Rescue Story: Along the Road to Socialization

three kittens in carrier
The three kittens.

The last time we saw these kittens, on July 22, there were only two in the carrier. Since then, their elusive and resistant longhaired sibling, who’d been hanging out with their mom, Angry, who was trying to prevent the kitten from going into a trap, was surprisingly trapped. Jan, their caretaker, decided to try to socialize the kittens, though she’s never done this before. I’ve been giving her information almost daily about what to expect and how to work with them, and though they were about 10 weeks when trapped they are doing well.

Not sure of me!

The third kitten was trapped over a week after the two others, and was not only outdoors without its siblings but without its mother for five days too. That can change a kitten’s chances for adequate socialization at that age. By that time the other two kittens were playing well in their crate when no one was looking, and were eating well and healthy. Jan could get into the crate each day to clean the litterbox and change the food bowls, and had been encouraging them to play with wand toys. The little black one was the most willing, but they both came out to play.

While it looked as if the longhaired kitten might take after its reactive mother, the kitten seems to be softening up. When she first put it into the cage with the others, both of them forgot all their slight socialization skills and hid behind their hissing sibling, who crouched on top of the carrier in the crate and a few times tried to escape. But time worked its magic and while the longhaired kitten is still behind the other two in socialization and still hisses when Jan comes to work with them, it’s not serious. She can touch the black one, and the black and tabby will both take treats from her.

She brought a dish of food to the crate, but the most important part of the magic has been Noah.

Noah

She adopted Noah from a shelter at age seven and he’s now nine years old. He’s a Persian mix, here with a lion cut that’s growing out. He’s been fascinated with the kittens from the beginning. When he began visiting them with Jan is when the first two started to soften up toward her. Now he walks around the crate and checks in with them and they are excited to see him.

Noah with the black kitten.

At first the kittens stayed in their carrier because of me, but when Jan brought out the toys the tabby came out first, and then the black one couldn’t resist.

I was thrilled they came out at all while I was there! They hadn’t seen other humans aside from a neighbor once. The tabby was a little too nervous to sustain this, but the black kitten was very brave, staying out to play with Noah watching, then finally looking right at me.

Noah and the kitten.

 

The longhaired kitten never did come out while I was there, but I was thrilled the other two did. Our goal is to socialize them and surrender them to one of the shelters, since neither of us has the time to work with a shelter. This will probably take another month at least, but Jan can interact with them several times a day, and once she gets on petting terms with them shell let them out of the crate into the small basement room

Would you like to donate some canned food for the kittens?

I picked up some donated dry food for the kittens, but they need canned food too and she could really use the help for that—she’s already feeding a half dozen cats outside. If anyone would like to donate to buy some kitten food, or would like to buy some and ship it to her or me, let me know. Chewy has many choices. I used to use Fancy Feast because it’s the most available and the least expensive, but I noticed it has “real milk” in it and it doesn’t specify if it’s cow’s milk or not. Goat milk would be fine, but we all know that cats don’t digest cow’s milk well, and it can actually upset their digestion. Triumph has a turkey pate kitten food that’s about the same price and it actually comes in 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. cans. These two are eating everything in sight as they should be at this age, so the larger cans would be a better deal.

So wish her luck as the kittens are socialized! We plan to surrender them to one of the shelters we work with when they are ready for adoption.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

4 thoughts on “Rescue Story: Along the Road to Socialization

  • August 18, 2021 at 6:56 pm
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    The are so sweet. Our Simon and Seal were trapped at 9 months old and it took a year for them to be totally comfortable with us.

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 7:39 pm
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      She can’t keep these three, so they have to get to where they like other people enough to be surrendered to a shelter. I wish I could get my hands on them! I’ve had older ones too, and they are so rewarding when they finally let go.

      Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 7:37 pm
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      Aren’t they all? That little black one is pretty charming, with a very long tail that swishes around.

      Reply

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