Did you recently come across a feral kitten and thought of bringing it home? Well, if it’s a kitten, the good news is it can be tamed. However, the same cannot be said for fully adult feral cats. The entire process of feral kitten taming can take anywhere from a couple of days to some months.
This timeline can vary depending on the individual cat’s temperament, rescued state, and the litter they belonged to. If your feral kitten has been exposed to a traumatic situation before being rescued, it might take you longer to tame them. However, taming a feral kitten and teaching them love & trust could be a rewarding process.
So, make sure you do it the right way. To help you out, here is a quick rundown of the processes involved in taming a wild kitten.
Taming Feral Kitten: What to Do?
If you plan to tame the kitten you just brought home, make sure you completely research the dos and don’ts of the same. Let us check out certain things you can do to tame the kitten with perfection.
When you bring your feral kitten home, initially, you need to keep them confined. Kittens below 8 weeks can be tamed pretty quickly. This can be done mostly within a couple of days. Remember, you are big and scary to them. Given that they might spit, hiss, or smack while you approach them, understand that it is mostly due to fear & not aggression.
However, if you are bitten by a feral cat, make sure you get in touch with your veterinarian for a preventative protocol just in case the cat is rabid or even carries a huge load of bacteria that can cause infection. Kitten aged 8 to 12 weeks would take a bit longer to tame. However, the ones that are beyond 12 weeks require you to have a lot of patience.
Even if you don’t have any pet at home, it is best to keep your feral kitten separated and confined until it is tamed and updated on all the necessary shots. Make sure the cage or confinement area is large enough to remove any sense of uneasiness.
2-Brief and Periodic Handling:
After the initial confinement, you need to understand the right way to handle the kitten. To do this, you need to predict whether or not the feral kitten is in a good mood. This will help you avoid any bites or scratches.
|Dilated Pupils, Leaning Forward, Whiskers Forward, Inverted Tail Position, Body Raised Higher, Hissing/Growling||Anger/Aggression/Ready To Fight|
|Ears Tilted Back, Tail Down, Whiskers Back, Fetal Position, Body Tucked||Scared and Afraid|
|Slight Pupil Dilation, Crouched Body, Leaning Away, Moving Tail Tip||Curious Yet Afraid|
|Direct Eye Contact, Loose Lips with Closed Mouth, Perked Forward Ears, Tail Up & Winding||Perked & Interested|
|Sleeping, Neutral Ear Position, Loose Body, Normal Pupil Dilation||Relaxed|
|Upright Tail, Mouth Closed, Belly Exposed, Stretched Out Ears, Normal Stature||Happy and Relaxed|
Keeping all these pointers in mind, start slow and gradually increase the handling and contact. This will help them get acquainted with the human touch without it being too overwhelming.
Apart from the normal food that you give to the kitten, make sure you reward them with tasty treats. Notice their behavior and whenever they do well, make sure you reward them with something yummy yet healthy for the young kitten.
You can try out the Temptations Cat Treat Combo to reward your feral feline and tame them slowly yet steadily. This cat treat packs in a tasty chicken meal along with natural flavors that are loved by kittens. Moreover, the treat is also pocket-friendly, so it’s a win-win for both you are your kitten.
Apart from the usual treats and taming basics, you also need to invest some time in playing with the kitten. However, this step should only be initiated after the kitty has started getting comfortable with you. Unless the kitten is comfortable playing, you might end up getting it angrier and irritated, which would later cause issues such as biting or scratching.
An hour or even half of the playtime can help the kitten learn and socialize with humans and let go of the feral habits that might turn into bad behavior with time.
5-Introduce to New Friends:
If your kitten is the only one at your home, you can try and get in touch with your friends, colleagues, or neighbors that have a pet cat. After the kitten has become comfortable with you, introduce them to other kittens. When you do this on a frequent basis, it will help the kitten adjust to new experiences that come along in the taming process.
6-Understanding the Progress:
Taming a feral kitten, as mentioned earlier, can be time-consuming as well as frustrating if things do not progress quickly. Here are a few things you can watch out to understand whether you are making any progress:
- Purrs when being petted or held
- Eating treats or wet food from your hand
- Playing actively with you
Cats are generally very clean animals, and the same rules apply to kittens as well. So, you can simply keep a litter tray in the area where your kitten sleeps and reward them whenever they poop in the tray. Chances are, once they poop in the tray, they will automatically develop a habit of pooping in the same due to the smell.
Once you have completed all these steps, your feral kitten is now a tamed one. If you want, you can keep them as your pet or get them adopted in a nice and loving home. Ensure you are updated with the vaccinations and neuter the kitten when they come of age to avoid any more kittens popping up in a few months. With dedication, discipline, and lots of love, you can easily tame your feral kitten into a disciplined and adorable one.