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I don't know if you remember my last question where I mentioned I still have a litter (and the mom has been spayed now, so that question's issue has been resolved, at least for me) Well we had 3 kittens remaining from the litter, from which we, well, my mother was going to keep 2 of them.

They suddenly disappeared--all three of them--(around 8 days ago) and we don't know if they got lost together or they were taken. 2 days ago one of the kittens returned, all dirty and skinny(which makes me think maybe they got lost) and for some reason she is really scared when my mom tries to interact with her. She was the most docile of the litter, pure love. But now it seems she's terrified of getting petted. My mom bathed her and put her in one of the restrooms with a litter box and food. She seems to do alright while she's alone but runs and hides at a minimal sign of a human approaching.

How can I advise my mother in handling the situation?

-- U P D A T E --

Kitten is being playful again and loves being with my mom. I don't know if she misses her 2 brothers, but so far she's been doing great! Gained weight and became an even more loving cat. Thank you all for your answers! I really appreciate it!

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Thank you for caring so much about these kittens! Often, the mother moves kittens when she thinks they are in danger or when her "kitten nest" has been discovered. You don't say if the kitten is weaned yet. If not, please try to keep the kitten with the mother until she is at least eight weeks old, minimum -- 3 months is even better.

A kitten lost from its siblings and mother, at the same time, has a lot to process in that little kitten brain. Everything is new to a kitten. You are doing the right thing in confining her to a small space. This way she can have a safe room and not be overwhelmed.

TRY THIS: Get a couple cans of Gerber's chicken baby food. IMPORTANT: Read the ingredients. The baby food must have only chicken, water, and cornstarch as the ingredients. That's it. It must NOT have onion or garlic. These are both toxic to cats. Put a little baby food on a saucer, and have your mom sit in the restroom, far enough away from the saucer that the kitten feels comfortable coming to it. Her little nose will sniff it out quickly. Once she figures out that this is the BEST THING EVER, have your mother put a little bit on the end of her finger, extend her arm, and see if the kitten will come to her. Do not pet the kitten. Just let her lick the baby food from her finger. Your mom may need to get a little closer to the saucer to do this. Do this in the morning. If it doesn't work, try it again at night. When giving her the baby food in the saucer, only give her a small amount so she is craving more. If it doesn't work in one day try again the next day. Eventually, and in a short amount of time, your mom will get the kitten to come to her. Once the kitten is regularly coming to her, have your mom move slowly and pet the kitten to the side, not over the top of kitten's head. If she runs away, have her extend her finger again with the baby food. When she comes to her this time, don't try to pet her. This is an iterative process.

One other thing, make sure kitty has a nice soft comfortable, round cat bed. Put a small stuffed animal in her bed. This simulates (the best we can) a sibling she can curl up and sleep with.

Best Wishes to you, your mom, and kitten!

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  • I grew up with pets, I was taught to love them and treat them as a member of the family. It just runs in my family :) Thank you for the suggestion! I'll tell her – Just Do It Oct 9 '15 at 15:17
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Just take it slowly. A kitten confident when Mom and family are right there is very different from one lost and alone.

The best way to make a cat more confident is to just spend time in the room reading a book and not paying attention to it, as low down to the ground as you can get. Then let them come to you.

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    It took a month before both of mine were visible at the same time. Now (a few years later) it can sometimes be hard to keep them out of my lap when I'm busy... Give the little one unpressured time to explore its surroundings, and as much as possible wait for the cat to come to you when it's ready; Oldcat's absolutely correct. – keshlam Oct 8 '15 at 21:13

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