#5 The 3 girls still run if I pass their way, I don't quite know how to proceed

HI Mike,
Glad to hear from you. I think the blog is great. As far as my situation, I don't quite know how to proceed. The kittens are now six months old. All four have the run of the house and seem quite comfortable in a home environment and love my house cats. However only one, Cye the first I brought in, has decided he likes me. Last week he became friendly and now loves to be petted and snuggled. The three girls still run if I pass their way and though they will play with me and seem interested in what I am doing will not allow me to touch them. Given the coming winter I won't turn them out but they are no way near adoptable. Though Cye is now adoptable, I'm wondering if keeping him around will be a good example for the others. Also, since they are attached to each other, I would like to adopt them two by two. As I have four cats of my own, eight is too much. Any suggestions as to how I can turn them around?

Dear Regina,

Read through the notes again about socialization. You need to give them an incentive to seek you out and not you be chasing after them. Usually the first cat you trap is the friendliest and tames most quickly. He's also a boy, not to be sexist but feral females seem to be harder to socialize past 8 weeks than males. The girls are toughening up to become single parents in short order. The boys have less going on and seem to stay juvenile longer which helps with socialization. Read the tips again and see which things you can use to get those girls rubbing up to you.

I imagine that all you need to do is control the food more strictly. If you just put food down and go away, they have absolutely no incentive to socialize to you. I feed stubborn older kittens out of a cattery even when they are running loose in the house so when they are in the pen eating I can close the door if I want to get my hands on them without chasing after them. Chasing them does more harm than good. Without doing anything else, if you don't leave any food out for them you can work wonders in a very short time. Sit with them while they eat and take it all up if you have to leave the apartment. Trust me, you'll have their full attention when you get back home. Try focusing on one at a time to get a break-through or you may get overwhelmed trying to accomplish too much all at once. Keep me posted if I can help.

Best, Mike

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