Cats Feral - Trying to Tame - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Cats Feral - Trying to Tame

I provide my location so someone local can help if they want/can. I'm in Kansas City, Kansas, USA.

I'm acquainted with animals in general, and I've placed numerous dogs and a few cats. My wife is about the same in experience. We're in our 50-60s. BTW, I'm somewhat allergic to cats, but I'm living with it.

We have a couple of kittens.
I'm trying to find these 2 kittens homes, but only the brindle one is docil. The black & white won't allow me to pick him/her up, and I can't realistically send him/her to a new owner with that attitude. I have now captured b&w and he/her is meowing in a carrier. Every time I try to pet or handle, he/her tries to swat ficiously.
B&W has been in the carrier for a few hours now. He/she's been eating a small amount.
How do I tame?

Last edited by marie73; 09-20-2015 at 07:18 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 12:30 PM
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Your photograph doesn't show up. Do you know approximately how old this kitten is? There is a window of opportunity to socialize a kitten, usually up to about 8 weeks of age. It's not impossible to get an older kitten tamed if you miss this point, but it's not easy and they may never see you as a friend.
You might be able to get advice from a rescue organization that has experience in feral cats.
Reaching into the carrier is threatening to this kitten. If you could keep him in a small quiet room somewhere, that would be better. Spend time in the room just sitting and reading a book, talking from time to time. If the kitten comes to examine you, just sit still and let him sniff you. Don't do anything like trying to pet him or pick him up. It will take time, but eventually you may be able to brush him. Brushing is a substitute for a mother cat's rough tongue, especially a small brush such as an old soft toothbrush.
If you can't succeed in making him into a pet, he might at least become a neutered barn cat. Many rescue organizations have a "barn buddies" program for cats that are untameable or can't live indoors for some reason.
Good luck.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 04:28 PM
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Allow lots of tie for sniffing and feed by hand when you can - not giving tid-bits in a way that encourages "hunting instincts but by having the food calmly on your hand to be licked up. Reward all sociable contact. If there is an "attack" try to keep still and not react even if it hurts. It doesn't always work but it has for us in most cases.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 08:24 PM
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The first cat I ever had as an adult was a feral kitten (~7 weeks old) that my brother found rummaging through his garbage. She hid under my kitchen cabinets and I never saw her for two days, just noticed the food disappearing and heard her crying piteously for her mother. I went to the local vet clinic, explained the situation, and asked what I could do. They gave me a mild tranquilizer to put in her food. This slowed her down enough to let me pick her up and put her into a borrowed cage. As she started to wake up, I brushed her with an old toothbrush and she started to purr. From then until the end of her life, 15 years later, I was "mum". She was always skittish of strangers, though, and would run and hide when people came over. It wasn't until she was about 13 that she decided to start coming out for cat sitters.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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The kittens were born in early May, making them about 4.5 months old. As I said, the brindle one is pick-up-able, and I might have a home lined up. I'm waiting on a return text to find out. The black & white is the problem.

There really aren't any cat-rescue places around here that aren't already overwhelmed, and the one's I'm familiar with are really just individuals. IOW, that's not the route for help.
When I made the previous pose, I had the B&W one in a carrier, and I was trying to break him of his wild streak. After one transfer to another box and about 15 hours, I just let him go. Strangely, I think the procedure helped a bit. Although he still won't let me touch him, he seems a bit more approachable.
I can feed most of the other cats by hand, but B&W makes trying it with him dangerous. He'll try to swat the food out of your hand.
Another odd thing, after the carrier trapping, I thought he'd be afraid of the box. But that's not the case. I leave the carrier open outside and he goes inside to rest a lot. Apparently, the capture experience wasn't so traumatic.

Last edited by Nehmo; 09-23-2015 at 01:36 AM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 07:18 PM
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If you can pick one of them up, that suggests that he/she may have been handled by humans before. It might take a bit more time for the other one.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2015, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuliajuk View Post
If you can pick one of them up, that suggests that he/she may have been handled by humans before. It might take a bit more time for the other one.
I didn't find them. They were born under the house. Although I'm allergic, I can get away with handling a bit. I tried to get them used to being docile so I could adopt them out. I was sort-of successful with one.

Yes, I realize I haven't clearly defined the problem to ask for advice. I'm just trying to tame them a little to make them more attractive to a prospective owner.
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