Feral cats are homeless and undomesticated, meaning they probably haven’t spent much time around humans. They are often riddled with fleas and diseases and have short lifespans. If captured, feral cats need lots of care.
Taming adult feral cats can be difficult, but feral kittens are often easily tamed when caught young. The younger the kittens are, the easier it will be to tame them and acclimate them to humans. You will also likely need to make a few trips to a veterinarian in D’Iberville, MS to keep them healthy. Here are the steps to taming feral kittens:
- Capture the kitten: The first step is to capture the feral kitten using a humane trap. You can get these types of traps from your local animal shelter. Try to capture kittens when they are between 4 and 6 weeks old. If they are too young, they might not survive away from their mother.
- Contain in a carrier or small cage: Once you get the kitten home, keep it contained in a pet carrier or small, covered cage. It is important that you keep the kitten away from other humans or pets. It will likely be very scared and can scratch or bite. Have a veterinarian in D’Iberville, MS test the kitten for diseases. At this point, do not handle the kitten, but do visit it and talk to it so it gets used to a human voice.
- Handle the kitten briefly and periodically: After the kitten has a day or two to get used to your voice, you can attempt to handle it briefly. Pick the kitten up with a towel. If the kitten stays calm, you can try to pet it, but don’t reach toward the kitten from the front, because this can be perceived as threatening. Only handle the kitten in small intervals to start, but do visit it frequently. Brushing the kitten will mimic grooming by the mother and will help the kitten bond to you. You can also give the kitten treats and play with it using kitty toys, like a feather at the end of a string.
- Contain in a small room: Next, you can move the kitten to a small room like a bathroom. Make sure there are no nooks or crannies that the kitten will be able to crawl into, since it will be difficult to get it out. Remove all breakable things from the room and cover up any open spaces. Let the kitten roam free in this area to get used to its surroundings.
- Have other people handle the kitten: When the kitten stops scratching or biting, or starts to approach you and crawl into your lap, it is ready to be handled by other humans. Encourage other people in your home to handle the kitten often so that it gets used to the smells, sounds and presence of other people.
- Place the kitten: At around 8 weeks, the kitten should be ready to be placed in a home. Whether you are keeping the kitten or adopting it out, make sure the kitten is comfortable around people. The kitten should also be neutered or spayed by a veterinarian in D’Iberville, MS after it is 8 weeks old. It is now ready to be placed in its new home!
Taming feral kittens is a process that takes patience and care, but the end result is well worth it. You are giving kittens the chance for a long life in a happy home. Be sure to bring your kittens to D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital to keep your cats healthy and happy!