We got 2 barn kittens

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jillis, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Of course, everyone has barn cats. What's the big deal?

    Around here, there is a line of barn cats that has double paws. They also have some Persian in them, and some Siamese. Some of them are very exotic looking. We got one that is just a plain gray tiger stripe, but awfully cute anyway...and his sister, who is white with puffy dark tiger stripe spots all over. One on each ear...she has blue eyes and double paws.

    I'm taking them to the vet on Monday to get distemper shots---and they will be spayed and altered when they are old enough.

    They were very young to be taken from their mother, but I was told that if I waited another week, they would be too wild to catch.

    They are drinking milk from a bowl, and when we play with them, I give them milk in a 3 cc syringe---several syringefuls. They are in a rabbit cage in the feed barn until they are big enough to fend for themselves.

    FUN!
     
  2. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For one, do not feed them people milk...it's too hard on their little tummies and they will get the diaherea and dehydrate. Give them kitten formula (KMR brand is a good choice) and if they are old enough, feed them some canned food mixed with some of the formula. You can give them a litter box too, so they can keep their area clean. They may be too young for their shots but you can take in a stool sample for the vet to check for worms.
    I love little kittens, did you get any pictures yet?
     

  3. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    The ones with the extra toes are called "polydactyl." I think they're really neat too, have fun with them!
     
  4. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As long as they are handled, you will be able to catch them and vet them, etc. Being taken from the litter too young, there are issues they will have, but at least they have each other. If they are over six weeks old, they should be on solid foods with kitten formula as a supplement. For optimum health, feed them a raw diet (like raw chicken wings, bits of raw organ meat). When they start hunting you can feed them less, but you will still have to feed them. I'm sure they will have a good life with you. :)
     
  5. Brighid1971

    Brighid1971 Well-Known Member

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    We got a polydactyl kitten about 3 or 4 years ago from a guy who was freaked out by them :shrug: My daughter was about 9 or 10 at the time, and it became her cat. She named him "Ernie"...as in Ernest Heimngway. Apparently, she had read that most, if not all, of the cats who remain on his Key West estate are "multi-toed". Henceforth, his name...if I can find a pic, I'll post it.

    Enjoy your kittens and see if you can use the kitten milk substitute. I think it's a brand that name starts with a "K" (our local feed store carries it). :)
     
  6. Windy_jem

    Windy_jem Well-Known Member Supporter

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    http://www.hdw-inc.com/tinykitten.htm
    http://www.saveacat.org/acr_articles/taming_feral_kittens.htm
    http://www.homeatlastrescue.org/html/aboutcats/kittencare.html
    Here are some links to help you. You would be amazed at the amount of food/formula these little ones will drink! Feed them every 3 hours or so (if not more) depending on their age. And try to keep them warm. They don't have momma there to regulate their body heat.

    (If I'm not supposed to post links here, I'm sorry, just delete my post please)
     
  7. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    You can feed them goat's milk.
     
  8. zookeeper16

    zookeeper16 Karaoke Queen

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    Around here, I've heard them simply called Hemingway cats. Have fun with them!
     
  9. x_xbirdie

    x_xbirdie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, all of Hemingway's cats are the extra toed cats. Went there the summer before last. Very cool, I think those cats get feed better than anyone on the island!
     
  10. dragonflyz9C

    dragonflyz9C Well-Known Member

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    The "polydactyl" kittens extra toes are from inbreeding... I'm glad that you will be fixing the ones you have.

    We have two of our own "free kittens". They don't stay "free" for long. The nature of having an outside cat is that they are exposed to more dangers. We have lost one 6 mo old cat... don't know what happened to him... Just a week after he had been fixed. My advice is to get them fixed on the earlier side... Maybe 4 mo. old. The males won't spray then... maybe won't wander as far either.

    Didn't mean to sound negative... we love our cats... and the female is the best hunter around. Keeping that in mind, we have our cats/dog on a regular deworming scedule... the dog will eat the cats catch.

    Here's our sweet little "barn" cat... Mr. Licorice
    [​IMG]
    I guess he isn't so little... photo bucket wouldn't go smaller, sorry.
     
  11. Nature_Lover

    Nature_Lover Well-Known Member

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    Polydactylism is a dominant gene, not usually caused by inbreeding, but from a parent with extra toes. (it can be from only one parent)

    Maine Coon Cats have the fluffy hair that you described, and before the maine coon breeders started messing around with showing and breed standards, many of the original maine coon cats had extra toes. (extra toes disqualifies a cat from show competitions, I personally think extra toes helps get the mice, LOL)

    They are a native North American breed, originally bred for mousing, and winter hardiness, in the northeast area of the USA.

    I understand there are still a lot of nonregistered, original blood, Maine Coon cats in the northeast, barn cats.

    Did you see the parent(s) -- are they large cats?
    They might have some Maine Coon blood in them....
    (as opposed to attributing the long hair to persian bloodlines)

    Here is a link to socializing kittens, even if you don't want them as pets, they will be better companions if you work with them to trust you when they are young, each week that goes by makes it take longer to gain their trust.
    http://www.rmaca.com/socializing.html

    What are their names, and where are the pictures? Hmmm...?
     
  12. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all!

    I believe you are correct about the Maine Coon Cat heredity, because the tigery one actually looks more like a spot pattern, especially on the tummy and sides...the Mom is just black and white.

    I had them to the vet today. She wormed them, and gave me the next two doses to give at one week intervals. I got some ointment because they both have pink eye. They are both boys. I will have them altered the earliest the vet allows, she said even as young as 4 months.

    Other than that she says they are healthy, and about 4 to 5 weeks old. She recommended I not give the milk, just water and moistened dry kitty food.

    They can begin their vaxes at 8 weeks old. I have pictures but my Kodak program is not working. :Bawling:

    I put a small litter box in their cage. The first day, they didn't use it, but they have used it ever since. :)

    It didn't take them long to get socialized. They get played with frequently. We put the dogs on the balcony and play with them in the house, and also in the yard. The double-pawed kitty really knows how to turn on his motor. He fell asleep in my hands and his head just went limp backwards and his mouth opened. He looked dead! I gave them a little bit of salmon and whoa nelly they loved that! The double-pawed one stuffed himself purring all the while. The tigery one is a little smaller but he also had a good amount. Then it was nap time.

    The tigery one went behind my fridge and got stuck. We could hear him mewing but couldn't find him. Then I saw the tip of his tail. I was able to pull him out---all except his head! I moved him up and down the whole side of the fridge looking for a slightly bigger gap, then told my dd to get dad. Then I brought him all the way down to the floor and found enough room to pull him out.

    Silly kitty.
     
  13. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    My advice would be not to waste your money fixing a barn cat!

    Pete
     
  14. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Of course you'll get them both fixed, and good for you!
     
  15. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    I wish my barn kittens would use the outdoor facilities once in awhile! I let them out loose from the barn after a week, and they will still go inside to use the litter box. Not that this is a big deal, but cats that eat canned food reek! I walk into the barn in the morning and get a whiff of that....ewww! Now they are locked in the barn at night and have to use the litterbox, and I clean it first thing in the morning, but still! :p

    I would skip the canned food but it is so helpful in getting the cats to the barn at night. They are always waiting right there for it. The kittens will practically climb my shoulders to get at that food at night (the rest of the day, there is dry food out). See, I need to close the barn at night, I don't need coons or skunks in there.

    Double-toed cats are very common in my area. I used to see lots of them at the animal shelter when I worked there. I always thought it was a genetic fault, but maybe not? There used to be a vet around here that always asked people when they got their cats fixed or declawed, "You want those extra ones removed?" Now why on earth would someone do that? Sheesh!
     
  16. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I will. There are enough unwanted kittens in the world w/o my contributing to the surplus. Besides, male cats spray. These little ones are spending a LOT of time in the house...boy they play fight and it looks so serious, biting, clawing, rolling over each other...
     
  17. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I thought we were talking barn cats here. What exactly are they spraying on in your barn that is causing you problems?

    Cats have become part of the ecosystem. I'm all for fixing mice and rats so that we can control their population too!

    Pete
     
  18. Star In N.C.

    Star In N.C. Well-Known Member

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    I got a male white cat with blue eyes. He is my dogs best friend. He loves the old baby milk a got in a bag DH bought in a yard sale(it had never been opened it is the powder type). He loved it better than the cat milk he would not drink good. The lady I got him from said to give him milk when we got him. He will not eat his dry food with milk on it but boy does he love it in a seperate bowl. He and my outside baby stay outside unless it gets too hot outside (anything above 80) they go out to potty then comes back in until dark then they go back out to their house where they sleep in together.
    Star
     
  19. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    I have to drink Lactaid milk because I am lactose intolerant. I give a dish of it to the cat and does she ever purr as she laps it up. It hasn't caused any problems with her at all unless you count her getting mad when I have some and she doesn't. She will put one paw on my leg and s-l-o-w-l-y put out her claws to let me know she is there and wants some too. That is her way of getting my attention.
     
  20. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Silly Pete. Male cats who are not neutered will mark their territory by spraying their very unpleasantly (to us) scented urine all around their territory. That is only one reason I am having them fixed. I think they will live longer and not fight as much; I also don't want to contribute to the amount of unwanted kittens in the world.

    BTW, every living thin is part of the ecosytem. I do worry about them becoming fox bait...