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Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!) NEW PIC #133!

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Shoo:
I've had several cats in my lifetime, but they have always come to me litterbox trained, and eating kitten food, totally weaned.  Today I am probably going to be bringing home 2 feral kittens, who have been living in a garden shed since they were born.

I'm not really sure what my plan is.  I think I'll run out and get a pen to enclose them in so they don't feel totally overwhelmed.  I will drape towels/blankets over the sides and remove them gradually to enlarge their world as they get accustomed to us.  How does that sound?

I suppose just steering them to a small litterbox is about all I will need to do to get them trained in using it.

What kind of food should I get them?

Any advice here?  I want these kittens to have an awesome life with us, and I'm pretty sure starting out on the right foot will be important.

wolfie:

--- Quote from: Shoo on November 18, 2012, 12:45:41 PM ---I've had several cats in my lifetime, but they have always come to me litterbox trained, and eating kitten food, totally weaned.  Today I am probably going to be bringing home 2 feral kittens, who have been living in a garden shed since they were born.

I'm not really sure what my plan is.  I think I'll run out and get a pen to enclose them in so they don't feel totally overwhelmed.  I will drape towels/blankets over the sides and remove them gradually to enlarge their world as they get accustomed to us.  How does that sound?

I suppose just steering them to a small litterbox is about all I will need to do to get them trained in using it.

What kind of food should I get them?

Any advice here?  I want these kittens to have an awesome life with us, and I'm pretty sure starting out on the right foot will be important.

--- End quote ---

I have some great documents on how to tame feral cats. Your idea of enclosure is a good idea - I would recommend a dog crate. You want it to be big enough for a litterbox, a carrier and some room for them to play without being in the litterbox or carrier. Most likely they will use the litterbox instinctively - if not put any poop in the box and bury it - that's how Kiana figured out that was what the litterbox was for. If they really don't get it then put dirt in the box  - they should know what the dirt is for.

Make sure they are in a quiet place in the house - someplace where they feel safe. Interact with them multiple times per day. At first they will probably run into their carrier for safety (that's what it is there for) but once  they realize you aren't a danger they will come out and interact. The younger the kittens are the easier it will be. The recommended method is to bribe them with food. Meat baby food (make sure it only has meat - no onions) is what most people use.

Bring in the baby food an a small plate. Talk to them a few minutes and let them know you aren't going to hurt them - get them used to your voice and presence. When you are ready to leave pop open the baby food (you want a distinctive noise so they can associate it with good stuff) put it on the plate, put it in the cage, close the cage door and leave. After a few sessions stay a little bit so they can decide to come out while you are there and the door is closed. The goal is that they see you as a sign of good things to come and are happy to see you. I pasted a link but feel free to pm me if you have questions or anything. I can point you to an awesome yahoo group for feral cat taming.

http://www.feralcat.com/taming.html

Bijou:
I have nothing to add as Wolfie's post seems right on to me. 
These are lucky kitties to be coming to you with your loving concern.  I wanted to say thanks for taking these little guys into your home. 

Shoo:
Thanks for all the great info!  I don't have a dog crate, but what I have is a pet "play pen" with metal bars that a kitty can't really climb up too easily.

We're on our way out the door right now to go see them.  I'll post pics when we get a chance later today!

Shoo:
So we are home with our new kittens!  It was instant love.  They are so cute, although they were filthy and terrified.  When we got them home we thought it best to just go ahead and give them a bath, since they were already a little traumatized.  Get it all out of the way.

Here is Sissy Cat before her first bath:


During her bath:


And Sissy all clean:


Tiger Kitty before his first bath:


Tiger during his bath:


And Tiger all clean:


Both of them keeping warm after their baths:


They are now in their carrier, inside the playpen.  They're sleeping at the moment.  I reckon it's going to be a while before they are brave enough to venture out of the carrier, but when they do, there's food and fresh water waiting for them.  Poor little critters.  So precious.

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