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Discussion Starter #1
Please don't hate me for saying this....

There are 2 new kittens outside.

There is a calico cat who comes to my house from time to time to eat. She is really scared of people. She does have nice markings though. Orange/black/white.

So last night when i went to step outside to refill the food bowl... i see that she is inside the igloo with 2 kittens. One all black one and one peach color kitten. Not sure which one is a boy or girl though.

The peach color one seems to have the same markings as mr.smokey. He is blue & simba's dad who lives outside.

So i quickly got some canned food for the 3 of them and put it out on the porch for them. They came over to eat. So i got my camera and took pictures .

The kittens are sooo cute! The peach one was running around attacking the bugs. it was funny. the black one was eating food with mom.

I really want to trap them and get them fixed..but there are some problems that prevent that. 1. mom has a busy schedule. so it prevents me from going out. 2. The Tara Van is never at a place where we need them to be. 3. since cali doesn't come to the house that often...the trap will be sitting there forever waiting for her. if it does trap them... it will be on a day that i cant leave the house.

So i don't know what to do about this. I cant take them inside.. i have 4 cats as it is. Neeed to figure out a plan for these guys.

here are some pictures from last night. They came out around 10:00 when i was doing a night check on my kitties who are inside.







Do these guys/girls look to young to be fixed? or even away from mom? not sure if they are still nursing or not.
 

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Most vets only need them to be 2 lbs to be fixed. Based on the size of the cat food can in relation to the kittens, they look big enough. I'd guestimate them at 10 weeks based on the photo and yes, that's big enough to leave mom, at least for a trip to the vets to get snipped. :)
 

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I'd see if you can get them to trust you, at their age it shouldn't take too much. All you need to do is be able to grab them, and I'd set them up in your bathroom until you can figure out how to get them either fixed, or tamed AND fixed. Ideally tamed would be best, since then they could get adopted. They look about 7-8 weeks old to me, so they definitely could be tamed, especially if they weren't too shy of you. It'd take about a week to have them ready to adopt, if the people understood how to handle a nervous kitten. Maybe a rescue group could take them once they're tamer?

TBH I'd work on the kittens now, and then try and get a trap for mom when you've got more time. The kittens are more adoptable and have a shot at a different life...if mum is wild it'll be TNR no matter when you do it.

Be aware the the mum could very well be pregnant again already though. :( poor girl.
 

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Please keep leaving food out nightly at the same time. This will get her coming regularly. Then you could get her trapped and fixed.

She looks like a good mom and the kittens sure are cute!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The can cat food is adult food. I don't have kitten can food. (didn't know there would be kittens :p )

Thanks everyone for tryn to guess the kitties ages. so lets just say 7 to 10 weeks?


I saw the kittens early this morning when I was getting ready for work at 7am. They were running around on the porch. Smokey(the dad)was baby sitting them b/c I didn't see the mom anywhere.

When I got home from work,there were no signs of anyone. It seems like they only come at night to eat. I leave a food bowl in the igloo all day. Just incase they come in the morning/afternoon. Of course theres a water bowl out for them a well.

So the next time I see mom and kitties...I will try to sit outside with them. Hopefully it wont be to late at night. Wednesday when they came It was at 10:00 at night.

I don't know if mom will let me tame the kitties in the bathroom. I have 4 cats as it is and 2 big dogs. we really cant take on more animals.

I want to put the trap out... but again...we need to figure out where to take them. vet or shelter and then figure out when( busy schedule for us) sigh..

Mitts....mom says not to leave food out for atleast a week b/c then they will get really hungry and then go into the trap where the food is. what do you think?
 

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i don't think a week is good because when they realize you don't feed them, they won't return. keep feeding them until the three are regular visitors (maybe for 2 weeks or so?) and then trap them when they come expecting food.
 

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Mar has it right. To get them hungry enough to go in the trap you'd only need to skip one night. If you stop for a week you risk them not coming back!

The sooner someone takes the kittens the better. The older they are the more difficult taming them gets, and every week their chances of being adopted fall along with that. At their age it would take a max of 2 weeks to get them to a point where they would be adoptable. If you can't take them then you need to call around to local rescues to see if they have room. You could also see if they could take the kittens if they were tame, and maybe you could convince your mom to allow them for just that short time. They'd only need a bathroom.
 

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You should make an appt with a vet or low cost spay neuter clinic. Put a traps out and start feeding them in front of the trap and slowly move the food into the wired open havahart traps.

It is great they were there in the morning. So the day you have scheduled to trap them they will be on a regular schedule of being fed in the morning. That way they wont have to stay in the trap long before you take the parents to a s/n appt. If the kittens are 2 or 3 pounds they are ready to be spayed/neutered. Check with the clinic how old or how much they should weigh to be s/n.

have the traps covered with a towel or sheet when transitioning them to eating inside the traps. you can put cardboard down on the bottom and over the trip plate. big thing is to keep it wired open.

You are right, if you remove food for over a day or two they go looking for it somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mitts...

I cant make an appt. with the vet or the clinic because there Is no guarantee that the cats will be inside the trap on the vet day.

This is the trap that I have: http://www.cozypad.com/wp-content/uploads/havahart_trap.jpg It just has the front door. So its a pain to set up without the trap door slamming on my arm. Ive used it before and its a pain.

The kitties don't come every morning. Im lucky that they even come once a day. I leave food outside for them every day. Morning through the night. its just dry food.

When I see smokey or the other kitties at night...I give them canned food for dinner. If they don't show up ..then I just leave dry food out so they have something for the entire night.

Tonight(6/29) for example...I just saw smokey. Mom and kitties were no where to be seen.
 

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If you have a place for the kittens, I would grab them as soon as you see them.
The mom will come around looking for them and maybe hear them. Put a havaheart trap out and maybe you will catch the mom as well.
In a perfect world, I would say go slowly and win their trust, but kittens grow up quickly and move on to have litters very early. Better to have saved the kittens and work on the mom then lose them all.
Post back on how you are doing.
 

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I cant make an appt. with the vet or the clinic because there Is no guarantee that the cats will be inside the trap on the vet day.
This is true, but I would suggest phoning the vet and letting them know your intentions, and ask if you could drop them by without an appointment; some places will spay/neuter every day and may take walk-ins like this when they're feral. But it is important to make sure they will at least take semi-feral cats... some vets won't.

I trapped Jasper with the same trap, I don't remember the trap door slamming on me... isn't there a little latch you pull? Jasper walked in so fast that he needed to wait in there for a few hours before the vets even opened! Poor guy hated it in there.

Once they're trapped they're not likely going back in... ever, so it should be important to find a vet that will take the cats the day-of them getting in the trap, from getting them trapped directly to the vets to get spayed/neutered ideally, and in the morning so they aren't sitting in the trap all night.

Is there any way you can just lure the kittens inside?

Keep us updated.
 

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You can also see if your area has a spay-release program. They clip the ear and you can let them go. People in the area will know they are fixed then. These places have hours where you can just bring them in, no set time. We had some ferals we did this with and they kept them overnight to perform the surgery the next morning.
 

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Mitts...

I cant make an appt. with the vet or the clinic because there Is no guarantee that the cats will be inside the trap on the vet day.

This is the trap that I have: http://www.cozypad.com/wp-content/uploads/havahart_trap.jpg It just has the front door. So its a pain to set up without the trap door slamming on my arm. Ive used it before and its a pain.

The kitties don't come every morning. Im lucky that they even come once a day. I leave food outside for them every day. Morning through the night. its just dry food.

When I see smokey or the other kitties at night...I give them canned food for dinner. If they don't show up ..then I just leave dry food out so they have something for the entire night.

Tonight(6/29) for example...I just saw smokey. Mom and kitties were no where to be seen.
Dang I was hoping they were more on a schedule but not to worry. You can get them. Havahart traps are temperamental. You fiddle with the arm which releases it to snap shut. Havahart is probably the most used trap by TNR groups.

Vets or low cost spay neuter clinics which work with ferals only need to be notified you are trapping. They are use to sometimes the cats dont go in the night you trap. They just like to be prepared that it is possible these cats are coming in "if" trapped. You can trap them the night before and just leave them in the trap covered in a safe place like a garage. Not an ideal situation but its the only way you can work it. Its just a few hours compared to a life time of having litters then its worth the uncomfortable situation of sitting in a trap till its taken to be spay/neutered.

Some havaheart traps have a back end that open. We have to wire the back end shut because feral have been known to bust thru the back end! couple times in a car. It was crazy! Live and learn.

I agree with the other posters, if you can just grab the kittens, its better to do it that way. If not use the trap.

Your efforts to get these cats and have them s/n will change the quality of their lives. Its a tough life being feral and having litter after litter. It destroys their health. Half the kittens dont live either. So you are their angel. :worship

Let us know how it is going. Any questions or concerns. My tiny group has trapped over 2000 cats. I think we encounter most things that happens when trapping and found solutions and tips so you can avoid the mistakes!

There are more tips in the stickys at the top of the feral cat section of CF
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ive been through this before. First with simba and his 2 brothers. Then with blue and her 2 brothers and brinie(the mom).

The link that I posted of the trap is the only one I have. I have regular size and a small size one.

These are the only people in our area that takes on feral cats Low cost mobile cat spay/neuter clinic. Provided by The Animal Rights Alliance They travel all over. So its hard to time it right with them and have the cats ready inside the traps.

I cant lure the kittens inside because the second I step outside onto the porch..they run away. :( Last night they came by .. so I went to put can food out for them and they ran off into the woods.

This morning the food bowls were empty.


You want to know something funny though.... I left a plastic jingle ball for the kittens to play with. the next morning..it was gone. So I put out 2 foil balls for them. the next morning..they were gone. last night I put out foil balls and I tied a paper tube to some string and tied that to a tree so the tube would dangle..so the cats could bat at it.

This morning....the foil balls and the tube were gone! I want to give them some toys to play with...but they keep taking them. :p so someplace around the house are some foil balls and a paper tube:p
 

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Kitten update

Cali and her 2 kitties were just on the front porch. The time was 10pm. I was watching the kittens play with the paper tube that I tied to a string tied to a tree branch. They were attacking the tube. it was soooo funny to watch!

I took a video of them playing...but when I downloaded it onto my laptop it did come out so good because it was dark outside even with the porch light on. I was inside in a dark room so making it hard to video them through a window did not work out as I wanted to. sorry.

The black kitty was all over that tube.. I wish you guys could of seen this! haha


They were even playing inside the igloo. So after they left,i went to clean up there mess and put out more dry food for them. I got a big bag of kitten chow for them. but they don't seem that interested in it.

I wish they would show up during the day so I can video them. but its been soooo hot out..i guess cali is keeping them someplace in the woods where its cooler. :)

Good night everyone. That is my Monday update.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
here is a picture of ms.Cali. She came pretty close to the front door. so I took a pic of her. I love her markings! Its pretty cool that she had an orange kitty and a black kitty. Halloween colors.. haha
 

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I saw Cali and her 2 kittens last night(Friday). They didn't come tonight.

its susposed to get hot again this coming week..so they might come late at night when its cooler.

its going to be hard to trap them.
 
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