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Discussion Starter #1
I have a feral kitty, Mr. Kitty, who I've been taking care of for a couple of years. I had him neutered last May (he really hates me now), and the vet estimated he was 5 years old! He's pretty beat up, very grumpy, and doesn't let me anywhere near him. He's also extremely territorial of his home on my front porch and gets in fights with others who come near my porch. Well, yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a kitty in my backyard, so I put some food out. He came back today and ran off when he saw me, but he didn't go too far. I went outside to see if he'd come close to me, but he kept his distance, so I put more food out and he came back to the patio. He's super cute and looks to be in pretty good shape. He is definitely NOT neutered (got a good look at his rear), but doesn't appear as beat up as most outdoor kitties (definitely not like Mr. Kitty). I'm now worried that he'll get in a fight with Mr. Kitty if he catches him on his turf. So I'll try to trap him so I can take him to the vet to see if he's chipped.

Anyhow, this is not the best pic of him (through a window), but he's very handsome! :)

 

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New fella is indeed mighty handsome :) Yeah, I have a porch dweller that I have been caring for now for the past two years. I was lucky, she is already fixed and ear tipped, thank GOD, because I know she would hate me if I trapped her. It took me about 6 months before she would let me barely touch her, and used to hiss at me when I first started feeding her. She has lived in my neighborhood for at least 5 years before I started caring for her....she wouldn't let me care for her before, I tried, but one day she gave in and took the food, and 2 years later, she sleeps by my front door. She, like your Mr. Kitty, is VERY territorial of her porch, and I have heard fighting on a few occasions when someone tried to come to her porch. But, she also knows when to step aside and not fight and last winter, a big orange cat (looked like your new fella) started trying to eat her food in the morning and started peeing by my front door, and she just stepped aside and knew not to mess with this big guy, who was 3 times her size. He was not neutered, and the lady at the end of my street was feeding him, along with 8 other cats, which I was not happy about. I know they are hungry, but if you are going to feed them, you have to make sure they are neutered or, as you know, there will be a constant stream of cats that will grow and grow until you have 20. Now, I feed Arwen, my feral girl, and I sit by her while she eats, and I pet her even (that took a LONG time before we got to that point), she is so spoiled that she will NOT eat her meals unless I pet her back the entire time. She is rotten. I think you are wise to think about trapping new kitty and get him neutered, because if he is not fixed, he is defintely going to tangle with Mr. Kitty. As much as I LOVE cats, I love my Arwen, so I don't feed other cats that come around, I have even chased a few off that were hassling her.....like the big orange guy. I felt so bad for him once though that I walked down the road way away from my house and gave him a piece of chicken to eat, but I didn't want to encourage him to show up at my door every day. Like I said, I LOVE cats, but I love Arwen so much, so I won't feed other cats in my yard. I would see though about trapping this new guy and who knows, maybe he will be tame enough once trapped to get adopted out, and if not, they can fix him, ear tip him, and put him back in your neighborhood, and maybe once he's fixed, he won't want to tangle with Mr. Kitty. I think you will have problems though if these two meet, for sure, I hate to say. Arwen never goes in my back yard, because I have a doberman, who, even though she is fine with my 3 indoor cats, she will chase cats that are in her yard (she wouldn't hurt them but she will chase).

Good luck with new kitty, and bless you for caring for Mr. Kitty, who even though he is still holding a grudge over you trapping him and fixing him, you know you saved his life and you still manage to love and care for the little turkey even though he is not nice to you, that makes you a really special person. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, the new stray and Mr. Kitty haven't fought yet (at least if they have, I haven't seen them). I watched the new stray leave yesterday and kind of followed him to see where he was going. It looks like he was hiding out in the woods behind a neighbors house behind mine. I know all of my immediate neighbors really well, and none of them have cats, so I walked down the street to ask the neighbors who's houses he was behind and no one knows him, but they've seen him around. He's getting a little closer to me each day. Yesterday, he got within 30 feet or so after I put food out and immediately came up to eat after I closed the door (he had previously been waiting several minutes before I went inside). So, I think I'm going to continue to try to get him to trust me before I resort to trapping him. We'll see how it goes. He's actually in really good shape, he has no visible cuts/scabs and his coat is really shiny (he doesn't have cut up/chewed up ears and a face like poor Mr. Kitty). He looks pretty young too, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get him to come in the garage now that it's getting cold.

I definitely don't blame Mr. Kitty. He's been an outdoor kitty his whole life and who knows what people have done to him. He's 100% feral and I know could never get adopted out, so he'd be put down if he went to a shelter. He's never been aggressive with me, he just hisses and keeps his distance. But he seems pretty happy living on my porch, so I just leave him be. If the vet is right, he's close to 7 now, which is REALLY old for an outdoor cat, so I always worry when I don't see him for a couple of days, but he always come back to be the guardian of my porch. :)
 

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Sounds like your new kitty was dumped. Luckily he found you. I hope you can gain it confidence and trap him soon.

What kind of shelter do you think youll do for this winter for them? You are so awesome to care for these two wanderers! They now have a safe place, safe person, and food and care!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, we've made some progress. The past couple of days, I've sat outside in the morning for a little while when I put his food out (he's always out there waiting :(). Initially, he really kept his distance out in the yard, but he's slowly started coming up to the patio. Today, he actually came within about 5 - 10 feet of me! :) I opened the patio blinds so he could see in, and he didn't run off while I was sitting there. Scout came over to take a look and meowed, and pawed at the door, but didnt' hiss at all (neither did the stray). So I'm hoping I can continue to gain his trust.

For Mr. Kitty, I have a big rubbermaid container with a hole cut in the side (I bought an outdoor heated bed last year, but he wouldn't sleep in it). So I need to get another rubbermaid container for the new kitty (it's supposed to get really cold tonight). I'm still hoping I can get him into the garage where it's much warmer and safer for him. He definitely doesn't seem feral and looks really healthy (has a shiny coat and doesn't appear too underweight). His right eye does look a little goopy, so I definitely want to get him to a vet soon. He's never hissed or shown any aggression, and has been softly meowing when he sees me.

Here are a few new pics. He's such a handsome boy! :)

Patiently waiting to be fed:



Scout saying hello through the door:



Napping after being fed:

 

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Aww, he reminds me of my feral, Arwen. She is content to be in my yard and on my porch. This will also be my second winter with her, and I made her a feral house once too, but she didn't sleep in it. I live in FL, so it's not so bad, but this winter I will be encouraging her to sleep in the garage on the really cold nights.

Your little guy looks pretty content, napping after his meal :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I'm worried about him in the back yard because there really isn't any shelter. Mr. Kitty "owns" the front porch, which is covered, but there's no way they will share. So I'd really like to get him into the garage. It's supposed to be well below freezing tonight, which is definitely unusal for this time of year. He seems to find shelter in the woods behind my house at night because I never see him in the evenings. Fingers crossed I can get him in the garage...
 

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Our situations are so alike. Arwen can't go in to my back yard because my dog Greta, who is fine with my 3 indoor cats, but she will chase cats outside (she won't hurt them but she will chase them and bark), so she owns my front porch too, and she won't really go into my garage, except for a few minutes and then walks out. What I usually do is just but a bunch of blankets and she sort of burrows underneath them when it's really cold. I sometimes plug in a heating pad too and she will huddle near it. But my neighbors across the street have a sort of barn/shed, and they say she sleeps underneath it when it's really cold. She has been around for at least 5 years, and she always manages to find somewhere, but I always wish I could do better too. I will be working on getting her to get more comfortable inside the garage. These silly cats have no idea how much they worry us!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I worry a lot about Mr. Kitty when it starts to get cold like this because he's so old (for an outdoor kitty). I bought a covered heated bed, but he won't sleep in it! Last year, he definitely had a bad upper respiratory infection because I could see/hear him sneezing and coughing. :( I put L-Lysine in his food (and still do) and he seemed to get over it pretty quickly. But the poor guy looks so beat up and tattered, and his eyes are always crusty/goopy. It just breaks my heart that he doesn't have any human interaction, but he seems happy. I wish I could get him to come in the garage, but he won't set foot in there. I know he must be freezing sitting up on the chairs and have tried to shelter them as much as possible (and put pillows/towels up there so he can burrow). He's so stubborn!

The new kitty seems much friendlier and approachable, so I'm going to put some tuna in the garage tonight to see if I can get him to come in there. Maybe he'll use the heated bed Mr. Kitty didn't think to highly of. :)
 

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Here's a video for a feral cat shelter using a Styrofoam cooler. Some of us have one in their attics! I wouldn't use a pillow, I'd use stray or something more easily changed or cleaned. Maybe a fleece blanket?

 

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Discussion Starter #14
I like to use straw inside of mine because it doesn't absorb moisture like towels, pillows, paper, etc. do. And it's supposed to be pretty good at retaining heat )plus they're used to it if they are out in the wild). The syrofoam cooler is a really good idea though. That's probably much cheaper than the rubbermaid container I have for Mr. Kitty (and easier to cut a hole in). Thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Put some Llysine in its food to help with the eye.
Yep, I already started this morning. :) Mr. Kitty has been getting it for a while since his URI last winter and he's still going strong.

I found a styrofoam cooler in my garage (no idea where I got it), but I cut a hole in it and put some straw in, so I'll bait it with some tuna to see if the new kitty will take shelter tonight. We'll see...
 

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I think I would tape the top closed and attach it to something solid like boards so it won't flip over in the wind. Let us know how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, "round 1" went pretty well. After setting up the cooler in the garage, I went around to the bag yard where he hangs out most of the day in the sun. I shook the food dish to get his attention, then walked around to the garage making sure he was watching me, and put the dish in the cooler, then hid in the laundry room with the door cracked. He came in a few minutes later, and immediately went into the cooler! :) He ate the food, then left, but at least he knows it's there. I'll leave the garage door open tonight a bit so he can come in. Hopefully he will. It's already getting really windy and cold here. I'm pretty confident I'll be able to easily trap him since he went into the cooler so willingly. I wish I could do it this week, but I am tied up most of the day tomorrow and Thursday and my TNR place only does neuters Monday - Thursday, so it will have to be next week....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know if the new kitty actually spent the night in the garage, but the food was gone this morning. I put some kibble out this morning after seeing him in the backyard and he came right into the garage to eat, but then left. I need to see if I can follow him in the evening. He must be going to someplace sheltered becuase he always shows up first thing in the morning the backyard, yawning like he just woke up. :)
 
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