I adopted a ferrell kitten and need advice

Elaine WilliamsonElaine Williamson Member Posts: 7
edited 11 June, 2008 in Kitten Corner
Has anyone had success with a ferrell kitten, he\'s about 12 weeks old? I adopted him yesterday and he is hiding in a 2 inch wide space in the bathroom. I have to keep him separated from my other kitten, Gertie, for 10 days for any possible problems that might be contagious to her. He is scared to death and I feel so bad for him. Any advice would be wonderful.


  • edited 22 May, 2008
    How long ago did you adopt him? It takes on average about 2 months for an animal to adjust to a new home. I would take your time and let him adjust. Spend time just sitting on the floor in the same room as him(even if it is the bathroom if that is where he feels safe). At first don't try to encourage him to come to you let him come to you when he feels comfortable doing so. Then when he does at first don't try to pet him just let him sniff you. It takes time especially with a feral kitten/cat. They have to learn that they can trust you. You can even try setting a few really, really yummy treats in a line on the floor....make sure they are tiny so it doesn't take him long to eat them.....then place a few on your leg. That will help him realize that you being there equals good things. If he is not willing to follow the treat trail at first then start by slowly tossing treats towards him every time you are in the room. Good luck.
  • Elaine WilliamsonElaine Williamson Member Posts: 7
    edited 22 May, 2008
    I got him yesterday. He is staying in the bathroom so I can keep him away from Gertie for 9 more days. I wish she could meet him but I guess I'll need to be patient. He is starting to relax just a little. I go to visit him and he starts to purr when I pet him. I have one of those little foam box like cat beds and he loves it in there. He must feel safer in it. So I just lay down on the floor, yes the bathroom floor, and talk to him and pet him while he's in it. When the dog barks or there's a noise he tries to hide in a smaller place. I emailed the shelter and the woman said to put him in a crate in the middle of all the action so he can see us all the time and to pick him up and pet him. I have a feeling that would be too much for him. I like the idea of moving slower to gain his trust. Thanks for the ideas.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 23 May, 2008
    All you can do is comfort him if and when he lets you. I was not feral, but a truly scaredy kitty at six months when I came home, and mom just had to learn to let me hide, and then comfort me later when I'd get up my courage and brave coming out of my hiding spots. Eventually I got to a point where I started trusting mom and I actually go find her when I hear scary noises, but it took time to build that trust. Just keep doing what you're doing, it sounds like he's already less scared!
  • Maggie BussaMaggie Bussa Member Posts: 191
    edited 23 May, 2008
    Plus, I would get him to the vet to be tested, checked out before introducing any new kitty to the "household" cats. That is my only inflexible rule about new "residents" in my house. That way you're only battling one cat with an illness (for example, worms or upper respiratory ailments) rather than more which can get expensive.
  • Donna LenzDonna Lenz BethelMember Posts: 4,600 ✭✭✭
    edited 23 May, 2008
    Meows Gertie, Kudos to your Meowmy for adopting a feral kitten. I was about the same age when Mom trapped me. And I took a while to trust her. I stayed inside a big doggy crate in the catputer room for a few days. When I felt comfy I went to the vet for a check up and shots. Mom would take me out and pet me - I would totally relax when she squashed my ears - Cat Heaven! MOL!!!!!! If the doggys barked, I zoomed into my crate and hid in my bed. Mom started to carry me out into the house after about 10 days to intro me to the zoo. In about 2 days I felt safer, so she opened the door to the catputer room and let everyone visit me in the crate. It took me about 2 weeks total before I was allowed to go check the whole house out. But if I got scared, I zoomed into the catputer room and hid under the couch. Happy Purrs Apache
  • edited 25 May, 2008
    Just take your time and be patient. He'll come around if you let him take it on his own terms. Rori and Knut were both feral kittens, and they are totally social now. Our Spooky/Nyx was as well, and we were able to adopt him out. Keep him in his room until he starts to wonder what's on the other side of the door, and plays paws under the door. That way, you'll know that he knows the other cats are there and is used to their smells (and vice versa). Keep petting him and reassuring him things are ok. |:|
  • tammy whitakertammy whitaker indianapolisMember Posts: 234
    edited 26 May, 2008
    concats for adopting a feral ,it is natural for kittens cats at any age being tame or feral to hide when they are introduced to a new home or situation just take your time and stay on your ferals level,it will work out in time good luck
  • Elaine WilliamsonElaine Williamson Member Posts: 7
    edited 26 May, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the tips. He is making progress. But now there's a new obstacle. He's got that respiratory problem that shelter kitties get. I am having to "doctor" him a bit and it's more than he cares for. He really hates having his face wiped. I am hoping that the vet will get him back into good health soon so we can keep working on getting comfortable in his new home. To go from living with 8 other kittens under a porch to living alone in a bathroom and feeling sick must be quite a shock.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 26 May, 2008
    Definitely get him to a vet asap, an antibiotic would definitely be a must for a small kitten with a cold.
  • edited 26 May, 2008
    Well it's a good thing he is purring. I don't really have any advice, but good luck! |:||bb|
  • Kelly HendryKelly Hendry Charlottesville, VAMember Posts: 556
    edited 27 May, 2008
    We adopted Hunter as a feral when he was 2 years old. It's been a year and he is a completely different cat from when I first got him. He spent about 4 months hiding under the bed, then decided he only wanted my fiance to pet him and only in his safe room, and now he zooms around the house, has made friends with several new humans, begs for treats and pets, and sleeps in my bed with me at night. For the first few months we would just hang out in his safe room with him, leave t shirts we'd worn that smelled like us on the floor so he could get used to our smells, talk to him, wave toys around, etc. We NEVER made eye contact with him and would immediately blink if we did to show submission. Basically we just hung around him, not trying to pay attention to him, until he got used to our presence. Rescue Remedy also helped, and once he could be around Sam he improved a lot. I think seeing Sam interact with us made him realize that he could trust us and made him want to imitate Sam's behaviors. They crack me up because they've picked up so many of each other's habits. We also have a tall cat tree in the living room. He used to love to sit up there because he could be near everyone and felt safe. It takes a lot of patience but is completely worth it. I can't describe to you how satisfying it is to see him become more outgoing and trust people more. He's become so much like a normal cat and has developed such a wonderful personality. Good luck to you and the new kitten!
  • Katy CoulterKaty Coulter Cats U.S.AMember Posts: 77
    edited 27 May, 2008
    You are such a wonderful person to adopt a little feral kitten. Thats great! Sorry to hear he is sick though. Hope he feels better soon. If it is kennel cough then yea an antibiotic would do the trick. My husband and I are about to take on a litter of ferals ourselves here soon. There is a family of homeless cats that live in our neighborhood and one of them is pregnant. The meowmy went and hid all the babies. (they are not actually baby kittens but are small like maybe pre teen age). The one that is pregnant we are going to go leave some food and see if she comes out with her babies. And when she does we are going to see if we can get them and bring them home. Then we are going to care for them/socialize them and get them to the animal rescue league so they can get good, safe for ever homes.
  • Elaine WilliamsonElaine Williamson Member Posts: 7
    edited 28 May, 2008
    I actually brought him to the vet on the way home from the shelter. He was dirty but seemed healthy. The respiratory thing kicked in a few days later and back to the vet he went. Now on clavamox. Too much chaos for this little guy. He's still lonely and now sick in the bathroom. Dexter is getting used to me now but hates all of the wiping of the nose and mouth and other intrusive stuff. I can't wait till he's healthy again so he can become buddies with Gertie and the rest of the house.
  • Barbara LindellBarbara Lindell Sunnyvale, CA/San Francisco, LMember Posts: 544
    edited 6 June, 2008
    Hey Bell Witch & Gertie, What you're both doing is so pawesome:) So many homeless ferals out there, and they're treated worse than house cats. Truly a shame...But, I digress. Just wanted to say kudos to both of you on saving more lives! Milo was a former feral, and he is the sweeeeetest kitten I've had!
  • Elaine WilliamsonElaine Williamson Member Posts: 7
    edited 10 June, 2008
    It will be 3 weeks tomorrow and he has really transformed. He is so vocal and lets us know when he wants attention, which is a lot! I think being sick forced him to get used to lots of handling. He still prefers not to be picked up and carried but any other kind of cuddling he loves. Now if we could just get Gertie to stop growling at him... he just wants to play with her!!!
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 11 June, 2008
    Gertie, mom says that for the longest time she thought I didn't like being picked up. Turns out mom was doing it wrong. Dad OTOH scoops me up and puts his arm under me so that I feel well supported. Then he nuzzles my back with his face. He can do that to me for minutes on hand and I don't panic at all. ;)
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