I always try to tame one or two a year so they can go to good homes. After 3-4 months, the kitten will have a much harder time acclimating to humans. Feral cats older than a year will be almost impossible to approach. According to Galaxy, “it depends on the cat.” He says that everyone has a different theory on what age is too old for domestication. Volunteering is so rewarding! One word: cat food. If the kitten stays calm, pet it gently on the head from behind. Remember that to the kitten you may be a predator; the kitten may think it is fighting for its life.All bites are serious. There are 2 about 4 month old kittens. First and foremost, the female cat must be spayed. Feral kittens should be checked out by a veterinarian and tested for diseases contagious to other cats before you bring them home. We recommend that unsocialized kittens over 8 weeks of age be trapped, neutered, vaccinated and returned to the colony. Hi everyone, Four days ago I adopted a 5-6month old feral girl (Emmy). They are for all intents and purposes wild animals. Feral cats … If you do not have a cage, or your carrier is too small for a litter pan, place the kittens in a small room, like a bathroom, in the carrier. If you have a cat colony in your area, or if you’d like to volunteer with a rescue that helps feral cats, it’s possible that you can not only successfully perform TNR but also remove and domesticate any young feral kittens you find. Stroke the kitten’s body while speaking in soft, reassuring tones, then release. Many cages and carriers have food and water bowls attached to the doors so that you can feed and water the kittens without having to place your hand inside. Go through this process with each kitten. The guidelines can be […] page. This can be done as early as 8 weeks of age. It really has to do with their personality. Feral kittens, particularly those younger than 10 to 12 weeks old, are usually easily tamable. Avert your eyes frequently and lower your head often to display submissive behavior. For the first two days, do not attempt handling. All of these suggestions have worked for someone. With no human contact, they will be totally wild. Any person attempting to tame kittens should be totally committed and patient. Consider the case of the feral cat whose fractured leg or fan belt injury requires longer-term incarceration than the standard TNR (trap-neuter-release) candidate. Kittens that do not have any contact with humans after they are born will be feral, regardless of whether their mother is a lost house cat or a feral cat living in a colony. The third step to tame a feral cat is to let the cat become used to you. I have tamed 1-2 month old kittens before. Never stare at the kittens for prolonged periods. She’s not a touchy feely cat, but she will allow occasional pats. Litter training is how you redirect this natural behavior to a litter box so your kitten goes where he is supposed to! Once feral kittens reach the age of 12 weeks without socialization, taming them is difficult. Feral kittens are homeless cats that were either born in the wild or abandoned at a young age. Never bring a feral cat into your home if you already have pets. Food, water, and bedding should be placed in the cage or carrier. Each kitten will develop at a different rate. With the help of the loving dog who stayed beside her, the kitten’s sweet personality shone through in just two weeks. They prefer a nervous seven-week-old to a tame four month old. Currently, she is crated in our bedroom. But, the most important aspect of taming a kitten is not the kitten – it is you. The steps involved in the taming process are: A feral kitten may hiss and “spit” at humans. A couple of months ago I adopted a 6 week old stray kitten that was found eating rat bait. Consider a calming remedy to help her with the transition. When screening prospective “parents,” remember that the kitten will do best if there are no small children in the home. #21 Taming Older Female Kittens We've got a theme going with this and entries #19-20. Kittens become anemic from flea infestation and can easily fall prey to illnesses in this condition. After all have been handled, give them a special treat. In normal circumstances, kittens should remain with their mother until they are minimum 8 weeks old but with feral kittens it’s fine to take them away from the mother at 6 weeks of age provided they are eating and drinking on their own. You need a cat trap. You are saving lives and producing affectionate loving companions. 420 SE State Route 3, … It is rare that an adult feral cat can be tamed, but these same techniques can be applied to adult cats, and is some cases we have seen success. They should not be taken from the mother before they are old enough to be weaned at about 4 weeks. Or you may want to neuter it yourself and ask the new owner to reimburse you. Approach the cat a little and sit down; talk in a calm voice so that they get used to your voice. If there is one that is not becoming tame, place it in a separate cage in another room, away from the others. If you are an individual with the time, space and patience, it is possible to tame older kittens and young adults, but it is a more time consuming process with a higher failure rate. While feral cats of any age have the possibility of being tamed, the success rate is much higher for young kittens. How to Tame a Feral Cat. The kittens and/or mother cat are sick or injured and require veterinary attention. To stand any chance of taming a feral cat, it must be young. Kittens under 8 weeks can usually be socialized without much difficulty following the guidelines detailed below. The kittens are 8 weeks old or older, meaning they and their mother should be spayed or neutered and vaccinated as soon as possible. Protect vulnerable knickknacks, clothes, and plants (some poisonous) from curious kittens. The optimum time to tame feral/wild kittens is when they are 5/6 weeks old. Bear in mind, however, that the first two days the feral kittens should remain by themselves, so they feel safe. When the kittens no longer respond by biting and scratching, encourage friends to handle them as often as possible. Taming a kitten, teaching it to love and trust humans, is a very rewarding process. Feral kittens should not be removed from their mothers until they are ready to be weaned, at approximately 6-8 weeks of age. Our cat was feral… she adopted our youngest daughter. Although it is a slow, difficult process, taming a semi-feral cat is possible. Feral kittens older than that often have a hard time adjusting to people. Now taming and socializing a feral cat isn’t always the simplest thing. The most suitable home is a calm environment, so the kittens will feel secure. Some Helpful Guidelines for Taming Feral Kittens. Here’s a general outline of the process to tame a feral or undersocialized kitten … If the kitten remains calm, grip it securely by the nape of the neck, put the towel on your lap, and set it on the towel. It is a slow process, and it will require patience and knowledge about how to socialize a feral kitten from your side. I understand from HAWS, that the older the cat is at adoption (greater than 12 weeks) the longer the taming process is. According to Galaxy, “it depends on the cat.” He says that everyone has a different theory on what age is too old for domestication. If the kitten is not rescued until it is ten to twelve weeks old the taming can take several weeks, if not months. Part 5: How to Tame Feral Kittens. Visit them frequently and talk to them quietly, but resist touching. Work with your local animal shelter and learn how to help. If you want to easily tame feral or undersocialized kittens for adoption, there is a narrow window of opportunity between four and eight weeks of age. To stand any chance of taming a feral cat, it must be young. Before you bring a feral cat indoors, it’s important to have a room set up exclusively for the cat. TNR is an appropriate option for older kittens who are not socialized to humans. It is rare that an adult feral cat can be tamed, but these same techniques can be applied to adult cats, and is some cases we have seen success. Kittens can be adopted out at 8 weeks or so if tamed and socialized to humans. If you find a feral kitten, you can, through love and a whole lot of patience, tame it. It is important to make sure this cat does not have babies, or you may find yourself trying to find a family for its kittens! Social cats are not to be confused with socialized cats who are fully domesticated, and accustomed to being around, and being touched by humans. So successfully taming a feral cat in your neighborhood will begin by establishing a routine around food. The kittens must learn to feel safe. If you do not have a cage, or your carrier is too small for a litter box, place the kittens in a small room, like a bathroom, in the carrier. Many legitimate sites state that taming feral kittens older than 8 weeks becomes difficult to impossible. The mother cat should also be captured and spayed, to prevent future litters. This is aggressive body language to cats. Give your time, and ask your veterinarian to do the same. Kittens under 8 weeks can usually be socialized without much difficulty following the guidelines detailed below. Support us by. Unlike feral cats, semi-feral cats are vocal and may make eye-contact with you, even if they don’t allow you to touch them. The contributors have many hundreds of hours experience and can be considered experts in the field of feral kitten taming. A very crucial determinant of will this kitten tame is the individual kitten – because they all have their own unique being, their own personality, and there is no guarantee for any. They will be frightened of people and demonstrate all of the signs of fear and anxiety that an adult cat would, like spitting, hissing, and running from human contact. Considering the short, miserable lives that feral cats suffer, those kittens that can be tamed and adopted by humans are indeed lucky. I love this story! They will want to bounce back to their feral selves at every chance they get. Why wait until 5 weeks? The group also lists the pros and cons of each. The kittens and/or mother cat are sick or injured and require veterinary attention. Feral kitten socialization is most successful for kittens under three months of age. Feral kittens should be placed in adoptive homes soon after socialization, if possible, because some feral kittens, especially those captured at an older age, tend to bond with one person. Worn human clothing used as bedding can h… The kitten that acts the most ferocious is just the most scared, but it is capable of giving you a nasty scratch or bite and will probably try to escape if given the chance. They are usually terrified of humans. Kittens over 8 weeks of age who've had no positive interaction with humans often take much longer to socialize. The longer a feline lives on the streets, the more independent it will become. Taming feral kittens is a race against time because people want to adopt kittens as young as possible. Place the litter box in the room and leave the carrier door open so that the kittens have access to the box. The best way to do this is to set out canned food as bait. Taming Adventures: the 5-month feral kitten Today I trapped a kitten, the last from a litter of four that I have been socializing for several months. Talking to the kitten will help it … A TV or radio will be your ally. Keep the kittens isolated from your pet cats, wash your hands, and wear a smock (or change clothes between handling visits) to protect against the spread of disease from the kittens to pets or from pets to the kittens. This is vital to remember when placing the kittens for adoption. When it comes to feral cat shelters, not to worry: Alley Cat Allies, a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to helping improve the lives of cats, has put together a list of various feral cat shelter options, ranging from an outdoor heated cat house to a camper-topper turned shelter. Also there is a method to taming down a feral..and they may never tame down..so after you have brought it home and it doesn't work out there are no options for this cat. The first one I caught was a bit wild at first, but after a few days, settled down. Never approach from the front. I'm trapping my first feral colony. We're selling cute shirts, stickers, and even kitty-themed face masks. Taming feral kittens is a race against time because people want to adopt kittens as young as possible. Readers with hands-on experience will have their own tricks. Are you new to socializing feral babies? I thought that I would probably just neuter and release. Always move slowly. They will make great outdoor mousers or barn cats though! The younger they are.. the easier to tame. For info about taming older feral kittens, see the three-part video, Tough Love: Socializing Feral Kittens, or consult Urban Cat League’s Taming Ferals! Be careful not to allow the kittens to escape during the transfer process. Once feral kittens reach the age of 12 weeks without socialization, taming them is difficult. Everything on this list will work for you, but only if you have the patience to go with it. At best, you're likely to have a semi-feral cat, who may allow some contact but is not friendly by any stretch of the imagination. Wild, or feral, kittens can grow up to be tame cats and wonderful pets. TAMING FERAL KITTENS. Brushing with a soft pet brush imitates the action of the mother grooming the kittens and will help the kitten start to transfer its need for parental love to you. Some may tame up immediately, and some may take quite a long time. It is actually best if a kitten remains with their mothers until 8- or 12-weeks-old, but as taming feral kittens at 12-weeks-old takes more time and effort than at 5-weeks-old, it’s a matter of priorities. Within a week the kittens should have made considerable progress. Bonding with the Kitten Talk softly to the kitten throughout the day. Food is how wild cats became domesticated in the first place: they figured out that hanging around humans equaled regular meals. Be careful of open toilets and anything that could be climbed and pulled down on top of the kitten, causing possible injury. The ideal home is one that will keep their pet indoors and will take two kittens together (actually easier to care for and more fun to watch) or that will have an adult home during the day. Don’t leave the “kitty tease” alone with the kittens, as kittens will often swallow string. I was thrilled to discover this and it’s great to know others have experienced it too! Please note that the time frame described in this story is applicable only to my kittens. The optimum time to tame feral/wild kittens is when they are 5/6 weeks old. They prefer a nervous seven-week-old to a tame four month old. ~Hannah, Hannah, Thank you for your comment! It stinks to hear that, I know, but socializing feral kittens is work! The possibility of successfully domesticating a feral kitten is much higher than with an older feral cat, following the tips below. If you want to get somewhere with them, you have to use food. 1. Feral moms usually give birth in quiet, unseen spots where kittens will not be visible for several weeks. The taming process is certainly worthwhile. You need to think about this. While cats are very adaptable and can change their opinions over time, nature has stacked the deck against any “Johnny-come-lately” lessons in the joys of a life with humans. Be sure to inform the adoptive family that the kitten must be neutered. A large room may overwhelm a timid kitten and cause increased fear. When you shop via AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of all your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. They should not be taken from the mother before they are old enough to be weaned at about 4 weeks. These 6 steps will help you turn that frightened neighborhood kitty into a new furry friend! This is a video in which volunteers from celestial zoo rescue retrieved 8 week old kittens from a storm drain and got them safe into a foster home. Feral kittens over 8 weeks of age can be safely spayed or neutered as long as they weigh at least 2 pounds. This can be fatal. For example, FOCAS, the Humane Society, and the Department of Animal Control all have such agreements. TNR is an appropriate option for older kittens who are not socialized to humans. It will also prevent perpetuation of wildness in the littermates. So successfully taming a feral cat in your neighborhood will begin by establishing a routine around food. A hand coming at the kittens frightens them, which may cause them to hiss or bite. The kittens are in an environment that is an immediate danger to their well-being. However, kittens from 8 to 11 weeks old still have that taming window of opportunity. It is really important that you not take a kitten when they are too young, so make sure that they are of a suitable age for taming. If you have an older cat, that will help. Sometimes the boys will tame up faster. In some litters, all the kittens must be isolated, so as not to reinforce wildness in the group. Block access to behind bookcases and heavy furniture behind which the kitten can become wedged. They are usually terrified of humans. Kittens instinctively begin to use dry loose materials at 4-weeks-old! At best, you're likely to have a semi-feral cat, who may allow some contact but is not friendly by any stretch of the imagination. They haven’t heard about the taming of Boo Boo. I took him in and the first few hours of him being in my apartment with me he was hiding and incredibly scared. Read all three if you want better insight into the difference between males and females past the relatively easy 8 week old stage. If this is a truly feral cat at 6 months old you will not be able to catch it. Older kittens can also be captured and tamed, but the process becomes slower and less successful the longer the kittens stay in the wild. Place the kittens in a cage or large carrier which already contains food, water, litter box and bedding. Baby food or Hills “a/d” brand canned food off a spoon is always a great ice-breaker. How to Tame a Feral Cat. Place it in a small room away from family pets and children. While the kitten is focused on eating, quickly throw a towel over him and wrap him up in it to prevent him from scratching you. Place the litter box in the room and leave the carrier door open (or remove it). Then she dashes back out to the deck and eats. Socializing (Taming) Feral Kittens Kittens born to community cats — whether the mother is feral or friendly — need to be socialized (tamed) by humans in order to be suitable for adoption. 1. 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