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Feral Kittens?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by FunkMaster, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. FunkMaster

    FunkMaster PetForums Newbie

    Jun 9, 2010
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    Hello All,

    I am new to this community, but not new to animals in general, have grown up with dogs most of my childhood, but in my adult life have had cats.

    Anyhow, currently I have a Exotic Longhair Persian, she is 4 years old and her name is Jasmine.

    About 2 months ago, a friend told us his cat had kittens and we went over to to see them, so adorable and decided to adopt one, which we thought would be a great addition to our family.

    So went this past Sunday to get the little one (ginger boy, called Lotus) and while we were there, we saw his sister, a little black one who didn't have a home and my wife decided to take her (Lilly) too.

    We brought them home and have isolated them in one of the rooms in the house, for them to become familiar with their surroundings and so forth. By some unlucky chance, our resident cat Jasmine made it into the room and there was the usually bout of hissing and hair standing on the their backs and we quickly seperated them.

    Strangly, later in the day, when I went to go and play with Jasmine, she litterally had a personality change and hissed and hit me with her paw when i tried to touch her ... only after I had a bath and smelled nice, would she even give me the time of day.

    Yesterday, I took the kittens to the Vet, for their first checkup and the results were not good.

    Both kittens have:

    Serious Flea Infestations (explains the itchyness I feel too)
    Serious Ear Infection
    Serious Worm Infestation

    While the vet was working on Lilly, cleaning out her ears, where a lot of black stuff came out ... Lilly literally freaked out and went mad and the vet along with her assistant landed up having serious claw marks on their forearms ... and after a bit of further research they identified that the two kittens are at least 80% Feral, thus they didn't even want to try and do the same to Lotus, all they got was injections.

    The vet informed me that she's never come across kittens which are so aggressive at such a younge age and shared a concern about integrating these two with our resident female Jasmine. She did mention that with a lot of love and attention, the kittens may become somewhat loveable, but they give off a perticular scent that wild feral cats tend to and thus our pedigree house cat might not be able to adjust to this and that we need to keep them apart as long as possible.

    I am now rather concerned to be honest, I know the flea, worm and ear infections can be sorted out, but the personality and natural behaviour is something that is just part of who they are.

    Can anyone share some experience with Feral kittens, integrating them into a house hold, turning them into house cats .... and anything else that comes to mind?

    Many thanks
  2. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Oct 4, 2008
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    I adopted a feral kitten at about six weeks of age - he was found in a barn with his litter mate but no mother.He too and a very bad flea infestation and worms as could be expected from his living conditions but these were soon put right.
    He grew into a beautiful cat (the black cat in my signature) and was for many years my only cat so there was no issue with integrating him into the family. However he did not like to be indoors at all and would only come in to be fed and very rarely to sleep.
    When I bought a Siamese kitten (not the one in my sig) he hated her on sight, would hiss and growl and have nothing to do with her. He was then three years old and we assumed that at his age it was hard to change. They kept their distances from each other and it was never too much of a problem. My little Siamese was knocked down by a car at the age of 9months and my lovely Gizmo was found sat by her side. He spent several weeks sleeping on her grave. So did he really hate her that much? He certainly seemed to be grieving for her.
    It was not until two years later that I bought another Siamese and Gizmo was by then nearly six. He accepted her much more readily, though they never became friends. She adored him and followed him wherever she could. When she was tiny she escaped from the house (I decided to keep her as an indoor cat as I did not want to lose her to a car) and Gizmo came with me meowing. as I was calling her. I believe that she came to his calls rather than mine.
    Sorry to go on for so long but I'm trying to say - don't give up on your kittens. Play with them, love them and cuddle them as much as you can. They may want to remain outdoor cats but I think they are still young enough to learn an indoor life. The more you interact with them, transferring your smells to them the more your Persian will accept them too I think.
    Wishing you the best luck with them.
  3. HoneyFern

    HoneyFern PetForums VIP

    Aug 27, 2009
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    It doesn't surprise me the kittens were acting feral - they must have been in great discomfort with it all. But, that doesn't mean they won't tame down and what your vet said about intergrating them with your cat is a load of rubbish - the sooner they adapt to a household situation the better. Maybe wait until they're clear of everything before introducing them to your cat but there's no other reason not to.
  4. colliemerles

    colliemerles PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2007
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    i hope they settle down soon, at least they will start to feel better now there health has been sorted out.:)keep us posted,
  5. vivienne

    vivienne PetForums Junior

    Jun 2, 2010
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    I used to do a lot of work taming feral kittens and I am afraid the only thing I can say is they are all different.
    Kittens need to be socialised as young as possible the older they are the more unlikely they will be "normal" cats.
    I have had a feral kitten I got at about 8 weeks and in all the 8 years I had her she never willing let me toucn her.
    Another kitten, about 10 weeks when I got her was terrifiied at first she continually tried to bite and scratch as I handled her but within a short period of time turned into the most lovely cat who used to love being stroked and would call to me and come running if she saw me out in the garden.
    What I found with ferals:
    Always better to have one at a time - you want them to bond with you not their litter mate.
    Keep in a kitten pen in the busiest part of the house. Letting them hide away only makes them more nervous. They need to get used to a domestic situation.
    Handle regularly for short periods of time. Try to get all family members to do so.
    The more aggressive kittens seem to be the ones that tame best.

    I have found that feral cats often love other cats and often one in particular that they idolise!
  6. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

    Sep 12, 2009
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    dont panic yet!

    blimey, the poor babies were in some serious pain

    ear mites (the black gunge)
    dermatitis (flea skin infection)

    On top of that, they are new to your home, the vets, the smells, the sounds etc.

    It all makes for a highly stressed environment and coupled with pain i'm not suprised at their reaction.

    I would give it a few weeks yet, get them over their infections/infestations and then see how things progress. If they were raised in a home and handled from birth i doubt there will be a problem :)

    sal x
  7. gskinner123

    gskinner123 PetForums VIP

    Mar 10, 2010
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    I've had two kittens one about 9 weeks and the other 12 weeks, on separate occasions, over the years that *totally* freaked at the vets, inflicting a few (non serious) injuries to a vet and vet nurse. They were about as far removed from feral as you can get, having been bred by me, handled from birth and had lovely temperaments.... they simply objected (albeit in strong terms!) to being restrained and what was being 'done' to them - not that it was much mind :) But thats cats for you occasionally, given a strange environment, fear, stress and probably a degree of pain in the case of your two kittens.

    I have honestly, in all the years I've owned and bred cats, have never heard of kittens giving off a particular scent which would point to them being feral.

    I know it must be worrying for you, but do try and give them a chance. If they were truly feral I seriously doubt they'd have been handleable by you prior to taking them to the vet.
  8. IndysMamma

    IndysMamma PetForums VIP

    Jan 15, 2009
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    my Indy was born in a garage and not even seen by people until he was 4-5 weeks old... his momma is also feral and yet both are now tame after patience and love. Indy is a huge snuggle puss


    my ex feral kitten is a loveable lump yet when I got him he was caked in fleas and mites as you would expect.

    Mabel... his mum... was anywhere from 3-8 when we got her... 2 years of patient work and she is the most huggable cat though a little aloof sometimes so even age isn't a barrier all the time.
  9. lauren001

    lauren001 PetForums VIP

    Jun 30, 2008
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    A feral kitten is a domestic cat that has returned to the wild because it has noone to care for it, it is not a separate species so would be very unlikely to smell "wild".

    True feral kittens have no handling in the socialisation window so need a lot of care and attention if they are going to be anywhere near normal, some never achieve "normal" friendliness though can be good pets for their owners, as they tend to be the only person they trust.

    Jasmine hates them like she would any cat that you brought home, as they have entered her territory, not because of their feral scent, what a load of twaddle.

    Her response is completely natural, some cats after initial hissing will all settle within days others take months, so you just need to be patient.
    Never leave an adult alone with small kittens until you are satisfied that they are truly getting on, as damage could be done to the little ones.

    Real feral kittens would be bouncing off the walls, and you would not be able to get near them at all, they would be hiding and running from you, hissing and spitting at you too, those you have do not sound feral.

    Poking in ears is extremely painful as the ear is very sensitive if you go too deep, I would think any vet worth their salt would have realised this and not blamed the kittens for being "feral".
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