after years of being called "the cat lady" I'm certifed now

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by helpangel, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Yep got TNR certified (trap, neuter, return) and filed my colony with the county. For years it was 2 house cats & 2 strays I was feeding, then a month ago I discovered a litter of feral kittens under neighbors deck.

    Caught the 4 kittens in the trap but then the mom broke into my house and stole one of her kittens back. This mother cat is very good at having my whole family laughing at me and comparing her to roadrunner waiting for her to run me off a cliff or drop an anvil on my head. She goes in the trap picks up cans of tuna taking to kitten then reaches from outside trap and springs it so he doesn't wander in there. Tomorrow I'm going hard core (chicken leg wired from top of trap) cause I want her in surgery Monday morning NO MORE KITTENS!

    So currently feeding indoors 2 adult, 3 kittens outdoors 3 adults & 1 kitten, a visitor yesterday said "you got a lot of catfood" I said that's good I got 9 cats LOL Guess this explains why I haven't been posting much, at least socializing these feral kittens gives the girls something to do besides wandering the neighborhood or fighting. Bless you all I'll try to get here more often.

    Please spay or neuter you pets everyone.
    Nancy
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As a certified nutty animal lover (you should see my Facebook and all the rescues I'm in touch with!!!), I commend you on taking care of feral cats that are so badly in need of the kind of care you are giving them! Kudos to you!!!
     
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I used to do feral kittens when I was growing up. (yes, I know I'm not a cat person, doesn't mean I like to see animals starve or freeze to death)

    The first couple of catches were easy, the babies were pretty hungry.....but they got smart. Wound up using a clean trash can with a lid for the trap...........can of tuna (much smellier than can cat food) in the bottom........me sitting behind the can sort of out of sight but not completely......and I was not trying to be. It took a few days of me being patient enough not to give into temptation and lunge at them or try to catch them when they came close enough. Once they were used to me just sitting there..........then they went for the food in the bottom of the can (resting on it's side facing away from me) Once I heard them hit the can..........I turned up the trash can so they couldn't get out. Sides were too tall and I had no plans on leaving them in there long enough to climb or eventually jump out. I got two or three that way. The last one and Momma were just not gonna trust. I had to be uber patient. They'd seen what I did with the trash can and were not going to fall for it. It took a couple of weeks taking out food (tuna) and just sitting there with it..........yes when I finally left I left it for them. I talked to them while I was there too. Eventually they came up to me and ate. I let them do this a couple of days (Momma had some wicked claws) and then I was able to pick them up.

    I don't like cats, but for some unusual reason they LOVE me. ugh Correction, I don't mind them outside but I can't tolerate them inside and I'm allergic as well.

    I just found forever homes for Midnight's girl kittens. She is a stray someone dumped years ago. As far as I know this is her first litter. Grandson will take the male. I *might* have found a place that sponsors low cost spaying. If I have Midnight will be spayed ASAP. My strays are about as friendly as can be, except for Smokey......it has taken him 2-3 yrs just to not bolt from the porch/yard if I bring out food or something. Doesn't help that Maggie does NOT like him as she thinks when he mated with Midnight he was hurting her.

    I'm just relieved to have found them homes. This is kitten season and everywhere I look people have kittens for free posted. Mine went after 15 minutes up on a site. I'm not complaining. I was trying to figure out how in the heck I was gonna feed 2 more cats full time and spay them so I didn't wind up with more.

    I wish more people would be responsible. ugh
     
  4. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I have a question. We took in a kitten at about 4 weeks old, the mother had ben scared to death by the owner of the shed that she chose to have her kittens in. The kids in the neighbor tried to help by bringing home a kitten. Well when we went to go put the kitten back, none of the other cats were to be found. So we kept her and difficult child bottle fed her and she was the sweetest kitten. Now all she wants to do is sink her teeth into us. SHe has toys and she plays but she goes after us with her razor sharp baby teeth if we try to pet her. Right now she is snuggled up next to me and is letting me pet her ears and is even purring a little bit. No biting. Do you think she will grow out of this terrible stage. Her parents were ferrel, does that mean she will be even though we got to her early. She is a beautiful tuxedo cat with four white socks. Absolutely adorable, and she loved my dog Broady and Broady loves her though he is as unhappy with this biting phase as I am. I will tell her to get his cat and he will nudge her to get her away from me when she starts the biting. Her name is Harley and she is now about 8 weeks old.
     
  5. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Oh yes and I totally forgot to say congratulations, I was so happy to see a kitty expert that I forgot. I apologize and thank you so much for helping the cats. It's very sad the way they have to live sometimes. I hate to see a cat without a family.
     
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Jody, she thinks she is playing. Being her age... It's like my Inky smacking me in the face. She just doesn't understand.

    Basically what you need to do when she does that is ignore her. No petting our snuggling. Set her on the floor and ignore. After about ten minutes, find a way to play - a feather on a string fire her to chase, etc. get her play out. She may nip occasionally but the buying should get better.
     
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    This is a common problem in kittens taken from their mother too young. Kittens aren't done learning how to control their teeth and claws at 4 weeks of age. Starting at about 6 weeks, momcat and the littermates start teaching proper behavior.

    Playing with interactive toys will help, as will withdrawing attention when she bites. Momcat teaches by biting back, but that doesn't work with humans. My experience has been that kittens like this will become socialized with humans as time goes on, but may always tend to bite if provoked.

    Also, the biting can result from overstimulation. Think sensory overload. What she needs in cases like this is a "sensory break". Just let her rest, and make sure you let her initiate play. I've got one that was rescued from a hoarder's hellhole. She's a sweet cat, but my older cat had to teach her to keep her claws and teeth to herself.

    He's smacked her good a few times and punishes her by withdrawing to his "chambers" in the cabinet under the bathroom sink. Squeaky's learned over the last year that if she wants to play with Jakey, she's got to play nice.

    He's rougher with her than a human could be and we humans can't mimic cat body language, so for us peoples, we "punish" by withdrawing attention and effectively giving the kitten a sensory break.
     
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Also... If you have Animal Planet... Watch "My Cat From Hell"... LOL!
     
  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Hi fellow critter lovers popped in for a quick update... traps closed, but empty, wire still there but chicken long gone oh and she knocked over my garbage cans and who knows what she did with my doormat? I'm gonna call rescue group and ask if they got a drop trap available for loan yet (only thing I can think of at this point)

    Wow Jody got a biter, when kitty's bite skin I do a loud immediate "PSSSST" noise just once it sounds like yours has made a habit of it so might want to cover hands with baby magic baby lotion (non toxic & tastes horrible) until get this habit stopped. Oh and give it something better to chew on bottle caps & rings from milk bottles make good chew toys (especially with a drop of tuna or meat broth on it). Playing with litter mates is how they learn not to bite too hard unfortunately mom cat moved those kittens within the hour of people knowing where she hid them.

    It sounds like you got it young enough general rule is anything before 16 weeks is possible (older it's possible but like trying to nail jello to a tree) but a lot easier if under 6 weeks. Having an adult house cat to show them the ropes is very helpful. Biggest thing is getting that fight or flight thing under control, do every thing you can to limit kittens boundaries. If can get a dog carrier or cage big enough to have a bedding area, litter box & food area (like cat apartment I have set up in Chomper's cage) that is best but a box or playpen with board on top will work. Point being none of this hunt down the kitten then drag it out from under the bed, it's a PITA for you and it puts the kitten thru the trama of capture all over again, also reinforces the run and hide thing. Only time kitten is out of its safe zone is when you take it out and can supervise it, we found putting collars and leashes on the kittens helps manage them also.

    As time passes kitten will learn hands feed us, stroke us, clean our kitty box and that humans aren't the big scary things mom cat said wanted to eat us. Guess I'm saying think like a cat LOL ; when kitten makes eye contact do a long blink with both eyes (it's like a "luv you" in cat lingo) and talk to it a lot. There is a chance with any feral it will only warm up to it's care giver so if planning on adopting it out try to have as many different people as possible interact with it. It's great to see so many animal lovers among us and ferals are a challenge but that just makes them more interesting (kind of like lots of our kids) .

    Well I need to get over to my folks house for a father's day visit will try to get back later.
    Nancy
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Teenage cats can do this (around ten mos to one year) and it is a PITA. for kittens, it works to withdraw abruptly, at least usually. For the teenage ones? I bite back. Not hard enough to hurt, just enough to let them know it is NOT okay. For a kitten I would problem also use a spray bottle. For a very few cats, the spray bottle is fun/nice. In those cases ONLY, I add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of water. Spraying iwth that will cause the mildest of stings, does NOT last more than a few seconds, just enough to make it uncomfortable but not painful. It works very well.

    Yes, I do bite back. Sounds awful, but isn't. It is for many cats the best way to learn, and it works. I did it out of instinct as a little girl, NEVER hard enough to break skin, leave ANY mark,or hurt, just enough to make them stop. A vet friend told me it is establishing dominance, whatever.

    Congrats on being the cat lady.
     
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