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Need Advice Urgently re: Cats stressed over newly introduced foster kittens

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
River

I'm a Scared-y- Cat!
 
 
Purred: Fri Sep 21, '12 2:27pm PST 
A month ago I found 3 abandoned 2.5 wk old kittens on my back porch. My mom & I brought them in our home & have had them quarenteened in our master bathroom & connecting master bedroom. It has been a long, exhausting month trying to hand raise these kittens & bottle feeding them every 3 hrs all day & night. Thank goodness they are now on kitten food!

My issue is that we have 8 rescue csts, all of which are seniors and/or have special needs/medical conditions. Our house is pretty small (only about 1,000 sq ft) & the loss of the master bath & bedroom has really decreased my 8 cats living space & disrupted their territories. Several of my cats don't get along & the ones that don't normally stay at opposite ends of the house. The cats who normally claim the back (now occupied by the kittens) are showing signs of stress & confusion. One of our cats in particular, River, is an insecure, easily frightened cat who has bren a target for our oldest (13 yrs) cat Kyah. River has always kept himself safe from Kyah by staying in the master bath/bed area but now that he can't get back there, Kyah is repeatedly going after River & he doesn't have msny places to hide.

My mom & I have done so much to try to get these kittens out of here, but no one is calling. We have great Ads with vivid pics of the kittens up at our vets office, we have pics & requests for adopters on Fscebook, & we have contacted several cat rescue orgs & Humane Societies, but none can take these kittens. Oh, & I have a post on Catster under the Adoptions forum as well.

I am so concetned about my 8 cats. They are clearly stressed & unhappy. Some of them are vomiting a lot, which worries me. I'm trying to give them extra attention (play time, catnip, treats & lovins) but each day they are getting more frustrated with thid situation (me too!) My house being small was pushing it to comfortably keep 8, but with the reduction of their living space b/c of the kittens, my cats just don't have enough room. I don't know what to do to remedy this situation. I have no idea how long it will take to find these kittens a home, & I feel like my 8 csts can't deal eith this living situstion much longer.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Abby

I squeak- therefore I am
 
 
Purred: Fri Sep 21, '12 10:45pm PST 
This is a tough one. Sounds as if you are definitely at a tipping point. Is there a rescue group in your area that might be able to help? I think that since you are already caring for eight cats and those cats are suffering a bit with the addition of the new kittens, it is not unreasonable or ungenerous of you to ask a rescue group to take the kittens off of your hands, especially now that they are on kitten food.

My only other question would be whether the kittens are old enough now that it would be alright to test the waters and see if River could spend some time in their 'safe area' which is also, I gather, his old safe area...

River is just adorable!
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River

I'm a Scared-y- Cat!
 
 
Purred: Sat Sep 22, '12 7:42am PST 
Abby,

I really can't let any of my cats be exposed to these kittens b/c they could have a disease they could pass to my cats. Also, all 8 of my cats have the herpes virus, which is highly contagious & if the kittens caught it, it could kill them at their young age. I wish that were an option but it's too risky for so many reasons.

Like I said in my original post, I've contacted several cat rescue orgs as well as the Humane Society & they all said they were unable to help. The Humane Society in my town has 80 kittens on a waiting list to get in there! It's crazy. I've put up ads at my vets office, on Catster & on Facebook but no one seems to want a kitten.

We're really in a bind b/c we've domesticated these kittens & if they don't get adopted, we're gonna have to put them back outside...but they aren't feral like their mom & siblings, so they will be so vulnerable out there. Plus it's getting cold already. Their siblings have already grown a thick wiinter coat, but our 3 inside haven't b/c they've been living in a warm house. It's just a bad situation all around. I just really hate living in this neighborhood where I am surrounded by all these ignorant, irresponsible people who bring unfixed cats in here & let them be outside & get pregnant. All 8 of my rescues were rescued in my neighborhood. Living here has cost me so much time, money & heartachr, but I'm too poor to leave.

Anyway, thanks for offering some suggestions. There just doesn't seem to be an easy answer. All I know is we need to find a home for these kittens asap so my 8 cats can get back to their normal lives (me too!)

River is a cutie. The pic on here of him was from when he was a kitten. He's around 4 yrs old now. My mom found River when she was out kyaking. She was paddling down the river & heard this screaming & saw River (only about 7 wks old at the time) screaming frantically from the edge of the river bank. She paddled over to him & he litterally leapt from the high bank onto her kyak & ran up her body & sat shaking on the top of her head! He was starving to death & so scared. He must have been dumped in the woods by people. He was clearly not feral. Had my mom not been there that day, River would most likely have died. We don't know how long River had bern in those woods, but we know it traumatized him. He's easily frightened & is tense a lot. I think that's why our oldest cat Kyah continually goes after him. She sees his behavior as the behavior of prey. She senses his fear & weakness. I REALKY need to get a cat Whisperer to come help me with the Kyah & River situation! I've tried about everything to stop Kyah from going after him, but nothing has changed. Sigh...

Anyway, would love more feedback! I could use all the help & advice I can get!
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Larry

Cant get me down
 
 
Purred: Sat Sep 22, '12 8:32am PST 
Is there any way the kittens could stay in the master bathroom, so your cats could have the master bedroom and more space. Also, the rescues you contacted....contact them again and ask about courtesy posting on their website, this will help them get exposure to people looking for cats/kittens.

Good Luck
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River

I'm a Scared-y- Cat!
 
 
Purred: Sat Sep 22, '12 2:56pm PST 
I like your idea about courtesy posting on rescues websites. I'll look into that for sure.

It's really not an option to keep the kittens in the master bath. The only way to get into the bedroom is through the master bath. Long story, but there are two doors to the master bedroom, and the one leading to the hallway is blocked by heavy furniture and besides, we accidentally broke the handle on the door so it's stuck shut...so even if we moved all the stuff blocking the door, we can't get the door open. Plus, the kittens are at an age where they are really active and playing constantly, and the bathroom is just too small for them to run around in comfortably.

I just wish I could find a home for them. We've gotten them to this point...almost 7 weeks old. I'm ready for them to go so I can get my life back in order and get my cats to de-stress. Knowing my cats are stressed makes me stressed. I just can't feel right if they are not happy.

Thanks for the advice! If you guys think of some more ideas, keep them coming, please! In the meantime I'm going to try to figure out a solution!
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Abby

I squeak- therefore I am
 
 
Purred: Sun Sep 23, '12 8:01pm PST 
This definitely seems like a case of "no good deed goes unpunished" but you really have done a good deed, so let's hope a solution finds its way to you.

I'm sorry I read your post too quickly the first time round...I'm afraid my only other thought was whether it might make sense to see if you could put up some ads w. pictures of the kittens at local churches/community centers or even libraries (which you may already have done I realize).

Best thoughts to you and your kitties at getting through this tough time...
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Maizy

I may meow to- you if you're- worthy
 
 
Purred: Mon Sep 24, '12 9:54am PST 
WHen I was talking to someone with the TNR Group I belong to (I have 2 kittens outside about 2 1/2 mo old) she said that in about a month, shelters are usually begging for kittens as kitten season is ending now. I know it is a while yet, but perhaps in a few more weeks someone can take them. Can the shelters suggest another foster home that may be able to take them for a bit? I completely underdstand, because she asked me if I could keep these 2 inside until then, but I don't have room, and I just adopted in another one of my ferals - not gonna be able to talk the hubby into any more.
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River

I'm a Scared-y- Cat!
 
 
Purred: Mon Sep 24, '12 10:37am PST 
Maizy's Mom,

Well, that's good info to know because if I can't find someone to adopt them within the next month, I'll need to find a shelter to take them to. I don't want to go that route but I may have to. I definately can't keep them inside my house and it would not be good to put them outside b/c they are used to being indoors since 2.5 wks old.

I also work with a rescue group that does TNR. They have no one who can foster these kittens. They are offering to spay the mother kitty and all of her kittens, but that's all they can offer me (of course, that's a lot to offer, so I am grateful for that! It cost a lot to spay a cat & 6 kittens!).

I've talked to the manager of our local Humane Society and they also have no one who can foster, and they cannot take the kittens as they said they have 80 kittens on their waiting list to get into the shelter. The Humane Society was nice enough to bring us some kitten formula, dry cat food for our ferals and 50 cans of wet cat food. That was very nice of them.

I'm still putting pics of these kittens up on Facebook and I put up some ads with colorful pics of the kittens at my vets office. I'm nervous about putting ads other places (grocery stores, libraries, etc) because you never know who will respond. I'm so afraid of the wrong person trying to adopt these kittens. We have worked so hard in the past month and a half to get them where they are and we want to best forever homes for them. I feel safe about my ad at my vets b/c at least I know the people who might see it and want one of the kittens is someone who takes their animal to the vet when needed. Sigh. Giving babies up for adoption is such a scary, worrisome situation.

Hopefully something will work out. There is this Humane Society about 2 hours away from me that never turns down animals of any kind. The only thing that worries me is that all the Humane Societies test for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS and they say if one kitten tests positive, they euthanize them all. That's just crazy because there are so many degrees of these diseases. According to my vet, some cats immune systems can fight off the disease (my cat Sammy tested positive for Feline Leuk years ago, but my vet re-tested him 2 weeks later and he was negative). Some tests can be false positives. Some cats can be carriers but not show any signs of the disease. Some cats can have the disease but live a relatively long life. And then there are the cats who get it and die fairly quickly. I just ticks me off that the Humane Society doesn't retest them in 2 wks like my vet does. It would just kill me if I gave these babies to them and they euthanized them because one of them tests positive.

Anyway, thank you all for your advice!
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Orange Ruffy

The Baboo Kitty- has Spoken!
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 25, '12 6:41am PST 
We understand...we live in 2 rooms, and of those 2, Natalie occupies one, with an occasional visit from Ruffy. Sadly, this is also the room we use for the occasional foster, and one is in here now...and she HATES it and lets us know.

I work with a small rescue, and I urge you to connect with a few. Do a websearch, and ask the rescues if you can link with them-if your fosters can be shown on petfinder, or with their cats at events-when old enough. Do alot of talking. Volunteer your time, whatever it takes.

When we were trying to place Ruffy, many moons ago, it's what we did. It didn't work out for us, fortunately...well, we kept Ruffy, thank Goddess, but the rescue did let us show him.

We are showing our foster with the rescue....and if you need, to, let them know your situation....do alot of talking...bake cookies, bring things to their events. When we got active as volunteers, we found so many people reaching back to help us- some months ago a man who had bought a building told my husband a cat had been abandone din one of the apartments in the building, and he needed help. We networked, and managed to find a rescue to take the cat and help us. We found people were very kind.

But start now...and be persistant.

All the bes,
Deb and the KG cats
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