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Old 12-02-2018, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
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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?
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Feral cats, esp. kittens, can be tamed, absolutely. It takes time and patience to earn their trust and to teach them that you are their friend, not an enemy or someone to be feared. It also (imo) will work best if you plan on making the cat an indoor-only cat.

Is there anything you can do to address the problem with the neighbour? If facilities in your area exist, I'd report this person ASAP.
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:05 AM
 
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Actually, feral cats don't belong to anyone, they are feral. They are not pets that a neighbor doesn't allow in the house. If your neighbor is a poor pet owner and let's his seven cats roam the neighborhood, it doesn't make the cats feral.

You can certainly turn that kitten into your loved pet with patience and time. I have a cat that was feral for most of her life before she began to trust me, then let me touch her and then became a pet. She loves me and wants to be with me just as much as any pet I've ever had. It's a gradual process. It can take weeks or months. You can't force this kitten to be your friend or pet. Give it food and make sure it sees you leaving food out for him. Let it see you as often as possible. Read a book outside or do outdoor activities so he will watch you. Never chase it or try to grab it. It has to gain your trust. It should very gradually let you get closer and then gradually allow you to touch him/her.

Last edited by marino760; 12-02-2018 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:35 PM
 
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The first thing to do is get the kitten spayed/neutered/shots ASAP. Not sure how you know what sex it is, but if it's a female, she's in danger of becoming a kitten having kittens within several months, and if it's a male, it'll be getting into fights soon with your neighbor's unfixed males and any others that happen to be in the neighborhood. The cat has no chance in your neighborhood unless it's fixed and given shots.

In order to make this happen, you'll have to trap the kitten. There are organizations in many communities that can help with this (Google feral cats + wherever you live). If there isn't one, ask your local Humane Society about borrowing a live trap. A local veterinarian may have some ideas as well.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:25 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
8,051 posts, read 5,414,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Actually, feral cats don't belong to anyone, they are feral. They are not pets that a neighbor doesn't allow in the house. If your neighbor is a poor pet owner and let's his seven cats roam the neighborhood, it doesn't make the cats feral.

You can certainly turn that kitten into your loved pet with patience and time. I have a cat that was feral for most of her life before she began to trust me, then let me touch her and then became a pet. She loves me and wants to be with me just as much as any pet I've ever had. It's a gradual process. It can take weeks or months. You can't force this kitten to be your friend or pet. Give it food and make sure it sees you leaving food out for him. Let it see you as often as possible. Read a book outside or do outdoor activities so he will watch you. Never chase it or try to grab it. It has to gain your trust. It should very gradually let you get closer and then gradually allow you to touch him/her.

And the OP has to gain the kitten's trust. Good post and good advice. Above all have patience, and try to be in the cats' presence more than just a few minutes at a time. The more you are around the kitten the better. Let it come to you on it's own terms. The window for socialization is still open at 4 months old, but it may take longer. Bless you for caring & trying to help. Wishing you the best of luck.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by catdad7x View Post
And the OP has to gain the kitten's trust. Good post and good advice. Above all have patience, and try to be in the cats' presence more than just a few minutes at a time. The more you are around the kitten the better. Let it come to you on it's own terms. The window for socialization is still open at 4 months old, but it may take longer. Bless you for caring & trying to help. Wishing you the best of luck.
Yeah, the trick is to never appear to be aggressive or even overly interested in the cat, but let it get to know you on his terms. Speak to it in a calm soothing voice from a distance. It will learn your voice and eventually not be afraid of you. Once the cat comes up to you and rubs against your legs and lets you pet it, it's over and you've got a friend for life. Even then, it may take longer for the cat to allow you to pick it up. If it's a feral cat, it's never been picked up before and naturally it will be fearful of anyone putting it's hands and arms around it. It's very vulnerable at that point and has to fully trust you.
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:15 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
8,051 posts, read 5,414,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
Yeah, the trick is to never appear to be aggressive or even overly interested in the cat, but let it get to know you on his terms. Speak to it in a calm soothing voice from a distance. It will learn your voice and eventually not be afraid of you. Once the cat comes up to you and rubs against your legs and lets you pet it, it's over and you've got a friend for life. Even then, it may take longer for the cat to allow you to pick it up. If it's a feral cat, it's never been picked up before and naturally it will be fearful of anyone putting it's hands and arms around it. It's very vulnerable at that point and has to fully trust you.
Yep. Again, great advice.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Living rent free in your head
29,153 posts, read 12,369,499 times
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Thank you all for the helpful advice.
  • We don't know if it's a boy or girl, I refer to him as "he" because I don't want to call the sweet kitty "it" lol
  • We intend to trap him and get him spayed or neutered, and get him vaccinated. SPCA will notch his ear to identify him to other people as being neutered.
  • He probably will never be a full time house cat. I have two large dogs, one of them loves cats and would lick them to death if he could, the other just chases them endlessly, he doesn't even try to catch them - he just thinks chasing is great fun, it's fine in the yard and this kitty seems to enjoy being chased by him but it wouldn't work well in the house unless the dog is locked out when kitty is in the house
  • We have an old rabbit hutch that we are trying to lure him into so he will have a safe warm place to sleep in our yard. He won't enter it yet, even when his food is in it, but we are moving his food closer to it every day.
  • I said that the neighbors cats are feral because none of the adults will allow a human within 20 feet of them, and the neighbor doesn't even provide them with a place to sleep, they sleep under our cars, in the bushes etc. And while they put food out they don't even give the cats water they drink out of the gutter.

Last edited by 2sleepy; 12-02-2018 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:04 PM
 
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I've tamed several feral kittens. It takes time. The younger the better. Once they get older, it'll be harder to tame them.

Last edited by oldgardener; 12-02-2018 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 06:26 PM
 
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The OP might want to wait a little while and build up trust, but the sooner the cat sees a vet, the better. Outdoor-ony cats reach sexual maturity faster than others. Female cats come into heat as early as six months, and many don't live through it. If they don't get torn apart by tomcats, giving birth to kittens often does them in. Sorry to be graphic, but I feel strongly about this, probably because I have unwanted kittens dumped on my property in Alaska constantly. Unfixed male cats start to roam and fight at a pretty early age as well. And with all the feral ones around the OP's neighborhood, feline distemper is a threat. Personally, I'd deal with first things first and start working on socialization when the cat comes home from the vet.

ETA replying to a post that's not there anymore.
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