Have two feral kittens in shop in backyard. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Have two feral kittens in shop in backyard.

Hello all!

I have two feral kittens that have somehow made my shop in my backyard their home. They won't come
anywhere near me, and if I attempt to approach them, they run as fast as lightning the opposite way! They're usually hiding under the lawn mower or something else in my shop. One is black and white and the other is a medium haired cream colored with brown markings on its face. Can't tell if they are boys or girls, and they look to be 3-4 months old.

Needless to say, I bought some kitten dry food for them, left out a bowl of food every day in the shop, water bowl and even a litter box. They have been eating the food and most definitely using the litter box. Also, I had an old small dog house that I put in the shop with an old blanket inside, hoping they will use it to stay warm.

Do you think these cats will ever warm up to me? Also, do you make it your responsibility to get them spayed/neutered and vaccinate feral cats? Not sure how I would even catch them to do so...

I'm hoping one day they will let me pet them but I feel better knowing they have food, water, and a warm place to sleep! Ill try to get a picture of them to post!


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Have two feral kittens in shop in backyard.

Grabbed some pictures of my two feral kittens. Not very good quality but they are also professionals at hiding...Click image for larger version

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White one under the lawn mower. Called Jerry

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And this is the black and white one names Tom.

Until we find out they're girls...but for now they are boys! Lol.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 09:47 PM
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They're so cute! It's great that you're taking care of them.

Honestly, I've never cared for feral cats, just a stray. But I think most of those who take care of ferals do get them spayed/neutered. There are traps where you can lure them in by putting food inside. If they roam around outside, please do think about getting them fixed as soon as possible. Many vets offer some kind of low-cost spay/neuter program, so perhaps it won't be that expensive.

From reading what others have posted, many feral cats have come to be friendly with their caretakers, and some have even turned into lovebugs apparently. Since they're young, I doubt it would take all that long. But hopefully someone who knows more than I do will weigh in with their experience.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 09:55 PM
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I'd try treats several times a day. Maybe some wet food. Timed feedings like three times a day. It will become a routine and learn to expect it and mostly learn to trust you. Food is a bonding experience. Also get a Da Bird. I haven't seen a cat that can resist one yet. They love that toy. Good luck, they are adorable.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 10:26 PM
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I called the Feral Cat Coalition we had in our area and they gave me traps and had a lot of information on their site. I had to pay a deposit for the traps but that may be regional. With the food (sardines) in the trap and it was covered they were trapped. I took them to the feral cat clinic and they neutered them and gave them rabies shots for free. They did snip their one ear and the intent was to put them back in their environment. Fast forward to now. They live with me and now I wish they didn't have the snipped ear although it was only a little bit. These cats were already being fed by someone in the neighborhood and I am home a lot. I put a lot of time into their trust and it had to be at their own pace which was slow. If anyone else comes into the house, they run. But we are growing to love one another.
The sad realization was that there are not enough homes for these cats. It was keep them or die. Playing with them helped a lot after the I am the food person was established.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNcatlover View Post
One is black and white and the other is a medium haired cream colored with brown markings on its face. Can't tell if they are boys or girls, and they look to be 3-4 months old.
The picture of the first one is hard to see properly, so I can't really figure out what color it is... there's very few things to figure out gender on a cat unless you're looking at them as they walk away with their tail raised. If the cats were orange, there would be about a 75% chance they are male... if they were calico/tortie/torbie they'd be female. Otherwise, unless you neuter/spay them there won't be any way to tell gender for hopefully awhile ... because you don't want unaltered cats around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RNcatlover View Post
Do you think these cats will ever warm up to me? Also, do you make it your responsibility to get them spayed/neutered and vaccinate feral cats? Not sure how I would even catch them to do so...
They could become tame. Considering you're able to get pictures of them at all is promising. How long have you been caring for them now?

Check out this link:
Taming Feral Kittens and Cats

At three or four months is a key time to trap and neuter/spay them and tame them. If you wait longer by six months and sometimes sooner they can become sexually mature and they will be harder to tame. If they're female you're almost guaranteed to end up with hoards of kittens and a lot of noise from from the female when she goes into heat. A young cat can go into heat and endanger her life if she gets pregnant, since they're too young to give birth safely and are lacking essential nutrients during a time they should still be growing themselves. Males you will likely end up with spraying to mark territory, fighting, injury and disease (such a leukemia and AIDs which are often contracted from fighting). Females can of course get these diseases too, but they don't as frequently go out and get in huge territorial fights. Another issue is if there are brother and sister cats...

If you're committed to these cats, please trap them with a humane trap, which you can borrow from a local shelter/rescue and then get them spayed/neutered. You can get in contact with local TNR places where they can do it at a low cost or maybe even free for you.

I recently trapped an estimated 6-7 year old cat in the garage, named him Jasper. After a week or so I realised he wasn't neutered and had bite marks on his front leg, I got a humane trap from the local shelter (they just gave it to me, but they know me so you may need a deposit so they ensure you don't disappear with it), set it in the room for a day or two for him to get used to it, then placed a little food in it and set the trap. He went in right away for the food. It's important to wait close by so that when the trap springs your can make sure nothing had gone wrong, like the cats tail getting caught. Quickly go in and cover the trap with a blanket -- this calms the cat and lessens your association with everything -- and as soon as possible go to the vets to get the cat spayed/neutered. Don't let them out no matter how much noise they make in there... they you won't get another chance. They won't walk back in there again.

Some vets if you arrange in advance explaining the situation will say to bring the cat in when you can and of course will recommended to bring the cat in very early in the morning so it can go home the same day. The other option is to set an advanced appointment and cancel if the cat doesn't go in the trap in time. I had to wait two hours until the vets office opened, but he came home the same day. I paid 50 dollars for the neuter, leg stitching, routine exam, two weeks worth of antibiotics (a shot they gave him) and a few days of pain medication.

Jasper is now playing fetch with me and is very friendly and quite gentle (he plays without claws!)... uh, to people he knows. It took two months of growling, hissing, serious aggression especially with food, some serious bites... but now it's closer to four months and he's a really sweet cat. He's still in the garage, but I'm hoping to integrate him into the house. I'm glad I didn't just send him back outside when we accidentally shut him in there.


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Last edited by Carmel; 02-13-2013 at 10:33 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 PM
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Your Tom and Jerry are adorable. I'm sure like the others have said with time they will come to trust you. Thanks for taking care of them. Keep us posted.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-13-2013, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Have two feral kittens in shop in backyard.

Thanks everyone for all your responses! I'm out in more of a rural area and we have a wonderful vet over here. I'm sure he will give them their shots + neuter/spay them for dirt cheap. He's good about not charging an arm and a leg for animals, not like city vets. I know my boyfriend is doing some work for him tomorrow, so ill have him ask to see if he has a trap (surely he does, being a rural vet) and maybe we can work on trapping them. I definitely don't want anymore kittens running around...that's all this world needs! They have to get fixed one way or another.

The black and white one is a lot more adventurous than the cream colored one. Ill have to try to get a better picture of him when he comes out from the lawn mower (never lol).


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 12:01 PM
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I have a cat sleeping on my feather quilt right now that for the first two years wouldnt let me near him. Long story but now he will let me do anything to him. Here are some great tips in help socialize a feral cat.

Kitty Cat Boot Camp
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