Feral kitten and personal hygiene

(18 Posts)
Molecule Wed 07-Sep-16 13:47:30

We bought a property some moths ago with a large number of semi-feral cats. With the help of the Cats' Protection we have manged to neuter pretty much all of them, and they all seem healthy and to have suffered no ill effects.

My two eldest daughters went to feed them on Monday to find a smallish kitten wandering amongst them. It wasn't at all scared, and didn't seem to have a mother protecting it. They caught it and brought it home, having stopped at Pets at Home to stock up on kitten essentials. It doesn't seem at all fazed and by Tuesday morning was purring when stroked, and is now playing with toys, sitting on knees and using its litter tray.

It is very thin, you can really feel its backbone and ribs, and was starving, but is eating well, purring as soon as its food is put down. I'm taking it to the vets tomorrow for flea and worming treatments (and to find out its sex). But there is one problem, it has hard poo stuck its fur, on its tail and hind leg. How do I get this off? It appears to be old, as it's very meticulous about its personal hygiene now. I don't want to hurt the kitten by pulling on its fur. Do you think the vet will be able to trim it off?

Here are some photos, can anyone tell how old it might be?

MerryMarigold Wed 07-Sep-16 13:50:35

Very sweet! He looks a bit like ours and we got him at 8 weeks but hard to tell without a human as a size reference. The vet will definitely tell you as my friend got a kitten who they said was 8 weeks but when she took him to vet they said he was closer to 6 weeks.

ALemonyPea Wed 07-Sep-16 13:53:33

I adopted an orphan kitten who was rubbish at cleaning herself. A damp flannel helps, mimick the small movements the kitten would do to clean itself.

Do you have any cats? My male cat took it upon himself to pin el stinko down and try clean her himself.

cozietoesie Wed 07-Sep-16 14:23:46

Hard to tell age but I'd guess about 6 weeks. That's only a guess, mind.

Molecule Wed 07-Sep-16 14:56:47

He's very difficult to photograph well, and looks bigger in a photo than he seems in life, but here are a couple more. He now climbs onto a knee for a cuddle. We do have cats but they have had to learn to be quite alert owing to a sharp little dog, so not really conductive to introducing a young kitten.

We can't quite believe how quickly he has settled in, the other 15 feral cats won't let anyone close, and were very unimpressed at being trapped and neutered.

thecatneuterer Wed 07-Sep-16 14:58:52

I would say 8 weeks. And yes, a damp flannel would be my choice.

Puffinity Wed 07-Sep-16 19:00:49

Can I just say I am amazed at the efforts you went to get all the ferals neutered? Not everyone would do that, and it was a really good thing to do! Hope things go well with the kittie at the vets!

cozietoesie Wed 07-Sep-16 19:32:23

It looks like a little boy to me as well. grin Absolutely no justification for saying that of course. (And certainly without a scrutiny of 'personal parts'. wink)

Barksdale Wed 07-Sep-16 20:04:51

If he's 6-8 weeks he's within the kitten socialisation window.

www.arflife.org/files/pdf/foster/kitten-socializing.pdf

Here is a chart - try to tick off as much as you can in the next couple of weeks (if kitten is six weeks) and you will have a tame pet rather than a feral. Putting the work in will make the next 16 years so much easier!

Barksdale Wed 07-Sep-16 20:06:25

(That's why the ferals wouldn't let you close, because they weren't socialised)

RubbishMantra Wed 07-Sep-16 20:58:17

He may have lost his mum, or be only first generation feral, and the domesticated genes are still strong. Or even perhaps a lost kitten, who heard/smelled other cats, and sought them out.

Congratulations on your new addition! Also lovely to read about you taking on the care of the semi-feral colony. smile

Liara Wed 07-Sep-16 21:14:14

I just adopted two ferals too, one was found by our dogs and brought in to us at about 4-5 weeks old (according to vet's best guess), the other we have just got at about 2.5-3 months.

They are probably littermates.

The difference is incredible. The one we got earlier was adopted by our male 2yo cat (who is an enormous 8kg beast, so it was rather cute seeing the enormous and the tiny cat) and played with, licked and stimulated by him as well as by us. One month on and she is an independent, well adapted cat who takes care of all her needs and needs nothing more than food and water provided (though cuddles are welcome).

The other is a scared, shy little thing who cries if I go too far, uses her litter very erratically (will use it if it is near, but won't walk across the room to get to it) and just wants to be held all day long.

This last one is only just starting to clean herself, and did have a fair bit of poo stuck to her bum. I cleaned it off with wet kitchen roll, which she didn't like much but tolerated OK.

You can find out its sex by looking at its bum. If the two orifices are round and fairly separated it is a male, if the second orifice is more slitted and fairly close to the anus then it is a female.

Molecule Thu 08-Sep-16 11:34:57

Back from the vet's. She is very underweight, full of fleas and worms and has a snotty nose. Been sprayed with flea killer and sent home with antibiotics (one fifth of a tablet twice a day) and wormer. She pooed all over the carrier so had to have an extensive clean up at the vet's which she didn't rate but other than that conducted herself very well, has now discovered she can climb up and sit on my shoulder.

Vet said as she is so underweight it's difficult to tell her age, but (as we all thought) between 6 and 8 weeks.

She is definitely one of the feral cats' kittens, as we were told that one of the cats was lactating when she was spayed, and the property is too isolated for a young kitten to have wandered over.

Now we just need to think of a name.

Barksdale Thu 08-Sep-16 12:01:35

I'll suggest Polly, as she likes to ride on your shoulder like a parrot. Enjoy your lovely little fluff! You're amazing for getting all the cats neutered and for helping the little one.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Thu 08-Sep-16 17:56:08

What an adorable little ball of fun. She's scrumptious.
Suggestions for a name
Willow
Winnie
Ebony
Tara

PovertyPain Thu 08-Sep-16 18:01:59

Flea'onna..
Cat'trina.
C'fer, as in C'fer cat.

MerryMarigold Fri 09-Sep-16 15:30:53

Phloebe wink

Molecule Fri 09-Sep-16 19:01:00

Thanks for all the names, I love Flea'onna but have been over ruled by my family. They want Taffy but I think that's a boy's name, so I'm calling her Saffy as a compromise.

This morning she was covered in poo as she's been sleeping in her litter tray, but was quite cooperative about being cleaned with a damp flannel. She finally sussed today that the soft blanket is a better place to sleep, so hopefully there won't be too much more poo.

When I fed the ferals yesterday I noticed another kitten, but this one was about 12 weeks old so there's still more to do regarding trying to stabilise the population. I'm not sure what we can do long term about them as the property is being developed at some stage, and far from dispersing they all look very contented, I guess as they're not thinking about sex all the time now they're just relaxing and enjoying life. I do feel cross with the previous owners who "loved" the kittens so didn't neuter any of the cats, but never handled them either, making it extremely hard to find homes for them.

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