Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

Can a feral kitten be tamed?

I found two kittens in my yard the other week, very cute, very playful but skittish around humans. One of them is now missing and the other one has been crying out for it all day. I don't see this kitten surviving alone.

If I capture it, can it be tamed as an indoor cat?

by Anonymousreply 72November 26, 2021 2:00 AM

Yes they can be tamed. YouTube might have tips. Hope you find the missing one.

by Anonymousreply 1November 17, 2021 6:37 PM

This might help.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2November 17, 2021 6:39 PM
Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3November 17, 2021 6:39 PM

Yes they can become tame, OP. My mother has a former feral kitten. It's not as affectionate as my cats (that could be personality though), but it's tame and friendly.

by Anonymousreply 4November 17, 2021 6:39 PM
Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5November 17, 2021 6:40 PM

It depends. Older cats will be stuck in their way's So good luck with that

by Anonymousreply 6November 17, 2021 6:40 PM

I hope you find the other sweetheart OP. what colour are they? Were you feeding them anything?

by Anonymousreply 7November 17, 2021 6:44 PM

Unless you live in an area where there's a significant feral population, meaning generations of cats living as wild animals, it's reasonable to assume that any strays you see are house cats that ran away or were dumped. Keep in mind that cats may be shy not because they're not used to humans but the humans they've dealt with before were assholes, so be patient.

by Anonymousreply 8November 17, 2021 6:45 PM

Also, if you decide to take it in, get a vet appointment for it right away because it'll need deworming and vaccines before it's fully safe to live with. The vet can also evaluate its condition and behavior. If you don't have a lot of money your local humane society should have a low cost clinic.

by Anonymousreply 9November 17, 2021 6:49 PM

R7 The remaining one is a marbled tortoiseshell kitten. I looked it up. The missing kitten, who was the more dominant, assertive one, was all gray. I'd been leaving them dry food for about a week. My concern for the remaining kitten is the weather, plus there are predators out here.

by Anonymousreply 10November 17, 2021 7:01 PM

Ask the local aspca if they have a trap to borrow. They might even get you in touch with someone who will trap it for you. If you're going to keep the kitten, they'll be more likely to help. If not aspca, look for other local organizations who TNR.

by Anonymousreply 11November 17, 2021 7:17 PM

Yes in fact a feral can become tame. Cats are driven by kindness and care.

by Anonymousreply 12November 17, 2021 7:22 PM



by Anonymousreply 13November 17, 2021 7:24 PM

yes, absolutely. Some will even become 'normal' but not all of them. My friend 'S' takes feral kitten fosters regularly. She has a giant cage with stories in a spare bedroom for them.

by Anonymousreply 14November 17, 2021 7:24 PM

Years ago I took in a feral cat who was at least 3 years old without much hope that she could be domesticated. For the first year it was pretty tough. She was hostile, she hissed a lot, she didn't always use the litter box, but I did see progress. Then, weirdly, some trigger must have gone off in her brain a year later and suddenly she became totally domesticated and sweet. It's almost as if we were doing some kind of behavioral conditioning and it worked. Now she's adorable, she's affectionate, she's playful, and when guests come she jumps on their lap (whether they like it or not) and she's a totally new cat.

You never know with cats, but most of them will, slowly, allow you to domesticate them once they figure out how much better their life will become. A few will always stay feral, and a few will just melt that first day. But for most feral, it takes a while. Be patient. Be kind. Be a good cat companion.

by Anonymousreply 15November 17, 2021 7:29 PM

If you are able to catch it/them, call your dr for some antibiotics for yourself. you may get bit and you WILL need them. Get some elbow length work gloves.

by Anonymousreply 16November 17, 2021 7:31 PM

Yes. Kittens adapt very quickly. My last cat was a tiny thing who had been born in a parking lot. I took her in when she was less than two months old. She was scared and hissed a lot, but she warmed up quickly, and became very affectionate.

by Anonymousreply 17November 17, 2021 7:37 PM

Absolutely. Just have some patience and it should work out.

by Anonymousreply 18November 17, 2021 7:46 PM

OP does she/he stay in the same area or wanders off? Do they eat the food?

by Anonymousreply 19November 17, 2021 7:56 PM

When I moved to this area about 8 years ago thee was a tiny white cat that lived in the Starbucks parking lot. She was tiny but fill the. People would dump sushi and fast food for her to eat. The staff at Starbucks said that she lived there for about 3 years - her name was Brevie - after the coffee drink. Upshot I had 3 cats at home - all had found me and I moved them when I moved. I visited Brevie and brought her cat food and sat with her everyday for six months - she was a fabulous little serious girl. One day I just scooped her up and brought her home. She cleaned up like a beauty and all of the cats got along fine. She slept on the bed and and loved to sit on the back of the couch and watch out the window. She was playful and happy - a wonderful little thing - what a nightmare she had surfing on her own like that. She lived here with me for 7 years. She started acting odd and getting thin - I took her to the vet last month - she had a huge cancerous tumor on her abdomen - I held her while the vet “sent her home” - she had her housemates Black Kitty and Anderson Cooper waiting for her. It was an honor to have her in my life. My little Tabby Sunny is 13 and the only one left of the 4 - since Brevie died last month he roams around and cries and cries.

by Anonymousreply 20November 17, 2021 8:00 PM

Surviving not surfing!!

by Anonymousreply 21November 17, 2021 8:01 PM

R19 They've been camped out near a toolshed in my yard with shrubbery around it. They definitely eat the food. That's how I realized the other kitten was missing, because it was usually the first to emerge.

by Anonymousreply 22November 17, 2021 8:33 PM

A lot of good advice and information here.

I have an ex-feral living with me. She was nervous and skittish when I adopted her from the SPCA, and it took a long while for her to become comfortable living in a house. In fact she hid herself in my walk-in closet for about two weeks. My older cat, Charlie, was smitten with her. One night he planted himself outside the closed bedroom door and serenaded her. The "song" went on and on and on. She came out of the closet and crouched near the door where she listened attentively to his serenade.

It took several months for her to get really comfortable with house living. Even then, she would bolt from the house if she got a chance, and run across a field into a semi-wooded area where there are a few houses. The owners became accustomed to seeing a madman frantically pursuing a running cat.

Now she is thoroughly a house cat.

My father fed and adopted several ferals over the years. One of them had to be swooped up with a dip-net. He had a magic touch with cats and could sweet-talk even the toughest cases.

by Anonymousreply 23November 17, 2021 8:40 PM

We had a full grown adult feral cat set up base in our backyard for about 10 yrs. She was unmanageable at first but over the course of the decade (!) thawed out a bit, to the point where you could pet her without getting bitten or hissed at, & she would wander in the house for about 5 mins before wigging out. I think she was harder to “tame” because she was on her own for so long.

by Anonymousreply 24November 17, 2021 9:48 PM

Thanks for all of the tips! I will be borrowing a trap tomorrow.

by Anonymousreply 25November 17, 2021 11:53 PM

Since it is a kitten - and a kitten suddenly without his mom and sibling - you will be his family - he is afraid right not - he doesn’t really know if you are friend or foe. He will turn out to be such a dear companion! Good for you for stepping up and taking care of this sweet little orphan!

by Anonymousreply 26November 18, 2021 12:53 AM

They can, but it takes patience.

by Anonymousreply 27November 18, 2021 5:32 AM

I hope you find the missing kitten, OP. Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 28November 18, 2021 5:39 AM

Any update on the kitten OP?

by Anonymousreply 29November 18, 2021 8:48 PM

I tame one down by plsying with her, would put an old pillow down and put my hand under it stick out fingers and wiggle them. The kitten will try to catch them. My hand got really scratched up but it was worth it ! What a wonderful cat she was. But she was ALWAYS wary of strangers, she never got over that. Good luck to you and your new baby.( the best kind of baby an animal)

by Anonymousreply 30November 18, 2021 9:43 PM

Update: I caught the kitten but now it's been hiding under the bed for hours.

I left food, water and a litterbox for it nearby.

by Anonymousreply 31November 19, 2021 3:15 AM

Hi - I am the one that brought Brevie the Starbucks cat home. I brought her home Friday afternoon - she hid under the bed. I put a litter box in the room and scooted a small plate of food under the bed. She stayed under the bed from Friday afternoon and on Sunday night when I opened the bedroom door around 7pm she was relaxing on top of the bed. DON’T WORRY — the under the bed thing is normal. Congrats and good job with Kitty!!

by Anonymousreply 32November 19, 2021 4:33 AM

Both my spoiled housecats started life as feral kittens. They were taken from their mother at about six weeks old and I got them at around 8 weeks, and they've made a complete adjustment to the house cat life. They're sweet, purry, cuddly, affectionate, well-behaved, perfect house cats, and the only remnant of their feral past is that the really dumb one still startles easily.

Usually, any feral cat that gets taken in as a kitten makes a good adjustment to house cats, it's the older cats who don't always adapt well. But sometimes adult feral cats decide they're going to stay with a human, or come and go and develop a relationship, and I know of one case where a young adult feral (slightly less than a year old) who was being fed in the yard marched into the house one day and took up residence.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 33November 19, 2021 4:40 AM

Hey OP - did Kitty come out from under the bed?

by Anonymousreply 34November 19, 2021 10:34 PM

[quote]My little Tabby Sunny is 13 and the only one left of the 4 - since Brevie died last month he roams around and cries and cries.

That's so sad. Have you thought about getting him a little brother or sister?

by Anonymousreply 35November 20, 2021 2:16 AM

#35 - Yes - it is funny all 4 of the original bunch “appeared” one by one - teenagers - loners and became so bonded with each other. The first day Brevie came to me at Starbucks I felt like she was mine but I didn’t want to take her out of her element - until I did! …. I have been keeping my eyes open for a friend for Sunny - I thought maybe a young brother and sister so he doesn’t have pressure to entertain. He brought a live squirrel into my room from the back yard a few weeks ago - he is getting restless! … Two weeks ago on the Nextdoor app someone wanted a home for “Lucy” an 8 year old tuxedo cat. Her human died and they were going to take her to a rescue. I thought she would be perfect - I would have loved to have had the chance to make a new life for her. Luckily someone adopted her. So we will find a new friend for Sunny, soon. I really miss little Brevie.

by Anonymousreply 36November 20, 2021 5:22 AM

Chinese restaurants know how to handle feral kittens.

by Anonymousreply 37November 20, 2021 4:51 PM

Well, it's bedtime, and same as every night, my elderly cat who started life as a feral kitten is draped across my chest, purring like a chainsaw. Of course there was a bit of a struggle first, because he was absolutely determined to flop on my chest the moment I lay down, and I had to resist the purring and remove him for long enough to pull up the blankets.

So yes, OP, a feral kitten can become an excellent house cat.

by Anonymousreply 38November 23, 2021 10:06 AM

R38 your cat sounds magnificent X

by Anonymousreply 39November 23, 2021 4:02 PM

I work for an animal shelter. We have a program to catch feral cats to neuter and vaccinate them, then return them to their habitat. Historically they aren't candidates for adoption. Feral cats actually provide a service to the community.

by Anonymousreply 40November 23, 2021 4:46 PM

[quote]I found two kittens in my yard the other week, very cute, very playful but skittish around humans. One of them is now missing and the other one has been crying out for it all day. I don't see this kitten surviving alone.

If I capture it, can it be tamed as an indoor cat?

You just know this is going to be turned into Oscar bait starring Melissa McCarthy

by Anonymousreply 41November 23, 2021 4:52 PM

#38 - Your big old cat sounds like a love bug!!

#40 - Funny how some won’t socialize. Their is a big Tabby “Tab Hunter” who has been coming around for 6 or more years and has no desire to become part of the gang or come inside. If I bring a plate of food out for him he runs away. Yet Brevie who was catch and release lived in the parking lot and hid in the drain and people’s wheel wells came into the house like a little princess. You are a good person to work for an animal shelter!!

by Anonymousreply 42November 23, 2021 7:27 PM

There not their!!

by Anonymousreply 43November 23, 2021 7:27 PM

Not if she has a whip!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 44November 23, 2021 7:33 PM

Unless the animal was young and abandoned, I see no reason to try to tame a feral cat. Leave them alone.

by Anonymousreply 45November 23, 2021 7:36 PM

Watch this video of a feral kitten:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 46November 23, 2021 7:51 PM

Every cat is different. Even older community cats sometimes love the chance at an indoor life.

by Anonymousreply 47November 23, 2021 7:58 PM

r46 Seems like way too much trouble for one stupid pussy.

by Anonymousreply 48November 24, 2021 12:28 AM

I don’t think so, r46. The kitty got a loving home because a kind person took it in.

by Anonymousreply 49November 24, 2021 12:42 AM


by Anonymousreply 50November 24, 2021 1:32 AM

With young kittens you can pick them up by their neck, firmly hold them, and take a warm wet soft washcloth and gently rub it on their anus to mimic their mommy cleaning them. And afterwards give them yummy wet food.

Lol cue the DL jokes but it does work.

by Anonymousreply 51November 24, 2021 1:54 AM

^ That's sick

by Anonymousreply 52November 24, 2021 1:57 AM

I caught one at work (maybe five or six weeks old? I forget what the vet said). We had an older cat who was very mean to the kitten. Two kids who were under ten and were crazy and tried to play with him. He only really bonded to my husband. Eventually the mean older cat died and it took us about a year to be ready to adopt again. We got a kitten who has a great personality and now the two guys are good friends. Feral cat is around nine years old and overweight. He still only likes my husband (and now he likes the younger cat too) but he is happy as heck.

I guess my point is that the feral cat might never be perfect, but so what. It still needs a place to live.

by Anonymousreply 53November 24, 2021 2:01 AM

that kitten at r46 is incredibly chill for a feral kitten (fortunately for the woman in the video)

by Anonymousreply 54November 24, 2021 2:11 AM

This is a great educational and realistic training video. it's pretty much what my friend 'S' does and it's what I do with fear aggressive dogs

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 55November 24, 2021 2:20 AM

I have a former feral cat. She was living on the street til she was 8 months (ended up giving birth in an alley to 5 kittens and being rescued by a cat charity). She is 6 years old now and I love her. Very low maintenance and appreciative of food and treats. However she is not a cuddly cat overall and has some skittish tendencies still. I am pretty sure she experienced abuse/bad stuff being born and growing up outdoors in the city so I never impose contact on her; i let her come to me when she wants which she does pretty frequently these days.

She was extremely nervous/anxious for about the first month inside. Feeding her regularly and giving her her own private space/leaving her alone made her trust us I think. She began to get closer and even sleep at the foot of the bed after 2/3 months. She has no interest in going outside at all to this day.

She’s also an excellent mouser and shows love in her own way, usually eye blinking and showing her belly whilst sitting across the room.

by Anonymousreply 56November 24, 2021 3:32 AM

Well it took awhile but the kitten eventually stopped hiding under the bed some days ago. I knew it was eating and using the litter box though because I'd hear it at night. She lets me pet her now and purrs, although she can be skittish if approached by surprise. She's getting her shots today. Thanks, Datalounge!

by Anonymousreply 57November 24, 2021 1:28 PM

That is great news! Patience and kindness did the trick. What a memorable Thanksgiving for the two of you! Please keep us posted!

by Anonymousreply 58November 24, 2021 4:51 PM

I love this update!

by Anonymousreply 59November 24, 2021 5:38 PM

I have a couple ferals. They're happy indoors sleeping all day, eating and pooping. They don't have to be lap cats. And I'm not too offfended when I approach them and they dart away; we have an understanding.

by Anonymousreply 60November 24, 2021 5:50 PM

R57 any chance of a pic? Very glad for your patience and kindness. Sorry the other kitty disappeared.

by Anonymousreply 61November 24, 2021 6:38 PM

It depends on what kind of cat you like. In my experience, feral cats will sit in a room with you, but seldom let you cuddle. I think if you get them young enough, like 6-7 weeks, they can be domesticated. Unless, they have tasted blood. Then all bets are off.

by Anonymousreply 62November 24, 2021 6:42 PM

I've had cats that came from litters that friends had - indoors, meals, litter box and every domestic convenience - and some of THOSE were not overly friendly, not lap cats, a little skittish. Many times it the cat, not where it came from. And really, an outdoor stray is not necessarily "feral."

by Anonymousreply 63November 24, 2021 8:00 PM

I had a male five year old feral who was terribly traumatized and skittish. He became such a big lover boy. Never would have known that he was feral. Also have experienced the same with a starving and abused female black kitten I found in the dumpster during a snow storm. She’s the biggest lover. Look up some YouTube videos. All ferals don’t stay detached. Best wishes.

by Anonymousreply 64November 24, 2021 8:05 PM

I posted about my formerly feral love-bug at R38, my other cat is also a very sweet feral who came to me as a kitten, but she's retained a few feral traits. She's affectionate but very much on her own terms, she will startle away if I reach down to pet her from a standing position or try to pick her up, she hates being loomed over by large beings so she only wants to be petted while I am sitting down, or when she jumps onto my person (without warning) while I am seated or lying down. When she's willing to accept petting she's intensely purry, when not, she's very playful, ridiculously cute and fluffy, charming and chirpy, very well-mannered, an excellent little cat. But she has stated her boundaries in a way that a totally domesticated cat will not.

She's also dumb as a rock, which may have something to do with her failure to completely domesticate.

by Anonymousreply 65November 24, 2021 8:39 PM

[quote]Can a feral kitten be tamed?

Hold it under water long enough and you'll never been bitten or scratched again.

I've seen it work a hundred times!

by Anonymousreply 66November 24, 2021 8:53 PM

My Pomeranian dog Lucky died at 16 after being blind and diabetic at the end. The last year was full of medicine and vet trips - it was a heart break to let him go. The house was so quiet without him. About 3 months later - the hot muggy weekend of Hurricane Katrina (I’m in Ca) a stunning sleek jungle black cat started sleeping on my front porch. I would open the door and she would March right in go find a cool bedroom and sleep for hours then she would turn and leave with total confidence. I sometimes wondered if she was my dog Lucky. I just called her Black Kitty or Kitty Carlisle - if she was human she looked like Dixie Carter - I LOVED her - she she loved me more than any of my other pets ever did. Tabby Sunny strolled through the back door a year or so later. A badly injured Anderson Cooper arrived around the same time. A few years later I brought Brevie home - the were all so sweet. Black Kitty died from kidney failure 2 years ago - she was really spectacular - I miss her live crazy. A coyote killed Anderson a month later. Brevie died from Cancer this summer. 13 year old Tabby Sunny is snoozing by my side right now - but I mentioned him earlier!

by Anonymousreply 67November 25, 2021 12:13 AM

What do you mean hold it under water? Like trying to drown it or under a faucet? Water boarding?

by Anonymousreply 68November 25, 2021 1:06 AM

There's a reason those cats came to you, R67; they were lucky to have you.

by Anonymousreply 69November 25, 2021 1:23 AM

R64, those are NOT feral cats.

by Anonymousreply 70November 25, 2021 1:29 AM

#69 - Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 71November 25, 2021 3:14 AM

How is the new Kitty doing?

by Anonymousreply 72November 26, 2021 2:00 AM
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!