How old is too old to capture and try and tame a feral kitten?

There was a huge litter of kittens outside, we caught and tamed all the feral kittens but one, we have four of them currently living with us. Is the other one too old to catch and tame? If possible I would like to make it a house cat as well, would be more than willing to allow it to live with me and the other kitties. But is it too old? If it isn't going to be able to be tamed I can catch it and get it fixed before releasing... but I'd much rather not have more cats outside this winter.

Asked by Mowm on Sep 30th 2010 Tagged feral, kitten, rescue in Other Adoption & Rescue
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Izadore (Izzie)

It's certainly easier to tame a younger kitten, but taming an older one is not impossible. He may be a little more wiley than the other ones and may take more effort to trap. He will also take more effort to rehabilitate and you may find that with the number of cats you have, he may prefer cats over people. I would be cautious when I do trap him and possibly enlist the aid of a rescue organization staff member in removing him from the cage. Depending on how long he's been out there and what he's been through, he may not take well to being handled and react accordingly with claws and teeth. You may have to cage him (large dog cage with litter & food) for a while until he knows he's safe and loved. If you have rehabbed the others, then you already know how to do it. You can at least try with this one, and if it doesn't work, TNR him, build a shelter for him outside for the winter and be at peace knowing you've done all for him that you can. God bless you for caring.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 9/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You don't say how old they are, but I have had success in taming feral kittens as old as 6-1/2 months. You need to keep it confined in a dog crate to let the kitten become familiar with your home environment (common noises, etc.). It might not be that hard if the kitten sees his/her other littermates have adapted. I have two feral colonies I manage. One feral cat actually follows an old stray around, copies what he does, and sees that he (the stray) gets special treatment from me. The key is to be patient and let the kitten adapt at its own pace. The 6-1/2 month old feral I had was in a dog crate for 2 months before I felt confident that she was ready to explore her new surroundings. This was with another cat (and dog) residing in the same home. The cat is very affectionate, has adjusted fine, and one would never know that she was a feral. I applaud you for doing what you are doing. Just make sure everyone gets spayed/neutered ASAP! Best of luck.

Member 185886 answered on 9/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I've got an adult feral that for 2 years wanted nothing to do with me and ran when I came near. She is now sweet as can be and I can rub her all over. The vet clinic I worked at has a 5 year old feral that is now friendly. I think it is different with all cats and worth a try, especially since you have a nice warm home with an open position : )

Member 1005371 answered on 9/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer