Do feral kittens remember their siblings ?

Crabbysquatch

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I’m in the middle of trying to catch some kittens out of my barn. I noticed them first when they were only a few days old. I checked on them a few times and the mom didn’t like that and moved them. I next found them in my other barn living in my boat. How the mom got them in there I’ll never know. I started leaving food and water for the mom but after a week or so she got tired of me being there and moved them again to a side shelter for firewood attached to the first barn they were in. Their eyes were crusted shut so we decided to try and catch them to help. Two grown adults are no match for 3 blind kittens. But eventually I found one of them wandering around in circles in the yard and was able to grab her. She has been living inside with us since and is happily causing chaos and seem content. Yesterday I was able to catch another of the kittens. I trapped it in a big Guinea pig cage with top and bottom and brought it into the house garage. I covered the cage with blankets so it feels more secure. We put a cat bed and food and water and litter box with non clumping litter in it. Plus some good catnip toys as well. He/she is eating the wet food and some chicken I put in there but only when I’m not watching. I need to get this kitten to another cage in the house where it is better but it is still very scared when I’m there and hides behind the cat bed.

My question is this. Will the two kittens recognize each other after 3 weeks being apart ? I was thinking of putting the tame one ( Goober ) in the cage with the new one for comfort and maybe to get it to trust me a little faster. Is this a good idea ? Am I risking them getting in a fight ?

I still have one left to catch that is super skittish then I can trap the mom to have her fixed. Hopefully I didn’t scare them off catching this one right in front of them.
 

NY cat man

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Only once have we had to deal with littermates. In that instance, one kitten was more gregarious than the other two, and came in (she wasn't trapped) about two weeks before the others joined her. For several days after, she would hiss and try to swat at her siblings, but that only lasted a short time until they all got reacquainted. That may not be the case with you, but don't be surprised if it happens.
 
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Crabbysquatch

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The kitten hates me. It breaks my heart. At least she ate a little food in front of me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
 

Mamanyt1953

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The kitten does not hate you. She is terrified, and thinks that she is fighting for her life. Be patient, she's young, and will come around. You will become, first, the "Bringer of Good Things," and later, "A Human I Love and Trust." It takes time with most ferals. Not all, but most.

As for whether or not they actively remember their siblings, at this age, it hardly matters. Someone like them will be fairly quickly accepted, and become a sibling, even when they are not.
 

NY cat man

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The kitten hates me. It breaks my heart. At least she ate a little food in front of me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
I don't know how experienced you are with socializing ferals, but there will always be an adjustment period when they first come inside. How long will it last? That depends entirely on the cat in question. Some fall right into the routine, while others may take months, or even years to fully adapt. The key is to remain patient, and allow the cats time to get to know you, and trust you. Good luck with your endeavor.
 
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Crabbysquatch

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In the past I’ve befriended them outside on their terms and gained their trust “honestly”. This is the first time I’ve snatched them up before they fully trusted me. It’s just a little hard on me that I broke the little trust the kitten had in me until this point. I got to observe the kitten and mom interacting and I know they miss each other. It’s for the best I know but it’s still difficult
I don't know how experienced you are with socializing ferals, but there will always be an adjustment period when they first come inside. How long will it last? That depends entirely on the cat in question. Some fall right into the routine, while others may take months, or even years to fully adapt. The key is to remain patient, and allow the cats time to get to know you, and trust you. Good luck with your endeavor.
 
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Crabbysquatch

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Wooohooo I have a much better attitude now. The kitten played with some toys I was holding and I was able to draw him/her over to the saucer of kitten formula that I brought out. It lapped it up just a few inches from my hand. I have high hopes for tomorrow.

it’s a pity we can’t keep them but we can only afford so many cats.
 

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The kitten will definitely come around. I have had to rescue feral cats under similar situations, once in a while even an adult, and they are definitely fearful and combative at first because anything could be about to happen to them. These kittens are at a very young age and can be socialized.

I have had family members remember each other over time. At one time we had a feral community at my workplace which had to be resolved. (Not because anyone complained, but local dogs had killed some of the cats.) I took one boy home on January 1, but was not able to get his sister until February 14. She was terrified when I brought her home and hid in the back of a closet until she realized that her brother was there in which case she came out and sat with him.
 
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Success with the second kitten. Got ‘em trusting enough to handle and got ‘em inside. It’s a boy kitten. We have his cage up against his sisters and they are play fighting between the bars. It’s amazing how much bigger the one has gotten in 3 weeks with good nutrition compared to living outside in the barn. We put them together and they played together for about 15 minutes until it started to get too rough. Without the mom cat there I had to play the bad guy and split them up. They are still having fun fighting through the bars though. Probably let them both out to explore the house this evening.
image.jpg
 
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Crabbysquatch

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Finally caught the 3rd kitten last night. :hyper: It had escaped my attempts 3 times before and almost this time as well. Never underestimate the strength and determination of a terrified kitten. She/he is in a cage in the garage for now until I can build a little trust and befriend them. Still pretty scared and hissy but they ate the soft food I put in there last night.
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Just took the two tamed kittens in to the vet because of sneezing. Antibiotics for both and dewormer also. Wooohooo :hyper: The vet tech seemed very interested in adopting them and took pictures to show her boyfriend. At this point we can’t just drop them off at a shelter even if we found one to accept them. As much as we would like to keep all the cats we realistically can’t afford 8 of them. I’m still trying to consider us foster parents but we would need to find someone we know and trust to take them.
 
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Crabbysquatch

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Mission accomplished :D Living room is now a kitten rescue. Lol. New kittens cage is the front left one. He/she is already trying to make friends with Odie and Puca. I’m going to have to sleep with one eye open for Emi and I haven’t seen Minnie come see the new kitten yet but expect to hear some hissing.
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Love the markings on #3, like someone tossed an inkwell at it. Looks like she/he was READY to be rescued! (“OK this feral business is exhausting!”). Can’t wait to see more photos as it relaxes, heals and grows. This story is just great. Thank you so much for all you do.
 

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Oh, you've done so well! The kittens will remember each other, I brought an outdoor cat in after she had been apart form her brother and sister for almost a year and they were all friendly with each other right from the start.

A word of warning if the kittens are play fighting through the bars of the cage. One of my rescues got his paw through the crate bars all the way up to his armpit and was stuck. I had to go in and gently move his arm back through for him. He wasn't hurt, but he could have been if he was trapped for a long time. Do you have a baby monitor or anyway of listening out for squeals if they get in trouble?
 
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Kitten #3 is out and exploring the house. He/she is very skittish and sneaks from hiding spot to hiding spot.
The cages are right in the middle of our main living room so somebody is around most the time if they get stuck.
This kitten was the loner of the group ever since they were tiny babies. Always off to the side. So the other two kittens constantly running and attacking each other might be too much right now. He/she is more attracted to the bigger cats Odie and Puca. Attacking tails and overhanging paws from hiding.

New kitten is friendly with the other cats but not so much with us. Looks like it’s going to be a struggle to get ‘em back in the cage. Oops kinda poor planning on our part. Maybe nana Odie will be helpful.
 
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Whew….kitten finally wrangled into cage. Odie played his part drawing the kitten out from under things several times and even got ‘em in the cage a few times. Us humans are still not to be trusted though and the second we so much as twitch to close the door it runs back out. Odie‘s contract only covers so much kitten nonsense so he abandoned us half way through. We finally trapped em in the 7ft cardboard curtain rod shipping tube we let the kittens play in. I don’t think we helped our cause by turning it into a slide and shooting em into the cage. But it worked. Lesson learned… hand tame the kitten first Then let it out. Lol.
 
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Well I didn’t learn I guess. I let the feral kitten out again to play with the other kittens. I couldn’t resist. This time I have to give credit to Puca for helping me wrangle the kitten back in the cage. It hissed and ran and hid from me every time I got close. But then Puca showed up and the kitten ran to him for protection and that allowed me to pick em up and put em away.
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