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Two years ago I posted about a feral cat. And the good news is she’s still around and kicking. Even though she appeared suddenly, I’ve come to the conclusion she probably was never a pet and probably ended up here after being released from a TNR program. It’s taken a long time, but she trusts my family far more than she did before. She’s still easily spooked, especially if we’re carrying a bag. But she lets us pet her and in fact will beg for petting. She’s made our porch her home and if she’s not on the porch, she’s almost always somewhere in the yard. We made her a house, complete with a heating pad, which she seems to absolutely love. So I mean at this point, she’s more like an outdoor pet than a feral cat we feed.

I think she’s bored and/or lonely because anytime one of us comes outside, she’ll come running over, wrapping herself around our legs. If you’re trying to leave, she’ll try to stand in your way. We’ve bought her a couple toys and tried to play with her, but she’s not interested. The only thing I’ve seen her play with is grass, which she’ll bat at and then eat. Not sure what that’s about?

I have some questions:

- We’ve given her a couple flea treatments in the summer, but haven’t been consistent about it. Should we keep putting it on her in the winter?

- Sometimes we’ll give her a piece of raw chicken, is that okay?

- She’s a TNR, which I assume means she got basic vaccines? Do we need to worry about booster shots? I’m worried about breaking her trust for anything unnecessary.

- A couple weeks ago, she took a few steps into our house, but ran back out. The thing is, we don’t want her coming inside. I feel bad for her, but we have 2 rabbits and 3 birds. She’s killed wild birds and I don’t want her hurting our birds.

- And lastly, these past 2 weeks, another cat’s starting coming by. We started feeding him too, but we noticed he’s chasing Scully out of her house and away from her food. So we’ve been shooing him off. I feel bad for him, he looks ragged, but Scully was here first.

- Any other advice?



She’s yawning by the way.









Can’t believe how far she’s come.
 

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Sure he's a male? His coloring looks to me a diluted tortoiseshell and white (feet & chest), sometimes called blue-cream & white. Usually torties are female, but rarely some are males. Distended tummy could be kittens if she's female.....otherwise, likely worms (tapeworms or pin worms). Torties can be bossy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
I'm like 99% he has testicles unless they're just really weird mats of fur. How would I worm him, put it in food? Should I worm Scully too, she's never been wormed but she doesn't have obvious signs of worms.
 

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Worming ferals is tough, but in many cases the cat will tolerate being touched (not handled or given a pill.) In that case the topical Profender is very effective against worms. You put it on like Frontline.
 

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Wow, kudos to you for your hard work with Scully, which has obviously paid off - she looks so content getting her neck scratched!

Maybe she's treating the grass like it's any other prey, so it needs to be chased/batted before it's eaten? I dunno. I had a cat who'd been an outdoor cat before I adopted her, and she turned up her nose at cat toys, as if to say "I've played with the real things. These are beneath me."

Flea meds: it depends on where you live, and how warm it is. In most places (in the US at least), Nov-Feb are pretty flea-free. If you live in a cold climate, you could probably stop flea meds in Sept or Oct and not start again til spring.

I don't think there are any issues giving raw chicken as a treat, but others may have more specific info for you.

I assume she got her vaccinations as well. Again, depending on where you live, you may want to consider a rabies shot, but overall, the fewer the vaccinations, the better. Boosters are really not necessary. You can read more about that here: Vaccines for Cats: We Need to Stop Overvaccinating

However, don't worry about losing her trust if you do need to get her to a vet. I had the same fear with a stray I took care of, but after disappearing for a few hours once we got back from the vet, he came back when he was hungry. He was a little tentative about approaching for the next day or so, but that was the end of it. The next few times he had to see the vet, he resisted being confined, but once the vet visit was over, all was forgiven. :) I've heard this from several other people as well. She's not likely to give up her food source, or those scratches that she likes so much!

I didn't want my stray inside either, so he had his little house in my screened-in porch, with a heating pad and cat bed in it. I let him in a few times when the weather was really awful. He liked coming in, but he got very anxious if I didn't let him back out after a few hours. A couple of years ago, a starving stray showed up, but in my case, my resident stray kept chasing her away. I tried to set up another shelter for her on my deck, and then on the other side of the house, but I guess he kept chasing her off. Every night when I went out to feed her, she was farther away, so I brought her (and her fleas) in.

If you're willing, you could try setting up a feeding station/shelter somewhere away from where Scully's area is. Maybe you'd have more success than I did, since Scully isn't chasing the new kitty away. Or you could contact a local rescue group to try to trap the new little guy (or girl).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The problem's getting worse. Scully's hardly coming around at all anymore and when she is, she's very skittish. We're shooing the gray cat off, but as soon as he thinks we're not looking, he'll come back. It's like he's kicked her out of her territory and has moved in. I'm at a loss at what to do and I'm worried about Scully.
 

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Not much you can do as long as she's an outdoor cat. Gray cat may be taking over her territory, and she may be looking for a new benefactor that will feed her and pet her?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hate to mention this but you could trap new cat and then ????
Well I'm researching TNR and low cost neutering services. I was thinking if I could trap him and get him neutered, he might be less aggressive and territorial. We're definitely not going to hurt him.
 

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If there's a TNR group in your area, you could ask them for help trapping the new guy. Poor Scully. She may be lurking somewhere else pretty close by though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello everyone, I have good and bad news. The good news is I was able to find a rescue who could help him. The bad news is he has a ton of things wrong with him. His tail was abscessed and needed a partial amputation, he had a respiratory infection, a cleft palate, and tested positive for FIV and feline leukemia. He's still fighting but I feel so bad for him. And I feel guilty for saddling the rescue with all of the medical bills. Obviously I didn't know he was so sick, but it's costing them thousands.
 

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O wow! he sure was a mess. Poor cat! Don't feel badly about the costs...you had no idea he could have had so many problems. You did the right thing.
 
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