4.15.2011

#26 Why is taming kittens so successful when they are 4-8 weeks old?



Here are some of the biological reasons that make kittens emotionally predisposed to accepting humans so readily at this age:

During the weaning period from 4-8 weeks, kittens start the transition from complete dependence on mom to being completely independent. Some have likened the impact of this stage to the transformation of a Caterpillar to a Butterfly. Nature converges many things to make the readiness to quickly learn a completely new way of life from mom very strong at this point. For one thing, at this age, mother's milk is no longer enough nutrition to support the kitten's rapid growth. The kittens are anxious to accept a new source of food energy that can meet the demands of their growing bodies. Using food to tame kittens (as demonstrated in the Urban Cat League video TOUGH LOVE) is very effective at this age when they are craving nutrition and mentally open to new things. Taming to humans obviously wasn't part of nature's plan for this period in a kitten's life, but this is when that is most successfully accomplished.

It's during this weaning period that Mom would normally start bringing prey to the kittens to introduce a new energy source and start to teach them to hunt for themselves. Nature encourages this process by making mom increasingly intolerant of nursing, thereby increasing hunger in the kittens, adding an eagerness to learn to hunt. While nursing, moms have been steadily losing weight, using up their body stores. Nature needs her to stop nursing and caring for the kittens to regain her condition to be ready for the next breeding cycle. The growing teeth of the kittens, and their claws kneading her belly add a lot to make mom more interested in teaching them to hunt than continue nursing. Along with hormonal changes in mom, all of these influences come together for a very efficient transition to the kitten's independence. If you want to tame kittens for indoor life and/or adoption, this age at 4-8 weeks is your crucial window of opportunity.

To further impress the importance of this timing, science has shown that while kittens are very ready to learn and change habits at this age, they are also very stubborn to later change or give up any impressions formed at this age. It is important to create the good association with humans before they have learned otherwise. Once a fear of humans is ingrained, it is very hard to change their young minds after the fact.

It is also around 6 weeks when the kittens start leaving the den, that a new communication with mom develops as part of the learning process. Mom growls when there is danger and the litter scatters and hides until mom signals that the danger has passed. If humans are a perceived danger for mom, the kittens will be learning that directly from her. They can re-learn differently with the prompt introduction of a counter incentive of food and nurturing from humans, but they aren't easily convinced to change their minds after this second month of life has passed.

The period between 4-8 weeks is when nature has biologically predisposed kittens to learn and absorb basic life lessons at warp speed. Whichever teacher gets there first gets to have the strongest influence on their opinions for a lifetime.

Cats are very adaptable and will change their opinions over time but nature has stacked he deck against any "Johnny come lately" lessons in the joys of a life with humans.

Start the taming early, be consistent and get it done as young as possible!!! Otherwise be prepared to be very patient and forget any time line. It can be done, but there are no guarantees as to how long it might take to gain an older cat's trust.
Best, Mike

33 comments:

  1. Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much for your videos on youtube and this blog. I'm currently in the process of socialising four feral kittens (about 5 or 6 weeks old) from my mother in law's farm and they're going really well. After two days, they will happily sit in my lap and eat off my finger and I've gotten a few minutes with some purrs out of all of them after the food has run out. I wanted to let you know that I think I've one-upped your 'kitten crack cocaine' chicken baby food. I'm in Australia and most of the baby foods here are primarily vegetable with about 10% chicken (or less) in them. I decided to give Latvian Liverwurst a try and the kittens are going bananas over it. It is mostly meat (94%) with about 31% liver so its pretty good for them too. But some brands have onions in them. Its a pate (more mushy than spam but less liquid than baby food) and its a little cheaper than baby food here. I reckon give it a go, you can get it in the chain grocery stores here.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for that info. I should have imagined that around the world baby food is very different The two predominant brands here in the U. S are Beechnut and Gerber's. They only Meat and Water. Gerber's adds a little corn starch to help prevent diarrhea in human babies but that's it.

    Jessica,
    I often get the question about onion being added to baby food which it isn't in these two brands. Onion is harmful to cat's.

    The bottom line is finding some food that the cats crave and will consider doing something they consider risky to get it such as climb in you lap and get petted. Sometimes interactive play with a toy on a string can draw them near you when food doesn't do it. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am in the process of training a 7 week old feral kitten that I found at my work warehouse. He has made considerable progress since we brought him home a week ago, but is very timid when people walk around our kitchen and approach him. He is still hissing, but will allow you to pick him up and does not growl or scratch when he is in your lap. How do I get him used to people walking up to him without him hissing?

    ReplyDelete
  4. The hissing will pass in time if the other things you describe continue to go well. Cats are very independent and often posture by hissing. I think it's just an expression of their frustration that you have something they want (the food) and they are dependent on you to get it. They would rather be able to feed themselves and not rely on having to be nice to humans to get by. Don't scold for the hissing or you may make it worse and delay him building trust in humans. It will all pass in time. Best, Mike

    ReplyDelete
  5. I rescued a male feral cat a few months ago and easily tamed him. He wants to eat ALL the time. A few weeks ago he started vomiting and then stopped eating and was lethargic. It got so bad I had to take him to the Vet. They ran blood tests and nothing showed up. They put him on antibiotics and nausea meds. He was fine within a few days. Now he is starting to vomit again. I started wondering if it's because he is eating all the time so I'm measuring his food according to the package. He is obsessed with eating and when he sees that it's not time for him to eat he goes outside and eats snails and anything else he can find. He is fat. I have no idea what to do. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Vomiting can have many causes so make sure to eliminate all possibilities with your vet before just assuming it is just over eating.

    Former Ferals and Street Cats that have had to fend for themselves on the street often have a life-long food issue fearing that there will always be a shortage of food if they ever went hungry.

    Controlling food with an over-eater is easier for indoor only cats. With multiple cats it may be necessary to put chubby in the bathroom to eat his portion while the other cats have a longer time to finish their dishes before they are picked up. Leaving food out is nice for some cats but NOT for overweight cats. Dry food is much more fattening than wet and should be avoided.

    Regular play sessions can work off the pounds and break up the boredom obsessing over when the next meal will be. Closing the bedroom door may be necessary if the hungry cat is making sleeping impossible.
    Best, Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's over boredom, it's also what i think.

      Delete
  7. Hi there I am so glad I found your webpage, I really found you by accident,
    while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just
    like to say cheers for a remarkable post and a all round enjoyable blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but
    I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome work.
    Here is my website ; forex

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, just like dogs, you have to teach your cat a proper discipline during his younger years. Based on some studies, cats are very independent creatures. So there are times that they are not following your commands especially if you want them to stay away from such areas. That's why some pet owners use cat repellents like SSScat to teach them to stay away from such places.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous05 June, 2013

    WOW!! thanks for the input on your site--my husband and I were greeted one day by a little grey kitten about 4-6 wks old on our porch and it was scared enough to run up under our truck. We had a time trying to fish her out but luckily it went with no injuries. We are cat lovers and already had one tuxy who adopted us-stray we fed that came clawing at our door one stormy day- and we had just adopted an eight week old male kitten the day before this one arrived. My husband spent a few days with our new grey "itty bitty" trying to make her less afraid. We had a spare room we cleaned out all furniture but one piece for her to retreat behind and he stayed with her on the floor. She took to him and still favors him most. She became a Mommy of 2 at about 18mos of age-our male was neutered but we were not told it takes a few weeks past the surgery to take effect??--anyway, we do believe out Itty Bitty is part feral as she is still skittish and very aware of her surroundings though we still cater to her somewhat. She seems to stay very skinny though she is healthy-would feral kittens grow to have some of the characteristics of adult ferals imprinted genetically and what would they be? Its taken 3-4 yrs for her to trust me enough to let me pet her and she actually curled up next to me recently. She gets along great with our other two cats and her daughter now grown also. We just worry about her slender bonylike structure although she has always been small.
    Thanks--Cheryl T and family of 4 cats

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congrats! Yes, vets forget to tell people that male neuter surgery doesn't take effect right away. You're not the first to be surprised 2 months later with an unexpected litter of kittens fathered by a neutered male. best, mike

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Mike. Just found this blog and need some advice. 2 ferals that live in a urban drive through bank shopping center complex with busy corners on all sides are being trapped to be relocated. The bank customers insisted and complained after them being there for nearly 2 years, that they might be run over, and the property manager is planning to trap and take to shelter = instant death sentance. I have contact the Humane Soc and launched an all out effort to save these babies. I hope I am in time!! I have volunteered to shelter them in a large dog crate after they are trapped until a suitable barn home can be found. I can keep them for months if I need to, and have a 6x6x4 ft enclosure I can errect in the basement if I must. Do you think it Is it possible to maybe tame these cats for adoption so the are more friendly to humans? The black n white male long hair hisses but doens't run when I feed at the bank (have done so since they were first found, trapped spayed and realeased) the calico has always been very stand offish and will only rarely let me close when I feed them, usually she departs and comes back after I drive off. often can't find or see her. Of note, it will be very cold tonight (teens) it snowed and iced, and I think the drains are still very wet and somewhat blocked with snow, so I'm hoping they will find a semi dry spot. I put food inside the drains despite the icy mess in front of the drains. This helps keep the food from freezing. The property management company confiscated the shelters I'd put out, and the food. I had to talk to the Humane Soc and to the bank managers to discover that it was the property management team I needed to contact. Long short tonight I left a decoy shelter with note and instructions to share the note and my contact info with the property management co plus the info that if they let us put a temporary shelter in the bushes, it would be that much easier to catch and remove them. If they don't let us it will be much hard IMHO to do so. I am praying after being undisturbed with warm shelters they will be easier to trap, and we can accomplish it by xmas. I am SO hopeful that we can trap and get out of there by Xmas, but if we don't have them feeling warm n safe, I am afraid they will leave and be much harder to catch...my heart is very heavy. I have 6 semi feral, former ferals at home, and one street cat that has turned out to be a tame cat under it all (despite his terror of the neighbors who may have treated him badly.) All Henri wants is a nice warm piece of rug, he learned the litter box in 2 wks, and he learned the pet door inside of a few days. He was doubtful about coming in during the summer, but as it got colder, he was "all in" on that particular activity!! These 2 cats will be nothing like my others, and I am at a loss how to begin.. FYI, I transfered 2 from a feral colony to a country shed, and have helped new owner tame them. The boy adapted much more quickly than the girl cat. I am still working with them to get her tamed. Wish me luck! Anyway perhaps you can give me some advice on how to proceed with these bank kitties. They are aprox 2 yrs old, were abandoned at age 6 wks by a woman there with 4 other kittens, 2 of whom died, 2 where trapped and tamed and adopted, and then these 2 who were too wild according to the humane society to be tamed and too old. (Its never too late, but we have a shortage of ppl willing to do the work of taming, sigh.) How can I best adjust them to a home life and maybe make them friendly enough place in a good barn home? I know the boy will tame, I'm more worried about the calico girl cat....

    ReplyDelete
  12. you have raised some good points in this blog. but can you please highlight some of most facing issues.
    What should I feed my new kittens?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Since Saturday, I have taken in Natasha, an adult, shy, female, feral, not at all socialized yet. Her photo reminded me of my cat who died last October after living with IBD for 5 years. She was my longtime friend for 10 years. I got her from a shelter when she was about 3. She was a socialized stray, not an unsocialized feral. I didn't realize that Natasha was completely unsocialized when I agreed to foster her. This blog has helped tremendously this past week to cope with unexpected, frightening challenges. I made a huge mistake of allowing Natasha to escape her crate on Sunday. She had been calm in the crate. She even purred on the day I brought her home. She purred for three brief sessions, over the course of 20 minutes. Each session began with fits and starts. A little later, she closed her eyes and rested, but only for short minutes at a time. She hasn't purred again since, and she hasn't let me catch her sleeping since. That was Saturday. Today is Thursday.

    Being out of the crate was all wrong for her. She was hyper alert and sought the highest point in the room, which was a table. She was confined in the room. It's been hot and without air conditioning. I had the windows open, with ceiling fan on. On Sunday night I tried to catch her to put her back in the crate. Another big mistake. I caught her briefly in my hands but could not keep hold of her. That experience traumatized her. Tuesday, she fled up the window when I entered the room with food. She was literally hiding from me by wedging between window screen and window glass, even though I had food with me. The poor thing was holding onto screen and window for about 20 minutes. I was trying to stay at a distance to keep out of her site in hopes she would calm down and not fall out of the window. I called our municipal animal control who's voicemail told me to call the police, which led me to a call to the county animal control, but I got voicemail there. And then I heard her fall back into the room. The next day I made an appt with animal control to come and get her back in her crate. They did come and when they got here she was in the window screen again and had been for about 10 minutes. This time the screen broke. We all thought she was going to fall out. She would either be injured and/or lost to us once again in flight. The Animal Control folks were amazing and somehow got her back in the room and in the crate. They were extremely kind but at the same time they wanted to know my plan for her. Thanks to this blog which I found on day 3 after my two big mistakes, I did have a plan to share with them. They agreed it was reasonable. The woman explained some cats like low places and some cats like high places. This cat likes high places.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Today is Thursday. Natasha is in her crate in a big box with round holes that I bought at PetSmart. It's a soothing color green. She's calm in the box. Her litter and a small water bowl are also in the crate. From the crate she makes some eye contact with me. When she does, I squint my eyes and smile at her and she has responded to that with a flicker of interest. Other than that brief eye contact, I have stopped cajoling/talking to her while hovering around the crate. I brought her chicken baby food today, put some in a little bowl with 5 treats and did leave it for her in her crate. She was so traumatized by the window screen episodes and being out of the crate the last couple days, that I wanted to offer her something really pleasurable. The baby food and treats were very well received. She wouldn't eat them in front of me, but she ate them within the hour and that is a first since she's been here. I plan for that to be the last time I will put down food for her without her eating it while I'm in the room. (Unless she can't take to this training given her elder status. I won't withhold food for her if it's been more than 12 hours of not eating.) I offered her more baby food on a spoon through the crate, while I held the spoon. I wasn't looking at her or talking to her during this offering. She did not eat it but she stood close to it, rather than moving away. I took the food on the spoon back out of the room with me. I came back a little while later and tried the same technique. She didn't eat that, but again she did not back away from me. This will be the first night that she doesn't have food in her crate during the night. I will bring in the baby food tomorrow morning and try the spoon feeding again. It's hard for me not to leave a little food for her in the crate tonight but I am sticking to the plan.

    I ordered the cat pen that this blog mentions, the one with two perches, that is 3 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet. It was $119. I am going to make an appointment with the Animal Control folks again when I have the new pen set up and it's time to move her into it. I don't want to take any chances of her getting loose at this point and I cannot handle her even though she's a tiny 7 pounds and is docile almost all the time. Until she's not. Then she's frighteningly wild. She will have nothing of being touched yet. I hope that I can win her over, over time, and I want to use this blog to help me commit to the process. She had it so rough for years on the street.

    This blog has made a difference for her quality of life this moment, and hopefully for the future. I want life to get beautiful for her. She will be the one to decide if she can become a tame cat over time. I plan to write again. Thank you for this forum and the expert advice herein.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Saturday, 8/9/14, More notes on socializing Natasha...
    Since Thursday evening have offered baby food on spoon through the cage. About 4 times total so far. She has not eaten from the spoon. As of 0700 this morning, she had only eaten about .75 oz of food in a 24 hour period, so for the attempt at spoon feeding at that time, she was hungry. But she declined opportunity to eat from spoon.
    She was on top of her box this morning, rather than in it, and she was looking stressed. Was it because she was hungry and in her way strategizing a way to obtain food while being penned? I regrouped on the plan and put down 3oz of the Simply Nourish brand chicken/salmon. I pulled the litter from the crate. Swept the crate. Gave her 5 drops Rescue Remedy in fresh water. Left the food and water for her in the crate. Kept the cat litter out of the crate for the time being, and exited.
    Two hours later I returned to the room. She had eaten all 3 oz of food. I removed the food bowl and replaced the litter box in the crate.

    What was encouraging today:
    She ate all 3oz of the chicken/salmon food during daylight time. Mostly, she has only eaten during the nighttime so far. She's well nourished and physically without any evidence of illness or discomfort. She seems to like the chicken/salmon flavor.
    I feel hopeful about my plan of dropping a treat in her cage every time I enter the room. She knows the treats taste good and might code the clink as pleasure potential that is associated with my presence.
    I added a piece of foam to her box to provide some cushiony resource. It's half the width of the box and light and easy to move, 1 inch thick. It might be taking up too much space though. I'm going to see if she seems to like it or not.
    She was back inside the box when I returned the second time, after eating.
    I moved her little water bowl into a more secure place in the front corner of the cage so she is less likely to spill it. I didn't leave down any more food. She has about 6 little treats in the little treat bowl. The litter box is clean. She is using the litter box and eliminating appropriate output of both urine and feces.
    I feel good about new practice of removing the little box for a couple hours each day, to give relief from living so close to it for this unfortunate caged time.

    What I am concerned about today:
    She is a wild being in a cage. Her loss of freedom and loss of touch with the outside earth and sky, day and night, is extremely sad. Even when I get her into the more spacious pen where she will have more range of motion, she will still be bereft of these things. I don't know if the safety that the crated life brings is worth the trade-off to her wild being. I'm going to take my cues from her on this note as the days and weeks move forward.
    The cat pen isn't arriving until Monday. And then I have to assemble it after work and assess if it's necessary to make an appointment with Animal Control to move her into it, or whether I can do that safely. I'm also concerned that she is lonely. I don't know if she is lonely, but I am concerned. I don't know what kind of companionship would help her if she is lonely. Me staying in the room to be with her does not bring relief to her at this stage. It stresses her.

    Goals: read more about what feral cats want and need. Dream of possible ways to bring the earth and sky to her. Look for an expert on feral cats in my area and reach out to ask for advice.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sunday, 8/10/14, Socializing Natasha...Day 9
    With more research under my belt, I have a revised plan. I'm not going to try to get her to eat from a spoon or only while I'm in the room, at this point. She just won't do it and I've got plenty of time to work with her. Instead, I'm going to calmly tend to the chores of feeding, cleaning the crate and litter, without placing any focused attention on her. I'm now leaving open the door to the room in which she is secured in the crate. She can hear more of what's going on in the house yet her room remains a quiet space without activity unless I'm there tending to her. Whenever I enter the room, I'm dropping a treat in her treat bowl without saying anything or looking at her. I'm going into the room at times throughout the day just to do that. It's been fun to see today that she's eating the treats in between these little visits. I hope she's beginning to associate my brief presence in the room with something that is pleasing to her. She really likes these treats. The other thing I want to mention is that when I'm passing through the common area outside her room, I'm acting as if I don't have a sense that she can see me, and I'm not directing any talk her way. Tomorrow the cat pen arrives. Today when I enter her room, she is not scuttling further back into the box. I sense her watching me and I sense her stillness. She doesn't seem stressed out today. The Rescue Remedy has a role in that I'm sure. Since I'm not looking directly at her, or focusing attention on her, it's hard to know what's going on at all with her other than that she's not moving within the box in response to my entry, and that she seems calm. She pulled her little piece of foam bedding fully into the box and it looks like it may have been slept on. One thing is for sure. I am bonding with her regardless of her side of that equation. I like her. She's a tiny little survivor. So dear.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Saturday, 8/16/14
    Natasha moved into her bigger pen yesterday. She seems to downright like it. I put the same exact box into her big pen, a fresh new version of the box, and she walked right into it. The box is great. I keep talking about this box and the folks in my life just sort of lift a brow. I got it at PetSmart for 12.99. It's got these wonderful varying shaped holes on every side, so the cat has many views through various shapes. Cats appreciate aesthetics. The box is tall enough and wide enough that she can sit upright in it with plenty of room above her, and lie down in it with plenty of room beside her. I think the best thing for her is that she can be completely concealed in it. It's hard for me to really see her within it unless I peer into it directly. Since part of this socializing deal is that I don't do that, she remains well concealed from me. In the smaller crate, she was always sitting upright in the box at the times I entered the room. That much I could tell when I dropped a treat in her bowl. I could see her little paws and I could sense her watchfulness. Then, two days ago, I noticed briefly that she had been resting in the box. She got up out of her laying down posture as soon as I came into the room. Ever since she moved into her bigger pen yesterday, every time I go in, I can tell that she's in a laying down posture. Maybe she's just catching up on restfulness after years of probably sleeping for short periods in order to survive life as an urban feral. One of the little bat-around soft toys newly in her new pen yesterday is now inside her box. : ) I'm feeling encouraged.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thursday, 8/28/14
    It's been almost a month socializing Natasha. She is still in her big pen. She is docile and not showing any signs of wanting to escape the pen. I hear her moving up to the upper shelf perches. She won't be seen outside her hide-out box. That is the most concerning thing. She will not eat in my presence. She will now eat while I'm in the next room, even making noise in the next room, but she won't eat with me in her room. I am able to stick to the technique of not leaving food down for her when I leave the room, but she just won't eat at all when I'm in the room, even if she hasn't eaten for 24 hours. Once it's been 24 hours, I don't have the heart not to leave the food down for her. I think I could try to stretch that to 36 hours. I'm going to try. The sooner she can at least tolerate my presence while she eats, the sooner she can be out of the crate. I hope she will adapt to this. I like her so much. Using the Rescue Remedy for pets has worked well for her. She is less stressed when she has a dose on board. I put a few drops in her treat bowl, near her treats but on the bowl itself rather than on the treats and she licks that up, which is an ideal way to get the medicine on board. I also put a few drops in her water bowl. Less ideal, but still works. She brings a couple toys into her hide-out box.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sunday, 8/31/2014
    Natasha has been with me since 8/2 and here it is 8/31. She started eating with me in plain sight two days ago. I sit just outside the room, fully in her sights. She refused to come out of her box and eat for quite a few sessions before, but two days ago, she changed her mind and came out to eat! She had eaten 3 oz of Simply Nourish brand chicken the night before after 3 sessions of me taking the food away when she hadn't eaten. Because she was so hungry by then, I left the Simply Nourish down and stayed upstairs making a small bit of noise, but not within her sight. She ate it all quickly once I was out of sight, even with the noise I was making. The next morning, I was resigned to picking up her food and taking it back out with me again, but she suddenly started to eat after 15 mins with me sitting there. I was amazed and very excited. Now she has eaten 6 times with me in that same place in plain view! I don't watch her eat. I face away. But today I had a mirror with me so I could check on her and see how she looks. I try to sneak peaks when I'm tending to her litter box or putting treats in her bowl, but she's hard to see in her hide-out box without fully peering in. I never do that. I act like I am unaware of her, as best I can, so she has full room to observe and assess how safe I am. That is the technique that she responds to the best. This little cat is extremely stressed by human attention on her. I'm learning from her that she is smart and learns fast but sticks to her ways until she's ready to shift behavior. Then she does it purposefully and successfully. Today she came out to eat only 3 minutes after I had been sitting there. I foresee her being able to feel safe outside the crate, but I don't know when she'll be ready. At this point, she makes no attempts to get out of the crate. I'll go with her cues. I hear her jumping down off one of the higher perch/shelves once or twice each evening, after it's dark. The door to her room is always open. Unless I'm cleaning her crate, dealing with the litter or feeding her. Then I close the windows and shut the door. I'm not taking any chances of her fleet nature slipping out of the crate and getting up the window screen again and putting her at great risk not to mention having to call Animal Control, AGAIN. There's so much of her life I don't see. Like grooming. I'm sure she's doing some grooming because she's clean, but I never see it. And sleeping. I never see her sleeping. I imagine one day she'll be curled up next to me sleeping cozily. I keep imagining these scenes. That's the future I want. I think she may agree to it, in her time and in her way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wanted to clarify that I close the door to her room when I'm literally opening her crate to feed her, but once the food is in her crate and the crate door is closed again, I open the room's door and windows, which is the usual state of things. Then I sit outside the room and wait for her to eat. : )

      Delete
  20. Sunday, 9/14/2014
    Natasha will now eat while I am sitting just inside the room, with my back to her. She waits for me to start writing in my journal. As soon as I do, she comes right out and starts eating.
    I moved her (in her pen) outside the room yesterday so I could vacuum and clean up the room. That caused her to be extra vigilant and she didn't eat her treats for a few hours following that event. But after she had been back in the room in her regular place, she went back to predictable behaviors for the most part. I discovered she had worms a couple weeks ago. I saw two specimens in the pen. No surprise given how at risk she was for parasites. I consulted a vet and went with the option of an OTC dewormer for now. I gave her that in her food. She had a night of diarrhea and vomiting and then rebounded completely. She's due for one more dose of that dewormer on Tuesday. I'm hoping it will be sufficient and I'm hoping that in a few months she will be a candidate for a normal vet visit. If not, I'll just have to bring her in anyway, and find a way to make that happen. She is going to need a good medical work up. But in the meantime, the vet who spayed her during the TNR process that was the plan agreed to take a stool sample without me bringing the cat in with me. So I will do that in a few weeks regardless to assess whether the parasite has cleared.

    ReplyDelete
  21. wow you made me proud love it simply. nice way of working with different stuff. love it.
    Kitten crate training

    ReplyDelete
  22. Tuesday, 10/14/2014
    Natasha continues to make progress. She is out of the pen now, confined to the room at large. That happened 8 days ago. She started to cry out at night and it seemed to me she was lamenting her freedom, so I thought it was time for her to safely come out of the pen. She never tried to get out of the pen. She has some scratching devices and toys and a cat tree. I have seen her from the window, sitting in the cat tree, when I drive into the parking lot at the end of my work day. That makes me smile. She has several hideout boxes in the room. They are all the same design--that box made by Catty Stacks with the wonderful shape cutouts that I mentioned in an earlier post. I think she feels safe in them because she can see me but it's hard for me to see her. She eats with me sitting in the middle of the room in a chair, with the light on, and the door closed. She's gotten very used to me being present while she eats. She likes being out of the pen but at the same time she doesn't feel as safe being out of the pen. But she's willing to slink along the terrain and make her way to her food, while I remain sitting in the room, at breakfast and dinner time. I feed her crunchies in the morning and WeRuvYa brand wet food in the evening. She loves that stuff. She's doing really well. There's still no touching her, but I get the sense that sometime over the year ahead, she will be a pettable cat. In the meantime, she is adorable and I am learning so much from this smart little shy cat that lived on the urban streets for years before finding herself in my home in a totally different life experience. Even if she never becomes a pettable cat, it's clear that she will live here in some measure of contentment, for the rest of her life, and I feel so happy about that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I really appreciate your work. you just done some amazing job here on this blog.
    Kitten Crate Training

    ReplyDelete
  24. We adopted an 8 week old kitten from a shelter. She was calm at first. Now she is wide open and jumps on everything and scratches everything. She has a scratching post and one of those card board scratch board. Found her hanging from a lamp shade yesterday and then trying to climb the sheer curtains. We keep her in a separate room during the day while we are at work, but once we are home she has free run of the house and we spend hours playing with her, to wear her out. Our previous cat was not this wild and energetic. I am not sure how to teach her to not jump on the table, scratch on the lining on the bottom of the sofa and bed, jump on lamp shades and curtains, etc.
    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  25. wow, that is great thing, i really appreciate it Lost and found

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous, I have been reading your comments about your Natasha and have enjoyed them immensely. Is there an update on her? I will be so very disappointed if not…

    ReplyDelete
  27. get more succes for your kitten :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Those interested in the Dec 2013 posting of the bank kitties. Well both were trapped on Xmas week in 2013. They came into a large dog crate I'd set up in a basement room for them. Within (2) days, Max the blk n white was rubbing on the cage bars for attetion!! The calico was less friendly but again did not hiss or make me feel she was "wild". Within a week, I allowed both cats out of the dog crate to roam at will in the bedroom. Over a few more weeks, I found that Max was UBER friendly and would drool when groomed and combed and played with. Calico Rosie was not as friendly, but about 6 to 8 wks after letting them out into the bedroom, I boldly pulled her onto my lap for loving.. AND SHE let me! In sum, neither cat was wild, both were strays or abandoned there. I found a barn home after 6 months, and in May they went to a wonderful country home. The potting shed was right next to the house, and was fixed up to be a feral shelter/temporary home with a fenced in enclosure. Max and Rose spent a week in the shed/enclsoure, and were then allowed to roam. They get warm wet and dry food daily at the home's front door, and have many lovely areas to roam. They are protect from the elements in the worst of winter and rains/cold (the shed has a nice kitty tube shelter for them, and is well roofed and solid.) I wished they could be house cats of course, but that was not in the cards -- although Rosie is working hard to be allowed ot enter the home and reside there forever, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really like the fresh perspective you did on the issue. I will be back soon to check up on new posts! Thank you!
    Change Your Life

    ReplyDelete