Keep getting stray cats in our house. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Keep getting stray cats in our house.

My fiance and I have three cats of our own and we keep the garage door open a smidge so they can go outside when they want. We wouldn't keep it open at all except that one of our cats, which was a stray has never used the litter box and always goes outside to go to the bathroom.

We have a box outside by the garage with a blanket in it which was originally for our cats when they go outside if they want to sleep in it. Well about a month ago a stray had been coming around, sneaking into the house to get food from the bowl and then going out. He was very skittish and if he saw us would run away down the stairs and outside. We have been feeding him outside now and he has pretty much become our outside cat even though he still won't let us get too close to him. Now in the past week we have another cat that is basically doing the same thing but as of tonight he has been easing himself in the house more, still very wary of us, but I came downstairs to actually find him sitting on our couch! He will still run if we get close to him, but was playing with the mouse toy when I would get it out.

We certainly don't need anymore cats but I feel so bad for these cats who don't have anywhere to go. There is the possibility of getting them in a box and taking them to the Humane Society but there's no way we can even get close to them before they run off. I don't want to have fleas and parasites in the house either. Yes we can chase them off outside and shut the garage door but then we have the problem of our one cat peeing and pooping in the house. What can we do??
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 12:35 AM
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Location: Monroe, GA
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Re: Keep getting stray cats in our house.

Welcome to Cat Forum and I understand the problem you have, unfortunately, there aren't many solutions. I am happy that you understand these stray cats are only trying to survive, but I also know ... there *is* a limit as to how much someone can give, as I faced that problem by feeding strays on our rural property. I was able to find an organization to help me TNR (Trap Neuter Release) and most of these adult cats eventually tamed and became our housecats. The kittens, I tamed, socialized and fostered in our home until they were ready to be spayed/neutered and go to the adoption center to find their own permanant homes. That solution worked for me.

I understand there is a limit to what any person can financially do. I had to find an organization to help me when I realized that my feeding would allow a higher survival rate, until the number of cats exceeded my ability to feed, then it would cycle through survival-of-the-fittest until the weaker cats had died off, food resources returned to being plenty for all and the cycle would begin again. My solution was to trap everyone I could for spay/neuter and tame/socialize for adoption all of the kittens.
We also had an adult cat who would not use the litterboxes. He was a former feral who I tamed outside our home before I began to let him inside. He eventually grew comfortable spending a lot of time indoors, and even overnight, but we had to let him in/out so he could go potty. He never had an accident inside, until he became ill, and that was understandable and easily forgiven.

In your case, the ONLY way to stop strange kitties from coming in your home is to deny them access.
Two solutions would be a cat-flap door with an electronic reader that recognizes a specific chip-thing that is placed on your cats' collars. I understand batteries and/or replacement chips are sometimes required and a little spendy to have to replace. Another would be to create an outdoor cat kennel that is attached to your home, giving your cats free-access outdoors and into a safe environment created by you. We plan on building one along the East side of our home. I am hoping we can make it 20'x45', but we may have to begin with 10'x10' at first, and then add on as finances allow. A final solution would be to trap the stray cats and have them removed. This usually will mean they would go to a shelter that may or may not work with taming them and helping them to find homes, and that could ultimately mean a death sentence for them.

There are few easy solutions, no easy answers and no guarantees. I wish we *could* save them all.
Best of luck with your situation.
heidi =^..^=



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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-19-2009, 09:54 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 14
Re: Keep getting stray cats in our house.

Wow, I sympathize. I started out with two (Ebony and Onyx), then rescued a stray kitten (Zero, all looks and no brains), and now there's Snuffles (who I'm looking for another home for). I thought that was the end of it, but then the next-door neighbors moved to another city, leaving behind the three semi-feral stray cats they fed. Now one of the neighbor's cats is nosing around their food, and I'm getting more than a little alarmed.

I'm currently working on getting close to the three strays outside, and the key is food. Instead of leaving food for them, pour it into their dish and sit in the same room (if you're still allowing them inside) or about five feet away if they're outside. It'll take some patience, but eventually they're going to give up the wariness and get close enough to eat. Then work it closer day by day, and start reaching for them, scratching their shoulders and heads, etc. I was able to actually hold Mama for the first time yesterday for about a minute before she struggled out of my arms and to the food, lol. I'm hoping I manage to catch all three and take them to a no-kill shelter, mainly because I'm worried Garfield (the male) doesn't have a lot of hope. He has a respiratory infection and a very badly-healed broken front leg, so he kind of walks like a runway model. He's scruffy and kind of unattractive, so I want to make sure he has a chance, because normal shelters would probably just put him down. =/
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