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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Non cat person dealing with feral cats

Wow, here I am with another cat question.

Twice in one month!


So I have a mama cat and two kittens who I have taken up residence in my back yard and on my back porch. They are feral, but appear healthy with clear eyes, ears, and sleek fur with a good weight.

I'm not a cat person, and my whole family is severely allergic to them, so I'm as ignorant as a stump with these guys.

If I were to catch them and bring them to the animal shelter, they would all be put to sleep as soon as I left. The shelter doesn't deal with ferals at all. I'm of the opinion that that would be better than starving and breeding uncontrollably, but not my first choice.

The second choice after a few phone calls, was to try a catch/speuter/release thing. I've got the number of a vet that will give me rescue rates on them, as well as shots for the kittens to protect against kitten respiratory issues etc.

I don't necessarily mind them out there. They are eating well somewhere, probably all of the rodents in my wood pile. But I don't want them breeding any more. I don't even mind feeding them cat food on a regular basis to supplement them. They're already eating my elderly dog's food and drinking her water. I know the cat food would be much healthier for them.


So, that being the situation....how in the world would I catch these guys? How should I handle them? Do you have any other advice for my situation? I've never dealt with, wanted to deal with, or had the opportunity to deal with cats before, let alone feral cats.


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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it may take time to catch them since you said there feral u need to approach them slowly.You can try setting a trap but it might scare them try and sit on the porch or whereever they go with a book and some treats and slowly lay them down in the grass till they make there way to you.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:11 PM
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If they're truly feral they won't approach you at all, even when offered food, so you're going to have to use a live trap (look up Hav-a-Hart traps). Are there any local TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs in your area that could help?




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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 01:55 PM
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I'd worry about the feral cats possibly having rabies. I would wear Playtex Living Gloves that have three layers if you are going to try and catch them. Maybe you can find someone in your area who deals with cats on a daily basis who doesn't think that they should be put to sleep.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all,

They are totally feral. I'm not going to want to or be able to put my hands on them or get withing 50 yards of them. I have found a group nearby that works with the trap neuter release, and they've told me to leave out food at the same time in the evening every day for them to acclimate them for easy capture w/ hav a hart traps.

My first thought was rabies. If they'll do the other shots, I was going to throw rabies vaccination in to the mix.

If anyone would be willing to work with the kittens, I'm sure they could still be rehabilitated easier than the mother otherwise, I'll just speuter them and let them live wild in my back yard.


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:26 PM
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rabies isn't really a huge concern, while it is up there, it is unlikely that they have it.

if the kittens are really young you can try to catch them and handle them but the catch and release programs are also nice to do.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 01:41 AM
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Thanks for big heart for them. Hope you could send them to be fixed or maybe look for non-kill shelter..

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 04:17 PM
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A non-kill shelter will not take feral cats.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone,

I thought I'd give you all an update. I was put in contact with a cat rescue in my neighborhood who runs an aggressive catch neuter release program to control the feral cat population. There is a local philanthropist guy who also runs a neuter/spay clinic for feral cats and low income families. For feral cats, he will speuter them, and then match half the cost of the speuter/shots out of his pocket.

The rescue left me some traps and showed me how to use them effectively this week. Yesterday we caught momma and one of the kittens, and 10 minutes ago we caught the other kitten. Momma and kitten 1 were speutered today and are in recovery. The rescue is coming to pick up our other kitten tonight. I'll be covering cost of all of this for the rescue, which will run me only 100 dollars for 3 cats surgeries and shots, and gas/food expenses for the rescue. My three new wild kids will be back home this week and I'll plan on feeding them and pretty much letting them do their little wild kitty thing.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Popping in for an update a couple of months after spaying our three ferals. I seldom see Mama cat. Just often enough to assure myself she's still alive. Her two kittens however come running when I call. They're still skittish, but I did have an interesting feeding session where I sat at the porch door with it cracked open while they ate three feet from me. I still don't intend to tame them or make them real pets, but if I were able to work with them, then taking them in for shots would be much easier.

Momma cat is now called The Elusive Hatty Cat, after Cat in the Hat, and her kittens are Thingone and Thingtwo respectively.


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