Feral kitten update
The kittens are growing on me! They have been visible in the yard for about 3 weeks. You can read about their initial appearance here.
I am getting them on an eating schedule. There are two advantage to this. Knowing when I will arrive with food, means I know they will be there for socialization attempts. And if socialization doesn't work out, having them on a schedule can help make trapping them easier.
Before tonight, they waited for their mom to be around before approaching the food bowls. They would hide under the deck while waiting for her. I don't want the mom cat (named Chloe) to feel sad or anxious when the kittens are taken away which might happen if they are taken too soon.
The cats are not interacting with me much. I was able to engage one of them with a stick. They do not mind my presence if I keep my distance. Slowly, I have been moving my chair closer to the eating area.
As far as I can tell, they have not left the yard yet. In the last couple days, I have noticed her playing more on the deck.
The Trail Camera Footage
We have the trail camera focused on the food bowls. Now that I am looking out the window more and sitting outside, I see they often play out of range of the camera. They also like to hang out in the small clump of trees behind the feeding area.
Seeing them run by on the camera has been fun. The video below is a compilation of some of the videos and pictures from this week. The camera is a Cuddeback brand similar to this one on Amazon (affiliate link). We purchased ours at Cabela's and I'm not finding the exact same model on Amazon.
The weather is hot this week, so there are now two water bowls for them. No food is left out overnight as we have seen a raccoon and a possum on the trail camera footage.
I am still undecided on the best course of action. Kitten Lady posted a rant on YouTube about leaving outdoor cats outside. You can watch her video below.
Feral Kitten Choices
The hard part is deciding what to do with the kittens. Doing nothing isn't the answer as that would result in them growing and reproducing, resulting in even more unwanted kittens.
I feel like the kittens deserve a chance at indoor life, although they can be happy and healthy outdoors. The local humane society will take them if they are socialized. This shelter is a no kill shelter and will only accept them when they have space.
There is also the possibility of finding someone who could take them in to foster and socialize them. My friend at work gave me some contacts as she cares for a small cat colony.
Or perhaps I will find a way to socialize them inside my home or garage.
The mom cat will remain outside as she is feral. My plan is to trap her or perhaps the others person who is feeding her, will do the trapping.
What would you do if kittens were born in your yard?