Captain's Cabin

Pirate Lord of the Platinum Coast
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stray Cat Saturday

Kitten,Tuxi Cat

The key to taming a feral cat lies in food. Baby food and canned cat food work well to get the kitten slowly used to your presence. Feed this special food twice a day but leave dry food out at all times.

Once you can get close enough, slowly begin touching, petting and holding the kitten for a few minutes a day. Gradually increase the amount of time spent handling the kitten. Within a few days or up to a few months, the kitten may eventually become comfortable around you and eventually be tamed enough to become a pet.

Always move quietly and speak in a soft soothing tone when dealing with ferals. Sudden noises or quick movements will scare them and even one bad session can undo all the trust you have built up over several weeks.

It is best to work with kittens because cats who have not been exposed to people during the first 7 weeks of life never become fully accepting of people and thus rarely make good pets. Cats that have been mistreated by humans during that same period may become positively hostile to strangers for the rest of their lives and may never become tame.

Even if you manage to tame an adult feral, it will never have the same personality as a house born cat, and as a result may be better off spending the remainder of his or her life in their colony. They will rarely be outwardly demonstrative of any affection, but if they accept your presence in their environment, it means you have won their gratitude and appreciation.


Everycat said...

I can kinda see what you are saying there, but I was two years old, nth generation feral when I decided that humans were ok. Real feral, living in a large colony at a small holding, never fed, never touched by humans.My bro' Oliver was an adult real feral (not just a stray) and is a total lover boy. Mum has worked with lots of ferals and knows that with time and patience, many will make very good pets, though for some it's better to live in a managed colony as being inside is just too stressful - depends on the cat and their experiences I guess!

Whicky Wuudler

Black Cat said...

Hi Diamond darling! I think your advice is really good. There are a few people who have the magic and Whicky Wuudler and Oliver's Mum must be one of those. They are so lucky to have found her, as are you and Tristan to have found your Bean:) xxx

Sweet Praline said...

I like to believe that there is always hope that with food, love and attention, that kitties can come to trust humans. I am the eternal optimist!

Evie/VampyVictor said...

WE does not know a lot about strays, but Momma says that my sisfur who came before was born in a loving home and than came to my Momma and my Momma loved on her, but she was never a real cuddle kitty.
Even my Mushka now only really likes to cuddle when we is asleep or half asleep.. we do not know why..
We thinks that just like hooman all us kittehs haves our own persona, and like hoomans My Momma just accepts the ways we are, she says that ifs she wanted a stoopid woofie that all they knew how to do was cuddle and love she would have got one.
Momma respects that we haves our own personality and as long as we are not naughty leaves us to be our own kitty selves :)
WE think every living thing deserves a chance :)
But them is some good tips on getting them close to eats :)


MoMo said...

Thanks for that - I shall pass the hints onto my bean cousin who has recently discovered a small family of 3 feral kittens nearby. She has no experience with house or feral kitties herself and this would help.

Parker said...

I was lucky and even though I was about 9 months old, I decided my Daddy was OK.
Your tips are very good Diamond!