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Discussion Starter #1
So how can one tell if a cat is a feral?

My mom started to see it a few weeks back. It has no collar, but appeared friendly albeit cautious. Winter is coming so she felt sorry for it and wanted to feed it. Our property backs onto a park. Two weeks or so ago she saw it strolling in the park. She went out to try and feed it but was unsuccessful. I tried my best to just let it be cuz I was unsure whether it was someone's outdoor cat or a stray. However, it seemed like it was meant to be. Several hrs after her encounter, she told me about it and I sighed. Then got some food and went outside. It was sitting under my car trunk staring straight at me as I opened the door! The car is situated right in front of the door. It seemed fated.

It looked wary, but not overly frightened as instead of running away totally, it ran over to my neighbor's front yard bush and hid, watching me. I was able to feed it eventually and actually lead it back towards my property. It appeared several days in a row around the same time. I was able to get it inside my porch but alas, I wasn't fast enough to close the door. I also wasn't sure what to do with it. I didn't want to keep it and the local no kill cat rescue couldn't take in anymore new rescues.

After a long time deliberating, I decided the most important thing is to trap it and make sure it has a place to stay and food to eat at least for the winter. I'll eventually decided if I want to keep it or not.

I was worried though cuz it disappeared for several days. It was raining and was a bit colder. However, today I was delighted when my mother told me she drove up the driveway and saw it sitting inside the box that I left for it around the porch! I hope it's there when I get back from work!

Now my questions, I'm unsure if it is indeed a stray or someone's outdoor cat. My sis thought it looked on the thin side and it was very food motivated as I was able to coax it easily with food. When it was inside the porch, it looked like it wanted to be friends with everyone. It came right up to the storm door where Miu was watching. She hissed loudly and making disagreeable noises, but it didn't hiss back. It wasn't frightened off either. It just stood its ground and stared back at her in curiosity. It wasn't frightened off by Rocky the dog barking at it throught the window either. Since it has no collar, I suppose the only way to tell is to catch it and have it scanned for a chip. But wouldn't it be embarrassing if it was indeed someone's outdoor cat? There was a posting in the area for a missing cat, but on closer inspection, the markings are slightly different. Also, the phone number on it is wrong.

My parents don't want me to keep it. I also don't want to because it's been a year after I got Miu and we've finally reached a comfortable norm with her and Rocky. I also got her behavior more or less attuned to be acceptable for the family. I'm concerned that with an addition, the balance would be 'upset' and I need to start over again. My dad was saying I'm taking in more than we can handle (since they help with looking after Rocky and Miu) and also my mom's physical/mental health isn't exactly good. On the other hand, I would like to try and keep another cat since Miu is frequently bored. She wants to play with Rocky but they just don't 'speak' the same language and are also at different stages/ages in life. Miu's a pretty good sport. If she asks to play and I tell her I'm too tired/busy, she just walks offs and leaves me alone. I feel terrible and if I can get another cat who's not too much trouble, then she'll have another same species companion.
 

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Alpaca, it sounds like a stray to me. It does seem like fate that the cat found your house! The way to find out if the cat has a home is to catch the cat. Use a humane trap, if necessary. You'll soon find out if it's feral! A feral cat will hiss and scratch and yowl while it's inside the trap. And will get worse yet if you try to touch it. I think it's a stray, however.

If the cat does not try to attack, attach a note to a collar and put the collar on the cat, asking that the owners reply the same way. Of course, you're taking a chance that the cat won't come back. Another way is to run an ad in the local newspaper. Give the general area where you have seen the cat, and explain that the owner will have to give a description of their lost cat if they want to claim it.

If it is not claimed or feral, and your parents allow it, you will have to keep the cat in your room and do a slow introduction to the other animals. Here are some instructions that will help, if you're allowed to bring the cat in the house:

Little Big Cat

I hope all works out for the best! Please let us know.
 

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Alpaca, it sounds like a stray to me. It does seem like fate that the cat found your house! The way to find out if the cat has a home is to catch the cat. Use a humane trap, if necessary. You'll soon find out if it's feral! A feral cat will hiss and scratch and yowl while it's inside the trap. And will get worse yet if you try to touch it. I think it's a stray, however.

If the cat does not try to attack, attach a note to a collar and put the collar on the cat, asking that the owners reply the same way. Of course, you're taking a chance that the cat won't come back. Another way is to run an ad in the local newspaper. Give the general area where you have seen the cat, and explain that the owner will have to give a description of their lost cat if they want to claim it.

If it is not claimed or feral, and your parents allow it, you will have to keep the cat in your room and do a slow introduction to the other animals. Here are some instructions that will help, if you're allowed to bring the cat in the house:

Little Big Cat

I hope all works out for the best! Please let us know.
Poor puss. sounds like a stray to me as well.

Some cats can be sort of 1/2 feral. Appear quiet but if you try and touch they will go mental. I've got one like this called Dali. He is a good looking boy but headstrong and my right hand and arm is covered with bites, scars, and stratches. I have had him for around 10 months.

He can be sweet at times, but mostly he is a monster. But....... one I am committed to for life now.
 

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As long as he doesn't bite you, Annie! How kind of you to take care of him. :) I had a beautiful white cat (a barn kitten) who loved to be petted, but would suddenly lash out and scratch. I just learned not to pet her too long. My son called her "psycho cat." Yet, she was terrified of our resident bully and hid from her. :?::?: Each is different, just like us. :)
 

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The way to find out if the cat has a home is to catch the cat. Use a humane trap, if necessary. You'll soon find out if it's feral! A feral cat will hiss and scratch and yowl while it's inside the trap. And will get worse yet if you try to touch it.
If that were the case, you'd think Nebbie was a feral. Getting her into the carrier, I have to wrestle with her and secure ALL four paws with one hand, while scruffing her neck with the other, and dump her in a carrier that's tipped up vertically. Then once inside, she claws and bites at the door and howls.
Most cats do okay in small spaces, if they're covered with a cloth or in a box or something, as it makes them feel safe. Others, like Nebbie, I guess feel trapped and know they can't have any way to escape if something were to harm them.

Still, I agree you should trap and get a scan for a microchip ID and check local resources to see if it's owned.
 

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As long as he doesn't bite you, Annie! How kind of you to take care of him. :) I had a beautiful white cat (a barn kitten) who loved to be petted, but would suddenly lash out and scratch. I just learned not to pet her too long. My son called her "psycho cat." Yet, she was terrified of our resident bully and hid from her. :?::?: Each is different, just like us. :)
ha ha
Dali LOVES to bite and scratch AND bunny kick!! He is a terror. But I love him and he is here for keeps. I think there was a reason he turned up at my place - I am sure not many would put up with his aggroness.

I will post some pics. I am sure you will fall in love with him. He is a cheeky monkey and makes me laugh with some of his antics.

I had another feral i tamed called Skitzi - had her for 12 years.

True each is different. I feel sorry for them that they had such a rough start - both abandoned in different ways.

here is Dali (the naughty feral cat) Very spoilt and well cared for

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, still struggling with having the cat trust me and also figuring out what to do with it (not sure if male or female). I guess I named it Halo for now.

My dad is not happy about it. He was still saying how I can't take care of all 3 of my pets totally by myself. I protest because he loves Miu himself and does stuff for her out of his own accord! Anyways, my mom now says she really feels sorry for Halo and wants to try and catch Halo....AND if Halo is worm-free, disease-free...then she says she wants to try keeping him! But she's a bit afraid of my dad so...argh.

I also have some questions again. The no-kill shelter says it would lend me a trap and even help me do all the necessary things such as deworming, neuter/spay etc with its rescue discount. However, I couldn't get a hold of the woman to get the trap this weekend. Anyways, I was planning to try and coax Halo into our enclosed porch. After that ...without a carrier, I'm not sure how I'll be able to get it to the rescue. And the traps, are they really small? Like just the size of the cat? So as soon as I get it trapped, I'll have to take it to the rescue? I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to get it back into the trap if I let it out. My mom and I are worried about Halo because the winter is supposed to be very cold this year. We're still unsure if Halo belongs to someone already. I'm currently feeding twice a day and Halo appears hungry each time.

Here is a pick of Halo:

 

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Oh, my goodness! He's beautiful! I love Tuxedo cats. :) I would put food out in the morning, and stand by. I would let the Rescue know-- as soon as you have him trapped... that you will be bringing him in asap.

Here's a video that should help. I'm sure it's large enough. You would have to wear heavy leather gloves and heavy clothes if you get him inside. I think it would be best to take him straight to the shelter or vet for a check up, tests, neutering, and shots.


PS: I would take the sharp lid off the tuna can!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the video.

I think it definitely doesn't have a place to go. We've made a bigger and warmer box for it to sleep in and last night I spied it in there pretty late at night. As well, it was there this morning too. So chances are it had no place to go to.

I've been trying to trap it in my porch or at least have it stay there cuz it's warmer. It'll come in but, Miu frightens it away sometimes. She's not very friendly with it!
 

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just looking at the picture, i'd say that's no feral. that was someone's pet. And since it's hanging out with you, it no longer has a home. once you trap it leave it in the trap until you get to the veterinarian if it acts really wild. But I am thinking that you have a cat who once you release it (in a small room like a bathroom) that it will come around really quickly. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! The first step though is to getting the outside cat permanently into the porch first. I don't know what happened but for some reason, it's more wary of me now. Either Miu gave it some 'go away' signals or something/someone frightened it and so it's more wary of humans.

However, the good thing is, Halo seems to still want to make it work. It's been hanging around my house more. It's also been entering the porch a few times to check things out even though Miu was at the inside porch door before. I've put a second box inside the porch, but Halo just doesn't stay in the porch. It prefers to be in the outside box. I've showed Halo that I moved the food dishes inside the porch now and will attempt to feed it inside tomorrow morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How can you tell it's not a feral by looking at it?

just looking at the picture, i'd say that's no feral. that was someone's pet. And since it's hanging out with you, it no longer has a home. once you trap it leave it in the trap until you get to the veterinarian if it acts really wild. But I am thinking that you have a cat who once you release it (in a small room like a bathroom) that it will come around really quickly. Good luck!
 

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How can you tell it's not a feral by looking at it?
The cat I trapped last night is a sort of "maybe" feral. Here's why I think it's a lost/abandoned pet:
* Good weight (almost fat). The other ferals around here are all rather slim (a couple even emaciated), even though I leave out food every day.
* No scars, recent injuries, or sign of sickness. Nearly all the other ferals are sick or 'battle marked'.
* Didn't hiss or yowl at me, when I was messing with the trap to load/unload it in the car...just sort of cowered. All the other ferals I've caught so far, have hissy fits and claw at the cage to get out.
* Always seems to come from another direction than the others. He comes from either the North or East side of the property, all the others stick around the South/West side. When I let him go an hour ago, he went straight for the neighbor's front yard, and took a back way around to another field.

The vet, however, says he thinks it's a feral simply because it hadn't been neutered yet. "Most people fix their pet cats". I didn't say anything, but I thought "Yeah, most...but not all".
 

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My ex-husband never took his cats to the vet (despite me pestering him to!). Two reasons I didn't do it for him... #1, didn't have funds to pay for it (he always kept the bank account overdrawn) and #2, they were HIS cats and HIS responsibility.
In the 4 years we were married, he went through 3 cats. First one was taken out of his sister's barn... never spayed, and he let her go outside - needless to say, we had to find homes for 4 kittens a little while later. He kept one kitten, but she got hit on the road, and the mother just wandered off one day and didn't come back. His current cat is at my house and I'm taking care of her (as best I can...my dad doesn't want more cats in the house, so she stays outside and I have a box with a blanket in it for her).
The only reason I'm even caring for her at all, is because his parents were taking care of her, but she kept crossing the road (his parents live across the street from me) to come "home" and I didn't want her to get hit (not for ex's sake, but for the cat's sake). They, of course, also let their cats out and roam. His whole family is "old time" farmers... the whole opinion that they're animals, they are supposed to be outside. Fur to keep them warm, and mice to satisfy hunger.

Some "pets" might as well be strays.

okay, my rant is over now :eek:fftopic
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I got in touch with the rescue person today. Gonna get the trap tmrw. Had a long conversation with her. Basically after I trap it, I'll have to calm it down for a while. Then when it's ready and I determine its gender, I take it to the rescue and they're gonna do all the vet work for me.

She told me it's best to get a large dog kennel/crate to keep it in during the 'get to know you' stage. I've appealed to a friend to see if he has an appropriate sized one. I'm also seeing if I can get a room in the house for it as an alternative. I'm not sure if there is a room available.

My mom and I are both losing sleep over this for various reasons. Worried that it's cold outside, concerned about the amount of time to get the household 'in order' again after adding the new cat, afraid my dad will freak
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Since we all agree it's not a feral. I'm starting a new topic in the behavior section since I need help in that area. Thanks for reading my post and helping me.
 
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