Adding tame kitten to feral cat household - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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Adding tame kitten to feral cat household

I live in a very rural area of Ireland. I often find puppies and kittens that have either wandered onto my property or most likely have been left off as unwanted pets. I take them in and rehome them.
I found a 4 week old orange tabby male cat a few weeks ago. I tell my next door neighbor and shes wants him. She has always wanted a orange tabby cat.
Her situation:
Lives about 150-200 yards away, her house is out of view
Her partner will not let any animal in their house
She has 5-6 'borderline feral' cats living at her house (they are fed everyday by her) that she would love to rehome but I doubt she will. She started out with one but she doesn't spay or neuter her cats...

She wants me to raise the tabby kitten I found as I have 2 outdoor (spayed and neutered) cats that I got from her as tiny kittens that are extremely tame and friendly (I hand raised them in my house until 5-6 months old then I put them outside with access to a cat kennel).
Once the tabby kitten is tame and ready to go outside I am to bring him up to her house and give him to her and she will have her friendly, tame, pet non-feral cat.

Will this even work? They visit the kitten about once a week so the kitten knows them but wouldn't know them well. If I hand raise this kitten and then bring him to her house, won't he just run away and starve? Maybe he'll come back to my house, or try to but possibly get lost? Or will the feral cats beat/kill the little fella or drive him away? Will he stay put but become feral through knowing the feral cats? Or will he stay at her house, stay friendly and all will be merry?

Thank you for any suggestions or advice.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 01:56 PM
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Re: Adding tame kitten to feral cat household

IMO, if you put a socialized kitten outside a home setting and if the current colony of feral cats accepts him...there is a more than excellent chance this kitten will turn feral simply by following the lead of the established cats around him and your friend will *not* have the friendly kitten they wanted.

I think the young kitten would need to form a close bond with his people before they put him outside, so he knows to come to them and their home for his food/affection, just as *you* are doing with your own kittens. I am sorry, but unless they are willing to put in EQUAL amounts of time/effort exactly the way you are doing, they will probably *not* have good results with this kitten and I would not let them have one I had worked so hard to give the opportunity of a better life to, only to have it wind up in worse circumstances (feral, semi-feral or reluctant to approach people to experience the joys of human contact/affection). Granted, this kitten and circumstances may work out just fine, but for myself, I do not think I would chance it.
Best of luck to all involved,
Heidi =^..^=



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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: Adding tame kitten to feral cat household

Seeing as you are putting in a lot of time and effort into bringing him up, why not keep the kitten yourself?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Adding tame kitten to feral cat household

Thanks all,

To be honest I'm not looking for any more animals. As of today I have one dog, twin cats and several donkeys (and now the orange tabby too).

___

I understand what you say about the tame cat turning feral. I tend to think the situation just won't work...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 05:27 PM
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Re: Adding tame kitten to feral cat household

Oh, I hear ya! I've got a houseful (currently eight, but I've had as many as a dozen) and they still keep coming. The very best thing I can do, both for myself and for the kitties who come to me, is to socialize them and allow them to get adopted through the cat rescue I foster for. Many people would say 'why not keep it, what is one more among so many?' and for myself, I sometimes feel stretched too thin. It is good to know and respect your limits as it helps to keep anxiety and stress down.
Sometimes, when I can't do everything, I console myself with knowing that even my most tiniest effort is appreciated by these cats and *I* know their lives are better because of it. It helps.
Welcome to Cat Forum.
heidi



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