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Need advice about our kittens...

March 7th, 2006, 01:24 PM
My boyfriend and I adopted two 6 month old female kittens from a bad situation on March 6th. They were stuffed in rabbit sized cages with no food or water, dirty torn paper and about 3 other cats. They were probably never allowed out of the cage since they were weaned. The people were what I call animal horders because they had several animals in a small apartment and it was ill kept. Anyway, our kittens were bathed as soon as we got them home and fed/watered. Now all they do is hide in corners, never eat or drink on their own(I have to put them in front of the bowls) and I have not seen them potty once, not even on the carpet. I know they are probably in some sort of shock but is there any way to help ease them, or is there anything I can do to socialize them better? They are very sweet but do nothing but cower away. We had to close the door to the cat carrier because all they did originally was go inside it and hide all the way in the back together, like they were back in the cage. I am most concerned about them not going to the bathroom once for over 24 hours. Is this healthy? Is there something I could give them to perhaps promote bowel/urinary movements? I am concerned and want to take them to the vet for shots and feline testing but we are low in cash right at the moment until closer to the end of the month. I want them to be as comfortable and happy as possible. Thank you for any response you may be able to provide.:pawprint:

March 7th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Poor little kittens. I would keep them in a quiet room and maybe remove the carrier cage but put it a cardboard box. You could add a small litter pan and food and drinking water inside the box. Have a door cut into the box so when they feel inquisitive enough to check out their surroundings, they will but for the time being all they know is a cage so anything new would be frightening. Just my thoughts anyway. Good luck. I have had my share of rescue kittens.

March 7th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I agree with the above post. Make a spot for them that is covered and secure that they can retreat too. Put their food, litter in there. Make it accessible and leave them alone in there. They need to have a good place to retreat to. They will come on there own and patience is all you need. They need to explore on their own time and free will. They just need to know that they wont get hurt and surely sooner or later they will realize this. They will probably peak out for a while. Then they will start going out but not far from their comfort and then hopefully they soon realize the coast is clear.

never rescued a cat or owned one mind you. I am just going on what I learned from here so far.

good luck and thanks for caring for these other wise abandoned animals. There are two less shelter cats b/c of you.

March 7th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Due to the manner in which I read posts (I check New Posts because I cannot afford the time to browse every section and that usually works well in terms of finding up to date posts), I responded to another post you made - I am still confused over some of this but that's just the day I am having, distraction central here.

I won;t repost - here is the url:

March 7th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the replies thus far, sorry about it being a duplicate post, I didn't know where I would get the most help, also I'm new here. :angel:

I am borrowing money from my family to take them to the vets ASAP now. We have made our foyer a kind of kitty-room as well. They have full access to food, water, a small pinch of catnip, toys, litter pan and we took the top off the cat carrier and put a sheet in it to make a little bed. I am thinking of switching from dry kitten food to canned for a few days to try and get more fluids in them and hopefully a litter box visit. Right now our precious bundle is peeking their noses out of the sheets, so I guess that is a good sign of curiousity at least.

Our babies... Byakko and Kira.:D

Lucky Rescue
March 7th, 2006, 04:55 PM
Poor babies. I hope the people who perpetrated this abuse on them have been reported?

Anyway, these kitties need time, patience and love.

Set them up in a room of their own. Leave the cat carrier in there, with the door open. Give them time and space to settle down and for now, just go in to feed them and scoop the litterbox. Talk softly and gently to them as you do this.

Gradually, they will see you as not meaning them harm, and should calm down. NEVER force them to do anything. Do not corner them, grab them or chase them for any reason.

You want them to see you as harmless providers of good things. As they become calmer, you can spend a little time in their room with them. Just sit and read a book or whatever, to get them used to your presence.

March 7th, 2006, 10:01 PM
Yep they have their own 'kitty-room' now. We moistened their kitten food with some water and mashed it a bit. I hand-fed a small amount to each of them and showed them the bowl again and they went crazy like they were starved, which leads me to believe they were never weaned properly.

I watched from the other room to see Byakko at least getting her water and food alone. Kira still is hesitant though. Neither have used the litter box for anything other than a 'bed', I am going to call the vet tomorrow if there is no sign of anything in the morning. Right now Byakko is awake and it sounds like she is playing with one of the balls with a bell in it, meowing away cutely. Kira is laying in the bed though looking sort of depressed. I guess it takes some longer than others to start coming around. I suppose in their own time they will adjust. Thanks again.:pawprint:

March 7th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Of all the things to get excited about, I am excited about kitty-nuggets. LOL. Byakko went potty in the litter pan all on her own. Now it's Kira's turn but I guess she will do things in her own time. I am just happy that they are starting to adjust and looks like they are adjusting properly.. using the litter pan, eating, etc like normal kittens would. I feel so much relief right now they are not too sick.

Oh and for the question of the people we got them from, yes, we are having a friend call them in anon. Just rather be safe than sorry. Sometimes horders can be unpredictable and the people have a general idea of where we live, which is easy enough to trace in our small town if they really wanted to. At least the animals may find themselves in better conditions if SPCA actually investigates.:pawprint:

March 8th, 2006, 04:41 AM
I am glad things are looking up - just keep giving them love, attention, good food and vet care, read and talk to them and they should be fine. I assumed you had adopted them from a Rescue group, not directly from the hoarder and you are correct to be cautious in that case - do not leave them outside and keep all vet records and sales receipts so you can indicate they are your kittens!!

Keep up the good work!

They will come around - they just need more socialization and at this age, kittens should respond well!

March 8th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Yeah we got them directly from the people. They seem to be doing better today, going potty and eating on their own it seems. They are still laying about, not really coming over to us or anything but just staying to themselves. We picked them up and put them on our blankets right now and they look so scared but at least they haven't run off. Just kind of frozen in place would be the best description. We are never letting them outside, I would be so afraid for them and as for vet records, we are definately getting them collars and putting their vaccination tags on just so if they ever managed to get out the door, someone would know they are owned and be able to call the vet and track us down. I am glad they are getting somewhat better. We left a radio on low last night and they didn't cry which was good. I may just sit and watch a movie or two with them sitting in the blanket later, so they get used to being around us more and being involved with people. Thanks again for all the responses. :pawprint:

we matter
March 9th, 2006, 12:23 AM
Those kittens are really lucky, there are so many cats/kittens out there living in poor conditions or dumped at the shelter.
I'm concerned for your kittens social development. The critical time for social development is between 2 and 8 wks. I have dealt with this kind of thing several times. I know if you catch a feral kitten who is, say 9wks old, it's almost impossible to tame. It may be comfortable around you and like you feeding it, but it won't care that much for people.
Kittens need to be handled daily when babies. It's just so disturbing how these kittens were in a cage like that. They never got to play, it will be fun when you can start introducing them to toys.
I have fostered kittens that were dumped at the shelter at 3wks old. I had one that stayed very shy. We learned to not reach out to it or attempt to hold it. Eventually she wanted to be petted and now likes my lap. She actually loves attention now, but she's still shy. Feeding kittens helps them bond with you. put out some treats, alittle tuna, canned food. My kittens, I found, like to be talked to.
Keep them in a room of their own, set up some cozy boxes. Down the road you can start opening the door and they can start to explore, but they can always go back to their "home"room where they feel secure. Cats are territorial that's another good reason for their own room.
You never know. I've had several adult foster cats that have made great improvements, but often it can take the course of a year! One was aggressive, another very shy, another afraid of other animals, etc...

Goodluck, WM

March 9th, 2006, 07:40 AM
Tatoo,I just wanted to say you are doing a wonderful thing and I am sure with time and patience they will come around.
A vet-visit is crucial though,to make sure they are healthy,especially seeing where they came from:pawprint:
I hope someone will rescue the rest of the cats:sad:

Lucky Rescue
March 9th, 2006, 08:49 AM
I know if you catch a feral kitten who is, say 9wks old, it's almost impossible to tame. It may be comfortable around you and like you feeding it, but it won't care that much for people.

I"m sorry, this is absolutely not true.

I have caught and tamed many feral cats, from 10 week old kittens to adult males.

Only one of all of them (adult female) has not lost her fear and probably never will.

tattooedfaerie, there is no reason your kittens cannot become sweet and loving with time and patience.:)

March 9th, 2006, 09:10 AM
I concur wholeheartedly with Lucky and you know me, this is NOT based just on anectodal evidence with my own rescued kittens. Studies prove this as well. It is so absolutley NOT true that kittens cannot be socialized after a certain period of time - that is like saying give up on them. It takes hard work but with love, much patience and proper tehniques, even older ferals (as in over one year old) can become kitties who never want to see the outside ever again. It can depend on the cat of course but there is no certain timeline for the socialization of feral kittens. It's great to get them at 3 wks - hopefully with their mama - but it's not an absolute necessity.

Keep up the good work tattoooed!

March 9th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Thank you for so much advice. They are behaving well lately. Umm, last night after I fed them(they are thin so I am trying to fatten them up a bit) they started exploring the house a little more and even came up to us while we were playing on the computers looking to be pet and purring. Byakko(which was renamed Lizzie last night) is very affectionate so far and seems to be more outgoing and inquisitive. She was playing with a twisty tie that was on the floor, hopping around making cute noises, thus we decided the name Leaping Lizzie was more suitable with her personality. Kira still just prefers to lay around like she is queen of the world it seems but Lizzie tries to get her to play by pouncing on her. I woke up this morning to Kira laying on the window sill warming up in the sun. She let me come right up to her without dialating her eyes or tensing up like normal. I was very pleased with her reaction so gave her a cat treat. Anytime the kittens do anything new and outgoing I am rewarding them with either a cat treat or loving attention. I want them to know that it is okay to be open, free and silly around us. That they can trust us. They are more attached to me so far because I spend a lot of time in 'their' room with them trying to show them different things and just get them to come to me. My boyfriend needs to do this as well so they can attach themselves to him too and realize we both love them so dearly and want to make them happy. My 5 year old son is dying to come see them but we want to wait one more week to get them used to us. Too much stress at once will probably hurt them. And we all know how kids love to play with animals. They tend to be a little hyper at times. When the day comes for him to visit, I am going to supervise at all times and show him how to pet them and approach them slowly and give them cat treats when they are good. We have a vet appointment scheduled for March 16th and the vet is going to give them a full checkup along with rabies vaccination and Distemper. Yay! LOL. They are just gonna love me, poor things. They must think I am the most loving but horrible person, between bathing them, loving them, then eventually taking them to the vet. Again thank you. Any more advice is welcomed, it seems that a lot of what has been suggested here has helped.:pawprint:

March 9th, 2006, 03:52 PM
Just keep up the good work and you are very right to wait till your young son interacts with them - they are not ready for an unpredicatable toddler and it could set back whatever you have achieved thus far! Keep talking to them, read to them, play classical music in their room, make sure they have access to their litter and water and their hidey hole (their carrier I am assuming). They WILL come to you gradually. If they do something inapproprriate like scratch iior bite, use the same technieuw as their feline mama andtake them gently them by the scruff and just say no. (sounds like a anti drug commercial, lol) Rescue Remedy might also help butr wait for the vet appt!! Make sure they associate good things with you sand your husband - food , treats and soon, they will be playing with toys and on that day, trust me, you will be crying!!! That happened to me when I socialzed some ferals who had never seen toys or love. I was more excited than them!!

March 10th, 2006, 11:41 PM
Thanks again. We had some regression today for some reason but we figured maybe it was just a bad day. We are worried about our one cat(Lizzie) and can't wait to get her to the vet because either she is pregnant or has worms. We noticed her belly was pretty round compared to our other kitten and she was in that cage with male cats. Being they are '6 months' old it is possible but also the environment they were in could be worms too. Guess we will just have to wait.. I wouldn't mind pregnant but finding suitable homes for the kittens would be hard, plus if she got preggers it would have been to her brother and I think that inbreeding would be really bad for the babies. Is there anyway I can tell if it's worms or pregnancy?:pawprint:

March 11th, 2006, 06:07 AM
Your doing an awesome job with the kitties.:thumbs up

I asume all the kitties in the cage were the same age, in which case maybe your kitty is eating alot and getting a pudgy belly, if they had worms you would see them usually I doubt it is pregnancy but the visit to the vet will sooth the nerves and answer all your questions so the sooner you get there the better.

Thanks for rescuing these little sweethearts they are the lucky ones I hope those people get charged but sadly they probably didnt:(

March 11th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Hi there,
I also agree the comment about a feral kitten being untameable
is not true at all.
I took in a young cat who had gotten away on his owners when just a few weeks old and lived feral for about a year before we took him in.
He took about a year to come around but was the most loving cat
ever! Very very appreciative of us!
He now lives with another owner as he was unhappy being an indoor cat
when we moved...but he is very happy where he is...keeps all the
barns and outbuildings rat and mouse and rabbit free, and gives
many wet kitty kisses to his new owners.
So...give it lots of time, lots of love...a pet when you can get one,
and they will come around. Patience will win them over.
Kudos to you for rescuing them out of that lifeless environment!
Way to go!

Lucky Rescue
March 11th, 2006, 01:57 PM
I wouldn't mind pregnant but finding suitable homes for the kittens would be hard, plus if she got preggers it would have been to her brother and I think that inbreeding would be really bad for the babies. Is there anyway I can tell if it's worms or pregnancy?

You need to get her spayed right away. IF she isn't pregnant now, she soon will be as she is living with her brother.

Finding excellent homes for kittens is extremely difficult, even for rescues who have all kinds of resources.

Plus this cat has had a life of deprivation and is probably not physically or mentally suited to be a mother. Handfeeding a newborn litter is NOT something you ever want to do.

March 11th, 2006, 07:40 PM
No the two we got are sisters but the cage they were in had male cats too. We are going to get them spayed when the SPCA sends us our voucher. They like helping with that kind of stuff. We have a stray outside our house now, a female. We won't be taking her in because of the apartment rules but we are leaving small amounts of food out for her too. Also I think the people did get into trouble because I saw in the paper their phone number and how they had numerous animals in need of loving homes for free. So hopefully they will all be lucky and find homes. Thanks again. Lizzie is being VERY affectionate lately, laying with us and on our bed, etc. Kira is still very shy but I am sure with patience and influence from her sister she will eventually come around. I am just surprised at the rate Lizzie is going in adapting to us. I guess we will find out at the vet if she is preggers or not. I don't see any worms in their feces. So I can at least rule that out.

March 15th, 2006, 10:14 PM
how did you go at the vet? :)

March 15th, 2006, 10:37 PM
If your six month old is pregnant, please please have her spayed. Cats do nor debate the ethics of this issue the way we do - it is meaningless to them and only gives her a better chance of surviving well. She is too young, has too many issues and you do not know her health concerns yet to make that decision. No reputaple breeder ever allows her cat to become pegnant at that age and if one od her Queens does, they are aborted VERY quickly!! You may well be looking at a C section and if the SPCA hears that, they might opt to put her to sleep instead!! Plus, mu guess just from hearing about her is that she is in no condition to carry to term healthy kits (do you know the genetics?, the father, what medical issues any of them had?,) A C section is much more expensive and losing her would be even worse if say she gets infected if one of the fetuses becamse stuck in the birth canal. I know a prominant Siamese breeder who is still mourning the loss of her best Queen because of infection when one baby was stuck in the birth canal and the vet had told her all was well when she took mama and babies home. Four hours later , they were back at the vet but even then it was too late - and she had THE BEST CARE possible so even experienced breeders with cats old enough to give birth who herself had years of medical knowledge about cats could not save her beloved cat. A tiny 6 month old cannot possibly have kittens that will be healthy and it the process could very well kill her - IF such kittens survive, she may not know what to do and you will have bottle babies - and I have done that too often. They are cute and even with lots of work, it never replaces a feline mama who can teach them what to do. Bottle babies always have certain issues - mine did even as I loved them dearly and gave them the best possible vet and other care. Young feline moms also have been known to eat their babies, fall on top of them, or just ignore them. Even if she came from a situation where she had recieved good vet care from the time she was born, it would be dangerous. Add to that her added situation and it is pretty well impossible and endangers her life!!!

March 18th, 2006, 09:22 PM
Well not preggers, thank God. I really wouldn't have known what to do in that case. They are just putting a lot of weight on. They are my 'chubbers' now. LOL. They got a checkup, and their Rabies Vacc. Which Kira did NOT like at all... Lizzie just sat there like.. hmm, now what. He wants to wait to give them Feline Distemper cuz he didn't want them to get sick by giving them everything at once. Plus since these are their first shots we have to go back for a series. He took tests for FHIV and Leukemia, waiting for those results. Other than that they are doing really well. Kira is timid but starting to come around. We spent about 20 minutes on the bed today playing with them both. I think they just ate a hole in the catnip bag and they are a little.. well WILD right now. LOL. Tearing around the house, attacking things that aren't there. Guess I am locking that up in the closet. LOL. Alright gotta go, something sounded like it just broke. Still in the process of kitty-proofing but they still manage to find things. :rolleyes:

March 19th, 2006, 06:55 AM
That's great to hear....great job:thumbs up :thumbs up

March 19th, 2006, 09:44 AM
Way to go! With cats it is ALWAYS their decision as what, when, why....etc. Most independant little buggers alive! Yet, very appreciative of a loving human! (even if it takes a little more time) Enjoy your babies!:love: