Kittens born to community cats are usually given birth to in quiet, hidden places where no one will see them for a couple of weeks. Without any human contact, they will become feral whether or not their mother is a lost house cat. They see people as predators and would act accordingly. These feral kittens will act out their fear and anxiety by hissing, spitting, and fleeing from human contact.
It is a great thing if you are
considering socializing a feral kitten. However, socializing feral kittens is
not an easy job. To help you out with the process, we have put together this
piece. Read how to socialize feral hissy kittens.
To make pets out of feral kittens, they will need to be socialized. Socializing a cat means the same thing as taming. Adopting kittens into your home can be a thrilling experience, but it is important to be aware that socializing them requires the commitment of time, consistency, and patience.
Anyone can socialize feral kittens that are about eight weeks or younger quite easily. To do this successfully, you will need to follow some simple steps. The best time to socialize feral kittens is within 14 to 49 days of their lives.
It is during these early days that kittens form bonds with cats, humans, and other animals. It could take as long as 28 to 56 days to socialize a feral kitten. There is no exact answer to how long it takes to socialize a feral kitten, but it could take more time and skill to socialize kittens older than two months.
Feral kittens older than two
months of age can be safely neutered or spayed if they weigh at least two
pounds. Another thing about socializing older feral kittens is that some of
these cats cannot be socialized. However, if you think you might not be up for
the challenge of socializing the kittens, or if they are over four months of
age, the kittens should be trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and returned to the
Make The Kittens Comfortable
Cats feel safer when they are on a higher platform and can observe their surroundings. So, when you're setting up the crate that will be their new living quarters, it should be placed off the floor.
When the kittens are brought inside and set up in their crate, allow them to take in the change of environment for about two days before you try to socialize them. When you decide to begin spending time with the young kittens, you should start by making slow movements, speaking softly, and try to avoid loud, startling sounds like banging doors, loud music, or tv.
After spending a few days with the kitten, you can now try to leave a tv or radio on so they can try getting used to people's voices and other sounds. If there are no other pets in your home, you can place the crate in a busy part of the home where the cat can see and hear what's happening around them.
Kittens will react very well to positive experiences and negatively to negative experiences. So you should reward your kittens when they perform well, and avoid scolding, hitting, or raising your voice at them.
Suppose you encounter a litter of kittens that aren't socializing fast enough, separate the kittens into individual spaces or crates so that they need people more than usual. Also, you can try spending more one-on-one time with each kitten. When the kittens are more comfortable with you, you can reunite them with the rest of their family.
If you're trying to socialize hissy feral kittens or a scared kitten, all of the hissings, spitting, and hiding are just signs of fear, not aggression, so you should be patient.
Socializing With Food
A great way to win kittens over is through food. Feeding the kittens gives them a reason to interact and bond with you. When you bring food for the kittens, hang around, so they associate you with the food and start trusting you. If they're shy or scared, try feeding them with a spoon.
After a while, you could move the food bowl closer to you while you're in the room. When the kittens are very comfortable with you, they won't mind crawling over you to get to their food.
While the kittens are feeding, you could go ahead to pet them.
Also, you shouldn't rush into holding the kittens. It's also advised that you don't give kittens food on your finger, and don't let them play with your hand, bite or scratch you. Getting bitten can be a painful experience, plus for kittens, it could make them think it's okay to bite.
Socialize With Play
When you take out time to play with kittens, it helps them build trust with you. At least two hours of play each day can do the trick. As you try to socialize each of the kittens in their litter, you should be down at their level.
After spending enough time with
the kittens and they're okay with you holding them. As often as possible, be
sure to hold them close enough to your body that they can feel your body warmth
and heartbeat. Also, Kittens, around 21 to 28 days old, will have a great time
playing with toys, so you should encourage it.
Everyone expects that after socializing feral kittens, they will immediately become comfortable around people and pets. However, for you to successfully socialize a feral kitten, it needs patience and commitment. If before now, you’ve always asked, ‘how do I socialize a feral cat?’, we hope you have found this article to be helpful.
Making the decision to socialize feral kittens is not an easy undertaking, so be well prepared before you go about it. Are you currently socializing kittens? Or do you know someone who is? Talk to us about your experience, share your thoughts, and also feel free to ask us your questions about the process.