Is it Ok to leave feral cat in my garage all night? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Is it Ok to leave feral cat in my garage all night?

Ok, that sounded like a stupid question, but I'm really second guessing myself right this moment, at 12:30 am. My feral cat, Arwen, who I have been caring for for several years now, and who has been the resident feral cat in my neighborhood for 5-7 years, well, she trusts me now. She loves me and I absolutely adore her. I'm in Florida, and I know our Florida winters here seem horrendous to us thin skinned Floridians, but it is supposed to get cold tonight, 40's. We are having some pretty big wind gusts too. Arwen has gotten used to coming into my garage with the door cracked, during the day, and will sleep on a cozy little bed I have in there and leave when the sun comes out, since she would prefer to bask in the sunlight. She sleeps by my door, but at times, other strays in the neighborhood will run her off or fight with her. She is not a confrontational cat, and she is small. She will step aside to another cat who tries to eat her food. She is a bush dweller, prefers to lay on the ground, which scares me to death.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, after I could see she had been in a fight and had not been sleeping by my door, I presume she was hiding from the aggressive cat, I trapped her inside my garage and had her sleep in there for the night. She mewed a little bit, eventually must have settled down, because I didn't hear her, and I let her out promptly at 5:30 am, when I get up. She ran out right away, but as soon as she heard me open my front door to feed her, she ran right back, so all seemed well, she didn't seem too trauamtized.

So tonight, I have her in the garage again, she's been in there for about 30 minutes. I have her chair she likes to sleep in, her cozy bed, my shoes she loves to rub her chin all over, and I've been out there several times, and every time I go, she starts purring and kneading her bed, I can tell she is very sleepy. This girl is not young, she likes her sleep I just wonder if I'm doing the right thing. I figure, if she were really distressed, she would be a wild woman, screaming and thrashing at the garage door to get out, right? I slept so good that night, knowing she was safely in my garage and couldn't get in a fight. I haven't heard any mewing for a few minutes now, so maybe she'll be ok. Sigh. I hope she just settles down in her chair or bed and goes to sleep. Does anyone else have this dilemma, or is it just me? If I leave the garage cracked, the cold air blows right into the garage and it's as cold as if you are outside, but with it down, it's very comfortable. Plus, no other cats or critters can get in there to harass her.

Some feral expert tell me if I'm doing ok doing this, or if I should just let her be free to go find her own place to be safe. I'm doubting myself right now. I just love this cat so much. She does have a litter box in there too, just in case, not that she would know what to do with it, but I put it out there just in case. Plus, our cars are in there, another place she is very used to hanging out under.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 01:21 AM
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Howsefrau, Arwen will be totally fine in your garage for the night!
Just as you slept better knowing she was safe...
Arwen has probably figured it out that your garage offers safety for her...
and She can sleep better to!!
Close the door and you both can sleep better!
And don't be surprised if she does use the litter box!

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An everyday family name; A particular name;
And the name but the Cat Himself Knows, and will never confess." T.S. Eliot

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for the response. The mews are still there, but less frequent. I swear she is just lonely and wants me to come pet her, because every time I went out there, she purred and calmed down. I think I can try to go to sleep now. Thank you
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 03:03 AM
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YES! She's fine and she's safe. Sleep well!

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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You guys were right! Arwen survived being confined to my garage. I did hear her mew a little, but she was all purrs and happiness when I went out to see her this morning. She did right out the door again when I opened it. I fed her by the front door, as usual, and now I have the garage door cracked so she can come and go as she wants. It's chilly this morning, but not too bad. Hopefully we can do this again tonight, and that she will get used to it. I'm hoping.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 07:41 AM
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I wish I could get mine to stay in the garage! Atticus will come in to eat, but he freaks out and will not stay in. Mr. Kitty wouldn't set foot in the garage, and just stays on the front porch. It's supposed to be down to 13 Tuesday morning here (in Atlanta!!), with wind chills below freezing. I have heating pads in both of their makeshift houses, but I'm really worried about them.

You could try putting a heating pad in her favorite chair (with a towel or something over it), they usually gravitate to the heat. I hope it doesn't get as cold for you next week!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 08:07 AM
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Ooooo - down to the 40's?! Poor baby might just freeze to death. Just kidding. 40's sounds pretty darn good to me right now. It's 29 here. Yes, I know you guys further north are a bit chillier and probably laughing your heads off at us down here. I read yesterday that Halifax has a feral population of 100,000!!! WHERE do they all sleep or go to get out of the weather - really, I'd love to know.

Howsefrau32, you have a wonderful heart to worry about Arwen but really, she'll be fine as you've found out. My heart goes out to any kitty trapped outside in the cold though.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 08:21 AM
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Marcia - yeah, cold is definitely relative. They Northerners make fun of us in the winter, but as soon at it hits 90 in the summer, they're complaining how miserable it is (which is balmy for us)! We got a little snow here last night (nothing stuck), but it was in the 20s this morning, which is definitely cold for us. Next week it's supposed to get below ZERO with the wind chill. It really breaks my heart that these kitties are outside. I don't know how they stay warm in a box with a heating pad, some leaves, and straw. I've tried everything I can to get them to come into the garage at night.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 02:05 PM
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Hurrah for Arwen! Would you think about making this night time routine a permanent thing?

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 02:16 PM
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I'm picking up some more straw to add to three places where I made shelters for any stray who wants to get out of the cold. My elec water dish has frozen. The Governor is closing the schools statewide on Monday due to severe cold and wind chills in excess of 50 below in the N. half of the state. In the Twin Cities we will be looking at a high of minus 15 F on Monday and lows will be -30's or more in the North part of the state.

This will be tough on all of the animals who must live outdoors in our state. Not to mention the unfortunate people. Shelters are already full.

I'm expecting I will need to go out on at least one 'no heat' call in one of the rental units I service for an owner. Brrrrr...Time to dig out my snowmobile suit and Boots, I guess.

I was hoping to get in a little ice fishing with my son but may have to put that off till later in the week when conditions are more humane.

ah, Marble just jumped up in my lap...her little feet are cold from the tile floor so she warms them on my lap...

Last edited by Cat'sHouse; 01-03-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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