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Our kittens are disappearing

  1. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 4 years ago

    A couple of months ago, three feral mama cats took up in our yard, and all three had kittens. In all, there were 8 kittens, and I fed everybody three times a day. I worked very hard to tame the adult cats and I was successful. I then began taming the kittens. One had become very tame and sweet. He was solid white except for one grey spot on top of his head. I called him "Spotty." Spotty disappeared three days ago. Before that other kittens disappeared - one every few days. In all, four kitties are gone. We can't find any dead bodies or other traces. We have woods across the street, and a fox and an owl sometimes come into our yard. We don't have coyotes here in town, though. Do you think one of the predators is taking our kittens? Which one?

    1. Marisa Wright profile image92
      Marisa Wrightposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      That's nature, Habee.  Bear in mind that those sweet kitties are killing wild birds and small mammals in their turn - unless you put bells on them when you tamed them.

  2. 2uesday profile image88
    2uesdayposted 4 years ago

    hello habee I am not sure but when I read the first part I thought they might just have gone on their travels as they got more independent.

    However, the disappearing one by one does fit the pattern that a friend described as to how she lost her family of ducks to a fox. Especially if the fox has a family of young cubs. I hope this has not happened though, as it is always sad to care for something and to lose it.

  3. rmcrayne profile image96
    rmcrayneposted 4 years ago

    Oh no Holle!  I'm so sorry to hear about your disappearing friends. 

    Even though I live in a subdivision, we have a family of hawks that roost in the gigantic oaks in our subdivision and  a neighboring subdivision, rotating location every year.  They've never made my trees home, but some years they are obviously very close by, and light on my fence and in my trees often. 

    When my doxie got down in the back this time, they were lurking in my yard every day.  Even though Bastian is too big for them to carry off, it's like they instantly recognized that he was moving slowly and was vulnerable.  The first time I let him out each day, two, three, or even four of them would be lurking in my trees. 

    I'd go out into the yard with him each day, and make my presence known, and they'd fly away.  After a couple weeks I stopped seeing them.

  4. Pearldiver profile image87
    Pearldiverposted 4 years ago

    Foxes, magpies and certain restaurants will do that H...  at least until they are old enough to defend themselves!  sad

    But the point about the damage done by feral cats is a very valid one... feral cats really create havoc in bird and wildlife reserves etc. Downunder

  5. Greekgeek profile image99
    Greekgeekposted 4 years ago

    Awww. How sad!

    My first guess is fox, since you've seen them. Neighborhood dogs are also a possibility, and I wouldn't rule out hawks if the kittens were small.

    One can't entirely rule out coyotes, either. Their range now covers the entire continental U.S, Canada and Mexico, and I've seen them in quite urban areas.

  6. Will Apse profile image91
    Will Apseposted 4 years ago

    Adult cats can often see off a fox. Kittens are doomed.

    I have a new rescue kitten right now, called Snowy (not very original for a pure white cat). Her family her feral and she was near dead from starvation, so we kidnapped her, rightly or wrongly.

    She will be neutered. Estimates vary but some authorities reckon cats kill a billion birds a year in the US. In the UK, cats catch up to 275 million prey items a year, of which 55 million are birds according to Mammal Society studies.

    It really is a slaughter.

  7. Princessa profile image88
    Princessaposted 4 years ago

    I know the feeling :-(  We've had the same problem twice this year now.  The cat in one of the farms  had babies a few months ago and we were really looking forwards to bring some of them across to the other farm where we live.  Unfortunatly, like you say, without leaving a trace they all dissapeared one day from the stables.  We never found out what happened. 
    A few weeks ago we had exactly the same situation and we have still found no answers as to what happened to the kittens.  Eventually, I adopted a kitten from a friend, but this one is not allowed to go out of the house yet, at least until she is bigger and stronger.

  8. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 4 years ago

    Thanks, guys, for the responses. This morning, only the solid white kitten and the Siamese kitten came up to eat. Those two are still pretty wild, and if I caught them and brought them inside, they'd freak out. Not sure how they'd do with the Great Danes, either.

    I'm really thinking it's the fox. Years ago, when the ex and I were raising pigs, we caught a fox carrying away a piglet.

    I know this is just Nature's way, but I still hate it. I spent hours and hours taming little Spotty, and he was so sweet...finally. The mama cats were tame enough to go up for adoption at the humane shelter, so we took them on Monday. We were going to tame all the kittens so they could be adopted, too. I was going to keep two or three and have them "fixed." The kittens are about 12 weeks old, BTW.

    Ironically, I feel sorry for the fox. It lives in just a small patch of woods, and now part of that is being cleared away for an office building. We put out food for the fox, at the edge of the woods. I'm thinking of trying to live-trap it and relocate it.

    1. Jenn-Anne profile image90
      Jenn-Anneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Sorry to hear about the kitties!  My parents have rescued, tamed and spayed a couple of wild momma cats and in both cases several of the babies went missing before they could be caught and tamed.  There's not much you can do about it.  If there is any way possible to capture the last remaining babies and get them inside (I would recommend quarantining them in a room away from all other animals) that would be best.  Good luck!

  9. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    Kittens can be taken by foxes, owls, stray dogs and may even be killed by tomcats who want to bring feral female cats back into heat.