Escaped feral kitten

Julesandtheferals

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Hi there,

Due to an idiot coming into my house unannounced and uninvited and opening an interior door, one of the feral kittens I have had inside for 2 weeks (I am taming them to rehome them/keep them as house cats) has escaped. I live on a farm and there are around 20 cats outside, the feral kittens came from one of them. I have tried to find him, with no luck. I will keep looking of course, but my question is, will he be okay outside, despite having been inside for two weeks, with regular meals and where it is warmer? Will he be able to adapt back to being 'feral', if I am unable to find him? Extremely worried.

Thank you.
 

fionasmom

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I am sorry that this happened to you and the kitten. First order of business is to keep looking and try to think like you believe he might, if that makes sense. He is young, but able to eat on his own although he may not be up to whatever you might be feeding the true ferals if it is hard or dry food. His mother being out there is a wild card in terms of them reuniting. Do the ferals follow any feeding pattern, such as they come at the same time every day? Do you see all of them regularly? I know that with a feral colony on a large property it may not be that "organized." My ferals eat in one place, all of them, including the ones who do not like each other. They appear at different times, but they have to come to my back door area for the food, so I can have a head count. If you could organize the food in some way so that he might come with the rest, or on his own to a specific place you might spot him. Friendly enough to you to come to you?
 
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Julesandtheferals

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Thank you so much for your reply! There is, still no sign of him unfortunately, I am reahoping he has taken up with the other ferals. Would they accept him back? I hate to think of him on his own! The ferals all get fed in the mornings, so I will leave out the food for them all that he has been eating. I really am hoping he can assimilate back to being in the gang outside. He's the one that was proving the hardest to tame, so it's unlikely he will show himself easily. Again thank you for coming back to me and sorry for all the questions!
 

tabbytom

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but my question is, will he be okay outside, despite having been inside for two weeks, with regular meals and where it is warmer? Will he be able to adapt back to being 'feral', if I am unable to find him? Extremely worried.
If there are no other feeders around your area, most likely he'll be hanging around your house. Leave his food at your door step and also has he been using the litterbox? If he has, sprinkle some of his litter a few feet away from your house and also if there's anything with his scent, leave one or two of those stuffs on your porch.

At 9 weeks old, he is very vulnerable. He won't be able to fend himself against the other cats and other wild animals. Did you see which direction he took off to? Please keep looking for him as he is familiar with your scents and voice and bring food long when you go looking for him.

Our member, Jcatbird Jcatbird , have good tips for you as recently one of her cats escaped the house for a period of time. She spent time looking for her cat and after several weeks, the cat was found and is now safe at home.
 
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Jcatbird

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Yes. Chances are he is very close. Scared but…. Often in a colony I have watched as other mom and even Tom cats have acted as protectors or foster parents. I have seen this very often. I have had longtime socialized cats alert me when kittens in need were near. Pay close attention to any different behavior in any cat! You may see a shadow kitten nearby. Provide a shelter near that does no hold good! A tarp tied above the ground with places under it to hide or climb. Plain outdoor furniture works. A blanket laid in a dollar stor chair can be shelter to climb into or under for a kitten. Cardboard boxes under the tarp can work too as long as they stay dry. Put this a ways away from feeding area. Keep watch at normal feeding hours the kitten is used to. Look over, under and inside of everything. Even rooftops are an option. Looking st night with a flashlight can work. Cst eyes reflect very well at night. Look at dawn, dusk and a few times in between. I have found that the hours most quiet from human activity are feral cat favorites.
You have the litter mates? Their scent can help. Kitten will recognize their smell. A blanket they use snd their litter box litter can all be used to lead kitten where you can find him. He is the least social? That means he is the most savvy and probably the highest intelligence. His survival instincts are strong. I had a disaster here with more than one feral litter st once. I thought some had been killed.Sometime later I discovered that the “lost” kittens had simply been adopted into other litters. Different ages but they blended. Of course I was amazed and delighted to find all survived. Reuniting mothers and babies. It happens! Watch thier mom if she is around. If she is not spayed, she may already be pregnant again. That does not mean she won’t accept her kitten back though. She may not want it to try snd nurse but she may even allow that. The male father may watch over him too. I cannot guarantee any of this but I have seen very, very close colony bonds. I have seen cats save and protect each other. The cat that tabbytom tabbytom referred to had been in a colony where a male cat that is with me also lived. He actually helped me to lure her home. His scent was familiar to her and they are bonded. They were apart off and on while I was rescuing colony members but the bond remained snd when I brought the male inside, they remembered each other. When she was let out , similar circumstances to what happened there, they still remembered each other. I have had mom cats separated from their offspring for a year and more but still, they remained bonded when reunited. Sometimes it took a little time for the newer arrival inside to settle in but the bonds stayed. If you spot the kitten, I suggest using a trap where you can spring the door yourself to be sure you get him rather than another cat. A drop trap should work for a kitten too. Just don’t stop looking! He is near. Cats are masters at hiding! This is one of Georgia greatest assets. It helps them hunt snd hide. Let me stress again, use scents he knows. Even though he is not social yet, he does know his scent fro
Inside , your scent, his regular food and his brothers or sisters. Anything that smells like what he knows to be safe is a lure. Does he know the sound of a bag of dry food being shaken or poured, a cst food cat being opened or a box or bag of treats being shaken? Use those noises as you search. Do all these things regularly, at regular intervals and with persistence. Cats do not like change, they like routine. He knows your routines. Use that to your advantage and search at times you would normally interact with him. Never give up! He is there. Also, listen to birds outside. The birds always start fussing if a cat is seen. They have a birds eye view and do see cats. Pay attention. Listen and look up. See birds swooping from tree to tree? Follow them. Cat tracks. Soft sand or dirt can be a great help! Tracks near food can tell you who is eating there. If you don’t have soft ground, very fine, dusty cat litter works. A bag of sand from a place like home depot or Lowe’s can be used too. Even better because even if it rains, the prints show very well. Watch for tap grass to be pushed down where cats are sleeping. A large spot can indicate an adult or a cat and baby. A small spot is a kitten alone. I am sure the kitten will seek out the other cats and some cat will accept him. Sending love and hope your way. :vibes::redheartpump:
Please do keep us updated.
 

fionasmom

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There is "no thank you for coming back to me". We are here to try to help and support you!
 
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Julesandtheferals

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A huge huge huge thank you to all of you - he has appeared! To say I am relieved is an understatement. He actually sauntered through the back door and hissed at me on his way through. I of course was in tears, he really doesn't seem at all bothered. Went straight to his food bowl then fell asleep. Unbelievable. He is definitely a TOM!

Honestly I am just so delighted to have found this forum, you are all amazing!!!
 
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Julesandtheferals

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I am a bit overwhelmed so apologies if I am not replying directly to any messages, but overwhelmed in a good way!
 

fionasmom

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Thank you for the update! This is great news and you did a wonderful job helping these cats.
 
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