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Just taken in 2 stray kittens

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Sorry this is so long winded!
About 7 months ago a pretty little cat arrived outside my friends house and has been around since, for the first 4 months we were convinced it belonged to a neighbour but have come to realise it was never theirs. My friend and I have been feeding the cat pretty much from the start. 2 weeks ago 2 kittens started appearing with her.
After much discussion it was decided I would take the 2 new kittens and give them a home and my friend (who already has 2 7 month old kittens) would continue to feed the mum and in 2 weeks when she starts letting her cats go out the house (waiting on her kittys to have the op so they can't have any litters) she will try to start encouraging mum to come in (she has already made attempts) so by winter she can use the cat flap to come and go as she pleases.

I've caught both kittens today. One is very friendly and no trouble at all, the other took a long time to catch (toy dipped in gravy did the trick!) and is very timid, scared and will hiss and if pushed use his claws.
I've made an appointment for the kittens to see the vet tomorrow to get blood test, vaccinations etc done.

I forgot to mention I already have a 2 cats - 3 and 2 years old. Mine are house cats and I don't intend to let the kittens out. (The kittens are seperated from the cats!)
What should I do to make the timid one happy and comfortable around us?
What can my mate do to try and persuade mum cat to come in the house when the time comes?

Mum cat will be having the op this week so no more litters.
Any advice would be greatfully received!

Also the reason for all this waffling is, I was orignally going to bring mum home instead but we decided that after a year being outside she wouldn't like being cooped up in a house and that my 2 being older then my friends would have more trouble adjusting to her. I am extremely attached to her but I felt that bringing her to live with me would have been selfish but I'm wondering now if I was right?

One good thing, both have used the litter tray with no training!

Thanks for getting this far!
post #2 of 2
Zoe, thank you for rescuing these kittens! And I'm glad your friend is going to have her cats spayed/neutered.

As I'm sure you know, cats don't necessarily naturally love people. You have to earn their trust, and that's what's up with the second little one. He's scared, and he has to learn to trust you. There is nothing you can do to force it except be completely not scarey to him.

1) Until they see the vet, keep them separated from your other cats.

2) When you bring them home, still keep them separated from your other cats!

Pick a room to be the "kitten" room. It is best to make the introductions slowly. Cats are territorial, and your existing cats will see the new kitties as a threat, not new friends. Not at first.

As to the scared kitty, the best thing to do is make sure the room has some light, but isn't bright. Maybe put a radio in there playing classical music. Definitely put a few boxes in there on their sides so they've got places to hide. Put on a shirt or sweatshirt and do something to get it good and sweaty - and put the sweaty shirt in the box for them to snuggle in. Good idea to do the same thing with a t-shirt and set it under their food dish. This way kitty(ies) will come to associate good things with your smell - food and safety.

And just spend as much time in the room as you can - but ignore the scared kitty. Work on your laptop, read - even read out loud. If the other one wants pets or to play, play with him/her. Get a wand toy (don't leave it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Put toys in the room. Feral cats don't know what play is, but these are kittens.

The most important thing is to build trust. Don't reach out to scared kitty. Ignore scared kitty. Let him come sniff you, watch you - whatever. Don't reach out a hand. Let him come to you for attention, and then it's OK.

Because he's a kitty and will have the friendly kitty to watch you interact with, he'll probably come around pretty quickly.

And read this to help with the introduction to the other kitties:


And here's an article about bringing home new kitties:


You may want to spend some extra time with your existing kitties as a way to reassure them. You may want to spend a little extra time playing with them to help them work off the stress they'll be experiencing.

And feel free to ask any questions and update on any progress!

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