How to feed secretly?
Does anybody know how to feed ferals without attracting raccoons? And yes, I know about those platform on poles they can’t climb, but I don’t have the money/materials/tools to make or get them.
I have been feeding a colony (well, after raccoon attacks last spring it’s down to 2 cats now) for the last 3 years. Even though I put the kibble in one of those air-tight seal bins at sunset, the raccoons still come to the station and rummage for stuff because of the smell.
The other day I got donated some canned food. I figured I would keep them with the kibble to make it easier/faster to feed before I go to volunteer at the cat shelter. The empty cans are thrown in a recycle bin.
I got home from work the other day, and my dad was livid! “You left cans out, and the raccoons got into them!” (a few swear words punctuated his statement). I said “I only have empty cans they could get to”. “No, those full ones!” He demanded I go clean up the mess and forbade me to feed anymore (he actually told me to stop feeding when I had started, because I was doing it on the patio and he didn’t want the cats (and other critters) at the house, so I moved the feral station to the edge of our acre yard over by the neighbor’s old wood shed. Several times he keeps saying he didn't want me to, but it was more of a request...this time it was a DEMAND).
Much to my surprise, raccoons CAN claw/bite through aluminum cans! There were holes ripped in them as if they had been cardboard!
He’s also mad because the raccoons don’t get much from my station, so then they go to the nearby garden and strip the corn and ruin other veggies. And yes, my dad has put Critter Ridder around the garden – obviously, it doesn’t work.
SO! I figure for now I can secretly feed at the patio again, because Zazzle will come there looking for extras. I can hide the bowl somewhere behind my rocking chair or the grill or something, and take it away every night. But I figure the raccoons will still smell stuff.
Also, what do I do about winter? My dad will see the tracks always coming to the house, and know I’m still feeding. Plus, only Zazzle dares to come to the house…I’ve never seen Tangelo come very far into our yard – he stays at the edge, and in the woods.
I am going to set the trap to get the raccoons and have them euthanized (by law I can, since they’re being a nuisance in our garden). I wonder if I should just do Zazzle too, because I hate the thought of her starving in the winter if I can’t find a good solution to this. Tangelo won’t go in the trap though, because I tried for the first 2 years to get him so he could be neutered! (I got Zazzle done).
I could also just stop feeding as “requested”. Though I’m not sure if cats will eventually move on if a food source disappears? They’ve been here for 3 years so far, it’s sort of an established territory/resource.
And I can’t move out because for one thing, I’m disabled and have nowhere to go (was very afraid my dad was going to just kick me out the other day!). Plus, if I move out, the cats wouldn’t be fed anymore, anyway!