Help Socializing Feral Kittens

PhoebeBB

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Hi everyone,

I volunteer at a cat rescue and a couple of mama cats came in with I'm guessing one month old kittens. The mom's are tame, but the kittens are scared of people.

I want to socialize them so that they have a better chance of being adopted, but I'm not sure how to do it. I can't bring them home, and I can probably commit 30 to 60 minutes a day with them. Everything I've read so far talks about socializing kittens at home.

I don't know if I should dive right in and just start picking them up even though they're frightened, or if I should just hang out with them and wait for them to come to me.

Do you think they would even come to me?What I've read so far says this age is the best to socialize them.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

StefanZ

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Hi everyone,

.I don't know if I should dive right in and just start picking them up even though they're frightened, or if I should just hang out with them and wait for them to come to me.
Are there others whom too do some socialization?

Anyway, if mommas are tame, begin with the mommas. Cuddle them, show the kittens you arent dangerous.
Begin with the friendliest of mommas / kittens, and let it be your ambassadeur.

Talk friendly a lot to them. Sing if you can and wish... Sit down, look friendly... Use a Da Bird or similiar, and hope they come forward to play. Or you draw around something on a thin rope...

If there is something extra yummy, you can try to give it to them, and entice. And or, leave some of this on a used t-shirt of yours. Ie a t-shirt which has your smells.

Sitting down, not staring in the eyes. Dont hower with your hand above... In the beginning using a wooden spoon is good. Wooden, because it feels warm, and spoon, because its even and nice in touch...


IF you dive and start picking although they are frightened. This is recommended sometimes. But there is a strong reinforcement: You wrap up such a kitten alike in a burrito. Just the head up. Being immobilized this way, they cease resistance, and try to copy.... And you carry such a kitten at your chest, feeling your warmth and hearing your heart. You carry it around 30-60 minutes, talking friendly, making friendly sounds, "crooning" singing...
After a couple of such sessions it should be done.
A sort of super friendly "breaking in".
Im not necessarily recommending this, the other methods are really better, but this is doable.


Another trick of the same type, is to held the kitten, helding it comfortably, and brush it, perhaps with a toothbrush, from neck down to the tail...
It feels much as mommas tongue.
 
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PhoebeBB

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Thank you! I went today and just pet the mom's and only a few kittens ran away. The ones that stayed were leary of me, but eventually fell asleep.
 

ArchyCat

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P PhoebeBB -- Please keep us posted on progress! My opinion, is that if the kittens see their mother socializing with you, they will soon follow.

Good luck!
 
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PhoebeBB

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So I've been working with them everyday, and I'm making a lot of progress. I loved on the mama's, and after a few days they stopped hiding, a few days more and they felt comfortable playing around me, and now some of the will let me hold them, and the leery one's come near for treats, but are not ready to be touched yet. There are also other volunteers working with them so they're becoming more comfortable around people.

Thanks for the advice!
 
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