Trapping and taming feral kittens

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bock, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    My neighbor has 2 cats that now have 4 kittens. They found the father of these kittens at a friends house and took him home since he was sort of tame. The cat would fight with my male cat, giving him nasty infections. He was never fixed or taken to the vet, and when he peed on our front door they said it wasn't really their cat, though when we threatened to take him to the pound they said that would be stealing. [​IMG] The kittens' mother was either born a stray or dropped off by the road, and she came up the hill and began living under the deck. She is not fixed and is very skittish. Well surprise surprise, she had 4 kittens, we think they are about 6 weeks old. They decided to either leave the kittens, or try catch them all and bring them to the pound. I know feral cats would not stand a chance there, so we are going to catch try to tame the kittens and get the mother cat fixed and take them to a no-kill shelter. Since we lost Oliver to a coyote, we decided we could ''rescue'' one of the kittens. It would be a house cat, because of all the predators around here. The thing is, the mom and her 4 babies hide under their deck all day with lots of black widow under it, and only come out at night to hunt and eat a can of wet food they put out for them. The only way to catch the kittens is to 1)buy a trap 2)make a drop-trap 3)catch them with a fishing net taped to a long pole. I have no idea if the net idea would be successful, but that would be the cheapest and easiest thing to make. I also do not know how to go about taming the kitten. Thanks for any advice! [​IMG]
  2. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Quote:I am a volunteer for our local cat rescue and we get LOTS of feral kittens...the fastest way to tame them is holding and loving all over them. They will hiss, smack, and sometimes bite, but just keep loving on them. I am fostering 3 kittens from a feral colony right now and when we first got them, they were the hissiest balls of fur you ever did see--no joke! They would hiss if you just looked at them. We just scooped them up and they hissed away, while we kissed them. The easiest/safest way to hold them while they're feral is by the nape of the neck with one hand and hold their bottom with the other. Anyhow, that was a few weeks ago and if you saw them now, you would never guess they were feral. They are the biggest LOVERS!!! They run up to me, rub up against me, and purr. They're SO sweet!!! Also, feed them wet canned food for now--they will LOVE you even faster as that is one of their favs!!! [​IMG]
  3. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Thanks! That made me feel better about taming them. [​IMG] I still do not know how I should catch them though. I guess I could make a drop-trap out of scrap wood and chicken wire. [​IMG] Oh yeah, and since they are only about 6 weeks, do they still need some milk? They sell bottles and milk replacer at my local Walmart. [​IMG]
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Get a trap. Kittens are fast and even very young ones can give you serious bites. We had probably a 4week old kitten get lost from it's mother and in my attempt to catch it the kitten bit through my finger nail. Took several years to grow back out properly.

    They should be fine on moistened foods. Either canned or a dry kitten food soaked in water. To tame them I just lock them in a room with me and block all possible hiding places then sit down to watch tv or read a book. At least every other day I'll wrap them in a towel (I learned my lesson about holding feral kittens without protection) and rub them all over. They usually are quite tame by the end of a week. The ones I've kept you'd never know were feral by the end of a month. Once you can get hold of them scratch their front feet in cat litter in a litter box or for very small kittens just a paper plate is big enough. They'll usually start using the cat litter after a couple days of that.
  5. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Thank you. [​IMG] I am going to try and trap them on Tuesday, after I get back from camping. I am going to make a drop trap, but I will bring a net to. I can't wait! [​IMG]
  6. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    Oh boy...I brought home three feral barn cats once. Talk about MEAN! (but then they got really cute [​IMG])

    One didn't make it, unfortunately. He was very runty and sick when I got him and he passed a few days after he started to finally tame down. RIP little guy.

    The female got eaten by an owl at about...five months old? (that evil bird haunted my power line for a week afterwards) and my remaining tom kitten who was about due to be fixed has vanished. My cat-loving neighbors moved and I think they might have 'adopted' him since he was an inside/outside cat and very lovable.

    I kept mine in the bathtub, of all places, with a litter box and fresh water. I fed them personally every hour or so, and petted and played with them. I got some mean scratches and bites, but they DID tame down wonderfully and were extremely cuddly. It started with crying for food...then kinda begging for food (where on earth they put it, I will never know)....then begging for attention and love, as if they didn't get enough [​IMG]

    Feral kitties can be just as cuddly and lovable, if not more, than your average spoiled house kitten. I remember one really cute cat that followed me everywhere, including into the car. He unfortunately had a horrible habit of actually eating the food off your plate, WHILE YOUR STILL EATING. He had constant access to good Purina kitty food for crying out loud! He, needless to say, became an outside cat and took off after a month or so.

    I have my eye on a sweet lil' gray barn kitten, hopefully I'll bring him/her home tomorrow [​IMG] Right now I don't have any, I'd like an inside kitty though.
  7. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Oh geeze, those poor little kitties! [​IMG] I hope I can tame them without too much trouble. As for their mother, I doubt she will ever be tamed. [​IMG] I will try, but I can't keep them for more than 3 weeks. Except for one special kitty, of course. [​IMG]
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I trapped mine with the old fashioned rope tied to the door of a dog crate. Got it to go inside to eat and pulled the rope. Only trouble was it was too scared to handle. Had to beg a neighbor with a van to help me get it to a vet. Then I told the vet to put her in the cat carrier for the trip home. They didn't and put her back in the crate. I asked if they could transfer her into the carrier and they refused emphatically. [​IMG] Another begging. Thankfully I have great neighbors.

    Imp- has lots of Mr. Yuck stickers on his vet records

    BTW- I have successfully tamed 7 ferals aged 2 weeks to 2 years, failed taming 3.

    Feeding 2 ferals currently, including the the crated one.
  9. tnchickenut

    tnchickenut It's all about the Dels!

    Jan 24, 2010
    Englewood, TN
    I can tell you as someone who my family calls "the cat wisperer" lol... you can tame them. I seriously doubt you will get all four tame. You can catch one or two maybe three but that fourth one was watching the other's before and by nature... the last one is the most shy and skiddish anyways.

    The best thing would be to catch them, fix them (at 6 weeks they can be fixed), and release them. Feed them outside, keep working on taming them, but this way if you fail, they are fixed and at least you won't have 15 next year. Usually places have vouchers for neutering or even places you can get feral cats foxed for free or majorly discounted. Sometimes there is a place near you that even will catch them for you. It's called TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs, and if they have one in my backwoods area then you probrably have one near too.

    Yes, you can pet them and get them to love it, but don't let them down until they calm down. Before then will be a waste of time. Be dilligent about it. Everyday go out there. Even if you don't touch them, sit with them. Become part of their scenery. You want them to feel comfortable around you, not think "AH! that two legged cat is going to grab me and rub all over me again!"

    Oh, and wear old clothes. They may get so scared they poo on you. I have been pooed on more than once. [​IMG]

    Oh, PS (edit to add)

    Don't go straight for them... sit, don't make eye contact, wait... and then snatch them when they come in. Don't get up and take them anywhere, pet them there, when they calm down, put them on your lap and let them jump off... on their terms. You may be suprised to find out that sometimes they don't run off right away. Those will be the most tame in the long run. And the sooner you do this, the better. Everyday it will get harder if you don't start now.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  10. mangled

    mangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have always used a live trap for kittens. If you get a big, raccoon sized trap, you may even get lucky and catch two at a time. We've accomplished this more than once. We bait with undrained tuna or moist cat food.

    We've had some amazing luck with feral kittens. They do bite like piranhas if given the chance. Ours have always tamed down in a week or so. Once they realize you're not trying to eat or kill them, they come around pretty quick. We keep ours in the bathtub, too. Easy to clean and they can't jump out. Our very best male kitty was a trapped feral. He is absolutely the best, most lovable cat I've ever had.

    The adult kitties are near impossible to fully tame. We have several that will come close to eat, and one or two that will rub your leg when they're REALLY hungry, but I wouldn't dare pick them up. We have between 15-20 ferals that rotate in and out. The females get fixed at the local humane society's low cost clinic. They're pretty good at sedating them and fixing them. I get them home, leave them in the cage through the night until the sedation wears off, and let them out the next day, and man those girls are off like a ROCKET when that cage is opened.

    Good luck-

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