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how to gain stray momcat's trust?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
well after chasing a stray cat out of my basement, because she was tearing up my garbage, i discover that she had laid 5 kittens in a boarded ditch in my back yard. so i felt bad plus they were so cute i started to feed them. but everytime i move the boards (the roof of their home i guess) the mommy cat would fly out of there and/or hiss at me. its been 3 days so far of me feeding them and the mommy cat is fearing me less but still gives me a cold stare? how can i get the cat to not fear me when i feed them?? and what should i do about the kittens??? i dont know how long they have been there but 2 of the 5 stumble and the others can barley open their eyes.
post #2 of 14
I'm not sure what the BEST way to deal with this situation is but here's what i did in a similar situation last year.

The first thing you need to do is make sure the mother has enough food.
By feeding her you will begin to gain her trust.
Get some cat food that is specifically for nursing mums if you can.

The key is regularity. Feed her in the same place at the same times everyday.

The rest really depends on how involved you plan to be.

The ideal scenario would be for you to trap the mum, collect the kittens and put them all in your basement with food and kitty litter. This way you won't need to hand raise the kittens as the mum will do most of the work her self.

Then once they're in the basement you can go down regularly and build a relationship with the mum, and play with the kittens and get them nice and friendly towards humans.

Then once they are old enough you'll take them to the vet get them checked over and have the mum spayed. Once the mum is spayed, you can either keep her or return her to where she was and focus on either rehoming the kittens or if you want to keep them then you can do that too.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but i was in a similar situation last year and that's pretty much what we did, except that the mum went back outside as she just was not cut out for in door life.

Good luck!
I'm sure you'll get some more informative answers from some of the pros on this site soon!
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazi
The ideal scenario would be for you to trap the mum, collect the kittens and put them all in your basement with food and kitty litter.
I second all of Zazis suggestions.

IF you want to trap and take them in, Trapping the mum preferably soon, when you know where the kittens are. To trap mum and not be sure of collecting the kittens or their whereabouts is horror.

To get friendly with a feral/semiferal - or almost any cat:
No raised hands. No raised voice.
Dont look too much at the cat, look beside the cat;
if you do look so
a) shorthly
b) or with half closed eyes
c) if your eyes met: slowly blinking.

Do yawn a lot and strech yourselves, as friendly cats do.

When she starts to let you touch her: dont pet the head at first, pet her on the back first. And the jaws and chins.

And of course food as Zazi said. Preferably often, as you will get more interactions in short time.

Little later, IF you take her inside, and know they are healthy and parasite free: Do you have own friendly homecat? Try to use him. Much easier to socialize the shy feral with help of own friendly cat than when alone human...
But this is of course a later question.

Good luck!
post #4 of 14
Zazi has given your great advice....the key is to not scare mom off at this vital time so that she can take care of her kittens. There are lots of TNR groups in California so your best bet will be to get a hold of a humane trap from either a Humane Society or from one of these TNR groups so that you can trap mom so that she can be spayed. Is she currently feeding the kittens at all?? Also, since the kittens haven't opened their eyes yet..they are probably less than a week old.

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html#ca

There is actually a lot of useful information on the Alley Cat Allies website:

http://www.alleycat.org/resources_care.html

Let us know how it goes and thanks for caring for this cat and her kittens.

You also may want to attend:

Humanely Trapping Feral Cats workshop
May 13, 2006
San Francisco, CA

WHEN: Saturday, May 13, 2006

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: San Francisco SPCA

Maddie’s Adoption Center, Solarium
250 Florida Street, San Francisco
(Right off of 16th Street, between Bryant & Alabama) Plenty of parking!

Come hear veteran Cat Assistance Team volunteer, L-Danyielle Yacobucci, address topics such as:

How to prepare for trapping
What equipment is needed
How to operate and bait a trap
What to do once a cat is trapped
How to do selective trapping
How to trap moms and kittens, sick cats
To RSVP or for more information contact:
SF/SPCA Feral Cat Assistance Program at 415/522-3539


Katie
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. i will try out what you guys have said. the mom cat seems to fear me less now and the kittens seem to just look at me =)
post #6 of 14
Hi Bew! Thanks for checking in!

Just wanted to add that you could also call your local shelter- if you can find a no kill one that would be even better and maybe you can ask them for help with the trapping.

Then once they are trapped you can offer to either keep them or work some sort of plan out. I'm not sure if they will do this for you, but a friend of mine once found a litter and a mum cat and the shelter was unable to take them so she worked out with them that if she kept them and tried to re-home them herself, she would be able to bring them into the shelter and just pay for whatever the actual costs of the medication and spaying etc were which worked out cheaper for her and worked for the shelter too.

Like i mentioned earlier, the ideal situation would be if you were to take them on until they are old enough to be rehomed.

I can pretty much gurantee you that the very thought of 5 kittens and a mum cat in the basement is daunting but once the first week is over you're home free! And it gets much much easier from then on.

The main down side to leaving them outside is that there's more of a chance of them getting ill or coming down with some kitten related flu. I'm not saying that it will happen but i think the chances are more when they are outside.

Also the older they get in the "wild" the less likely they are to get homed because it takes a lot more effort to get them all nice and cuddly than if you get in there soon.

The local assc around my area won't even deal with kittens that are older than four weeks as they say they will never make good house cats. Never is a strong word. I think it's just that you need to put in a lot more effort to get them people friendly when they get older.

Anyway - We're all with you if you need help or advice.
I don't live in the US so i am unable to give you any shelter numbers but i'm sure there are people here with the relevant info and that there might be a few listed on the net!

Good luck!
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazi
Hi Bew! Thanks for checking in!

Just wanted to add that you could also call your local shelter- if you can find a no kill one that would be even better and maybe you can ask them for help with the trapping.

Then once they are trapped you can offer to either keep them or work some sort of plan out. I'm not sure if they will do this for you, but a friend of mine once found a litter and a mum cat and the shelter was unable to take them so she worked out with them that if she kept them and tried to re-home them herself, she would be able to bring them into the shelter and just pay for whatever the actual costs of the medication and spaying etc were which worked out cheaper for her and worked for the shelter too.
Yes, to try to make a agreement with a good shelter may do the trick.

The main problem for all shelters is place. So a shelter refusing to help may often do help if you offer to be the training home, ie the cats in question are with you and the shelter paying all the vets and medication costs. Probably not the food and sand though.

Worth a try.

a swedish shelter would probably agree, perhaps also an US`?

Of course shelters in Sweden works a lot with help of training homes, ie private cat lovers/owners who wants to help.

Good Luck!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
okay i taken carre of the mom cat with all the spayed/shots and stuff but it is still kept outside cuz i have no room in the garage for them. but the weird thing is now when i go and check on it all the kitties and moms are gone except for one. and its left wandering around looking all sad and lonely.

what should i do with it?? whenever i go up to it it keeps meowing at me wat does that mean? and when i walk away it hides in a corner...
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by bew
okay i taken carre of the mom cat with all the spat/shots and stuff but it is still kept outside cuz i have no room in the garage for them. but the weird thing is now when i go and check on it all the kitties and moms are gone except for one. and its left wandering around looking all sad and lonely.

what should i do with it?? whenever i go up to it it keeps meowing at me wat does that mean? and when i walk away it hides in a corner...
Mom may have abandoned it....it is crying because it is hungry. You need to get a hold of some KMR and start to bottle feed it. This site will be very useful:

http://www.kitten-rescue.com

Also...I'm hoping you got mom cat spayed.

Katie
post #10 of 14
The mom has moved on now. With a little luck the left one was the last, and she is going to fetch it.
If she dont fetch it as know you know he is abandoned.

His only chance now is you. Take him in and do raise OR help him come to a shelter asap (a shelter which accepts alone kids).
But if you look at this the other way: IF you raise him he/she will be entirely tame and social!

KMR-milk is best. RC-milk is probably cheaper, and nowadays quite OK (some years ago not especielly good, clearly better now).

And the mom? If you see her somewhere near - it may be worth a try to return the little to her - but it may be futile and perhaps even dangerous - I dont know....
It would be good if you can still give her help - but it is later question. The little abandoned is your main concern as now.
post #11 of 14
This kitten sounds very young and should be simple enough to trap with a large but light blanket or towel and a box. Don't use a thick one, a thin one will be enough to cover it and sort of disorientate it long enough for you to gentle pick it up or... if i were you i would do the following.

You'll need a box , not as small as a shoe box but not too big. So you throw the blanket over the kitten. lace the box over the part where you can see the kitten is moving. This will contain the kitten without you having to handle it and run the risk of scaring it and hurting it. Then you can slowly slide the towel/blanket out .... Then you'll need to slide a sort of lid under the box then you can carry the whole contraption home and into a bathroom or small room.

You don't want anywhere big as the kitten will bolt and then you may not get him as human friendly as you need him to be.

When you're trapping, you'll have to be calm, fast and ready for it to bolt. In my experience these feral kittens can be lightning quick and if you scare them it is very very difficult to gain their trust again.

Once you get inside, you'll need a litter box, and some fodd etc. KMR or kitten glop. And i would sugest you confine him to a small area rather than a larger one as this will give you the opportunity to get more touch time with the kitten. You can leave the box and the towel in there with him. Young kittens will need a lot of love and attention in abscence of a mother cat. And also, if you're using a bathroom, make sure you keep the lid of the toilet firmly taped shut or under a heavy book.

DR. BOBBY GLENN, DVM & STEPHANIE MOORE'S KITTEN FORMULA RECIPE
Stephanie tells us that Dr. Glenn has been working very hard helping her and others in cat rescue for over 10 years, and he has used and recommended this formula for over 25 years!!

INGREDIENTS:
* 12 oz can evaporated milk
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 egg yolk
* 1 tsp kayro syrup
* 1-2 drops of vitamin

* Pedialyte formula (from World Health Organization)...no preservatives so short life-span
* 1 cup water
* 2 tsp sugar
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp baking soda
* (this Pedialyte formula gives needed electrolytes & some sugar for energy)

Combine all ingredients and warm slightly.


GOOD LUCK TO YOU BEW! I'm hoping all goes well.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
i dont think the kitten is scared of me. it just cries and follows me around. i guess it wants food. i started to bottle feed him with some KMR. i cant bring the little guy in cuz i am living in a inlaw that doesnt allow pets. he is gettin firendly tho after i feed it. it tries to attack shadows of waving bushes also can i start to intorduce him to solids??

thanks for the help guys, as of right now im trying to convince the landlord to let me have a pet.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazi

* Pedialyte formula (from World Health Organization)...no preservatives so short life-span
* 1 cup water
* 2 tsp sugar better dextrose or honey
* 1/8 tsp salt
* 1/8 tsp baking soda
* (this Pedialyte formula gives needed electrolytes & some sugar for energy)
This (or similiar) pedialyte formula is great. Works marvelously on sick human kids too.
But. For cats it is better with dextrose (grape sugar??) or honey as cats are not so good at splitting down carbohydrates. But sugar is better than nothing yes if you dont have dextrose or honey.

........................................................


And this kitten wasnt fetched by mom. He is abandoned, therefore all your now. You are his new mom. Excellent it seems to go well. You are lucky he is already big enought to poop and pee himself...
Did you take him inside? Do it if it is at all possible to you. Make a pure indoors cat of him.

No, he is probably too young to to begin to eat real food. This is about 4th week.
post #14 of 14
bew- i didn't realise that this kitten is so young. i presmed it was already on solids.

Please try and convince your landlord/inlaw EVEN if it is just for a while until the kitten is older and it is safe for him to go out doors.

A kitten that young really needs protection from other cats, animals and the elements and you are it's only shot. If not, please call your local shelter, it is unlikely that they will trun down a lone single kitten.

Please do, things can get bad for a kitten on it's own when it is outside alone especially when it is so young. It is the equivalent of leaving a baby that is still drinking milk outside alone without any form of protection.

Even if you have to collect it and take it to your local vet and leave it there until you can convince your land lord/inlaw to keep it that is better than it being out side at such a young age.
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