4-27-18 Friday

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What’s the adoption process for the kittens?

You can email info (at) ffhsv.org to discuss adoption procedures.


Hey, Robyn, serious question: Have you ever had similar cases to Shelly at TinyKittens? She’s had several litters of kittens in which one or more didn’t make it. Currently, she’s lost 3 kittens out of 3 mamas and the 4th one has a guarded prognosis. Is it due to having non-feral vs. feral mamas to start with? I would love to hear your perspective on this.

I have been extremely lucky – of the total 50 kittens born in our foster rooms, we’ve only lost 1 (Mercury’s son Kepler, last summer). Every time I have a pregnant mother in my kitten room, I worry that this is going to be the time that there’s a problem during the birthing process or the kittens will be sick or frail and I’ll be unable to do anything to save them. I repeat: I have been SO lucky!

Shelly’s mamas came from a feral colony, didn’t they? Maybe the losses are due to the mamas having a rough start, maybe genetics, it’s really hard to know why. Very often I think it’s simply the luck of the draw. Chloe, Ramona and Rula are in the best possible hands – those mamas are so incredibly lucky to be where they are instead of trying to care for and raise kittens in the wild!


How long is clay litter used for kittens? I have not seen them sampling it but I can’t be for sure…

I swap to clumping litter when they’re about 6 weeks old.


I still have not figured out if Tessa has stripes or not.

She does, they’re ninja stripes – you can’t always see them, but they’re there!


Has Debi lost her white goatee?!

No, it’s still there, it’s just not as obvious.


Kristi sure got her pre-pregnancy body back fast. She almost looks a little gaunt. Is she that skinny or is it just the pictures?

She’s on the skinny side, but they always are at this point. Once the babies are weaned she’ll fill out again.


I need some help from the cat whisperers (you, Fred, and anyone else who has advice).

I’m long winded, so I’ll try to be brief. I planned to TNR some outdoor neighborhood cats to at least keep from adding kittens to the mix. About 4 or 5 come over and I feed them daily. I’ve managed to successfully do so with 1 of the males. BUT I had to promise the husband I wouldn’t ask to add to our indoor group (still at 11).

A little female cat started showing up last fall. It took months to coax her out from under the car when I came outside and before I took her to be spayed, she was waltzing in and out of my door when I came out with food and letting me pet her some. So I’d classify her as semi-feral.

Surprise, surprise, I got attached. And super stressed at the thought of releasing her back outside. So after some tense negotiations, my husband agreed to let me try to acclimate her indoors after she came back from the vet. She is only about a year old, and I figured with being that young and female, this stands a good chance of working.

She bit me when I put her in the carrier and also bit a vet tech, which did not help the stress level. She was boarded/crated for 10 days because I had to take her BACK due to the whole health department thing regarding a cat bite and no rabies shot (yet). Which didn’t help her trusting me and got me bit again.

Last Saturday she was coming to the front of the crate and letting me touch her just a little. I even let a few of my crew come in there and she seemed to love that. And they were surprisingly chill about her. She would cry when no one was in there with her or none of the other cats came to “visit”.

So I gave her the run of the room that day. She’s been under the bed 98% of the time I am in there since then. I haven’t tried baby gates in the door frame or anything else because I don’t want to stress her out further.

I don’t know what to do. She’s been in that room about 2 weeks at this point (half in the crate). She really wants to interact with the other cats, but she doesn’t want me in there with her much and has stopped with the crying. She will come out and eat occasionally when I’m in there, but it feels like we started all over again when she came out of that crate.

I am a little in over my head. No other cat I’ve brought in (even older outdoor ones) has acted so skittish and scared. I don’t know if I stress her out more by being in there with her (quietly, on the other side of the room) or leaving her on her own. I don’t know if I should try letting one of my cats come in as an “ambassador” to see if that brings her out of her shell (she has cried and played footsie with them under the door, so she wants to see them). Treats don’t seem to entice her. Toys seems to scare her.

I don’t have any goals for her to be a lap cat or even want affections on a regular basis. But I also don’t want her to hide under a bed for the rest of her life. And I feel a bit under pressure because if I can’t get her comfortable, my husband is going to want to put her back outside and the thought of that breaks my heart because I know she would be even more terrified.

What can I do? Will allowing her to socialize with the other cats cause issues with her trusting me? Funny enough, she’s probably going to get along fine with them. Humans will be the bigger problem.

If I were you, I’d go into the room as often as possible, and bring one or more cats in with you. I’d go in, hang out, and just mind my own business – read or surf the internet, or even nap, then leave when you’ve got things to do. I think the other cats will help to bring her out of her shell, and if the other cats hang around you while you’re in there, even better.

I think it’s going to take time, but the fact that she was letting you pet her before is a good sign. I think you’ll get back there again.


Cat! She’s a kittycat! And she dancedancedance and she dancedancedance!

Picabo is just SO pretty, isn’t she?

Deanzilla and the tiny tongue.

Deanzilla (still with the tongue out) and Torvill.

Torvill in the space station.

Picabo, comin’ through.

And Ohno, too!

“Hallo!” (Torvill)

Katarina, hangin’ out with Debi.

That smile on Scott’s face is killing me dead.

All 6 of her kittens at the milk bar – and no extras! It’s a banner day!

Debi, Scott and Ohno would like me to go away and let them sleep, please.

Oksana and Ohno, snuggled up together.


Have I mentioned that that screened porch is the best thing ever? SO awesome – and Newt agrees!


2017: “We can slack if we want to, lady.”
2016: Here we have Ken Adams on top, Susie inside, all “NO THIS IS MINE!” and Art Vandelay keeping an eye on things.
2015: This one kills me dead every single day.
2014: No entry.
2012: Nothin’ cuter than a ::FLOOF::ing kitten. Unless it’s a ::FLOOF::ing kitten who’s hissing.
2011: “Madame, please. I beg of you, stop sniffing my hindquarters. It is so RUDE.”
2010: It appears we’ve got an infestation of kittens again. ::sigh:: WHERE do they come from??
2009: I swear she looks just like a little bulldog.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



4-27-18 Friday — 7 Comments

  1. “All 6 of her kittens at the milk bar – and no extras! It’s a banner day!”. Clearly, Kristi has issues with this “banner day” you speak of.

    Do the Permies still like to hang out in the house in the back yard (the dog one you brought over from CAs)?

  2. I’d forgotten about the silliness that is the Kittycat Dance. Thank you for that earworm!

  3. For the lady with the semi-feral girlcat: Keep doing what you’re doing, and know it can take a lot of patience. I second Robyn’s advice on being in the room, even if you’re not interacting with the cat. And letting in one of the others as ambassador sounds like a good idea. Hang in there. I know it seems like it’ll take ages to get the cat acclimatized, but it will happen <3

  4. cats from feral colonies do have it harder – they don’t always have access to good food before giving birth, and if they are very feral, being kept locked up can be very stressful. we have had a couple of feral moms here….one lost all her kittens, the other didn’t but we managed to have another mom and moved them at about 4 weeks old. our Allie was our first feral mom and we did lose 2 of those kittens.

    as to the feral girl, we have here what I call a “house feral”. Junior likes the other cats, not so much me. Robyn gave you some good advice – also try some high value treats. just set them in your vicinity and dole them out slowly to get her closer.

    hey Robyn – has Fred nicknamed the kittens yet??

  5. To the lady with the feral kitty, I used to read out loud to my former ferals, for the first couple of weeks to get them used to my voice, it seemed to help! I also would let one of my more sociable cats in with me, and they’d help show the ferals I wasn’t so scary:)
    I avoided looking them straight in the eye, and when I did catch their eye I gave them the slow blinks:)
    Eventually they started to react to treats and toys, it just took a while!
    6 months later little Xena finally climbed into my lap for the first time for a cuddle, and since then there’s been no going back 🙂
    Time and patience and you’ll get there I’m sure, sounds like you’ve got all the love to give!

  6. To the lady with the feral kitty. I just lost my little Gollum after 14 years. I brought her in the house as a very thin, sick 4 month old. She never went back outside, but she was always feral. Yes, she did hide under the bed. She was small (never more than 5 pounds) and she knew every hidey hole in this house. She only ever liked one other cat in my house. After 3 or 4 years of just being a little wraith creeping around in the shadows, she started curling up next to me at night and wanting to be petted. I wasn’t allowed to touch her in the daylight, though. She had favorite perches in the house and no other cat dared to use them. I never had more than 3 other cats while she was here, so she didn’t get crowded. She was never tame, but she seemed to be happy having the house as her safe little kingdom. The only problem was trying to find her when I needed to catch her for a vet’s appointment.