|Purred: Tue Mar 25, '08 3:44pm PST |
|Yesterday I trapped my first feral. I did it because she had a litter of 5 kittens on Friday and I wanted to make sure they were safe. I live in an apartment complex where people are constantly moving in and out. All too often, when people move out, they leave their cats behind. So…I was pretty sure that this cat had been a pet at some point, and this made me optimistic about her potential to be adopted through a rescue group, even though she was very hissy and growly. I would be too if someone got near my tiny babies!
So momma cat (Jill) is now in a big dog crate at my house. She has privacy, food, water, and a nest in which to raise her babies. I’ve never socialized (or even attempted to socialize) a feral cat; this is literally my first feral experience. How do I go about getting her used to people again? I’ve been sitting outside the crate, and occasionally opening the door. I put an oven mitt on and slowly reached in (as far as six inches from her; she was in the back of the crate), but didn’t touch her. I didn’t want to get too close and cause her to panic. But eventually I’d like to be able to touch the babies and her, and begin to socialize her more with people. How should I do this? Does anyone have any advice? Is it just long hours with her, showing her that humans are OK? Should I talk to her? When should she be spayed? When can she get a rabies shot? Should I try and get her to the vet for a checkup or will that make her panic and reverse the good work I’ve done so far?
Any kitten/feral advice is very much appreciated. I’ve raised kittens from birth in a foster situation before, but the mom (Alice, the one publishing this post) was far from feral, though she was a stray. Thanks everyone!
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