What are feral cats? These are stray, abandoned, or homeless cats. Some might be adult cats and prove to be a challenge when taming them since they have grown wild. Anyone who needs to tame them might require to be patient. If you capture feral kittens when they are young, you tame them easily. They learn new skills in a short while and can find new homes.
If the adult feral cats give birth, they look for quiet spots. The feral kitten may not be seen for quite some time. They can stay hidden for weeks with no human contact. The kittens can only be seen when they start moving around as they play and can be captured using traps. However, they can only be separated from the mother when they are 4 to 6 weeks old.
They are prone to diseases if you capture them when they are younger. Between 4 to 6 weeks, the kittens can be weaned. If they are older, the process of taming them gets slower. If possible, the mother should be captured too to avoid future littering. Taming these kittens might take between 2 to 6 weeks.
Their state of wilderness and age determine how fast a feral kitten can take to be tamed. You can find the kittens from a single litter having unique differences. Some may take more time than the rest to tame up. If you are attempting to tame feral kittens, you need to show some love, patience, and commitment. The whole process needs affection and care.
If you capture the litter, you need to get a vet to test and check them for contagious diseases. They should always stay isolated from your pets to avoid the transmission of diseases. For you to tame the cats, you need to be knowledgable. This article gives you a simple guideline on how you can do it on your own.
Build A Temporary Home
Once you capture litter of kittens, they may be hissing at human because they are terrified. They can easily give you a scratch or a bite since they think you are a preditor. So, after a successful catch and testing, you need to have somewhere they can stay. A temporary home can serve the purpose, and you should separate the feral kitten.
Failure to separate the cats would make the process difficult. You will take more time trying to tame them, and the success rate will be minimal. The kennel should be large enough and have a comfortable sleeping place. Also, you need to find bowls, which you can use to place dry food and water. Add a litter box for the young ones in their kennel. Also, you can leave a radio on for the cats to get used to human voices. Once the kittens get used to the sounds, it can be easier to communicate with cats and teach them different skills.
The kittens are usually scared and see humans as predators. They may tend to be violent, but if shown love, they will soften their hearts with time. If you think it’s necessary, you can use protective clothing and gloves to avoid getting bites and scratches. After two days, you can now start creating a bond with the kittens. Interacting with the feral kittens might be scary, but you can reach out and hold them in your hands. If you don’t, it would be hard for the kittens to learn how to interact with a human. With time the cat will stop biting and scratching.
Go for those that are less aggressive since the chances of attacking you are minimal. You should hold the cat on its scruff when you are picking it up. This is by firmly gripping the loose skin located at the top of the cat’s neck. While the cat is on your arm, you can secure it with a towel. Draw it close to your stomach and caress its head, back, and chin.
You can talk to the cat softly when caressing it to help create a bond. For the first 2 or 3 days, you can do it for 5 minutes. The duration can be longer as time goes by since it helps make the cat enjoy the bonding time and become friendly. However, one should avoid prolonged eye contacts with the kittens. The cat family term this as an aggressive body language. When cuddling your cat, you should look away frequently and also look down as a way of submission. It helps make the cats more friendly to human.
After a few days, the kittens will get used to and always be anxious for the next visit. Remember, hygiene is also essential. Using a soft brush, you can always brush it. Brushing is similar to a mother’s grooming, and it creates parental love that the kitten needs. If possible, use a flea comb to prevent flea infestation. Flea makes kittens prone to different diseases and also makes them anemic.
At all times, ensure the kennel has dry food and water. You can use wet foods as a reward for the cats. A caretaker can give the snack and stay in the kennel as it eats. Through this, the kittens will start to associate you with yummy foods. If the cats can’t eat with you staring, you can move back and let them eat. Patience is vital, and for you to create that closeness and bond, it’s necessary. With time and training, the cats will be able to eat the treats from your hands.
Once your kitten is comfortable with the cuddles, you can now get it out from the kennel. Using toys or strings, you can encourage the cat to play. With time, you can let them play together. Playing is a watching and learning process for the kittens. If the kittens watch one playing, they will be able to pull strings and play with you. However, you shouldn’t teach them how to attack your hand. It can make encourage the cat to attack people later in its life.
Time To Meet New Friends
Once the feral kitten gets used to the caretaker, its time to introduce them to new people. If possible, invite your friends over and let them feed, play, and interact with the cats. It helps the kitten to adjust and get used to new people. If the meetings are frequent, the cats will be ready for adoption in a shorter time.
The process of taming feral kittens is demanding. You need to be patient and caring for you to give the best. The time taken to rescue the kittens entirely would depend on the individual characteristics of each cat. Older or adult cats would take more time to be rehabilitated. You should be observant with the cats for you to learn and see their behavior change.