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Urgent kitten taming question

(52 Posts)
Kittynapper Sat 24-Aug-19 19:32:58

There's a mother cat with four kittens behind my house. They are all feral. I want to tame the kittens so the can be adopted.

I reckoned the kittens were about 8 weeks old so ok to separate from the mother so I brought three of them in. They nearly took my hands off, vicious little things. When I was catching them I heard the mother cat hiss at me and now I'm worried that they are too young to leave their mum.

Here are some photos. Are they old enough?

OP’s posts: |
RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 19:35:08

Put them back! You've no idea how old they are, poor things.

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Sat 24-Aug-19 19:36:18

They look bigger than the 6 week old I’m hand rearing

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-Aug-19 19:39:32

They do look about 8 weeks.

I cat trapped a feral kitten years ago in my garden, no sign of mum at all. Kitten was under my hen house by himself for 24 hours and distressed. Gave the kitten to a neighbour along with a dog crate. They kept him in a crate in the living room for weeks so he could get used to them. He was wild as anything. When I let him out the cat trap in my bathroom he literally ran up the wall!

Kitten is now the tamest adult cat ever.

Dontfuckingsaycheese Sat 24-Aug-19 19:41:29

Not sure that 'feral' cats can be made into tame friendly house pets. It's not necessarily just nurture but their breeding. More suited to being outside like farm-cats.

Ilikecurrybest Sat 24-Aug-19 19:42:44

Well done for trying to help them - I don’t know a lot about such young kittens but Could you contact cats protection? I think they will tehome and take care of vaccinations and neuter too!

mrscatmad31 Sat 24-Aug-19 19:43:24

Please contact cats protection, they will help you

RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 19:44:19

Apparently, you've left it a tad late

www.animalalliancenyc.org/wordpress/2013/05/the-best-age-for-taming-feral-kittens/

If you can catch the mum might be worth getting her spayed.

Lilzpk Sat 24-Aug-19 19:45:11

Find a tnr rescue to help you trap mum and any remaining kittens she can still nurse them in a cage, get her spayed and put her back, the kittens can be tamed but it will patience and experience

SaddleGoose Sat 24-Aug-19 19:46:45

Definitely contact cats protection and they can advise what to do. I'm not surprised their mum hissed though, wouldn't you if your babies were being taken away? And they're not vicious, just petrified! 🙄

EveryFlightBeginsWithAFall Sat 24-Aug-19 19:47:18

I know someone who has tamed feral kittens , she’s never been able to catch Mum but she manages to catch the kittens every year . You probably need to find someone who knows what they are doing

RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 19:48:07

You probably need to find someone who knows what they are doing

^ This

bodgeitandscarper Sat 24-Aug-19 19:48:44

I wholeheartedly disagree that feral cats can't become domesticated, having tamed six of my own. A rescue I support also has its motto that there is no such thing as a feral cat, only a frightened cat.
With kittens especially it is easier for them to adapt, but they are all terrifyingly fierce in the beginning!
This link might help with some tips:- www.theluckyfew.org/site/feral_cats.html
A crate can prove invaluable in taming kittens too,it's surprising how quickly they can come round.

Kittynapper Sat 24-Aug-19 19:50:22

Thanks. I checked online and spoke to a cat rescue volunteer today before I caught them. If they are left outside they'll be hungry and homeless feral cats. I really want to save them from that and tame them if I can. The sooner they're inside the sooner I can start to socialise them.

I couldn't catch the fourth one. I worry that the mother will suffer losing the three of them suddenly if they aren't fully weaned yet. Maybe the remaining kitten nursing will ease the transition?

They ran behind the sofa and have been completely silent since I brought them in confused

OP’s posts: |
RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 19:54:57

I know nothing about taming ferals, but when you bring a cat home they advise you to put them in their own room initially as their territory to lessen the stress by not expecting them to be around you all the time. I wouldn't have thought you should put them in your living room, if that's what you've done. Have you ever had cats?

Costacoffeeplease Sat 24-Aug-19 19:55:02

I have tamed lots of feral kittens. I put them in a large cage and start by touching/stroking them with a plastic rod (from a cat fishing rod toy) this gets them used to the feeling of being touched.

I don’t leave food in the cage so that they associate me with food and usually within 2-3 days they’re much calmer and I can gently stroke them.

HappyHammy Sat 24-Aug-19 19:57:05

I expect they are frightened and missing their mum. They wont be litter trained or used to catfood. Are you putting food water and shelter out for mum and the remaining kitten. I'd ask if a rescue could take them and trap the others. They will need vaccination and worming and being sexed and spayed.

Kittynapper Sat 24-Aug-19 20:43:41

RedCowboyBoots, I've had loads of cats over the years so I have plenty of experience, but not specifically separating kittens from their mother and taming wild cats. The room the kittens are in is a room with an "airlock" - I can close one door behind me before I open then next one so more secure.

SaddleGoose, of course you are right, they're not vicious. I'll treat them well and hope that eventually they'll calm down and trust me. I feel terrible about taking the babies from their mother! That's why I posted here, because although I was following the advice it just felt wrong to take the kittens away. I've been feeding their mum for months so we have a kind of understanding. Now she'll see me as pure evil and I hate the thought of that.

I've been in touch with local call protection previously about the stray cats and again today about these kittens. They were very unhelpful indeed. I think they are overrun with cats, particularly at this time of year, and very short of money. I was told they could give me only 20% off the cost of neutering and that they are very short of TNR traps and I'll be waiting several weeks for one.

I have my own little cat family to care for so all this is on top of that.

bodgeitandscarper That's a really helpful link. I'm working my way down it, thanks.

OP’s posts: |
sweetkitty Sat 24-Aug-19 20:48:44

She won’t see you as evil they would be getting to an she shed be weaning them herself. Keep trying to catch Mum and the other kitten, please ask for help from Cats Protection it another charity to get Mum spayed before the poor thing is pregnant again (very quickly)

HappyHammy Sat 24-Aug-19 20:56:47

Maybe mum.will.come looking.for her kittens.. can you put them In a crate or.basket and leave the door open. Mum might be able to get in then you can trap her especially if she has the 4th one
Can the blue cross help with neutering
Whereabouts are you. Maybe we know if local rescues.

Kittynapper Sat 24-Aug-19 21:10:01

I just put food and water out for the mum and remaining kitten and the mum ran up to me, clearly hoping I was bringing back her kittens sad I feel like a terrible person. I'll get a trap as soon as I can

I'm in Ireland so there's only the local animal rescue charity who are overwhelmed. I'll push them to lend me a trap asap but then I'll be paying for the spaying myself.

OP’s posts: |
HappyHammy Sat 24-Aug-19 21:16:14

Can mum be coaxed inside, can you follow her to find the last kitten.

RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 21:16:39

I would seriously put them back if it were me. It seems very unfair and they are wild animals- just because they can be domesticated doesn't mean they need to be.

RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 21:16:55

Poor mother cat. sad

RedCowboyBoots Sat 24-Aug-19 21:24:42

Hiding this thread as too upsetting. I hope you can reunite the mother cat with her kittens, op.

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