Help me catch my cat, please!!!!!
Thank you having me here. It's wonderful to be in the company of so many kitty fans.
I maintain several feral colonies and have over 20 cats of my own. We have a huge yard with a cat fence and the kitties are all neutered and taken to the vet for their shots, etc.
Last spring while trapping ferals, I picked up a kitten of about 4 to 5 months, had him neutered and his ear tipped. He is a black, long-haired male. During the process, I discovered he was as tame as a house cat and very lovable. I kept him and he integrated well into my inside kitties (the ones in the back yard do not like the ones in the house, but they have a heated out building, so they are quite comfotable).
The kitten, Sam, has grown into a beautiful, personable cat. He's also very smart -- probably the smartest cat I've seen.
One week ago yesterday, one of the kids didn't shut the front door and the screen (which my husband has been saying he'll fix for two months) didn't catch. Sam nosed his way out.
I spent three sleepless days and nights walking the neighborhood, placing ads, posting flyers and tracking down leads. I finally discovered he is living in the wooded area behind a house five houses down from ours. He has been seen almost on a daily basis.
I have done a lot of reading about the behavior of indoor cats when they escape and he has followed it to a tee. He runs whenever someone comes near. He runs when a car passes. He hides during the day and only comes out at night.
The house where he is staying is occupied by a friend who takes care of three spayed and neutered ferals that also live in the woods. She feeds them on her patio and that is where Sam is eating.
There are also several other people in the neighborhood who feed strays on a regular basis, including a couple who live across a busy street. Sam has been seen at her house at least once.
I have two live traps and have been setting them every night. I baited them with the food he likes as a treat, to no avail. I have also tried sardines and some canned fish in oil. I placed the food in a trail leading into the cages.
I have caught three cats and the same (dumb) possum twice. I have cleaned the cages and moved them each day. We know he has been around the cages, but he obviously remembers them.
We changed their appearance and waterproofed them by wrapping them in heavy black plastic, and still no Sam. I have wrapped the cages in clothing with my scent, have put food out on my porch, hung clothes from our trees so he could "smell" his way back home. Nothing works.
I am afraid if she stops feeding him, he will cross the street for food and get hit by a car or lost.
I am desperate for ideas. Anyone have anything to offer? Thanks in advance.
Sam's Mama, KJ