Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The promised kitten update!!!

First - the really good news. Mom has a friend who works for a low cost clinic - she snuck out yesterday and the girls were tested and vaccinated. And.....everyone is NEGATIVE!!!! Yeah! One thing to give mom a sigh of relief. (Chiclet gets tested Friday and the permanent crew on 6/16)

Starting on Sunday afternoon, mom spent time laying on the floor with the bathroom door open so she could interact with the girls. Mom thinks that being on the floor makes her less scary. (Tim thinks this means he is allowed to jump over the pen she puts up to keep in the kittens and land on her butt)

Anyhow, Grace of course was out and about and playing. Mom spent time with them last night and Grace kept trying to crawl up her shorts. No lack of social skills with that girl. MOL Plus, Grace LOVES treats, so that helps too....

Grace (concentrating on her treats)

Audrey isn't quite as brave, but she is coming around faster than Lucy. Audrey will come out to eat when mom is in the room and mom even got her to come over for some love on Sunday and she was eating treats while mom held her - a sure sign she is relaxed.
Audrey hanging with Lucy

Audrey and Grace enjoy dinner together

And Miss Lucy....mom started putting the really good treats in the carrier and then closer to the door to get Lucy to come out. She would actually get pretty close to the door. So mom started holding treats between her fingers so Lucy would have to sniff mom and get very close to get the treat. Mom got her out of the carrier on Sunday and held her for a little bit but Lucy never really relaxed. However, she has stopped hissing every time mom sticks her hand in the carrier - so this is a big step. Mom also has started putting the canned food on 2 plates and once Grace & Audrey are eating off the one, she places the other about 10 inches from the front of the carrier.....and she got this:

Yep - that is the full Lucy. MOL  Mom tried to get her face, but when mom moved, Lucy went back in the carrier.

Here is our current question: mom wants to take the carrier out but she doesn't want to freak out Lucy and besides there are lots of other places in the bathroom to hide. Plus mom wonders is Lucy being scared is not helping Audrey come out of her shell. Wally (Miss Kelly's kitten from yesterday) is being tested on Thursday. Kelly offered to take Lucy. Kelly has a separate foster room - nowhere to hide except the toys. Mom thinks this might help....though she would miss the constant contact with Lucy and seeing her progress. What does everyone think???

Oh-and mom emailed Bug's mom and she said Bug is just as friendly and outgoing as ever. But....her gray spot on her head grew out. sniff....  However, she said she would start spreading the word about the girls and mom let her know about Wally too!


  1. they are so cute like little snow balls!

  2. Such cuties! Great news that they all had good test results, too!

  3. They are fatties and I love it. Bless sweet Lucy. I wonder why she is that afraid. She may be freaked by openess. Perhaps your fostering friend could at least give her a small something to "shelter" in or under. Even an empty oatmeal cannister..she could face into it and think she's hiding.

  4. Mom wanted to clarify (thanks Admiral - sometimes mom's fingers get ahead of her brain and she isn't very clear) - there are toy tunnels and condos in Kelly's basement for Lucy to hide in - as opposed to the bathroom where it is a closet and under the sink and in the drawers and....no where good!! MOL We would never just put her in an open space with no safety - she is still "feral" enough that it would freak her out.....mom just thinks she needs to learn that she can't live in the cat carrier (since she is going to outgrow it someday - MOL).

  5. When I have feral kittens, I find it helps them feel more secure if they have a place to hide in, but that it is not so good of a hiding place that I can't get them out very easily.

    I use either a foam and fabric cat cube or even an empty litter tub, that way they feel comfortable, but it is not a big event when I reach in and pick them up.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is I wouldn't give them nothing to hide in, but maybe the carrier is a little difficult for you to interact with her.

  6. I think Lucy is better off staying with you and her sisters. Having a place to hide, like a carrier, is actually helpful in getting her to feel more secure, as is being with her sisters. Pam Bennett Johnson talks about how she socialized two ferals (about 6 and 7 years old). She initially had them in a sunroom with plants and cat trees and one of the ferals would jump off the cat tree and hide when Pam came in with food. So Pam attached paper leaves to the cat tree so that cat could be hidden and be feel more secure and not run off when Pam came in. Both became loving housecats that sleep in bed with Pam.

  7. I think I would leave them all together for now. I have dealt with 3 litters of feral kitties and they will eventually get really tame especially if you keep them in the same place for a good long time.As long as they have somewhere that they feel safe such as the carrier, they will eventually come out to explore. I told you about the ones that I had that hid behind the books. It took them two weeks to come out while I was in the room. Just be patient and you will have some great kittens. Take care.

  8. Long post... sorry.

    We never used to split up litters, but we've had fantastic results lately taming down feral kittens with the divide and conquer approach. We had 5 that were pretty hard core and not taming up so we split them up 2 to one foster home, 3 to another and it made a world of difference. We had a litter of 3 the same way and split them out to different foster homes. In a really short time they went from "oh hell no don't come near me or I'll hurt you" [and they did scratch and bite the heck out of foster mom] to in your face friendly and adoptable.

    The other thing we've started doing this year is rotating kittens. Litter at one foster home for 3-5 weeks and then moved to another foster home. this keeps the more feral kittens from becoming socialized to just one family.

    I tend to let the little ones have a hidey place for a set amount of time (the amount of time depends on the kittens - sometimes it's a few days, sometimes it's a few weeks) and then no more carrier.

    I have to ask - where did you get that neat food/water tray?

    alley cats and angels

  9. We don't know what would be best for the kittens because we don't have experience with feral kittens.It sounds as though alley cats and angels has some experience and insights though! The kittens look plump and healthy and are lucky to have you! :)
    the critters in The Cottage

  10. Gosh - good luck with whatever you decide is best for these beautiful kitties!!We hope and know that with lots of tlc, all the kitties will be comfy in their own time and not be so scared! Take care

  11. I have no experience with ferals so don't really know what is best. My first reaction was that Lucy might benefit from the one-on-one attention, but then, being separated from her siblings might not be the best. I would say, just trust your intuition and you will know what is the best thing to do. They all look so plump and cute I just want to eat them up!! Nom nom nom...MOL.

  12. I now wish we had split up CC and Scout to "force" them to bond with humans better. Having said that, I'd wait and see how the socialization goes for a week or two and not do anything dramatic yet, they've had enough changes for a week!

  13. Oh they are all such cuties! I wish I had some advice for you but that is one thing I am not sure about - we have been lucky that most of our cats were pretty brave and social - even Trixie came out after a day or so. But boy, they are just adorable so I hope you can get some ideas (and I did see there is a newer post I need to check out so hopefuly someone gave you some good ideas).

  14. What adorable little creatures! So glad to hear that the tests came back negative - you were well overdue for some good fortune :)

  15. SQUEEE!!!! They are soooo cute!

    We used Gerber's Chicken Baby Food to work with the feral kittens last fall. There were some really helpful videos & info available online. Alley Cat Allies was one resource. Another was Feral Cat Coalition's web site.

    The most helpful site was NY City Feral Cat Initiative's site (http://www.nycferalcat.org/info-kittenssoc.php) which included three fantastic videos demonstrating how to work with feral kittens.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    Mom Sue to The Furry Bambinos & Assorted Fosters


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