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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Feral Family

I feel like I always have a new thread to post on advice, but I'm completely at a loss. There's a whole feral family of cats living underneath one of the buildings at my school. My friend recently lost her own kitty and was looking for a new one, and there were a few kittens there as well. I guess they were only semi-feral since they would come out for food and actually get really close to people, but the moment you'd try to touch one they'd bolt. We couldn't catch a kitten so we put out food and water because they looked hungry. But apparently one of the professors is the resident 'crazy cat lady' and feeds them every day and they love her.

What do you guys think? I'm not very good at judging these sorts of situations. Do you think it's okay for these cats to just live there? They seem to be living a relatively good life, but I know it's only a matter of time before they start reproducing and there's more kittens.

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"time spent with cats is never wasted."
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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2013, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I read through the rules and saw nothing against bumping threads, so I'm sorry if this is against the rules, but I'm sorta panicking about this right now. I went back and saw the kitties again and talked to them/put some food out and tried to get them used to me. They'll get close, but are still terrified of people.

Apparently, one of the professors has cat traps and is planning on catching them to get them neutered/spayed, which is GREAT, but don't they still need vaccinations? I know I can't help every cat, but I see them every day and it just tears my heart out. I just bought some kitten chow at the store today and am going to put out some because although they get fed, I think they're just feeding regular adult cat food and I figured the younger ones could use some kitten food.

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2013, 07:55 AM
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Thank you for caring about these cats If the professor is planning to TNR the cats, a rabies vaccination is usually part of that package. It's sad to see feral cats living such a tough life outside but making sure they have food and shelter and cannot keep reproducing helps make things just a little easier for them. Is your friend still interested in adopting one of the kittens? Maybe you could offer to help the professor trap and let her know about your friend. The kittens might need some socialization, but if they're young enough they should start to warm up to people.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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So update: unfortunately my friend actually just adopted another kitty. I can't blame her, they were looking for a kitten pretty immediately and these would take a lot of work, but I still wish more were interested. I do, however, come bearing a video! I've become quite attached and bought some kitten chow at the store this weekend to bring to them. My only qualm is that my commute is a pretty long ways away (about an hour there, an hour back), so I can't see them every day, but I've been trying! I've been thinking of maybe bringing my mom to see them some day soon (maybe she'll see their cute faces and want to adopt one?)

So, I've named them all. There are actually seven cats total, but the main ones are the little family of five: mama and her four babies. The mama is Juliet and her babies: the siamese-tabby-colored is Lavender, white and orange is Carson, the darker orange is Russel, and the lighter orange is Felidae. There is a black cat that is extremely fearful of humans and doesn't even let me feed him that I've dubbed Frolick, and then there's a tabby who's apparently hung around the area for at least two years that was already called Minew. I rarely see her and she seems quite content with her life there. I'm mostly worried about the mama and her kittens, as they seem the most scared/hungry. When I put down food today all of them ran out as if they were starving, but apparently a lady comes by and feeds them every day. Still hoping they get TNR'd though!

Here's the video if anyone's interested. You can see all four babies very clearly; the mama's hiding under the building. They look big here but they're pretty tiny, maybe around 5 months?

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 04:52 PM
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Why not talk to the resident cat lady that is feeding them about putting an ad on Craigslist for people to adopt the kittens and maybe the cats? It they love her, they are certainly tameable. You do the write up, explaining that these kittens and cats are semi feral and would require a bit of patience, but are no less deserving of a shot at a healthy, loving home. Take pics if you can or buy resident cat lady a disposable camera that she can take pics with for you.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 05:00 PM
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They must have been hungry!

btw,luv the names you've given mama and her kittohs!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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One day soon I'm going to stay late after school and wait for her to come. I leave school very early (at the absolute latest 2) and she apparently doesn't come till around 5-5:30, but I don't mind waiting one day and I'd love to talk to her! I'm definitely going to figure something out, because they're very sweet kitties and are starting to learn to trust even me just after a few days worth of food and sweet-talking. Especially the white and orange one!

The mama usually doesn't come out but she let me go right up to the little caged bars at the bottom of the building and put food through onto a little plate and she didn't run off. She backed up a bit but was scraping the food right off my hand, poor thing! I need to get some adult food for her, although I'm sure the kitten chow won't hurt her at this point.

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals

Last edited by struckers; 11-25-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 06:36 PM
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If those are the kittens they look fairly old. It would take a commitment to socialize them to being comfortable around people. If they are s/n and have daily food and water and maybe a warm place in the winter that is wonderful.

When you TNR a cat you can request from the vets to address other issues. If they are not being vaccinated beyond the rabies you can request it. Plus we have ours checked for ear mites and fleas. Treated if they need it. It costs more to add these services done but this is your shot at getting issues addressed and taken care of when they are under for s/n.

Thanks for looking out for these cats. I hope they are tipping the ears if they have been s/n.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-25-2013, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I know they look really big in the video but I promise they're not! They're very tiny. I currently have a 6 month old at my house and they're plenty smaller than her. I'd estimate 4 to 5 months but I don't claim to be a professional by any means. Just know they are much smaller than they appear, I'm not sure why they look so large there. Might try a size comparison next time with a cup or something.

It's Louisiana, so luckily it never snows and doesn't get TOO cold, and they live underneath a big building where animals can only get through small holes (you can see in the video). So for strays they're pretty lucky! But I still am hoping that professor traps them eventually. Unfortunately the person who told me about the professor doing that couldn't remember the professor's name, but I'm gonna try to get more info from the lady who feeds them when I stay late one day.

And oh, thank you for saying but I feel it's only the right thing to do. Sure, they aren't in the worst situation a cat could be in, but when people just glance at them crying for food and walk away without a second glance it makes me so sad. It only cost be like 4 bucks for a bag of kitten chow and they were SO happy to get fed!

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 11:01 AM
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Usually the cut off age to take a kitten is 12 weeks for an easy socialization. I lived in Tallahassee for 21 years. It did get cold there. It even gets cold in the desert where I live now. It would be nice for them to have shelter if the school would allow it.

I hope the professor is going to do TNR- Trap/neuter/ RETURN. Please do not let them take them to a shelter. Animal Control and most kill shelters kill feral cats. They can live happily if they are spay/neutered and fed regularly. Its a hard life but better than death.

Many universities have an active TNR program esp if they have a vet program. I'm familiar with the very progressive TNR program in Gainesville Florida. They TNR the university campus plus Alachua County. Operation Catnip College of Veterinary Medicine University of Florida You might want to be armed with this info when you talk to the professor.

I'm so glad you are looking after the well being of these sweet looking kittens and kitties!
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