When you think of something cute, a cat or a kitten is one of the few things that will come to mind. Kittens, specifically, are the most adorable feline one can think of. Hence, it is difficult to think of them being feral. However, it is not impossible. The truth is kittens have almost an equal chance of being feral as any other animal. The probability of a kitten being feral is higher if it has a wild cat as its mother.
Nevertheless, if you wonder what can be done upon finding a feral kitten, read this article. It will give a complete rundown of actions you can take if you spot a feral kitten.
Can Kittens Be Feral or Not?
Yes, kittens can be feral if born in the wild and live for 4-5 weeks without human contact. The primary reason why they are feral is that since they stay in the wild, it makes them attentive and alert to potential dangers like bigger creatures. Therefore, they become reclusive.
Feral kittens are as difficult to approach as any adult wild cat, but they can be fostered. With little effort and extra sympathy, you can reach out to feral kittens and turn them into lovable pets.
How to Distinguish a Feral Kitten?
You can distinguish feral kittens by their behavior and body composure. They act scared when near humans and show more aggression toward us. You can find them spitting, hissing, and lashing at humans due to the harsh environment they have lived through.
Even if you bring them to your home and keep them in a pet cage, these kittens will demonstrate similar behaviors for several days. These behaviors are the instinctive habits they developed by living in the wild for a long time.
Besides, they also follow adult feral cats and copy their behaviors in many instances. Thus, they become aggressive toward humans.
However, the good news is that feral kittens can be tamed. But their age and behavior are crucial factors in deciding whether or not they can be tamed.
How Can You Tame a Feral Kitten?
Feral kittens are not easy to deal with, but eventually, you can tame them as your domestic pet. It requires a lot of effort and a proper approach to the kitten.
Specific places where you can find feral kittens are small nooks and corners of uninhabited buildings, abandoned parks, or parking lots, which gives them a sense of safety and comfort. So, if you come across one and bring it home, it’s best to provide the kitty with some private space. It will not start becoming friendly instantaneously. After all, to the kitten, you are still a big creature who abducted it for unknown reasons.
Here’s how you should approach and foster a feral kitten so that it accepts you readily as its owner.
Give a Comfortable Living Place
To take the first step toward fostering a feral kitten, you must establish a bond and let it know that you mean no harm. Thus, get a cage or cardboard box to give them a cozy living space. Ensure it is full of accessories and hiding spots, as feral kittens feel comfortable in a snug environment.
During this initial period, it’s recommended to cover the space with a blanket, as it will give the kitty a sensation of extra safety. Keep the cage covered for a day at least to give the little creature time to adjust to the new surroundings. It will also help them recover from the sudden change of living in a different environment that they are not used to.
You can opt for the Homey PET Folding Cat Crate as a living space for your feral kitten. This cage is large, foldable, and easy to carry. It will be not only spacious enough for your kitty but also easy for you to set up.
Remove the Curtains
On the second day, remove the blanket and check out the feral kitten inside. Keep the visits short but frequent, as it will help the kitty to get accustomed to you.
Don’t try an extra hand to reach out to the kitten; provide the necessary food and water and sit nearby for a short time. Make it clear that you are an ally, not an enemy. With this gesture, hopefully, the kitten will seek your attention after a few days.
Reach Out to the Feral Kitty
Next, reach out to the kitten and let it know you are harmless. Try to spend more time with the feral kitten and strive to make progress in your relationship. Avoid taking big steps like cuddling, caressing, and kissing the little one. Instead, play with it. Open the cage only when your windows and doors are closed.
Besides, using a towel is the best way to lift a feral kitten. It will prevent you, as well as the kitten, from any harm. However, don’t make eye contact and try not to show them your teeth; it represents a predatory act.
Instead, you can hold your hand out and call or offer it food. If it inches towards you slowly or starts eating the provided food, it’s a green flag you can now begin to take care of it.
Introduce It to Your Home
Start giving your kitten a tour of your home. You can put its cage in different parts of your home to make it familiar with the space. It will help the tiny creature feel secure to roam around when it starts to explore being outside the cage.
Establish A Bond
Pet your feral kitten with a soft hand on the back of its head. Also, use a low or gentle voice to communicate with it.
Keep doing these practices, and eventually, you’ll hear the sound of purring from the feral kitty. It’s a sign of their comfort and acceptance. So now you can feel proud and be proud of yourself because you tanned a feral kitten.
Precautions to be Taken While Dealing with Feral Kittens
Do not force feral kittens for anything. If you see no progress after 2-3 weeks, understand that the particular kitten is unadoptable. Even after this much time, if the kitty runs away from you scared, screams when you pet it and hides every time you see it, these are the signs of unadoptable feral kittens.
Follow this table to understand whether the feral kitten you came across can be adopted.
|Characteristics||Adoptable Feral Kittens||Unadoptable Feral Kittens|
|Age||Under 6-8 weeks||Over 8 weeks|
|Socialization||These kittens will be willing to approach humans and accept handling||These kittens are fearful of humans and may exhibit aggressive behavior|
|Ability to Adapt||They can adapt to a home environment with patience and socialization||They may never fully adapt to a home environment|
|Behavior||These kittens may still exhibit some feral behaviors but learn to trust humans.||They may exhibit extreme fear and aggression towards humans, making them difficult to handle and care for|
However, while adopting feral kittens, prevent them from biting you. If they bite you somehow, clean the spot immediately. Feral kittens can have germs and bacteria in their mouth, leading to infection.
So, keep your hands clean whenever you approach a feral kitten, feed it, or play with it. Also, it is ideal to clean your hands afterward.
Finding a feral kitten has the same probability as finding an adult wild cat. Fortunately, you can tame some feral kittens with specific training and a slow approach. After taming the kitten, you can also foster it and keep it as your companion for lifelong.