Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > General Forum for cats and dogs

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old May 15th, 2012, 01:38 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Help! feral cat has 3 kittens under my porch

Feral cat has been populating the neighborhood for nearly 2 years and she had 3 kittens under my porch who are 1 month old tomorrow (about 18 days old in photo). She used to bolt at first sight of me but now stays in the box when I leave the food. The cardboard box is now too small for their size + mother. Shouldn't I be putting them in a bigger box. She's very protective and has refused to eat the 3 or 4 times that I've examined her babies. Who knows how she'll react to me changing the box. I don't think I'd approach while she's there, I don't trust her not to attack.

How do I proceed to try and save this family? It crossed my mind to try and trap her and then to transfer the family to a room in my basement. This way I'd be fairly sure to save the kittens but I don't honestly know if this is actually a viable option. If she decides to move them, I'd likely lose sight of them which would result in three more unsterilized feral cats in an already overpopulated neighborhood.

I don't have much real life experience with a situation like this. I live in east end Montreal and the pound is a well known high kill place (Berger Blanc) and I don't know if there are, or how to contact, any TNR (catch neuter release) in my area or even if they could help. Advice of members will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Teresa
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 15th, 2012, 03:47 PM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Thank you for caring for these guys . I'm hoping she is only semi-feral, meaning she has had some life exposure to humans and can get used to them again.

The only way to break the cycle is to spay the momma (she will thank you ) and socialize the kittens to be adopted out.

If it was me, I would try to trap the mom, bring her into the house (locked in a room) along with her kittens. It sounds like in time she will get used to humans. I would not, however try to pick her up or the kittens while she is around because she may indeed get angry. How aggressive has she been with you? How close have you gotten to her?

As for the box, can you put out a bigger box beside the used one and put the blanket (and the kittens) in the new box when momma isn't around? Leaving the scent for them is quite important.

Good luck!
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 15th, 2012, 04:04 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,134
Double Ditto above. I'd try to live trap Mom while the kittens are too small to skitter off and away. You are lucky to find the kittens. I would also guess that the Mom isn't as wild as she lets on, otherwise I doubt she'd have chosen your porch.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 15th, 2012, 08:15 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Thank you Love4 and Longblades. You've confirmed that my options are limited.

Only once did I go to within 4 feet from her when she was in the box and at that range I felt like she might lunge at me. She stiffened and raised her head out and hissed and she was Wide-eyed and yep a bit scary. I've never gotten within 10 yards of her the times that I've seen her crossing through the yard. She takes off like a bat outta hell, but she stops once or twice to look straight at me and hiss. I’d be more than happy to keep her if she’d let me.

The weather was very cold and wet when she had them, which was extra incentive for her to use the box which was under the porch. There's also only one small opening through the trellis side panels to get under there.

I'll start making calls tomorrow to try and find an appropriate cage and cross my fingers this works. If she doesn't become a bit less fearful, socializing the kittens and trapping her a 2nd time after keeping her in the basement could also be difficult. We're moving in August so I won't get another chance to do this. I really hope it works.

Teresa
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 16th, 2012, 06:24 AM
Koteburo's Avatar
Koteburo Koteburo is offline
Willing cat servant
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 843
Thank you for caring for this little family!
Please let us know what happened if you caught her.
I'd do the same as adviced. Capture the mom and put her with her babies in a room until things are good enough to proceed and spay her and socialize the kittens to find homes for them.
And again: Thank you and keep us updated please
__________________
" How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven."
- Robert A. Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 16th, 2012, 08:14 AM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Good luck!
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 16th, 2012, 09:33 AM
marko's Avatar
marko marko is offline
Administrator - Pet lover
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Montreal Quebec Canada
Posts: 11,240
Any updates on this? Thanks and good luck!!
__________________
Please tactfully EDUCATE or IGNORE posters you don't agree with.
Please PM me & Include URLs and post #'s for any issues and it's my pleasure to help.
I'm firm - but fair. Mind the Rules and enjoy your stay.
Newcomers FAQ - How do I post on this BB?
Pet facebook group
Check out the Pet podcast
Follow me on Twitter
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 16th, 2012, 01:52 PM
Edenca Edenca is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 21
Have you tried to research other rescue groups in Montreal? I'm sure there must be a few who would be willing to offer some suggestions. I live in a city of 350,000 and there are at least 8 different groups.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 16th, 2012, 07:10 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Today:

Tried to change the box this morning but mother was fairly aggressive, so I simply stayed put for 3-4 minutes, looked at her, didn't touch kittens, then I left.

Spoke to a person who has worked in rescue shelters and explained possibly live trapping mother and bringing the family into a room in the basement. She advised against this, saying that stress on the mother could cause her to freak out and urinate & defecate & basically do damage.

Went back under porch several times during the day, mother was always there. Each time I took a step closer, stayed calm, then left. An hour ago I went again with the new box and quickly did the switch. She watched me from about 10 feet away. I looked at her for a few minutes then I left. She didn't seem as angry and aggressive as during prior visits.

Just got off the phone with my vet who said that he personally wouldn't try keeping her in the basement and that she could react very negatively. His first suggestion was trying to find someone who'd be willing to bottle feed the kittens beginning now. His second suggestion is that I continue visits under the porch as often as possible like I did today, and see if that elicits a bit more trust from her, and try to do this for 2 more weeks... the kittens would then be 6 weeks old. Of course there's always a risk that mother will decide to move them. I can only cross my fingers that she likes the food & shelter enough to stay.

This project is almost a full time job. I'll post developments.
teresa
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 17th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,134
Well that is not encouraging but I've done it and I'd try it again. If the mother did freak out at least I'd have the kittens. If she didn't then they could nurse. If she did freak out and would harm or not nurse the kittens I'd have her spayed and try to release in a safe spot. Though they may not spay a nursing mother, probably will not, in fact.

I'm thinking of my own basement though. We built a cage and the one feral was able to hide as much as she wanted. The one I have right now was pretty freaked out but now, after + two months, he is ready for a home. A special home. I kept him in a cage in my office where he had to see me many, many times a day but I ignored him as much as I could at first.

I must be totally honest though and I have not had the exact same situation. Not the mother and such young kittens at once. As wild? Yes, but not as wild and with such young kittens. Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 17th, 2012, 08:06 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
It's a delicate situation, that's for sure. Right now, the kittens are in a box that's 26 inches high, and about 2 feet by 3 feet. There's an small table up against the box which is about the same height as the box. Mother can sit/lay on the table when she doesn't want to be in there with the kittens. For now, there's no way those kittens can get out of that box unless she grabs them and jumps out with them. I think she's finding it comfortable, so I'm not pushing my luck by snooping around in there too much. I'm even keeping my own cat inside so as not to annoy her (I saw her picking a fight with my cat a week ago). Tomorrow I'll go to the box store to see if there's an even bigger/higher box for the next transfer of the kittens, who'll become increasingly active in the coming week(s). I have a vet clinic lined up who'll do an emergency sterilization when I trap her, which hopefully will be successful. I'm taking this day by day, hour by hour... she left them alone for quite a while today, nearly all afternoon. I'm hoping that the more she trusts me, the easier it will be to trap her. I'm not giving up that it will all work out for the best.

teresa
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 18th, 2012, 07:17 AM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Yes, the mother could have a fit in your basement for a bit, but then settle down, depending on whether she was ever living in a home before or never adjust to a home. All you can do is try your best, do what you can to try to get her spayed, recovered, then release if she can't adjust to home life. You are her angel and only hope right now

My Sweet Pea took months before she would allow any human to come close enough to get her when she was living on the streets and you know what, when she came into a home, she was so relieved. She was a whole different cat.

Rose was a factory cat who would hiss at me for months while she was in my basement, but now she is the most loving out of all my cats. Still can't pick her up, but she loves being a house kitty. .
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 18th, 2012, 02:08 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,191
There is infact a TNR program in the Montreal area. Please advise your municipality and I will provide you a name of an organization that handles this. Also, they just may assist in placing the babies into forever homes.
Let me know and I will enquire and advise.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old May 18th, 2012, 06:32 PM
14+kitties's Avatar
14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
150% PRO S/N
Starcastle Champion, V:force Champion, UFO Shoot Out Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Disc Dash Champion, Crazy Closet Champion, Railway Line Champion, Penguin Pass Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MYOB
Posts: 15,408
I have and still do when necessary use a large dog crate to contain feral cats. If you would like to try to bring the mom and babies in I would suggest waiting until the kittens are another week or so old - when they have started eating solid foods. Mom will be teaching them soon how to do so.
Once you know they are eating solids you can separate the babies from the mom and then try trapping the mom. It may be fairly easy as she will be looking for her babies. After she is trapped you can reunite them. I did this with a very very feral cat a few years back. I am to this day the only human she will allow close but I pick her up and give her snuggles and kisses every day.
Set up the crate with a sleeping area in the back and a feeding area on one side with a litter box on the other side at the front. That way when you need to clean the litter you don't have to reach over mom to do so. I have had a lot of success doing it this way over the years. At the moment I have rigged two crates (one had two doors) together and have a momma stray with her five babies in it. The one crate is for sleeping and playing. The other is for eating and litter. Although don't tell the kitties that. They think it's all for playing!!!
Take BenMax up on her offer of giving you a t/n/r name. She is a wonderful resource in that area. You should be able to pick up a fairly cheap used dog crate in the wanted ads or kijiji.
__________________
Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old May 18th, 2012, 08:19 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Thank you all so much for your input and kindness and support. Thank you.

Love4, I don't think mother as ever lived indoors. I've watched her for about 2 years now. She had a litter last year same time under a neighbor's porch and I think that was her first; this neighbor was not very kind to her. She had another litter last fall and a kind person I know bottle fed them from birth and successfully adopted them out. One attempt to trap her in my basement failed and she seemed pretty wise to my few other attempts after that. I might still bring her indoors, but at the moment that feels more like a last resort option. I have other obstacles to bringing her indoors not the least of which is my house is for sale and I have a dog who's still not calm around cats.

BenMax, I live in Rosemont-Petite-Patrie.

14+ the dog crate idea sounds good! I'm gonna start looking for 1 or 2 tonight.

If I'm to separate them and trap her after the kittens start eating solid food, then I should put some food in their box soon. I don't want the mother to take them out of the box to show them how to catch their dinner.

Thank you everyone, I appreciate it. I have to believe it's all gonna work out. I hope I can find those cages, that would allow for mother staying with kittens as long as possible. I'll keep checking in.

teresa
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old May 19th, 2012, 01:53 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
I saw mother carrying a kitten toward the back of the yard this morning. I had to take that kitten from her as well as another one she'd already moved. All 3 kittens are now back inside their cardboard box which I've placed inside a large dog crate, and the crate is right up against the trap cage. Mother will hopefully walk into trap cage for the food in there and to retrieve her kittens.

I really need her to walk into that cage... otherwise, I have 3 one-month old kittens that will really have to be fed some other way.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old May 19th, 2012, 02:36 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
How long can these kittens go without their feeding? They've been separated from mother since about 7a.m.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old May 19th, 2012, 09:57 PM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
I have her!! Took until 9:45 p.m. We just transferred mom from the trap cage into the dog crate with her babies. Thank god!!

What a harrowing day it's been. I didn't have time to find a used dog crate so I had to buy a new one because everything just happened so fast today. My next hurdle will be making it comfortable for this little family to spend another 4 to 6 weeks together. I hope I can find a used affordable dog crate to use with the new one. The SPCA gave me an email address to reach someone about a TNR program. I'll post photos as soon as I can.

teresa
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old May 19th, 2012, 11:15 PM
14+kitties's Avatar
14+kitties 14+kitties is offline
150% PRO S/N
Starcastle Champion, V:force Champion, UFO Shoot Out Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, Mission To Mars Champion, Disc Dash Champion, Crazy Closet Champion, Railway Line Champion, Penguin Pass Champion
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: MYOB
Posts: 15,408
That is great news. I'm sorry I was working when you posted earlier. I would have had you put in some watered down canned cat or kitten food for the kittens and/or some kitten milk. You can get it at good pet stores. At the age they are they will be ok. Especially now that mom is with them. Can you put some food in the crate for her? I'm sure she will settle. Be careful opening the door that she doesn't run for it. Open it only far enough to do what needs done.

If you are going to get another crate you'll have to make sure it has two doors so you can attach the crates with one door opening and still have another door to work with/open to clean boxes/etc.

Good job!!! You are on your way to being a fantastic cat rescuer!!!
__________________
Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old May 20th, 2012, 12:44 AM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 633
You did a great job, and are such a nice person to devote so much time an care into helping the Mom and her kittens. Thank You.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old May 22nd, 2012, 09:30 PM
Koteburo's Avatar
Koteburo Koteburo is offline
Willing cat servant
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by lindapalm View Post
You did a great job, and are such a nice person to devote so much time an care into helping the Mom and her kittens. Thank You.
I have to agree with the quote above
Thank you~
__________________
" How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven."
- Robert A. Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old May 23rd, 2012, 02:23 PM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
YAY! How are they doing?
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:17 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
Thank you for caring for these guys . I'm hoping she is only semi-feral, meaning she has had some life exposure to humans and can get used to them again.

The only way to break the cycle is to spay the momma (she will thank you ) and socialize the kittens to be adopted out.

If it was me, I would try to trap the mom, bring her into the house (locked in a room) along with her kittens. It sounds like in time she will get used to humans. I would not, however try to pick her up or the kittens while she is around because she may indeed get angry. How aggressive has she been with you? How close have you gotten to her?

As for the box, can you put out a bigger box beside the used one and put the blanket (and the kittens) in the new box when momma isn't around? Leaving the scent for them is quite important.

Good luck!
I would not touch the kittens , this could made the mother reject them when she smell a human scene on her kittens. The cats could also have a lot fleas and they would get on the OP pets.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old May 23rd, 2012, 11:24 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,924
Quote:
Originally Posted by althe View Post
Feral cat has been populating the neighborhood for nearly 2 years and she had 3 kittens under my porch who are 1 month old tomorrow (about 18 days old in photo). She used to bolt at first sight of me but now stays in the box when I leave the food. The cardboard box is now too small for their size + mother. Shouldn't I be putting them in a bigger box. She's very protective and has refused to eat the 3 or 4 times that I've examined her babies. Who knows how she'll react to me changing the box. I don't think I'd approach while she's there, I don't trust her not to attack.

How do I proceed to try and save this family? It crossed my mind to try and trap her and then to transfer the family to a room in my basement. This way I'd be fairly sure to save the kittens but I don't honestly know if this is actually a viable option. If she decides to move them, I'd likely lose sight of them which would result in three more unsterilized feral cats in an already overpopulated neighborhood.

I don't have much real life experience with a situation like this. I live in east end Montreal and the pound is a well known high kill place (Berger Blanc) and I don't know if there are, or how to contact, any TNR (catch neuter release) in my area or even if they could help. Advice of members will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Teresa
I was thinking if you could put a pill in the cat food to made the mother relax a little and got some good heavy gloves and another person to help you put the mother in a crate. Then you would be able to bring them all to no kill a shelter. Does this sound too crazy??
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old May 25th, 2012, 09:32 AM
althe althe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Montreal
Posts: 36
Hello everyone,

I wanted to share recent developments with you all. I’m attaching a photo of the two dog crates we have joined together for this feral mom and her 3 kittens.

This cat is not just a bit feral, she’s feral period and shows no signs at all of ever having had any human contact. She growls and hisses and is threatening and she has lunged at me through the crate a couple times. I approach with extreme caution only to clean litter and leave food.

The feral mother has been inside this crate/housing for 5-6 days now and she is clearly very stressed. She has destroyed all the strips of cardboard we had tied around the bottom of crates simply to protect kittens from larger openings and she has been gradually destroying the very sturdy cardboard box the kittens were born in which we had placed inside the crate. This entire housing unit has been covered over with blankets; it’s placed in a workshop area behind the garage where there’s almost no noise or traffic. She does not use the litter box normally like a domesticated cat; a few times she has done her business outside the box and then emptied the litter box to cover her mess. Several times I found the litter box had been completely emptied it I could find no evidence that she had peed/pooed; she had just emptied the box. Maybe this is also a sign of stress. She eats the food I leave her.

The kittens are 5 weeks old this week. One of the 3 started exploring around the crate-housing 48 hours ago and started nibbling on the wet cat food. The other 2 only started this morning. I don’t spend any time with them, I don’t handle them. They will stay with their mother until at least 8 weeks old (approx. June 18). I’ve found a family for 1 kitten and still have to find homes for the other 2.

I’ve spoken with someone who’s involved in a local csr/tnr program. Thank god I have this person’s support and help because there’s no way I would have known how to proceed from this point onward. I’ve been given a lot of information about how to deal with a feral cat in this situation, which is not easy, fairly complicated, and sadly, does not always have a positive outcome.

If I have correctly understood, this is how it will unfold: After the kittens are separated from mother, I will transport her to a clinic where she’ll be tested for feline aids/leukemia. If she tests positive for either of these diseases, she’ll be euthanized. If she tests negative, she’ll be spayed. She will not be released back into my [her] neighborhood because I have immediate neighbors who have told me they would kill her, and this is the general point of view of many people around here. She will therefore have to be relocated to a new environment, and this will be the most difficult part of this whole experience.

I’ve been told that, based on the past experiences of relocating feral cats, approximately 40% have been lost; they simply disappeared so were possibly killed by vehicles or starved for lack of finding a food source. These ferals simply don’t successfully root to their new environment despite the work that dedicated people do to carefully and gradually try to acclimate them to the new environment before completely releasing them.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I will be moving away in a couple months and after watching this cat for nearly two years just barely survive our harsh winters and have three litters under the bushes, I simply couldn’t leave without at least trying to do something to at least stop this cycle. I have no experience with rescue, I have limited resources, and if it wasn’t for the support and advice of animal lovers on this website and the help of my local SPCA and the connection they gave me to a person who is dedicated and knowledgeable about feral cats, I would have been lost.

Thank you all for being here and for helping me. I will start another thread early next week in the hope of finding a guardian angel for this feral cat, because she really is going to need a guardian angel in about one month’s time if she’s going to have any chance of surviving.

teresa
Attached Images
  
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old May 25th, 2012, 09:53 AM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingdog View Post
I would not touch the kittens , this could made the mother reject them when she smell a human scene on her kittens. The cats could also have a lot fleas and they would get on the OP pets.
I don't think so.
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old May 25th, 2012, 10:03 AM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by althe View Post
Hello everyone,

I wanted to share recent developments with you all. I’m attaching a photo of the two dog crates we have joined together for this feral mom and her 3 kittens.

This cat is not just a bit feral, she’s feral period and shows no signs at all of ever having had any human contact. She growls and hisses and is threatening and she has lunged at me through the crate a couple times. I approach with extreme caution only to clean litter and leave food.

This is the way Rose reacted when she was caged in at the HS, she was a totally different cat at home. I think it was fear making her behave in such a way. Even I was scared of her when I visited her during her short stay there and I had her in my home for months before that.

The feral mother has been inside this crate/housing for 5-6 days now and she is clearly very stressed. She has destroyed all the strips of cardboard we had tied around the bottom of crates simply to protect kittens from larger openings and she has been gradually destroying the very sturdy cardboard box the kittens were born in which we had placed inside the crate. This entire housing unit has been covered over with blankets; it’s placed in a workshop area behind the garage where there’s almost no noise or traffic. She does not use the litter box normally like a domesticated cat; a few times she has done her business outside the box and then emptied the litter box to cover her mess. Several times I found the litter box had been completely emptied it I could find no evidence that she had peed/pooed; she had just emptied the box. Maybe this is also a sign of stress. She eats the food I leave her.


Once again, that was how Rose was when I first had her in the kitten room. Every morning & evening, I had to sweep the litter back into the box . Are you cleaning with an enzyme cleaner? I found a deeper litter box was much better for her. She stopped chewing every piece of cardboard about 2 years after she came to me.

The kittens are 5 weeks old this week. One of the 3 started exploring around the crate-housing 48 hours ago and started nibbling on the wet cat food. The other 2 only started this morning. I don’t spend any time with them, I don’t handle them. They will stay with their mother until at least 8 weeks old (approx. June 18). I’ve found a family for 1 kitten and still have to find homes for the other 2.

I think the earlier you start handling the kittens, the better. AND I would be handling them away from their momma if possible so momma can't react aggressively towards you, teaching the kittens that humans are bad

I’ve spoken with someone who’s involved in a local csr/tnr program. Thank god I have this person’s support and help because there’s no way I would have known how to proceed from this point onward. I’ve been given a lot of information about how to deal with a feral cat in this situation, which is not easy, fairly complicated, and sadly, does not always have a positive outcome.

It is very difficult when the cat doesn't have a background with humans

If I have correctly understood, this is how it will unfold: After the kittens are separated from mother, I will transport her to a clinic where she’ll be tested for feline aids/leukemia. If she tests positive for either of these diseases, she’ll be euthanized. If she tests negative, she’ll be spayed. She will not be released back into my [her] neighborhood because I have immediate neighbors who have told me they would kill her, and this is the general point of view of many people around here. She will therefore have to be relocated to a new environment, and this will be the most difficult part of this whole experience.

I’ve been told that, based on the past experiences of relocating feral cats, approximately 40% have been lost; they simply disappeared so were possibly killed by vehicles or starved for lack of finding a food source. These ferals simply don’t successfully root to their new environment despite the work that dedicated people do to carefully and gradually try to acclimate them to the new environment before completely releasing them.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I will be moving away in a couple months and after watching this cat for nearly two years just barely survive our harsh winters and have three litters under the bushes, I simply couldn’t leave without at least trying to do something to at least stop this cycle. I have no experience with rescue, I have limited resources, and if it wasn’t for the support and advice of animal lovers on this website and the help of my local SPCA and the connection they gave me to a person who is dedicated and knowledgeable about feral cats, I would have been lost.

Thank you all for being here and for helping me. I will start another thread early next week in the hope of finding a guardian angel for this feral cat, because she really is going to need a guardian angel in about one month’s time if she’s going to have any chance of surviving.

teresa
I hope you find one . I'll pm cpietra to see if she has any suggestions for momma.
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old May 25th, 2012, 10:30 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,134
I'm not going to say your feral Momma is the same as the cat I have but perhaps if I relate my current experience you will be a bit reassured.

I know this kitten was born feral. His Mum might have been a dumpee but he is the result. Along with two sisters who are now both ordinary house pets and were trapped at age 6 months.

He, the one I have, was about age 7 months when live trapped, now 11 or 12 months.

He acted just like your Momma cat, out of fear I am convinced. I mean the hissing and aggressive behaviour. Except he only charged the door at the Vet's. Here he cowered at the back of his cardboard box. He took a nice slice out the Vet's hand when she tried to sex him pre-neuter. Have my doubts about that Vet.

He also ripped up his cardboard box. I'm sure it was stress but as it seemed to be an outlet to relieve the stress I left the cardboard. I did look every day to assess whether the amount of new cardboard shreds seemed to match what was missing from the box. Other wise I was afraid if he ate it there would be trouble. I'm sure he didn't eat it.

Luckily for me he was very good in the litterbox and did not go outside it.

Once I started playing with him, with a stick that wiggled, he would get stressed and hyperventilate/pant. I was very careful to not look him in the eye and to make conservative hand motions.

Long story short he is not completely tame but is now loose in my house during the day, gated in my office at night. He will come to me and ask for a pet or a play but I cannot pick him up. I am clicker training him to that end but it makes my dog think he is missing out. He is ready for a home. This kitten that both the Vet and the cat rescue said was not worth the bother and to just neuter and release back where he was found.

I heartily agree with L4h that handling the kittens as young as you can is imperative. A 5 or 6 week old that we had was tame enough to go to a new home in a month and a half. If they are going to be pets the younger the better for handling.

ETA: Oh, and your crate arrangement looks GREAT. Hmmm, my OH made a special crate because I was afraid even the bigger kitten might be able to get though the grid on my dog crate. Or at least try and get stuck. How big is the grid on that dog crate?
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old May 25th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Love4himies's Avatar
Love4himies Love4himies is offline
Rescue is my fav. breed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boating in the 1000 Islands
Posts: 17,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
I was very careful to not look him in the eye and to make conservative hand motions.

L
Great point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still do this with Rose if I want to pat her in a room or position is not one of the "normal, safe place to be pat" ones.
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old May 25th, 2012, 04:33 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
I don't think so.
http://www.ehow.com/about_6453197_wo...-kittens_.html




I had rescued homeless cats and they had fleas.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:29 AM.