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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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winter & kittens question

hello.

does anybody know how long kittens stay together in the wild? i've found some that are about 5/6 months old and i am wondering if it is best to leave them alone for the winter if we can't catch them all (as i live in northeast usa). i know they will huddle together for warmth- they all seem very close-knit. well we caught one yesterday and are wondering if we should release it back to its siblings tomorrow when the wind and rain stops. is this a good idea? do they need him for warmth? can they survive a harsh winter being so young? it's alreday getting bitter outside. plus- he seemed inseperable from the female sibling and i feel really bad having seperated them. only the one we got was trusting enough to be caught with a trap- the other 2 are way too smart/fast. what do you think? is it selfish to keep the one if the other 2 need him? he seems real upset to be inside without his brother and sister. i'm so upset/confused!

any thoughts/opinions would be great thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 05:20 PM
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I think you should try and catch the other 2. I know the north east has really cold winters and they might not be able to survive just the three of them. I wonder if you can have a little trail of food leading into your apt? or get little cats treats and tos them to them toss the next one closer to your place keep moving back while they fallow the treats then when you get them into another room closer the door. be sneaky keep your distance. or do a string trick. I know you have been trying to catch them for a while.


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 05:36 PM
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a no kill animal trap and a ton of canned cat foodor some raw meat. if not you need to call the local aspca.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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yes these are the same 3 kittens i posted about way back in August! the other 2 saw me catch the one i got yesterday and are now afraid of me all over again! they haven't been round today but i think thats cause its really cold and pouring rain. i really wish i had found a way to catch all 3 at once. it seems now they all hate me - even the one i caught! and my stupid apartment is on the 2nd floor and the actual entrance door always has people coming in and out so it'll be hard to lure them inside without intereference. and the trap i rented seems archaic and i manully closed it while the kitten was in there eatingyesterday - he was the most trusting- but when i shut it he really flipped out and scared the other two pretty badly. if i had cuaght two in the tarp at once i think it woud have been bloody- i mean i thought he was gonna kill himself thrashing against the metal! ugh! it kills me to think of it!

but anyway- we're scared to actually set the traps because they are size large and close REALLY hard and i'm so afraid the kittens will be injured. i really couldn't live with seeing a wounded kitten out in the cold knowing i caused the injury! anyway- i guess i should look on the brightside that at least i caught one of the three- but can't be happy b/c i feel consumed with guilt for robbing the other two of their brother! oh my i wish we lived in a world without stray animals!
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 05:43 PM
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This might take a while but i suggest gaining their trust again. They do eat the food you put out, manage to put your sent on the stuff so they know YOU are feeding them. Once they are there and are able to eat witha problem first start and sit about 10 feet away fromt he food then 9 feet then 6 just so they are used to your presence. hopefully they get it that you are the ones feeding them. Pretty soon the other 2 might allow you to pet them have one sit on your lap and pet it then the other might think its ok and once you got both of them with in reach (dont freak them out by moving to fast, slow gental) pick them up and take them in. Its trust you have to gain it back. I hope that works.


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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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thanks kitten76 and Trickiesmurf for your repiles!

Trickiesmurf- i agree with having to gain back their trust- and i could kick myself because i think i was ALMOST at the point where they were gonna let me pet them and then i weet and blew it by trapping one of them!!! i'm really just so mad at myself- because they used to race around me when i brought the food out- they would come right up to me and then run away like they were testing the waters to see if they should let me pet them. theres nothing worse than regret in situations like these! i'll bring them out fresh tuna tomorrow and hopefully it will start the pathway back to trust.

but- and this may be a stupid question- you don't think i should release the kitten i caught so the other two know i didnt hurt him?

thanks again for the replies.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 06:17 PM
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I dont know. I know that one cat is safe with you. We dont know even if you release him if all three of them will survive. MAybe what you can do is get a leashe and harnes so they can see eachother see that hes ok knowing that you are taking care of him not hurting him. Who knows maybe that will help getting them I have never had this problem. I would ask one of the more cat knowlegable people on here. I dont think its selfish that you want to keep him in the house.


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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-25-2005, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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thanks

i just took him out to switch him over from the trap to the huge kennel i set up for him to keep my other cat away from him. he seemed sorta calm... nope. he flipped out and it was just craziness and anarchy in my apt! i finally got him in settled into his house but he's real upset now. i don't know what to do! i used to work in a kennel that took in stray cats & kittens and still i never encountered a kitty as wild as this! i know he wants back outside. he just deosn't seem to realize what's in store for him outside the next couple months since he has never encountered a winter before. oh well. i guess i'll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. thanks again for the support.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 08:22 AM
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Thumbs up I feel for you!

I have tried to help numerous stray/feral kittens too, and it is so frustrating! You sound like me....you are a big softie. I have done the same thing, where I catch one, and then feel bad for taking it away from its siblings. I think the thing to do is for sure keep the one that you have inside, at least you know one of them is safe and warm. Catch the others as you can. It may not be overnight, but hopefully you'll eventually be able to do that. I am feeding about 6 feral cats right now. One of them has finally trusted me enough that he lets me pet him. I found someone that might want to take him, so I have to figure out a way to trap him. I already feel bad for him, because I know he'll be scared--even though it is the best thing for him. I'm such a big ol' softie!!! My emotions rule my life, I guess. Keep up the good work!!!! Those are lucky kitties to have someone like you looking out for them!!
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth1954
Keep up the good work!!!! Those are lucky kitties to have someone like you looking out for them!!
thanks! i am just such a softie where these strays are concerned! i just want to save them all- from the ones where i am to strays in every corner of the world!

today we fed them tuna and they all ate, plus we put out the usual 3 big dishes of kitten food- but now the parents are also coming around!!! especially the mother - and so we've been putting out adult food too. it seems we buy more food for them than ourselves! but i will keep trying to catch them- for now we are building a solar winter shelter in the woods for them just in case we can't get them all. i read about how to build it online - i guess a solar cover will keep it upwards of 70 dgerees inside there when its freezing outside! i hope it works- cause its getting cold afst and there will always be strays outside this apartment complex! there's just so many!

thanks again for the reply!
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 05:07 PM
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You are near to falling into a trap that I see every year with deer.

People feel sorry for them and feed them in the winter. This food keeps the deer well fed, but it also enables them to breed. If they had lean times in the winter, they wouldn't breed ...and therefore overpopulate their habitat.

Spring comes, and these well fed deer have more fawns than the area can support. Then there is starvation, stunted growth for those that survive, and calls to "cull" the population for it's own good from hunters and wildlife professionals....

By feeding these guys, you are perpetuating the cycle of breeding of ferals.

The humane thing to do IMO would be to catch them (I've never seen one hurt by a hav-a-hart live trap, and I've seen hundreds trapped) in a humane trap and give them to the local shelter or aspca or animals control.

Living in the wild is no picnic, either for them, or the thousands of native animals they kill. You can save them the injuries from other cats, poisoning or torture from cruel humans, death by dogs, the pain and suffering of diseases and parasites, or injury and death from a car.... just to name a few things...

Bob



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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 05:46 PM
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here where I live we have the feline foundation and they will fix feral cats for free or 5 dollars a cat they even provide the traps, maybe you have something like that there, its where you trap them, take them in, they get fixed and then they get released back to where they were

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mygala
By feeding these guys, you are perpetuating the cycle of breeding of ferals.
yup i knew all that. thanks anyway.

and don't worry- chances are their gonna die anyway in a couple months when they can't trudge through the high snow banks to get to food. so in the end i guess the problem i'm perpetuating will no longer exist.

i mean they're just little kittens - they've never experienced winter -how could anyone be so cruel

and i have been trying to trap them since the end of August when i discovered them in the garbage dumpster so please save your comments about perpetuating problems for someone else.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyDancer
here where I live we have the feline foundation and they will fix feral cats for free or 5 dollars a cat they even provide the traps, maybe you have something like that there, its where you trap them, take them in, they get fixed and then they get released back to where they were

thanks HappyDancer- but nope- we dont have anything quite like that here. you can fix strays for chepaer but surely not $5! in fact, the humane society wont even see a stray cat until i make an appointment and they have free space - and it always takes at least a week. but i willl keep checking cause that is a very good idea to spay or neuter them and then release them back so they can't procreate.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 10-26-2005, 06:06 PM
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um Mygala wasn't telling you to leave them out there to die. He was simply saying the best thing to do is to (in his opninion) is to catch them and take them to a shelter, not return them to the wild after winter.
You're right, they are just innocent kittens, just like the animals they will grow up and prey on are innocent too.

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