Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Hi everyone, I'm new here. Have an issue....

I noticed a stray cat hanging around work a couple weeks ago, and today I found its kitten. My uncle admitted to finding the kitten on Monday and it hadn't opened its eyes yet. Today when I found it, the eyes were open. I didn't see mom, but heard some noises that I assumed were her. I am debating what to do... Hand raise the kitten and try to live trap mom to have her spayed, or leave them be?

I'm not fond of the latter of the two choices. I'm a huge animal lover and animals are what I'm passionate about. Work is the family business ( a lumber yard) and I work with my uncle and dad and various other relatives. The cats are in an abandoned building, however, there are ospreys that nest nearby. My dad actually told my uncle not to tell me about the kitten cause he knows how I am, and stray and hurt animals tend to find me. I'm recently divorced, so funds are a little tight, which I'm sure is the main reason my dad doesn't want me to take on another animal responsibility. I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a horse. But have a little extra cash right now that would cover initial expenses.

I've handraised orphaned kittens in the past so I do have experience with that. And I would keep it quarantined away from my other cats, but that is a concern, too. My other cats are all UTD.

Advice/ opinions?

Thank you,
Trace

I just wanted to add, the kitten is identical to the mom. Very different looking- pure white, except the last 3/4 of the tail, which is black.....
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 01:37 AM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Welcome, and I am very much like you...once I see something that needs help, I cannot un-see it. I would opt for taking the kitten and TNRing the mom. (TNR = Trap Neuter Release) You may be able to find an organization near you that could help you with the costs of TNR. The first litter of kittens I fostered, I trapped them and their mother in my garage and when we weren't progressing forward in there (too many hiding places) I seperated them and put the kittens in my bathroom for intensive socialization and when I called all around to find an organization to help me, no one would. I was finally in tears when I called the last number, and she helped me, so I got the Mother spayed and returned to my property.
She has been named Malibu and is now one of my very best kitties and sleeps on my head or against my chest at night.
Anyhow, after I caught her and the kittens, ANOTHER mother cat moved her 3 kittens into the shed Mallie and her litter vacated. I trapped the 3 kittens and put them with the original 4 in my bathroom to tame. All 7 went through an adoption center at PetsMart. I never saw the other mother-cat again.

In your case, if you can help, I would. At this point, I think I would opt to take the kitten while I can, to prevent the mother from moving it, and then TNR the mother as soon as I could trap her.

Best of luck!
Heidi
ps...I have a horse, too. A dun Paso Fino, though throughout my life I've had one Peruvian, several Quarter Horses, one Arabian, one QH/Morgan and several Appaloosa's. Oh, and a Hackney pony!



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Thank you for responding. The more I thought about it the more I keep coming back to handraising the baby and trying to trap the mom. This is a very small town, but there is a big stray cat problem, that I've been noticing. My ex husband was never very supportive of things like this, yet animals and issues like this are what I'm passionate about. I'll see if the baby is there today and pick up some KML milk replacer. Thank you again...

Trace

BTW, my horse is an arabian... Nice to meet a fellow horse lover, too.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Just checked on them... Both mom and baby are still there. Mom was not happy with me being there. She growled and hissed but didn't leave her kitten. I'm hoping she doesn't move the baby by the time I get done with work. Any ideas on how to trap the mom at the same time I take the baby? Is a live trap going to be my only option?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 11:28 PM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

I can't think of a better idea. You'll have to have thick, leather gloves to take the kitten for hand raising, and get mother cat spayed. If she's truly feral, I assume you will take her to a clinic that believes in TNR? There are organizations that will spay/neuter at a reduced charge.

I hope this link helps:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html




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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2009, 11:39 PM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

If mamma-cat won't let you get a scruff-hold on her to place her in a cat carrier, a live-trap would be your best bet. I use a Hav-a-Heart trap for trapping kittens and cats. I've always trapped the kittens first and then the adult cats using canned food as bait.
Wishing you luck,
h



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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 04:59 PM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

I would put food out for the mother to keep her where she is and take the kittens at about 4 weeks. That way they arent too feral. And you can still manage to get the kittens and use them to "bait" the trap for the mother. Butting them end to end with the set trap open so the mom thinks she has to crawl in to get to the kittens.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Hey thanks for responding everyone. I got within 8 feet of mom on Sunday and brought food for her. Now today, she took food out of my hand, still growling @ me, but now I know she's not totally wild. I'm debating the best way to catch her. The live trap I have access to is really fussy and old. If I use the live trap, I will set it during the day and check on it periodically and close it at night. Its dipping below freezing tonight and its been snowing and raining all day. She's shivering. I am going to go down there for a little while tonight with a pet carrier and put food in it. I'm hoping maybe she'll walk in there to get the food and I can shut the door. The other option is to use a net. I don't think I'm going to be able to just grab her and if I miss, she'll be very distrustful. I have an extra room in the basement all cleared out and I'll prevent my cats from going in the basement until I can test mom for feline luekemia. When I do catch mom, I'm able to access the basement without even entering the part of the house where my cats are. I'll keep you updated with what happens. Thanks everyone!

Trace
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 09:55 PM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

Wishing you luck!



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 03:59 PM
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Re: Help- young feral kitten (eyes just opened)

I'd avoid the net, for the same reason you gave. The Humane Society will usually lend you a humane trap. Good luck!




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