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Hi guys, there are three feral cats living around my area - one mom, her adult son, and her female adolescent daughter (who still acts like a little kitten!) My neighbor has been feeding them since the first son is still a newborn kitten, so they're pretty used to humans. The female adolescent especially has no fear for anything walking on two feet.

Lately, I've been feeding them, too. The little one seems to recognize me by now and likes to follow me around when she thinks I'm bringing food. She occasionally comes to play in my garden, and now she's pooping in one of the pot plants :( She didn't even bury the poop. I've tried putting orange peels and covering the soil with leaves, but she still does it. My mom has to chase her away with a broom, but she doesn't get the message and plays with the broom instead...

Last night, I spread pepper around the soil and chased her out of the yard before she could get to the pot plant. She ran to the front of my fence, and (since there are some dirt/mud around) pooped there! I nudged her, trying to get her to leave, but she's still pooping so I felt bad and let her finish her business. This time, she buried the messiness.

Still, I hate the idea of poop around my house and my mom was mad about it too. We've tried yelling and using a broom/water spray but she didn't seem to get it (don't worry, we didn't hit her). Does anyone have any advice on making her stop this habit?? I'm fond of her so I hope I don't need to chase her around anymore :(

Also, I notice that she has diarrhea. Can anyone suggest some easy, low-cost treatments for her? I don't think there are vets available nearby...
 

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might seem like a weird idea but have you considered putting a litter box out there next to the potted plant the cat seems to like so much? you wouldnt even need to fill it up with litter you could even just use dirt (as they are used to that) and clean it out every few days.
if not they do have items in pet stores that you can put in your planters/gardens that will keep cats from using your planters/garden as a litter box prices range from $10.00-$40.00
 

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It would be great if someone could trap them and have them fixed. They go into heat very young and if you don't like pooing now, just wait! I know some cats do find their own territory, but if you are feeding them, many will remain.

I agree that a trial of a litter/sand box may help. The problem is that the more cats there are using it, the more problematic it will become.
Good luck and they are very lucky for the food and care.
 

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I googled your city and it has a shelter there. I dont know if they are no kill or do TNR but you could call them and find out. You need to trap these 3 and get them spayed and neutered. Otherwise you going to have more cats born and living by you. Maybe this shelter would do it for free or a very low cost. Jefferson County Animal Shelter/
105 County Landfill Rd,/ Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 385-3292

How old do you think these cats are? Do they have a tipped ear?

If you look at the top of the feral page of cat forum you will see a couple stickys on- Source: How to Trap Ferals and More & Taming and Caring for Feral Kittens and Cats. Read thru info and videos.

Keep asking us questions if you have them after reading thru the stickys. They are a great resource.
 

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I was googling and saw Purrfect Pals in Arlington Washington does free spay neuters. I dont know how close they are to you. they came up with I googled your town. I would make sure any shelter you work with is No Kill and does Trap Neuter and Return to ensure you will get your kitties back and s/n with shots.
 

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Lately, I've been feeding them, too. The little one seems to recognize me by now and likes to follow me around when she thinks I'm bringing food. She occasionally comes to play in my garden, and now she's pooping in one of the pot plants :( She didn't even bury the poop. I've tried putting orange peels and covering the soil with leaves, but she still does it. My mom has to chase her away with a broom, but she doesn't get the message and plays with the broom instead...

...Still, I hate the idea of poop around my house and my mom was mad about it too. We've tried yelling and using a broom/water spray but she didn't seem to get it (don't worry, we didn't hit her). Does anyone have any advice on making her stop this habit?? I'm fond of her so I hope I don't need to chase her around anymore :(
The advise on making her stop pooing in your yard is for you to stop feeding her.

She is marking her territory because this is where she gets 'easy food' and doesn't want any other cats getting in on her 'find.'

They don't bury their poo on purpose. This is a warning, a marker and is meant to be very visible and noticed.
If she were just going to the bathroom because she had to go right then, she would bury her poo, but that isn't what she is doing.

Since this is an instinct, you are not going to 'break her of this habit'. As far as she is concerned you are giving her some serious mixed signals. You feed her one minute but then yell at her the next.

She is NOT making the connection of your displeasure with her marking her territory. I am pretty sure she is confused by your actions, but she doesn't understand and she is going to continue to do what she knows to do, for survival, as long as you feed her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hello again - thanks for the lovely replies!

@daydreamer and wallycat: I might try giving them a litter box, but it would indeed be problematic if other cats come and use it. Still worth a try, though. Might distract that kitten from the pot plant (or my fence...) :)


@Mitts&Tess: I'm so sorry, but I don't live in the US! :( I don't remember what I filled in during the registration; I was disguising my identity. Here, feral cats are running rampant everywhere, and spaying/neutering is not enforced. My neighborhood has approximately 18 cats already, and I know that some of the kittens have been hit by a car, or vanished during these last few months.
I googled and found an animal shelter, but it's an on-off program, and charges for spaying/neutering.

Oh, and btw - is there any way to alleviate the poor kitten's diarrhea? :(

EDIT EDIT: Ok, I was typing a reply before I saw cat face's response, sorry!

@cat face: Ah, ok, that makes sense. I had been told that she is indeed marking her territory, so I guess I need to stop feeding her now. :( What I don't get is that she buried her poop when she's doing it right in front of my house, but I guess she didn't really register that area as mine. Thank you so much for the detailed explanation!
 

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since she's an outdoor cat she probably has giardia and/or worms. it won't really do that much for her to try to treat it unless you want to keep her inside.
 

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Pumpkin is good for loose stool (plain, unseasoned pumpkin, not pie mix), but how much it would help would really depend on what is causing the problems in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alright, thanks for the suggestions, guys!! Very helpful. :D The problem is solved - the kitty has stopped doing her business in my yard!
 
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