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Has anyone else taken in feral cats?

(16 Posts)
Amapoleon Tue 06-Jan-09 12:48:16

A couple of months ago I found 2 kittens [approx 2 or 3 weeks old} in a bush. Anyway I took them home and have bottle fed them and they have thrived.

They really are feral in the true sense of the word as their mother would have been one of the cats that lives at the bins. The only problem I am having with them is that they are terrible scavengers and it doesn't matter how many times I feed them they are always stealing food. I wonder if this is because the have no domesticity in their blood. They come from generations of wild cats and therefore it is natural for them to scavenge.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 06-Jan-09 12:52:27

Yes we had one. Feral adult cat. My mum brought her home after the factory owners she worked for threatened to shoot her because she was pg and they didn't want her bringing kittens into the factory.

She ended up being a lovely old thing. We kept her untill she had her kittens and then flea'd and wormed her and rehomed her with a nice old lady.

She had no problems with stealing food but some of her kittens did. My cat tries to steal food of your fork as its going into your mouth if you let him. I think its just a case od some cats steal food some don't.

MrsSeanBean Tue 06-Jan-09 12:59:09

I adopted a 4 week old feral kitten and had no problems whatever. He's 8 now and very loving and domesticated. He is also extremely tolerant of ds who likes to chase him and pull his tail if he can. He has no feral tendencies whatsoever. He is a house cat though.

Maybe you need to give the kittens more food. Sorry, I don't mean to be rude or imply that you are underfeeding them, but they do need a lot at that age as they are so active and growing. Have you tried specialist 'kitten food'. Or fish?

Cats are not natural gluttons and will only eat when they are hungry.

The fact that there are 2 of them may be a factor; they may be competing for the food. Try feeding them apart?? Am a long time cat owner so happy to help if you have other questions.

MrsSeanBean Tue 06-Jan-09 13:01:04

PS. My cat was a true feral stray from a factory as well. He had fallen down a cavity wall and been trapped for 3 days. The vet said it was miraculous that he survived. When the RSPCA rescued him they found another dead kitten with him. sad

MadreInglese Tue 06-Jan-09 13:01:15

We have a great big fat fluffy well-fed domestic not-at-all-feral cat and he still scavenges, always coming come with the spoils of someone else's bin!

flibertyplus2 Tue 06-Jan-09 13:02:13

We rescued 2 feral kittens 8 years ago and they still eat spiders and woodlice and hunt a bit but they have become very domesticated.

Ours were found by a friend. They were living in a skip at the steelworks at about 3-4 weeks old. It looks like their mother had been killed as they were starving and quite ill. We used dry food for them, which could be left out all day every day and they are fairly good at regulating their diet as they have grown.

Six years ago we also rescued 2 kittens that had been dumped in a town at about 6 weeks old but perfectly healthy. They must have lived in a house beforehand as they were comfortable around people and in a house. They are terrible scavengers and have a taste for curry and pizza - probably from living on food from the bins behind the takeaway shops.

AccidentalMum Tue 06-Jan-09 13:02:18

We had two and the kittens of one and they all domesticated to different extents. The mum used to hunt for her litter even though we provided food.

CaptainKarvol Tue 06-Jan-09 13:05:11

my mum has 2 feral (factory cat) kittens, now big fat grown up cats. They are domesticated, but have never, ever been friendly 'lap-cats'. They pretty much ignore everyone except my mum, the food-provider. Won't be stroked, won't be cuddled.

MrsSeanBean Tue 06-Jan-09 13:07:23

In contrast, my feral cat is the biggest lap cat ever! He is always trying (and usually succeeding) to sit on my lap when I'm MNing and dribbles when he's stroked. When I was single I used to sleep with him on my bed.

bella29 Tue 06-Jan-09 14:20:48

Yes, have had feral kittens that turned out to be the soppiest house cats in the world wink My current ex-feral likes nothing better than to lie in my lap, kneading away while she chews my sweater and dribbles...

Would second MrsBean's advice re feeding (not to mention her taste in men! [grin} ).

When they are kittens it is fine to leave dry food out for them at all times.

Best of luck...

bella29 Tue 06-Jan-09 14:22:14

oh, and my feral girl is quite a picky eater now, whereas one of my truly domesticated cats is the scavenger....wink

Ecmo Tue 06-Jan-09 14:33:12

My feral cat would take anything left out whether in a packet or not. Eg bread left on the kitchen units. She couldn't get in our bins but would tear through bin liners if left out. She was truly feral. Rescued by a friend who found her on a farm suffering from cat flu when very young.
She never liked being handled and completely savaged our vet the first time we took her. I did warn him but I don't think he really believed that she was feral just a bit wild.
She loved our dogs and did become a bit more affectionate when older, but was always a bit of a thief.

Amapoleon Tue 06-Jan-09 15:06:50

Wow! Thanks for all the advice. I will up their food and feed them separately . They are very loving and one is a real lap cat. They will steal anything though. I caught them with garlic yesterday.

MrsSeanBean Tue 06-Jan-09 15:40:11

Hi Bella! wink

bella29 Tue 06-Jan-09 19:44:42

Hello Mrs B!

Did you finally get through all those lovely piccies I sent you of our man Sean? grin

Apolgies for the hijack, Amapoleon - we're mad, and mad about the same lovely swashbuckling handsome devil of a man <swoon>

MrsSeanBean Tue 06-Jan-09 21:39:37

Yes Bella, thank you!

<<tongue hanging out emoticon>>

He's the best! grin

(Also apologise Amapoleon!)

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