 of 5
I wonder if it is a variation of tame kittens too doing this. Usually by kittens who were alone in the litter. Or so.
Biting hands of people caressing them. By tame kittens this is playful althought it may be painful, but they dont know it hurts. As cat-pals do learn them be schrieking, and hissing this hurts. But if they alone in the litter, or taken away too early - nobody did properly learned them.

The solution is essentially the same as Hissy said: dont play with them with hands!

The second possible solution is of course to do like kittens pals would do: hiss and or say NO. But. This is of course very good with tame kittens who knows you their friend and Mom. But an exferal dont knows being still unsure. So stick to Hissys advice...
And you may hiss - better than shouting NO - but dont overdo it.
Talk much with soft voice/make soft kindly noises, as friendly cats do. Feks courting toms do this a lot... My suggestion.
post #4 of 5
I went to a feline behavior seminar yesterday, and kittens that are taken from their mother before 8 weeks (includind hand raised kittens) tend to be more play aggressive with humans, because they are less inhibited with humans. The more I thought about this I realized that it explained alot with Spirit who's idea of playing is to bite, scratch, and growl (I got her at 5 weeks), and Sturgis (who was about 5 weeks when he was found) who if he is angry has no problem taking it out on a person (but then a minute later is sucking on your ear).

Does kitten seem stressed or upset when you try to pet her? I would talk to your vet (or call around to humane society's) and ask them about kitten kindergarten to help your kitten socialize.
post #5 of 5
That explains so much!! I have read in other places that being taken away from their mothers too soon can make the cats have bad social skills.
The dog found out cat Percival and his sister who now lives with my brother in the backyard last september. He can't seem to grasp the idea of boundaries.... ie when to stop the rough play... when our other cat doesn't want to play, and such.
We are thinking about getting the Feliway plug in to see if that works. He is now 16 pounds and can be very destructive with his craziness.
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