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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, this is my first experience with a feral. I live in upstate NY and we've been getting a lot of snow. All this past week I've noticed sets of kitty tracks in the snow. They criss cross all over my 2 acre yard, but I've never seen an actual cat. Should I put food out, try to trap it for TNR, etc? I'm thinking of putting together one of the feral shelters I've seen on Jackson Galaxy. Its interesting that they cross right through the middle of the yard instead of sticking to treelines, but theres several sets of tracks going under the porch so that seems a good place to set one a cat hut.
 

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I would try to actually spot the cat and make sure it's a feral before you attempt trapping it. If it's not and it has somewhere to go, trapping it could strand it outside. You could also try following the tracks to see where it goes.

Your heart is definitely in the right place. :) I think you need to get some more information before acting, though.
 

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There's no telling if the cat is feral or perhaps a neighbor's cat that has wandered over. I'm amazed at the number of tracks after a snowfall - cats, opossums, skunks and even some dog tracks from a friendly dog that I know visits but who I rarely see.
Winter is tough on feral cats, so I would offer it shelter under your porch, food and water. There's a chance you may attract a wild critter by leaving food, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good points. I had assumed it was feral as my closest neighbor is a quarter mile, but thats within range of housecat patrol. I'll put out a shelter and a bowl of water, still not sure about food. Lots of other critters in my area including coyotes that I don't want to attract.
 

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Yes, I see my own cats ranging far outside what I considered their usual territory at times.
As to the food - I feed outdoor cats in various situations and I find that most other critters are nocturnal, so feeding in the early morning is the best option. If there's food left over, bring it in.
 
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