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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not had much experience with strays before, but today I walk out into my livingroom and find Caesar snuggling against the sliding glass door with an unfamiliar, outdoor black and white cat. My first thought was that the cat must be a pet of someone else who lives in this apartment complex, however when I opened the door to say hello, the cat took off.

I left a bowl of dried kibble outside, to see what would happen, and ten minutes later the cat was back, and finished the entire bowl of food in almost 5 minutes.

Caesar seems to have taken this cat under his wing, I left the screen door open for a bit and they sniffed eachother and cuddled through the screen. Its as if they have known eachother forever, there are no territorial signs from Caesar, which I find to be extremely weird.

I cannot get close enough to the cat to find out its sex, or if it has been altered. It doesn't have a collar, and ended up eating an entirely seperate bowl of food I put out for it.

Its freezing outside, and "Moo" seems near starving, the way it was eating.

I'm torn on what to do. My instinct is to try to get it into where it is warm, and take pictures/put up flyers, maybe ask around. I cannot get a good picture of it as it runs every time I move. However for all i know I may be overstepping a boundry and taking in a cat which is already owned.

Even if I did decide to temporarily take this cat in, I still wouldn't know how. It won't go more than 5 feet near me, everytime I move it runs off. It enjoys the food I leave out for it, and I locked Caesar in the bedroom for a few minutes and left the sliding door open, leaving the food inside to see what it would do. It came halfway in, startled itself, and then took off again.

I just wish I could get close enough to sex it and see it it is altered, that would give me more indication that it was a family pet.

I need advice, should I continue to feed? Should I try to help this "Moo"? and if I should, how would I go about doing so? How do you gain a cat's trust?

Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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the fact that moo is sooo hungry and afraid of people would lead me to believe that no one is taking care of him, and that gives you the right to feed him and give him shelter. If someone does "own" him, you are doing no wrong by providing him with basic needs. I would put flyers up and ask around, you don't have to have a picture, just a description will do. And as far as catching him goes, the fact that he already came halfway inside is a huge step. It will take patience, maybe set up a warm box outside for him with hay/blankets in it. He will slowly gain your trust. And, once you catch him you can take him to get scanned for a microchip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the fact that moo is sooo hungry and afraid of people would lead me to believe that no one is taking care of him, and that gives you the right to feed him and give him shelter. If someone does "own" him, you are doing no wrong by providing him with basic needs. I would put flyers up and ask around, you don't have to have a picture, just a description will do. And as far as catching him goes, the fact that he already came halfway inside is a huge step. It will take patience, maybe set up a warm box outside for him with hay/blankets in it. He will slowly gain your trust. And, once you catch him you can take him to get scanned for a microchip.

This was my thought also, he definately seemed like his last meal was a long time ago. And I am planning on taking him to a vet as soon as he can be contained. I'm not even sure yet if he/she is neutered/spayed yet, as I can't get that close. Funds are tight but if/when i can get this kitty some real help, I'm planning on doing all that I can to take care of him until I can find him somewhere to go that isn't out in the freezing cold (Its currently winter here, snow on the ground).

I don't really have a cat house, but perhaps I can try to fashion one out of cheap materials. Thank you for the advice!
 

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since it seemingly has no reliable source of food you should be able to trap it rather easily. depending on where you are located there are many groups that would lend you a humane trap (some do require you to leave a deposit) or your local animal control office may be able to assist in the trapping.


as far as inexpensive shelter options check out theseFeral Cat Shelter Options Gallery - Alley Cat Allies

the "tub style" ones are very easy to make and require no tools other than a utility knife. i have made tons of these shelters for my feral colony as well as for other colonies. if you can swing it financially a feral villa (linked on the alley cat allies site) or a do-it-yourself wood shelter is preferable. in addition to the tub style shelters i have four feral villas at my colony. they are very easy to set up and offer great protection.


one more thing, do not use hay or blankets, use straw.
 

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I say continue to feed, but don't push the acquaintace. My first outside cat (I called him Cat,Cat as that's the way I called him) took several months or more before he came close and invited touching. Don't worry too much about a warm envirionment, unless they are in the extreme winter areas where they sometimes get frost bitten on the extremities, they seem to survive OK.

The fact that Caesar has taken a liking to it may help.

Cat, Cat came in through the window one time, but after inspecting the house, decided not to stay. Guy, my present outdoor cat, will come in, but not eat if I close the door.

I'm a bit against trapping, unless it's for neutering only. I respect a cats intelligence enough to believe it would choose to come in if that's what it wants.

I do suggest a giving it name, though, so that it has a word to recognise its food provider by.

I remember, several years ago, when I was new to the internet, that someone mentioned there were ways to identify gender by the way a cat walked. It's a vague memory, but someone said a male was identifible by the way it held it's tail high as it walked, and that males had a sort of arrogant stride.

Just my few thoughts and words.
 

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In addition to what everyone has already suggested, contact your local animal shelter and submit a "found report," or whatever they are called there. They will take down the information about the cat (as much as you know) and if someone calls to report their cat is missing, they can see if they are the same one. In addition to the posters, check the Lost & Found sections on Craigslist, Petfinder classifieds, and your local paper. Also, when you are able to catch him/her, a vet or shelter staff should scan for a microchip.

Best of luck to both of you! Thank you for showing kindness to this little cat. :) Keep us posted!
 

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Just a word of caution -- Feline leukemia is highly infectious and fairly common among strays in some areas, so be careful about allowing it touch noses with your house cat until it can be tested. Not trying to be a downer, but I'd hate to see Caesar get infected. Each time I take in a stray, I get it to a vet for testing before I allow it near my own cats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a word of caution -- Feline leukemia is highly infectious and fairly common among strays in some areas, so be careful about allowing it touch noses with your house cat until it can be tested. Not trying to be a downer, but I'd hate to see Caesar get infected. Each time I take in a stray, I get it to a vet for testing before I allow it near my own cats.
thank you for the advice,
I do not have the funds to take the cat to a vet right away, so i may need to keep it quarentined from my other cats until then
i posted another thread regarding this very issue :)
 

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Chances are, the cat is okay, but it's best to be safe.

We have taken in nine strays over the years, and never had a single one test positive. On the flip side, though, just a mile away, my sister took in a lovely little stray, and she was infected. She lost it and both of her indoor Manx cats, one of which had been raised by hand by my sister from the day it was born (the mother died of internal bleeding before they could get her to the vet). Very tragic.

If you can find an old box or large carton, you can cut a hole in the side and toss in some old rags or towels. That would be enough to break the chill, but if the cat is wary of humans, it may feel trapped in such an enclosed environment. A second "escape hole" might make it feel more secure. Sadly, a lot of people move off and leave their cats behind, and the neighbors start chasing it away, which makes it skittish.

Anyway, I hope it all turns out well in the end for your little Moo. Sounds like a kitty in need of some TLC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just an update:

I was elated two nights ago when Moo didn't show up at my apartment porch, thinking that maybe I had just overreacted to the whole thing, and the cat really did have a home. (perhaps it was just a late night out the night he visited me repeatedly.) Two nights ago, the weather was extremely bad, snowing, windy, etc. So I had assumed when Moo didn't show that perhaps he was home, and safe.

Imagine the heartbreak when last night, under the same weather conditions, Moo was at my door again. I was not home to witness it, but my boyfriend was. He did not eat the food I left out, as I didn't change it from the day before (i didn't think of it that morning when I woke up, and I didn't get home until 8:30-9 at night, long after Moo had come and gone). My boyfriend reported that he came and ate a few peices of food, and pawed at the door for about ten minutes. (My boyfriend does not feel the same way I do about helping this poor creature, and refused to let him inside. He actually says I'm in big trouble if the cat ever gets in, however, I have ways around that :) I literally cried at the news though, and begged my boyfriend to open the door. When that was an obvious no, I begged him to please put fresh food outside that was non frozen, but apparently just as he was about to do so, the cat bounded off.

I came home and saw the tiny paw prints in the snow. Breaks my heart that he was clawing at the door, either for warmth or fresh food (The food was legitamately frozen, non edible.). I put out some fresh food, shook it, and called his name, but I didn't want to create a disturbance for my neighbors, so I put it to rest after about half an hour.

Wish I had a little more support from the boyfriend, but I can do it on my own too. I'm going to get this kitty some help. I really hate to think of him freezing out there, and he obviously either wanted inside or wanted some type of human attention, so he definatly needs some help.
 

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Sounds like you need a new boy friend who shares your compassion for animals in need.


^ +1


you took the words right out of my mouth
 

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Sounds like you need a new boy friend who shares your compassion for animals in need.
^ +1


you took the words right out of my mouth
^ +1, as well.

I'd be leery of a man who is that unsympathetic to an animal that is in such distress. I'm sure you love your boyfriend, but if he were my boyfriend, I'd have to think long and hard if I want him around.
 

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Oh, that poor baby. How heartbreaking that he was asking for help and didn't get it. I hope that you are able to offer him food when he comes back. Do you have the space outside to make him a little shelter so that he could get out of the cold?
 

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I hope he comes back when you're home. Were you able to make a shelter for him/her?
I live in a cul de sac and one of my neighbors let her cat out but unfortunately is not always home to let him back in. She believes "his fur coat is more than enough to keep him warm in freezing temperatures." Those are her exact words. Anyway, he is well fed and she does provide him with food & water on her porch but no shelter. But I felt sorry for him and its been bitterly cold every night so I made him a shelter between the house and bushes out of two rubbermaid storage containers I purchased at Goodwill. It was very simple to make (I googled instructions). Hardest part was cutting out the holes. I added straw between the two containers and blankets inside. He uses it now whenever she's not home to let him in.
Thank you for caring for this cat. I really hope he comes back to you soon. Please keep us inform.
Lucy
 

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I hope he comes back when you're home. Were you able to make a shelter for him/her?
I live in a cul de sac and one of my neighbors let her cat out but unfortunately is not always home to let him back in. She believes "his fur coat is more than enough to keep him warm in freezing temperatures." Those are her exact words. Anyway, he is well fed and she does provide him with food & water on her porch but no shelter. But I felt sorry for him and its been bitterly cold every night so I made him a shelter between the house and bushes out of two rubbermaid storage containers I purchased at Goodwill. It was very simple to make (I googled instructions). Hardest part was cutting out the holes. I added straw between the two containers and blankets inside. He uses it now whenever she's not home to let him in.
Thank you for caring for this cat. I really hope he comes back to you soon. Please keep us inform.
Lucy
You are very kind to offer shelter to your neighbor's cat. I can't imagine why some ppl are so ignorant and believe cats can survive outside.

To the OP, I agree with the others. A man who shows no compassion to a distressed animal is questionable, but of course, that's for you to decide. Anyways, I hope you are successful in helping the cat.

If you cannot keep the cat, then do some homework beforehand. Either find the location of the local no kill cat rescue or a willing adopter b4 you catch it. Contact them and see if they have room for a new addition then rent a humane trap from them or ask where you can get one.

If you plan to keep it either temporarily or permanently, I'd have a serious chat with your bf about it first. It would be tragic if you caught it and then in the end you get into a big argument with the bf and are forced to give it up. I say planning b4 taking action is always a good idea.

And yes, do be mindful of the possibilities of cat diseases that you could be bringing in to your existing cat.
 
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