Feral Kitten Trying to Socialize--Set Up help

niki-nicole

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Hello wonderful Cat Lovers!

Short Story: Young Kitten--4-6 months I think. I will try to get a good picture for you to help me gauge age. Meowing under deck for food for the last few days. Would only eat when I was gone. I have now trapped the kitten and put him/her in a bathroom. Right now, there is a bed he/she slept on when it was outside, a litter box, and a cat carrier in the bathroom but I just released him in the bathroom as I caught him with a blanket.

Do I need to move him to a crate? I have one, but it isn't very big. It was for a 20 lbs dog. Is it okay to let him/her roam the bathroom? He is hiding behind a box and peeks at me from either side. We are about 24 hours in and he won't eat in front of me. He also bites HARD. I'm hoping his age will make him more tameable, but don't know if I let him roam in the bathroom or should confine him a bit more.

Also, are there any articles on this? I saw the one on Five Golden Rules to Brining an Outside Cat Inside.


Other cats in the family (all but two spayed or neutered):
2--inside only from shelters
5--outside day/inside night--strays who found us--we live in a rural area
1--friendly feral--the mama of a few of the inside/outside kitties
1--slightly friendly, mostly feral--need to figure out how to trap him/her to get fixed
1--feral kitten--the one this post is about. (will spay or neuter once calmed a bit)
 

fionasmom

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Adopting A Stray Cat – TheCatSite Articles
14 Cat Experts Reveal: How To Get A Cat To Like Me – TheCatSite Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles
Introducing Cats To Cats – TheCatSite Articles

If you can allow him to live in the bathroom without crating him, it would be fine. Putting a crate in the bathroom as a sort of bedroom with a nice blanket is also a good idea but some of this might depend on the size of the bathroom and whether or not the whole family has to use it. You mentioned that you have one in there, so try to make it into a sort of bed. Bathrooms have always been my room of choice for any newly rescued cat. They cannot hide anywhere like they could in other rooms as no real hidey holes exist. I have even opened low empty cabinets and put bedding in those.

He has to eat, so make sure that he does so, even if you have to leave the room at first. Then try to sit with him without staring at him or trying to touch him so that he can start to get to know you and feel more comfortable.This is definitely a process and not an overnight solution. Don't allow him to bite. Wear glove, or attach a soft cloth to a stick, or get a soft cat toy on a wand and try touching him with that.
 
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niki-nicole

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Don't allow him to bite. Wear glove, or attach a soft cloth to a stick, or get a soft cat toy on a wand and try touching him with that.
He bit my dad and me while we tried to catch him. He came into my cat's catio (we open the door when she isn't using it so the other cats can come to the window in the door to let us know they want in). We closed the door on him then tried to catch him. Most of the other cats I caught like this were semi-friendly so it wasn't very difficult. This one was WILD and we didn't use our brains to realize we could let him calm down and to get gloves. My mom freaked (she is a nurse). She was sure we would have to get rabies shots. But dad and I are now on 2 antibiotics and got our tetanus booster shots. I didn't learn my lesson because when another stray showed up that night (one who I was mostly sure was a stray who used to be around) I stuck my hand out for her to smell. She didn't bite but rubbed up against me. I need to stop doing that!

I will leave him in the bathroom. Thanks for the advice and articles!
 

fionasmom

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We have all been there. In November, I had to go to the ER for antibiotics and tetanus from a cat bite from a local feral. I should have known better.
 

di and bob

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Yes, I have been bit several times, especially by kittens. You have the kitten, (A sort of quarantine) so as long as it is OK in a couple of weeks, so will you. what I hated was when I got bit and never saw them again! :shocked:a small room is best, the bathroom is perfect. Just sit quietly with the kitten and talk to it. Hopefully, it eats at night. A kitten that young should calm down quicker than an older cat, but it will still take weeks. He was fighting for his life, or so he thought, so it will take a while, but it WILL happen. Bless you, for helping him, hopefully, you can find him a home or integrate him into your family....
 
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niki-nicole

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On a Kitten Lady video, she says to wait until the kitten will eat in front of you before you start to touch him. Right now, he hides behind something so he doesn't even have to look at me. He still hisses when I get a few feet away from him. I sit in the bathroom with him a couple of hours a day while I grade homework. I talk a bit and play music and kitten music.

I want to put a leather glove on (I have one for bees and roses that go up to my elbow) and try to advance my hands closer (not touching yet), but I feel like that is rushing it. Is that correct?

Should I remove the objects (baskets, trashcan) so he can see me while I'm in there or wait until he chooses to see me?

He is eating well when I'm not in. We have a nightlight on during the night and lights on during the day. He is using the kitty litter. He did eat two minnow treats while I was in the room, but not while I was watching.
 

di and bob

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Believe it or not, things ARE progressing! Eating well while you are not in is good. wait to try to touch him until he eats in front of you. He still thinks you are trying to eat him. As he learns you can come in and not actually try to hurt him, he will calm down and actually enjoy your company. Put down a couple of treats when you come in near the spot he is hiding and just do as you are, reading to him, sitting quietly. Leave the treats when you go to associate good things with you being there. Leave a small fluffy mouse toy or something too, to give him something to do. This will take a while. I have tamed many a feral by finally getting close enough to them while they are eating and touching them that way. They shoot off like a rocket at first when you touch them, but gradually get used to it and even start to enjoy it. Your little one is young, so believe it or not, shouldn't take as long. I know this is hard to take, but I have taken months to touch a feral outside, but they are older and more afraid. Your little one should start to come around in a couple of weeks. Once you get them to allow you to touch them, it goes quickly from there. Just remember, never stare directly into their eyes, which is threatening to a cat, turn your head slightly to the side when he comes out. Make sure the ringer on your phone is turned down, loud noises would be a setback. let the little one approach you first, that is the best way. You could bring a cat wand in later to entice him. But first, get him to come out and eat in front of you.....
 

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On a Kitten Lady video, she says to wait until the kitten will eat in front of you before you start to touch him. Right now, he hides behind something so he doesn't even have to look at me. He still hisses when I get a few feet away from him. I sit in the bathroom with him a couple of hours a day while I grade homework. I talk a bit and play music and kitten music.

I want to put a leather glove on (I have one for bees and roses that go up to my elbow) and try to advance my hands closer (not touching yet), but I feel like that is rushing it. Is that correct?

Should I remove the objects (baskets, trashcan) so he can see me while I'm in there or wait until he chooses to see me?

He is eating well when I'm not in. We have a nightlight on during the night and lights on during the day. He is using the kitty litter. He did eat two minnow treats while I was in the room, but not while I was watching.
Hello N niki-nicole and welcome to TCS! You've already gotten great tips/suggestions from other posters and to them, I would add that cat behaviorist extraordinaire, Jackson Galaxy a/k/a "The Cat Daddy" has his own "MY CAT FROM HELL" series on Animal Planet, several excellent books, universal social media presence and YouTube videos, any or all of which may be helpful. You can introduce your own expression of affection as he becomes used to your presence: the "cat 'I love you'" is when you slow-blink at your cat. He will interpret this as showing him trust and love, and eventually, he will probably slow-blink back at you. You will know then that he is learning to trust you, as a cat who feels at risk will not close his eyes in front of you.
 
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niki-nicole

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Update!

Things are going well! I think he is a boy. I was able to pet him starting Friday and by Saturday, he was purring so loud! He will eat in front of me and my mom. He rarely hisses when we first walk in. He will now keep purring even when I stop petting him and makes lots of biscuits.

There are two things we are working on: play and getting him out of his carrier and corners. He likes smaller, protected spaces. He is usually in a cat carrier with a blanket and the door open, the corner of the bathroom on this shelf where the roof angles in, or this bed with high sides. We sometimes see him out on a rug, but not often. Will that come as he gets confident?

And nothing seems to intrigue him to play with. Early on, he did move a catnip mouse from one location to the next and rip its tail off, but none of the toys seem played with since.

Any other tips?
 

fionasmom

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There is definite progress with your boy. He is allowing petting which he enjoys and making biscuits. He will become more confident and start to leave the carrier over time. Some cats love to play and some are not that much into toys, regardless of their age. The most successful toy we have is Da Bird which you might investigate and see if it would work for you.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000F9JJJE/?tag=thecatsite
 

tarasgirl06

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fionasmom fionasmom is right! da Bird is THE toy for cats of all ages, because it's interactive. Catnip mice (or birds, fish, pillows, bananas, other fruit...) are popular with most cats, but a lot of kittens aren't turned on by catnip yet. Some cats never are. Other cats prefer the stronger silvervine Feline so Fine on Silver Vine and others like honeysuckle, valerian or blends. Twinkle balls are also very popular toys because cats can bat them and carry them around in their mouths. Amazon.com : cat glitter balls Many of these toys are available at petco.com, too, and at their stores. You won't need to fill the house with expensive battery-operated toys your cat won't even play with, if you get some or all of these. These are the tried-and-true, proven successes. A lot of kittens especially like these trackballs, though, too:FRISCO Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy - Chewy.com
You will need to be patient and give your kitten time to learn to trust you and feel confident in his home. There is no specific time limit for this, but the latest sheltering expert information instructs to give at least 3 months for a cat to acclimatize to a new home, regardless of age and whether or not the cat is feral. Let him come out at his own pace, and don't try to make him socialize too soon. He should be the one to decide when, where, and how much to come out. As long as he knows he is safe and has regular clean water, food, and litterbox, as well as a comfortable place to sleep and some good scratching and climbing surfaces, he should be happy now.
 
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niki-nicole

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He is turning into a cuddle bum! He is interested in our other cats (they come in sometimes when we are in) but they aren't really interested in him. I'm glad that they aren't trying to get after him and chase him away. He is playing now and staying in the open more. As we see him better and see him walk, we noticed that he has one leg that looks like it was broken in the past. It has a large lump around the elbow and it curves oddly when he stretches it out. The opposite shoulder blade also sticks up a lot and gives him a hunchbacked appearance. He is going to the dr. on Thursday and I hope he will take some x-rays.

His name is Henry VIII after the song--and the king I guess. He makes the 8th inside cat but a mama cat we spayed 3 years ago has come back and decided she is our cat. Still not coming in, but wants me to stand outside so she can rub against my legs. I just hope we don't go into the double digits with our cats.

Any guesses on the age?


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tarasgirl06

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He is turning into a cuddle bum! He is interested in our other cats (they come in sometimes when we are in) but they aren't really interested in him. I'm glad that they aren't trying to get after him and chase him away. He is playing now and staying in the open more. As we see him better and see him walk, we noticed that he has one leg that looks like it was broken in the past. It has a large lump around the elbow and it curves oddly when he stretches it out. The opposite shoulder blade also sticks up a lot and gives him a hunchbacked appearance. He is going to the dr. on Thursday and I hope he will take some x-rays.

His name is Henry VIII after the song--and the king I guess. He makes the 8th inside cat but a mama cat we spayed 3 years ago has come back and decided she is our cat. Still not coming in, but wants me to stand outside so she can rub against my legs. I just hope we don't go into the double digits with our cats.

Any guesses on the age?


View attachment 378895View attachment 378900
I'd guesstimate around 4 months although I'm no authority. Definitely neuterable now and recommended ASAP as he may spray if not, especially in a multi-cat family environment. And yes, X-rays definitely recommended!!! He's adorable. Of course. :redheartpump: :bicolorcat::redheartpump::loveeyes:
I moved here with 9. Over time, only one is still with me, and I adopted another. I miss having a larger family but Baby Su, 16, was born feral and only bonds to me; Elvis, 13 and adopted by me at age 9, is very territorial. I have roommates occupying my extra bedroom, which was my introduction room for new adoptees. So it means I can't adopt at this time. How I miss having a larger family!
 

fionasmom

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I love that look- at -me- I- am- so- cute look over his shoulder. Poor baby to be so young and to have possibly been injured or abused. He is very happy now with you evidently. I currently have 6 cats inside and 4 ferals outside.
 
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