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Old 06-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stray, Feral or wanderer

I have enjoyed the company of cats for the past 25 years and they do seem to find our home. There has been a new cat in the yard for the past 6 weeks that I finally figured out is an un neutered male. He approaches the patio door, sniffs noses with my 2 cats, and then hangs out. He will not permit any approach other than up to about 4 feet but accepts and eats cat food when offered. I can't tell if he is any of the type in the subject line. I posted a found ad and asked around the neighborhood but no luck. I want to be cautious with this because last year I took in a one eyed sick looking fellow who was in pretty bad shape. The rescue group advised the humane approach due to the injury and illness and 10 days later someone posted all over the street signs about their missing one eyed, previously injured cat. This guy looks OK so he could be just a wanderer seeking a handout. Any advice or thoughts.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, that is so sad about the cat with one eye. I a bit nift that a rescue would encourage the euthanization
of that cat. Ive rescued lots of very sick cats and rarely do they not respond to medical care. Im sorry you had to go thru that.

Most cats acting like the one you described is a dumped abandoned cat that is starting to go feral to survive. My rule of thumb is if your cat ends up in my yard and is not spayed or neutered then Im going to get the cat trapped and s/n, vaccinated and ear tipped.

With the economy the way it is, a lot of people heartlessly dump their animals (this is happening to horses even!) You obviously have a big heart. I would trap this guy. after s/n and release then continue to feed him daily.

There are stickies at the top of the feral cat section with ideas for shelters, how to tame feral or semi feral kitties, etc.

Thanks for being such a kind soul. Feral, semi feral, abandoned outdoor cats are the least helped in the rescue community. You are making this cats life a bit easiier with your help.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response. Cats end up in my suburban yard because I have no fence, no dog and a water source from the fish pond. There have been many cats passing through but I have to believe this guy is a dump job because he just keeps showing up at waiting at the door. He spooks when he sees people that are clearly not "his" people. He got to within a foot of me last night, sniffed noses with my two cats at the door then moved on to where ever he spends the night.

He will not enter the trap despite his hunger but I want to get him vet checked and neutered if he is going to continue to hang around. I have a feeling once he is inside and safe the behavoir will change, then I can foster him until we can find him a more permenant home. The nose count in my house is capped at 2 but we can foster for a bit.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Make sure your hav a heart trap is covered except for the opening. Wire the door of the trap open. Start feeding him in the trap. First put the food dish right at the opening. Put very yummy cat food and get him use to eating there. Then start inching the bowl back. Till he is use to eating in the trap. Then when your ready and have a vet appt made set the trap.

That is how we get those hard to convince Toms to go in a trap. Dont rush this process. If you try to set the trap too soon, and he manages to escape, a lot of cats refuse to be fooled again. Be sure and tip his ear if your not totally convinced you will bring him around to being an indoor cat.

Keep us posted. Sounds like a nice cat
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~TNR and Rescue changes lives of animals.~

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Old 06-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Appreciate the advice. I would prefer to help him find his civilized side, if he were really feral I would probably only see his tail as he ran away. My town has an regulation that does not permit feeding any animals so at some point continuing to leave food will cause a problem with one of the neighbors, one that I would rather avoid. As long as he keeps to a schedule and he wants to eat he has to tolerate me sitting nearby. That should draw him in. Also he gets to see with my female cat rubbing her human. I don't know how cats learn but that should send a message that I am not a threat.
Lexi, the female, was a stray also but she decided in a day that a house was better than the yard and became a lap cat within a week.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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time and patience. eventually, if you put in the time, even the most feral of cats will warm up to you to some degree.

i posted this link in a different thread http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/soci...feral_cat.html imo some of the tips can be helpful even when you are dealing with one that is still free roaming

stick with it, you are doing a good thing
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice, I have read most of what is out there. This guy will present a bit of a challenge. He didn't show for a few days then came back last evening after the neighborhood activity quieted down for the night. Clearly something spooked him when he was gone, that close approach we were working toward went from 2 feet to half the yard. But he has me trained well, he looks in the door, meows, then backs up to wait for the food. My 2 cats don't even pay attention any more, he has become part of the landscape.

He will avoid the food entirely if it is near the trap so for now I will just feed him. If I get ambitious I will construct a drop trap from some PVC pipe and netting and give that a try. If we get a rain storm I might get him in the garage because he has no fear of that space and will walk in if he smells food. I figure it might be easier to catch him then because the door movement doesn't bother him at all and he has already marked several items in the garage when I wasn't looking.

In the meantime he is getting a regular meal and that is a good thing.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So this guy who I am going to call Mooch (because he seems to have perfected mooching a meal) came back last night, received his evening meal, sniffed noses with my male through the screen and then took a nap on the patio. I decided to up the stakes a bit and went outside to sit. He continued to nap, moved to my left to have a look, then to the front, finally to the right. All in all he stuck around for an hour. Body language was better (he yawned, stretched and groomed while I was present instead of being hunkered down) but still no closer than 2 feet and absolutely no way is he going into a trap. It appears he got into another fight given the new scratch on his face so I really want to get him out of circulation.
Any suggestions?
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like he is becoming more comfortable around you. I don't have any other suggestions about the trap, but hopefully someone else has some tips. Maybe he will eventually let you pet him and pick him up someday... and then you could quickly get him in a carrier or something. Or maybe not. But keep us posted on Mooch!
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For feral cats who wont let us touch them when injured we put fish mox in their food. Its an antibiotic. Google it for the amount my cheat sheet is in storage or Id tell you how much. When ferals are injured I give them Evo canned food. Healthy and excellent source of protein to help their recovery.
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With my eyes, they will be seen...With my voice, they will be heard....
With my hands, they will know comfort...With my action, they will be free...
~TNR and Rescue changes lives of animals.~

When the angels are busy God sends rescuers
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