Need Help Aging These Kittens

e_l_green

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If they're young enough I want to trap them and take them to a rescue. If they're old enough I want to trap them and take them to a TNR program. They showed up at my feeding station this morning along with two other new kitties.
new-visitors.PNG
 
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e_l_green

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BTW, my rough guess based on just seeing them and noting that they appear to be weaned and eating independently is that they're 6 to 8 weeks old. But I guess I'll need to trap them and examine them more closely to do a closer guess.
 

fionasmom

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I am guessing 6 to 8 weeks just because it happened to me last year. I thought that I had TNRed every adult but one female had given birth before I got to her. When I found the kittens they were just slightly smaller and more dependent looking than yours, hence my guess.
 
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e_l_green

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Yes, they look old enough to eat on their own, 2 lbs is when you can TNR. Bless you for your work!
They are definitely eating on their own. I've seen them eat both hard kibble and soft kibble.

If they're above two pounds, I will TNR them because my experience is that there's only a 50-50 chance at best that a kitten that age can be tamed and socialized well. If below two pounds, I will tame them and try to get them adopted out. Our local no-kill shelter is alas full to the brim, but there is a local cat rescue that does a decent job of adopting out cats. I will have to house them when they're not showing cats though, alas.
 

kittychick

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Yeah to you - watching over these guys and all of the TNR work you've already done!!!! :clap2:

From the photo - I'm guessing 8ish weeks old. And I do know everyone's experience and personal situation is different, but in my experience (which is quite a bit over quite a few years - - it's getting to the point that it's more years than I almost want to say out loud bc it makes me sound ancient!), 6-8 weeks of age is generally considered to be an age range with a very high chance of socialization, even without real feral experience. I've (knock on wood!!!!) been able to socialize easily any under about 10 weeks. In my experience - it starts to get more difficult and time-consuming at around 10-12 weeks, but (again----knock on wood!!!!!) it's still doable. And - as with people - every cat/kitten is different, and every person socializing is different (a big part for me when socializing older kittens and even cats, while I feel we've had very good luck, so much of it is what the socializer and/or adopter is looking for.

I know it's sometimes hard to tell tone in a note like this - so PLEASE know I'm in no way, shape or form telling you you're wrong/misinformed/doing things incorrectly/etc. I'm absolutely not!!! You obviously care VERY much for the cats and kittens you have already helped - - and have already done so much for them. And socialization is so far from "cookie cutter" bc it really does involve so many things - - how much time the person socializing can do so, what their home/work/even $ situation is, and what the endgame is (I know it gets a bit harder and harder for me personally to find wonderful forever homes when not going thru the shelter - - - as my hubby says "it's because none of our friends wants to open emails from you anymore - - they know it's going to be a plea for an adopter - - and we've filled our super-cat-loving friends to the gils already!" Can't say he's totally wrong!) I just wanted to pass along my experience - - I hope in a positive way!!!!

Please please keep us all posted - - and as always with kittens - - -the more pics the better! :hyper:

Had to throw in a pic of one of our feral socialization successes -"Izze" - we trapped her, her brothers Pip and Indy, and their mom Maddie, when the kittens were about 10 weeks - if I remember right - it's late & my brain's shot even more than normal :p. They'd been born under our neighbor's deck - so they were 100% feral. At that point we couldn't take on trying to socialize Mom AND the babies, so we TNR'd Maddie and released her - - we still see her periodically years later! But one of the kittens was what I'd deem 100% socialized in just days - he had a home almost right away. Pip and Izze were a bit slower, but they did send up what I'd deem fully socialized, and found a wonderful home together! We still get pics of all 3. But I know I'm lucky - - -both hubby and I are graphic designers who work from home, so we're here 24/7, AND we have a huge spare bedroom we use to foster that keeps our gang separated from any kittens/cats we're working with - so we have a more flexible schedule and home than alot of people trying to socialize which definitely helps!

Whatever you do - - you're doing SO much more than 90% of people would even consider doing! :thanks:

 
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e_l_green

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I have now sexed the kittens using zooms of the close-in security camera (the one pointed directly into the drop trap). One is female, one is male. I prepared the taming cage today, put a litter box in it and got the food and water bowls ready to be filled. Tomorrow evening hopefully I will be able to trap the kittens.

Regarding age, the previous set of kittens that I trapped were 8 to 10 weeks old when I trapped them. There were three of them and they were all male. Two tamed down and socialized well and were adopted out. One is still hanging around my house tame but very skittish, I adopted him out too but he came back because the person could not deal with his semi-feral behavior. I am not able to keep any more cats, my county's laws only allow two cats as does my lease, so any fostering of additional kittens has to be temporary and short-term. Given that, I want to concentrate on kittens that have the best chance of being socialized. Ten month old kittens have a poor chance of survival if TNR'ed but it's better than what they'd get at the local shelter, which would do an assessment on them, decide they weren't adoptable, and euthanize them. Unfortunately I don't have access to a no-kill shelter....
 
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e_l_green

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I caught the orange and white one this morning. He weighs 1 pound 7 1/2 ounces, meaning he's about 5 to 6 weeks old. He didn't need to be tamed at all, he immediately purred and let me pet him and handle him once I got him into the kitten condo (a big cage set up for taming kittens). Me giving him lots of nice food probably helped with that! (Fancy Feast Kitten). I hope I can catch the grey and white kitten tonight, but I didn't see her anywhere this morning, her mom may have relocated her and hadn't come back to get the boy kitten yet when I swooped in this morning and herded him under the drop trap and gently set it down over him, then attracted him into the live trap thru the side door of the drop trap with food and gently set the gate down behind him.
 
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e_l_green

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Sadly the little gray and white girl kitten hasn't visited my trapping station since I caught the orange and white boy kitten. The good news is that Sandy is still doing well in his kitten condo. He loves being pet, loves his tummy being rubbed, and loves being cuddled, within reason (he's a kitten, he gets impatient after a while!) and he has a huge purr. Right now I'm feeding him Fancy Feast Kitten with a bit of water and kitten milk powder added, he's slurping it up fine and seems to have a bit more pep than when I brought him in. He's a sweet little boy and I hope he finds a good home. I wish his sister could go there with him, but she hasn't come back, and I suspect she won't until she has kittens of her own, sigh.
 
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e_l_green

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Here, have some kitten therapy:
I have two ferals chilling in the garage right now, fresh from being neutered (one boy, one girl, both over 8 pounds). I will release them in the morning after their anesthetic wears off and if all works as usual, they'll be back at my feeding station within three or four days, no worse for the wear. I guess that has to make missing Elsa, the gray and white kitten, a little less sad.
 
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