Monday, August 14, 2023

How We are Helping a Feral Cat Grow Her Kittens

When we finally noticed that cats frequented our place, the first thing we did was to determine whether they were feral or stray. The video we watched said that stray cats usually look dirty. They are normally domesticated cats that got lost or let go by their hooman. Feral cats, on the other hand, usually look clean because they are independent and take care of themselves. Also, feral cats don't like being touched. 

Since Grey was always visiting us we started to give him some food. He'd just come and go. It's been 9 months since we let him adopt us, but we've never been able to get close to him. The closest he'd come is about 6 inches while we're putting food in his bowl. We think he has some trauma that's why he jumps away whenever we get close. The same is true with Kaley, a calico cat who also visits frequently. 

Brimsley is a younger tabby cat. We first saw her as juvenile last Christmas. She only came back last summer and has made our garage her home. Kaley has been pregnant a few times, but she always disappears when she gives birth. The only time she stuck around for a long time was after my Mom passed away. I think she sensed I needed a companion and stayed outside my craft room for a few weeks. 

The box where Brimsley gave birth.

Anyway, we didn't expect Brimsley would give birth in the garage. She squeezed herself in a box set to be thrown away. She just disappeared and we got worried. Miggy found her inside the box with a white kitten. We scrambled to figure out how to help her. Feral cats generally don't need help though. They know what to do, so we just made sure she had water and food. It took her 3 days to finish giving birth. We think she had 3 kittens, but only two survived. (No idea where she buried the third one).

Friends advised to give her kitten food. Brimsley didn't like it that much so we mixed it with her usual food. We noticed she only ate small portions of her food, so we made sure other cats didn't steal her food. It is true that feral cats would transfer her kittens a couple of times. We prepared other spaces for her to transfer to make sure it was safe for them. So far she transfers every 4 days. 

Adorable kittens.

We think Brimsley is in transition to becoming a domesticated cat. Since she gave birth she's been very malambing with the boys. She's been allowing them to pet her. We think we'll be able to bring her to the vet soon. One concern we had though is fleas. Brimsley and the kittens have been scratching a lot. Ordered some Frontline Plus and Miggy was able to apply on her easily (whew!). It's been a few days and we noticed she isn't scratching that much anymore. The kittens are too small for it, so hopefully the vet can help. 

If ever, Brimsley will be the first cat we'll be able to get spayed and treated. We arranged the laundry area so the kittens won't fall down the stairs. It looks like Brimsley is happy where they are now since she's allowed the kittens to run around the area. They are less wobbly now when they started to walk. Grogu, the grey tabby kitten,  is very curious and tried eating pellets! We got very nervous about it and we put Brimsley's bowl inside a basin so the kitten can't reach it. Also, reduced the water in the bowl so the kittens don't accidentally drown. 

I remember telling the boys a few months ago when Kaley was pregnant that it was up to her whether she'd choose our home to give birth in. I guess God waited for us to be ready and let Brimsley give birth in our garage. She is still a feral cat and that's what we have to respect. We're in love with them though and hope they'll stay. 

#BeKind #StaySafe

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