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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Tough Choice, Need Help.

We have a wild cat who roams around and every time she has a litter, she brings them to our home. She has had litters before and everytime they get eaten by preditors. So now she has a new litter. There are five kittens and we decided to take them into the house and raise them and find homes before they could be eaten. My best guess is they are six weeks old.
The problem is, the mom keeps sitting by the window and calling them and they keep calling back.
Should we give the kittens back and hope they dont get eaten or should we just keep them like we are?


Any help would be very helpful, thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:10 PM
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Is she completely feral? If not I'd try to catch her, if she is call a TNR (trap, neuter, return) group to spay her. Are you sure they are old enough to be on solids? If they are then I'd most certainly keep them in, wait 6 more weeks and find them homes (you can start searching now but they should stay together until 12 weeks).
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:11 PM
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Six weeks. Hmmmm. Should really still be with mom, but given their odds of survival, I'd say keep 'em. Any chance you could trap mom, reunite her with the kittens in confinement, then have her spayed?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:32 PM
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Keep them! Once Mom begins taking them on 'field trips' I feel they are old enough to be caught/tamed. Best scenario would be if you could catch Mom and tame her WITH the kittens in a small room or bathroom.

If you can't get near her, I would seriously try to trap her and get her spayed so she has no more kittens. Call around for a TNR program you can take her to and have her returned back to your area, or find a low cost spay/neuter clinic and just have it done and bring her back. Let them know she is feral and will need to be turned loose immediately after surgery. They can then choose the best route for surgery/stitches and having to release her so quickly to lower her chances of post-operative problems.

6 weeks is pretty young, but when you weigh the odds of keep them and find them homes so they survive or let her keep them longer and they get eaten... I'd keep them and they'll just have to cry. You are doing the BEST thing for them by doing this.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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I will search around the internet for a group that can catch her. She is completly ferral. I just tried to get her to come to me and she just lays there and hisses at me. they are on soft foods right now, i was told to wait until about 7-8 weeks for hard food.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 11:04 PM
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If you are in the US your local humane society may be able to help you with trapping the mom.

You are doing a good thing in saving the babies.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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okay, thank you all for all the advice. I feel better now haha
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 11:54 PM
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If it were me i would feel best having Mama as well.

So sad about the past kittens though... I know for animals its just nature but, still so sad.

I dont know how feral cats work. I know they dont really trust people, but if she saw that her babies are safe and sound with you, could she comprehend that and come around to you? Ive never tried or even had the situation to try. better then them getting eaten though, for sure!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Claiken
...if she saw that her babies are safe and sound with you, could she comprehend that and come around to you?
I don't think that would work, only because of her mother-instinct, which would be telling her to keep her kittens away from something she doesn't trust.

However, I do think ferals can come around, it just takes a lot of time and patience. After I trapped Malibu and her litter of kittens in my garage, they let me sit there while they ate/played and I layed on a blanket on the floor and read. The kittens would come play on my legs, Mallie never aproached me, she always crouched and growled at me.

When I hadn't made much progress in two weeks, we caught the kittens and moved them to my Master Bathroom for intense taming. They were about 10-11 weeks old at the time. We trapped Malibu the next day and I was able to take her to a place that did feral spays. They kept her for 2 or 3 days for me before I brought her home and turned her loose. She walked around and around the house, crying until she heard her babies crying back at her from my bathroom and then she hung out on that side of the house.

The best I could do was tell her I was taking care of them and giving them a great chance at life. Mallie stayed around but finally stopped calling for the kittens after a few days. The kittens were taming nicely, Mallie was still coming to the porch to be fed. It took 5mo, but eventually she let me pet her. I don't remember the timeline, but she started coming inside the house for short bits of time to enjoy the AC/Heat and in the Fall of 2006 she became desperately ill and I had to intensively nurse her with forced feedings to save her. That marked a turning point in our relationship and now she is my devoted and dedicated kitteh.

I have another feral cat (I trapped her and her litter) and tamed the litter and did TNR for her. It took 14mo before she'd let me touch her. She is now an indoor/outdoor kitty. Her progression took probably 3yrs from trapping to feeling comfortable coming indoors.

It CAN be done, but it is usually a slow process for true ferals.



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2008, 12:40 AM
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Re: Tough Choice, Need Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kprice
We have a wild cat who roams around and every time she has a litter, she brings them to our home. She has had litters before and everytime they get eaten by preditors. So now she has a new litter. There are five kittens and we decided to take them into the house and raise them and find homes before they could be eaten. My best guess is they are six weeks old.
The problem is, the mom keeps sitting by the window and calling them and they keep calling back.
Should we give the kittens back and hope they dont get eaten or should we just keep them like we are?


Any help would be very helpful, thanks in advance.
Keep the kittens esp. since they are eating soft food. There is a hard food by royal canin for new borns that are tiny pieces they can manage to eat. But keep free feeding them wet food.

Its imperative that you feed this mother and keep her around while her milk dries up then she can be spayed. Or you will be repeating taking the next batch of kittens from her again.

I would borrow or buy a humane trap and start feeding her in it. Cover the trap, wire it open, and slowly push the bowl back further into the trap so she gets comfortable going into the trap. When she looks dried up trap her. Be sure and have a vet appt set so she doesn’t have to spend much time in the trap since it is so stressful for them. Keep the mom 3 days after the spay to recover then release and continue to feed her.


Are the kittens healthy? Do they let you pick them up? Have you taken them to the vet for a well baby check up? Sit by the kittens when you feed them so they get use to humans.

Good luck on your efforts.
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