Need a little guidance with feral kitten …

LauraShaver

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Hello all, I just adopted my first feral kitten about two months old. On Monday I got urgent plea to take in this adorable little guy, he had been fixed that morning and we received him late Monday afternoon. He (Axel) stayed in a cage overnight and then we put him in the spare bedroom/office. Bathroom was not an option. (I have had cats for several years, so I’m a little cat savvy, only not with a feral baby).
So, in his new room, he has to share with my husband because he works from home and it has safe places for Axel to retreat to. We also have four other cats and a dog. He has a good appetite, eating wet and dry kitten food and drinking well, he has a shoebox with dirt in for him to do his business. He, is extremely wary, not approachable. Fortunately my husband has a very soothing speaking voice on the phone and I go in often and quietly talk to Axel. I have put a worn by me T-shirt close to where Axel seems to be the most comfortable, under a small bedside table. I have not tried to pick him up, because I don’t want to appear that I’m chasing him down. We have laid on the floor and put our hands close to him and I offer kibble to him, he hisses, when I retrieve my hand he will eat the kibble. We have a toy on a stick, a couple of balls to roll around, he‘s starting to engage with them.
I know it’s only been a couple of days, he yowls quite a lot and was in full yowling mode (all) night and early morning, whether I was in his room or not, he was fed, used his box and I got him to play a little. I left the TV on with soothing sound, not too loud though. My guesses are that one of course he’s scared, and probably lonely for his family. There wasn’t an option to take one of his siblings. Which in the past I’ve tried to do, but also have taken in a single cats. What can I do additionally make him comfortable, especially at nighttime. I want Axel to have wonderful experience and life. I know it takes a lot of patience and I’m expecting with a feral a heaping of patience. My other cats and dog are older, curious (they have all seen each other), we are only letting them in room for a short supervised visit, no scolding for hissing at either party. I’ve gave the other cats and dog a dose of rescue remedy last night because of Axel’s yowling, they were stressing out over it. It worked, so today things are good.
I welcome all advice, I hope this was’t to much of a rambling on, just wanted to let you all as much as possible.
Thank you so much.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
Try a heartbeat toy or/and a purr toy for him. Otherwise I think you're doing great 👍
 

fionasmom

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You have had him for 2 days, so it is still rocky while he figures out what is happening. I have had the same experience with feral kittens who were separated from their siblings and mom. You are doing what you should be, so it will take some time for him to relax. He is at the exact right age to socialize.
 
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LauraShaver

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You have had him for 2 days, so it is still rocky while he figures out what is happening. I have had the same experience with feral kittens who were separated from their siblings and mom. You are doing what you should be, so it will take some time for him to relax. He is at the exact right age to socialize.
THANK YOU :)
 
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LauraShaver

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Well, we are into the third night. Things are going ok. Today his appetite wasn’t what it had been the previous two days, not alarmed yet. I‘ve been up with him most of last two nights into the early hours. I honestly have never heard such yowling. Who knew something that little had such a set of lungs! This evening I gave him 1/2 dose of (Bachs) Rescue Remedy. He seems so distressed. Earlier this evening he somehow got himself onto a shelf, 3/4 way up in the closet. I had to use a small blanket to catch him to get him down. I looked at the heartbeat/purr toys on Amazon and was quite divided on getting one due to the mixed bag of reviews. I ended up finding a purr recording on my phone and placed it under a soft cuddle toy. It hasn’t claimed him completely, but it is a lot quieter so far tonight. We’ve had some really great interactive play, which is encouraging. It isn’t easy getting close to him, The closet episode set things back, I’m sure. It’s been just a couple of days, so patience, patience, patience! I really just want to snuggle him up so he doesn’t feel so lonely. One thing he knows for sure is that the bedroom door is the way out. I’m getting ready to get myself off to bed and catch some “ZZZZZZ’s”. Thanks for listening :)
 

Eurocat

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Hi there..
Congratulations on your new little kitty and it‘s great that he‘s play interacting. That‘s the golden bridge at this stage. In the first months I often used the night hours between 10:30 and 1am to play and interact. The night was (as for all cats) the time when my little 5 month old very skittish semi-feral felt most self confident:gingercat2: and was in predator mode.
(I was like a zombie though due to sleep deprivation!)
It was a turbulent time with many ups and downs and reading into this forum with its vast knowledge base and wealth of experience was an amazing support. Now, a further 6 months later, my little cat Kala has become an incredibly affectionate cuddle cat and is very strongly bonded to me and my partner. She still remains very skittish of strangers though, which is fine as long term she will be allowed back outside.
Just one quick question - you say your little kitty was fixed on the day you picked him up. Did he get any pain medication and is everything going ok post op? This of course could be adding to his general feeling of disorientation/malaise.
Wishing you and kitty all the best!
 

tatonka1233

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The best thing you have done was give him space and time to get used to his new home. I am going through the same thing with my new additions. Best of luck to you!
 
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LauraShaver

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Hi there..
Congratulations on your new little kitty and it‘s great that he‘s play interacting. That‘s the golden bridge at this stage. In the first months I often used the night hours between 10:30 and 1am to play and interact. The night was (as for all cats) the time when my little 5 month old very skittish semi-feral felt most self confident:gingercat2: and was in predator mode.
(I was like a zombie though due to sleep deprivation!)
It was a turbulent time with many ups and downs and reading into this forum with its vast knowledge base and wealth of experience was an amazing support. Now, a further 6 months later, my little cat Kala has become an incredibly affectionate cuddle cat and is very strongly bonded to me and my partner. She still remains very skittish of strangers though, which is fine as long term she will be allowed back outside.
Just one quick question - you say your little kitty was fixed on the day you picked him up. Did he get any pain medication and is everything going ok post op? This of course could be adding to his general feeling of disorientation/malaise.
Wishing you and kitty all the best!
Hello and thank you for your message, I’ve received a lot of good feed back from all the purr-parents here. He (Axel) appears to be fine post-op. The pet rescue provided no post-op options, basic catch, snip and release. I didn’t initially rescue him, it was a “friend of a friend” situation who was desperate for him to have a furrever home. She was rather rattled when she dropped him off, rushing to pick him up, getting lost on the way to my house and in a hurry to get home. So I didn’t get a lot of information. I’m taking him to my regular vet next week. I’m definitely feeling the zombie effect today.

My other cats, are getting a bit more tolerant to all of little Axel‘s vocalizing and they are so kind with their hisses towards him 🙁 when they get a look at him. A post from Furballsmom suggested a “purr toy”, I looked at reviews and balked at getting one because of the mixed reviews. What I did discover was was a real purring cat on YOUTUBE, up to ten hours! At first I turned it on, on my phone and put it under a soft toy, it was good for a little while (about 30 minutes) then he started yowling. When I went to check on him, made sure all was good, food, play and some business taken care of, I put the purring cat on the TV, found a good volume and he settled into his spot and all was good for about an hour. I was really pleased with those results. Also, I think he enjoys a little 🎶 jazz 🎶 music I found Amazon TV. All in all I think we are on a good path, just patience, encouragement and love. I’m enjoying some quiet time while he sleeps! Thank you
 
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LauraShaver

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Go to YouTube and locate Music for Cats, but David Teie. It is entrained to their brain waves, does not sound like music to us, but is incredibly relaxing for cats.
Intriguing … thank you for the suggestion, I‘m going to look it up right away!
 
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