Three little beauties came into our care in October 2016, they had been living in a shed with their mum and were semi-feral due to no socialisation with people.
I visit the kittens twice a week, and have been working really hard to gain their trust, I decided to start a blog to document their progress.
The kittens have been living with uncle Stewart since they came into care, however this week they have moved to auntie Annie’s for socialisation. Upon meeting them, they were extremely unhappy to see me, they all ran and hid in various areas of the room, and were hissing and spitting at me, the black kitten decided to take refuge on top the wardrobe! I sat and talked to them for 40 minutes on the other side of the room, but they still weren’t to keen on me. Auntie Annie hadn’t been able to get close enough to determine the sex of each kitten, so we couldn’t give them any names.
I went to the visit the kittens twice this week, on the Monday I took my partner along and he came up with the idea of giving the ginger kitten dreamies by pushing them along with a stick, the kitten was far too hissy for us to be able to put the treats near him without stressing him out. We spent at least an hour pushing treats towards which he enjoyed very much yum! He wasn’t keen on coming out of his corner, but definitely gained a little more confidence. The other kittens were cuddled up in the one of the playpens, making it a lot harder to try this trick with them, so instead we put some dreamies in with them and left them alone to eat. Sadly, auntie Annie still had been unable to sex them without stressing them out too much, we decided it was more important to gain their trust first.
I visited the kittens again on Friday, and proceeded to do the dreamie trick again with our ginger kitten, and I also managed to give the tabby a slight stroke. They still don’t have names, so I’m calling them all kitty haha! It was quite dark by this time, so I did not take any pictures of the kittens on this day, as I did not want the flash to go in their eyes.
I visited the kittens for the first time on Monday, they were all in their various areas of the room again, and the little black one was back up on top of the wardrobe! I decided I was going to try something different with our ginger kitten today, when I sat down near him he didn’t hiss at all, and I put dreamies down near him without any hisses at all. So it was time to push our tests up a gear, I was ready and armed with dreamies, one by one I put them into my hand and after a few hesitant goes, our little ginger ninja ate dreamies straight from my hand. This was absolutely amazing progress, given just 2 weeks before he would hiss if you sat anywhere near him, we continued to do this for half an hour or so, and he seemed a lot more confident by the end. I also tried with our tabby but she wasn’t as pleased by the idea! She did eat the dreamies I put in front of her but she didn’t fancy eating them straight from my hand, so I will need to work a little bit harder with her to gain her trust. They are all off to the vets on Tuesday, they are all a bit sniffly so hopefully they start to feel a little better, and we can find out their sexes and give them some lovely names!! I am due to visit Friday, so stand by for another update.
I visited our lovely kittens again today, auntie Annie informed me their vet visit was….eventful…lol. They weren’t too happy about being taken there, however the vet luckily managed to identify that we have 3 boys! Therefore, they have been named as follows Jasper (ginger), Draco (black) and Claude (tabby). The lovely Jasper was such a good boy, and ate his treats straight out of my hand today! I also made a trail along part of the room to entice him out of the corner he likes to sit in, just to build his confidence a little bit more, he is doing very well and I think it’s having a positive effect on his brothers. Claude wasn’t too keen on eating out of my hand the other day, he is the most hissy of them all, however today he ate a piece of chicken out of my hand, and barely hissed at all when I put chicken pieces right near him for him to eat, this was a massive achievement, and I’m SO proud of him!! Draco was still slightly reserved today, he appears more scared and timid, rather than hissy, but he definitely seems intrigued by his brothers new found loving human behaviour!! It is such a rewarding feeling as I gain their trust more and more, every time I see them, I know given the time they will make wonderful companions.
This week I spent feeding the boys tuna, chicken and dreamies whilst continuing to try exercises to gain their trust. Claude and Draco were so unsociable and hid on top of the wardrobe, however I managed to manoeuvre myself to the top and give them some treats as well! Jasper is still coming on leaps and bounds, he is very confident eating out of my hand, but seems to struggle coming out of his corner of the room, so on Friday I put the chicken pot next to me and didn’t give him any, I waited patiently for him to come out and start eating at the pot next to me.
I visited the boys this morning, they were all in good spirits and they certainly recognise my voice now. Draco was up on top of the wardrobe again, although I can’t say I’m surprised. Claude was underneath the chest of drawers, but well within my reach for dreamies, which he thoroughly enjoyed. And Jasper was still sat in his corner, but all of them are gradually getting used to my presence. I decided to try some one on one with Claude again today, as Jasper has been doing so well, I was hand feeding Claude which he doesn’t particularly love but he knows he gets a dreamie out of it, so it makes it all worth while, he even let me lightly stroke him and I was very proud of him as always.
I wanted to get Jasper out of his corner whilst I was spending time with Claude, so I placed some dreamies next to me without giving him any, and made sure he came out and ate them, I am keen to continue this process as it encourages him to step out of his comfort zone, and shows he trusts me enough to do so. He also had a little play with my hand today, which has not done before.
Finally, I spent some time talking to Draco on top of the wardrobe, and gave him some dreamies as I couldn’t let him miss out. They are all growing so much now, they will be neutered soon which I’m hoping will also help them settle a little more.
I spent quite a bit of time with the boys on Monday morning, they all enjoyed some more dreamies. Luckily, all three of them were down on the floor which made it much easier for me to communicate with them. Claude was very good and did eat treats out of my hand again, but he was still underneath the chest of drawers, and did not make any attempts to come out. Draco, was in Jasper’s usual corner, so luckily I managed to give some dreamies as well, but he wasn’t very keen on taking any from my hand. Jasper was also a little mischievous that day, he must of had the Monday morning blues as he wasn’t feeling very adventurous. However, when I said goodbye I did manage to gently stroke Jasper and give him a little chin rub.
I visited the boys again yesterday (Sunday 11th), they were all in a good mood yay!, and Draco was actually roaming around the room to my surprise!!. I was keen to attempt more physical contact with Jasper today, so I made sure I had treats ready, and I managed to stroke his chin and behind his ears for a long time, he was very good and did not hiss at all, he even purred for the first time!! He certainly loves chin rubs, I will be working more and more on his handling over the next few weeks. And I must say, I am becoming tempted to adopt him as we have connected so much. Claude was also a very good boy, he ate treats out of my hand again, and did not hiss at all. Draco was quite scared as usual, but did seem a little more relaxed than normal which was nice to see. He didn’t want any dreamies so I made sure to leave some in his favourite spot.