Cranky Feral Kitten - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Cranky Feral Kitten

Hi everyone!
I really need some advice here. So I just joined and I have been reading many of the threads and already have found some things that are really helpful and enlightening!

My three kids (ages 11, 13 and 15) and I have been fostering 6 kittens that came from a feral colony, we did TNR and the adults went back (they are well fed there), and we hung on to the kittens. They were about 3 months when we got them, and I felt they had a chance even though 12 -14 weeks is borderline for easy socialization. For the most part it has gone great. Most were super duper shy but really sweet. Four warmed up pretty fast and we have adopted them out to great homes! I am down to my last two. A little girl, Bella and her brother Dandelion. Bella was the first of the kittens we caught on labor day weekend. She was shy and did not allow you to handle her. But she had not been aggressive and just needed more time. She is now purry and active and really a cutie. She purrs when she sees you! Dandelion was the last kitten we caught - just about a month ago. And although he had not been aggressive really when he came, he now wants to swat you whenever you get close to him. If you have a treat in hand he'll try and swat you so you drop it rather than eat it from your fingers!

I have tried just about everything I have read on this one. I know all kitties are different and this one might just have a tough personality, but I worry about him because he seems to not really want to have anything to do with us or being a pet. Even with Bella to set the example - she is rubbing on us and in our laps and rolling on the floor and running to the door to greet us, and he spits still when we come in the room - and more spitting if we get too close. When he's eating I can pet him, but once he figures out what I am doing he backs off and hisses.

I have tried not petting him and going hands off, separating him from his sister so he bonds more with us, keeping them together so he can learn from her tameness (plus they do enjoy each other), I got a Feliway plug in a week ago (no noticeable difference), I got chicken babyfood which he will eat off my fingers, we play with him (he really wants to but still can't get totally into it...). He does remain "visible" more than he was. He'll be out and come towards us to see if we have food. But wants nothing to do with anything in terms of being touched or handled. So funny he is from the same litter, the other 5 caught on quick.

Just looking for some guidance on what to do, ideally. Let him be? Don't try to touch him? Get him in a smaller space and start over? (I had him in a 3 decker kitten pen but now both kittens have the run of a bedroom). Get him in a towel and hug him anyway? I have people telling me to release him back but I really don't want to do that Love to know if anyone has run across a similar challenge and what you did about it. Thank you so much for any advice!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 06:28 PM
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I have a skiddish one too but he was more like 7 months old but he had been fed outdoors and maybe handled a little by one person. His mom was domesticated and very friendly. By example didn't seem to work for him. I had him in a room with a radio and I was able to go in there and sit and read - try to play- treats - all you have said. I took a while and he is still a little skiddish with new situations. I am walking with a cane now (a change) and he runs from me. He is now 4 years old. I think he gets scared. And our interaction is mostly a few pets a day, sometimes brushing but he gets overstimualted quickly and he will lay between my legs at night on the sofa because I am still. I will let others give you more suggestions but you may be able to win him over but maybe not so quickly.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for that, Cat addict. I feel bad for Dandelion because I know he's scared but he's not getting over it and I want to help him! Sounds like he may never really get over it. Me. Ow! At least I am not the only one. I was just feeding him dinner and people were coming up and down the stairs - outside the room - and that sent him running.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2016, 12:34 AM
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He's made progress in just one month. The others were caught first, so they had a head start. Keep working with him - results will be like very small steps, but they will happen.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I know we must continue to be patient. Just this morning he started to come over to me while I was petting his sister. He got pretty close before backing off!

Just really love to know if there is anything I haven't been doing that I should try - so if you think of anything please let me know!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 12:12 PM
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This 3 part video series called "Tough Love" has some excellent tips in handling and gradually taming feral kittens.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."
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