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Discussion Starter #1
I need advice. For nearly a year now I've been feeding a feral cat that showed up at my back door one day. Twice a day he shows up and twice a day I feed him. I have three cats of my own, two of which were feral at one point. This cat is different.

He still won't let me get within more than 10-20 feet of him. When I take his food outside he will run a short distance, hide behind a tree, poke his head out to see where I'm putting the food, hiss at me then wait until I leave to walk up and eat his food.

Last month Moses (his name) showed up at my door with an injury. He was hopping on three feet. As I knew that most animals will only be trapped once, I had to make the gut wrenching decision to trap him and take him to my vet's for help, or not trap him and wait until I was moving (2 months out at that time) hope that he recovered on his own and then trap him and take him with us to our new home. I decided to trap him.

I was successful at trapping him and took him to my vets where they were able to treat his wounds and give him a shot of antibiotics. He is now recovered, but still the same problem lingers. I cannot get anywhere near him still and I'm moving in less than 3 weeks time.

Do you have any instances where a cat has been trapped more than once? Is there any other way to capture a cat humanely?

I consider Moses, despite his fear, as a part of our family now, and know he relies on me now to feed him and take care of him.

Thank you for anything you can suggest.
 

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Welcome,
The humane traps are as humane as you can get when trying to trap feral cats. I have been able to trap several cats more than once, so it *could* happen. I think, if you begin to feed him with the trap next to the plate each day, he will learn to just see the trap as 'part of the picture'. Maybe tie open the trap so it can't close and feed him in it, pushing the plate further in each day. The cats I trapped more than once were when I was trying to trap a raccoon that looked like it needed help and I caught Pretty (still semi-feral at that time) who had been TNR'd the year before ... THREE times and a neighbor's male cat twice in that week I was trying to catch the 'coon.
Most of our cats were former ferals and I wish you the best of luck!
heidi =^..^=
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for your reply heidi

I'm going to give it my all, and pull out all the stops. for some reason I am picturing myself with a net sitting antop the roof of my apt waiting for him to come eat. :?
 

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You are so kind to help him. Some cats are more savy than others. You could only know by trying to trap him again.

We will all cross our fingers that you can get him again in the trap to help him. Do you plan on taking him with you too?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Mery,

Thank you. : )

Yes, I want to take him with me, that's why I'm so worried about getting him trapped again.

I've been doing animal rescue since I was in college, nearing close to 20 years now, and this boy is the wildest I have ever encountered. If I can get him this time (I have to as I'm getting ready to move!) I'll have to figure out a way to best relocate him as well. I know from experience that you just can't let the feral cat out once you've moved. They just scatter about and normally never return. Wow, yes it's going to be hard, but I owe it to him to try.

I have 3 other cats with me. All well loved and spoiled rotten. Two of them were feral's and I guess because they came to so quickly I always expected them all to! Not with Moses!

Well, I'll keep everyone updated. Oh... to top off my circus here I have a rescued puppy pit that I'll be driving to Oklahoma (I live in NC) to pick up next week. The foster family couldn't keep him until mid april so I have to bring him back to my tiny apt of cats. !!!!

:yikes
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, sadly I am.

And to top everything off, a good friend who was flying over from ireland to help me move (as well as make a 2500 mile road trip to pick up my dog) has changed his mind apparently and isn't coming over to help me.

Wow. Oh well, I suppose I'm still young enough to make a move all by myself, but this does makes things a lot harder. I won't give up though.

Thanks for your reply. : )
 

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We’ve had an amazing couple that participated in our barn program. They
had to move and took all our ferals with them!!! What compassion.

Are you going to live rural where you’re moving? Will you have a sheltered
out building or barn. From our experience of moving cats to a barn you
have a 50/50 chance of success of them staying and not leaving to try
to find their former home. It’s so difficult when it’s in their nature to be
territorial.

We set up a large 4x4 kennel with top on it & with shelves to be on
and cubes or boxes to hide in plus litter box and food/water. Or its
even better if there is a tack room in the barn. Its so easy when
there is a tack room because they head for the rafters and you can
easily come in and change the litter box and feed them.

We keep them sequestered for a minimum of 3 weeks if not more.
That way they will get use to sounds, smells, get comfortable in
their new locations, figure out this is where the food source is.
The hardest day for me is when we open the door and let them
head out into the great unknown, praying they will come back.
There are always tears in my eyes when we do this. Sometimes
it takes a day or two for them to show up again but we keep food
out at all times to signal them this is where you were and your
food is always here.

If its still chilly there we put electric blanket over the kennel
or in a tack room we put a lot of blankets and cozy boxes to
hide in. If summer we keep fans going.

You sound like a compassionate knowledgeable animal lover
so you may already know all this. I hope you manage to get
Moses and move him successfully. You are totally awesome
to do this. I’m so impressed!

PS I got tears in my eyes when I saw your name. My beloved bobtail cat
Mz Tess just passed. I miss her so much. All Tess's are very special!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Merry
Thank you SO Much! To answer your question, I am moving into the country,and there is an old barn on our land, but when I old, I mean like moses old! (no pun intended) It's still a standing structure but part of the sides are missing, so I couldn't keep Moses in there without him walking right out.

I was trying to figure out a way to kennel him in there so I wouldn't have to worry about the doors of the barn necessarily.. but how to do that as there's no getting near him without him warning me to stay away. I take that seriously! If I could figure out a way to do it where I didn't have to have direct contact to take out his litter and give him food and water... I know there must be some way to do it? (within means I should say) I don't have lots of money. What extra monies I have each month go to taking care of my 3 cats, and I also feed feral colonies. And then there's the new member of my family the 70 lb Puppy I'm to pick up in two weeks!

Today when I went out to give Moses breakfast I put the food down, turned my back and walked toward my back door. He will walk toward the food as long as he sees my behind but not me. As soon as I turn around he will freeze, instantly. Today though I just sat down on the ground indian style, talked to him and used words I knew he knew. After an HOUR he took the ! TWO ! steps needed to get to the food. As he ate I praised him and my two cats came about to see what was going on. They get along just fine with Moses.

I certainly don't think that means he's going to come and jump into my arms come dinner time, but it was my observation that when I'm not standing he seems a lot less afraid. Oh, I'm afraid though the time is just so short now though. Never in my wildest imagination did I think that in nearly a year he would still be frightened of the girl that brings him food twice a day. He's different. Maybe that's why I love him so much.

Well I'm going to take another look at your post. That darn old barn would be so great if it was enclosed somehow. There's even a hay loft, still thick with hay back from the mid 1800's when it was abandoned (the old house burned down and they didn't move back) My family has since built over the old home and left the old barns standing.)

P.S. my username is savingtess because it was a little cat many many years ago that I wasn't able to save. It's been my username/email etc since the internet began. OK, so that made me cry. :patback Thanks again Merry. I'm sorry to hear of your lost. animals touch us in ways that some may never truly understand.
 

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savingtess said:
Hi Merry
...trying to figure out a way to kennel him in there so I wouldn't have to worry about the doors of the barn necessarily.. but how to do that as there's no getting near him without him warning me to stay away. I take that seriously! If I could figure out a way to do it where I didn't have to have direct contact to take out his litter and give him food and water... I know there must be some way to do it?
The cat rescue place that helped me get Malibu spayed was *very* helpful and I was able to view their feral set-up. They had a large-ish cage (like a large-dog sized kennel-box at the vet treatment room) and inside the cage was a cube/carrier. A long stick was used to urge (guide, not hit) the feral to 'hide' in the cube and the stick was used to close the opening on the cube so the cage door could be safely opened and everything cleaned/exchanged. When done, the stick was used to open the cube so the kitty could again access their cage.

If you can't get one of those, perhaps you could set up a double wire-crate kennel in such a manner as to be able to close the kitty into one half while you clean the half that houses his litter, food, water and possibly bedding. You may choose to keep bedding in the other half, though .... so he has a place to hide when you come to clean.

 

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Heidi you are a lot braver than I am with the kennel! :lol: We use the big 4x4 with hiding places way in the back and put litter and food in the front so we can reach in quickly and pull out the litter box and food/water daily. I have a healthy fear of true ferals! Our director will go in the 4x4s to grab ferals with a towel if we need to medicate. She is fearless. The funny thing is she gets queasy when there is blood involved at the vets! :)

I was pondering Moses today and wanted to add this. We had a cat, which was the companion of an elderly lady who was fearful of everyone but her. She had to be put into a nursing home so my friend was going over everyday to take care of the cat. The woman's family wanted to put the cat down since it couldn’t be adopted out. We didn’t want that to happen so we decided to try to make him a barn cat. We didn’t know if he could make the transition or not. We took him to a barn but he continued to not adjust to the barn after several weeks. So we took over another kitty. A sweet all black feral mom who had been spayed. We put her kennel right up against the other cats kennel so they’d get to know each other. It worked!

They bonded and now are free to roam the horse barn and now go up to the house. The fearful cat follows the mother cat everywhere. It was a very happy ending. I was thinking if Moses had a buddy he might be more willing to hang around!

Here is a photo I’ve posted before of our set up. It’s very cluttered with things in it. You wouldn’t have to have that many items in your set up. I had that many cuz the cats in there were blind. We wanted them to easily find safe places to reside. We find 4x4s at the thrift shops every once in awhile. You could check there esp since your on a budget.

I would start Heidi's suggestion of starting to feed Moses in a wired open trap. Set the food bowl just in the opening and slowly move it further and further back each day. I use wet food cuz its more appealing to ferals.

 

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Mitts & Tess said:
Heidi you are a lot braver than I am with the kennel! :lol:
What?! :yikes Oh, no-no-no, I'm not brave at all!!! :lol:
Let me describe this better, but I also found a photo to show you what I meant.
At the cat rescue place, they had this ... 'thing' ... the feral could go into that could be closed/opened with a stick through the bars of the kennel so the cat would be safely contained and the area could be cleaned. I did a google-search and it is called a "Feral Cat Den".

Feral Cat Den (aka Feral Cat Handler) - When you must hold a cat for several days for recovery from an injury or extensive surgery, the den provides a quiet hiding place. The den can be placed in a larger holding pen or large cage where the cat is being held, along with a litter box, food, and water. The cat enters the den by a porthole on the side that you easily slide shut once the cat is inside. You can then take the cat for cleaning, treatment, or transportation. A vertical sliding door makes it easy to transfer the cat to another cage or return the cat to the den for recovery after surgery.
This image is awesome!
It shows the flat transfer door to transfer a feral to a carrier and it shows the smaller round door that can be operated from outside the cage with a stick to keep the handler safe.


Malibu was kept in a bank of veterinary recovery kennels, like this one, with a feral-cat-den inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi everyone

thanks so much for all your efforts. If I'm a bit quiet it's not because I don't care. My friend that was going to help me with my move and the situation with my animals, including helping me pick up my puppy out in Oklahoma and the transition with moving my 3 cats and trying to get moses, he's bailed on me. I'm trying desperately trying to find someone else to help me and in the meantime trying to get packed, etc... So please know that I'm reading all your posts, I just can't answer back as quickly as I want to.

Say a little prayer for me as I'm really overwhelmed right now.

Thank You
:(
 

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Heidi that is brillliant! Im going to go look it up further! Thanks for posting that.

Savingtess not to worry. Packing, moving and the pressure to get Moses has to be stressful. Sorry to hear your "friend" bailed on you. Hope your not doing all of this by yourself. I know I couldnt! I hit a wall when packing! My sister has always helped me.

I know there are driving relays when getting a rescue dog across states. Is there any way someone could arrange that for you?

Best of luck. Prayers you get Moses!..... Visualizing him in a trap....
 

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Hi Merry

Driving relay.. I've never heard of that.. is it the same as ground transport for animals? I found a lot of those but they wanted a couple thousand dollars! I even put up his picture and story on pilotsandpaws.org to see if any private plane pilots would bring him here. so far no luck though. :(

If he weren't so heavy (he's still a puppy but a BIG puppy and already weighs enough to put him into the: expensive as all get out, price range for the airlines. OH - that reminds me.. here is a wonderful site for people who are getting ready to fly their pets. It's mandated through the gov that all carries report their pet loss stats. http://www.thirdamendment.com/animals.html This was a wake up call when I read that - look at continental and american airlines!

Thanks again for your support!

Unfortunately what small family I have left is not the kind that will help me unconditionally. Don't mean to sound like a sad sack, it's just a fact about my family. :dis
 

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Mitts & Tess said:
Heidi that is brillliant! Im going to go look it up further! Thanks for posting that.
Wow! I guess I thought all feral cat organizations had these. You've inspired me to add this separately to the Feral Forum and find a sticky to link to it as this information could help everyone who works with ferals.

ST ... You're in the Carolinas and I'm in Georgia. Where are you moving to and is there anything I can do to help? I am limited as to how much I can do away from home, but I thought I'd ask...
The Driving Relay is something I've seen happen at larger sites; a horse forum I belong to has a *huge* membership and they have organized several animal-relays, usually for horses but I've seen them organize for dogs and cats, too. Mostly when reuniting people with past pets who have been separated and moved far away. I've never seen anyone charge to do this, but it mostly occured between internet "friends" and not strangers. Well, I mean, they've never formally met so they *are* strangers, but they've sort of 'met' on the internet and weren't complete strangers, knowwhatImean?
 

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Hi Heidi

Thank you! That is so generous, and sweet. Funny that sometimes strangers can be more willing to help people than family.

I can't think of anything really that you could from Georgia. You wanna take a roap trip to Oklahoma by any chance??? LoL
That is another rescue of mine but as I've mentioned, this one is far from a cat. He's a half choc lab half pitty pup that was going to be put down just because of his mom being pit. They had labeled him as 'unadoptable.' So sad such ignorance. How many creatures have to die because of it. As I moving out into the country with lots of land and a big new house I contacted the person that posted his pic and story and told her I would adopt him. The only problem of course was getting him to me! If i was a rich person I would just hire one of those private planes that fly pets, or the ground transport people, but oh my it's expensive!!!

So let's see. I have to get my dear Moses trapped some how, get a kennel of some sort set up for him in my 200 year old barn without a left side and doors and wrangle my cats from under the bed and convince them that they are as excited as I am about my new house and their new brother, a 70 pound 6 month old Puppy. His name is Simcha by the way. That means Joy in Hebrew. I'll post his pic. Sadly so many people continue to be misinformed, many times by irresponsible media, that just reinforces already false beliefs about these dogs. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.

Well I'm going to check on Moses. I just saw him poke his head out from behind his favorite pine tree, so I guess that means he's ready to lunch. Oh my to love these creatures so much.

:luv

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg72 ... /moses.jpg
 

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Good luck with both animals!

As for the picture, we haven't had a photo gallery for over a year. Therefore, most members are using Photobucket, which is free. Just join and you can store your pictures there that you want to post. The directions are not difficult. I'd love to see your pictures! :)
 
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