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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Help with feral kitten

I haven't had an actual kitten raised by its mother in a long time. I've always found them after they've been abandoned or their mother has died (we lived near a busy road so there was always feral cats getting hit unfortunately), so I ended up hand-raising them. Due to this, I'm not actually sure how a "normal" kitten is compared to one raised by me.

I'm getting a new kitten in a week. His mother is feral, but she had them in a dog house near my friend's boyfriend's house. His mother and my friend have been socializing the kittens with people twice a day, everyday since they were a week old. They are still feral but not as severe as their mother.

My question is this: since the mother cat is not domesticated, is this going to affect the kittens? They are fairly okay. They crawl all over us and only act somewhat scared of us. My kitten is pretty fearless and always is the first to come out and see who is there. He also doesn't really get afraid unless we pick him while standing or we're standing above him (both understandable because to him he's miles off the ground).

Also, I'm worried about the litter box issue. I know that mother cats will usually teach kittens how to use the litter box, but in this instance there isn't one. Is it going to be more difficult for me to teach him how to use one? I know he's going to be freaking out because he's moving from a dog house where his siblings, mother, and an Australian Sheltie live to an apartment with carpet. It's kind of a big change, and I don't want the carpet stained and ruined.

(I'm going to be using The World's Best Cat Litter too by the way unless he has a corn allergy.)

Thanks,
B.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 08:21 AM
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If they are doing that much work with them he should do just fine.. might have them place your litter box near them for day or two, so it gets used and will have that scent to start his in house training.. my yeti cat came from a semi-feral mom(ie a wood pile cat) he is better about covering things up then some of our older girls.. get a stuffed kitten toy around his same size so he will a "buddy" this has worked for us in the past...

yeti cat: two toes short of the record books
eons ago there must had been a creature with a roar
like a vacuum cleaner, it most likely ate cats.
smokey,yeti, pansy, violet, ember and brullie
jolene, tammi and emma the ghost kitties in the house
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 09:38 AM
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Cats just seem to take to a litter box naturally. I would confine him to a small room when you bring him home. It won't be so overwhelming.
Is your new kitten your avatar?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenport ferals View Post
Cats just seem to take to a litter box naturally.
Yep, every feral I have had figured it out right away. My current cats are neurotic about it and are in there covering up for 15 minutes.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2011, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, my avatar is him He's super little but that's why he's staying with his mother for right now. I've already set up my bedroom to be his haven until he gets accustomed to us and the new environment. He has his own corner with everything, so I'm hoping he's okay. I hope he takes to the litter box like yours did! Taking the litter box out there a few days ahead of time is a good idea though, thanks!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 04:01 AM
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How old is the kitten your getting? I would sequester your kitten in a bathroom first with his litter box, food, toys and place to retreat to. Go up in the feral sections stickys and read (& watch) Taming and caring for feral kittens. You will find lots of good tips to use as you continue his socialization. When you get your kitten place him in his litter box and do digging motions with his front feet. Kittens sometimes eat litter so its important to use a non clumping litter like corn litter. Clumping litter will kill a kitten.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 04:51 AM
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Good luck with your feral kitten. I thought if people handled them all the time from when they were young, they weren't feral. Does having a feral mother make them feral?
I didnt know that about clumping litter, thanks for the heads up.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-28-2011, 07:05 AM
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Ideally we take kittens from a feral mom around 6 weeks. The more socialing you do with a kitten the less feral traits it will keep. A feral mother teaches kittens to be feral for survival. So the longer they are with the mother without human interaction the more feral traits they have. Rule of thumb for our TNR group is taking a kitten up to 12 weeks. You can bring them around if they are older. It just takes longer. Using tips as mentioned in Heidis "Kitty Boot Camp" in the stickies.
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