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Old 12-02-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Midwest
4,012 posts, read 6,932,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
My neighbor has 7 feral cats, none are spayed or neutered so they are constantly churning out kittens. We chase them away from our yard with a sprinkler that turns on when they get near the house but that's not foolproof. One of the mother cats kept dropping a kitten in our backyard, every time we would open the gate & he would leave but the next day she would bring him back. He has a deformed tail so I don't know if she was trying to get rid of him or what, but now he thinks our yard is his home, he's probably 4 months old now.

We have free range chickens and this little guy follows them around all day and rubs himself against them and purrs but he won't get near us. We put out food and water for him because he was so hungry he was eating the chicken feed but unless we are about 15 feet away he won't get near it. We'd like to keep him and have him neutered and it would be great if we could also tame him so that our grandson could play with him and we could let him in the house. Any ideas?
Patience. Patience. Patience. Keep feeding.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
29,287 posts, read 12,438,450 times
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Have any of you with experience with feral cats seen a mother cat dump her kitten somewhere? She started bringing this baby into our yard a while ago and when he leaves the yard she brings him back.
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:52 PM
 
11,631 posts, read 4,257,134 times
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Had a feral living on our back patio for a dozen years. She came with the house. Lived in our backyard and on the roof. A Las Vegas cat..there for the comps.

She was adult when we acquired her and was never domesticated. In her end years she would allow my wife to stroke her. But that was it. We had other cats and dogs and worried about her health, So we would get a tranquilizer from our vet, a cat specialist, and put it in her food. Then load her into a cage after she fell asleep. Did this four times over a decade.

She finally got too weak to survive and we loaded her up for a few days at the vet before she passed.

RIP Biffer...a free spirit to the end.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:27 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
8,071 posts, read 5,430,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sleepy View Post
Have any of you with experience with feral cats seen a mother cat dump her kitten somewhere? She started bringing this baby into our yard a while ago and when he leaves the yard she brings him back.
From what you describe, it seems that the mom cat is trying to get rid of that one. More often than not a mother will abandon one by simply moving the litter and leaving one behind. Perhaps this one can't do that for some reason, so is doing the opposite. Normally kittens will be intentionally left behind if they're sick, badly injured, weak, or a runt. In this case the mom cat may sense something is wrong with the kitten (whether there is or not), or there's a problem with this kitten and the remaining litter getting along (?). The kitten may be an only kitten and since it's weaned, mom cat may be trying to get it to "leave the nest". Also possible it's not her kitten, and she doesn't want it in her territory.

There's one other possibility, and one I personally like the most- Mom cat is trying to find her kitten a good home, and picked yours.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:33 PM
 
317 posts, read 267,007 times
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Had two feral kittens (4 months or more) take to me in one day.

Then there was Matilda. Grabbed her and her brother at the same time. He took to me in one day but she continued to hate on me. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have ever seen her in the house.

At night he would get on the bed with me at my feet. She would wait till she was sure I was asleep and get on the bed as well, but on the opposite side. Then she would watch me in her sit/stand pose until she was sure. Then she would make three circles (like a dog) and snuggle down to sleep. If I lifted my head she would take off.

Boy did she hate me. Reluctantly came out for food. Ran when I entered a room.

Then one night I went to bed and her brother joined me and then finally she got on the bed. But I sensed she wasn't snuggling down for the night. So I opened my eyes and there she was sit/standing, just intently staring at me. After a few minutes of that I gently moved my hand out from under the covers and made a petting move and BAM! she raced down the bed toward my hand and made sweet kitty love to it. I carefully sat up and gave her a gentle embrace. She spent the rest of the night sleeping across my neck, purring up a storm.

That took 6 weeks.

Give them space, talk nicely to them, gain their trust and they will come around.
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Old 12-02-2018, 07:40 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
8,071 posts, read 5,430,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsRosencranz View Post
Had two feral kittens (4 months or more) take to me in one day.

Then there was Matilda. Grabbed her and her brother at the same time. He took to me in one day but she continued to hate on me. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have ever seen her in the house.

At night he would get on the bed with me at my feet. She would wait till she was sure I was asleep and get on the bed as well, but on the opposite side. Then she would watch me in her sit/stand pose until she was sure. Then she would make three circles (like a dog) and snuggle down to sleep. If I lifted my head she would take off.

Boy did she hate me. Reluctantly came out for food. Ran when I entered a room.

Then one night I went to bed and her brother joined me and then finally she got on the bed. But I sensed she wasn't snuggling down for the night. So I opened my eyes and there she was sit/standing, just intently staring at me. After a few minutes of that I gently moved my hand out from under the covers and made a petting move and BAM! she raced down the bed toward my hand and made sweet kitty love to it. I carefully sat up and gave her a gentle embrace. She spent the rest of the night sleeping across my neck, purring up a storm.

That took 6 weeks.

Give them space, talk nicely to them, gain their trust and they will come around.
You witnessed that little light bulb coming over her head. I can imagine how good that made you feel. It's what we animal lovers live for.

Actually 6 weeks isn't so bad, could have taken much longer. You did all the right things, & it worked.

Thanks for the nice story.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:05 PM
 
21,179 posts, read 27,202,089 times
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Forgot about this — my sister bought some horse property awhile ago, and there was a feral cat living in the barn. She bought an outdoor heated cat bed that the cat completely fell in love with, and it wasn't long after that the cat really started to trust her.

Quote:
Have any of you with experience with feral cats seen a mother cat dump her kitten somewhere? She started bringing this baby into our yard a while ago and when he leaves the yard she brings him back.
It sounds like this cat started dumping the kitten in your yard after he was eating on his own, and she would have abandoned him much earlier on if his deformed tail or other abnormality was the cause. Females that give birth too young often do strange things because their instincts haven't fully developed.

My guess, though, is that the mother cat was pregnant again. What you describe isn't unusual for semi-feral/feral cats, and the timing sounds right. Unfortunately, unspayed females who live outside usually become pregnant again before the litter they've got is even weaned. So yeah, they often move their kittens away after weaning them because they need what small amount of energy they've got left for the next batch. I'm also guessing that this is the only surviving kitten of that litter.

Last edited by Metlakatla; 12-02-2018 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
29,287 posts, read 12,438,450 times
Reputation: 20764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
Forgot about this my sister bought some horse property awhile ago, and there was a feral cat living in the barn. She bought an outdoor heated cat bed that the cat completely fell in love with, and it wasn't long after that the cat really started to trust her.

It sounds like this cat started dumping the kitten in your yard after he was eating on his own, and she would have abandoned him much earlier on if his deformed tail or other abnormality was the cause. Females that give birth too young often do strange things because their instincts haven't fully developed.

My guess, though, is that the mother cat was pregnant again. What you describe isn't unusual for semi-feral/feral cats, and the timing sounds right.
Yes, you're right mom's tummy is nearly touching the ground again, and she's young, she and some other babies were under the cover of our lawn furniture last January or February so she must be 10 or 11 months old.
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
29,287 posts, read 12,438,450 times
Reputation: 20764
Quote:
Originally Posted by catdad7x View Post
From what you describe, it seems that the mom cat is trying to get rid of that one. More often than not a mother will abandon one by simply moving the litter and leaving one behind. Perhaps this one can't do that for some reason, so is doing the opposite. Normally kittens will be intentionally left behind if they're sick, badly injured, weak, or a runt. In this case the mom cat may sense something is wrong with the kitten (whether there is or not), or there's a problem with this kitten and the remaining litter getting along (?). The kitten may be an only kitten and since it's weaned, mom cat may be trying to get it to "leave the nest". Also possible it's not her kitten, and she doesn't want it in her territory.

There's one other possibility, and one I personally like the most- Mom cat is trying to find her kitten a good home, and picked yours.
There are at least 3 from this one's litter that still follow mom around, I can tell because they are the only all grey kitties in the whole mess of cats. The first time we discovered mom dumping him in our yard he was limping real bad, he's no longer limping but I just feel sad every time I look at him. I have an electric heating mat that I start plants on, I think I'm going to put that in the rabbit hutch and see if he will be attracted to the warmth. He's bonded with our hen 'hop along' who has a broken leg, we call them the motley crew
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,177 posts, read 1,898,295 times
Reputation: 2639
The one thing I learned is that food is a powerful motivator for feral/untrusting cats. If this kitten is outside when you feed him/her, carry the food bowl and talk to the kitten before feeding. Try to get a little closer each day before feeding. We had a feral who, over the months, I was able to gain his trust before feeding. Each day I would go out and talk to him before I got the food out. Eventually, he would come for pets/head butts (always before feeding). This is how I eventually grabbed him and got him neutered.

ITA about getting him to a vet soon. Most feral kittens have parasites/worms, and of course there's the issue of neutering.
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