ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Feral Cats: Humane Solutions and Socialization

Updated on July 24, 2013

feral kittens

frightened babies
frightened babies

Feral Cats in Communities

The best solution for communities who have an unwanted feral cat population, plus the most humane solution for the feral cats.....is trap, neuter/spay, and release to a colony.

This has worked very successfully for some time. They cats are trapped and taken the next morning to be spayed and neutered. Then brought back to a shelter or home and kept quiet in a kennel/condo for another night if possible. This is a time consuming and challenging process but again it is the best solution. You should never try to handle the cat yourself. The vet will anesthetize the cat right in the carrier before the surgery. Then you should be able to get the cat into a kennel by opening the carrier door right up to the kennel door. Food and water and a small litter box should be provided.

To release to a colony, use gloves to carry the kennel. And keep your distance once opening the door. Remember these cats are frightened by captivity and can react with aggression.

It is important to find places (colonies) where they can be released but have shelter and food and be away from traffic. Eventually the colony dies out because there is no breeding or reproduction.

There have been attempts to find easier ways to control feral populations that have not worked out. France tried putting out bait with contraceptives in it, but they couldn't keep other mammals away from it....and they didn't want to decimate the squirrel and raccoon population.

I have found it is possible to socialize feral kittens.....difficult but possible....Again it is a serious commitment of time and effort. Plus one has to be very careful not to get injured.

I only worked once with truly feral kittens. There is a difference between a feral (wild) kitten and an unsocialized kitten. An unsocialized kitten is usually accustomed to being around people but not used to being handled by them. A feral kitten has reverted to primitive wild instincts.

Huddled in Corner

Kittens in carrier
Kittens in carrier

My Work With Feral Cats Kittens

Someone left a box with three kittens on a church door step. The kittens were about twelve weeks old which meant they could get their first vaccines. I sought advice and the first thing I did was to confine them to a kitty condo. That way I could grab them. Handling them was the whole approach to socializing. I had done it with Chihuahuas. I would grab them with gloves and wrap them in a towel and hold them. I realize now I was using the pressure/swaddling technique developed by Temple Grandin for animals. I would hold one kitten at a time for a half hour, several times throughout the day. Then I would return the kitten to the condo. I also spent time in the room talking to them in the condo and trying to get them to play through the bars. I gave them small meals often in order to get them used to my hand coming near. They never tried to attack me but would huddle in a corner afraid of my hand.

The two girls began to progress. Now when I brought them out of the condo, I began loosening the towel and petting them. I started first with just petting and scratching their heads. When they seemed to get used to that, I would reach farther down in the towel to pet them. The two girls started to relax being in my lap. Soon they were no longer shying away from my hand in the kennel. Next I could hold them without the towel. They began to purr and enjoy my touch and relax. We were able to find adopters for them who would continue the work I was doing. The brother however was as wild as the first day he arrived. I never could handle him without gloves and he fought the swaddling. We had him neutered and released in a feral colony where he would have food and shelter.

The website A Conversation on Autism explains why the pressure of swaddling works

"Both human and animal studies indicate that deep pressure is calming and reduces arousal in the nervous system. Researchers have shown that pressure applied to both sides of a person’s body decreased metabolic rate, pulse rate and muscle tone. Gently pinching a rabbit’s skin with padded clips creates a deactivated EEG reading, relaxed muscle tone, and drowsiness. Rubbing and gently pinching a cat’s paw will increase tonic inhibitory neural activity in several brain areas."

I would never ever put pressure on a feral cat's paw however, they are too likely to scratch when they are afraid.

Three Months Socialized

Below are the two girls at a little more than 3 months at an adoption event. They showed well.

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)