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Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Hi I am new to this community, but not to feral colonies and cats in general. Manage TNR colony of about 45 cats, have adopted 20 or so from the colony. Five months ago took in a Momma Cat who had just had two boy kittens. They came from another feral colony person who was overloaded at the time.

The Momma cat was pregnant, and two of the babies born dead. She was in pain and not able to deliver, so colony caretaker took her to vet, where she delivered last two babies after which she was spayed. She arrived at my house about three days after the babies had been born.

I placed them in my office/workshop (which I swore I would NEVER do) thinking that they would only be in it for a few months. Transitioned all three into a larger room that gave them access to the outside at about 3 months. All went well, until my regular cats decided to reclaim that room (simply by starting to sleep there and using the cat door). No fighting, everything seemed to be going well, but suddenly Momma moved the two boys back into the workshop. I decided to let them stay there if that was what they wanted, and once again put up a cat door so they could go outside. After about 10 days my own cats started, once again, to use the cat door and go into the shop. This time Momma cat moved herself and the two babies outside at about 4:00 P.M, and wouldn't come back in or allow the babies to come either, so all three spent the night outside with my worrying about them.

So, once again I tried to manipulate the cat door so that it would be difficult for my cats to go in and watched to make sure Momma and babies could go out and come back in.As soon as they were using it easily I thought the problem was over. Well, guess what? Now Momma and babies won't leave the shop!!!! The area is much too small for 3 cats to spend their life in (not to mention I want my shop back!).

And, Momma cat is still nursing them every now and then at five months! They are fed wet food three times a day and have dry food at all times and fresh water, so the nursing is not about food.

I am at my wits end with these three! I need for them to integrate into the colony, or, at the very least, get comfortable in the rest of the house and integrate with my indoor/outdoor group.

All of the cats have really gotten along well all of these years. No major problems, or fights. I make sure there is enough food and enough warm safe beds.

My only idea at this point is to simply move them into the main part of the house, close off the shop and let them figure out what to do. But I really am not sure what to do. Any thoughts or suggestions would be so appreciated. I've never come across a problem like this before.
Usually the Momma cat is throwing the babies out and refusing to let them nurse..but not this gal. I swear she will be nursing them no matter how old they get. But it is not just the nursing that is a problem, it is that these cats have no freedom...no life, because Momma apparently doesn't want them to.

HELP!!!!!

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

At five months, the kittens should have stopped nursing. Probably the best thing to do would be to separate the kittens from their mom so that she has a chance to "dry up." Once this happens, you should be able to put them together again and the mom shouldn't be able to nurse them anymore.

As far getting your shop back, I would say your plan would be best. Sometimes cats sort of have to be forced to integrate into the rest of the group. Also, by separating the mom from her kittens, it should help her to "let the chicks leave the nest" a bit better.

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