Try Feliway and CatNap (Dr. Maier has some) to calm them. Use the spray, not the plug ins. Feed them in very small amounts numerous times a day and let them see you and associate you with the food.
Watch out for those baby teeth. Don't be afraid but know that they know how to protect themselves and, like any cornered critter, will fight. Get a consult with Dr. Maier.........she knows alot about this subject and, as you know, is great. If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow man. St. Francis ----- Original Message ----- From: Caroline Kaufmann To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2:59 PM 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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The best games are on Xbox 360. Click here for a special offer on an Xbox 360 Console. Get it now!