In many cases, adult feral cats cannot be acclimated to living in captivity in a family environment. But, it is possible to tame a feral kitten.
It’s easiest to tame feral kittens when they are younger than eight weeks old. They are little sponges and learn quickly that you are there to love them, not hurt them. But, kittens should remain with their mother to nurse; which means if possible, try catching the mother with her babies. Cat condo cages are a great way to house a feral female cat and her kittens.
No matter how old the kittens are, food is the key to taming feral kittens. You want the kittens to associate people with something good- food. When the kittens are old enough to eat can food or moist cat food, place the food on a plate and get them used to eating with you near. Eventually, work the kittens up to allowing you to pet them while they are eating.
Once the kittens are used to eating with you close by, try getting them to like turkey or chicken baby food off your finger. Slowly, start leading them onto your lap while they lick the baby food from your fingers.
All socialization should be where you and the kittens are comfortable. Do not work in an area with tons of hiding places. A bathroom is a great place. Put yourself in a corner, so the kittens do not feel trapped.
When you are not working with the kittens, it’s a good idea to let them stay in a large dog kennel or a cat condo with a litter box, water bowl and a bed to sleep in. This is the easiest way to keep them, especially if they are still nervous around people. Housing the kittens in a confined area prevents them from hiding and refusing to come out.
Once the kittens start to warm up to you, introduce playtime with fun interactive toys.
The younger the feral kittens are the quicker it will be to socialize them and to be able to hold them. Older kittens will take more time and more work. If you do not have the time to properly work to socialize a litter of feral kittens, either leave them in the wild or find a local cat shelter who can trap them and socialize them in a foster home.