Ferals and strays killing me! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Ferals and strays killing me!

Last spring there was a kitten with half a tail roaming the neighborhood. I live in the city in row homes. We started feeding her and named her Sophie. A lot of other cats have started to come around now because I give them wet and dry food. We built a winter shelter for them and put out front of the house. A few other neighbors have done the same.

Sophie is the cutest little thing, she around probably 1yo now. We tried in a number of occasions to catch her to no avail. Every night she comes running and us waiting on one of our steps when we get home to eat. She used to lay on the top step and nap. We actually has her in the carrier one night and ran down to shut the door and she freaked in there. Threw herself against the door and push it open and ran. Then one night I propped open the screen door and pit food in the entry way and she came in a little and ate. Plan wasn't foolproof because we both were in the house and couldn't shut the door

One night in December she came by to eat and noticed she was limping. Didnt see anything in her leg And she didn't look so hot. Tried to help her but she left. Next night she came and I sat with her when she ate and when she turned to leave there was blood dripping down that same leg. There wasn't blood the night before. I called the neighbor and we sat outside for 4 hours and stakes out the car she was under, trying to coax her out. We were prepared with a cage, carrier, tuna, Parmesan cheese, and bkankets. She finally got out and we tried to get her and she flipped and took off.

We didn't see her for 3 weeks, we looked all over but don't know where the Cats go. We setup the cage, shelter, and carrier out front but she never came. About 10 other cats came, though. I called a ton of animal reduce groups for advice and help to get her, making it clear that I would keep her and pay for medical attention. I just needed help getting her since I have experience with cats. No one would help or call back.

A little over a week ago she came back. She looked thin but was walking normally again. Her leg looks like she bit all the fur off of it and scabbed over. We decided not to try to catch her cause she was so scared and leery of use now and to get her to trust us again and more importantly eat and drink safely. She seems to be fine and has come back every day and night.

Last night she came and I propped the door open for her to come in to eat thinking if she felt the warmth and saw the playland with have setup for pia she'd come in finally. But no, stupid cat left again.

Why won't she accept our help? Her little pink nose was blue because it is about 10-15 degrees here now.

I happened to wake up last night at 3am and went down to check pia and looked out the window, Sophie us licking the frozen food out there. The other cats must've eaten all the dry I had out. I ran through to the kitchen and got her warm water, and a can of food. I watched from the windows as she ate it all and more importantly, drank a bunch of water. Then she traipsed off into the night.

We feel so, so bad for these poor babies in this freezing cold. I really wish she would just relax and let us help her.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 01:21 PM
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First of all, thank your for trying to help this girl. Seems to me like you need a humane trap and get her some vet care, which I would suggest you to borrow from a rescue group, but seems you've tried to reach out to them. Maybe you could try calling some vets in your area. You might find one that is associated with a rescue group and could help you get a trap. Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:12 PM
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You are so full of heart - I hope this works out for you and her. You've had good advice above.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:39 PM
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I second CJ's recommendation. It is very difficult to trap a feral or semi-feral, even one that is used to your presence, using a carrier or cage. If this method fails, which it often does, you will likely not be given another shot, and it can cause a serious setback in the cat's ability to trust you and people in general. You need to not take Sophie's lack of trust so personally, her distrust of people is instinctive. She doesn't know that you're trying to help her. It's obvious that she does need help though, as her leg is an obvious concern, especially considering the freezing temperatures if she has groomed all the hair off.

If I lived near you I would be more than happy to come over with my cat trap and help you trap Sophie. I know what it's like to be in your position: willing to fully take on the responsiblity and care of a semi-feral, but in need of help to simply catch the cat. It's how I became involved in cat rescue to begin with. I was eventually able to connect with a cat trapper from a rescue, as a result of sending out a mass "SOS!" type email to a whole bunch of different organizations explaining that the only thing I needed help with was the trapping, and that I would take over care of the cats including vetting and fostering them from the second they ended up in the trap. I also made a point of asking in the email that if an organization was unable to offer any assistance themselves, if they could refer me to someone who could, which paid off, since a volunteer from one of the organizations I emailed was the one who forwarded my email to the experienced cat trapper who ended up helping me. The trapper attempted to trap the cats on a few occasions, but didn't have any luck because the cats were coming around during the day while she was at work, so she leant me her trap, and I was able to trap them myself.

Generally, if you live anywhere near a major urban centre, there are organizations that should be able to either let you borrow or rent a humane cat trap for rescue purposes. Depending on where you live, I, or someone else more familiar with the resources in your area, may be able to help offer some suggestions on who you can contact regarding trapping or borrowing a trap for the purpose of catching Sophie.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2013, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ferals and strays killing me!

There's no thanks needed! I can't understand how people could just see animals outside and not try to help them. I found my dog nibbles running outside of my house about 17 years ago and immediately brought him in, no flyers up for lost dog, nothing. Oh we'll, there lose because he was a great dog and lived until he was 16 1/2 passed away this past march. We keep leashes in our cars for rescue missions, even though i haven't had one yet which is good.

My pia was found in my street and she's the 1st cat I ever had. Shes definitely not feral and belonged to someone. She walked right in my house, used the litter box and scratch posts from day one! some People are such animals for leaving there animals out. It makes me sick!

There really is no help out there or very little for these animals in the city. There's nowhere you can even bring them to locally for help without them being euthanized.

There's so many kitties coming by now I named them all: we have Sophie, her brother Bernie, thug tupac, Mildred, boo boo, milkshake, flo, meowmie cat, mask, mega Sophie (looks exactly like Sophie but giant), oh and a possum named oppie.

I asked my vet earlier if he had a trap but he didn't and a lot of others don't get back to you or won't let you borrow one.

My one wish is that all the animals have homes and are safe.

I'll keep you posted on Sophie and let you know how we make out. The outside of my house looks like a mini kitty refuge camp! Luckily we have quite a few neighbors who help them also.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 12:31 AM
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If you live in a rural area, you might be able to find someone who has a live animal trap who will catch your feral. But, it might be better to fix up a shelter for her and let her heal on her own while you continue to try to get her to accept you. I have a semi-feral (she started out feral) who absolutely will not get into any tight spaces and says NO to any carrier. All I can do is feed her and keep the fleas/ticks away with the good stuff. She will let me do that. She has shelter and food and has recovered from several mishaps. Good luck to you.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2013, 04:52 AM
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Ferals and strays killing me!

You can buy humane cat traps on amazon for about $40. There's some for less and some for more but most are around $40. With all the ferals you and your neighbors are helping out maybe you could get them to go in on a cage with you. That way you'll have it on hand whenever a situation arises in the future as well.

You're very kind for being these stray babies' champion. Karma is always coming back ten fold.

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