Trixie was trapped from a garden in Croydon along with her two other siblings and her mum in December 2019 when she was just 12 weeks old. It is believed their mum was perhaps a pet that was left behind after her original owner moved house. The mum was subsequently rehomed and the three kittens were placed into an experienced foster home. At CAS we routinely socialise feral kittens with the goal of rehoming them to a ‘normal’ home. We never TNR or relocate feral kittens to stables, smallholdings or farms.
Sadly, in January 2020, we lost one of our two kittens who we previously rehomed from CAS. Bella was only just over a year old and was obviously, like us, missing her brother. I contacted CAS and explained the situation. They introduced me to Trixie, explaining that she was classed as a feral kitten on intake. This meant she had missed out on early socialisation with humans and had therefore spent the last few weeks being socialised in an experienced foster home. CAS explained the process of rehoming an ex-feral kitten would differ slightly from that of a normal kitten, emphasising the importance of not rushing the process. This included the use of a crate to minimise regression for the first few weeks and creating a safe space for Trixie.
We initially had a home visit from CAS to assess that the environment was suitable for Trixie. This was an excellent opportunity to receive further guidance and advice to support us in the rehoming process. When Trixie first came to us, it was clear she was unsettled and very anxious to a new environment. We strictly followed the guidelines, understanding that Trixie had to progress at her own gradual pace. Initially it was a big milestone for Trixie to eat her food and not hide in her litter tray. Every day there were small developments, however having Bella to support her was crucial.
We continued to have valuable contact with CAS, ensuring they were aware of Trixie’s development. When ourselves and CAS felt that Trixie was ready, we allowed her out of the crate into the family room which she was already accustomed to for a few hours. Slowly we started to build up her time outside of the crate. Trixie started to become more interactive and playful, especially with Bella. We used treats and toys to encourage interaction and play.
Now Trixie, at 8 months, has become a very loving and affectionate kitten. She adores Bella and is constantly seeking attention from us. She is still very anxious with new people or situations but continues to develop every day. Although this process has been a challenge at times, it has been incredibly rewarding for our whole family, which Trixie is now a part of. The ongoing support of CAS has been essential in this process. We couldn’t be happier with how everything has worked out! Thank you CAS!