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Three feral kittens

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My husband found 3 feral kittens in our garden today. My neighbor feeds the mother and told me they are 5 weeks old.

One of the kittens has an eye infection and from reading through this site, I realize that it is important to get this kitten and the siblings to the vet. I am going to be bringing them to the vet tomorrow.

I have three cats of my own and have kept them away from the kittens (the kittens are in a larger tub with blankets and water in my bathtub for now).

One kitten is very aggressive but the remaining two are not too bad.

I called a cage less and no kill shelter, they want me to keep them for a week and report back. They say if I can work with them to socialize them and litter box train them, that it would be easier to place them for adoption.

All my cats have been taken in, but none have acted like these (mad, biting, hissing, stressed, and scared). I am also not sure about feeding, I bought formula, and kitten wet food and kitten dry food. They look at the food like they don't know what it is, I try tempting them (kitten formula and kitten wet food) and they seem to want it, then they stop.

I am also worried about the kitten with the eye infection.

Sorry this post seems so mixed up, but for some reason I feel scared about having these young ones in my care and I don't want make any mistakes.

Also their Momma is looking for them, my husband wants to know if it was a bad thing that we took them away from her?

The cats we have as pets now were by themselves when we found them, one was about two years old, declawed (which I am against) and spayed. She was sitting on our car while we were in a petstore; we were mourning our cat that passed away at 22 years old. She was misdiagnosed and her suffering was great. We took out ads for the stray that we found sitting on our car that day and no one claimed her so we kept her, her name is Persia (Tortoise Shell ).

Then came Jessie (Calico) 8 week old kitten we adopted. Two days after adopting Jessie, Misty was found 5 weeks old behind an old :censor::censor::censor::censor: in an alley. We took her and were afraid that the shelters would put her down in the "Kitten Season" so we kept her and she is a year old now. She is a Gray DSH "Hemingway" cat who opens doors and cabinets.

If anyone has advice or links to help me work with these new kittens I would be very grateful. I am able to stay with them around the clock and want to do the very best I can for them.
post #2 of 17
You did the right thing!
if the eye infection is felline chlamydia all the kittens will be ill and they can become blind or even die if not treated.
Can you trap the mother and take her in with the kittens? She would know how to take care of them and she needs to be spayed otherwise you will have a new set of kittens in your garden very soon.
Ask the shelter or the vet if they can lend you a humane trap. It is quite easy to catch her if you use the kittens as bate.
For the kittens - they need to go to the vet. if one has an eye infection they will all have it soon. While you are waiting for the appiontment - keep the eye clean with body tempered water and. You can treat the infected eye with an eye-solution called Terramycine.
You will find everything you need to know about caring for them on this link: http://www.kitten-rescue.com/
Good luck. You have an exiting time in front of you. Please let us know how it goes.
post #3 of 17
Welcome to TCS...thanks for caring for these kittens. First thing...if you can trap mom and reunite her with her kittens, that would be best. However, even if you decide not to reunite mom with her kittens..she still needs to be spayed or she will become pregnant again. It's fine that your neighbor feeds her..but cats are induced ovulators and the fact that she is intact will draw other intact males and also mean more litters. If she is skittish..it is probably best to trap her in a humane trap and bring her in to be spayed.

Alley Cat Allies has some great information on socializing kittens:

http://www.alleycat.org/resources_care.html#10

Another good site to join is the feral yahoo group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/feral_cats/messages

Katie
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for responding. We have been trying to trap the Mother cat. I have found a Vet who is willing to spay her. I am caught in a hard place, the mother cat is smart and the lady next door will feed her and the cat will enter her house. This lady will not trap her. The other neighbor is angry with all the feral cats and they have a cat trap, if they catch me feeding the cats they use the trap and call animal control. They killed one of the kittens they caught, even though they deny it, they did. The lady who feeds the cats will take the kittens in to animal welfare but she will not take the mother cat and the mother cat is wise to what we have been trying to do. I told the lady who feeds the mother cat that we are willing to pay for her to be fixed and she is thinking about it.

We live in an area were the feral cats are many. There are people who feed, and that angers the other residents, there are many fights.

We built a shelter for the mother cat and when we tried to trap her, she moved on to another neighbor. I hope she lets us get her spayed.

Most of the males that roam are owned and unfixed, the owners let then roam and take them in at night, and this is a large problem also. When I wake in the morning it is not odd to have 3 - 6 cats sleeping on my outside furniture.

Its very hard now, because the residents have hatred towards the cat feeders, they blame them for this cat population.

I guess this is not a new story.

I am e-mailing shelters, so far one is willing to talk to me in a week (I did speak with them on the phone), another one told me to call animal control and let them deal with it.

The kitten the neighbors killed, was an older kitten, we were gaining this cat's trust, we found a vet and were getting ready to trap her (we are new to this trapping my husband built a shelter with a door that he rigged to a wire and a camera mounted by the shelter, when the cat enters we can see by camera and pull the wire and the door shuts. The mother cat wised up and will not go in because of the lady next door.

After the bad neighbors killed the older kitten, we were able to trap 3 cats that were trying to take over the shelter. Then the bad neighbors were willing to take down the trap if we took down the shelter. So my husband did.

Also, people here are saying that a new law is on the books for Chicago, IL. They say that residents of Chicago are limited to only owning 3 cats. I have to check that. (The city claims to want to stop people from hoarding animals)

Sorry for rambling, but we have only just become aware of the feral status of our area and am now just understanding the misconception we had about them not needing care or that they can just take care of themselves. Plus we feel the guilty of previously thinking that way.

Also a large portion of the residents who are angry with the cat feeders are aware of the trap, treat and release and they are against it, they do not want the cats living on or near their property, even if they are fixed. These residents are the angriest.

We have put up a privacy fence on both sides now.

Karen
post #5 of 17
Karen....

Sounds like you could really use a TNR group to come out and talk to the neighbors. These are the TNR groups listed in Illinois:

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

You may also want to invest in these brochures:

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

Scroll down to:

Easy Ways YOU Can Help Feral Cats

and

Do you believe she deserves to live....even though she is wild?

They are really nice and aren't too expensive. The problem is..your neighbors have never seen a true TNR at work because they are having to deal with the negative behaviors of the intact cats. One thing that definately needs to change is the attitude of the "feeders". Your neighbor needs to understand that once these cats are fixed...she can continue to feed them..but they will not add to the overpopulation. I suspect she is afraid you will take her "cats" away (ie give them to a rescue group) and that is why she is working against you. Let her know that your goal is simply to improve this cat's life by spaying her and that you promise to return her after she is spayed.

There are some really good PDFs here:

http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...feralindex.cfm

and I do recommend you join the Feral Cat Yahoo group...lots of people who have probably gone through what you are going through and can give you advice.

Good Luck,

Katie
post #6 of 17
Hello again Karen,

If you can get someone with experience to help you that's great.
If not you have a good chanse to trap her since you have her kittens.
Here is how we did with the two mamas we have trapped:
The kittens was placed in a cage. The human trap is placed in front of it so mama cat has to go through the cage to get to her kittens.
Put some heavy stones behind the kitten cage and on the sides of the trap so that everything is steady and can't move even if she jumps on it.
Ju will have to take the side of the trap away so that the kittens are visible from inside the trap that is why you have to put something heavy behind the cage so she can't move it if she panics.
Put a towel over the kitten cage so the only way she can se her babies is b entering the trap.
For us it took twenty minutes with the first mother. With the second mother we failed the first evening but next morning it took ten minutes.

When she goes in the trap - stay calm. Do not forget to put back the missing side of the trap before you move the kitten-cage. Think of not touching the sides of the trap when you move her since that might open it. It is good to put a blanket or a towel over the cage before you move it since the darkness will calm her down.

I keep my fingers crossed.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the links. I know we have to do something, I tried last year to hold a neighborhood meeting about the stray and feral cats. Not one person showed up, the feeders I assume are afraid of the anti-feeders. Some of the feeders hide their feeding.

Something has got to give. The anti-feeders are calling animal control, but I am not sure if anything is being done.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I also wanted to say. I love the mother Cat. That was the reason I was trying to trap her before the kittens came along. Her well being is the main concern for my husband and I, even if the lady wants her to live in her yard, we are willing to pay for what needs to be done.

I firmly believe that feral and stray cats are the responsibility of all of us even if the person has never owned a cat. What is sad is it’s not a hard problem if everyone involved just did a little to help solve the problem instead of fighting about it.

Karen
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallblue View Post
I also wanted to say. I love the mother Cat. That was the reason I was trying to trap her before the kittens came along. Her well being is the main concern for my husband and I, even if the lady wants her to live in her yard, we are willing to pay for what needs to be done.

I firmly believe that feral and stray cats are the responsibility of all of us even if the person has never owned a cat. What is sad is it’s not a hard problem if everyone involved just did a little to help solve the problem instead of fighting about it.

Karen
Karen...

I have some of the Do you believe she deserves to live....even though she is wild? brochures....I'm willing to send them to you. Just PM or email me your address and I'll get them out to you.

I agree...we all must help these cats who are in need of our intervention. Some need to live outdoors..while others can be rehomed..but if they are all fixed..then they live out their lives without adding to the overpopulation.

Katie
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much that sounds great.

I am just back from the vets. He says they have tapeworms and a few fleas. Also he gave me anti botics for the eye infection, he gave me worm medication to follow up at home. I told him of their orgin, so he only charged me 20.00! He said If I contine to foster them, that he will only charge me the cost of the medicine and he is willing to spay the mother cat.

I love this vet his specializes in cats. He is very spiritual as in he says its his calling to treat animals and how life is sacred, but he also say she knows when its time to let them go in peace. All I have to do is talk with the lady next door.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 



I just wanted to post a photo of the three feral kittens.

Karen
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh I also wanted to add, that I have made a deal with the lady next door, since the mother cat goes in her house and lets her hold her. She has agreed to get her to me and if we pay for the spaying she wants her recuperation in her house. After Mother Cat , her grown daughter will also be fixed, possibly both at the same time.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallblue View Post
Oh I also wanted to add, that I have made a deal with the lady next door, since the mother cat goes in her house and lets her hold her. She has agreed to get her to me and if we pay for the spaying she wants her recuperation in her house. After Mother Cat , her grown daughter will also be fixed, possibly both at the same time.
Sounds like you are making progress already....BTW.....a package will be on it's way to you shortly.

Katie
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. But now there is a big problem with the kitten with the eye infection, I just checked on them and that kitten has its insides comng out? about 3 inches. I am a mess I have a call into the vet I am waiting for him to call back, I don't understand what is happening to the kitten? the kiten has bad diarrah.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallblue View Post
Thanks so much. But now there is a big problem with the kitten with the eye infection, I just checked on them and that kitten has its insides comng out? about 3 inches. I am a mess I have a call into the vet I am waiting for him to call back, I don't understand what is happening to the kitten? the kiten has bad diarrah.
Oh dear...please keep us informed..this kitten may be very sick.

Katie
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just got back from the vet, he said the damage was beyong repair, we had to put her down, the vet gave her a shot and I had to take her home. I don't understabd why, but she died in my arms as we drove home and we were crying, my brother took me. He buried her under my tree. the vet would not charge me, but I would have rather paid and the vet keep the kitten, this was so horrible and sad I am still in shock.... that was the worst thing I could imagine.

I have to keep a close eye on the remaining two , I feel so sick to my stomach.

Karen
post #17 of 17
Poor you. Our first rescue kitten also died after five days of fighting for his life and it is terrible. The rest of the bunch got me on my feet again but it was hard. Did the vet have any idea what it it could be?
Any luck with trapping the mama yet?
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