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I'm going to need some advice. I am not a "cat person" and joined this forum for help. I live in a rural area. My nearest neighbor, I am told, is going through a messy seperation and divorce. The wife moved out of the house with the 2 kids and had the power and water turned off. The husband has been emptying the house, and lives elsewhere. I don't know them and have no way to reach them. They are gone. The problem is, I have 3 cats now at my place looking for food.

I have often seen the larger one prior to now. Used to sit on my cars, he even left me a mouse one day, but never let me get near. He is taking care of himself, it appears. The others are what appears to be an adolescent male and a young grey long haired female . I have been feeding them and trying to get close. The youngster never lets me get anywhere close even with food and is very skittish. Doesn't seem to have had much human contact. Growing very fast. The female is beautiful and it took days before I could even touch her. But she now allows me to pet her and even hold her in my lap if I have food for her. She runs away if anyone comes near, but when she is hungry I can get her close. Ans she will purr and show her enjoyment at being stroked, seemingly against her will.

My wife was badly scratched while holding food for the younger one. The grey female hasn't warmed up to her and she fears our small children (2, 4, 5) might get hurt by these cats.

Any hints on what we should do? Don't say call animal control, because I have seen what they do to "feral" cats. I think the grey one could be re-domesticated, but I fear they all have been on their own a bit too long. The long hair's fur has become matted in a couple of places, I wish she would let me brush her. Don't believe they have been fixed.

I will post a couple of pictures next time. Thanks. Want to do the right thing. My wife does not want an "inside" cat, I don't know how you could have any other kind with a clear conscience.
 

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one thing i would worry about if you dont think they have been spayed is the female being with the males. when she comes into season the males will mate her, and more than likely she will become pregnant, only creating more strays :(

if you really dont want to hand them over to animal control the only thing i could think of is either you take care of them (and get them spayed!) or catch them and rehome them yourself.
 

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They can't be really ferals because they had a home, ferals never had human contact.

You must catch them and spay the female before she gets pregnant by the males. You should contact a Feral Cat Rescue. Taming ferals is difficult, but it CAN be done. I've tamed several.

Trap them and cage them in a room to keep your other pets and children away from them. Take them to your vet for FIV/FeLV testing(important, if they have this, you should NOT release them back outdoors). Find a low cost spay/netuer program in your area and spay/neuter all them. If they seem tamed enough(or not as scared), then you should contact a stray cat rescue, if you haven't already decided to keep them yourself ;)
 

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It shows that you have a heart, taking care of these cats and wanting what's best for them. I can understand your concern about the kids getting scratched. Just make sure they don't go after the cat if it not willing to accept their attention. That's when they will get scratched because the cat is feeling threatened and is defending itself.

It sounds as if your neighbors paid their cats little to no attention and weren't very friendly to them, but shame on them for abandoning the cats.

It is very generous of you to do this, but please make sure the female is "fixed" before there are more cats you can't take care of.
 

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This is quite a situation you've got here...

First off, thank you for being a good human being. It's surprising how few seem to exist anymore. Most people would feed them sometimes, but not care much more. Especially after being scratched as your wife was.

A few questions: what is the climate in your area? If your in an a colder area, I'd seriously consider humane traps and catching them and sheltering them in your basement until you can figure out what to do long-term. They're liable to freeze otherwise.

I'd also consult a Vet. Ask what to do. Tell them your willing to take care of these cats (as I hope you are?) but your concerned for your children. Perhaps they can offer you assistance and/or ideas.
 

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I wish I where closer, I'd love to come help you out! I have some friends in Georgia that I think might be able to help. Can I have permission to cross post this to another forum I post on? Feral cats don't have to be cats that have never had human contact, the text book definition is a free roaming cat that's leary of humans, so by that definition, these would be classified as feral cats, especially by a shelter. I have some websites that I'll try to post later today that might be able to help you find someone near you to help you relocate this cats.
 

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Good for you for taking care of them! Feral cats need attention just as tame cats do. The first thing you should do is try to catch them and take them to a vet. If cost is an issue there are a number of programd avaliable to help feral cats. I will post some links at the bottom of this post.

After getting them fixed, just make sure you leave food out and avaliable to them, If I recall you are in Georgia right? Does your weather stay aove freezing? If not try to make a shelter for them, a shed or garage is great. Or an dog house with a flap and blanket. Leave the food in a location that it is not going to get rained on and ect. Make sure they have water avliable to them also.

Keep an eye on them for sickness or anything like that as well so yoiu can take them to the vet if needed. Try to make freinds with them as well, then you wont worry about your kids getting scratched.


http://www.spayusa.com
http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

There are many more organazations as well, I just cant remember the web address off hand. Maybe someon else can ......
Such as Alley Cat Alleys or Feral Freinds ?
 

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Thanks

Many good resources there. Update... they are all male, not that it makes much difference. Tonight the older orange bruiser came up to me while I was putting out food and let me pet him, scratch his head. I guess by definition they are abandoned strays, though not social at all. The fluffy grey one allowed me to brush him a little and cut out some matts. There may be some hope. I am trying to find a vet that is comfortable with strays to check them out. May try to keep them all to what ever degree they will allow. I must admit, there has been no signs of rodents since they arrived.

Will update later. Thanks for the advise.

Dave
 

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Hi Dave
I just wanted to say I am happy you and these adorable kitties found each other. It looks like you are the right person for them and they the right little furry babies for you. It takes a lot of patience but they do warm up to you - as you have yourself noticed.
A very important thing to do is have them tested and neutered.
To tell you the truth I wasn't a "cat person" myself when I first came to this forum. I was also seeking help for some sick kitties I had found. And look at me now - cat addict!
I wish you well with the kitties and come back as often as possible :)
 

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I know it would seem like it isnt important to get them fixed, because they are all boys. At a glance that is what you would think....right? Well there are a couple of really good reasons to still get them fixed.

First of all, it will make them much more freindly. They naturally act like men (you know kinda rough and tumble) until they are fixed. Then they calm down and act more passive.

Second it is much healthier for them. There is a much lowered risk of illness in spayed or neutered cats than in un fixed cats. This means there will be less work for you to do and also it will increase the liklyhood that they will become freindly.

Also there are female cats around everywhere. Even if you can not see them or they are not your cats they are out there getting pregnant by those male cats. Even if you only do it to help stop the unwanted pet population it is the best reason of all to get them fixed. There are so many statistics, and I do not know the numbers excatly...I do know that there are alot of people who leave cats everyday, just like the ones you found. There are abandoned animals all over the world. We really need to do all we can to help.

I hope it works out for you, please look into the links I gave for low cost spay nuterer clinics. I know you are not near Indidna, however the clinic in my area fixes ferals (strays) for 20.00 a cat, including surgery and shots. As well she will doctor all wounds and give them worm medicine and ear mite medicine as needed.
 
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