Socializing Foster Kittens

You Guys!

They did it again. They brought home more kittens. That’s fine. I don’t have to see them, but I am going to write about them! (We got a few photos, but it’s a bit dark in the bathroom and we didn’t want to flash them, so they’re a little grainy. More to come!)

Two of the new foster. They're getting eye meds.

Two of the new fosters. They’re getting eye meds and look a little goopy.

Here’s the scoop: The FODs were on their way to pull more kittens from being euthanized when, on their way there, they got a call that another rescue beat them to it. Hurray! That’s great news because we know they got saved. Then they got a call that thirteen kittens had been saved from an overcrowded feral situation somewhere in the city and were in desperate need of a foster home. When they said thirteen, I put my foot down. I allowed them three.

And so, today we have three new kittens  living in our bathroom. They’re being treated for eye infections so they look a little squinty, like tiny street thugs. They’re completely weaned, so it’s a little different than the last time we fostered. If you recall, last time we had to hand feed, warm them with heating pads, mix special foods, etc. This time, because the kittens are around seven to ten weeks old, they are eating entirely on their own. However, this scenario presents different challenges.

Did you know that if you take in feral kittens that are between six and twelve weeks old, they are going to need much more socialization than kittens who were trapped at six weeks of age or less?  I, of course, was a special situation. I was four months old when I showed up at the FODs house and yet all I wanted was love. I’m just a lover. It is known.

So what does socializing a kitten require? Here are a few things you may have to do:

  • Start by getting the kittens to eat in front of you. Progress to having them eat next to you, then from a spoon, then from your hand, then to allowing you to pet them while they eat.
  • Feed them at appointed times while you are there so they associate food and happy feelings with humans.
  • Use wand toys to coax them into playing. Use the toys to gently stroke them until they are ok with being petted by hand.
  • Use caution for kittens that you don’t know at all. They have sharp claws and teeth.
  • Spend alone time with each kitten to make sure they are all being socialized and that not just the most outgoing kittens are getting love.
  • When the kittens are ready, invite friends to come and handle your kittens so they accept a variety of people and not just you.
A very interesting looking kitty....

A very interesting looking kitty…. Who seems to like sitting in the litter box.

For more information, Tree House has a fantastic document with lots of information about socializing feral kittens. You can read it here.

And, of course, if you have cats or other animals at home already, make sure you practice excellent hygiene by doing lots of hand washing, wearing a smock or robe when handling the ferals, using slippers or shoes specifically for that room, and keeping your home cats separated from your ferals at all times. Safety first!



PS. Remember: These guys are up for adoption very soon! If you’re interested, contact Erica at Tree House or send us a note and we’ll put you in touch! Please. They can’t stay. I need my bathroom rugs back.

Tuesday Haikusday: Black Cats

I figure I’ll keep the black cat theme going this week. Eh hem…

Wherever I go, there you are.

This fellow is adoptable from Tree House. Ask for Lead Belly. Photo by the excellent John Boehm.

 Black cats are colored

like sleek ninjas of the night.

Footsteps in the dark.


Hunting, eating, sleep.

They cannot be seen at all.

Mission accomplished.


Dressing up nicely?

Black’s for any occasion.

You will wear their fur.

MAN I made them sound SO cool. Here’s what I’d look like if I were a black cat:

if crepes were blackAnd in case you missed yesterday’s video, we have reenacted one man’s story: I peed on my cat.

Has this ever happened to you? Because I had to play the cat that got peed on and man, that was the toughest role I’ve ever had to take on. It took all my strength as an actor not to laugh during that scene. Anyway, here it is.



Black Cat Appreciation Day: Niles and Gorilla Biscuit

You guys!

Niles looking suave

Niles looking suave

So we’re a little late on this one, but since yesterday was Black Cat Appreciation Day, I wanted to give a shout out to my older brother Niles. Let’s talk about why he’s cool (and this is the only time I’m going to do this):

  • He’s very majestic
  • He has white spots amidst his black hair
  • He’s fifteen and still jumps around like he’s eight
  • He, for some reason, gets to sleep in MomFOD’s bed all night over her head on the pillow holding her hands and licking her nose
  • He always sits with MomFOD when she doesn’t feel well
  • He’s the best at yelling “No!”
  • He sings
Here I am knighting him. He is now known as "Sir Niles!"

Here I am knighting him. He is now known as “Sir Niles!”

Black cats are awesome and are very under-adopted at shelters. To read more about their myths and legends, check out this article we wrote last year:

Black Cats: The Truth Behind the Darkness

Niles, always looking awesome.

Niles,  looking awesome, as always.

Black cats are cool (even though the don’t have stripes that you can see- some of them still do have stripes, you just need to tilt them in the sun a little) and they match anything you’re wearing, so please consider adopting black next time you’re looking for a new family member. In fact, here’s one that needs a home. His name is Gorilla Biscuit and he’s a fighter, among other things.




CatVidFest and Crepidator Sharks

You Guys!

I found out during #sharkweek last night that there is a shark called a Crepidator. The problem is that it’s a dogfish. I’m not sure about the logic in that, but I came up with this:

There is nothing else like it.

There is nothing else like it.

I think it’s pretty bad ass. What do you think?

Alas, this will be my last shark week post because as of tonight, the FODs are off to the Internet Cat Video Festival! It’s being held in Minneapolis at the Walker Art Center on Thursday the 14th. So come one, come all! Watch cat videos and meet the FODs. They’ll be filming for and you could have a chance to be in one of their videos!

If you can’t make it, don’t worry: it’ll probably be coming to a town near you, minus the FODs. They won’t be coming to a town near you. They have to stay home with me. They’ve been out enough.


Happy Shark Week!