how do i keep other cats out of my colony? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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how do i keep other cats out of my colony?

I have a colony of 8 feral cats (2 moms, 6 five month old kittens). They have now all been spayed and neutered! =) I feed them on my screened in porch and give them just enough that they are able to finish it in the morning with none left over. I thought that would keep other cats from coming around, but today I saw a new cat walking around outside the porch and then I heard some of my cats fighting with it. I am concerned that A) the cat is not spayed or neutered and I will end up with MORE cats and B) the cat might be sick and make my cats sick. Of course a part of me wants to take care of this one too, but I can only do so much. Any advice for keeping outside cats out of my current colony? PS I live in the country. I have ten acres and there are only about 7 houses on my street.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 12:32 PM
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Re: how do i keep other cats out of my colony?

You cant keep other cats out of your colony. Plus ears are tipped so we know when new ones come in so they can be vetted, S/N & shots. These new cats are just trying to survive. If your in the country I suspect your always going to be getting new cats wandering in. So many pets are dumped in the countryside by #$%##* heartless irresponsible people.

If your having trouble affording food try contacting any TNR group or Rescue group or even a food bank and ask them for food. (Dont tell the food bank it for the feral colony. They give food out for house pets.) The no kill shelter here takes all their donated opened bags of food to the food bank. Our Food Bank is willing takes the opened bags.

My TNR group here supplies food for lots of colonies because the people are willing to look after the colonies but are on limited incomes. We are grateful for their heart for the ferals and willing to do what they need to care for the cats.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-13-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: how do i keep other cats out of my colony?

If they are feral and free-roaming there is no control over them at all.
To the best of my knowledge; you cannot control territories, food/shelter resources or numbers of cats unless you also control the environment ... which means a finite environment with limited or restricted access in/out. If the newcomer is smelling a food source, of course it will attempt to reach it so it can survive easier. The newcomer will also fight for space within that territory and the privilege of consuming the food resource. If you remove the food source, you remove the driving factor behind the cat trying to 'muscle-in' to the existing cats' territory, but then you are also removing the food from your own feral colony. Catch-22.

On our own property I fed all the ferals and slowly TNR'd everyone. Most were able to be tamed/socialized by myself and we kept the adults (all are now fabulous housecats) while one adult and all kittens were sent through a local adoption center after being fostered by myself. One thing I have done that has greatly reduced the amount of 'cat traffic' that I saw, is I no longer leave food out and I especially leave no food out overnight after I began attracting raccoons and possums to our doors. I changed to only feeding outside cats when I saw them and only what they would eat at that meal, but we currently have no outside cats.

I know that by doing this, I am *not* feeding cats who could benefit by my providing food, but I also understand that my own resources are limited, so out-of-sight-out-of-mind has to be one of my mantras.
If I provide constant food, cats will become healthier and more kittens will survive, being taught by their mothers to come to my food-station. This will continue until I have reached a financial plateau of what amount of food I can afford to provide, until the number of cats utilizing this resource outnumbers what it can adequately feed. Then the colony will experience deprivation and survival-of-the-fittest will rule; cats will become weak and die-off, lowering the numbers utilizing food resources until the food source is plentiful again. Then the cycle begins anew.
I couldn't handle that so what I do now is simply what I have to do.
In this manner, I have been able to handle and care for the few cats who *have* come around after I changed my constant supply of food to only food-when-I-see-them. Since then, I have been able to help the few cats who do come, and my finances have not been unduly strained. The cats who came have been two male tomcats, both who perished/disappeared before I could TNR and one female who allowed me to bring her inside to foster and become accepted to the adoption center and spayed.

Best wishes to you,
heidi =^..^=

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