OT - Feral Kitten

Okay, I’ve trapped a kitten that was born in the woods, now alone and has learned to come to my front porch for food. I borrowed a cage and we put the food in there for a couple of weeks to get the kitten use to going in to eat. Tonight we tripped the latch while the kitten was inside and caught it. Our local “no kill” shelter will not take it because it is so wild. The county shelter said they will take it, but will euthanize it because it is wild and they do not have the staff/time/funds to keep it long enough to tame it. Right now it is in the cage in my bathroom. Now what? I have had many cats over the years, but never one so wild. Any suggestions?

You might want to contact a local vet clinic and ask them if there’s anyone in your area who rescues feral cats. I know there is a lady in our area who does. She spays/neuters them and finds them homes. But more then likely, you are not going to find someone who wants a feral cat. You can always spay/neuter it and keep it for yourself as an outdoor pet. But wild cats don’t usually make good pets. If you try to bring it indoors, you might have some nasty results.

OMG let it go!!!

It’s a wild cat… it will do better in the wild. IMO.

You never know… it might get acclimated to you and your house, and other family members, but the SLIGHTEST sudden movement/noise/thing can set it off. Think of how it feels in the cage… trapped, scared, ready to attack if it’s threatened :help:

Predator-type animals/carnivores see movement and think “attack my food”… animals that are herbivores or omnivores get scared and run when they see movement… I would htink that having a wild cat, no matter how cute, calm, tame, etc it seems, woul dbe dangerous. And the cat knows how to survive in the wild. I think you’re doing it more harm.

Again, my opinion! Not judging!

we had a kitten that was the same way when i was a kid. we pretty much had to keep it in the cage for months slowly getting it use to us and making it “trust” us. It never completely did and he ended up being named Rocky because he was such a fighter. I would be sitting there petting it and she would suddenly start hissing. We just got use to her being that way but it took a very long time to get her tame enough that she could be left out of the cage to wander freely. However, she was never going to be an indoor cat so that was a bit of a help.

I’d say let it go. But I’m not sure this is a popular opinion.
If it’s wild, it’s going to want to be wild.

I say call the vet as Lucy suggested, DEFINITELY get him fixed, and IF the vet has no better answers, then let him go & continue to feed him outside.

Good compromise??

I agree with the neuter/allow it to go free/but feed it opinion. It is so hard on the animal, who does not know anything other than being required to fend for itself to be brought into a place where it is stuck in a cage and has people poking prodding at it. I hope you are able to come to a conclusion that best suits you and the cat. Keep us posted…

I actually work with a local TNR group (trap, neuter, release) - if you don’t have one, I suggest what others have said above and get it neutered and let it go.

here’s a link to our website, which may be of some help to you

good luck!


Don’t just neuter it, I’d suggest that you get it at least some vaccinations to give it a better chance of fighting off the icky disease that it will face in the wild. It may seem like a lot of money to invest in a wild animal, but I’m a softie and it’s what I think I would do.

Of course, if you REALLY want my opinion I say you should try to tame it a little bit. My mom tamed a kitten last year after he had been abandoned by his mummy.

She would wear leather gloves and a thick coat and hold him when he was calm, and then when he would scratch at her she would give him a squeeze to make it uncomfortable and he learned that scratching would not get him let go.

It may sound cruel to some of you, but that’s how cats learn. Dogs learn because you lead them, cats learn because they find out for themselves how uncomfortable something is.

Maybe it’s because in my family we’ve trained all of our pets ourselves, but the way that some people talk to their cats as though the cat is supposed to understand “Fluffy, no! Why have you destroyed mummies favourite vase?!” seems utterly ridiculous to me. Mummy’s pleads of peace make about as much sense to the cat as Mew mew meowy makes to us. A squirt from a water bottle, though, speaks in the universal language of discomfort.

And of course, one should always reward good behaviour with treats or pettins!

Dear Jackie,

I have a feral that my husband and I fell in love with and tamed. You needn’t use any force, however, you do need a lot of time.

FORCE SHOULD ONLY BE USED IN EMERGANCY when an animal is injured or sick.

Not all feral cats can be tamed. Some are so frightened of humans (understandably) that they can’t be persuaded under any circumstances to stand within a 100 yard of a person that calls for their attention.

We had our cat “fixed” only after we tamed her enough that she felt relatively comfortable being in our house because I knew that after the opp. she would have to spend some time indoors for her own safety. It took me about a year to get her from not coming closer than 10 m away from us to getting her to sleep comfortably on my laps! We started off by giving her food without bothering her. Once she got used to the territory around our house and relied only on us for food we brought the food tray a little closer and sat quietly when she ate so as not to scare her. Eventually we had the food tray between our feet but we still didn’t touch her. Only when she felt comfortable eating so close to us we started to stoke her gently and quietly each time she came near us to eat. She didn’t like it much but she liked even less being hungry and we were very slow, quiet and persistent. Soon enough our little feral found a new pleasure in her life called stoking. We used the same method for getting her to come inside and one day when I sat watching TV and stoking her near my feet I stopped and leaned back but she wanted more so she jumped up on my laps and BOY was she affectionate!

Please note that if you have any children under the age of 12 around – forget it! Cats sense that children are clumsy and it scares them. Also, remember that if you tame your cat it may only feel comfortable with you and whoever else helps tame it and then goes back to being completely feral when there are other people around that it doesn’t know. The advantage of that is that you’ll know that it will be difficult for a stranger to hurt it.

So, step one: unless you’re taking it somewhere – let it go and think what to do with a captured feral before it’s captured.

You might also find it helpful to look up relevant forums on the internet or write to me at tsimchi@hotmail.com anything about animals esp. cats and horses.

Hope I helped a bit.


I had a wild kitten that I tamed a few years ago. She started creeping around on the back porch, and I started feeding her. Eventually it got to where I could pet her with thick leather gloves on, but she would still attack my hand sometimes. (It took about a month to get to where I could touch her). I finally lured her into the house…Placed some food inside of the door, and when she finally creeped in, slammed the door. Scared the crap out of her (literally!) and she started climbing the curtains!! Finally got her in a cardboard box, and took her to the vets office. They sedated her, and checked her over (we didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl at the time.) and they spayed her that day. She came home the next day, and was still very groggy, but I got to hold her for the first time! Ever since then, she was a very loving cat.
It may some time, just start out feeding it, see if you can eventually pet it (I would recommend wearing gloves!), and go from there.

What a beautiful kitty Sparkles is!

Thanks everyone for all the advice. Feral Kitty actually took food from my hand this morning (through the cage) and started purring. I sat with it and talked to it and it seems to be calming down. Even got up and had a good stretch and “talked” to me.

(I think I might have another kitty)

Well there’s a lot of excellent advice here. Let us know what happens. My first thought was to let it go yeah, definitely get i tout of that cage. But the remarks of Tamar and yellow beetle make a lot of sense. I think you could do that, it’s worth a try.

We live in the city but have a country house. Once when we were gone a week, we returned to find a kitten had gotten locked in the house (probably down in the basement), made it’s way upstairs and was cowering under the bed. It had been in the house for a week without water or food. yikes. I gave it milk which it drank down fast as possible, then we tried to catch it. It tore down the stairs, out onto the sunporch and it was like watching a ping pong ball, it actually went straight up the walls and down and then back up round and round. Never saw a cat that wild. I finally opened the door and it shot straight out to the meadow. Never saw it again. We have a lot of dairy farms though and I’m sure half or all the wild cats end up in those barns in the winter. (they don’t call it the Cats kills for nothin)

Oh, I just read your latest post! Sounds like this kitty might not be that wild after all! Forget about what I said about getting it out of the cage, you seem to know what’s best and it’s working. Great!

whoo hoooo!!!

slow and steady wins the race, or the kitty in this case! :wink:

It sounds like she’s a bit more friendly than you first thought :cheering:

I hope you have lots of fun with her!!!

Sparkles is a beautiful Kitty!!!

My son was outside playing one day and this cat came out of the woods at first it would just come out if he was around and now he is the sweetest thing but will still run off when something different comes about… My indoor cat is the mean one she does this half moon circle around you with this looowww moan before she attacks… we call it her warning cry you can be just walking and she will do this… when I go home for a week she is sooo mad at me I guess it takes her a good 2wks to be nice again she is never nice to the kids, dog, or dh… :rollseyes: my mom won’t let her come down says she is to mean and she gave it to my son when I had Roo :??

Keep working with the cat it will slowly come around just needs alot of love and patience… I talk to all my animals ROTFLOL aww is mommy’s baby hungry? aww is mommy’s baby scared? aww are ya cold poor baby… my dh thinks I’m nuts but the kids talk to them too… :wink:

I wanted to attach pictures of my cat when I posted my previous reply but had none in my files.

So, I got hold of our friends’ camera the other day and took these:


What a beautiful baby Mitzi is!!! Does she know it or what?