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Discussion Starter #1
I am referring to the few kitty litters ( I have found 4 originally but after a while the mommas moved them and I can find only two) accross this property. I guess they are all around 3 weeks old since they walk around without wobbling too much. There is a litter very close to the house and I can see they are even following their mom to the food bowl (which is half a meter more or less away) trying to lap.
The ones that are futher away cannot do that because they are either in a trunk of a tree or a very tight enclosure but I saw them moving some as well.
When I found Frosty he was probably the same age weighing less than 11 oz. I gave him KMR formula according to the doctor's suggestions and he did great. The difference would be that Frosty was dewormed while with all these kitties I cannot afford the process.
My intentions are to keep them in a large cage and feed them with the medicine dropper the KMR and then gradually switch to dry food until they will be old enough to be adopted.
I don't want to risk and not be able to find them any more because they will copy their mom's behaviour and run away from me or won't make it on their own.
So - is it too early to go ahead and remove them? Or they still get vital nutrition from their mom's milk I can't provide and I should delay?
 

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This is a tricky thing with feral cats, If you waight to long they will become very feral and difficult to adopt. The litters I adopted last year were around 3 or 4 weeks when I took them in. We fed them with bottle at first, however they adapted very easily to eating moist food. They also learned the litter box very easily.
I would suggest to take them now, before they hide or become to feral. The best thing is to let them stay with mother of course, however it is better I think for feral kittens to be tamed and adoptable as long as you are going to take over responsibility for takeing care of them.
Also, we put the kittens in a spare bedroom. I gave them a cat house (you know one of those round things with a hole i it to come in and out of, usually covered in carpet) with a baby blanket in it. I spent alot oif time in the room with them so they werent alone.
 

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Ioana, as long as you handle the kittens as often as possible when mother is away, they will become socialized. They really do need to learn a lot from mother. Make sure you handle them when they're young. Even a two week old kitten will hiss at you out of fear. Brave little sweeties. The only baby animal that will make a stand like that against such huge monsters as we must appear to them! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Lilly and Jeanie for your input.
That is exactly what I was trying to do - socialize with them and now the momma cat (of one of the litters) moved them again. I am so disappointed I cannot find them anymore. I should have kept them last night.
You are right - they did hiss at me and *bit* me but after a few strokes and loving words they were enjoying my company. And they are sooo cute. I hope I can find them - keep your fingers crossed - and then I will keep them :wink: .
 

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Jeanie said:
Even a two week old kitten will hiss at you out of fear. Brave little sweeties. The only baby animal that will make a stand like that against such huge monsters as we must appear to them! :)
Aren't they adorable when they hiss?? They think they are so tough. :wink:
 

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I know I told you this before, but when I was raising the Siamese kittens, I saw my son's neutered, crabby tom cat coming into the family room. One of the kittens did not hide fast enough. He stood on the rug with his fur sticking out, hissing at mean old Tigger. My eyes were on Tigger for a moment, and he backed up slowly, then turned tail, and ran out of the room! I looked back at the kitten, and right above him was MOTHER CAT (Precious) looking very menacing. It was just like the scene from the movie, The Bear. I'm sure that baby thought he frightened Tigger away, and I was not about to tell him anything different! :D I smile every time I think of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is a cute story, Jeanie
I know they are little toughies - One of the motley colored kitten stood me up yesterday with his hair sticking up - just as you were describing your kitty was doing. Plus he was on his tippy toes and kind of pulling back - so little and so strong :D
I have made several attempts to catch them today - no luck. I have waited too long and now I regret it. I only had in mind to do what is best for them. I will keep on trying.
 

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A little bit of love and a tasty treat speak volumes, Ioana. I'm sure you'll attract them soon. Open a can of food and sit about twenty feet away, then 18, 17, 15, etc. I know you can do it! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
it has been a long day and we have caught seven; it was so hard to leave two momma cats heartbroken with one kitten each- that I couldn't catch (maybe for the better - I dislike for them to be losing all of their babies at once).
I have to feed all of them 7-8 times a day. I have got the KMR formula and a feeding bottle. I am sure I will have some questions..right now I need some sleep.
If there are any tips you can think of please jot them down for me ...I have lots on my mind and I don't want to risk the kitties well-being by forgetting something.
They are all in the garage in the same cage -> quiete roomy; they have water + a litter box. There are newspapers on the ground and they are actually laying on two comfortable blankets. I haven't seen any stools yet but they have done no 1. They are around 3-4 weeks old. I will be weighing them every day ...so if there is anything else I need to keep in mind please let me know :wink:
 

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Good for you! I think it sounds like you are doing great so far. Are they using bathroom on their own yet? You may need to rub their bottoms with a warm cotton ball to help them go.

Good luck with your little babys!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, Lilly - thank you - they do use the restroom pretty good
I may take them to the vet this week to be dewormed
Is ground dry food mixed with canned ok in the cage overnight so they get to lap a little or is it too early?
 

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My original post:
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Ioana, as long as you handle the kittens as often as possible when mother is away, they will become socialized. They really do need to learn a lot from mother
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Ioana, you know I really admire, you, but I thought you were going to socialize the kittens, not take them away. :( In my opinion and the opinion of experts, kittens should be with mother for at least 12 weeks. This is the age responsible breeders and cat associations recommend. You could socialize them without depriving them of their mother's attention. I would give them back-for their own good, but keep them socialized. I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings. That's not my intent. I see kittens advertised at 6-8 weeks old, because the general public thinks that's about the right age. I want those who read this forum to know that 12 weeks with mother is needed. I hope mother will take them back. Put them in their old nesting place. They'll cry for mother and pick up the right scent, I hope. I'm sorry to disagree, dear friend.
 

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I know it really is best for kittens to stay with mother until older. However haveing dealt with feral cats and kittens I also know that by takeing them in and raising them you are providing thease kittens with a chance to have a normal life and not one of a feral cat. I would much rather see the kittens in a happy home.

Also I dont think her intention is to adopt the kittens out as soon as possible, I think she intends to take care of them until they are older. I think it is a very good thing she is doing for the kittens. If they are allowed to stay in the wild any longer they will be very difficult to tame.

Ioana, I know you are doing what is best. I have been in the same situation as you with feral kittens. You are trying to give the kittens a chance to have a happy and loving home just like all the cats we all love in our homes. It is only fair that these kittens have that chance. They will never have the same chance in the wild.

While feral cats can be taken care of by a loving person, most are not. It is a very sad fact that feral cats are everywhere and they are sick and cold and hungry. I think if we can save even one feral kitten from this harsh life then we have made a difference.

I hope you dont take my disagreement the wrong way! I am very aware that in a normal situation it is the best thing to leave the kitten with mother.

:(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree as well and I hope everybody out there in my position will do their best to try and leave the kittens with their mother for the longest possible.
But just as Lilly has mentioned it is very difficult to do so because the mother has moved the kittens each time I was trying to do just that..and it was very hard to find them again. Each momma cat from both litters has one kitten left that I couldn't catch. I know of two more litters whose mom's haven't moved the babies. One of them trusts me pretty much and the other one is used to hanging close to our house. So I left them together since they haven't moved them and I could handle them. But these other ones I have caught, fit in a completely different category.
When I have found the last babies the momma has moved them near a very busy road..and I remember from last year finding dead kitties that didn't make it.
And Lilly is right - I will be keeping them here safe until they will be independent and not give them away until then. I am feeding them every 4 hours and playing with them.
I will be looking up homes for them carefully so I will need suggestions on how it would be better to do that. Last year I have found 4 great homes for Zoe's babies ...but there are so many kittens this time around.
I will have the parents take them to the vet, spay and neuter at 6 months of age, not declaw them and definetely keep them inside if they live in a busy, unsecure area.
I was thinking to take them to the vet and have them dewormed and let the new parents pay for it (when they would arrive - and if that is all right with the vet)
Would it be a good idea to have them sign a form? ...I hope I don't sound out of line; I only want the best for the kittes and stop the over population

I understand exactly what you were emphasizing on Jeanie and I have really tried. But it didn't work and I didn't want to risk having these kitties getting either hurt or breeding over and over. I admire your efforts as well - you are always giving us great advice you are absolutely right - again :wink:. I wouldn't advise anybody to try and capture them unless they have some spare time, finances to spare ...and lots of energy. If you don't they probably have better chances with their mom. Out of a litter of four there are usually 2 that survive (from what I could see in this area)
And Lilly - I appreciate your support - I kow you probably have a lot of experience and it is easy for you to understand.
I will be calling Catnip and other societies yet again-- hopefully it is time for *us* to be on their list and we can spay and neuter all of the adult cats.
 

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Oh Ioana that would be wonderfull! I wish I could get some help with the feral cats here in my town. I have recently discovered there is a house down the road from me who is keeping thease cats. The man who lives there is mentally disabled. He only feeds the cats sometimes and never takes them to a vet or trys to love them. They all run free and have kittens over and over. Resulting in feral kittens.

:cry:
 

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Quote:
He only feeds the cats sometimes and never takes them to a vet or trys to love them. They all run free and have kittens over and over. Resulting in feral kittens.
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That is the opposite of my recommendations. However, I can only suggest. There is a well known expert on feral cats that does exactly what I recommended. She is, however, on a rival site, so I cannot refer you to my proof. It's a matter of extreme patience, and not every feral cat will become an inside cat, but the kittens CAN be socialized, and the feral mother can have enough trust to give birth to the kittens in a shelter the trusted person prepares. However, this takes time and extreme patience also. My information comes from experts. I would not make this point without researching it first, or having contact with a primary source. The people I know who foster very young kittens do it when mother has died or abandoned the kittens.

I know your intentions are good, and you want only the best for these kittens. My first recommendation would be to trap and neuter the female. However, if that's not possible, it is possible to develop enough trust in the mother cat to have her come for food and shelter. The time that would take, although considerable, would save weeks of hand feeding, which is a poor second choice to a mother's care.
 

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Jeanie I know what you are saying is the best way. I wish I could afford to take on responsibility for all the cats in my area. There are so many of them! Even with the help of the low cost traveling clinic I would still be responsible for at least a thousand dollars of medical care. Then there would be more medical bills to follow. :cry: I would love to help thease cats by spay/nuetering them all and trying to socilize with them.

Also I have been told by a coworker who used to live on my street that all thease cats have feline lukemia. I do not know alot about this disease other than it is spread between cats. All the cats are sick nad look very poorly.

I just meant that if we can save kittens from the harsh reality of life in the wild...isnt it a good thing?
 

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Lilly, I know there is a whole colony of feral cats in your neighborhood. You can't possibly pay for their care personally. You definitely need community support.
 

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yes I do.. I wish all people felt about animals like we do. It is sad that people dont really care what happens to them. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Kittens should only be removed at 8 weeks at least from their mothers but preferably 10-12 weeks is the ideal time :D
I understand that very well but you have to understand that this is a different situation. There are 4 litters of feral kittens in the vecinity of our house. Two of the momma cats stayed close enough so I didn't remove their babies from them. The other two were very wild and the kitties were getting that way as well. As much as I tried to socialize with them ..they would move them all the time + and the kittens would hiss at me and run away - therefore very hard to catch the more time passed
And even with the other two that live close by - I don't have much luck with taming them - it is also because I don't have much time - I have to feed all seven babies every four hours. I am a little disappointed that instead of advice I get mainly critics after having explained that I am only trying to help these kitties to survive. It is very tough and very expensive. ..but they are doing great so far and we have even a vet appointment on wednesday when I will have them dewormed + physical exam.
I am a little worried because one of them trew up this afternoon ..it happened before (with two different ones-and they got back better soon. It is just that I know how quickly their health can deteriorate. I am feeding them about a tablespoon of KMR every four hours; since they can lap (some of them) they have fresh dry food and canned food + water available at all times. This baby ate like a piggy earlier - might this be the problem? Are there any quick remedies I can try ..I will take him in to the vet if anything serious might occur..
ps they have gained weight since we got them on Sunday..some more than the others but they are all passed 13 1/2 oz up to over 15 oz(they weighed 11- 12 oz to begin with)..oh and I took the upset tummy baby in my lap ..he is kneading while sleeping I hope this is a good sign he will eat at his 12 o'clock meal
 
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