Feral cats are wild cats, cats that have been abandoned by their humans, cats that have lost their way or cats that have been born in the wild and do not know any other life. Feral cat colonies usually get their start with one pregnant cat that has a litter and the litter grows and it has its own litters and it grows and grows. There is much to be said about feral cat colonies but we are discussing at this time taming and raising a feral kitten or exotic longhair cat for sale.
A pregnant feral cat will have its kittens in a fairly remote and hopefully safe place. Unless a human accidentally stumbles across the spot where the kittens are hiding it will be a while before anyone will see them and sometimes it will too late to try and catch them in an effort to rehabilitate them.
The best age to try and catch feral kittens is when they are about 4 to 6 weeks old. At this age they are not extremely active and mom has not taught them everything they need to know about living in the wild. They have had their mother’s milk, which is the best nutrition a kitten can have and have ingested the important antibodies that only a mother cat can give.
Trying to catch the older feral kittens will require a pet carrier or a humane trap. We have had good luck using several of our carriers in our attempts to catch older kittens by bribing them with food inside the carriers.
This only works if you are nearby and can pounce on the carrier the moment the kitten or kittens get in side and you can shut the door. The older the kittens the harder they are to handle and we suggest thick gloves and long sleeves. Kitten bites can be very painful and should be treated right away. Medical attention is suggested and the biting cat kept away from the others.
Not having any human contact a feral kitten will hiss and spit at you, as they are scared. The wildest one is probably the most scared. Our purpose in catching the feral kittens we knew about was to take them to a shelter where they would be fostered out, hand raised and socialized with the intent of finding good homes for them. The same method of using the carriers with a food bribe can be used to catch the older feral cats in order to have them spayed or neutered and returned to the colony.
If you have found the kittens, caught them and intend to raise them yourself the next intelligent thing to do is cart the kittens off to the vet and have them checked over. However, this might be like playing Russian roulette as you have very scared kittens that are seemingly fighting for their lives. Sometimes it is best to wait before taking them, as long as the kittens are isolated from any other pets and they show no visible signs of illness.
Undoubtedly you were aware of where the kittens were and had been planning to capture them as soon as they were older. In the event that you do not want to subject yourself and the kittens to the trauma of a vet visit right after you have captured them here are some suggestions.
* The kittens need peace and quiet for a few days with literally no handling. If you have not taken them to the vet for a check up and you have other animals in the house, you need to protect them from any diseases or infections the kittens may have. The new kittens need to be isolated from all of your household pets until the vet says they are healthy and you have tamed them.