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Domesticating stray kittens?

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Posts

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Yep both my kitties were 4 months when we got them fixed. Didn't have any issues.

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  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    6 months is ridiculous

    Why is it ridiculous O_o

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    minirhyder wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    6 months is ridiculous

    Why is it ridiculous O_o

    ridiculous to wait that long

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Up all night To get luckyRegistered User regular
    Mine was snipped when he was almost 6 and it was fine.

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  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    Mine was snipped at 7.
    I don't think any amount of time is ridiculous per se. If your mancat is pissing all over the place and stinking it up or your womancat is yelling and is in heat, yeah it's ridiculous to wait at that point.
    But if your kitten is not exhibiting any of these symptoms, then what's wrong with waiting until 6 months?

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Mine was snipped at 7.
    I don't think any amount of time is ridiculous per se. If your mancat is pissing all over the place and stinking it up or your womancat is yelling and is in heat, yeah it's ridiculous to wait at that point.
    But if your kitten is not exhibiting any of these symptoms, then what's wrong with waiting until 6 months?

    In this case, the process of puberty could lock an already borderline cat into feral behavior patterns. In the case of domesticated kittens it's not a problem, but this is different.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    admanb wrote: »
    minirhyder wrote: »
    Mine was snipped at 7.
    I don't think any amount of time is ridiculous per se. If your mancat is pissing all over the place and stinking it up or your womancat is yelling and is in heat, yeah it's ridiculous to wait at that point.
    But if your kitten is not exhibiting any of these symptoms, then what's wrong with waiting until 6 months?

    In this case, the process of puberty could lock an already borderline cat into feral behavior patterns. In the case of domesticated kittens it's not a problem, but this is different.

    yea this. if this cat gets a whiff of puberty, this whole venture is going to quickly grind to a painful and probably bloody stop

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    It's absolutely safe to neuter a cat earlier than six months. My kittens from the pound were seven WEEKS old when it was done. They also had a super fast recovery time (one day).

    I am not convinced that puberty makes a feral cat irreversibly feral, though. I've known some people who caught full grown feral cats and successfully "tamed" them (although it took more patience and time than with a kitten, I'm sure.)

    Waiting does risk that the cat will start to spray territorily, though.

    LadyM on
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Oh man you guys I totally made kitty befriending progress today! (No he isn't neutered yet, I will do so this week)

    So I would totally have thought today would be an awful day for cat, because he lives alternately in the sink in the laundry or in the space to the side of the washing machine, and today my housemate took his box out of the sink and used the washing machine while he was down the side of it. So he probably freaked out when that happened. But anyway, about an hour and a half ago I went in there to say hi to him and see if he'd eaten, which he had, and I ended up sitting down opposite his hidey hole with my legs crossed and talking to him for a bit, and tried to interest him in a bowl of food which I put at the opening of his hiding place, which is still like a foot away from him. Then I got tired so I curled up with my head on my knee and closed my eyes and almost fell asleep for a few minutes. After a while I thought I heard him purring faintly? But it was so faint it could have been some distant machinery, which I figured it was. It turns out it wasn't though. I tilted his food bowl up so that from where he was he could see it all, and he started licking his lips and stuff. After a while he was so enthused by this food he didn't want to risk coming close enough to eat that he was purring super loud, and looked like he was actually trying to distract himself, looking at the ceiling, glancing around, and then he'd see the food again and momentarily lunge at it with his head before being like "oh wait I don't want to go near that dude". Absolutely adorable in a way that is hard to describe.
    Anyway, after probably half an hour or more (my legs were getting numb) of basically teasing him with the food, I'm holding the food bowl in my hand and I get it close enough to him that he seems to say "fuck it" and walks forward and starts eating out of it. He eats a bit, then pulls his head out, looks around, keeps eating. Then I start slowly moving the bowl towards me as he's eating, and he follows it footstep by footstep until almost the entire cat is well out of the hiding place, which he has never voluntarily done with me in the room before. Then he took his head out of the bowl, looked around, and went "ohhh fuuuuckkk" before ever so slowly backing away back to his safe place.

    I am totally going to try to do this again.

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  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Definitely sounds like you're on the right track. Keep at it and I'm sure he'll be jumping on your keyboard in no time.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
  • BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    Skeith wrote: »
    Definitely sounds like you're on the right track. Keep at it and I'm sure he'll be jumping on your keyboard in no time.

    In fact, you probably could've sped all of this up by just moving your computer into the laundry room. Cat would've been all over that keyboard inside of a day.

  • notmetalenoughnotmetalenough Registered User
    Not to throw a wrench in your good feelings, but cats sometimes purr to themselves when they're feeling uncomfortable or scared. It's not always a sign that they're having fun.

    However, you're a better gauge of whether the cat is warming up to you or not and it sounds like he is! Keep it up!

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Up all night To get luckyRegistered User regular
    try to do some work on a laptop near him.... That will take him out of the hiding spot FAST! ;)

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    mts wrote: »
    minirhyder wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    6 months is ridiculous

    Why is it ridiculous O_o

    ridiculous to wait that long


    Some places in Europe refuse to neuter or spay before 6 months. So no not ridiculous at all. And I've had several previously feral cats spayed at the age of 2+ years that turned out completely fine if not the most cuddly cats I've ever owned. The one cat I had that WAS psychotic was fixed very early. So "puberty=crazy" is bull as well.

    Magic Pink on
  • ceresceres Love is in the battlecry Nevada, USASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    These are our little once-feral kitties. Okay Turtle isn't quite over it yet. But she's at least quite cuddly.

    Turtle (the kitten) is Queen of the Box, and McKenzie is sniffing around.

    KittiesInBox.jpg

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    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    this is my box

    stay the fuck away from my box
    Spoiler:

    admanb on
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  • ceresceres Love is in the battlecry Nevada, USASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    admanb wrote: »
    this is my box

    stay the fuck away from my box
    Spoiler:

    Yeah but this will fix that.

    KittySleeping.jpg

    No wait, that's "make it worse." I always mix those two up.

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    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    dammit ceres

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Awww maaaaaan they adorable.
    Next step is to get this guy eating out of my hand. I think I can pull it off if I lure him out with the bowl, which he trusts, but then put something way more delicious in my hand.

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    totally buy my video game InFlux on Steam or Humble Store or GOG or Amazon!
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread The fuck am I looking atRegistered User regular
    Make sure to reward him with a sheet of paper when he done good


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  • MalgarasMalgaras Registered User regular
    I need to stop reading this thread before I have to explain to the folks tomorrow why I randomly came home with a cat.

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  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    gespo89 wrote: »
    I need to stop reading this thread before I have to explain to the folks tomorrow why I randomly came home with a cat.

    I have a cat, and there's still a danger of me coming home with another cat.
    Cat's don't solve all your problems, man.

  • Billy ChenowithBilly Chenowith Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »

    Yeah but this will fix that.

    KittySleeping.jpg

    No wait, that's "make it worse." I always mix those two up.

    Elements!

  • ceresceres Love is in the battlecry Nevada, USASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    Yes, we are Kongregate addicts in this household, with Elements being his favorite. She loves to sleep there while he's playing.

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    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Oscar ate out of my (heavily gloved) hand today, took some doing though and he only did it once. He also rather cunningly ended up dragging most of the food off of my hand before eating it.
    Also, he totally washed himself in front of me for the first time. I guess he was trying to wash his face? Kept licking his paws and wiping his face with them. ADORABLE.

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    totally buy my video game InFlux on Steam or Humble Store or GOG or Amazon!
  • AnzekayAnzekay Don't lose it Don't lose your wayRegistered User regular
    LaCabra wrote: »
    Oscar ate out of my (heavily gloved) hand today, took some doing though and he only did it once. He also rather cunningly ended up dragging most of the food off of my hand before eating it.
    Also, he totally washed himself in front of me for the first time. I guess he was trying to wash his face? Kept licking his paws and wiping his face with them. ADORABLE.

    Yep, that's how they wash their faces.

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  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    LaCabra wrote: »
    Awww maaaaaan they adorable.
    Next step is to get this guy eating out of my hand. I think I can pull it off if I lure him out with the bowl, which he trusts, but then put something way more delicious in my hand.

    Chicken baby food. Trust me. Just make sure it doesn't have onions in it. The simplier the chicken baby food, the better.

    Anyways, I'm loving this thread. My cats were former semi-ferals and while it was super tough at first, we all love each other like crazy now. Though one of my cats still insists on hiding whenever someone new comes to my place.
    On the other hand, formal ferals REALLY love food, so once the stockholm syndrome kicks in, they are actually pretty easy to train. Simple tricks and the like.

    Lovely on
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  • AftyAfty Registered User regular
    My cat has always been domesticated (though mistreated before we rescued her!) and she'll run off with food if you give it to her, I think they just like to eat on their own sometimes.

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Lovely wrote: »
    LaCabra wrote: »
    Awww maaaaaan they adorable.
    Next step is to get this guy eating out of my hand. I think I can pull it off if I lure him out with the bowl, which he trusts, but then put something way more delicious in my hand.

    Chicken baby food. Trust me. Just make sure it doesn't have onions in it. The simplier the chicken baby food, the better.

    Anyways, I'm loving this thread. My cats were former semi-ferals and while it was super tough at first, we all love each other like crazy now. Though one of my cats still insists on hiding whenever someone new comes to my place.
    On the other hand, formal ferals REALLY love food, so once the stockholm syndrome kicks in, they are actually pretty easy to train. Simple tricks and the like.
    I am imagining your cats were found in tuxedos.

    Maaaaaan you guys, when Oscar comes out of his hole to eat for a few seconds, it is so difficult to resist patting him and cuddlin'. I know he would claw my eyes out though.

    LaCabra on
    Blog | Impromptu Games | twitter

    totally buy my video game InFlux on Steam or Humble Store or GOG or Amazon!
  • LovelyLovely Registered User regular
    Dammit! Former! Former! *laughs*

    ....though a group of cats in the wild wearing tux's IS an adorable thought....

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    yea, grabbing food and running off isn't solely a feral thing. our oldest will carry food away from the bowl and eat it someplace else. probably because his head is giant and his whiskers hit the side of the bowl

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  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    yea, grabbing food and running off isn't solely a feral thing. our oldest will carry food away from the bowl and eat it someplace else. probably because his head is giant and his whiskers hit the side of the bowl

    Just FYI you can get a really deep/wide metal dog bowls from any pet store for a few bucks. All of my cat stuff is dog sized because she has longer whiskers and I heard they do not like that.

    For some reason any larger cat stuff either is barely larger than a 6oz can of food or freaking expensive.


    to the OP:

    I wouldn't worry so much about getting him to eat out of your hand, having him eat on his own without coaching and once you get him fixed, cause you are getting him fixed soon right *ahem*, roaming around the house and not hiding all day would be success.



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  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Madpanda wrote: »
    Just FYI you can get a really deep/wide metal dog bowls from any pet store for a few bucks. All of my cat stuff is dog sized because she has longer whiskers and I heard they do not like that.

    Yeah, their fur and whiskers are effectively another organ they use to sense stuff. That's why they act all weird when they get tape stuck on them. It tells them there's something there and they should move away from it.

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    Supyouguys. I haven't got Oscar neutered yet, my bad. He's probably six months old next week or something though so I'll take him soon.
    Popping in to give a progress report: he's willing to come cautiously forward to eat out of a bowl I'm holding and follow it almost into my lap, but then hisses and backs off. I can't try to touch him or stroke him or anything because he'll freak out and run off. Today though I did something unorthodox with positive results.
    I hung out with him for a while and had him eat out of the bowl a bit until he seemed pretty much comfortable, and then I tried dangling a string for him again, with some gravy on it, and apart from licking up the gravy he still does not give a shit about string. Only then I dropped it down there with him because I'm clumsy, and I was worried he'd try eating said delicious string and choke on it, so I got a stick and reached out to him to hook it. He bit the stick, but I got the string back, and also an idea... so I put some food on the stick, and he's all, "oh, this stick is pretty good actually", and licks all the food off.

    So then I got one of my big gloves that's usually on my hand, put the glove on the stick, tied it on there securely, and used it to feed him remotely. Then I started petting him with it, and he freaked out because I've never touched his back before at all, but then after a while he got over it, started purring, and started giving what seemed to me to be happy cat signals. He walked toward me to eat out of the bowl that was near my feet, which he's never done, and he had his tail sticking up, which he's never done before and I guess is a good thing? Best part was I scratched him under the chin with the glove's "finger" and he did that unmistakable "I totally like having my chin scratched" thing they do. He pretty much unmistakable likes the glove now and likes being petted and is less freaked out by my presence. Probably will try with my hand if this keeps going well.

    So, first it was cardboard box trap, now it's a glove on a stick. Cartoon cat up in here.

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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    Awesome progress! Yes, a vertical tail is a sign of a happy, comfortable cat!

  • minirhyderminirhyder NYCRegistered User regular
    There's been an entire page with no pictures.
    Unacceptable.

  • BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    minirhyder wrote: »
    There's been an entire page with no pictures.
    Unacceptable.
    Yeah, getting the cat acclimated to the camera/phone/whatever is a very important process. Get on it!

  • SiskaSiska Registered User regular
    The tail thing is very good. Sign of confidence and positive attitude. Keep up the good work!

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  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    You guyssss glove on a stick method is amazing. I just spent like two hours with him. I started by trying to pat him with the glove on my hand while he was eating, which eventually I did while he ate the whole bowl, and eventually I was able to reach into his hiding place and pat him with my ungloved hand! Also scratched him under the chin! He is so soft, you guys. Eventually he stopped allowing this but oh man, progress.
    I will take pics next time I am in there.

    LaCabra on
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  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    All cats have a limit on petting so don't take that as a bad sign.

    Great progress, now please get that cat fixed.

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