Discussion Forums

Welcome to Pet Radio Forums. Please introduce yourself and your pets, post any questions or comments about anything on our blog

You need to log in to create posts and topics.

How to acclimate feral kittens?

From the comment section of our web site:

Hello, When we moved into our new rental we also acquired 1 female cat. I think she was once someone’s pet but living in the woods. After getting acquainted with her over a few weeks and following her to where she was bedding down in the woods we found she also had 2 kittens. I built a shelter for them to stay in. A few weeks of walking down to the woods to feed everyone on one rainy day she decided to bring them up with a little help from me we got them to stay in the shelter. This was good. BUT

One day last week I noticed the the mom was being very nasty to the kittens, growling, hissing, biting and holding them down forcefully then she’d run off, she acted as if she wanted nothing to do with them anymore. I was able to capture them and bring them into the house we have 1 grey one we named Zera, and 1 black one we named Rocky.

I have a few questions.
(1) Any quick way to get them from hiding behind the couch when we get near them?
(2) Should I feed them in separate bowls or together?

Thanks, Steve

We had an adopted feral cat in our house when I was growing up.  She did get more used to us but was never really social or happy around us.  I don't remember how she was when we first got her but we never really got the feral completely out of her.

I know that cats have their own personalities just like people.  Some are social, some aren't. You might have more luck with Zera and Rocky because they're kittens.

How old are the kittens?  Kittens really should stay with their mothers at least through the age of 8 weeks, so I hope that these guys are a little older than that!  I would definitely recommend feeding them with separate bowls, separated by a little distance, so that they don't start getting competitive over food.

The kitties will probably look for places to hide, and behind the couch works for them right now.  If you can, try to give them better hiding places, like a cardboard box on its side, covered with a blanket or towel (like a cave), that they can hide in.  You can make cubby holes or buy cat caves...this will allow the cats to hide and feel comfortable, and make them a little more accessible than if they are behind a couch.

Check out this fact sheet from Alley Cat Allies about socializing feral kittens:  https://www.alleycat.org/resources/socializing-feral-kittens/

Good luck!