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Thread: Need Help with taming a stray KITTEN!! HELP!

  1. #1
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    Need Help with taming a stray KITTEN!! HELP!

    Someone dropped off yet another stray kitten and she is quite frightened but very beautiful calico. What is the best way to tame her and have her get use to us? Our local Humane Society does NOT take strays.

    She has been around our house for about 2 weeks and we finally caught her in a live trap so we could take care of her as she isn't more than 3 months old and seems very tiny. Any help you can give me as I havn't had one quite this scared. She has calmed down quite a bit since we got her out of the trap and into one of our dog crates but stays to the back of the crate except when my 16 yr old grandson approaches her then she is a bit curious.

  2. #2
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    Take your time. She's going to have to learn to trust you. Just sit with her. Hold out your hand. Talk gently to her. Try to hand feed. Go very slow. Give her a few toys and try to entice her. Hmm.. I wonder if a laser light would get her attention. The cats at the rescue love that! Speaking of which, check and see if they have an animal rescue around your area if you don't feel you're going to keep her. Good luck! It's going to be hard and time consuming but don't give up on her!

  3. #3
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    It took me about a month to calm down a stray kitten we found. Give her time but keep her in the cage until she can trust you and vice versa.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  4. #4
    Senior Member adnil458's Avatar
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    Patience is the key. Neither stray we have likes to be touched very much. One we have had 7 years is mostly outdoors. One we have had 2 years mostly inside. Both are tabbys so I wonder sometimes about that. Our other two are DSHs who were lucky enough to be taken from their ferrel mom very very early, bottle fed with loving attention and have much better dispositions. Unfortunately now there is a long hair grey and white who comes to our front porch in bad weather. We have a trap but not consistent in setting it ... All we have caught is one of our own cats and a possum!!!!!

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    Keep the door of the crate open, make sure there is a litter box near and water. When she ventures out don't rush to her. Let her find you.

  6. #6
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    Patience. When we had kittens born on our property, they were friendly to us but not the mother. By the time we got back from vacation, the window of opportunity was closed for really taming them. They finally trusted us enough to come in the house, eat the food, lounge around...BUT, they never got used to staying inside. They wanted out all the time and you couldn't close the door fast enough to keep them in. We also discovered that along with using the litter (a good thing) they also used my potted plants for a bathroom.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Daughter and I have had feral cats and the secret is to take her out of the cage into a small room where she can't get away and hold and pet her, call her by her name hundreds of times until she learns it. Put her back into the cage and repeat above as much as you can. It takes a while but soon she will get attached to you. When you can trust her to not hide, then you can forget the cage. My Daughter had one that spent his 11 years of life petrified of her and the family.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Daughter corrected me, her cat above spent his 15 years of life petrified. He would come into the living room when Christmas tree was up. He would take treats, couldn't touch him nor look at him.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mythreesuns's Avatar
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    We had the same thing with a cat we got...we got it from a neighbors friend.. who we thought spent time with the kittens. We had no idea they never came into their house, nor left the cage, and was never played with. She would only come up to me and hide from everyone else...
    Faye

  10. #10
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Be sure to create or allow places where the kitten can get up high......
    Steps up to a place to look out the window
    A perch about mid-chest or shoulder height (yours!) where she can nap or watch the world go by
    A place to scratch on and even a partially enclosed, partially hidden or well out of the way 'safe' place.
    "Seed" them with a tiny cat treat or two to draw her interest. And then allow her to explore on her own without your involvement.

    Jan in VA
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  11. #11
    Senior Member germanquilter's Avatar
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    When we found our little Tigger, she was about 5 weeks old and I am amazed how friendly she is now at 6 month! We found her near a quilt shop in PA and I think people had been feeding her. When we first brought her home she was a little shy so we put her in a closed off room since we had two other cats at home. We added a soft cat bed, scratching post, food dish and water dish and several cat toys (balls, little fur mice) and a blanket that my other cats had been sleeping on. We would go in her room several times a day to sit on the bed, talk to her and let her come to us. We brought her home on a Saturday and I had her vet checked (she had mites and worms) on Monday. The vet said she was about 5 weeks old; she was eating soft baby cat food so we never had to bottle feed her. We knew we were keeping her at that point It took about a week but she got used to me, my husband and daughter. I think it helped that she was so young though. She apparently had not been weaned by her mom so she started suckling and kneading her cat bed. Never had a cat do that and we have had many in the last 28 years!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Be sure to create or allow places where the kitten can get up high......
    Steps up to a place to look out the window
    A perch about mid-chest or shoulder height (yours!) where she can nap or watch the world go by
    A place to scratch on and even a partially enclosed, partially hidden or well out of the way 'safe' place.
    "Seed" them with a tiny cat treat or two to draw her interest. And then allow her to explore on her own without your involvement.

    Jan in VA
    Yes, these are excellent suggestions......I have astray calico that was "free" for about 6 weeks, then decided to follow me home..she was 6 weeks old at the time.....pretty much did as mentioned above..and now two yrs later she is my lap cat....but every now and again she gets this look in her eye and looks toward the ceiling! And still will occasionally find a "new" hidey-hole somewhere in the house..sometimes takes a few hours to find her.....looks out the windows on her perches provided and actually talks to whatever she is seeing out there......

  13. #13
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    We got two feral kittens about 8 months ago. I'm still trying to tame them. One I can pick up and pet for maybe 15 seconds the other one still won't come to me. She looks like she wants to but hasn't gotten the courage yet. They love to play with the laser light and all I have to do is pick up the treat package and they come running. Hopefully it won't take years for them to tame up.
    Margaret

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    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

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    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    Haven't read all posts but I made a sling sorta like you would carry a baby in and carried my kitten around with me all day long for a while and that did it.
    TwandasMom

  15. #15
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    The best way to tame a feral kitten is love and time - lots of both. Keep her in a cardboard box that is deeper than she can jump. Kittens cannot climb cardboard is they can't reach the top to grab hold. Put the box in the general living area of your house. Every time you walk past, talk to her. If you have a second, pick her up by the scruff, and hold her tight against your chest. You may want to use a hand towel the first couple of weeks - but don't use it to pick her up. While you are holding her, talk to her and rub her head and ears. She will make all kinds of spits and hisses and growls, but as long as you hold her close, she can't hurt you.
    Ihave hand raised literally hundreds of kittens, orphans, ferals - everything. If you talk to her every time you walk past, have some kind of treat or something to give her. Then she will associated your voice and presence with good things. You will feel like it is no working, but you will notice - rather suddenly - that she will still growl and spit but will give up the fight. Good luck and be sure to post pictures.
    Jane
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    Rescued Boxers are adoptable love. Please consider a homeless/rescued pet when adding to your family.

  16. #16
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    A friend of mine has had nothing but strays all her life. She said you just never know how traumatic mother cat's life was and what the area was like where she gave birth. You just have to let them come to you at their own pace as with any stray. Good Luck!

  17. #17
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    I've had two feral cats in my lifetime. Patience and lots of love usually does the trick in bringing them around.

  18. #18
    Super Member cr12cats's Avatar
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    we had 5 feral kittens. my husband would get them and we would wrap them in a small soft baby blanket and give them pets. he held them inside the house coat he wore. they like the beat of your heart and it calms them. we would then put them down in front a bowl of kitty milk as there treat.oh yeah we had a enclosed patio we blocked off when they came to eat with mom. the mom was never able to be tamed but they liked to be talked to at a distance. 3 of the kittens had a covring on thier eyes so couldn't move very well which helped. we kept them and they lived to be about 10-12 years old and were great furbabies.I have also heard if they are real young some people put them in socks and hold them by their heart too. good luck. just be calm with them.By the way we still have one.she is the last one of that group and this week she is 18 years old.wonderful old girl.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    There are some products on the market that you can try that have cat pheromones. We were dealing with a lot of hostility between our older cat Pogo and the new one, Lizzie, and calming collars have helped both of them relax. They give the animal a sense that they are in safe territory. I would leave a collar on her only when you can keep an eye on her because they're supposed to be worn loose around the neck, and the result is they can get their lower teeth under it and get stuck. This happened to one of my cats with a flea collar many years ago. We came home after a couple of hours away and found the poor kitty struggling. If she had been an outdoor cat in this situation who knows what might have happened!

    Anyway, check with your vet before using the pheromone product, but my vet felt it was a good idea for helping Lizzie and Pogo adjust to each other. I bought the Sentry calming collars on Amazon, 3 in a package, and they're supposed to last about a month each, but I take them off when I can't be around, and store them in a sealed bag when they're not in use. Open this product over a trash can and not your kitchen table as I did. It has some white flaky material that immediately came off all over everything. They are available in pet supply stores, also, and there's at least one other brand, if you want to shop around.

    There are mist devices, also, but a couple of the reviews said they shorted out and smoked (!) so I was leery of trying that. Also, they cover a limited area, whereas the collar goes wherever the cat goes.

    Another item that we have tried, with a little temporary improvement in the cats' behavior was a paw paste. It's camomile and some other herbs in a chicken based gunk that you smear on their paws where they lick it off. The calming effect was good but wore off after a few hours, and Pogo jumped on our bed in the middle of the night and started a hissy fight with Lizzie - 2 nights in a row. That was a rude awakening, and that's when I decided to get the collars.

    I don't know if they will make a feral cat into a lovey pet, but I'll bet it will make her calm down a bit and relieve some of the anxiety. It turns our meanie into a Stepford cat. We found out that Lizzie, from a local shelter, had a bad case of ear mites, and we think that possibly Pogo could smell something wrong and didn't want her around for that reason. We are keeping them in separate rooms until we have the follow-up with the vet confirming no more mites. Pogo has always had at least one cat buddy except for the last few months since we lost our beautiful KittyBee.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    Good luck and thank you for taking in the kitty. All of our kitties have been strays that were not wanted by others. We had one ferel kitty that DD managed to tame. Precious was a couple months old and DD would go out and pet her and hold her. After a bit, she was tame enough to bring home with us. Precious became the most loving and sweet lap kitty we ever had. Our hearts broke when she died last fall. She had been with us for almost 14 years.

    We are now raising a newborn abandoned kitten. He is just about a 5 days old and such a strong fighter.
    Sherri

  21. #21
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose_P View Post
    There are some products on the market that you can try that have cat pheromones.
    The one we've used is Feliway. One of our cats is dog-intolerant, which is hard on us, her and our dog.
    The vet said it was worth using, especially when we saw how she behaved at the vet where they use the product themselves. Petsmart sells a product with it in it, I can't remember what it's called, but it says "with Feliway" under the title.

    I use it on "Vet day", and sometimes when she's being particularly intolerant to the dog. It seems to calm her right down.

  22. #22
    Super Member Elisabrat's Avatar
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    I took in over 300 baby kittens when I had my rescue. Bottle fed them all. AT 12 weeks they are already imprinted to fear if the kitty was outside and probably with its mother for a while. I would personally skip the collars and such. Patience is absolutely the key. My Meowie is about 6 yrs old. She was a stray my son had picked up about three months old at the time. She is selective in her humans now. Two years of living here before she let me pet her. She choses when and she is not a lap cat. she sits on the arm of the couch. She hated my other pets for the longest time hissing and running. now she is the queen of the house. no one messes with her. she plays when she choses then she sits back and lets them know enough. So patience has its rewards.

    Immediately: crate then leave the crate in a safe room opened, silent no dogs no noise you can sit on a chair with a book or something let the cat decide when it wants to come out and explore. leave the crate open it will chose to go back there especially if its where food and water and a good place to hide if it needs to. It has to feel safe to explore. soon it will know you are the giver of food. and wait for you to feed it. eventually you can pet the kitty just dont force it. let the cat know you. talk softly, speak its name.. its young you will be fine trust the cat and trust yourself to be patient. Probably not a lap cat but maybe a good companion anyways? mine likes to put her paws on my leg when I sew and has this tiny meow.. ok pet me now. argh. i do anyone who will tap my leg for a rub gets a rub. so cute.
    Linda
    Here today... why what a lucky bunch we are.

  23. #23
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    If the only way she can eat is to lick it off your finger, then she will have to interact with you. Decide how much she should eat in a day, get fishy flavored canned and give it to her in little bits off your finger several times a day. Talk softly to her and use her name a lot as she eats, so that word becomes associated with pleasure. Don't try to pet her too soon; especially head pets terrify feral cats. (You can switch her to dry food later if that's what you usually use...with sme canned mixed in, the change will be easy)
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  24. #24
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    In Nov. I brought home a wild kitten and kept her in the bathroom in a kitty crate. She had water in the crate with her. I would go into the bathroom and close the door and open the crate door. She would explore in the bathroom and I would either be using the toilet or just sitting on a folding chair. She started rubbing around my ankles and slowly warmed up to me. She was easy to train to the litterbox. Left her there for about a week and a half. I also have an 8 yr old cat. The older cat still to this day "Hisses" at the little one - but they do play together. Little one is shy around people and sometimes will just hide if someone comes over. But if I sit down she is on my lap and sleeps with me. And she has to follow me to the bathroom-everytime. :>). Patience , patience, patience.
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  25. #25
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    A friend who was involved in cat rescue told me that if I could reach around the back of the kitty and stroke it's head, it would tame faster. The key is to do this without letting it see your hand approaching. In other words, seeing a hand comming at it is frightening to the kitty. Did this make any sense? This works, I tried it.

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