separating kittens from feral moms

Discussion in 'Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care' started by andystorch, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. andystorch

    andystorch Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Sep 7, 2005
    My wife and I began feeding a stray female feral cat several months ago. Soon another cat showed up that appeared to be its daughter. The mom disappeared and came back with 4 week old kittens a month ago. The daughter disappeared and came back with one 3 week old kitten 2 weeks ago. So we now have two strays, 3 eight week old kittens, and a 5 week old kitten in addition to our 2 house cats (female-14 and male-12). We kept them out on our patio while the mom's would come and go. Yesterday one mom tore a hole in the screen and began to leave with the kittens. We retreived all of them and put them in our bathroom. The moms now come to the patio and meow all the time calling the kittens. They also are much more jumpy around us then before. The kittens are still very nervous and not completely comfortable with humans. We have found homes for 2 and are working on the others. My question is are we doing the right thing by separating them and does anyone have advice on getting the kittens more accustomed to people? BTW, we plan on spaying both moms when they get over being so mad at us.
     
  2. hissy

    hissy TCS Member Veteran

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    Feb 19, 2001
    Yes you are doing the right thing, although just a bit early- 12 weeks is best, by then the momcats have had enough of the children and the kittens have litter pan manners as well. But if you put the family together right now, they could all vanish, so keep up with what you are doing.

    Chances are both these females are pregnant again. I would not wait to get them spayed till they get over being mad- I would do it right away! It will also help them to release their kittens to your care-
     
  3. leesali

    leesali TCS Member Super Cat

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    Dec 8, 2004
    Long Beach, New York
    Totally agree with Hissy's post. I deal with ferals, their babies & fostering quite a lot...and although it may sound cruel to seperate mother from her babies...it truly is best for the babies. The longer those little ones are outside (even though they are with their mom) they will become truly feral and it will get very difficult to socialize them. The adults will get over it...my little ladies (outstside colony) were upset with me for a short period of time after I took their little ones.

    I've also found that once those feral/stray moms are without their babies, they become pregnant again almost immediately.

    Thank you for bringing those little ones in and finding homes for them [​IMG] As far as getting those kittens more accustomed to people, patience is the key here. Try sitting with them in a small area almost ignoring them. Let them get accustomed to human voice...human scent...etc. Eventually, they will come to you once trust is established...they will recognize you as the "food" person or the "play" person, etc. Good luck with them & thank-you again for caring.
     
  4. hissy

    hissy TCS Member Veteran

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    Feb 19, 2001
    It really isn't true that older kittens are not able to be socialized. They just take a bit longer is all and most people do not the have the patience to wait around for this, thus kittens keep getting snatched from mom at a younger and younger age. [​IMG]
     
  5. beckiboo

    beckiboo TCS Member Top Cat

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Illinois, USA
    My foster agency takes the kittens from the feral moms at 4 weeks. It seems very young to me, but at that age they can easily tame them. You are ending a destructive cycle to save these babies and spay the Moms. Spay sooner rather than later. My Sugartoes had 3 litters within 6 months! Sometimes ferals take years to tame, so you can't wait for them to be ready...talk to your vet about borrowing a trap and get it done.

    Best of luck to you, and all the cats in your care!
     
  6. tnr1

    tnr1 TCS Member Veteran

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    Oct 5, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Welcome to TCS...I wouldn't wait for the moms to get over being mad at you because you may find that they are pregnant again. Best to trap them now that the kittens have been weaned and treat them to a spay day. If you need a low cost clinic for these 2 cats...you can go to this link:

    http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

    and scroll down until you find your state.

    Katie
     
  7. andystorch

    andystorch Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Sep 7, 2005
    Thanks for the positive replies. We have an appointment to take the moms in tomorrow for spaying. Once they come back and until I find homes for the kittens is it proper to keep moms separated from the kittens? The moms sit out on the patio and meow and it drives the kittens crazy. All they want to do is see their moms. We try and put them in a different room but it seems cruel to keep them separate. Is that the best way to keep them from becoming feral? It is very hard on all of us to watch moms and kids cry. All the moms want to do is see the kittens. If I know that we are doing the right thing I will continue with the separation. Thanks.
     
  8. tnr1

    tnr1 TCS Member Veteran

    7,980
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    Oct 5, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Wow...tough question....Hissy would be the best person to ask and hopefully she will see this.

    Katie
     

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