5 Month Old Feral-New At My House - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

This is Chewy's brother or sister, not sure which yet...
Poor thing.. she has no idea what is going on. He/she's getting vetted on Wednesday, fixed, tested for all the fun viruses, and checked for internal parasites, ear mites, general health, fleas, etc.

It will be quite a while I think before she can be having any kind of run of the house. We'll start with the office when the time is right. Right now she is in a big cage, inside a box I put in there for her (also has a towel in the box) she is huddled against one side of, not looking like she is coming out any time soon.

I am following all the of "Taming Feral Adults" link I found on this board, even though the kitty is not quite yet an adult. This kitty is the brother or sister to my Chewy, and I am hoping to tame him/her and get it socialized and allowed to run around at least in the office. I know it's going to be a slow process, but I have patience.

Question...
I have been feeding this baby for about 4 months, but have never had physical contact with it, not really.. once when she was VERY young.
I know that getting them to eat is one level of success, and using the litterbox. What do I do if he/she will not eat? Right now I have dry food and water in the cage, and was going to try wet tomorrow (it's stinkier, it might draw her out if she is nice and hungry).

Also: my mama kitty used a litterbox with no problem, even though I know for sure was never anyone's pet. I read that the litterbox should at first be garden dirt that has been sanitized in the oven, but right now I have fine grain crystal litter in there. Is there any chance he/she will use the litterbox as-is, or do I need to go ahead and put some garden dirt in there?


Any other experiential suggestions for me on this kitty?

Thanks a lot!!
-Chewysmom
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 12:20 AM
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

When cats are first captured, and even when they just change homes, they will sometimes not eat/drink for a day or so. At least until they are able to realize the activity is quiet and they feel safe enough to venture out for food/water and a potty break.

I always use the cat litter I use. With newly trapped ferals, I will put a pee-clump and a poo from the other housecats into the litterbox. I don't bury them because I want a little bit of smell there so the cat knows that is what it is for.

Best of luck with the kitty, I'll be rooting for you both!
Heidi



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

Ok... She's been with us since Sunday morning, and that was the last time I knew she ate and drank. I put food in her cage and have not seen her touch it yet.. I guess this is normal but I can't help but worry. She did poke her head out the little door of the box I made her, but I had to scratch on the rear of the box through the cage to get it to happen. I know I should not bug her much, but she is like a statue in that box...

Anyway.. I hope she eats tonight. I promised her chicken that I'm going to bake up in a bit.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 12:09 PM
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

Every feral cat weve trapped and kept in a kennel for a few days has known how to use the litter box. Use regular litter. Dont do the dirt route, its a waste of time.

Being a statue in the box is a survival technic. Its amazing the small spaces they can get into and how still they can be for long periods of time.

I would get this kitty use to your voice and movement around her cage. Dont leave her alone too long if you want to draw her out of her shell. Have a safe place for her to retreat but you be able to see her and she see you. That way she gets use to you visually also. Its alot of baby steps to bring a certain level of comfort of them with you.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess
Every feral cat weve trapped and kept in a kennel for a few days has known how to use the litter box. Use regular litter. Dont do the dirt route, its a waste of time.

Being a statue in the box is a survival technic. Its amazing the small spaces they can get into and how still they can be for long periods of time.

I would get this kitty use to your voice and movement around her cage. Dont leave her alone too long if you want to draw her out of her shell. Have a safe place for her to retreat but you be able to see her and she see you. That way she gets use to you visually also. Its alot of baby steps to bring a certain level of comfort of them with you.

I did see him/her eat a little bit of kibble, but he/she went in for spaying/neutering this morning, will have surgery this evening, and will be one wet food as of tomorrow. Hopefully he will not be able to resist it.

I did get some touching and scratching in, then later I got hissed at and spit at *sigh*

I can't expect the world in one day....
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 07:53 PM
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

It takes a lot of time and patience. I hope that some day she will come around. If not, it's not your fault. You are doing your best for this kitten.




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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

Well... turns out Chunk is a GIRL!!! So she is now spayed, on her way to being flea-free and she's being treated for ear-mites. Negative for internal parasites. She ate some chicken smoothie (yummy, right?) Yay!

I can't believe she actually let me take her out of the cage and wrap her in a big towel and feed her her meds mixed with a little goat milk. I used an eye dropper.
She seemed annoyed at worst. Lots of petting and scratching under the chin, and some purring. I'm leaving her alone until dinnertime, which for her will be about 7pm. She gets more meds at about 8pm.
I was able to brush her a little but she didn't dig that too much, so I figure I'm going to get her flea free and then take her to a place that gives kitty baths, and get her one, but only after she is tame.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 07:59 PM
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

A true feral would have been much harder to handle. I think your new friend is a stray, who hasn't been around people for a while. That will make matters easier!




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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 5 Month Old Feral-New At My House

Well, the thing is, at most she saw her mommy getting love, and being fed, but never approached close enough for us to touch or really interact with her. She was born on October 10th, same as our kitty, and we saw her up until about 6 weeks, and then she all but disappeared until she was probably about 3 months old. Before Sunday, the closest I'd ever gotten to her was about 10 feet.

She's being so so good though. Just now I gave her her pain medicine in some more goat milk (4 dropperfulls of liquid!), and a nice full bowl of chicken smoothie. She was dehydrated, and she is not drinking water, so I'm tricking her into it by putting it in the smoothie.

I'm really not sure if she has ever had human contact. I know the first time we saw her, she was lightening fast in getting away whenever we got even remotely close to her. I had to use a drop trap to get her, she is too clever for the one she has to enter.
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