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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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considering solo TNR

I live in a small warehouse across the alley from a huge warehouse with an overgrown area. I see a lot of strays and I would like to feed them. But I can't simply feed them; I need to s/n and vaccinate too. I'm trying to assess whether I can individually take care of the cats or if that is beyond my skill, energy, and money.

I thought I could put a cat feeder mounted on a pole in a sheltered area by the garage doors where I live. Then I could trap them in this same spot. (I would feel more comfortable doing everything on my property.) I could install a video surveillance camera to record the cat activity and help me know if any new arrivals need to be s/n.

I have a lot of questions on the details, but I thought some people with experience could tell me if this is at all practical.

(Pictures in next post)
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of the sheltered area on my property by the garage doors where I would like to feed and trap the cats. I was planning to put it in the corner just to the right of the garage doors.


Last edited by cat-guy; 01-24-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture taken from the roof of my building of the grassy area and the large warehouse where the cats probably live:

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:35 PM
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If you can only help one, it is still worth it.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 03:25 PM
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Im so glad your considering doing this. Let me ask you question which will help you to decide.

Is there a rescue or TNR group in your city?
A rescue or TNR group will have havaheart traps you can use. They also have sources where the cheapest or free s/n are in your city where the vets are use to doing ferals. They will vaccinate them while they are under and check for fleas and mites. We do not test for FeLv or Fiv in ferals. You will have to decide that issue.

A male cat will have to stay in a trap or kennel for a day to recover. A female we keep 3 days since its more of an extensive surgery. We have tricks to getting food and water into the kennels while they are recovering. Litter box will be in kennel when they wake up and can have something to use.

Feeding outside cats: I would suggest putting the food up where they can jump to so they dont get picked off by coyotes. Take food up at night if you have raccoons in the area. Put out fresh water each day.

A lot of cities have Pet Pantries for those who are short on money. Our food bank takes in open bags of pet food which they give out to customers. Our TNR group supplies food for those taking care of colonies in our area. Check those resources in your area.

Im sure others will chime in to help with information.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Arianwen View Post
If you can only help one, it is still worth it.
That's a good point. Actually it would be better (for me) if there are only 2 or 3 stray cats that rely on me for support. As long as the cats I trap and s/n are territorial about the cat feeder so that I am only feeding cats that have been s/n then that would work.

I'm just worried about getting involved in something bigger than I can handle. I hate to start feeding the stray cats and be unable to trap them so that I have to stop feeding them.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess View Post
Im so glad your considering doing this. Let me ask you question which will help you to decide.

Im sure others will chime in to help with information.
Thanks, I talked to a coworker this morning who traps cats in his neighborhood in a different town. He said our county has a charity that loans the traps and s/n for free. (They normally charge a low fee.) If TNR is happening in my town it is probably low budget and small scale (nothing appears on the internet). I think I can ask the charity that performs the s/n if any groups are doing TNR in my town.

During the day there are a lot of people and vehicles in and out of the driveway, so I think the cats would only feed and be trapped at night. Someone in another thread recommended a cat feeder with a cone on the pole that allows cats but blocks raccoons.

What is the reason for not testing FeLv and Fiv? Are they expensive tests or does having those diseases mean the vet recommends killing the cat?

Also my house cat goes on the roof of my building. I want to be sure the stray cats can't jump from the cat feeder up onto the roof and fight with my cat. Of course I would need to keep my house cats shots up to date at all times.

Last edited by marie73; 01-26-2014 at 03:53 AM. Reason: rq
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 08:12 PM
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Google TNR then the name of your city and state and see what comes up. Also google cat rescue and call them to see. They might not be active in it but know people who are in your town.

A lot of times cat feed early morning and dusk. They will figure out your feeding schedule and begin to show up at that time.

If you are going to trap, set up an appt that you have set traps and apx how many you are going to bring in. Normally low cost s/n clinic realize cats dont always go in the traps so if you have to call in the morning to say you didnt get any it isnt a problem.

Bait your covered traps at dusk. Check them thru the night. If someone enters a trap, keep them covered in the trap and put them in your garage. They are probably going to have to recover from surgery in your garage too.

The trick is to have them in the trap the least amount of time as possible because it is extremely stressful to them. They will thrash around in the trap and try to get out. Have one end of the trap wired shut. Dont freak out at the cat thrashing in the trap. Remember you are doing them a good thing. They will no longer be driven to mark and protect territory. And the females will not have 3 litters a year which eventually destroys their health.

Be sure and put down plastic in your vehicle cuz they do pee. I buy the cheap $3 plastic padded picnic table cloths to put under the traps. Or use garbage bags.

There are apx 2% of feral cats with Felv or Fiv. You have to measure how many s/n you could do vs the extra cost testing for the felv and fiv. if a cat is very beat up looking we do test but that doesnt happen very often. Or if a feral comes in injured we test. If they do come up possitive you will be the one to make the decission to put them down. Plus snap tests are not always reliable so why do it unless it is necessary. These are just the conclusions we came to so do a bit of researcj and form your own opinion.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks That information helps me visualize what this would be like.

Imagine if a new unaltered cat joins the colony of s/n cats, and I stop feeding all the cats and put out a trap. Are the s/n cats wise to the trap so that only the newbie gets trapped?

Last edited by marie73; 01-26-2014 at 03:55 AM. Reason: rq
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 09:10 AM
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Yep. It's VERY unlikely that ferals who have been trapped once will ever be trapped again (they're scared enough of the traps to begin with and will avoid it completely if they've already been trapped). I have a lot of possums around my house and have always been worried that I'd trap one, but haven't managed to yet. If your cats are completely feral, there's a good chance that you will have to withhold food for a day or two to trap them. They have to be really hungry to go into to the traps. And it could take a few days to trap them. My TNR clinic does not require appointments for ferals, you can drop them off any day between 8 and 8:30 for that reason. It's impossible to do it on a schedule! And like M&T said, make sure you keep them covered once they are trapped with a sheet, towel, something that completely covers the trap. And I use a tarp I got at Home Depot in my car. They will spray/pee once trapped (especially males), so just be prepared for that.

Last edited by marie73; 01-26-2014 at 03:56 AM. Reason: rq
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