July 6th, 2004, 07:39 PM
Okay, Little Cat just brought one of the babies to eat. Man oh man, is it a fabulous looking kitten. :)
Anyway, it's good news to see at least one of them finally. This one is about 6 to 7 weeks old. Big enough to stay alone overnight while she goes to get spayed. This is why I've been putting it off, because I didn't know exactly how little her babies were.
LuckyRescue: What's the best way for me to trap them so I can get them to the SPCA or wherever? And then the best way to tame them? I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow and will be gone a week. I probably won't trap them or be able to take the mama until I get back. A friend is catsitting and it's too much to ask her to take care of wild kittens, I think.
Please, please. Send the advice my way.
July 6th, 2004, 07:47 PM
Me again. Already. I'm on my way to get kitten chow of some sort. The baby let me *touch* it, though it spooked and ran off. But it approached me when the mother did, which I take to be a good sign. :)
Boy, is it ever cute.
July 6th, 2004, 08:54 PM
The only way to catch feral cats is in a humane trap. The mother cat is probably pregnant again, so you must catch her soon and have her spayed.
I really suggest catching the baby (is there more than one?) first, then the mother will be easier to catch.
You must get the trap and bait it with something really smelly, like salmon. Don't feed the cat the day before you put the trap out. The trap must out in daylight hours only, so you can watch it. If you see both mother and baby going in, stop them as the kitten could be severely injured when the mother struggles to get free.
If you catch the kitten first, put it in a cat carrier, and put the carrier behind the trap, railcar fashion. Cover the top of both trap and carrier. The mother will enter the trap when she hears her baby cry, thinking she can get to it that way. You can take her to the vet in the trap.
Prepare a room for them and make sure there are no holes or anyplace they can into and make themselves inaccessable. Put a hiding place in, even if it's just a cardboard box with a hole cut into it.
After you do all that, I'll tell you how to go about taming them!!
July 6th, 2004, 09:03 PM
I was wondering about the trap. As much as I try to feed only cats, I do have the occasional possum and raccoon, not to mention the blue jays. Do you think the SPCA will let me borrow one? I only saw one kitten, but I'll keep an eye out. What a cutie it is (I've named it Sneaker Shoe)! It's willing to come near me, at least, which gives me hope as far as taming goes. Luckily, I'm in the process of moving and I have a room cleaned out that they can use now for awhile.
*sighs* I wish that I could keep it, but it's not best right now. Still, nothing is cuter than a kitten.
Thank you for the response, Lucky.
July 6th, 2004, 09:28 PM
Feel free to disagree with me any of you great groups that do more work with ferals than me, but in my experience with ferals the mom will not truely "tame". From what I have read on the subject it is best to spay, test her for diseases such as feleuk, vaccinate her and then keep her in the same area. when you move one feral "out" of an area, generally another one repaces it. There is some really great info out there on maintaining feral colonies, but there always has to be a person in the area dedicated to feeding and monitoring the kitties in the long term. I have to second the spaying advise cause otherwise there will soon be 20 intact feral cats for you to deal with - eek :(. Good for you for looking after these ones!
July 6th, 2004, 10:39 PM
Taming depends on a lot of things. Sometimes a cat is merely a stray who once had a home and gone a bit wild. These ones will generally tame easily.
It also depends on the cat's personality. I have an adult tomcat I trapped last year, and he has tamed so well that it's difficult to tell he was ever wild, yet he was born outside and had never been near humans. His mother, who has been with me for a year, is kind of an "indoor feral" and I have not had great success taming her, but I think that was because she was taken straight from the trap to the vet.
I also have an ex-feral 9 month old cat who I've had since she was 8 weeks old,and she remains totally terrified of everyone but me.
I also trapped 3, 10 - 12 week old kittens (born to the feral momma I have) I tamed them so easily that they were adopted at their first adoption event.:)
Previous to all that, I also trapped and tamed two other feral kittens, and they tamed quite well. In general (although there are exceptions) I find males easier than females.
Taming feral cats is an exercise in patience, and can be very frustrating. But the first time a wild, terrified animal willingly comes to you or gives you a head butt, it's SOOOO worth it!
Here are two of the feral babies I trapped and tamed. Aren't they precious??
July 6th, 2004, 10:49 PM
I just made the acquaintance of who must be the daddy cat. All of my outside cats here are black and white--he is a Maine Coon Cat and the kitten is a brown/grey tabby, so I'm suspicious. Was just thinking that if I can trap him, I'll take him to the vet along with the little mama cat. Him, I will release back into the neighborhood. He's certainly not adoptable and probably lives pretty comfortably around here. He's big, healthy and good looking to boot. I'd seen him a few times before and not connected him to Mr. or Miss Sneaker Shoes.
I'm fairly confident in this case that the mother cat will tame. I wouldn't consider her truly feral. She's more than happy to snag a good belly rub from me when her schedule allows. I've not tried to pick her up, but I'd bet that I probably could.
If I was going to continue living here, I'd spay her and release her back outside with no problems and continue feeding her and get the other cats spayed as I could trap them and could afford to do it. Being a poor college student, I luckily qualify for low-cost spay/neuter certificates. But I have to move in just a couple of weeks. I've become rather attached to her and am committed to finding her a good home or bringing her in to mine. Even if she's never as affectionate as my house cats are, she's welcome to crash on my bed for as long as she wants, or to hide under it even if that suits her fancy. She's not more than about a year old. A little, petite girl and sweet. I've found out from my landlord that a year or so ago, before I moved in, someone had a litter of kittens and instead of even bothering to take them to the SPCA, they just turned them loose. Thus beginning the cat problem.
Another question I'll shoot off to LuckyRescue, probably--Since I do qualify for low-cost spay/neuter certificates and the number I can get is not limited--is it useful for me to get them now and then and donate them to a rescue? It doesn't seems that *I* need to use it specifically. Just a thought.
It shouldn't be allowed that something as cute as a 6 week old kitten should even exist in our often crummy world, should it?
Thanks for all the replies and the advice. I've only been at pets.ca for a short time and I am sure enjoying myself. I will post pictures of my pup and my "cattle" as soon as I figure out how. :P
July 6th, 2004, 11:29 PM
You are a kitty angel PJane :D
I would follow LR's suggestions, she usually knows what she's talking about when it comes to catching and dealing with feral cats and litters.
You are doing an amazing job :D
Casper and Casey, I love the names as well as those lovely face LR :D You're something special
July 6th, 2004, 11:32 PM
Well, I'm trying. My life is exceedingly up in the air right now. I wish I was a little better settled and could take care of all those outside cats.
There's a parable, though, about a man walking down the beach and millions of starfish have washed ashore. A little boy is picking them up, one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. The man stops and says to the boy, "Why are you wasting your time? You can't save them all. It doesn't matter." The little boy picks up a starfish, throws it in the water and says to the man, "It matters to that one."
I try to keep this in mind. :)
July 6th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Nice parable! With that, I can go to bed with happy thoughts! Many thanks PJ!! :)
July 6th, 2004, 11:45 PM
That is so very true :D thank u for that! I love it!
July 6th, 2004, 11:50 PM
The more time I spend here, the more I can't wait to get settled and be able to foster. I probably won't be able to adopt another dog for several years, so fostering will fill the void. Thanks to everyone for being so welcoming. :)
July 7th, 2004, 12:36 AM
She's more than happy to snag a good belly rub from me when her schedule allows
This is NOT a feral cat. My feral cat I"ve had a year still doesnt' allow me to touch her unless she is in "her" room.
Please don't put her back outside. And you aren't just saving one - you are saving HUNDREDS when you think how many litters this cat can have, and how many litters would come from THOSE litters.:)
July 7th, 2004, 07:04 AM
I've been reading your posts very carefully,making sure I get your situation right :D
You are moving in 2 weeks,are you hoping to catch,spay/neuter,re-home these cats in that short time?
Are you then releasing them to the same place?
I must have missed you telling us where you are,hopefully in a place with no winter.Your heart is definetly in the right place,but you do not have much time :(
I once fed"Charlie"a big in tact tom-cat for 3yrs,twice a day winter and summer.A whole group of people including HS tried to trap him,but he outsmarted everyone.The plan was to have him neutered and release him again.At one point he would allow me sit within 10 feet to watch him eat,but that's as far as he would go,even after such a long time.
One day he was just gone,did not come back and I still kick myself for not trying harder to"save"him,I missed his visits very much :(
Good luck to you and the kitties!
July 7th, 2004, 08:51 AM
I'm moving at the end of the month. Admittedly, I should have spayed the mama cat before spring, but I was having major issues with school and money, and feeding her was about all I could handle at the time. Knowing that she's had kittens, and not knowing how big they were until yesterday, I was hesitant to take her to be spayed then because I didn't want them to be without her if they were still depending on nursing. So yes, basically, in the next three weeks, I need to do as much as possible to rehome them, but they won't be released back into the neighborhood. The biggest problem with the move is that I'm moving in with my mother for 6 weeks (along with my indoor cats) after my current lease is up and before the new house is ready. Ellie will go stay with my father. Everything is so up in the air. I have to be satisfied that I'm doing the best I can. I'm in Virginia, by the way.
July 7th, 2004, 09:48 PM
Plainsjane,in no way was I saying you are not doing enough,I understand the situation and know you are doing everything you can.
Hopefully everything will work out ok for mama cat,the kittens and you.
Thank's for caring :)
I've driven through Virginia about 15 times,it's a beautiful state :)
July 7th, 2004, 10:11 PM
No, no. I didn't think you were at all. But you did give me moment to pause and realize what I was up against. I'm going on this damned trip that I wish I wasn't, but it is what it is. I'll update everybody when I get back.
Do you guys think I'll be able to borrow a humane trap from the SPCA?
That would help out a lot.
And yes, Virginia is lovely. :) As a teenager, I used to want to get away and now I never want to leave. This weekend I will be in Iowa. Looking forward to corn and cows, I guess. :rolleyes: But, I've never been there before, so I shouldn't knock it 'til I try it, right?
July 8th, 2004, 12:00 AM
If you can't borrow a trap from the SPCA call a cat rescue and see if they can help you.
I think what you're doing is wonderful and far more then most people would do. The fact that you're spending this time, money, heart and soul to do this is just excellent. You have good karma :D
I'd see if a feral rescue can help you out, you shouldn't do this all on your own. They may have the funds and such (food, cage) and so on.
Edited to add:
July 8th, 2004, 12:25 AM
That's a great site, Luba. Thank you, I'll check them out. I'm in contact also with a dog/cat rescue for which I want to foster in the coming months when I get a little more settled. They may be able to offer assistance too.
Speaking of cats, Mr. Jones wants to type hello to everyone!
My small scale cat rescue will happen. I am sure of it.
July 8th, 2004, 01:30 AM
Another kitten showed up tonight. A little black thing with a white blaze on its chest. I'm feeling good about taming them. They're not wildly afraid and will eat with me sitting out on the stoop near them. It seems to encourage them that the mama lets me pet her, although she's a little more reluctant when they are with her. Anyway, for now, just trying to sit out there and read while they're eating so they get used to me being near. I try to talk sweetly to them and make a little noise and a few somewhat sudden movements. I don't want them to get scared away, but I think it's good for them to be a little startled and notice that I'm there and I move and make noise, but they don't need to be threatened by it.
I'm feeling very, very positive. :D I can do this. Too bad I can't keep them.
July 8th, 2004, 01:46 AM
I'm sorry to keep posting this to death, but I am absolutely giddy about my babies.
Within ten minutes, they'll let me walk in and out of my door while they eat and if I lay my hand on the ground by the food bowl, they'll continue to eat and the little black one (Inky for now) came over and investigated. I get girl vibes from her. She's a brave little thing.
But oh my, there are cats everywhere in this neighborhood. What must be the sister to the mama cat is around as well.
I'll stop gushing about them now. :D
Edited: It's been requested that I name one of the kittens Luba, so if one of them is a girl, then Luba it is. The little black one is a girl, I think! If not, will Lubo work? ;)
July 8th, 2004, 07:34 AM
:p :p :p hahah!
First off thats great stuff with the kitties.
Secondly you can name them 'anything' you want except for ugly LMAO! :D
July 8th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Plainsjane,please keep posting,we love to hear about your progress.
Here where I am HS let me borrow a humane trap for"Charlie"although he was too smart to get into it.
They were even going to neuter him for free and deliver him back here...not an ideal situation,but he had survived for many years,3 of which he was eating twice a day on my deck.
But that's our HS,I don't know about the US.
You know it's gotten to the point where I hate to leave the house to travel,my son stays here with my cats,but he refuses to fed my now 4 crows,my coon or,fill up the birdfeeders.But once we are on the road I'm ok,I need a vacation from my very demanding felines,but at the same time cannot wait to get back home,cause I miss them :D
Will the mama cat be ok while you are gone?
Luba or Lubo sounds good,but how about Anita :D :D :D
July 8th, 2004, 08:46 AM
We need to have a name contest LOL
July 8th, 2004, 09:06 AM
Luba for a girl: Bubba for a boy. And photos? They should be getting used to the click of a camera! I'm jealous and definitely deprived because I want to see them! :D
July 8th, 2004, 07:30 PM
I'll be back Tuesday and I'll start getting them used to the camera's click, I promise! They are cuties. Please feel free to have a name contest. That would be a lot of fun! There might even be more kittens!
Thanks for all your support and help!
July 8th, 2004, 09:39 PM
Never had a cat named after me before :o
Although LR has a dog named after her I know!
This is so exciting, I"m such a kid! LOL