Help me try to befriend a stray kitten

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Heather, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. Heather

    Heather In the Brooder

    Jul 14, 2007
    East Nassau, NY
    We have a stray kitten in our garage. He/she seems to come at night after I have put out some food and water. I have only been able to watch him/her eat from behind the door....he/she is extremely skittish and it breaks my heart. I just want to scoop it up and snuggle it. I've noticed him/her for about 2 weeks now. How can I let this little kitty know we only want to love it......[​IMG]
  2. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Unfortunately, lots and lots of time is the only way.
    You could start by using a sweatshirt that you've worn or something that smells a lot like you, and putting it under the food you are giving. Try to just sit out in the garage while it is eating, but don't try to catch it untill it starts showing interest in you.
    The only other way is to live-trap it, and then work on taming it that way.
    Your local Humane Society should also have some advice for you, and could loan you a trap if you don't have one.
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Just keep feeding it....and try to sit far away from it as possible. Then after a week or so, move a little closer....and keep doing this untill you are within reach. do NOT grab this kitten, it will freak it out. when you are within reach....try to offer it a yummy treat from your hand. You will have to sit very still...and talk in a soft tone. Hope you can lure it in, and get it the proper vet care im sure it needs. Good luck!
  4. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    The best thing is to take your time, unless you want to trap him/her. Just put out the food and move away and sit quietly, not even talking at first. When s/he starts getting used to that, then start talking, then move a bit closer. Of course, you could also get a cat trap (often animal shelters will rent them to you), trap her/him, then get a large dog crate to keep it in until it gets used to you. If it's a feral kitten, that might take awhile.

    I had a feral cat living under my deck. It took me three months of putting out food before he would let me sit somewhat near him while he ate, another month before we would let me stroke him once or twice before running off. After about seven months he finally moved into our house. We had him for about 12 years before we had to put him down due to brain cancer. He was never a completely tame cat - he would let me pet him and sit on my lap sometimes, but was very shy around my husband and son until his last year of life.

    Good luck!
  5. Heather

    Heather In the Brooder

    Jul 14, 2007
    East Nassau, NY
    Thanks guys! The sweatshirt idea is great! Unfortunately with three small kids, my time to sit is limited. But after they go to bed, I may take my book out to the garage and sit quietly while he/she eats....I know it may be awhile. I'm worried about winter.....I'm in upstate NY and he/she will not make it outside. I'm already in a panic about the chickens being cold.

    I'm definately going to call my local humane society. Thanks for the great advice.

    Loving my new animal loving friends,
  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    What they said. That's how I won over the tub of lard that is lying next to my foot.
    Mask was about a year old when he showed up on our backstep looking for food. Couldn't get near him. Actually my dog was the first one that could get near him. We caught him in a trap and had him fixed because he was spraying the backdoor. After that I would always move slowly when he was around. He would run down a step or 2 but stopped totally disapearing. Slowly, very slowly he would let me get closer. It took my husband about 2 years before he could even touch him.

    It wasn't until we moved to our new house that he started asking to be petted. I haven't let him out since we moved here. He's taken up residence in the bedroom, lol. He's "special" and a tad on the not so smart side. I'm afraid he will get lost and not be able to find his way home or someone will hurt him.

    He's my boy and calls me "mommmmmmm-mmmaa"

    PS He's now 11 and although his name is Mask, he answers to "Fat Boy"
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  7. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I befriended 3 small kittens when I was a young teen, in the same way mentioned in these posts. Put out feed and sat out there ..pretty far at first, til they got used to seeing me, then a lil closer each day. Yes, reading would be good, if you act like u arent paying attention to what they are doing it helps.

    Anyhow, they were the cutest lil things, it really only took about a month (but they were fairly young kittens) before they were coming into the house, one head over another head over another, peering around the corner to see if any of us had food. They were darling! They always stayed outside cats but they got very loving within about 2 to 3 months time.

    Good luck!

  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, that's how I befriended my now 14 year old or so barn cat. Just meowed at her each time she would try to run and eventually she would not even run but just step away and look at me. Eventually she became friendly and even tried to copy me by eating chicken noodle soup with her paw!!! Hahaha. It takes time and patients, plus very slow movements. Good luck! If you suspect that it's not spayed or neutered, maybe consider trapping it and getting that done... else you'll have like 7 cats that will need that done...
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    As others have already said, patience, move slowly and speak gently. Our cat was a feral kitten. I'm assuming that her mother was killed. She showed up when she was about 4 weeks old. She was sleeping in our chicken's pen, curled up in their food dish! Their run was a dog pen, so she had walked through the chain link. They were all standing around the food dish in a circle, staring at her. (The hatchery had sent a bunch of cockerels for warmth, that we weren't expecting, so we had to set up some temporary quarters.)

    At first, she would run off and not come to the food until I had been back inside the house for some time. Eventually, she would watch me from the wood line. Then, she let me watch from a distance as she ate. That distance got shorter and shorter. By the end of 2 weeks, she would even come over by us as we sat in the grass, but we still couldn't touch her. I also set up a bed for her, so she would have a warm place to sleep.

    My DH would move his hand in the grass, to play with her and I could see her eyes light up, but she wouldn't come closer. Kittens have a really strong play drive. I went to the store and got one of those cat toys with leather strips at the end of a long stick. Any of those types of toys would do. I figured that she wanted to play, she just needed the toy to be farther away from us, so that it would be less threatening.

    It worked great! Within 2 days, she was so excited in her playtime that she didn't even notice how close my husband's hand was getting to her and when he touched her, she didn't even mind. By then, she associated us with food, a warm bed and fun. Gracie has turned out to be the nicest cat. She is very affectionate and sweet, a real lap cat. Our vets have said that she is a pleasure to have in the office and the nicest cat in their practice.

    Good luck with your kitty!
  10. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I'm going to say first that everyone else's advice is MUCH better if you have the time ...

    That said, in case you must hurry ...

    When I was about 12 years old, one of the half-wild cats at my grandma's had kittens in the woods, and one was just too beautiful for me to ignore. I thought it was the most gorgeous cat I had ever seen. I managed to catch it by sneaking up while it was eating and threw a blanket over it, and then I wrapped the blanket around it and just started holding it and petting it and talking softly to it. Of course, the kitten was terrified and tried to scratch/bite me, but I held him carefully and just kept petting him. I kept it up for several hours. He finally calmed down, and ended up being the tamest, sweetest cat at the farm. I could hold out my hand and he'd run from across the yard and stand up to rub his head under it and "pet" himself.

    I wouldn't really recommend this, and I don't think it would work on just any cat, but ... if it HAS to be done quickly, it's possible.

    No one told me differently at the time, so I tried it. [​IMG]


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