If you have adopted a weaned 7 to 8 week old feral kitten then the first day will be difficult however the days will get easier as time goes by. Remember that the kitten is afraid as you have taken them from their comfort zone and you must teach them how to be an indoor cat and live with humans and other pets.
Get Family and Home Ready for New Kitten
Before you bring a feral kitten into your home you will need to have a family meeting.
Picking up Feral Kitten
Set up the crate before you go to pick up the feral kitten. A small crate or cat carrier is also needed to transport feral kitten to your home. Line the cat cattier with newspapers. If it is cold outside line with a warm fleece or thermal receiving blanket. Feral kittens must be kept warm.
Get the safe room ready for the kitten by sitting on the floor and look for things that may harm the kitten. The room that I use to socialize the feral cats is in my garage. The room as a concrete floor, concrete walls, a window a desk, chair and a CD player that is anchored to the wall. There is an overhead ceiling light with a dimmer and two electrical outlets with protective coverings and a lazy boy chair..
Transferring Feral Kitten to Large Crate
- Open the door to the large crate.
- Cut a piece of cardboard that is the same size as the opening of the cat carrier that houses the feral kitten.
- Slowly open the cat carrier door and slide the cardboard in front of the opening, this will prevent the kitten from escaping.
- Move the carrier so that it is flush with the opening of the large crate.
- Slowly remove the cardboard that blocks the cats entrance and the feral kitten will run into the large crate.
- Cover the large crate with a flannel sheet to protect kitten from drafts and to provide comfort. Leave a corner of the crate exposed so the kitten can see you.
- Leave the crate door shut for the first 24 hours. By leaving the door shut the kitten will hide in the covered bed and the crate will become their safe room.
If the kitten should react with aggressive behavior; hiss, snarl, spit, chirp, note that the kitten is defensive because you are causing them great anxiety. The kitten is terrified of you the kitten is telling you "I am scared of you please stay away".
First Day Feral Kitten Socialization
Feed the kitten in the morning and night. I feed at 7 am and 7pm. I do not hold back the food. Provide the kitten with fresh water daily.
Kittens are very messy inside their crate, expect them to knock over their food and their water bowl. Also if the litter box is not covered, the litter will be all over the place.
- Play soothing music at a soft volume. Music is a good way to relax the kitten. I play sounds of nature, a babbling brook, birds chirping and such. Forest Sounds: with Soft Rains and Gentle Winds Sounds of Nature
- When you are leaving the room for the day, open the crate door half way. Expect to hear the kitten hiss, or chirp, they many also spit. This is a natural reaction, the kitten is terrified.
- Expect the kitten to run from the crate and attempt to climb your walls or drapes. This is natural and all feral cats and kittens behave like this.
- The kitten will learn that the crate is their safe place. You do not want the kitten to fear the crate. If they are confined they may climb the sides of the crate and they may get hurt.
- Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands when adding or removing things from the cat crate.
- Kittens can not be in a draft and the room needs to be warm. They are use to living outdoors so I usually close off the air conditioning vent so the kitten is comfortable.
- If you do not have a crate, set up a small room for the feral kitten. This room will be the feral kittens safe room forever.