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Cat Chat

Integrating a feral cat or kitten into your home

Thinking of adopting or taking in a feral cat or kitten, these steps below should help.

10 steps to introducing a feral cat or kitten into your home

In honour of our little Dona kitten we thought we'd make the next instalment in our How to Raise Orphaned Kittens series all about introducing a feral cat or kitten into your home.

1.Give them a small, dark, safe place to be in when they first arrive - my large shower enclosure is ideal - it can hold - a cat basket; a litter tray; a food 'station' and water bowl and a place to sit and take in new sounds and smells (don't forget to shut the doors - that's the safe bit).

2.If the animal is in your bathroom - don't leave the toilet seat up !!

3.Remember you are enormous so make yourself as small as possible and don't present all of you at any one time - how would you like a 50 metre cat standing over you and making silly noises!!

4.Spend time just sitting in the same room without making contact - don't forget to take a book or some sewing with you!

5.Talk softly all the time you are with the animal so they get used to your sound as well as your smell and size.

6.When it's time to make first contact offer your hand palm up - palm down is the world's largest paw, paws have claws and therefore need to be attacked.

7.Before you let the animal out into the next part of the room seal up the nooks and crannies - trying to retrieve an angry/scared cat from under a cupboard is no fun for you or the animal. Also they may get themselves into a position where they can't get out - moving the bathroom sink unit isn't fun either. Don't even think about extending the animals living space until you are sure they are ready to move on - your instincts will tell you.

8.Protect your 'bathroom' take all the goodies and plants out before letting the cat into the large area.

9.Don't try to pick up or touch an angry or scared cat - you know you will come off worse and the cat will just become more afraid. The first touch should just be a very gentle stroke.

10.Be prepared for surprises - all your best plans will be laid to waste when the animal surprises you - the first contact George the First made with me was when he played with the (red) end of a knitting needle I was using. It made a mess of the jumper and I would never have thought of using a red pointy stick to make contact with, but hey, it worked!

This process takes time and patience, the younger the animal the quicker it will be, but in all cases it's most definitely worth the effort.


Five reasons why to adopt TWO kittens instead of one

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