New To Socializing Feral Kitten

JimmyB

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Good Evening Everyone,
A little background. We managed to trap and sterilize the three mamma cats through our local TNR program. So for the time being the colony shouldn't increase. One mamma cat has 4-5 kittens, I am not sure where they have gone to since she was trapped, we haven't seen her back for daily feedings. I can only hope they have located another food source and relocated.

One of the mamma's had a litter in the backyard, I am not sure what happened to the rest of the litter but I have only been able to locate one of her kittens. She was the cutest little Tan with blue eyes fluff ball I have seen, and thought if I could catch her I would do my best to socialize her to an indoor kitty. Well, I was successful in my endeavors :yess:, sent kitty through the TNR process and have her in my spare bedroom. I have a follow up appointment at my vet for the remaining shots and a full checkup.

I have been doing some reading here an on the inter-webs about the best approach to working with the new fur baby. I have her in a large dog crate with litter box, food and water, one of my t-shirts and a hidey box. I am having second thoughts on the hidey box, as when she sees me walk buy she runs to the box. I get that is going to be her first instinct as the first 7 weeks of her life that is what she has been taught by mamma.

She has only been inside for about a day and a half now, so there is still some hissing when I go go in to clean litter box and change water and food. I know it's going to take some time to convince her I mean no harm. I am wondering if it was a mistake to add the hide box, and what sort of issues it might cause removing it. I do talk to her every time I am in or near the room trying to build up her confidence in me.

Any thoughts or suggestions on how best to proceed with working with her would be greatly appreciated.

I don't have any better pics at the moment, this is from the day I caught her, she wasn't exactly thrilled.

IMG_20200729_161146.jpg
 

BellaGooch

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Thank you for rescuing her, you have literally saved a life! She is so beautiful. Do you have a name for her?
I know from experience, taming ferals is not an easy task. Thanks to other members on here, I learned a few things:
If possible, let her out of the dog crate and into a room with doors/windows closed so that she can find some places to hide and explore. Go in there and read aloud, scroll on your phone... Just get her used to you and your smells. I've heard of people putting shirts/socks so that she can get used to your smell.
Here are some links for taming ferals:
Good luck! Please keep us updated!
 

di and bob

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This will just take time, she is plenty young enough to adapt. Just talk to her as often as you can, and when you leave, leave some yummy treats behind. it may be a good month before she even starts to settle down, do not take away her safe place, she needs it. She may even attack if she feels defenceless and cornered. Right now she just needs quiet, and to associate good things with you, and that just takes time.
 

Babypaws

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Good Evening Everyone,
A little background. We managed to trap and sterilize the three mamma cats through our local TNR program. So for the time being the colony shouldn't increase. One mamma cat has 4-5 kittens, I am not sure where they have gone to since she was trapped, we haven't seen her back for daily feedings. I can only hope they have located another food source and relocated.

One of the mamma's had a litter in the backyard, I am not sure what happened to the rest of the litter but I have only been able to locate one of her kittens. She was the cutest little Tan with blue eyes fluff ball I have seen, and thought if I could catch her I would do my best to socialize her to an indoor kitty. Well, I was successful in my endeavors :yess:, sent kitty through the TNR process and have her in my spare bedroom. I have a follow up appointment at my vet for the remaining shots and a full checkup.

I have been doing some reading here an on the inter-webs about the best approach to working with the new fur baby. I have her in a large dog crate with litter box, food and water, one of my t-shirts and a hidey box. I am having second thoughts on the hidey box, as when she sees me walk buy she runs to the box. I get that is going to be her first instinct as the first 7 weeks of her life that is what she has been taught by mamma.

She has only been inside for about a day and a half now, so there is still some hissing when I go go in to clean litter box and change water and food. I know it's going to take some time to convince her I mean no harm. I am wondering if it was a mistake to add the hide box, and what sort of issues it might cause removing it. I do talk to her every time I am in or near the room trying to build up her confidence in me.

Any thoughts or suggestions on how best to proceed with working with her would be greatly appreciated.

I don't have any better pics at the moment, this is from the day I caught her, she wasn't exactly thrilled.

View attachment 345327
I agree, I don’t think keeping her in the crate is good...she should be let to roam around in a room, if you can, visit with her several times during the day talking to her.
i have 10 indoor cats who were born in our yard...all started with four kittens. We never saw the mother so I started feeding them everyday. There was only one who let me befriend her but it took months. Finally she allowed me to pet her (took 6 months) this was while she was still outside. To shorten my story she ended up being pregnant before I could permanently bring her inside for good. When her kittens were about 5 weeks old we brought them and mommy on our closed in porch. But she had already got pregnant again..she had 6 kittens on our porch. Found good homes for 3 of them. Kept the others, then I had 7 inside. Got them all spayed and neutered with shots.
Early this Spring we found 3 new kittens in our yard...starting feeding the mother and them. Mother cat would disappear for days. When I would be outside the kittens started following me but wouldn’t let me pet them. I ended up bringing them inside porch when the temperature got too hot for them. But before I brought them on the porch they suddenly let me pet them. I would talk to them a lot.
It will take time, guess I was lucky...
But in my opinion you should not keep her in the crate, that’s gonna make her more scared. Good luck
 
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JimmyB

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Thank you for all the responses, message received she is no longer in the kennel and now has free reign of the spare room with access to a window, cat tree and many toys, courtesy of my passed Calli Cat :angel: whom I am calling on for guidance with the new kitty.

BellaGooch - I haven't settled on a name yet, I am floating between Kismet, Chance, Hope and Gypsy at the moment. Thank you for all the links, looks like I have some additional homework to do.

shadowrescue - I will check out the video this evening!

di and bob - She still has her hide box, but now has the run of the room

Babypaws - That sounds like where my colony was heading if I hadn't trapped the mamma cats, I only wish I could have gotten on of her step-litter mates before mamma moved them. I haven't seen any of them come back yet.

I will be back with updates and likely more questions. I did move her carry kennel this morning after letting her out of the big kennel, not realizing she was in it, and instead of getting hisses, I got a few little meows :blush:.
 
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JimmyB

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We may have taken a teeny step backwards by removing the large kennel and moving to the whole room. I had to move her things around a bit which may be taking some getting use to. She seems to be hiding a bit more, and doesn't seem to be eating as aggressively or fast as she was in the kennel. She is eating, but not the whole can of wet food in one shot like before. Perhaps that is some progress in she doesn't have to compete for the food.

This morning I spent some time in the room on my phone, not looking for her, but I think she was watching me from her hide box. When I left I thank her and left a spoonful of baby food as a treat, I got a his when placing it by her box, but I have a camera in the room and she did come out an eat it all up. :yess:
 

BellaGooch

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Hurrah! Good for you! You sound like you're doing everything right :) Patience is the key.
You said she was a kitten? The younger she is, the quicker she'll adapt. I'm cheering you on! Good luck!!!!
 
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JimmyB

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I have an update!! We had play time tonight :yess: :cheerleader: I was feeling a little bummed earlier today, she definitely gets the best hider and seeker award, i was never seeing her out. I finally received my feathers on a wand cat toy yesterday and decided to give it a whirl tonight to positive results. She even ate a few of the treats with me about 6 feet away from her. A bit later when I opened the door to put the light on, figured I didn't need to leave her in the dark (well night light only), and she didn't run an hide, she moved location but sat and looked at me :kitty: and I even heard a few meows when we were playing.

We are making progress, I only hope it doesn't reset next week when I take to the vet for a full check up. :eek:
 
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JimmyB

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Thought I would pop in with another update. Lot's of play time since last Thursday, to include petting and belly rubs. She no longer stays in the hide box but is always in the cat tree and meows at me when I come in. I am not sure if it's because the first 6 weeks of her life she was taught to be quiet, but her meows are really quiet and sometimes it's only the motion and no sound...guess I could count that as a blessing too ;) We are not at the holding point yet, but can give all the pats and chin rubs I want. She does like to knit quite a bit while getting pats and scratches, and has a strong purr motor.

On the humorous side I think I may have moved on food too quickly, I tried some Normal Friskie's Turkey and Giblets dinner and she has some pretty potent kitty gas :barfgreen: or it could be the tempatations treats...either way, back to the Fancy Feast Kitten food for now, I do leave some Purina Pro Plan Focus Kitten kibble in there overnight.

Wednesday we have a full vet visit to get everything checked out and any remaining vaccinations she may need, that may reset us a little bit, but we'll keep working at it.

At what point does everyone release kitties to the rest of the house? I still have her in her own room for now, it's been less than a week since we have been really interacting.

A few pics of the Happy Kitty -- Those eyes not sure how much more blue they will get.
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BellaGooch

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Aww! That's so great! I'm so happy you guys are bonding :catlove:her eyes are absolutely beautiful! I would wait at least another week or so- It mostly depends on the cat and how she's adapting. Please keep the pictures and updates coming!
 
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JimmyB

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Okay, time for an update, but first a question. If I needed to how I would i go about editing a post of mine? I do not see any option to edit...could be my browser I suppose.

Any who, things have been progressing nicely even after the initial vet visit, which went very well by the way. She tested negative for FIV/FeLV :yess: and received her deworming and FVRCP vaccinations. The vet was a bit surprised they humane society gave her a rabies shot at such a young age, but she was supposed to be released as part of the local TNR program, but I couldn't do that :blush: she was all alone. She did hide for a day or so after coming back home, but would easily come out when I went in her room. She is

We have been working on not using daddy's had as a chew toy, something I started as it seemed cute at the time, but have realized her teeth and claws will get bigger with age :eek:. We have play time every night for about an hour or so in addition to several quick visits during the day. I try to wear her out with the fishing pole toy....but she has some serious energizer batteries under the hood. We end each session with an attempt at sitting for treats. The problem is, she goes bonkers for the Blue Wilderness Chicken & Turkey soft treats so trying to keep her focused on the task and not the treat is a bit challenging because she can smell them as soon as I come back into the room with them. We are also working on shoulder training....she has that down pat and normally will jump up there right after getting a treat for mostly sitting. If I can get her to stay up there for a ride, or hanging out that would be cool. something I always wanted to try with my former Calli cat :angel:.

I have ordered her one of those cool lounger/scratcher thing-a-ma-bobs from Amazon, should be here this week and as soon as I can figure out how to block the stairs to the basement. It's an unfinished basement with too many hiding places and kitty is still on the small side along with not having a load meow....I'd be afraid i would find her if she became stuck somewhere. I am thinking about opening up the upper level for her to explore on a more consistent basis.

I think I have also settled on a name, her eyes are not going to be as blue as I originally thought so Sapphire did not seem to fit.

I present Ms. Cinder
Cinder 2.jpg
 

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