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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a feral cat that’s been coming around for about 3 weeks. I live in the country and checked with all my neighbors. No one knows of her or have seen her. She’s a muted calico so I’m guessing it’s a female. She is so fearful. I rarely see her. She doesn’t hang around my house, only comes to eat. Then leaves my property. I only see her at the woods edge in front of my house. I don’t feel like she will ever get used to me. With winter approaching ( live in Michigan) I am worried how to continue carrying for her. I have a feeding shelter and a living shelter. But, I think she is too fearful to go into the shelter. I don’t think she’s trappable at this time either. I would love to get her to my front porch or garage for the winter it’s not going to happen. Can she survive the winter?
 

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Good for you for being concerned about this cat.
If she is an adult, she has probably already been through one winter outdoors and has survived. Cats can find small warm places to be when they don't have a home. Not the nicest thing for them, but they make it.

As for making a better place for her, I think what I would do is make a place like a box, open entirely on one side so she can always face out and see anything coming, and put it in a sheltered place, but not necessarily up on your porch. Put warm blankets in it and put it close to the place where she has been eating her food, but not right next to it. then over the course of days, very slowly, an inch or two at a time, move the food bowl she's eating out of closer to the box. Eventually, place the dish right next to the box, and feed her like that. If the box never moves, and no one ever disturbs it or her while she is near it, she may decide for herself to use it. but don't despair if she doesn't, as that would most likely mean she already has a warm safe place she is using. I would advise not trying anything more than this; don't try to coax her to use it. Feral cats are wild animals, and have to make their own choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your advice. I have pretty much done most of it. I have a food shelter (cut out tote). I put windows in it so she can see out all sides and it’s on the edge of the woods. She comes to it every day but rarely gets in it…. Just sticks her head in. I also have a wood box set back about 10 yards from the food box. It has two doors and an upper level but not wide open. I like that suggestion. I fed her on top of it one day and also inside one day. She ate there both times so I know she knows it’s there. I guess I have done all I can. 😞. I just worry about her with winter coming on. I could provide a beautifully warm place if I could get her onto my porch or into my garage. But, you are right, she is a wild animal. What do you think about trying to trap to spay?
 

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I am in support of trap-spay-release programs, of course. And it would be best for this kitty if she were spayed. The only thing is that if she gets trapped on your property she may not want to come back to you, although she also may come back anyway because you feed her. You cannot predict that.
I would contact the local humane society or a cat shelter and ask them if they have such a program, and would be willing to come trap this cat, or if they can give you tips on how to do it. Some places will even loan you the trap and do the spay for a low cost. Best of luck!
 
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