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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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What do I do

Right now I'm feeding two different feral cat populations. One of them is in my neighborhood and well, they get a lot of stuff (raw food, dry food, canned food, etc.). The other cat population, well it's not really a "population", so far I have only spotted two ferals. Anyway, it's on my college campus. I know that someone else is helping me out because in the same spot I leave out food for the cats, I see cans of cat food. What I do is I purchase a big bag of dry food on Monday's. I take it to my college campus, fill up their bowl completely with food and water and I leave the dry food in their cardboard box shelter. I come to school five days a week so each day I come, the food is right there so I can fill it up. The campus is literally two hours away from my house. I do not come on weekends. What I'm really worried about is the summer. I will be gone for about two or three months. I feel so guilty because I do not feed them on weekends nor will I be able to during the summer. There are lots of squirrels on campus (I mean LOTS) and I'm hoping that the ferals know how to catch those. But I doubt it. Squirrels are fast. These two feral cats are almost impossible to catch. Someone told me they have been on the campus for two years, which means they should be able to survive during the summer, right? The humane society that I volunteer for would probably euthanize them for the slightest thing like they did the last time I took a cat from my neighborhood there. I do not have the option to take them home because I have kittens in my house and who knows what diseases the ferals carry. Also, there's just no room as I'm fostering so many different animals.

Do you think feral cats can catch squirrels? The cats must have learned to survive without the food college students provide, right? Otherwise they wouldn't make it during the weekends or the summers in the past.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 02:16 PM
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Re: What do I do

The feral, semi-feral and my former feral indoor/outdoor cats CAN/DO catch squirrels and cottontail rabbits on my property.
You are doing the best you can and I'm sure they appreciate it. Have you been able to spay/neuter? There are many organizations that can help you with that particular project to help keep the feral populations from growing...
Best of luck!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 05:22 PM
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Re: What do I do

How kind of you to feed those cats. They will manage, but I hope the other person will continue to feed them, as they will have a dependable source of food. The greatest favor you could do for them.. to lengthen their lives... would be to trap them, spay, neuter, and return them to their own area. The Humane Society will probably lend you a humane trap. Also, you'll probably get some help from the following organizations.

Check out these organizations for spaying/neutering help:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

http://www.alleycat.org/

There is a Sticky regarding the trapping of ferals at the top of this forum. Good luck!




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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:49 AM
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Re: What do I do

Even if these cats have been out there for two years doesnt mean
they cant be trapped. Ive only heard of a couple cats which just
wouldnt go in the traps! My friend is dealing with that right now!!!

If someone else is bringing food to the ferals on your campus occasionally
could you leave her a note telling her you wont be there this summer?
To contact you? Maybe put a note on craigs list or a campus bulletion
board to find another willing person to take over for the summer.

Are there any TNR groups in the campus area? They could be your
biggest help. I know Gainesville Florida
has a active group of TNRers but I dont see where you are from. If
there is a vet school on your campus I would bet they are familar
with TNR and would do the s/n shots for free and help you out with
feeding or point you to some one who possiblely could.

Our TNR group has a sign we use at events. It says-
Every year, 7 out of 10 cats
who enter pounds & shelter are euthanized! That number
jumps to nearly 100% for feral cats-Shameful statistics!


This is so kind what you are doing for these helpless ferals. Yes they can
hunt but it doesnt mean their diet is consistant or good. Its a hard life
being a feral cat. You are making a huge difference in their quality of life.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What do I do

I have been unsuccessful in trapping them so far Another problem is that I go to a very huge college campus in Texas. The cats' area is very far from my car and I just can't always carry the trap with me. Sometimes the cats are not even there. I am only on campus for two hours everyday. So it's like pointless to bring over the trap when they're not even there and I'll be gone. It's very inconvenient. And my car is usually parked like at least one mile away from that area (there is absolutely no other place I could park my car which is in a close proximity).

Well that person will most likely be off during the summer too and I don't think he/she will be willing to take over. In fact, I am 100% no one will be willing to take over. That cat has been on campus for more than two years and no one did anything (i.e., take it to an animal shelter or rescue it). That goes to show that people do not care. OK, well maybe they are stuck in my situation and are unable to trap it. I'll be honest, I only took the trap once (it's huge) and it was embarrassing walking that far with a trap, crossing the street, etc. only to reach that area and not find any cat. I kept walking around like an idiot and thought "OK you know what, screw this, I'll just keep feeding them and let it go." But that's not even the reason why I am not interested in trapping anymore. I mean, there's only two cats maximum in this area. Both of them are the same sex. It's a college campus for goodness sakes lol not a neighborhood. These two cats just HAPPENED to be here. It's in a very secluded area so I'm pretty sure no other cats will show up to impregnate them. Besides, these two cats have remained on this college campus for more than two years. So what's the point of TNR? It's not like a huge colony reproducing by the minute.

I am also scared of doing TNR because whenever feral cats come into our humane society, they automatically euth. them. And I get angry and ask them "well, why didn't you just neuter/spay and release them?" And then they say that usually cats lose their ability to fight off other cats and become less aggressive which is a downside when they're constantly facing other aggressive, unaltered cats. They become weak etc etc. Right now my main concern with these cats is not TNR, it's how to feed them. I am really focusing on TNRing the dozens of cats in my own neighborhood right now that are reproducing by the minute. They are semi-feral. Some of them that did manage to get close enough to me, I took to the humane society (always a BIG BIG mistake, never doing this again unless the cat I find is VERY sick and dying), some of them I neutered or spayed and some I adopted/fostered. Do you think I should trap the ones on my college campus and then bring them into my neighborhood so that they will always have food? Wait, no that is a dumb idea. Or is it?

But since you guys say that they will manage during the summer with the squirrels and whatnot, I will calm down. I never knew cats eat squirrels.

OK, one more option I have which could potentially guarantee them shelter and food for the rest of their lives. I can take them to the humane society I work at where if they have ANY sort of disease like FeLV or FIV they WILL be euth. I hate taking cats there because the last stray I took was euth. because she had FeLV and a bad skin disease. And I cried and cried for months and felt like a murderer. Now, I understand why they did it but I just feel like MOST of these cats deserve to live. If they had mouths they would scream and yell and tell us to stop. That they want to keep living and that it's their right. I mean I understand it if they euth. cats if they have contagious or fatal diseases but why euth. a cat because the color of it's coat is black and it's not "adoptable"? WTF. Humans make me sick sometimes but then again it's an amazing shelter and I'm so proud of them. It just sucks it has to be this way. So anyway, IF these cats are fine and dandy, if they test negative for the combo test then they will be able to live the rest of their lives at the humane society until they're adopted. Oh, and trivial things like fleas, worms, ear mites don't count. They can treat those things. It's just the major, contagious and fatal diseases they euth. for. Also, if the cats are too feral they also euth. And these cats DO seem feral. Which means there's a higher chance they'd be euth. Ahh IDK.

Sorry for the looong rant!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 02:06 AM
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Re: What do I do

If youíre in the Galveston Texas area I know people who would help you.

As I said in my last post feral cats brought to pounds and shelters do not make it back out. Humane Societies are kill shelters. I would never recommend taking a feral there. Tucson HS will not accept ferals. They now only support TNR.

If you move the ferals from their territory you have a 50/50 chance they will take off and try to find their way back. In the process they will be in danger of being killed by cars, predators, etc. There are certain steps you must take when moving ferals-, which take 4 weeks minimum. Not a good idea I think for you to do this. Another interesting fact about ferals is they have a 2-mile radius territory. So yes they could get pregnant. Theyíre not hanging out in a small area!

You need to check Alley Cats Allies website. It will show you the proper way to trap a feral. You cannot leave a trap unattended over night. We get up in the middle of the night and drive to our traps to check them.

I donít think you are the only cat lover on this campus so why donít you try to find someone else to do this with you by taking over this summer. You got to have a little faith here, that if your suppose to do this for these cats, everything you need will happen. Including someone to feed them this summer. Why canít you try Craigís list? The university message board? Check with the rescues in the area? The tnr groups in your area? Starting to networking, it does wonders.

I myself wouldnít guarantee their survival once left on their own. Most outdoor cats live 1-5 years. Itís extremely hard for a cat to catch bunnies and squirrels. They have to use a lot of energy to do that. Reality is the ferals catís lives are brutal! That is why feeding them is such an act of compassion and makes their quality of life so much better
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What do I do

I'm in Houston, very close to Galveston and if I get the driving directions I could get there. Who can help me there? I know some TNR groups. What I will do is take a trap there during the weekend and stay there as long as I can until the cats get trapped and then I will take them to the TNR group on April 13th. And then I will make a sign and put it near their food and water bowls saying "Please refill food and water for homeless cats" is that OK? What can I put on the sign? I will take big bags of cat food every week during the summer like on Sunday so that people can see the sign and refill if they ever happened to walk past that area. So basically I can still manage to go there every Sunday during the summer. I'm sure that would be college students taking summer classes HOPEFULLY who would be willing to refill (I usually place the big bags on a cardboard box). You're absolutely right, humane societies are kill shelters. I would NEVER take a poor feral cat there. I have seen feral cats lined up and euth. and it is heartbreaking and I have never been so passionate about feeding them and caring for after seeing that.

Anyway, I'll do the craigslist thing. I'll tell them the location and also let them know that I am willing to provide the big bag on Sunday's. All people need to do is refill.

I am just so concerned about these cats in particular because it's not a neighborhood. It's a busy college campus, students are only worrying about their lectures, their exams and ignore the cats. If these cats were apart of a feral colony in a neighborhood then I would be less worried because people usually feed ferals and stuff. But this campus is closed on weekends, at night, during holidays, during summer, etc. I don't get why no one has done anything yet! Sometimes I feel like no one cares anymore.

EDIT: I'm on my college campus right now and the cat's ankle in the back legs has a bald spot, it looks like an infection. There was some exposed flesh But the cat is eating and drinking water. I wonder what it could be.
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