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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I've been on these boards but I had some personal issues to tend to. It's too long of a story to get into but everything is fine now.

Anyway, I'm looking for advice on how to handle something. About 3 weeks ago hubby and I noticed a small cat (maybe 7 or 8 months old, judging by his size, or maybe he's just a small adult kitty) wandering through our neighborhood at the same time every evening. He never came into our backyard because its fenced off but we would always see him in the yard to the north of us.

He is so friendly and tame! One day my husband decided to walk over there and talk to him and he just proceeded to follow my husband right back to our house. I didn't want to automatically take him in, in case he belonged to someone and he just liked to wander around in the evenings. So last night we took a picture of him and decided to take that picture around the neighborhood, looking for either his owners or someone who might know anything about him. No luck on finding an owner but someone else said that this cat hangs out in his backyard and takes naps on his patio furniture.

Trying to make a long story short, we fear that this cat may have been left behind by some people he recently moved out of the area. There are actually about 3 houses a couple of blocks from ours where people have moved within the last couple of months. Hubby and I would love to take him in but we don't know how it would go with our 2 cats, George and Herbie. Our cats are neutered and this new little guy isn't.

I know that strange cats CAN be introduced to each other but how does one go about doing it? So far what's been going on is hubby will leave our yard and lure this kitty to just outside our backyard gate, where he can see our cats and our cats can see him. Hubby has been petting him and trying to feed him but he hasn't even seemed hungry any of the times we've encountered him so far. Another neighbor of ours said that they've seen him catch birds so we're pretty sure he's got the feeding department covered.

I would appreciate any advice that can be given on how to handle this. So far we're just meeting him outside our fence in the evenings and we have left food and water out there for him if he ever needs it. My biggest concern is what will happen in the fall of the year, when things get colder and the birds start going away and other little critters begin to hibernate for the winter.

Should we make it our business to try and get this little guy comfortable enough with us to live with us (and the already resident cats) or do we leave well enough alone and just continue to visit him outside? I'm just torn because I don't want our cats to get into a big fight with this new one and yet I can't bear to think of this little guy fending for himself as winter sets in. Also, if we WOULD decide to take this kitty in as our own is he too old to be neutered? I'm really not crazy about letting him in the house to spray everything.

Here's a picture of him. Isn't he cute? :p I think he looks a little like Tony the Tiger with that shaped face, so if he does come to live with us I think we'll call him Tony. The thought also crossed my mind that he looks like a miniature version of George so the name "Mini Me" (Austin Powers movie) popped up. :lol:

 

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I know what everyone here will suggest and that's getting him neutered before he fathers litter after litter of homeless kittens. I realize that it's money out of your pocket to do that though.

Poor little guy, I just can't believe how people can just abandon their pet and not care what happens to it. :cry: I think it somehow clears their conscience to go on thinking that it will survive just fine.

If you search this forum you can find alot of stories and information on introducing cats to each other. Every situation is going to be different but there are certain guidlines to follow. I'm going through it myself right now.

Best of luck to you and keep us all informed. :wink:
 

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He is so cute! He looks lke a cat I had as a child, Nutmeg. Well, it's obviously up to you, but I think if it were me, I would try to find a way to make it work. I bet that if you got him fixed, maybe the introduction/acclimation would be smooth ( or at least possible :wink: ) Tell us what you decide!
 

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if you bring him into the household, i'd probably get him tested for all the feline diseases as well, just to make sure your kitties don't get infected... after that though, i'd probably try to bring him in too -- the thought of a kitty left out in the winter scares me, especially since i know someone whose cat froze to death on her doorstep in the middle of winter (he got out and came home to a closed door :oops: )

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice everyone. Yes, we have thought also about getting him tested for all the feline diseases for the same reasons you expressed, Brite.

The problem right now is that even though he is extremely friendly and loves to rub against people he is still too skiddish to let anyone pick him up. So far my husband and I are taking "baby steps" with him to build up his trust in us. We don't really want to rush into things so much by trying to force him in a pet carrier and taking him to the vet that we blow the trust that we've worked hard to come to.

I know it may sound cheesy to some, but for now I'm putting it in God's hands to let this little kitty tell us when he's ready to move on to the next step.
 

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I don't think it sounds cheesy at all. I am a religious person and I think God looks out for all-human AND animal :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Honestly, the money is secondary when it comes to this little guy. I took the advice of some of you and searched the forum for articles on introducing strange cats to one another. Then I called our vet and asked him how he felt we should handle things and he basically mimicked what others have been saying, as well as things I read in an article.

Basically, he said when we feel he is comfortable enough to let us pick him up we should put him in a pet carrier and bring him to the vet where they will first check him for all the feline diseases. After that, we would have him neutered and bring him back home where we would SLOWLY introduce him to a new life inside the house with our cats. He actually said we should designate a separate room for the new kitty for a week or maybe two where he can feel safe and our cats won't feel threatened by him but they can still smell and hear each other through the door. He also suggested that when my husband and I are both home in the evenings to let the new kitty come out into the rest of the house (in the comfort of a pet carrier) and just hang around in plain sight of George and Herbie so they can get used to seeing each other.

It sounds like it's DEFINITELY a slow process but well worth it if it saves another kitty from living alone.

I'm actually a little bummed out tonight because it's been raining off and on around here so our new little buddy hasn't shown up. He's probably hiding underneath someone's patio furniture or underneath some bushes. I really hope to see him tomorrow so we can try some of the new "tricks" we learned. We did notice that some of the food we had left out for him last night was gone but there are other cats that live nearby and/or the pesky squirrels around here could have eaten too. I guess it's hard to say.

Part of me still feels guilty about the fact that we still don't know for sure if he has a place to call home right now or not but my instinct is telling that this is the right thing to do. I hope it's instinct, anyway, and not just my deep love for animals telling me to take him no matter what! :?

My husband suggested something last night that at the time sounded kind of funny but I'm wondering if it would work. He said that maybe we could put a collar on him with a tag attached to it that reads "if you are this kitty's owner, please identify yourself so we know he has a home." Does this sound like a corny idea?
 

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I don't think it sounds like a corny idea...it sounds like something I would do :lol: But you know, if he DOES have an owner, they aren't very responsible :x I mean, he is out wandering the streets AND he is not fixed?! I think he would be happier (and safer) with you :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree wholeheartedly but I can't bring myself to lure any animal away from its owner if it does have one. What if this little guy belongs to a family with a child/children? I know when I was a kid I would have been devastated to find out that my cat had been taken in by someone else.

I guess the way I feel about things is I can't be worried about how every other pet owner out there handles things but I would DEFINITELY report someone if I suspected abuse. I can only do things the way I feel is best and hope that others learn from my example.
 

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I would think that with the way he's skiddish he's either been stray for a while, abused and/or came from a loveless home. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Those are all great points, but there's the one thing with him being so lovey-dovey too. He's too scared to let us pick him up but he can't get enough of rubbing his head/ears and he loves to weave in and out of my husband's legs. :p That sort of tells me that he at least USED to have a home and that they were very touchy-feely with him. I've never known stray or untamed cats to be so friendly before. Doesn't really make sense, does it? It's like there is a big piece of the puzzle missing and we just need to try to find it. :?:

I'm so confused. :? I just wish the little guy could tell me what's going on. Like I mentioned in an earlier message, we didn't see him last night due to some rain we had off and on in the evening but we really hope to see him tonight. If we do, we are going to try to put a collar on him and see if he comes back to us with a different message on it. If he doesn't let us put the collar on him then we'll just be watching his actions to try and figure his little life out.
 

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I was going to recommend the collar idea. I used to carry elastic around in my purse to make a quick collar (that I could write a note on) for any wandering and ID-less cats. I figured I'd have them call me if the cat had a home. If I got no calls in a few days then the cat obviously doesn't have a home.

He sounds like he was owned but is on his own now. Does he always come at the same time of day? I've found that's one indication that the cat is being let out by someone. I know my cats, though owned, would be very skittish if they got outside. I also know many of the strays that come through the adoption center where I volunteer are REALLY friendly and were obviously owned at some point.

It's nice to see you caring so much about this little guy. He's adorable BTW.

~Heather
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For the most part, he has been seen around here at the same time of day (roughly 5:30 to 6:00 every evening). Initially, that gave us the idea that he was owned by someone and they let him out to wander around when they came home from work or something. We were fine with that idea until we started noticing him at a little bit different times during the day and that's when we went around the neighborhood (at least 15-20 houses) with his picture to see if anyone knew who he was; no luck. It was also then that someone else had told us they do not have a cat but that this little guy comes by and sleeps on their patio furniture and that 2 of the houses on that block had recently been moved out of. PLUS, another one of our neighbors, who is retired and therefore home during the day when most people are off to work, said that he has seen this little guy catching birds during the day.

I really hope I can get a collar on him. I think that will answer a lot of questions for us.

Well, I'd better get back to work. I'm such a terrible disciplinarian and working at home can be very hard to accomplish sometimes when my mind is occupied with other things! :roll:
 
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