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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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TNR Escapee Cat - Update with a surprise!

So my trapped and neutered cat has been back for weeks, eating and seeming fine if a little less trusting of me. Tonight, she showed up like normal... with TWO KITTENS in tow for the evening meal. They're a decent size, maybe a several months old?

I'm really shocked -- the vet at the TNR Shelter never told me the cat I'd brought in was lactating or had given birth. Now I don't nearly feel as bad about her escaping withing 24 hours since she must have needed to nurse!

I can't bring them in to my home because I can't care for them -- I was prepared to TNR and feed, but not bring any of them inside but I never guessed there might be kittens out there.

How can I tell when the kittens are old enough to try to trap and bring in to the vet for fixing/ear tipping? Should I try to be friendly with them/get them used to humans or leave them alone?

Any advice appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 10:11 PM
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Vets will spay and neuter quite young now. I would feed these babies and try to earn their trust before taking them to the vet. The younger the feral kittens are, the more likely it is that they can be tamed.

I would try to bring the kittens into an enclosed, safe area, (perhaps the garage). Socialized feral kittens have a much better chance of getting a home. Just make sure they can't get away before they are neutered.

I'm so glad Mother kitty is home! Good luck.




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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 10:42 PM
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Were it me, I'd try to catch and tame them in an enclosed area. IMO, if kittens are old enough to go on field trips with Mama, they are old enough to nab and tame/hand raise. When Mama takes them on field trips, they are usually at weaning age. I dislike taking them from the mother at such young ages, but if it comes down to catch them now to tame/s/n or miss the opportunity...I'll catch them. If all you wish to do is TNR, I'd just try to get them used to you and TNR them whenever you feel they are big enough for your vet to do them.
However, I'd wait until they were independent enough to be released on their own after the surgery, because the chances of Mama kitty being nearby at release, or kitten knowing how/where to go, are pretty slim. You also run the risk of missing the opportunity to catch them as they get older and maybe move on for different territories, though they usually stay near their birthplace unless something drives them off.

I have trapped a litter of kittens that were about 9-10wks old and they tamed nicely and were all adopted into homes through the PetsMart adoption program. I kept them in a bathroom and after they allowed me to handle them (cooked chicken is irresistible!) I would let them into the Master BR during the day, bathroom only at night. I never let the fosters mix/mingle with my own housecats.

Good luck and keep us posted as to what you're able to do,
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'm afraid I'm not equipped to try to tame them - I work full time and travel constantly, and in 8 days I'm leaving for 2+ weeks out of the country. I have someone coming to put fresh food out each day while I'm gone.

When I get back I'll see about getting them familiar enough with me bit by bit so I can get them in to the vet for fixing.

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:43 PM
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F/T work, travel and an upcoming trip certainly pose some problems to taming kittens!
Can you find out if there is an organization near you that does fostering and see if anyone would be willing to take the kittens if you can trap them together? If not, then your original plan would be the best for you.
h



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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 02:22 AM
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Once the kittens are about 3 months or 3 pounds they are ready to S/N. I give them high quality food for a week or two before Im going to S/N to try to get them healthy before surgery.

Good to hear the mother cat is back. Nice that she is bringing her brood to eat at your house!
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