A kitten fell down my chimney and I need advice!

Kflowers

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what Sarthur2 said. At this age and size, it's easy to have a basket/carrier by the door to the yard. Before you go to get the dogs, scoop the kits up and lock them in the carrier. Then call the dogs. Let the dogs sniff the carrier. This will make the dogs more inclined to hurry in when you call them and give the kits a new interactive measure of oh my goodness look at us on the counter looking down at the dogs excitement. After a few times the kittens will know when it's time for the dogs to come back in (by your movements) and will scamper into the carrier.
 

Caspers Human

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I would make sure you know where the kittens are before opening the door to call the dogs.
Our cats know that, if they get too close to the door when the humans are coming in or going out, they'll get "the boot!"

No, you don't kick the cat! Use your foot to push the cat out of the way. Of course, you should be careful but you don't have to be too gentle. Cats need to learn that "Door without permission" = "Bad!" Once they learn, they won't even try.

Our littlest, Elliot, already knows the rules. I go out to the back porch to have a smoke and he'll sit by the screen door and watch. When I get ready to come back in, I'll say, "Watch out!" and the cat will back away from the door even before I open it. He's only been living here for about eight months and he's already an "old pro." ;) It probably only took him a few weeks before he started learning the rules.

He always gets lots of petting and "Good kitty!" when he behaves... which is probably why he behaves so well. He knows he's going to get lots of love and attention when I come back inside. :)

Point is: Make the rules, enforce them consistently then the cats will learn, pretty quickly. :)
 
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TobiDaDog

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Thank you all! My only saving grace up to this point has been the bells around their necks. I can hear them jingling as they run past my feet. But it's not a good long term solution because they outnumber me. I will work on training them up! They're smart little buggers for sure. I know they'll learn fast. Reese was easy mode. Once she was brought indoors as a kitten, she never wanted to go out again. I tried taking her out on a leash a few times and she looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. 😂
 
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TobiDaDog

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My next question is about the neutering. We had bought a little kennel for Nikolas when we found him. It is big enough to hold a bed, a litter box, and a water bowl. We had intended to keep him in it for cage-rest after he was neutered so that he didn't pop a stitch or herniate anything. (My sister's dog herniated from playing too hard after her spay...her organs fell into the incision site and she required an additional surgery. Yuck!) But then Tato came along and...well, we only have one cage. I'm assuming that it would be a bad idea to house two boisterous young brothers in the same cage as they're recovering from their neuter.

Any tips on keeping a pair of kittens somewhat still so that they can recover from their surgeries?
 
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TobiDaDog

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Sometimes I wonder if these two are really brothers. But I mean...the odds of finding two unrelated kittens so close together have got to be slim, right? They're absolutely night and day to one another. Their personalities couldn't be more different. Their body types couldn't be more different. They're developing mentally at a different pace from one another. Niko is basically a mini cat at this point already. He's so smart and agile and he's like a little wild cat. A perfect hunter in the making.

Tato is...just Tato. Soft, short, and takes it all at his own pace. What Niko could learn in a span of a day (like balancing along a thin rail) Tato takes a week to even partially get the hang of. He learns slower. He grows slower. He'd much rather watch the world go by from your lap while his brother overturns every leaf, rock, branch and couch cushion.

Niko is very quiet. Tato is very loud. Like all the time loud. He never stops making noise.

Their body types are different too. Niko is already muscular and lean. Tato is squishy with loose skin, like a young puppy. One had long legs, one has short. One has big ears and a long tail, the other has small ears and a short tail.

I'm probably overthinking it as usual. Surely they're brothers. Else where would two entirely unrelated kittens have come from?
 

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You can get the kittens neutered a week apart rather than same day. That way each can recover alone in the kennel. I’ll warn you though that young males recover very easily, so they’ll want out of the kennel pretty quick.

Neuters are much easier recoveries than spays, as it’s all external. My 3 male kittens were neutered at 12 weeks and resumed playing right away. No issues whatsoever.

Embrace their differences! I have 4 cats from the same mom who are all very different in looks, bodies, temperament, food preferences, agility, etc.
 
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TobiDaDog

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You can get the kittens neutered a week apart rather than same day. That way each can recover alone in the kennel. I’ll warn you though that young males recover very easily, so they’ll want out of the kennel pretty quick.

Neuters are much easier recoveries than spays, as it’s all external. My 3 male kittens were neutered at 12 weeks and resumed playing right away. No issues whatsoever.

Embrace their differences! I have 4 cats from the same mom who are all very different in looks, bodies, temperament, food preferences, agility, etc.
They will either have to be neutered same day or a month apart because of the voucher program that our city offers. One day a month they distribute a number of spay and neuter vouchers to the community with a preset appointment time and a veterinarian of their choosing. We will be picking up our vouchers in January - But if we only take a voucher for one kitten, we will have to wait until mid-late February for the next one.
 

Kflowers

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We had two of our boys neutered on the same day, they began spraying together the night before. That was back in the day when vets seemed to always be available to fix cats. They were fine. Once they came around afterward, except for not spraying, they didn't seem to notice it happened.
 

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We got a large dog cage when we had our youngest, Elliot, neutered. We put a blanket over the top of it to make a kind of "clubhouse" for him to hang out in after he got home.

He used it for a day or so until he got used to his new home. We left it there for about a week until he stopped using it as "home base."

It's packed up and stored in the basement in case we need it again.

And... Yes... Elliot recovered from his operation very quickly! It was only two days or so before he was up and running around like nothing ever happened. :)
 

Sarthur2

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I understand the voucher program now, so it will be much easier on you to take both in at once. Figure out a way to separate them — borrow another kennel or put one cat in a separate room. Again, most male kitties recover very quickly without complications. They lick “down there” a bit once the anesthesia wears off, but it’s nothing like a spay.
 
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TobiDaDog

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I am struggling to teach the kittens how to "take nice" when I give them a treat. If I offer a treat on my palm, they both jump up and stick their little claws into my fingers and scratch me as they try to take it. If they think I have a treat or want another, they jump up and hook my hand! It hurts!
 
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TobiDaDog

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Put their treats on the floor and save your hand.
Even when I do, they still jump up and scratch my hands after they eat it thinking I'm holding another.
 

Caspers Human

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He's trying to teach his cats to take food out of hand. I think it's an important thing to teach animals.

On one hand, it's good to have a trusting relationship with your pets regarding food but, on another level, it's important for those (hopefully few) times when you have to give medicine to your pet or something like that.

Casper, the oldest, won't take food out of hand. All his food must be put down before he'll eat it. Elliot, the little upstart, wants to lick the milk from my breakfast cereal. He actually wants to lick the milk right from your spoon.

Elliot, I'd have no problem giving him pills or doing anything around his face like wiping his eyes and ears. Casper, on the other hand, is hard to give medicine to. His Girl-Human has to pet him and make nice for a few minutes before she gives him his pills or else he'll put up a fight. If I have to give Casper his medicine without Girl-Human's help, I virtually have to sit on him.

I think it's ironic that it seems like the ease of taking good care of a cat is related to whether they'll let us feed them by hand. Casper has always been stand off-ish since the day we got him. Elliot seems to have done the opposite. When we first started taking care of him, Elliot would only take food from a dish, left on the ground. Now, he sits on my lap, begging for Churu treats!
 
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TobiDaDog

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All this cuteness makes me want to take the guard off the chimney that keeps critters out and go check the garden!
All good and well until you end up with a terrified mini-squirrel in your workshop. 😂 This was about two years ago now, I think? We don't know for sure if she came down the chimney or not, but we ended up having to catch the poor little thing running around our shop and nurse her with milk until she was big enough to be let go. She was really emaciated and we couldn't find a rescue group to take her. I still see her in the garden from time to time. She was very happy to be freed. We really should get a guard of our own up there. Kittens are wonderful surprises. I'd give a hard pass to another baby squirrel.

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nurseangel

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She is adorable! DH would freak out! A possum left a baby on our porch and he couldn't rest until I found a wildlife rescue willing to take him.

We initially got the chimney cap because little blue and black lizards were invading. The poor things were difficult for us to catch and release. My parents had chimney swifts in their chimney, effectively putting an end to any fireplace use.
 
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TobiDaDog

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They're both growing so fast now! Tato has had a big growth spurt this week. I feel like he's grown right in front of my eyes. He's so sweet and friendly and just wants to be held all the time.

Nikolas has turned into a "surly teenager" and hates being held or petted. But he will show up fast if he thinks you have food. Then when he realizes you don't have anything he immediately leaves. 😂 But at night I wake up and he's curled up beside me sound asleep.

Their neuter is scheduled for the end of the month and I am nervous!
 
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