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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I thought I'd join this site as I don't know anyone with cats and have recently found myself with a family of 5 strays locked in our apartment and the responsibility of socialising them on my shoulders!

The mother, who we've called Minty, is half white and half tabby with pale blue eyes. We're fond of her and may keep her, but we're trying to socialise her kittens so they can be adopted out through the French cat association 'Chat Libre'. Three of her kittens are almost identical to her in appearance and they're called Snowy (the whitest), Dusky (the darkest) and Mocha. The forth is pure tabby who we've named Tabby - surprise surprise! I'll put up some pics of them in the gallery.


Anyway, I'd love to chat to other owners of strays/ferals, so we can share experiences. Aly
 

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Hi, I'm April.

I took in a mother cat and a kitten two days ago. The cats have fleas so uh-oh, complications. I hope you don't have to deal with fleas they can be harmful and dangerous, so with your new kittys you might want to take some preventative measures.

I have another cat and a rat so its hard to juggle them all with these two new additions. The mother cat is fairly friendly, so I think she just might of been lost.

The kitten, Gizmo, is grey and white. He looks like a baby penguin. The mother cat, Tigerlily, look like my other cat Lily.

You have a handful and I wish you the best of luck with your new family members.

:) I love pictures. I'll post pictures also.
 

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Welcome to the forum Alyson!

And thank you for rescuing these little ones :love2
We'd love to see pics, I bet mommy is gorgeous with those tabby markings and blue eyes.

Any advice, of course I'd be happy yo help you with what I can. Other members are way more experienced than I regarding feral rescuing, I'm sure they'll offer their help too.

Good luck! Hurry up with those pics! :wink :p

Lenka
 

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Oh yay, domesticating kittens! Sounds like fun. We rescued a set of four kittens a few months ago and decided to keep all of them since our shelter was full. It took time for them to trust us, but with individual attention and gradual integrating, they are now the sweetest things ever. When we took them in, they were so small - they couldn't even crawl out of the tub, now we can't keep them off the cabinets. It's funny how things turn out. I hope you can find them all good homes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, I'm April.

I took in a mother cat and a kitten two days ago. The cats have fleas so uh-oh, complications. I hope you don't have to deal with fleas they can be harmful and dangerous, so with your new kittys you might want to take some preventative measures.

I have another cat and a rat so its hard to juggle them all with these two new additions. The mother cat is fairly friendly, so I think she just might of been lost.

The kitten, Gizmo, is grey and white. He looks like a baby penguin. The mother cat, Tigerlily, look like my other cat Lily.

You have a handful and I wish you the best of luck with your new family members.

:) I love pictures. I'll post pictures also.
Hi April, thanks for your message. Luckily all my brood don't have fleas and apart from being underweight, they look immaculate! They did live outside in nature and not in a urban environment - although am not sure if this makes a difference?
It is fortunate for you that at least that the mother is friendly. Mine is too, she follows me everywhere, gets caught up in my feet when I'm in the kitchen, and lets me stroke her back and tail. However, if she sees my hand coming, she takes a swipe! I don't think she'll ever be one of those 'cuddly cats' but that's something we've already accepted.
I've put an album up in the gallery, and will look out for yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Welcome to the forum Alyson!

And thank you for rescuing these little ones :love2
We'd love to see pics, I bet mommy is gorgeous with those tabby markings and blue eyes.

Any advice, of course I'd be happy yo help you with what I can. Other members are way more experienced than I regarding feral rescuing, I'm sure they'll offer their help too.

Good luck! Hurry up with those pics! :wink :p

Lenka
Hi Lenka, thanks for your warm message of welcome and I've just put up an album. The kittens are still very skittish so they aren't very photogenic yet. I love your signature with the pics of all your cats, named, in a row - which application did you use to create it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh yay, domesticating kittens! Sounds like fun. We rescued a set of four kittens a few months ago and decided to keep all of them since our shelter was full. It took time for them to trust us, but with individual attention and gradual integrating, they are now the sweetest things ever. When we took them in, they were so small - they couldn't even crawl out of the tub, now we can't keep them off the cabinets. It's funny how things turn out. I hope you can find them all good homes!
Hi Dori, it's reassuring to hear success stories of kittens which can be socialised. We think ours were about 2.5mths old when we locked them in and after two weeks, they've made negligable progress. They let us stroke them when they're eating, and lick food of our fingers, but when they're not hungry, it's as though they're terrified of us! With the exception of one kitten, Snowy, they run for cover if we walk into a room or even past them. We don't know what to do, or how to reassure them, and wonder how anyone is going to want to adopt a kitten so skittish!
 

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if they run when you enter the room, just get a book, laptop, small tv.. whatever. find a comfy spot and ignore them a bit. Kittens are curious and will watch and learn you are not interested in hurting them. Read out load, talk on the phone, watch a movie, ect. When i had to socialize some kittens for adoption, I found like most cats they can't resist getting between me and a book eventually. Its a nonthreatening way for them to study you.

Just remember not to use fast or jerky movements which trigger a flight response in young ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi BotanyBlack, thanks for the advice. Apart from when we're herding them into the lounge before we go to bed, we never approach them. We just go about our daily activities and even this seems too stressful for three of them who make a bolt for it when they think we're moving too close to the perimeter of their personal boundaries, which stops at about 2metres atm! We're just a bit over-concerned as they are quite old for kittens. They were 2.5mths when we locked them in our apartment so are around 3mths now and we've read that after 3mths they can be very difficult to socialise. How old were yours when they arrived, and how much time did it take for your kittens to feel comfortable in your presence.
 

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Hi Lenka, thanks for your warm message of welcome and I've just put up an album. The kittens are still very skittish so they aren't very photogenic yet. I love your signature with the pics of all your cats, named, in a row - which application did you use to create it?
Hey! I'm sorry I missed your post. I was checking your pics at the gallery (your pics actually made me cry cause mom cat looks so much like Sun) and I came back to this thread.
Signature = It is just Photobucket, the online photo album site. You just go to Edit photos, then click on Create a collage. There you can create all sorts of banners, with effects, captions...

Good luck :D if you need further help just send me a message :wink

Almost forgot: Your kitty and her babies are just stunning. I love them all.
 

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Kitties and mom are lucky to have you! You seem to be doing a good job for now.

Since you can pet them while they eat, you could try using food motivation to tempt them into coming closer. Find a food item that they love over anything else (Temptations are great for that, I'm sure they put some drugs in them ;) or canned tuna). Sit on the floor and start by delicately throwing the food item in front of them. Once they look at you for more, start throwing them closer and closer to you until they take them on the floor right next to you. It might take multiple session to get there. The trick is to do it often, but not for a very long time (or they get full and don't want to eat any more). At the end of the session, to avoid scaring them when you stand up, throw a couple of treats farther away. It is important that they get those treats ONLY when you are working on socialisation with them so they can associate the very good food with a human.

Also, while it may seem like like logical to allow them access to the whole house so they can see you all the time and get use to you, it isn't in their best interest right now. Everytime you do something that scares them and they run, you are inadvertently teaching them to be afraid of you. So everytime they run is a stepback. Keep them in the room you put them at night at all time until you can move around that room without scaring them too much. Go and spend a few minutes with them multiple times through the day. If the mom is friendly, you can let her in the rest of the house (it will also give her a brake from them) during the day.

Another thing to do, is to transform a cat carrier in a "safe place" for them. Put their favorite blanket and toy inside, a few treats and always let them have access to it. Make it as inviting as possible. That way, not only do they have a place to retreat to if they are scared or overwhelmed, but if you have to bring them somewhere (the vet, their now home), you can just take the carrier with you and it is less stressful for them.
 
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