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Discussion Starter #1
After I trap the ferals and then take them to the clinic, the Humane Society I go to usually gives them back the same day. But they only give the cats back to us when the cat has woken up, usually after a few hours. So I'm wondering if I can just release the cats when I bring them to my neighborhood even though it's not ideal. There is absolutely no way I can bring them into my house. I can keep them on my porch in the trap but bringing them into my house is out of question. It's just impossible (my parents are opposed to me doing this and do not want the cats close to my own cats). Also, is it absolutely necessary that I get the pain medication? I'm very poor, unemployed and in college and it's a huge expense already. Spaying/neutered each cat costs 50 bucks, plus mandatory rabies shot which is 10 bucks and pain medication is 10 bucks. That's almost 100 bucks for each cat and I have almost a dozen ferals to do this to (I am using my school loan money). There's no way the clinic will help me out or give me a discount. Of course if it's ABSOLUTELY necessary then I will get that. I won't, however, get it for the cats that are a little too feral and try to bite me or kill me when I try to give it to them with a syringe. So anyway, back to the question, how do I do this? I know you're suppose to withhold water and food for a few more hours and stuff. Should I just keep the cats in a cage till whatever time they tell me? And I volunteer for this humane society and there's no way in **** they'd be willing to keep the cats longer. It is summer and I'm out of school so I would be willing to watch them but they'd have to be on my porch and in a cage.

Also, I live in Texas, where can I get a humane trap?

Any other information about TNRing would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I purchased my own trap at a home improvement store for about $40 several years ago.


Many animal control offices will let you 'borrow' a trap for a week. Our county 'loans' it to you for $50 and when you return the trap, they return your $50 to you. I really preferred the trap I had borrowed from our county and I didn't find ones like it (at a sporting goods/gun shop) until after I'd already purchased my own. It was very simple and the drop-down door used rings instead of springs to hold the door closed. There is no way a cat can finagle the door open once caught.


IMO, you do not need to buy the pain meds. Pain is the body's way of naturally making the organism take it easy, so it can heal. If you mask that pain, I feel they could harm themselves w/out knowing. As to releasing ... I would wait until they were completely free of the affects of anesthesia. I'd say at least 8-12hrs. They can stay in the trap for that amount of time or you could use a wire dog crate/kennel on your porch.
Best of luck,
heidi =^..^=
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I will get my trap from there too. And I will keep the cats in the trap until the anesthesia wears off.
 

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You know, in thinking about girl-cats, you may want to try to keep them for a few days to really give their abdomen time to heal, and for you to be able to catch any problems with the surgical site before you release them.

Here is a pic of our large dog crate in our living room for a new kitty to be intro'd to our home and cats.
It is large enough to hold a jumbo litterbox, a shelf for 'height' and a cat bed with food/water bowls. I have a sheet and towel draped over it to give the kitty some privacy, so our kitties can't 'surround' him and make him feel nervous. Our kitties have to approach from the front to be visual with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes I was mostly concerned about the females, I know their surgery is more complicated than the males. Like I said, I must keep them outside of my house in the porch. Don't you think it will be stressful for the cat to be in the cage for a couple of days? And I live in Houston where it can be extremely hot (but then again these cats do live outside anyway). My cage will definitely not be as big as your dog cage but I will try to purchase the biggest cat trap. And maybe keep the female cats in the cage for a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Unfortunately I live in an apartment. And no one else would be willing to keep this cat in their house. This is the very reason I have been holding off on TNR for almost a year. During the winter, it's too cold here. And during spring and summer, it's too hot. IDK what to do :( You'd think the "humane" society would help me out just by keeping the cat for a few more days (I have seen their holding room and it's pretty big) but no. They have to follow policy.

Do you think it would be cruel to keep the female cat confined for two to three days in a small cage? I would provide food of course. It does get very hot here, reaches 90 degrees on a normal day (even higher sometimes). IDK what else to do :( Should I just try to neuter as many males as possible? They recover so quick that I'd probably keep them in the cage for 24 hours.
 

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Males recover quicker and have less problems than female cats, though problems can arise. Statistically, it is lower for neutering vs spaying since spaying is so 'invasive' into the body cavity.

If your cage is large enough to have room for a bed, litterbox, food and water ... yes, I think it would be fine, especially if you could keep it out of full sun. If you could provide shade for a sunny spot AND a fan to blow air into the confinement area, that would be the very best you could do for these cats. You are correct, they *do* live outdoors in these extreme conditions year round so they are used to it. The only issue is that surgery, anesthesia and stress can make them susceptible ... so the more stressors you can remove, the easier their recovery will be.

If you could make the confinement cage large enough to hold enough food/water and litter for several days so you didn't have to go *into* the cage daily to clean and add food/water, that would help lower the stress of confinement. Try also to keep the confinement area in a relatively 'quiet' place, meaning not a lot of people coming near the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How long is "several days"? My landlord doesn't like anything to be on the porch (they fine us). They charge 700 dollars deposit for every animal. I don't have that kind of money. They have to be on my porch for a very short period of time (however, I would never just release them when the wound is still fresh). How many days do you guys wait before releasing males and females?

I am going to go out to Petco or Petsmart and buy a dog crate for the cats now. Can you give me a good size? And do you think it's a good idea for me to buy a whole bunch of cat collars so I can know which ones I neutered and which ones I didn't? I need it to keep track, too many black cats - can't tell them apart.

Thanks.
 

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Length of time on porch to recover: How does 3-5 days sound?

Size of crate: Large enough to house the necessaries and allow the cat enough room to back away from you and feel safe as you clean the litterbox. IF the crate is large enough to be able to place a large quantity of food/water and a jumbo litterbox, you shouldn't need to scoop waste daily and the cat can be left unmolested for several days with just quick checks for recovery condition and food/water monitoring. I'd say a crate for a medium to large sized dog would be sufficient.

Collars: No. Ask the vet to "tip" one ear so you and any cat professional or aficionado can see at a glance which cats have been s/n and which have not. When you trap a 'tipped-ear' you can just release it because you know it has been altered.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I went and talked to the vet today and he told me it was unnecessary to confine the feral after the surgery. He said many ferals come in for surgery and they just release them a few hours later. I would take the cat for surgery before 10 am and get it back by 5 pm. Also, when I asked him if he could keep the cat in one of his cages he said that the cat is prone to getting respiratory infections and other illnesses because they have sick animals in those rooms. I mean the cat would be in his/her separate cage but idk why he said that. I guess he was talking about airborne viruses/diseases. When he told me to just release the cat the same day I asked him several times after that "Are you sure? Are you 100% positive it's going to be OK?" And he said that he used to do that all the time with ferals. What do you guys think? Would it be life threatening for the cats? I know keeping the cats confined is the best thing to do but like I said, with my fussy parents, my landlord, and just the cost (for a dog kennel along with the much needed trap), it seems a bit too much. Honestly, I am afraid because if I bring a big dog kennel into my house or on the porch, that would risk me losing my own cats. My parents didn't want me to bring in my own house cats in the first place and if I continue to bring other cats, anywhere near the property (esp. with a huge dog kennel that would risk us getting fined) then my parents would release my cats.

I mean if a vet said it should be OK, shouldn't it? Bear in mind that releasing the cat just a couple of hours after surgery is my LAST resort. I am going to beg my parents and explain to them everything in the morning. If they don't agree then I must release the cats and hope for the best. Three days is not bad, my parents should let me keep the cat in a cage for that long. Hopefully. But I still need to know if my last resort is doable.

Good news is, doctor might give me a discount since I'm willing to do 10+ cats. Regular price is 60 dollars for each feral (includes rabies shot, and office visit fee and also if the cat is in heat or pregnant, it covers that too). I am so ready to do this. I have been waiting so long.

Since I live in an apartment complex and the cats are all scattered out, every morning I am going to start leaving food on paper plates all around the neighborhood instead of just on my porch.
 

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Well, a spay surgery is invasive and ...yes... a cat could have a problem and if she has been released she'll either live or die, depending on the severity of the problem. IF your vet knows they are doing feral cats to be immediately released, I would expect them to take special care when closing up the abdomen. If you cannot keep the cat confined for several days I think I would just keep it overnight, or long enough until you know for certain it is no longer under the influence of anesthesia, and then release it as soon as possible.

I am sure most will live and be fine, though you should be prepared to lose possibly one or two. Regardless the risks/benefits ... even if you do lose some to surgical complications after release ... you have still improved the quality of life for the group as a whole. With the resistence you are encountering from your parents and the fines at your renting facility, this could be the best you can do, and you may have to just accept it and do what you can within those confines.

Good luck,
h
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice. I will definitely keep the cats overnight and maybe a day more because we could prob. get away w/ it w/o our landlord seeing. But will keep urging parents to keep them out for 3 or 5 days. And tell them I'm willing to pay the fine.
 

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OK I need a quick response asap. My parents yelled at me when I asked them today about keeping the cat on the porch. At first my mom said it is too hot to keep the cat confined and then she just said no. Sigh. I saw three black cats under a car today in the neighborhood. I feel so heartbroken. These cats are living in terrible conditions and I must do something very quick. Some people have even yelled at me for wanting to release the cats too quick and some people say go ahead and do it since the vet said it's OK.

So I'm just making sure I'm doing the right thing because it is very possible I'll be taking in a cat either tomorrow morning or the day after that to get it spayed/neutered. After I drop the cat in the morning, I will pick it up at 5 pm. Then I will release it the same day at night (since my parents now don't want the cats anywhere near).

I just feel like if the chief veterinarian at the Humane Society who is like 60+ years old now said it's OK to release the cat then it should be. I will also ask him to take extra precautions since the cat will be released the same day.

Also, I am going early in the morning to purchase Havaheart animal traps tomorrow, how effective are traps? Do they always work? How long does it take to capture a cat? I am hoping to go get the trap at 8 or 9 am and then come back at 10 am and trap the cat by 11 am.

EDIT: OK so if worst comes to worst (well I guess it already has) I am thinking about keeping the cat in my car. Good thing is the cat will be back from surgery at 5 pm when it starts getting cooler. By 9 pm it's 80 degrees and 12 am it's 78 and it starts getting cooler. at 3 am it's 77. And it starts getting cooler until 9 am the next day when it's 75 degrees. There's no sun at night so even if it is like 75 or 80 then it won't be hot at all. In fact, it's probably 10x better than what these ferals encounter during a normal afternoon when it reaches 95 degrees and higher. I will cover the car with plastic, I'll keep LOTS of yummy treats and food and keep water. It does get pretty cool here at night, I never use ac at night. So if I can do it then I'm sure the cats can too. I feel like this is a good idea bc the cat can look outside and he or she will be familiar w/ the surroundings. Also, I will let her free roam so I can keep a litter box (i don't even care if he/she uses it or not) and towels everywhere. It's much bigger than a cage and the cat will not feel restricted.

I honestly don't think that's a bad idea, what do you guys think?
 

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You can probably borrow some traps from the Humane Society.

If you disguise the trap a bit by putting it in some bushes, a natural place, cover the top and sides, put some great smelling (to a cat!) bait at the back, and the cat is not terribly wary, you might have success the first day. It would be wise to feed at the same time daily, then skip a meal so the cat is very hungry. You should be able to watch without the cat seeing you, have arrangements made with the vet, and cover the trap to help keep the cat calm on the way to the vet.

If you have no other choice, you'll have to release the cats after the recovery period at the vet. The porch would be hot. Is there a shaded area close to the house?

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The Humane Society doesn't have traps, I will have to buy one tomorrow.

Can you please respond to my edit in my former post? About putting the cat in the car at night. I feel like it is a better alternative than to just release the cat right after the recovery period at the vet.

"OK so if worst comes to worst (well I guess it already has) I am thinking about keeping the cat in my car. Good thing is the cat will be back from surgery at 5 pm when it starts getting cooler. By 9 pm it's 80 degrees and 12 am it's 78 and it starts getting cooler. at 3 am it's 77. And it starts getting cooler until 9 am the next day when it's 75 degrees. There's no sun at night so even if it is like 75 or 80 then it won't be hot at all. In fact, it's probably 10x better than what these ferals encounter during a normal afternoon when it reaches 95 degrees and higher. I will cover the car with plastic, I'll keep LOTS of yummy treats and food and keep water. It does get pretty cool here at night, I never use ac at night. So if I can do it then I'm sure the cats can too. I feel like this is a good idea bc the cat can look outside and he or she will be familiar w/ the surroundings. Also, I will let her free roam so I can keep a litter box (i don't even care if he/she uses it or not) and towels everywhere. It's much bigger than a cage and the cat will not feel restricted.

I honestly don't think that's a bad idea, what do you guys think?"

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So don't leave the cats in the car after 5 o clock? Or just release them after 5 o clock when i bring them home? I would never leave the cats in my car after 9 am because it starts getting higher than 75 degrees. I would be releasing from the car at 9:30 am. or maybe even earlier.

It's either releasing them at 5:30 pm the day of surgery, or keeping them in my car at night and releasing them at 8 am or 9 am.
 

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I think you'll ruin your car. 8O

The cat will be in panic-mode because it is confined and it will probably try to throw itself against the windows, trying to get out. Their claws will rip your seats and door mouldings as they try to push themselves against the windows, they may try to burrow under the seats or dash and get stuck trying to hide and they will probably eliminate on the seats and carpets in their fear.
If you want to keep the cat in your car (NOT a good idea, especially if the car is parked in the sun) place it in a cage or carrier. If it is a wire cage, use hard plastic or layer garbage bags and then towels over the plastic to catch liquid waste and prevent it from soaking to the carpet or fabric.

IMO, the cat would harm itself more being confined in a large area (like a vehicle interior) than if you simply released it into its' home territory. With the opposition you face, I'd *try* to keep the cat in a carrier/trap until evening when traffic is quieter and then release it into familiar territory. If you can't wait until dusk, then release the cat as soon as you can see it is no longer under the major effects of the anesthesia. I would prefer to release the ferals in early evening and not in the morning to give them the cover of dusk, impending dark or full dark to take themselves to their safe-place.
Let the vet know the opposition you face and I'm sure he'll do the best he can to ensure a lack of problems for these ferals.

If it's the best you can do ... then it's the best you can do ... and if people are going to yell at you or judge you without assisting you (being a problem instead of part of the solution) then they don't need to know WHAT you're doing until after it's done.
I admire how you are trying to help these cats. Good luck.
h =^..^=
 
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