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A Thousand Questions

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by LalisDad, Aug 5, 2009.


  1. LalisDad

    LalisDad PetForums Newbie

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    Hi my first post on this forum. A beautiful little female feral kitten (Lali) has aquired my wife and I and I need some help from you experts. She is now about 9 weeks old (estimate by vet) and we have had here inside our house for 3 weeks. I have taken her to the vet who tells me she is healthy, albeit a little wild. We have been following the advice, isolating her for the first 2-3 days then progressively getting closer to her. I can attratct her with food, so much so, I can feed her with the food plate balanced on my lap and my hand still on the plate when she eats. I have been using babyfood for as weel for the last week and she will come to me and eat off my hands.She is still very nervous and exhibits behaviour that I dont understand and am hoping thatn you guys may be able to offer advice.

    She still hisses when you walk past her and will swipe (without claws extended) at my hand on occassions if it is near her food. In contradiction, when I catch her then nurse and pat her she purrs like a refrigerator and seems quite comfortable. She stays without being held, stretches, snuggles, purrs and snoozes.She plays like a crazycat and seems to like the environment we have provided for her. The things she does that confuse me are:

    1. Hisses (from inside her igloo) when you walk past her (sometimes)
    2. Swpies her paws at my feet and hands
    3. Occassionally she will wet not in the litterbox (which she has been using well) and it seems that it is an act of defiance (I stopped feeding her last night but she wanted more so she then went for a play and proceeded to pee on the lounge)
    4. Runs and hides under the sideboard when you walk past her

    I anticipate that I need to give her more time, after all, this is only her 4th week with people. Can anyone give me any advice or assistance with this. she is a darling/devil. I am prepared to persist and accpet that I may never (given that she is a feral) get her complete trust and affection.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  2. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    Good on you for taking on a wild kitten.

    Answers to your questions
    SHe is still very young and all the situations in the house are new to her. Many kittens swipe at feet etc at this age, it's normal play/hunting behaviour - if you don't like it or can't tolerate it you need to let her know BUT at this stage I would ignore it as it might make her more scared. IMO you can't really overfeed a kitten, if she is hungry feed her. I doubt very much her wetting was deliberate (this is a human trait that is transposed onto animals and I don't really think it fits) more likely she was playing and got carried away. I have two 11 weeks old kittens at the moment and I have litter trays scattered all over the house for such an event. At 9 weeks old she is only just learning and needs the back up of extra trays. I'd put another tray in a corner in the living room especially if you allow her in there unsupervised. SHe is going to still be very shy and will like the comfort of dark small palces (like under your sideboard) - again this is normal, she will feel safe there. SHe will gradually get there, but it will take months not weeks. Imagine her in toddler terms - she is the equivalent of a 2 year old right now - she is scared and frightened and still learning and has no mother to show her, so you need to take over that job. If she plays with claws and teeth out I would suggest very gently blowing on her face (works with my minx of a kitten) and saying no softly. This is enough to stop them but doesn't scare - and that's the last thing you need to do to her.

    I rescued a feral kitten when I was a child - it took her about 6 months to settle well and then only with family, if other people came in the house she hid - it took 16 years to get her to accept other people (and only after she was shot in the head!).

    Food wise - not sure if babyfood is a good idea, full of sugars and salt and creal that a cat can't digest - if you can get some 50%+ meat content food (Hi-life, Natures Menu, Tesco's FInest, Applaws, Pets@homes own hi quality food brand (can't remember the name) or look on zooplus.com for lots of altternative brands) these will help her overcome her poor start in life. Or look into feeding raw.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on and photos please!
     
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