winter totes for ferals - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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winter totes for ferals

I made all these wonderful little homes for the ferals but they won't sleep in them. They sleep behind or next to them. How I get them inside so they stay a little warmer at least?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 09:36 AM
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Darned if I know. I have one doghouse for my feral, it came with him when I got him - the lady who'd been feeding him died, and she'd bought that doghouse for him. He continued to use it at my house and I put fresh straw in every now and then. It's in a somewhat protected spot against my house on the sunny side.

But he also likes to sleep on the shelving where I keep my flower pots... So I made a warm house from an old styrofoam cooler and put it up there. Maybe it's not been cold enough yet? Maybe he's afraid he'll be trapped in it somehow? But he's not used it yet.

If he were a catnip cat I'd put that in to lure him, but he's shown *no* interest.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-22-2015, 03:55 PM
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Sometimes its the location. Sometimes if you put them up on something they like that too.

Im not sure of the details of your feral tote houses so couldnt offer any more than that.

Bless you for making these feral houses and looking out for the ferals.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 02:00 AM
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One other thing you could try is making a second exit/entrance. eldercat mentioned that maybe her feral was afraid of being trapped inside, and I have read that some cats, especially ferals, are wary of shelters with only one exit/entrance.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone. I havent had internet for the past week so I couldnt respong. Sorry about that. I may try the catnip route. The totes are I sulated with a hole in front and a hole in back. They are full of straw and placed on straw where they sleep at night. So I dont know what the issue is oth he r than maybe its like eldercat says it might not be cold enough yet.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 11:50 AM
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I cared for a feral recently (who's no longer with us) that didn't use the shelter I provided until I rotated it 90 degrees!


I thought that placing it so that the entrance was in the most sheltered location would be the best option. In hindsight, the most sheltered location gave no view of the immediate environment. When I turned the shelter 90 degrees, giving full view of the garden, it was met with more approval.


Don't know if this will help in your situation.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I have a picture of the setup in my album named "Shelter" if you take a peek you can see.
Thanks everyone for your comments.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 07:58 PM
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Wow cleanheart, those are some very lucky ferals! It's unfortunate that there are so many of them though. Following what MrTash said, I would consider turning those totes, or repositioning them so that they're further away from the wall. And maybe leave a bit more space between. If you look at them from a feral's point of view, the hole in the back seems like it would just lead to being trapped rather than offering a quick escape.

Maybe you could experiment with moving some of them into different locations/angles to see if there are some totes that the kitties use.

I've been frustrated with my stray not using his house - tried a different combination of things every night. Something finally worked - I just wish I knew which thing!
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-28-2015, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Good suggestions all! I will take your advice and move the totes a little further from the walls. I have noticed that downstairs in the main barn entrance there are a few "beds" made in the straw there so I may put a couple of totes down there near where they are sleeping and maybe add some fresh straw. I dont really know how many there are anymore. There were 14 but I have only been able to count 8 maybe 9. Out of that only 2 or 3 will let me near enough to love on them.
Gaining trust slowly with a couple more but it will take time. Ive only had them since April. Ive spent the whole summer redoing their feeding station over and over, even moving it to keep the racoons out. My problem now is that it is so high thatat least one of my babies cant jump up to eat. So I leave a bit on the floor in a bowl for her. I hope shes getting it.
Thank you so much for all the suggestions and advice. I will keep trying to help them.

Last edited by Cleanheart; 11-28-2015 at 11:39 PM.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-29-2015, 12:44 AM
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Some ferals really just luck out! You are doing a wonderful thing for them. That's a lot of kitties to be taking care of! I'd guess that the ones who let you close to them are probably strays/abandoned rather than feral. I hope the little one who can't jump is getting her food too! Maybe you can work on her first to gain her trust, so she gets to a point where she'll eat with you there.

It's frustrating, though, isn't it, when you spend all this time trying to help them, and then they don't take advantage? I wish someone would come up with a raccoon- and opossum-safe way to feed cats...I'm trying to figure out how to scare off the opossum that are always coming around to eat my stray's food. I hate those things.
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