Homeless Animals Rescue Team
Resources courtesy of
H.A.R.T. ~ Homeless Animals Rescue Team
P.O. Box 606
Mesa, AZ 85211-0606
Can I tame a feral kitten?
If a kitten is 8 weeks old or younger, you should have success with socializing, if you do it properly. Keeping the kitten contained in a kennel or cat “play pen” and hand-feeding, are key elements to socializing. Every day after 8 weeks of age, it becomes more difficult to socialize. Some young kittens will tame immediately and others may take a few weeks, depending on their age, temperament and prior exposure to humans. If you can commit the time and patience to do this properly and give the kitten a good, indoor life, I think it’s the best thing you can do for the kitten and a great act of kindness. You will save lives and produce a loving and affectionate companion pet. If not socialized properly while young, the kitten will be destined to grow up feral (not socialized to humans) and add to the over-population of homeless cats living on the streets. If the kitten is left outdoors to grow up feral, it will then be necessary to trap the kitten in order to get it spayed or neutered, using the Trap, Neuter & Return* method. If you find a feral kitten or kittens in your neighborhood and decide to take them in and socialize them, please make the extra effort to find the mother, as well as any males in the neighborhood and get them all spayed and neutered through TNR*. For information on proper socialization of feral kittens, please click on the links below:
How can I determine a kitten's gender?
It can sometimes be difficult to tell what the gender is on very young kittens, but as they get older it will become much easier to distinguish male kittens from female kittens. The website below gives some excellent information on how to handle a kitten properly while determining its gender, along with some very helpful pictures that will make sexing your kitten easy.
It is best to leave very young kittens with their mom. The mom may be gone for a time to look for food or relieve herself. Don’t assume that she has abandoned the kittens. Keep watch on the newborns and if mom does not return in 2 or 3 hours, the kittens may need to be taken to a (human) foster parent who can bottle feed them. If you do find an orphaned kitten, DO NOTgive the kitten cow's milk. You can find kitten formula and kitten baby bottles at a pet supply store. Please click on this link for more information on kitten care: