Feral kitten success story

This is a special section for cats needing new homes and for inspiring stories of cats that have found their furever home through Catster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of cat! If you are posting about a cat that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Catster's cat adoption center!


Purred: Wed Oct 30, '13 2:04pm PST 
Hello all- I do not post here often, but I wanted to share a happy story with some folks who would appreciate it. I have been fostering cats and kittens for about a year and a half now and recently had quite the challenge: socializing 5 month old feral kittens. It has been a difficult but extremely rewarding experience and thought you might want to hear a feel-good story today.

Charlie and Cindy were found as part of my rescue org's TNR program. They were spayed and neutered, had their ears clipped, and were slated to go back to their feral cat colony. However, they were such beautiful little kitties and were still relatively young, so the foster coordinator decided to see if they could be socialized and find a warm home instead of living outside in the cold MA winters. I had socialized much younger kittens before, but I don't think I realized what a difference 3 months in age made for the socialization process!

I will spare you all of the details, but these two little kitties were absolutely terrified of humans. Just the sight of my hand would send them into a panicked flight mode. I knew it would take some time and conditioning, so I tried not to be discouraged. After a couple of weeks of using yummy chicken baby food and play-therapy to associate people-time with good feelings Cindy had completely come around. Charlie was another story. He physically flinched every time I touched him, even while eating his favorite treats. He spent most of his time in a visibly terrified crouched position. It was so hard seeing him so stressed for so long- I began to wonder if he wouldn't have been better off in the feral cat colony. After about a month of consistent calm play therapy and petting during every feeding Charlie finally had a breakthrough. For the first time ever he didn't flinch when we touched him- but instead purred! After that initial breakthrough each passing day marked incredible progress. Finally, as I sit here typing this today both Charlie and Cindy are curled up sleeping on my lap. These incredibly sweet 6 month old kittens have become the most affectionate and loving companions. It wasn't easy- but it sure was worth it! I can't wait to see how happy they will make their future guardians in their forever home smile

(P.S. I have no pets of my own- I decided I value being able to serve as a foster too much and don't have space for both!)


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Thu Oct 31, '13 5:44am PST 
This is a wonderful story! I've fostered semi-ferals too and it's amazing how much harder it is once they're past 8 weeks or so. But as you found out, patience is well rewarded. Congratulations!


Butt-kicker of- all other cats
Purred: Thu Oct 31, '13 10:13am PST 
What a sweet story! I just love people like you, that have such a place in your heart for feral kitties. I have no doubt that you will find them wonderful homes now, and they won't have to shiver in the cold this winter.

I have a feral, she lived in my neighborhood for probably 5 years, and no matter how many times I tried leaving her food next to the garage cans that she got into, she wouldn't eat it and would just run. But one day she took the cat food, and began to return every day. I remember the first time she belly crawled to my door, after I had tried moving her plate a little closer every day, she crawled and she literally shook all over while she ate the food off of the plate. But I knew it was a step, a big one for her. Then she would come up to the door, but she would hiss at me and then eat the food and run. I was patient, jsut sat in my chair and never made a move towards her. After weeks, she started to stick around, lick her paws afterwards and she began rubbing her chin near the side of the house while looking at me, but she wouldn't approach. But one day she did, rubbed against my leg, and I cried with happiness. I noticed that she was ear clipped, which made me happy to know she was already spayed. We made these baby steps, reached milestones every day, until now, almost two years later, I can pet her, scratch her chin, at first it was just the chin, she wouldn't let me touch her back, but now, she jumps up onto a low bench and rubs against me, and I can half pick her up, just under her arms, but she flips if I try to lift her off the ground, so I don't. She now lets my husband pet her and one of my neighbors. I am lucky, I live on a quiet street, she only goes to 2 different yards to hang besides mine. I live in FL and we have some cold weather, but nothing like what you get up north, and it is usually warmed up to into the 50's even on our coldest days in the winter, by the daytime. She won't come inside. I can't even get her to hang for more than a few minutes in my garage. I can't tell you how much I love her.

Sorry to ramble about my own success story, but I just have such a respect for people who take the time to care for ferals. I hope your babies find a good home soon. That is wonderful what you did for them.


Purred: Sat Nov 2, '13 5:49am PST 
cat on moon What lovely stories, my two cats were feral kittens and they are now three, they were hard work but they are such loving cats now. I hope you find loving forever homes for those little babies. Good luck. kitty


Just a beautiful- flower named- Violet!
Purred: Sun Nov 3, '13 2:59am PST 
These stories actually made me tear up, they're wonderful! Violet is from a feral litter, but I got her when she was 2 mos. old, so I was very lucky. I've only had her a month, but she's socializing wonderfully. She's very sweet and affectionate, and has become very cuddly, but still has her "Fraidy Cat" moments. It's baby steps with ferals - lots of love, lots of patience, lots of time. They're not "perfect out of the box" cats, but it's so rewarding when you make that breakthrough, isn't it?