Author Topic: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!) NEW PIC #133!  (Read 12525 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2012, 12:40:33 AM »
So much to learn about these kittens!

Someone told me that Tiger is a diluted tortie.  Is that the same as calico?  His colors sort of run together, and aren't splotchy like calicos I've seen.

If he's not a boy, oh well!  But I just looked, and honestly, I can't tell.  I *think* I feel some little bits down there, but he's got so much hair that it's really hard to tell.  Might have to wait for the vet to give us a definitive answer on that one.

I am so happy to hear that we should hold them and love them (be like their mama).  That's what I WANT to do, but others have said to let them acclimate on their own terms.  So I think I'll take the hands on approach.  That's going to make my daughter very happy.  She just wants to crawl into their pen and hold them.  She probably wants to sleep in there with them!

I gave them some wet food a little while ago, and those poor babies devoured it. Ate and ate and ate.  I know the people watching out for them had provided dry food for their mama, and she was introducing her kittens to it, so they've probably had a little dry food before, but I know this was their first time eating wet food. 

As for their age, I think they're about 6 weeks.  The little girl is 24.95 ounces right now, and the little boy(?) is 19.55 ounces.  I looked at the weight chart for the Spice Kittens and the girl's weight puts her right in line with them, at about 6 weeks old.  The boy kitten is a little smaller, but I am going to work on putting some weight on him.

They are surprisingly tame considering they've lived outside their whole lives.  We feel very lucky to have them.  They are so cute. Haven't made a peep yet, and I can't wait to hear their meows!

Elfmama

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6301
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2012, 01:38:07 AM »
At that age, both wet and dry food, then.  Even if they don't eat much of the dry food, that gives them something to crunch down on for the teeth that they're cutting. Most of the dry kitten foods can be moistened with a little water, too, if soft food suits them better.  My kittens always waded in to the dish with both front feet.

They're young enough that socialization will do wonders for them.  Get as many different types of people in to see them as you can. Men, women, kids.  Have them hold and pet and play with the kittens, maybe offer a little bit of baby food on the tips of their fingers if the kittens are shy.

This should be only a few minutes at first.  Let the kitten lead the way.  If they struggle to get down, hold them a few seconds more and then let them loose.  This lets them know that you aren't trying to hurt them, but you ARE in control.

The more you hold and cuddle and play with them, the tighter they will bond to you.  It's the kittens that are left alone who tend to be stand-offish as adults.  (It used to be that 'experts' would tell you that kittens should not be played with, because somehow that was thought to harm them.) They do need naps, just like all babies, so it doesn't need to be someone holding them all the time.

I always started my Siamese kittens on this kind of socialization as newborns, even.  It was only a few seconds at a time at first, stroking them with one finger and talking to them quietly, but it set the pattern for kitten-human interaction.  One of my favorite memories is DH cuddling a newborn kitten and murmuring "Welcome to the world, little one."  :)   Then back in the nest-box before their mother had a hissy fit.  (Believe me, Siamese can throw major-league hissies.)  Usually she wasn't worried anyway.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
It's true. Money can't buy happiness.  You have to turn it
into books first.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 592
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2012, 02:31:24 AM »
They are super cute!  I'm sitting here with my once feral buddy snoozing right next to me. 

mechtilde

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5599
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2012, 04:22:48 AM »
Yes, diluted tortie is effectively the same as calico. It just means that they are a tortie or a calico who also has the dilute gene. If they were black and carried the dilute gene they would be grey, and so on.

Don't worry too much about genders though-the only real practical difference is that females are slightly more expensive to neuter!
NE England

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2012, 10:14:09 AM »
Human baby food may not be nutritionally right for kittens.  I would go to the nearest pet store and get canned kitten food.  You can wait a few days.  Anything you give them can't help but be better than the 1/2 dead sparrows and other small critters their mother was probably feeding them.

Its not easy to tell tiny boy kittens from tiny girl kittens.  Have the vet check the first time you take them in.  Do that soon.  Many feral animals have digestive worms.  The vet will check in that first visit.  And if worms are found the vet will teach you how to squirt wormer in their mouths.  There's a trick to keep them from spitting it out.

I should have mentioned that the human baby food is for a special treat to associate the humans with really good and special stuff.

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2012, 10:16:22 AM »
So much to learn about these kittens!

Someone told me that Tiger is a diluted tortie.  Is that the same as calico?  His colors sort of run together, and aren't splotchy like calicos I've seen.

If he's not a boy, oh well!  But I just looked, and honestly, I can't tell.  I *think* I feel some little bits down there, but he's got so much hair that it's really hard to tell.  Might have to wait for the vet to give us a definitive answer on that one.

I am so happy to hear that we should hold them and love them (be like their mama).  That's what I WANT to do, but others have said to let them acclimate on their own terms.  So I think I'll take the hands on approach.  That's going to make my daughter very happy.  She just wants to crawl into their pen and hold them.  She probably wants to sleep in there with them!

I gave them some wet food a little while ago, and those poor babies devoured it. Ate and ate and ate.  I know the people watching out for them had provided dry food for their mama, and she was introducing her kittens to it, so they've probably had a little dry food before, but I know this was their first time eating wet food. 

As for their age, I think they're about 6 weeks.  The little girl is 24.95 ounces right now, and the little boy(?) is 19.55 ounces.  I looked at the weight chart for the Spice Kittens and the girl's weight puts her right in line with them, at about 6 weeks old.  The boy kitten is a little smaller, but I am going to work on putting some weight on him.

They are surprisingly tame considering they've lived outside their whole lives.  We feel very lucky to have them.  They are so cute. Haven't made a peep yet, and I can't wait to hear their meows!

These guys are so young that the hands off method isn't necessary. Since you already gave them a bath they seem pretty tame already! I would make sure they are locked in a room they can't get into too much trouble in, but other then that start integrating them as part of the family already. The locking in a room is only because they are tiny enough to get into places you wouldn't expect them too! It will be easier to find them if you know they have to be in there somewhere.

Good luck! They are adorable.

Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5980
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2012, 10:37:23 AM »
Tiger is indeed a dilute tortoiseshell. The genetics are the same as for a calico: The X chromosome carries a gene that codes for either black or orange, so to have both colors, you need two X chromosomes. (Very rarely you get an XXY male.)

A calico has the colors in large blotches, with a lot of white. A tortie has little or no white, and the colors tend to be more brindled.  A separate gene controls the intensity of the color (No dilution -> black and orange; dilution -> gray and tan).
Using a chainsaw is as close as we come to having a lightsaber in this life.

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2012, 11:30:59 AM »
Tiger is indeed a dilute tortoiseshell. The genetics are the same as for a calico: The X chromosome carries a gene that codes for either black or orange, so to have both colors, you need two X chromosomes. (Very rarely you get an XXY male.)

A calico has the colors in large blotches, with a lot of white. A tortie has little or no white, and the colors tend to be more brindled.  A separate gene controls the intensity of the color (No dilution -> black and orange; dilution -> gray and tan).

So good to know!  I guess we have 2 little girls (unless the black and white one is actually a boy -- guess I should double check that!).

The play pen I got to contain them has failed.  We had The Great Kitten Escape of 2012 last night.  I was awakened at 5 a.m. to a kitten crying in my bathroom off the master.  She (formerly he) was hissing and clawing to get away from me, but I calmed her down by holding her to my chest and petting her.  I put her back in the pen and noticed the other one was gone too.  No sooner had I put Tiger down than she squeezed herself out the backside of the pen and she was gone again.  Sigh.

I found Sissy under the recliner, put her back, but that didn't last long either.

So I'm taking the pen back (what good is it?) and I guess I'll kitty-proof my craft room and put them in there.  I just liked having them in the living room where I could see them and be around them all the time.

P.S.  They are quick little things.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2012, 11:45:42 AM »


P.S.  They are quick little things.

Yes, they are!   ;D

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2012, 11:53:45 AM »
Tiger is indeed a dilute tortoiseshell. The genetics are the same as for a calico: The X chromosome carries a gene that codes for either black or orange, so to have both colors, you need two X chromosomes. (Very rarely you get an XXY male.)

A calico has the colors in large blotches, with a lot of white. A tortie has little or no white, and the colors tend to be more brindled.  A separate gene controls the intensity of the color (No dilution -> black and orange; dilution -> gray and tan).

So good to know!  I guess we have 2 little girls (unless the black and white one is actually a boy -- guess I should double check that!).

The play pen I got to contain them has failed.  We had The Great Kitten Escape of 2012 last night.  I was awakened at 5 a.m. to a kitten crying in my bathroom off the master.  She (formerly he) was hissing and clawing to get away from me, but I calmed her down by holding her to my chest and petting her.  I put her back in the pen and noticed the other one was gone too.  No sooner had I put Tiger down than she squeezed herself out the backside of the pen and she was gone again.  Sigh.

I found Sissy under the recliner, put her back, but that didn't last long either.

So I'm taking the pen back (what good is it?) and I guess I'll kitty-proof my craft room and put them in there.  I just liked having them in the living room where I could see them and be around them all the time.

P.S.  They are quick little things.

Seeing and being around them is a good idea - can you cat proof the living room so you can put them in there when you are there? My living room is an big open room so I couldn't do that. If that is the case could you temporarily move into the craft room for what you usually do in the living room? For kittens that young I don't see this taking too long - especially since they let you pick them up! I have had Blazen for 5 years and he still doesn't let me pick him up. His brother on the other hand loves being carried around - go figure.

Shoo

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16393
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2012, 12:46:07 PM »
Our house is kind of "open concept."  The bedrooms are the only rooms that could possibly be kitten proofed.  I'll just have to make a point of spending my free time up there.  That means moving my computer up there, which is no problem.

I stuffed blankets and towels around every opening I could think of to keep them from finding hiding places.  It took about 3 seconds for them to find the weak spot in the fortress.  They're now behind the trundle bed.  I'm thinking of just taking all the barricades out and letting them hide as long as they want to.  They have food and water, and a litter box up there.  I reckon they'll get hungry eventually!

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2012, 01:06:03 PM »
Our house is kind of "open concept."  The bedrooms are the only rooms that could possibly be kitten proofed.  I'll just have to make a point of spending my free time up there.  That means moving my computer up there, which is no problem.

I stuffed blankets and towels around every opening I could think of to keep them from finding hiding places.  It took about 3 seconds for them to find the weak spot in the fortress.  They're now behind the trundle bed.  I'm thinking of just taking all the barricades out and letting them hide as long as they want to.  They have food and water, and a litter box up there.  I reckon they'll get hungry eventually!

There are pros and cons to that method. For older ferals (especially adults) you want to make sure that they have a safe place to go, but that they are forced to interact with you and realize you aren't a threat. That is why the carrier is in a cage - a safe place but they can't 100% get away. For these kittens you want to make sure they interact with you as much as possible - the earlier you start the socializing the easier it is and the more likely it is to work. So you want to make sure that they have some place to hide, but you don't want whereever that is to be so far that you can't get at them. Also I really do recommend bring in baby food with you. Make them see your coming into the room as a special treat because you bring them special food.

They will come out when they get hungry enough - but you want to make sure that isn't the only time they come out.

Jones

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2673
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2012, 01:30:54 PM »
How do you feel about having someone sleep in the kitten room, on a cot? It's a passive way to get the kitty to get used to humans, and choose to reach out. My Shadow started out life partially feral (my sister found her hiding in an unused pipe), and in her old age has gotten paranoid and often hides out in her "castle", but if she's in the same room as someone sleeping/trying to sleep she will pull the sleep-on-you heavy kitty maneuver. When the sleeper wakes and pets her she sticks around.

EMuir

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1396
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2012, 01:38:37 PM »
Good for you for saving them!

Remember to not give them any baby food with onion in it, that's harmful to cats and dogs.

A safe food would be to cook chicken and rice and feed them that.  There is an official "weaning food" available at pet stores, but really any soft canned cat food will do, it doesn't even have to be specifically for kittens.  Good luck!

sevenday

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 804
Re: Adopting 2 feral kittens (possibly today!)
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2012, 08:32:39 PM »
Aww what cute little babies.  And yeah, giving them the bath while they were still shell shocked was probably a good idea since you survived.  Around here that would have been a blood bath.  Kittens DO escape... I tried to keep my last cat (now 5 years old) in my master bathroom with a baby gate across the door to keep him from being eaten alive by the two older cats, who were NOT happy about having a kitten in the house.  That lasted... I want to say four days.  Then I woke up to see a dark blob teetering on top of the gate.  It disappeared, and then reappeared clawing its way up the end of the blanket that trailed to the floor.  I tried valiantly, but the next day we had to just take the gate down and hope.  Thankfully, he was not eaten, and has grown into a handsome boy. 

Despite the hissing and clawing, spending peaceful periods of time with them is helpful.  even if they are behind furniture.  Go out, sit on the floor, trail a string around and talk to them.  Read aloud from books maybe.  Just be "there" and eventually they will come to you, especially if you are the bearer of noms.