Trying to seduce a stray kitten

biofish

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Hello! So I’m my neighborhood there’s a lady… She’s constantly bringing in stray cats that also vanish on a startlingly frequent basis. She doesn’t take that great care of them; they are left outside 24/7 , their food is sprinkled over the sidewalk and attracts raccoons etc, not nearly enough water you can find them drinking from neighbors fountains, none of them are neutered, they’re covered in fleas… etc etc etc.

The lady genuinely doesn’t even know the genders of her dogs. One of which is a an unspayed female who goes into heat every six months and is let out of the house completely unsupervised and l have picked the dog up from a couple streets down and delivered her back home. And the inside of her house is COVERED with animal poop and pee and I almost threw up for the smell alone when I went in there.

Basically y’all get the picture.

One of these cats had a litter of 5. And due to local coyotes, there’s only one kitten left that’s about 2 months old.

I want to help this kitten.

But the issues are:
1. I have never had long term interaction with a cat before.
2. I’m highly allergic to cats. To the point where if I don’t wash whatever body part interacted with the cat immediately, I get a nasty rash.
3. The cats are all sick and I can’t risk spreading anything to my dogs.
4. I called 8 local shelters and not a single one of them were willing to take them.

But at the same time I can’t just do nothing, ya know? At the very least give the kitten a flea and tick bath (I actually found a dry shampoo flea spray which I grabbed) / take them to get neutered WHICH IS A FREE PROCEDURE in my area.

I set up an area in my garage where the kitten would be able to at least spend the night safely until it’s big enough to escape predators better. It’s got a fabric mesh cage that’s pretty big, a bed, small litter box, crinkle balls, catnip mice, and food/water. Issue is getting the kitten.

Today is the third day since I’ve started trying to befriend the kitty but I honestly have no idea what I’m working with.

The first day I tried to trap the kitten by tying a string to a pet carrier door and putting food in the carrier. The adult cats came and went and ate everything…. So no luck there. Had no interaction with the kitten. They didn’t get close at all.

Second day the kitten let me pretty close but with a fence dividing us. I mixed some food grade diatomaceous earth into some wet cat food and smeared it over my fingers. The kitty ate from my fingers which o figured was a good sign. I didn’t try anything else. But eventually the kitten decided enough was enough and hissed and swatted at my hands without claws. So I backed off. Put some food on a napkin and slid it under the fence because the kitten was clearly hungry. Some construction workers that saw me heading there tried to warn me away actually because of all the fleas and rank smell of the property.

Third day, today, the kitten allowed me close again with the fence between us, but did not want anything to do with me. I tried spreading the food in my fingers and got hissed at and swatted, with claws this time. I tired to slide food under again just to feed it but it darted away a bit. So rather than feed it, I just sat down in its line of sight and fiddled with my phone for awhile, trying to adjust it to my presence without acknowledging it. It watched me but never came any closer. The one female dog was out though and also trying to get pets/cat food so that definitely didn’t help. The dog is super chill around cats but the stray cats keep their distance from anything that isn’t another cat.

So I’m just looking for tips. I know it’ll probably take a lot longer but I’m just taking shots in the dark here so I’m not sure if what I’m doing is effective. I don’t wanna train it to “I hissed so now the food will be put on a nice and safe napkin so I don’t need to get accustomed to the hooman”.
 

wasmewasntit

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Depending on where you are in California, there are various places that can and do take in animals from hoarders...this does sound very much like an animal hoarding situation

https://www.ccspca.com/ - Fresno

https://www.sfspca.org/ - San Francisco

https://www.sspca.org/ - Sacramento

https://www.sspca.org/ - Oakland

https://www.ivhsspca.org/ - Pomona

Failing the above, Google SPCA and the closest will pop up for you to talk to....or your local authority will have an Animal Care & Control department who will handle animal hoarding, they work alongside the SPCA's and law enforcement and ensure that healthy animals can be adopted out, those will health issues that can be adopted get appropriate treatment, sometimes animals in a hoarder situation will be euthanised but only as a last resort.
 

wasmewasntit

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If you contact your closest SPCA and/or the Animal Care & Control department, they will also contact Adult Protective Services to help the lady herself. It is a chain reative situation really. The SPCA will be assisted by the local law enforcement by way of a seizure warrant if the lady is against signing over the animals...which often happens since hoarders do not realise that they are doing harm, they love their animals and do not see (or smell) the mess around them. Adult Protective Services will deal with the home, the lady herself, her health and welfare so everyone will be taken care of.

The lady may well put up a fight but she will eventually see that it is the best for her and her animals longterm.

Contacting the SPCA and/or ACaC and let them know your concerns and they are duty bound to investigate and handle everything in an appropriate way.
 

Colin_T

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Call the council and get them involved. They have to do something because there is a public health issue with animal feces in public areas and on paths, and the home owner will be suffering health issues because of this.

ASPCA, as mentioned above. And animal control.

Don't waste your time trying to tame a feral cat, it rarely works and since you are allergic to cats, you are putting your own life on the line by trying to save the feral kitten. Cats can carry some nasty pathogens on their claws and can carry various diseases that can affect people.

In reality, the coyotes are probably helping you by keeping the cat numbers down and reducing the diseases being spread by the cats, not to mention saving numerous native animals, birds and reptiles from the feral cats.

Just get onto the council, animal control and the ASPCA and keep bugging them about this because it is a public health issue and your health is at risk. It is also an animal welfare issue.
 

wasmewasntit

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As @Colin_T rightly said, semi or fully feral cats & kittens frequently carry diseases that, on occasions, will transfer to humans if clawed or bitten by the cat or kitten. Dogs are also more prone to having diseases and both cats and dogs kept in a hoarding situation rarely, if ever, are vaccinated against the usual diseases such as Parvo, Feline Leukaemia, Feline AIDS and in many States, Rabies can also be found in hoarder animals

I strongly suggest that you do not try to coax any animal from the hoarder property to come to you as a simple bite or scratch can quickly become something very nasty and in the case of Rabies will mean several vaccinations and tests for you. Parvo in dogs is almost always fatal and is highly contagious to any other dog that you come into contact with, several States offer vaccinations against it but not all and sadly hoarders tend to overlook such things as puppy & kitten vaccination programmes.

Your desire to do something is understandable, your heart is in the right place but in the case of this hoarder of animals...which sadly this lady certainly is....it needs expert care from the local authorities, ASPCA and law enforcement. These people are trained and have the right equipment needed to handle unsocial and feral animals along with their often confused and potentially very unwell owners.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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What the guys above said! It's really sweet and understandable that you want to help the kitten, but the best help you can get for the kitten, and any future kittens, is to get the authorities involved in the whole situation. You really are at risk from a scratch or bite by even a healthy, vaccinated cat; and it's so much worse in a semi-feral neglected unvaccinated cat. Don't risk your health, please.

Keep on to the authorities there, and seek support and advice from local animal welfare groups and charities. Try to get their weight behind you too. Can you contact adult protective services about the hoarder? Because their physical and mental health is a real concern, and explain the circumstances, that you fear it's a vulnerable person who seems to need support. If an agency like that gets involved in looking after the hoarder, then they're likely to bring in other agencies to deal with the animals.

Please do keep us updated, and keep yourself safe!
 

outofwater

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Open a can of tuna and trap it. That's the only way. "street kittens" become street smart pretty quick or die, and that includes distrust of humans. If you don't trap it, it might get close when hungry, but that's about it, and as you found out you'll get the claws if you try anything else. Trapping it and then working on the socialization is the only way.
Long term and for everyone's benefitz do call your authorities to do something about that person, she's clearly unstable and poses a risk to herself, the neighbors/neighborhood and animals (both domesticated and wildlife) by keeping unsanitary conditions around.
 

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I agree with the above unless you want to drink a bottle of benadryl each day 🤣
(I'm allergic to cats as well so I can sympathize)
Is there anyway you can hold on to it for a bit while you find somewhere to place the kitten?
I know you're allergic and I understand the symptoms all too well but it would just be for a bit while you find a place.
Maybe keep it in a separate room? Then deep clean it when it leaves
 
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biofish

biofish

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The closest one is SPCALA. And it does sound like the best route….

But at the same time her three dogs wouldn’t stand a chance and are not adoptable. The unspayed female dog has a large and growing tumor on her stomach. One of the dogs I don’t know the gender of has a hard time walking and the lady has mentioned that he’s (all her animals get refered to with the he pronoun so I can’t be sure of its actual gender and I rarely see it outside. I only ever see the lady walking the male dog) sick. And the other one is a male dog who sounds like he has behavioral issues. All the dogs are at least 10 years old.

I’ll have to try tapping the kitten again with some tuna…. Because I do wanna at least get it neutered. Difficulty there is just the other cats also wanting the tuna.

I feel trapped between a rock and a hard place 😖
 
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biofish

biofish

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I agree with the above unless you want to drink a bottle of benadryl each day 🤣
(I'm allergic to cats as well so I can sympathize)
Is there anyway you can hold on to it for a bit while you find somewhere to place the kitten?
I know you're allergic and I understand the symptoms all too well but it would just be for a bit while you find a place.
Maybe keep it in a separate room? Then deep clean it when it leaves
I got an area set up in the garage but I’m not sure if it’ll ever be used…. And me and my Benadryl bottle are tight 🤞
 

Rocky998

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I got an area set up in the garage but I’m not sure if it’ll ever be used…. And me and my Benadryl bottle are tight 🤞
Are you sure the garage would be the best place?? Garages normally get really hot and may kill the little kitten
 
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biofish

biofish

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Are you sure the garage would be the best place?? Garages normally get really hot and may kill the little kitten
I live pretty close to the ocean so there’s always a sea breeze coming through. The outside in general has been pretty hot lately due to it being august but it always cools down at night. The inside of the garage only becomes uncomfortable when the garage door is open and it’s extremely muggy outside. Other than that, with the door closed, I’ve noticed that the garage keeps a pretty stable temperature. I can watch it closely these next few days just to be doubly sure
 

Rocky998

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I live pretty close to the ocean so there’s always a sea breeze coming through. The outside in general has been pretty hot lately due to it being august but it always cools down at night. The inside of the garage only becomes uncomfortable when the garage door is open and it’s extremely muggy outside. Other than that, with the door closed, I’ve noticed that the garage keeps a pretty stable temperature. I can watch it closely these next few days just to be doubly sure
I still wouldn't. I would try for a room actually inside your home that stays cool. And I know that the allergy symptoms are horrible but sometimes if you really want to help an animal you just remember it's only for a bit of time and they will be in the best condition
 
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biofish

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I still wouldn't. I would try for a room actually inside your home that stays cool. And I know that the allergy symptoms are horrible but sometimes if you really want to help an animal you just remember it's only for a bit of time and they will be in the best condition
My allergies aren’t actually why we decided putting them in a room wasn’t viable. It’s my two dogs. Since we don’t know what the kitty has, we can’t be sure it won’t spread. We could try and keep the kitten in the cage but a reality where the kitten could get out while we change the food/water/litter is extremely likely. And if the cat puked/went to the bathroom on the couch (the room we could spare would be the secondary living room) then even though we could clean the surface, anything deeper would remain there.

That left the only options: in our backyard or the garage. And our dogs are frequently in the backyard so same principles apply.

If it weren’t for the dogs, sparing a room or a bathroom would be more viable. But as horrible as a situation as it is, I gotta consider my pups first and can’t take chances.
 

outofwater

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I still wouldn't. I would try for a room actually inside your home that stays cool. And I know that the allergy symptoms are horrible but sometimes if you really want to help an animal you just remember it's only for a bit of time and they will be in the best condition
Street animals are hardier and more resourceful than you give them credit for. OP here is trying to do something very noble, and trapping a kitten in a ventilated garage for a few hours won't kill it any more than it being outside exposed to any other feral or wild animals.
You won't get many shots at this though, if the trap fails, set it up again. If you try to chase it or corner it amd fail you'll get a good scratching and the kitten won't approach you again at all
 

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