New kitten! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
New kitten!

Hiyas,
I have a small question about our (new) cat.
Don't worry, we don't eat cats or anything, we only have a new one now after 2 years since our previous one ran away.
My father is a bit of a packrat, he found a brand new roll of carpet in a container of some store.
When he got home he found a small kitten inside the inner cartboard roll, very young, bright eyes.
He said that if it wasn't aggresive we could keep it.
Problem is, the kitten was malnurished (in one week with us it probably doubled in weight....), always crawls into dark and confined spaces and it blows at everything that comes near.
Fortunatly it doesn't attack, you can actually pet it whilst it cools down the blowing, but it still blows and hisses....
Do you think we should hold it everyday to teach it to accept humans?
Could we get this kitten to act only slightly social?
Apreciate any comments.
Drakuun is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 01:10 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,491
Re: New kitten!

Welcome, and you CAN turn this little kitten around with proper handling and socialization.

I have fostered and tamed numerous litters or kittens, orphaned litters and adult ferals. Here is how I would handle this kitten:
Place the kitten in a small room with only one hiding place that you have access to. I like to use a bathroom with food/water, a litterbox and a cat carrier. I place a fluffy towel in the carrier and drape another towel over the top of the carrier to make a 'safe cave' for the frightened kitten to hide.

After a few days, I would visit the kitten often, bringing good tasting food treats. I like to use cooked and shredded chicken mixed with a lightly diluted can of Cream of Chicken Soup so the chicken bits will stick to the end of my fingers. I would put my hand into the carrier...of course the kittens would cringe away and hiss...but I just held my hand still, about 6-10" away from them and eventually, they just can't resist the smell of the chicken and they would eat out of my hand.

Each visit/feeding I would try to 'lure' the kitten further out of the carrier and try to get it to come closer to me for the chicken. When I would bring canned food on a plate, I would pet the kittens. I don't dab hesitently at the kittens, I would just pet them like it is No Big Deal. I don't stare at the kittens. In cat-language, stares are aggressive. Instead, I would slowly blink my eyes at it, or catch its' gaze and then slide my eyes away, while humming "uumm-huuummmmm, um-hm-huummm" in a slow rhythm.

When the kitten is starting to come out to eat and allowing me to touch/pet it, I would then start to handle it to get it socialized. Use a towel over your lap, or wear sturdy jeans, and place the kitten on your lap when you sit on the floor. I sometimes have to lightly hold it by the scruff, and sometimes I only have to cradle it around its' chest, to hold it on my lap. Without staring at the kitten, I keep myself aware of how it is responding. The kitten may be scared and you need to be aware of this, but handling the kitten will show it there is nothing bad going to happen and they may eventually like the massaging feel of being petted and rubbed.

At first, I only handle the kitten for between 5-15 seconds. I firmly, but gently, rub the kittens head and shoulders around my hold of them. IF the kitten relaxes and appears to enjoy the handling, I will loosen my hold, ruffle the fur at their scruff to remove the memory of the 'hold' and pet them as long as they like, allowing them to leave my lap if they wish. I keep rubbing and handling them as long as they are within my reach. IF the kitten does NOT relax, I handle them for 5-15 seconds, keeping aware of their tolerance level, and then I would set the kitten away from me at the opening of their 'safe cave' and let the kitten go. I don't look at the kitten, I don't want it to see me looking at it directly, as that would re-inforce in their mind that I am a predator interested in them. My goal is to get the kittens/cats to leave me slowly, I don't want them to run away. I want to handle them and allow them to learn: I will handle them. I will not hurt them. I will not keep them still fovever. I will let them go. It is No Big Deal.

There is a member here who does not approve of my methods of the sort of "kitty boot camp of handling" that I do, but experts agree that handling and socializing kittens right away will help the kitten to progress and become a loving member of the household. Yes, you do need to be aware of the kitten, its' fear level, what its' limits for handling are and not push it over the edge of what it can handle...but you DO need to make progress with the kitten; constantly pushing it just a little bit further past the barriers it has put up, until eventually those barriers fall and the kitten believes it can trust you.

It is my belief that if you leave a cat/kitten to its' own devices and let IT choose how much handling it allows you to give it, there is the very real possibility that the kitten/cat will NOT progress on its' own and will not learn to become socialized because it is just fine with the status-quo and has no desire to proceed further. This is where I feel pushing the issue results in breaking down those aloof and distinct barriers and can help a cat learn to like/trust people and become an enjoyable household pet that is relaxed and confident around all people.
Best of luck,
Heidi



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Re: New kitten!

Woooaaa amazing, we already did nearly exactly what you suggest.
Though I didn't know about the staring, I shan't do it again.
I would need a voice recording of the humming though, but I think I'll cope without.

We had put it in the bathroom before, as there were only two places it could run to (plus a third we created).
Left the doors open however, now it's on my left at the other puter, prly afraid to leave now and will make a dirty place there.
I'll try to gently remove it from there and bring it back to the bathroom, I'm glad though that it isn't afraid to leave it's safe spots.
Thanks for your help!
Drakuun is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 12:44 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,491
Re: New kitten!

See? You were already doing things the right way! I think you just need to re-contain the kitten to that room, visit it often and handle it to get it used to being handled and friendlier. After I have been able to get kittens to come to me, at least for food, I would let them explore 1 more room in addition to the bathroom, they would get the bathroom and master bedroom for the daytime, only going back in the bathroom when I sleep.
After the kitten is okay with being pet on my lap, I then move on to allowing it to let my face get close to theirs. You must be careful the kitten doesn't take a fright and try to scratch because your eyes will be vulnerable, but I will lay on the floor and pet/handle the kitten. I begin by kissing their shoulders when they are distracted and just acting as if it is no-big-deal. From there, I sit on the floor and pet the kitten on my lap, eventually picking the kitten up to hold against my chest, then set it down before it begins to wiggle. I keep this up, making the length of time held be longer/longer each time. Sometimes I lift it up to kiss the back of its' shoulders or the back of its' head before I set it down right away.
When the kitten is comfortable with that I try standing and lifting it to the toilet seat, or lifting it to the bed, or the bathroom counter. From there I begin lifting it to my chest again, but while I am standing up. When the kitten is comfortable with that, then I try holding it and walking a few steps.
It takes a while, working methodically and consistently, to bring a frightened cat around to being able to be handled in this manner, but it works and is best for the cat. If you have a cat you cannot handle, this makes monitoring its' health and/or medicating it for any reason almost impossible.
Best of luck,
heidi



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Re: New kitten!

Checkout the fruits of our hard work:
http://users.telenet.be/drakuun/ro/MOV00209.MP4
Lil punk messin up my keyboard.
She has become somewhat more social, though still very 'no!' on human hands (yes, we known now that it's a she...).
If she doesn't come to you and you slowly hold our hand out, she still hisses at it and doesn't even want to smell.
Sometimes after she has played a bit she does slowly come smell your hand, but as soon as she does she pulls away.
Only if she comes to you she's up for some socializing.
It's funny, sometimes you sneak up close so she doesn't mind, you pet her and she purrs, when she sees your hand she hisses at it but still purrs right after that.
Maybe we should get her some darkening lenses or something seems to be a visual aspect anyway.
I personally thought this one was a total loss (don't worry, it wasn't up to me to keep or not), but aparently it has a good chance of becoming a part of us.
Cuz it's so 'untouchy', were calling her Mimosa....
I personally trained her with some fleece fingerless gloves, she didn't seem to let anyone handle her but when I had them on she even pressed against them for more petting.
Thanks for the great help with this mongrel! Now we finally have a kitty again (one that's not a tiger...).
Drakuun is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 12:40 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,491
Re: New kitten!

Yay! Great news! I was unable to view the video, though. I waited and waited but all it showed for me was a Q over a picture of a broken piece of movie film, so I think I don't have QuickTime? I'd have to ask my Husband to install that for me. I don't mess with the computers and just let him add/delete the things I need.
Still, it was very nice to hear an update for the little kitty! How old do you think she is? If she is nearing 6mo or so, she could go into season and you may want to get her spayed before that happens. IF she is under the command of her hormones and gets outside, she may not allow you to catch her. Good job with her!
heidi



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Re: New kitten!

Here's an avi version of the vid, the other link won't work anymore.
http://users.telenet.be/drakuun/ro/MOV00209_AVI.avi
We think she's very young (and has abnormally large ears though I dunno about that myself).
We'll have her done maybe in may since we may get a tax return for it then, suposedly.
She's definatly not allowed to go outside though, we live in a large city and she would certainly get lost and not be able to get back in.
Also, she's currently not allowed to leave this floor as we want her somewhat more social.
If we let her roam freely in the house she'll probably just cover away in a corner again or something.
Drakuun is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 08:33 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,491
Re: New kitten!

Well bummer. I was excited when Windows Media Player opened right up when I clicked your link, but this is the message I got:

Quote:
Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The Player might not support the file type or might not support the codec that was used to compress the file.
So I still haven't been able to view it. I'm so sorry. I would love to see her! Maybe you could just post some photos? Like you, I think it is probably a good idea to get her better socialized before you give her free-access to the rest of the house.
heidi



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 12:05 AM
Premier Cat
 
Mitts & Tess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Arizona
Posts: 9,638
Re: New kitten!

Hmmm mine wouldnt let me play it either. Dang!
Mitts & Tess is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 7
Re: New kitten!

Tsk tsk, ur puters suck :p
Here's a wmv of it, windows media player should definatly be able to play that:
http://users.telenet.be/drakuun/ro/MOV00209.wmv
Drakuun is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome