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When is it time to let the feral kitten loose inside?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have had 2 feral kittens for a week, now. One is tamer than the other, I'm calling her Blue because I can't think of names, and I got them colored collars. Red is the wilder girl. They both eat out of my hand.

Blue has purred when being petted, let dd's friend hold her (a total stranger), rubs her chin on things in the kitty room, and sharpens her claws on the carpet (which I take to mean she is claiming the room as her own). Today, when I took her to another room to pet her, she really wanted to sneak away, not as if in fear of me, but just so curious to look around. My next day off, I do plan to let her explore another room-either the bathroom or a closet.

I already have trouble catching the kittens in the kitty room. They would rather run around than go back to their cage. The first few days they would run into the cage when frightened. Now they sneak and slink away, and I am trying to teach them not to fear me, so I won't "chase" and "grab". (I will try Hissy's hint of holding a blanket to "shoo" them into the cage!)

So my question is when is Blue ready to be allowed to run free in the house? What guidelines do I follow? Our house is huge and cluttered, and if she wanted to hide from me she would probably succeed. And at 10 -11 weeks old, I don't think she can miss a meal safely! Maybe it would be best to send her to another house with tame kittens to keep learning better behavior?
post #2 of 4
I would let her out for a little bit at a time, just stay close! You can't very well prevent her from doing exactly what she wants, but if you're close enough, you may be able to to keep her from hiding. After an hour or so, put her back in her little area. After all, she's just gone on a big adventure! She'll need wind down time. I've learned that with cats, little steps are best. I think free reign of the house is truly up to you. Is she big enough to take care of herself out there by herself while you're gone? If you're comfortable with it, try it. If it doesn't prove to be a good idea, just put her back in her kitty room and wait a little longer.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
No, she is a feral kitten, and way better at hiding than I am at finding. Sometimes it is hard to find these black kittens in their cage! I will try small, no-hiding place rooms at first, but do have a goal of incorporating her into the household so she will get more attention.

My fear is that if putting her out isn't a good idea, I will never catch her and she will stay feral. (My last semi-feral cat hid so far back in a closet that there was no way to get her out. Not that I tried, I just waited for her to get hungry and she came out for dinner. But I was nauseous wondering if her fear would overcome her hunger. I will worry even more over a baby!)

Even on our laps, she is looking under the desk, or under the bed, just looking for what she sees as a safe area! Thanks for your suggestion!
post #4 of 4
I really don't think that there is a guideline , every cat/kitten is different just like we are . If you are able to pet your cat it should be ok to let the cat go in the house . Maybe you need to get a Feliway plug in to to help her to stay calm
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