Rescued kitten with feral mom

Jenschu

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Hello, we rescued kittens from a feral mom who had them in our backyard. We adopted out all but one, who we kept. My question is…the mom still comes around all the time (stays hidden in bushes or on the other side of the fence). Does she still recognize her kitten that we kept? Is she missing her? Does our kitten know that’s her mom? Would the mom fight her? I’m not sure how to handle this situation.
 

Alldara

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J Jenschu it would depend on how long they've been separated. Even if she recognizes her kitten, she could fight her.

If there is any way you could trap-spay-release the mum, it would be best.

Spaying your kitten and keep her indoors, (and maybe leash training if you'd like) would be the best way to prevent your kitten from being injured in a cat fight. It is likely that she could be injured if allowed to roam outside or that she could contract a disease. Spaying her will prevent her from trying to escape and from howling.
 
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Jenschu

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J Jenschu it would depend on how long they've been separated. Even if she recognizes her kitten, she could fight her.

If there is any way you could trap-spay-release the mum, it would be best.

Spaying your kitten and keep her indoors, (and maybe leash training if you'd like) would be the best way to prevent your kitten from being injured in a cat fight. It is likely that she could be injured if allowed to roam outside or that she could contract a disease. Spaying her will prevent her from trying to escape and from howling.
Thank you for your reply! Yes, we have had all vaccinations and as soon as she’s old enough she will be spayed. I wish we could trap the mom and have her spayed too but she’s impossible to catch or get near.
Thanks for the great advice, we’re learning as we go!
 

Margot Lane

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It may SEEM impossible to catch mom but keep trying. You can do it. Otherwise you will find yourself with many more kittens to look after, and quite soon. All it takes is patience and determination.
 

niki-nicole

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My family now has 12 cats and the start of it all was one pregnant mama. We socialized the kittens and kept them and trapped the mom and spayed her when she had weened the second litter because we didn't realize how quickly she could get pregnant again. The first litter was inside-outside but they kept nursing from her way after they were old enough (like 6 months) and she had tried to carry them off before her second litter was born so that her new babies would have more resources (guessing that is the reason--and we lost one kitten this way). We noticed the second litter was also becoming feral again because they would spend more time with their mom and she was super feral. We kept them inside-only for a long time and they switched back to being cuddle-bums.

They did seem to know she was their mom and loved her and stayed around her. She was more trusting with us with her second litter and they weren't as attached to her as the first boys were.

She was eventually chased away by a new feral (whom we also TNRed but he is now a cuddle-bum). She unexpectedly came back 3 years later during a cold spell in early spring. We had built a catio for one of our inside-only cats but Mama Kitty claimed it and stayed their all spring, summer, and fall and finally came inside during winter. She is still 70% feral. She comes in for her meals and for the night. She wants me (and only me) to pet her, but only in the way she wants me to pet her. Otherwise, she swipes and runs. She has matted fur on her back that she won't let me fix.

Now, she doesn't like any of the other cats. She seems to tolerate her boys a bit better, but it could be coincidence. She is starting to accept the feral who originally chased away, but she doesn't cuddle, play, groom, or associate with any of our other cats, including her own. She hardly eats with them.

I assume if the cats are kept together always, they will keep their bond. But if they are separated, it doesn't seem to affect them much. That is just based on my observation of this one situation.
 
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