Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How We Socialize Feral Kittens



The new born kittens that my husband and I rescued were socialized to be trusting of humans quickly. We handled them daily, first with heavy leather gloves and then barehanded. We petting them under their chin, top of head and on side of face by ear. We also ran a cat brush through their fur gently. The entire time that we handled them we talked to the kittens softly.
Husband holding 7 week old feral cat

At first we needed to wear heavy leather gloves because the kittens were fearful and wanted to bite and scratch us. But after three times of holding them we were able to stimulate their appetite and coax the kittens to us with bonito fish flake treats and soon the kittens were in our lap.
By the time the kittens were 8 weeks old you would never know that they were born outdoors inside a hallow tree. All kittens were very human friendly, running in in-between our legs, purring when we petted them.
Feral Cat Tips:
By taking time to handle the feral kittens we were socializing them to not be fearful of humans. We held all kittens several times a day. My husband held the kittens while he watched TV and many of them fell asleep while being held.
Holding feral kittens makes them less fearful of humans

Feral cats are generally afraid of everything, but if you are able to foster kittens before they are 12 weeks old then you will be able to bond with kitten and they will trust a human and not be fearful.
Know that I find it is easier to socialize a feral cat that is six months or younger. That is not to say an adult cat cannot be tamed, all cats can be tamed to trust a human. Know that a friend of mine worked with your feral barn cats for a good year and then told me the other day that all were dependent upon her for food and water and that she was able to pet them without them being fearful of her.