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New, Scared Kitten

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have just aquired a kitten from a resucer who had about 10 kittens in the house, along with this 10 week old female. I noticed that these cats didn't want human contact and seemed very timid and scared, but the lady assured us that it was because I was a stranger in the house. This calico female seemed very playful and promising, so I took that one. Once at my home this cat seems very afraid of people, will run away, and seems to what looks like shake in fear when you try and approach it or hold it. I read somewhere that if a cat doesn't have human contact within the first 8 weeks of life, it is extremely difficult to "warm up" to humans after that. First off is that true, and second does that seem to be whats going on here? Any suggestions?
post #2 of 6
First, Welcome to TCS, Brent! And GOOD NEWS - your situation is common and the outlook is very promising!! here's an article for you to read from the TCS Cat Care section:http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/18/Br...New-Cat/2.html
1. your new baby cat is understandably scared. she needs to learn that you mean food, comfort, shelter, toys. She needs to be confined in a small area; once she realizes that the area is 'safe and secure' she can broaden her space.
2. You can purchase Feliway, a pherome spray that comforts cats;
3. she needs to associate you with companionship and food. try putting her in the bathroom or your bedroom, with a carrier or box to use as a den, so she can establish her safe place. Then, go in as often as possible, bring something for you to do, such as a good book; a model to build, etc. Softly sing to yourself and talk to the kitten - get her used to your presence. if you can, pick her up in a towel, and even tho she shakes, let her crouch down in her towel & give her light touches about the face and ears, mimicking the comforting licks that her mama kitty would be giving her.
i strongly suggest sending a pm (private message) to Eilcon; Hissy;OPpilot, for starters. There are many others here who work with ferals with great success, too.
above all, don't get discouraged - this takes time, but it is well worth it!
BTW, any pics avaiable?? At TCS,we love pics and I'm esp. partial to calicoes
post #3 of 6
Brent Welcome to TCS There's lots of help here for you and your new kitty... In The picture at the bottom of my page you will see Dunkin, Sissy, Miniman, Ziggy, Zazzy, and Zinger who were all rescues and trust me they can be a challange, they were all from the same group except Dunkin, they came from a Busy shopping center parking lot and I am the person who feed them, trapped them, brought them home and took them to the vet that was over a year ago, It does take time but with one you should have great luck I had 5 babie girls and Mom all at the same time. I have to tell you I have never had cats who seem to be as loving as all of mine are. I found a home for one female and I just couldn't give the others up Its alot of work but the reward is much greater then all that, It's like a zoo sometimes but also alot of a circus act, they all get along just great I feel like I am probably a better meowey then I was a real mom Isn't that sad
Just give her a small area go in sit and talk to her get a few feather toys, and take her food in there and a litter box of course, maybe play some very low soft music to calm her also, It's almost guarnteed that she will grow to trust you and Love you just like you will her and I don't think it will take long ...Great Luck and yeppers we need pictures when you can, if you have any question there's plenty of help on this forum, we have all had our share of little new babies
post #4 of 6
Welcame, Brent.
Yes, it is true, 2-7 weeks are best for easy socialization. But.

It is entirely possible to socialize in even a feral/semiferal cat - ie grown up cat born outside, perhaps even by parents born outside. Heshe will probably always be a little shy to strangers, but nevertheless be a nice and loving homecat.
It isnt too easy, takes work and patience, and usually takes time, oh yes - but surprisingly often - usually (not always) can be done.

It is of course easier with a small kitten.

I do second Catsknowme. You can work with her as a shy semiferal. A piece of cake here.

Our own Jamuskin, although purebreed, was and is rather shy... We do love him.
post #5 of 6
Thought coming on.
After - hopefully a short time here as she isnt entirely feral - the kitten will perhaps behave like a little kitten seeking protection from you.
Like many homegrown shy kittens.

Dont hesitate to be extra motherly to herhim, being literally mom. It pays off in the long run - you will get the cats deep love forever.
post #6 of 6
My cat is a formal feral - trapped from a colony at six months old, sent to a clinic to be spayed and then fostering and an adoption center. In less than 3 months she was moved four times so by the time I got her she really did not know what to make of people and just needed stability. I know she was never socialized as a small kitten.

The best advice I got was here and that was to let her find her way around her new (confined) space and come to me. I spoke softly, did not look at her and almost ignored her. It took a week for her not dash away when I entered a room. She spent time under furniture and I thought she would never come around. I think a Feliway diffuser in her space helped too.

I still can't pick her up, but she doesn't run away and hide and she is much more comfortable with me and lets me pet her. Patience is key. I know it is hard not to cuddle them and let them be, but it has been worth it to see her trust me more and more each day. Now when I come home from work she is actually happy to see me.

Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.
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