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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a gorgeous male cat that has been coming around since last winter, I guess he finally decided to settle on one location because I have recently found out he has been living in the garage. I don't have a problem with this at all, and the way the house is set up is so the garage is out back and you have to get through a privacy fence to enter it, so he is protected and safe. He lives in the installation of the ceiling and I know he was once someone's pet just because of the way he acts. I walked into the garage the other day and called for him, he came right down and was purring while I petted him and rubbing on everything! So now that I have some information about him out of the way, here is the problem. I have posted ads on craigslist, local shelters, anywhere I can think of but have gotten no replies. He has been gone from his home for at least a year, maybe more. I have a bed out in the garage for him as well as his own food bowl and water bowl, I feel so bad for him and want to bring him in so badly the only problem is he hisses and growls when he sees the other cats in the house from the screen door. I'm nervous of even trying to bring him in because I don't know his temperment and there are other cats that he will have to get to know here, as well as young kittens that I don't want their safety to be jeporadized. Should I risk it and try to bring him in or am I doing the best I can? I have a soft spot for him and have named him Joey, but I just feel like I'm not doing enough. I know that we can't have another cat in the house, there's just no room, but I was thinking about taking him to the humane society and having him put up for adoption there. The only fear I have with that is him not being adopted out and living in a cage for years where here he has a warm place to sleep, he has food and water, he's free to do whatever and he gets attention. I've also considered posting an ad on craigslist or kijiji to see if anyone would be willing to give him a home but again I'm scared of the outcome of that. I don't want to mess with him and try to move him to a different home if he's happy here. Does anyone have any advice? Should I leave him alone and continue doing what I have been, or should I try to find him a home?

Here are some pictures of him:






 

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Is he neutered? If not, that would be the best thing you could do for him and the neighborhood so there are less strays/ferals. If I were in your shoes I would continue to feed him, get him neutered if he's not, get his shots, etc. After a month, or so, you might try to introduce him to your cats. But if it doesn't work, let him live in the garage. It is a big commitment. Cats can survive cold if they have shelter and regular meals.

I do not suggest you take him to a humane society, particularly if he cannnot be picked up. Did you know that black cats are the last to be adopted? Chances are if he didn't get adopted within a certain time, say 30days, he would be euthanized. You should ask the humane society what their policy is on cats that aren't adopted.
 

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I would allow him to keep living in the garage for the time being and continue to monitor his condition and keep interacting with him.

But I would also call around to rescue organizations in the area or no kill shelters and see if anything can be done. Some organizations may be willing to allow you to retain possession of him until you can find a forever home for him.

Is he neutered?
 

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Is he neutered? If not, that would be the best thing you could do for him and the neighborhood so there are less strays/ferals. If I were in your shoes I would continue to feed him, get him neutered if he's not, get his shots, etc. After a month, or so, you might try to introduce him to your cats. But if it doesn't work, let him live in the garage. It is a big commitment. Cats can survive cold if they have shelter and regular meals.

I do not suggest you take him to a humane society, particularly if he cannnot be picked up. Did you know that black cats are the last to be adopted? Chances are if he didn't get adopted within a certain time, say 30days, he would be euthanized. You should ask the humane society what their policy is on cats that aren't adopted.

+1, the best solution.
 

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It sounds like he has a great life right now. I would say - get him fixed and continue to treat him as your outside cat. He'll need a warm bed for your Michigan winters.
 

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I would do the same. I would get him neutered and all his shots so I wouldn't be scared to pet Mow after him. He's quite cute.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He is neutered as well as declawed in the front. He seems to have a good temperment but he gets spooked easily as if someone has been messing with him before he came to live here. When I pet him he gets happy starts purring, rubbing on things, acting happy and then all of a sudden he will hiss but still allow me to pet him. It might be because the scent of my other cats were on my hands. Like I said before he definitely looks like he's been well taken care of, I wish I could find his owners and return him. I'm going to work with him some more and see if it's even a possibility for him to live inside if not I will turn the garage into his own little house. We don't park the cars in the garage so there's no issue there. I feed him wet food at night at the same time I feed my own cats and then like I said before he has his own bowls out there and a bed as well. I didn't know that black cats got adopted last, does anyone know why that would be? I think black cats are absolutely gorgeous!
 

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Wow, if he is declawed is it safe for him to live outside? I would think it would interfere with his ability to defend himself. He looks very healthy and plump. A very pretty boy.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The whole backyard is fenced in with privacy fence so no other animals except squirrels ever come into the yard. I thought about his safety as well but for the year or so that he's been coming around there has not been a single scratch on him. He's pretty smart about when he leaves his "house." If I were to bring him in not only would there a be a total of way too many cats but I would be scared that they wouldn't get along. We have mini cat fights as it is to declare dominance and seeing as he's declawed I wouldn't want anything to happen to him. It makes me sad knowing that he's outside all by himself. I know that's what he's used to and that's what he's happy with but I still feel bad. I'm going to start making a routine of going out there at specific times and playing with him and then go from there.
 

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It's so wonderful that you're taking care of him. Would it be possible to get him into a carrier to see if your vet or the Humane Society can scan him for a microchip? There may be someone missing this beautiful boy just as you suspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@marie73, I hadn't even thought of that! I'm going to call the vet today and see if there is anything they can do and if I can get him into a carrier. Hopefully he's still in the garage or else I'll have to wait until I see him again.
 

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Seems like he's a very smart cat to find such a secure backyard. He's probably well aware he can't defend himself in a fight being declawed or get up a tree to escape a predator. At least you know now he isn't feral but a stray, tho he's somewhat skittish and untrustful. Can you sit on the floor and get him used to coming into your lap by getting him to eat treats or food off your fingers? Petting him and getting him comfortable to your touch are the first steps to being able to pick him up.

These excellent videos show proper technique to getting ferals used to being picked up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfraihjBNHM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfraihjBNHM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP8E-yFXCT4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP8E-yFXCT4
 

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....
.... I didn't know that black cats got adopted last, does anyone know why that would be? I think black cats are absolutely gorgeous!

You are walking down the street and a black cat crosses your path. What do you do? Whether you dismiss it or not, many people think of it as some kind of a bad omen. Black cats and bad luck is a superstition that has lived on even in modern society. Past events, and present misconceptions of these cats keep this unfortunate stereotype alive.
Black is a colour that often brings an emotional response. What do you think of when you imagine this colour? Night, darkness, boring, no colour, dark, evil, scary are all common (and generally negative) words to describe black. This negative connotation of the colour black also applies to black cats. Black cats as an omen of bad luck began with accusations of witchcraft and witch-hunts. It was believed that black cats had magical powers that allowed them to transform themselves into witches. Thus, if a person were to see a black cat they would fear something bad was going to befall them. Even though this happened hundreds of years ago, why is this belief still widespread? This fear of black cats has carried on throughout all these years because humans continue to perpetuate the stereotype. We as a society have continued to use the black cat as a symbol of black magic, bad luck, and fear.

Myths and stories passed down generation-to-generation fuel the fire regarding black cats and their lack of luck. It does not do us any good, and it is certainly not beneficial for black cats. Even if you do not consciously think bad thoughts upon seeing a black cat, it leads to a "general weariness or unconscious dislike" for them. How else can we explain why the number of black cats adopted in animal shelters across North America is significantly lower than other coloured cats? The truly ironic part is that the only bad luck is for the black cat itself that has to live its life based on the label we have given it. This is why they often remain unnoticed and not adopted. The sad part is that potential black cat owners may be missing out. Colour is no indication of how great a pet cat can be. Oftentimes black cats are the ones with the most wonderful personalities and are extremely friendly. I can certainly attest to that, having had some wonderful BLACK cats.
 

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