I have chosen Misty because she is the most challenging of
the kittens I have taken in this year.
The reason being is that Misty was about eight to ten weeks old when she
was bought to me from the feral community, about four weeks older than the age
a feral kitten will be easily socialized.
I believe however the circumstances work out Misty will have
a better life than what she had in the community.
I am constantly learning about how to care and socialize
feral cats and kittens and every one is a creative challenge. This keeps me going
on the days I
either get discouraged or am just nervous about placement of a cat or kitten.
Misty has been a great inspiration for me.
Some really interesting things I learned from Misty include
the following. I am using a long
thin dowel to get Misty’s attention whenever I crawl in the cage with the
kittens. I pair the stick with
some good tasting food and tap the stick.
When no food is available, the kitten will go for the stick. After discovering
this technique, I found
some interesting information on the Internet about clicker training with cats,
which works on the same principle of what I am doing. See link at end of this article for article.
This is a big
step for Misty as when I first got her she spent all her time hiding in a
box. The other kittens in with her
are a bit more socialized as I got them three weeks younger than Misty so they
set a good example.
My next stage with the kittens is letting them out of their
pen a few hours a day. Right now,
I crawl in their pen with them.
The problem with letting the kittens out to early is that
they like to hide and to have to chase them to get them back in the pen would
set them back in the socialization process. Enticing them, back with food or with the stick does not
always work in a timely fashion and sometimes it takes an hour or so to get
them back which I don’t always have the time for.
Misty is not violent but still hissing and shying away from
any new people or changes in her environment.
The other two kittens are almost at a point where they can
be touched and handled after three weeks.
I am hoping also, Misty will follow in their paw prints.