How to Catch and Tame a Wild Kitten – Five Easy Steps
If you’ve ever tried catching a wild kitten right off the streets you have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about. No matter how small they are, they put up a fight and usually your hands end up looking like they’ve been invited to a massacre.
I’m not kidding! Your warm-hearted action of helping a small baby cat may end up impaired if you’re not careful.
Then, there’s the “Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into!” part. Yes, once you’ve seen a small frightened kitten in your home coming straight at you looking like it’s ready to call you lunch, this will be on your mind.
Here are five easy steps you can follow that may help you succeed in making the world a better place, at least for one baby cat. Be advised that you should only try this if you’re an adult.
1) A Good Deed
No matter how much you’re in the mood to do a good deed, first and foremost you should think about the implications of what you’re doing.
Saving a baby cat from the streets IS a good deed, but you should consider things like: What do I do afterwards? Where do I keep it? Can I afford to take good care of it? If not, do I know anyone who can?
I’m sure you’ve heard of owners who for the worst reasons abandon their pets. Keep this in mind before doing your good deed: a wild cat may have a tough life out there, but once it’s been tamed, it will most likely not survive life on the streets.
2) Protection Always!
That said, back to the good deed stuff! If, in conscience, you’ve decided to help a small cat, never try to catch it unprotected - been there, done that! When trying to catch a kitten, always wear thick gloves. In my experience garden gloves will do!
Small cats may look sweet and adorable but trust me on this; they will bite you to the bone if they have a chance. Put yourself in the kitten’s shoes. Wouldn’t you be scared if a big giant was out to get you? Of course you would!
3) Motivation is Key!
A scared kitten will most likely run off quickly and you’ll never lay your eyes on it again. But a hungry scared kitten will still run away from you, but not from the food you’re carrying!
Instead of simply grabbing the little cat, even if you’re wearing protection gloves, why not try to get it to come to you? In order to do this with the least stress possible for yourself and for the small cat, you should have a pet transportation box or a box that you can safely close without hurting both yourself and the kitten - remember, small cats may be as little as to fit the palm of you hand!
Then, open a can of food (wet cat food works best) and make sure to let the small cat have a sniff of the lid. Place the can inside the pet transportation box but make sure the kitten has to get in to have access to the food. After this, sit very still and be patient.
Once the kitten is safely inside your box, feasting on the food, close the box. Be careful not to make any sudden movement when you’re doing this for the kitten may attempt to get away and you can unwillingly hurt it - remember, cats are pretty fast, even small ones!
4) Above All Safety!
At this stage it’s critical that you wear your protection gloves all the time. If you have other animals in your home, make sure they don’t come in contact with the new element for it may carry diseases. So, in order to make this a safe journey, take the baby cat to the vet ASAP.
Once home, place it into an enclosed environment that you can have easy access to, like a closed balcony, or a bathroom, although a closed balcony works best. This space should also provide enough hiding places for your scared kitten to run and hide. Make sure your host has access to food, water, a bathroom and a soft bed. Then, simply allow it to enjoy the safety of your home.
5) Love Breaks All Barriers!
Make no mistake, even after your host has been living in your house for a few days, and is already used to seeing you get into it’s space daily to change the water, refill the bowl with tasty food, and perhaps even being handled a few times, this doesn’t mean that it is not scared any more.
So, last but not least, comes the shock therapy (for you, not the little one!). If you’re brave enough you may consider trying this. Put on thick and soft clothes – if you have soft polar clothes it helps due to the immediate warmth they provide. With the same love and care with which you would hold a child – always safely protected by your gloves – very gently pick your kitten up and place him close to your heart (be careful and make sure you have your baby cat safely tucked in your hands and specially away from your face – some polar clothes go all the way up to your nose!).
It is said that the baby cat will be able to listen to your heartbeat and calm down and relax. It may be scared but if you lay still and keep it close you’ll be able to notice when his breathing eases. From my experience, a sudden change in behaviour happens and you begin to hear the little cat purr for the first time. If this happens and your cat appears to be relaxed, gently place it on the floor again and see what happens!
And there you have it! Five easy steps you can follow that may help you succeed in making the world a better place, at least for one baby cat. Again I must stress that you should only try this if you’re an adult.
Best of Luck!
Please feel free to ask any questions that arise from this article. I’ll answer to the best of my amateur cat lover abilities.