You've found their Achilles heel -- their appetites!  Work it.  Meat baby food, 
a little roast chicken....They'll learn to appreciate people very quickly at 
that rate.

Caroline Kaufmann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:      .hmmessage P  {  margin:0px;  
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Thanks!  That makes me feel better!  I do leave the TV on their room all day to 
force them to get used to human voices.  As far as food bowls and litter box- 
no problem (except for the inevitable laying in the litter box!).  Nothing is 
going to stop these little pigs from eating...trust me.  Especially when I 
bring them their wet kitten food at night (wh/ I'm sure they've never had)- I 
sit in front of their condo and stare at them-- they HATE it, but it's so funny 
to watch the test of wills going through their heads-- watching me, thinking 
I'm going to grab them, thinking they really want to eat that food, etc.  EVERY 
TIME, those pigs opt for eating their food- licking the bowls clean, while I 
hover over top of them!  They use the box fine.
 
I haven't mixed them with my older cats yet- I plan to, because one of them, 
LeeRoy, really likes all cats and is a great cat ambassador.  But I didn't want 
to stress them out so much so soon after their surgery...so maybe in a few days 
we will try that.  Supervised of course.
 
caroline 


    
---------------------------------
  From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Subject: RE: socializing barn kittens
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 16:16:55 -0500

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.ExternalClass EC_div.Section1  {page:Section1;}          Fostered a little guy 
that somebody had dumped .. he was a real problem to pick up—he’d hiss and curl 
up just as you described.  He’d also run a whole lot faster than me
 and could get under things!   LOL  
   
  I just made it a point to pick him up as much as I could.  He was around my 
cats and I think that helped a whole lot cause once he started playing with 
them and watching what they did, he figured it was OK.  I fed him with the big 
guys and just being around, figuring out that the strange noises (TV, vacumn, 
etc.) were OK, making his way to the food dish and the litter box and the 
toys—all those things clicked and within a couple of weeks he was ready to go.  
He got adopted the 2nd day I brought him to the shelter (I made a deal to bring 
him there during the day and pick him up at night).
   
  My only suggestion is to do what you’re doing—handle each of them as much as 
possible, let them be kittens and find their food bowls and litter boxes, and I 
bet it will work out…
   
    Christiane Biagi
  914-632-4672
  Cell:  914-720-6888
  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
   
  Katrina Animal Reunion Team (KART)
  www.findkpets.org
   

  Join Us & Help Reunite Katrina-displaced Families with their Animals
      From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Caroline 
Kaufmann
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 3:59 PM
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Subject: OT: socializing barn kittens


   
  My other issue is that is took in 3 female barn kittens last Sat.  We are 
estimating they are about 8 wks (just got spayed on Mon and all weigh almost 3 
lbs).  They were born in a barn in Indiana- mom was dropped off on this man's 
farm and had her kittens in the barn.  I don't know too many details, but after 
they were born, they started coming out of the barn a little so they were 
noticed by the farmer and his daughter.  They were not taken into the house as 
far as I know they stayed in the barn until they were caught and brought to me. 
 So my contact at the adoption agency obviously wanted to get them fix and out 
of the bitter bitter cold and wants to see if they can be socialized enough to 
be adopted out.  If not, they will have to re-released to the barn.  She 
doesn't have the time/resources to take on this project right now and she was 
given my name and number as the newest "kitten rehabber" on the block I guess.  
But I'm a rehabber of sick kittens- that's my forte! 
 And these babies are the healthiest lil piggies I've seen in a loooooong time 
(aw the irony).  (By the by, 5 of the 7 kittens that I have nursed through 
illnesses and fostered since Sept. have been adopted!  The remaining ones are 
Yoda- who shows badly b/c he thinks I'm his mommy and he has no intention of 
going anywhere...and the little booger is growing on me daily anyway; and 
Possum (aka "Possee"- my little struggling underweight darling who's finally 
growing and moving around now that we've gone through a whole thing of 
Nutrical!  He's not caught up to Yoda yet, even tho they are the same age, but 
there's been improvement.  He isn't show-ready yet so I haven't even tried to 
adopt him yet.).  
 
Anyway, I don't know what I am doing with these barn kittens!  Other than just 
generally "forcing" myself on them, I am kind of at a loss.  They're not really 
wild like feral cats or anything, they just would prefer it if you didn't touch 
them.  They kind of go into this panic mode when I do pick them up by the 
scruff where they will just curl up their body like a ball and they just kind 
of go to their happy place-- like lapse into a trance and don't engage.  So 
people who don't truly know cats think they are darling little docile things 
you can just hold forever, but it's not so.  I know if you put them on the 
ground, they would be off and under something and you'd never find them again.  
It's like they go into survival mode when you hold them, so people think they 
are fun to hold, but really, these little things are dying on the inside while 
you are doing it!  They never purr when I scratch them or handle them.  They 
will hiss sometimes when they first see me or I reach
 for them, but it's really baby hissing and I totally ignore it.  Of course, 
they are scared of sounds and some toys I originally gave them, but we are 
making headway now b/c they love the cat teasers with feathers, so I can get 
them to engage, but only for the purpose of playing.  
 
Other than forced holding of them, what can I do to work on getting them to 
engage with people- and even like them?  I hold them together as a group all 
wrapped up in a towel- I thought that would lessen the trauma by them all 
having each other. Plus, the farmer's daughter (hee hee!) favored only one of 
them and held only that one kitten- so it's more socialized and easier to hold 
than the other two.  It's actually really sad to see the effect that that 
favoritism had on these babies!  I just want to be doing all that I can b/c if 
they can't be socialized, they will have to be released and I will feel like 
it's partly my fault-- I feel like I can't fail here.   It would be especially 
sad b/c these little things are cute cute!  They have those big round "apple" 
heads and pudgy faces and huge round eyes and they have medium fur that is 
really fluffy and poufy- very distinctive looking and I know if they didn't 
have "people" issues right now, they would literally fly off the
 shelves at adoption day!  They look little bear cubs basically...insanely cute!
 
Suggestions very welcome at this point!
thanks,
Caroline      
    
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