margaret asked in PetsCats · 2 months ago

How can I make my new kitten friendly towards me?

We adopted two farm kittens about three weeks ago, they were almost 8 weeks when they arrived, one male one female.  He is becoming more used to us now, and I am sure he will gradually be a good house cat.  However I am having major problems with her, I manage to give her a stroke sometimes when she is eating, but for the main part she hisses and spits and hides from me, I have never even managed to pick her up.  Please can you give me some advice?

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  • I agree with myfavoritelucy. Farm cats are often semi-feral cats. Some are more used to being petted, but some have had little human interaction. I adopted a feral kitten once, and it was a nightmare. She tolerated me, but any other human that came in the house would be attacked. She would hide under a chair, and fly out in a rage biting legs and ankles.

    You may think because they are young, they will get used to you. They might, they might not. Males are often more dog like, and accepting of attention. Make sure they both get neutered right away. A lot of vets are now doing it as early as 10 weeks once a kitten weighs at least 2 pounds.

    There are lots of videos and articles about how to tame a feral kitten. You should read and watch all you can. Here's some quick tips-

    1) Keep them in a smaller area at first like one or two rooms. If they have the whole house, they will hide. You want them to get used to you. But provide boxes and houses for them to hide in so they don't feel cornered or trapped and lash out.

    2) Feed them canned food on a plate, and sit with them while they eat. At first you will have to sit further away or they won't eat, but eventually keep moving the plate closer to you. Put treats on the floor in front of you. Eventually they will let you pet them while they eat. Get a wand toy and swish it around for them to chase. If you bring food, and are fun to play with, they will warm to you. NO catnip- it makes some cats mean.

    3) Have other people join you. If they just get used to you, they may still be scared or attack others as they grow up.

    4) Spend a LOT of time socializing them. Now is the make it or break it stage and age. If you let them grow up waiting for them to come around, they may always act skitterish. If you soend a lot of time with them now, you may be able to turn them into housecats. DO NOT let them go outside. This will further enhance their feral nature.

    5) Research. There is a woman called the Kitten Lady who has a website and articles and videos on feral kittens, such as one video How To Socialize Hissy Feral Kittens. She is well known as a cat rescuer, and has worked with Jackson Galaxy. You need to read all the articles and watch all the videos you can to help you be as successful as possible at socializing them right away so they don't grow up to be semi feral cats that are unhappy or become a problem.

    Good Luck !!!

  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Confine them to one room in the house since they are so young.  You can offer shredded chicken for treats to help tame them.  Keep in mind the female may never be as friendly as the male.  Also, plan on spay/neuter them by 4 months old so they do not breed each other.

  • 2 months ago

    If they were farm cats they probably had little human contact, so just spend time around them and they might start to trust you

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Just spend extra time with it. Good luck!:)

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  • 2 months ago

    You cannot "make" a cat do something. Trust is a slow process that grows . when I was given 2 young cats I barely saw the male cat for 3 weeks. They were already neutered. Even when neutered females often don't trust easily.patience is the key. It's not quite 20 months later and the male cat still can be skittish, but he's too big to get behind the dryer.  

  • 2 months ago

    The kittens that I've had to tame down don't always get to the point that they allow me to pick them up, but they usually get to point where they allow me to pet them These are outside cats, basically strays, I've chosen to feed as something to entertain myself with, and I don't really consider them my cats, though I do feel like some of them consider my house their home base.  Some of the females will inevitably have a litter of kittens, and seem to think my garage makes a safe spot for this. Anyway, I never force myself on a cat. I don't chase them, or try to pick one up that isn't ready to be around me. I simply put out a few bowls of feed and shake the coffee can with the cat food in it and they they will show up on my deck. I'll watch them eat and play, and I get gradually closer to them until they are comfortable eating with me standing right there. Once they get to that point I start hanging around when they are playing so they get the idea I'm just the big creature that sometimes has food, but isn't anything to worry about. Then I start enticing them to play with me by dragging around a piece of foxtail grass in front of them encouraging them to attack it like it was prey. They start to get the idea that I'm fun and sometimes bring them food. After a couple days of doing this I might try to pet them while they are busy eating, just light strokes with one or two fingers, and if they freak out I stop, but most of the time, they relax and get used to me petting them. I usually pet the tamed down older cats in front of the more skittish ones so they can see it's normal for me to touch them and there is nothing dangerous about it. When I start pick up practice I go about it a couple different ways. Sometimes it will be during play time and I'll drag the foxtail up on me while I sit on the deck, so the kittens climb on me to chase the toy. The other way is by doing a short lift and move from one food bowl to another, the cat's feet never get more than an inch or two off the deck, and the move is only for a couple seconds. Sometimes this too much, and I can tell the cat won't tolerate me ever doing more than this type of lifting, but if they don't seem to mind I start doing more little moves, lie picking them up and putting them on a chair, or on the deck railing, but I never try and hold them for too long, if they squirm I let them go. Basically I let he cat decide how much they are going to let me touch them.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Get rid of it.....

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Male kitties are easier. They're more calm by nature. Your female kitty hasn't been exposed to humans as much & she'll never be as friendly as the male. Most people know that kitties raised together are not as friendly. They become each others companion, not yours. By nature, kitties copy (copy cat). If you wanted a companion, then just one is what you want.

  • Newton
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Just be persistence. They will become habituated to you. Some cats will never become lap cats, but they should become tamer as time goes by, if you keep giving them food. I have had wild tree squirrels climbing up my pants for peanuts and eating them while standing on my shoulders. Yet when they were just weaned from their mothers they run when the see people. Your kitties are tamer than young squirrels already, so just keep making them associate you with food. Food will help you win them over.

  • 2 months ago

    For ''farm kittens'', read ''feral''.  Farm cats live outside, and don't really become domesticated. Their kittens will be born outside, and will only know the company of their mother... so when they go into a domestic setting, they are basically wild animals.  I'm speaking from experience here. I always thought cats were cats were cats... all the same. They are not. I had an 8 year nightmare with a ''farm kitten'', she was a nervous wreck, she peed everywhere, on anything...beds, clothes, carpets. I sought the advice of an animal bahaviourist, who told me all about the problem. Kittens born in the wild, or in a rescue of feral mothers should be handled every day by humans, to make them used to them and sociable. With the best will in the world, in a rescue centre, staff are unlikely to even try to touch these kittens as their mothers would attack them... and a cat bite is serious. I can only suggest you research cat behaviour, especially of semi feral sorts, and get tips from there. I bought the Feliway plug in diffusers, which its hard to believe, but they do SOMETHING because I knew when it needed replacing because Millys behaviour would deteriorate. But she was never a happy cat, and started having seizures in adulthood, giving her medication was difficult to put it mildly, and following a big seizure, when she bit through her tongue, the vet advised euthanasia, which is what happened. Sorry if I sound negative, but it is an uphill struggle. I hope it works out for you, but I really do think people should be more aware of the downfalls of adopting farm kittens. 

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