Cat Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Q #1 - How to catch a cat that will not go in live/humane OR drop box?

Q #2 - What to do with feral kittens (once I can get to them, probably after they leave the den) BESIDES rescue groups?

I have been trying to get Cynthia since last May! Granted, I don't set the trap every day (can't be home all the time to check on it, and I don't like leaving it overnight or if they have the possibility of spending 3+ hours in it). In the winter, I didn't trap at all... so really only about 6 months off and on.

She will not go in the live/humane trap. I can't use a drop trap, because she knows I'm nearby and won't come out of hiding... no matter how good the treats smell (I tried for a couple months last year, and she never came near the box...got one of her kittens that way, though!).
I NEED to get her! For one thing, she's very sick... she always stumbles around when she walks (nearly fell over, tripping over her own paws, the other day), head wobbles/shakes and I've never seen her tail up...it's not dragging, but doesn't lift far.
Even though she's obviously surviving, I did plan on euthanizing her because of her condition. I think she just barely escaped a scuffle with another creature (cat or raccoon), as she has a chunk missing from her tail that the fur is not growing back (also why I think it doesn't raise up).

Even if I did want to keep her in the colony, she still needs to be spayed. She's pregnant! ...or was! I think she had her kittens... the other day I noticed she was still big, but it seemed more of a "flappy/floppy" belly than a round "ball" shape from what I could tell. SIGH
I am forbidden to have more cats (in the house AND in the colony!), so I can't keep the kittens with me. All the local rescue groups are FULL of kittens already...(my own group just took in 10 orphans in the last 2 weeks, and we don't have enough bottle-feeder foster homes!). It seems my only option is to have Animal Control come take them (and they will euthanize them, simply because THEY don't have the resources to take care of kittens either).

I have thought about putting up ads on the local classifieds and Craigslist, but I'm not sure how I can guarantee that good homes will be found. The rescue group I work with always adopts out cats, and many get returned later (for all sorts of reasons, many of which is owners just don't want to bother with any "problems" (medical or behavioral) that might arise later).

So... at the very least, any ideas on how I can catch Cynthia?
Should I try to find homes for the kittens (which will be feral, if not semi-feral if I can spend enough time with them once they come out of the den), or just take the easy way out and have AC take them when/if I catch them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,673 Posts
Ooh. You're in a sticky situation with the kitties.

Okay, gird yourself, this will be difficult to read:
On the off chance that Cynthia is experiencing these symptoms due to a medical, possibly contagious, issue ... I'd try to step up trapping her. Leave the trap out longer than the 3hrs, maybe try overnight. At worst, you may need to consider a hunter/sharp-shooter if you cannot trap her. A quick, accurate, shot to the head is humane if you have no other way to end her suffering for her.

If she has a litter somewhere, I do not know what to do for them if you remove Cynthia before you can locate them. That is a terrible and difficult decision, but if she is suffering with her own health, I cannot imagine her litter is very healthy.

If you can get the feral kittens, unless you could find people willing to tame/socialize them, you're stuck with the HS option since your personal resources are limited. I admire what you do, but I really respect that you are realistic with your limitations and use of resources.

Best of luck to you and the colony,
heidi =^..^=
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Heidi!
I don't think there's ever been a post from you that I haven't either agreed with or found useful with new/better information than I already have!

I guess I'm just too much of a softie for "my" kitties. Most people I talk to around here say they're "just" cats (and according to my dad, "d*mn" cats), who say I shouldn't be bothering with helping them at all, and just get rid of the whole lot.
Your post may be one of "tough love", but at least you sympathise with me!

I guess I will have to set the trap longer. One other thing I fear is getting a cat that's already TNRed. Granted, spending a night in there won't kill them, but I feel bad for traumatizing when it's not needed! :/
Cynthia was showing these symptoms at the time she had last year's kittens, and they all seem healthy (as far as I know...haven't tested for FelV/FIV) - I was able to get 2 adopted out, but my dad finally got mad at me and made me kick out the other 2 before they got tame enough for the rescue group to accept them. (and yes, they ALL got neutered/spayed!)
I explained the symptoms to my vet's secretary, and she said it sounded like Distemper. Though every time I look up Distemper on the internet, it always says it's fatal within a few days of no treatment. Somebody else suggested Cerebellar Hypoplasia (and said cats can live just fine with that...but that's house cats, who don't need proper coordination for hunting and escaping predators!)
While I hate to think of this, if I do get Cynthia before finding the kittens, they'll probably die of starvation and exposure...or predators. It's horrible for a 'civilized' person to realize...on the other hand, it is all a part of nature and the 'wild' world.

My sister's boyfriend has joked that he would come practice his bow hunting and get rid of the cats for my dad. Though if I DID ask him (which I really don't want to, because then he'll probably go after ALL of them), I would want his shots to be fatal, not "just anywhere" for "practice" :(
Dunno who else I would ask, that would do it for free...as I don't have money to "hire" somebody to come wait around for Cynthia to get to the feeding station (she comes anywhere from 10 A.m. to evening)

Also been trying to get Tangelo for the last year, too. He's not sick, I just gotta get him neutered...I have a voucher to get it free, but it expires at the end of the month! (had some last autumn that expired before I could get him, too!)

The thing that's most frustrating, is that these are the last two! After I get them taken care of, I am finished with fixing everybody (unless I get new residents!). The local TNR group keeps giving me vouchers for free fixing, as I'm low income...but I keep asking for more, whenever the old ones expire when I don't catch Tangelo, and I hope they don't think I'm exploiting the service!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,673 Posts
You *may* be able to place an add at a hunting or sporting-goods store to request a sharp-shooter for a sick feral. I'm not sure how I'd go about 'interviewing' a candidate and asking for verification of skills or references, though.
As for the vouchers, IF the vouchers overlap dates, maybe you could return the ones about to expire so the rescue could get them out to people to use them during those last days and give you fresh vouchers with longer dates on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I hate smart cats!

Last time I was told to just destroy the vouchers if I didn't use them, and get new ones. I still feel bad, because it's been 6 months (not consecutively, of course), and each voucher is for 2 full months... maybe they don't think I'm trying hard enough?

Though I am taking the advice...starting tomorrow, the trap will be set ALL the time! I will check it every half hour while I'm home, and I'll TRY to get out of bed no later than 8 hours after settling for the night.
Of course, just my luck, Tangelo is taking advantage of it! I have the trap open, but not rigged to trip, with a bowl of food in there. I figure maybe if they feel safe in the wire box to eat, they'll do it more often when I am ready. Yes, well...Tangelo was eating a little while ago. And sitting! SITTING! Comfortable enough to be relaxed, rather than stretched in to barely reach the food and ready to bolt like usual. AURGH! I hate smart cats! :cussingLOL

And yup, Cynthia had kittens. I got a good look at her from all angles, and she's not round anymore (belly is now saggy/floppy, and I figure that's from lactating)

Tonight I'll set the trap and check it first thing in the morning. Animal Control will only take calls from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. and stops picking up at 5 P.M. so I have a bigger holding cage ready to transfer the cats in once they're caught. This is the cage I let kitties recover from fixing for a day or so before I release them again. It has a small litter box, but no food and water - if Cynthia's going to be put down, no point in feeding her while in there. And Tangelo can't have food/water for 6+ hours before surgery anyway. Another reason for no food, is I have to keep it out on the patio, and the raccoons come scrounging for stuff, and I don't want the poor kitties getting upset when they're "cornered" and being harassed by other critters.

Mostly I just needed to vent my frustrations. But once again, THANK YOU Heidi for "listening", consoling and advising. I wuvz you! :worship

P.S. Until I get these two, the only food that will be available at all, will be in the trap. I feel bad for depriving the others, but I'm getting desperate. Also, I tried sardines AND herring...nobody likes those, apparently, so I'm going back to just kibble (which Tangelo was chowing down on tonight)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The director of the rescue group I volunteer for called me about something, and we got to talking about some cats needing playmates, and I said that Nebbie is SO happy to have somebody to play with, now that Zinny (Cynthia's kitten from last spring) is inside, while I try to trap her mother...since Zinny keeps going in the trap instead! I said that I am upset that I couldn't get her BEFORE she had kittens again, and that I'd probably just have to let them die of exposure when I got her, since there's nowhere I have for them. Then Debbi said they WILL take my feral kittens...as soon as I can get to them. (the other kittens they have now are already spoken for, just need to wait until they're old enough to go into the adoptive homes).

SO! That means if I do catch Cynthia before Tangelo, I'll just let her go. I haven't the foggiest idea where the kittens are right now, so I'll have to wait about 3 weeks or so until she starts letting them out to play and do hunting training. And THEN she's being euthanized (which Debbi agreed with me, it would be best for Cynthia as she's all wonky and barely surviving).

I feel much better *"whew" sigh*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,673 Posts
Oh! Wow. The situation is still sad, but it's also good news that you have a plan AND a resource for the kittens. Good job!
...and hey, I'm happy to listen. I know how difficult it is to make those hard decisions. I've done it, myself, and it isn't easy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Found the kittens! 3 - a calico, gray "tuxedo" and a brown tabby with white blotches. Of course, they were in the wood pile (you'd think after 3 years of me finding them, she'd pick somewhere else...but then again, her brain's wonky anyway)

The director of the rescue group brought a carrier, and we just loaded them up and she's driving them to their new home. There's a lactating cat we'll try first, but if that doesn't work (she hasn't nursed in over a week, and might be too dry now), then they'll be bottle fed. Luckily they've had all the "natural" stuff for about 2 weeks, so their immune system and stuff shouldn't be too compromised by starting formula now.

Now I just have to catch Cynthia and get her to The Bridge where she can be more nimble for playing and hunting! (she almost fell off the wood pile twice, while trying to get to her kittens, the other day!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Awwww, Dawn, that's a great job you're doing with both kittens and Mom. She'll get to go relatively comfortably compared to slowly with her disease (whatever it is, are they going to test her after she's put down to see if it's something contagious?) and the kittens will get the care they need. I'm sorry you don't have more help, it sounds like you're very dedicated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I don't think what Cynthia has is contagious. None of the other cats have it, and her last year's litter are all healthy, and this year's litter - even though they're very young - seem healthy. They didn't even have goopy eyes!

My luck seems to go back and forth. I just caught her an hour after my last post! AUGH! Been trying for a full YEAR to get her! And now that I got her, Animal Control trucks have passed my house twice... I hope they actually stop next time, as I have to leave in 3 hours to go clean at the cat sanctuary. I really don't want to let her go, since it's taken me so long to finally get her! But there's really no way for me to keep her until Monday when AC is out again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
How strange! And serendipitous (kindof?) that you caught her.....there isn't any way you could keep her contained over the weekend? Seems like it might be really awfully hard to catch her twice if she's as smart as you're saying and you've had such a hard time even getting her the first time around :(

What does she look like? My siamese cross kitten Atlas is very dopey/discoordinated, especially in his back end, almost like the muscles are underdeveloped or something. It sways back and forth, always has, he looks drunk half the time. There's apparently nothing wrong with him, and I'd heard that Siamese cats sometimes have these weird diskinetic movements but I don't know much about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,309 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Atlas could have CH (cerebular hypoplasia, or something like that). Kittens get it when their mothers have distemper, if I remember right. There's other posts on the forum about it, and even a video link.

Animal Control finally came and took her. I am SO relieved! (maybe not "happy", though). Now I just gotta get Tangelo TNRed, then I'm done with managing this colony! Except for daily feedings, of course ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Hmm, interesting information about CH on the web, I'll go look at the forum stuff. I don't think that's the most likely just because a) the vet shelter I got him from has his mother, and she is up for adoption and was a foster with other cats, which I assume they would have avoided if she had distemper, and b) it's really only his hind end that's affected, and then only when he's turning around or turning corners--almost like he trips over his own hind legs when his back end swings around. He doesn't have any of the other symptoms like tremors or picking his feet up overly high. I'm going to do some more reading, though, I assume there can be different levels of involvement....Thanks for the info! Glad kitty got picked up by Animal Control and will be dealt with humanely!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top