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Old 10-13-2006, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3-4 month old feral kittens

I'm trapping my first feral colony. I have tamed 1-2 month old kittens before. I have been told that it is very difficult to tame once they are over 2 months. There are 2 about 4 month old kittens. I thought that I would probably just neuter and release. The first one I caught was a bit wild at first, but after a few days, settled down. He only hissed once the first day. I can pick him up and he purrs. It took me a couple of weeks to catch the other one. He still is a little hissy with me. I can pet him, but not pick him up. I have a litter of 2 month olds I am taming so I don't have lots of time to work with just him. How do you know when to tame and when to let go? What is the "norm" for a feral kitten this age? Thanks.
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would not give up on that kitten. As I'm sure you know, four months is still quite young, and many adult feral cats can be tamed with patience. There really isn't a norm, although it's desirable for the kittens to be handled in the first two months. I would continue to interact with this kitten, using treats and interactive toys. I think the fact that you can pet him sounds very promising!

It's very kind of you to take care of this colony!
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My three ferals were 3/4 months old when I got them..... it took me months and im still battling ... only one (blue) really tolerates me as far as the rest are concerned im a handy meal ticket and provider of cat toys and kitty playmates.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some ferals present a real problem, but I know of several people who have tamed ferals caught as adults. It was quite a chore, but it can be done. Don't give up! (Of course, there are some real challenges with adults!)
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dakota26, my litter of formal ferals were 3+ months old when we trapped them. One became completely socialized within a week, one took two or three weeks, and the other two took several months. So there's a lot of variation, even among littermates.

It sounds like the first one you described is most of the way there already. And if you can pet the second one, then he is making good progress and I would hang onto him. Are you going to keep them yourself, or find another permanent home?

If you keep both of the 4-month-olds for awhile, maybe that will serve as a good milieu for the 2-month-old litter, if they see the older ones trusting you and follow their example.

I think it's great that you're doing this, especially with so many of them at once! Best of luck with your colony!
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I plan on finding them good homes once they are socialized. The problem is finding the time to socialize all of them! I think that I am in lucky because with most of them I could touch them within a couple of days or so. They are really scared, but after the first day (except with the last one), they didn't even hiss at me. One has made great progress and should be ready for adoption very soon. One doesn't like to be handled much, she's just a wiggly, active girl, but she purrs often, so that's good.
The kittens were easy to catch. I haven't been able to catch the parents yet. If I don't catch them soon, I'll be taming more kittens! I will just keep trying.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you have anyone who could help you socialize them? Somebody who would be willing to come over now and then, sit quietly with the kittens and try enticing them with treats or toys. If you have any older kids in your family or neighborhood, they might be a good choice, especially if you bribe them with cookies or something.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends completely on each kitten: how much interaction the kitten had with humans, was the mom feral as well, etc I tamed kittens from various ages, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 months and even an adult all became friendly within different times, regardless of their age. Adult ferals that reverted to being feral in order to survive are easier to tame then born ferals that are now adults. Tony my former adult feral was trapped as an adult back in May, and was neutered and released back out to his home range. He was a normal feral, would not eat unless I went in the house, never made a peep to the vet, didnot look back when released. But within months he started to hang around more and more then one day he just walked up to me. Once I touched him I knew he wanted to come in, so I worked with him for weeks till he was brave enough to come in the strange little warm box that we call home
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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A tip for when you are trying to help along
the process of socializing is to be near the food when
you feed them. Also talk to them so they get use to your voice.
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Old 02-05-2007, 02:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. Out of the six that I caught, 4 have been adopted. The 2 I have left are still pretty skittish and don't like to be held. They don't hide though. They will sometimes let me pet them, but are still pretty jumpy.
I took in 2 more semi feral kittens that were living under someone's porch. Today one of them briefly rolled over to let me pet his tummy. I was so thrilled! Then the next time I came in the room he ran to the corner afraid. Poor thing when I first got him he was afraid of toys and hissed and growled at them, now he plays with them.
I appreciate all advice.
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