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Discussion Starter #1
I have enjoyed the company of cats for the past 25 years and they do seem to find our home. There has been a new cat in the yard for the past 6 weeks that I finally figured out is an un neutered male. He approaches the patio door, sniffs noses with my 2 cats, and then hangs out. He will not permit any approach other than up to about 4 feet but accepts and eats cat food when offered. I can't tell if he is any of the type in the subject line. I posted a found ad and asked around the neighborhood but no luck. I want to be cautious with this because last year I took in a one eyed sick looking fellow who was in pretty bad shape. The rescue group advised the humane approach due to the injury and illness and 10 days later someone posted all over the street signs about their missing one eyed, previously injured cat. This guy looks OK so he could be just a wanderer seeking a handout. Any advice or thoughts.
 

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Wow, that is so sad about the cat with one eye. I a bit nift that a rescue would encourage the euthanization
of that cat. Ive rescued lots of very sick cats and rarely do they not respond to medical care. Im sorry you had to go thru that.

Most cats acting like the one you described is a dumped abandoned cat that is starting to go feral to survive. My rule of thumb is if your cat ends up in my yard and is not spayed or neutered then Im going to get the cat trapped and s/n, vaccinated and ear tipped.

With the economy the way it is, a lot of people heartlessly dump their animals (this is happening to horses even!) You obviously have a big heart. I would trap this guy. after s/n and release then continue to feed him daily.

There are stickies at the top of the feral cat section with ideas for shelters, how to tame feral or semi feral kitties, etc.

Thanks for being such a kind soul. Feral, semi feral, abandoned outdoor cats are the least helped in the rescue community. You are making this cats life a bit easiier with your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Cats end up in my suburban yard because I have no fence, no dog and a water source from the fish pond. There have been many cats passing through but I have to believe this guy is a dump job because he just keeps showing up at waiting at the door. He spooks when he sees people that are clearly not "his" people. He got to within a foot of me last night, sniffed noses with my two cats at the door then moved on to where ever he spends the night.

He will not enter the trap despite his hunger but I want to get him vet checked and neutered if he is going to continue to hang around. I have a feeling once he is inside and safe the behavoir will change, then I can foster him until we can find him a more permenant home. The nose count in my house is capped at 2 but we can foster for a bit.
 

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Make sure your hav a heart trap is covered except for the opening. Wire the door of the trap open. Start feeding him in the trap. First put the food dish right at the opening. Put very yummy cat food and get him use to eating there. Then start inching the bowl back. Till he is use to eating in the trap. Then when your ready and have a vet appt made set the trap.

That is how we get those hard to convince Toms to go in a trap. Dont rush this process. If you try to set the trap too soon, and he manages to escape, a lot of cats refuse to be fooled again. Be sure and tip his ear if your not totally convinced you will bring him around to being an indoor cat.

Keep us posted. Sounds like a nice cat
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Appreciate the advice. I would prefer to help him find his civilized side, if he were really feral I would probably only see his tail as he ran away. My town has an regulation that does not permit feeding any animals so at some point continuing to leave food will cause a problem with one of the neighbors, one that I would rather avoid. As long as he keeps to a schedule and he wants to eat he has to tolerate me sitting nearby. That should draw him in. Also he gets to see with my female cat rubbing her human. I don't know how cats learn but that should send a message that I am not a threat.
Lexi, the female, was a stray also but she decided in a day that a house was better than the yard and became a lap cat within a week.
 

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time and patience. eventually, if you put in the time, even the most feral of cats will warm up to you to some degree.

i posted this link in a different thread http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/socializing_a_feral_cat.html imo some of the tips can be helpful even when you are dealing with one that is still free roaming

stick with it, you are doing a good thing
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice, I have read most of what is out there. This guy will present a bit of a challenge. He didn't show for a few days then came back last evening after the neighborhood activity quieted down for the night. Clearly something spooked him when he was gone, that close approach we were working toward went from 2 feet to half the yard. But he has me trained well, he looks in the door, meows, then backs up to wait for the food. My 2 cats don't even pay attention any more, he has become part of the landscape.

He will avoid the food entirely if it is near the trap so for now I will just feed him. If I get ambitious I will construct a drop trap from some PVC pipe and netting and give that a try. If we get a rain storm I might get him in the garage because he has no fear of that space and will walk in if he smells food. I figure it might be easier to catch him then because the door movement doesn't bother him at all and he has already marked several items in the garage when I wasn't looking.

In the meantime he is getting a regular meal and that is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So this guy who I am going to call Mooch (because he seems to have perfected mooching a meal) came back last night, received his evening meal, sniffed noses with my male through the screen and then took a nap on the patio. I decided to up the stakes a bit and went outside to sit. He continued to nap, moved to my left to have a look, then to the front, finally to the right. All in all he stuck around for an hour. Body language was better (he yawned, stretched and groomed while I was present instead of being hunkered down) but still no closer than 2 feet and absolutely no way is he going into a trap. It appears he got into another fight given the new scratch on his face so I really want to get him out of circulation.
Any suggestions?
 

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Sounds like he is becoming more comfortable around you. I don't have any other suggestions about the trap, but hopefully someone else has some tips. Maybe he will eventually let you pet him and pick him up someday... and then you could quickly get him in a carrier or something. Or maybe not. :) But keep us posted on Mooch!
 

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For feral cats who wont let us touch them when injured we put fish mox in their food. Its an antibiotic. Google it for the amount my cheat sheet is in storage or Id tell you how much. When ferals are injured I give them Evo canned food. Healthy and excellent source of protein to help their recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well Mooch didn't show up for a few days, but now has made an evening meal stop part of his routine. As long as there is a barrier between us, he will get very close (screen or window) but once the door opens, he is gone. I did an experiment a few days ago, leaving the patio door open and placing my other cats in a locked room. Mooch came into the room about 4 feet, sat for a bit and left. Probably not the best idea but he seems to know the back of the house well. We never see him during the day, only at dusk when he naps on the patio and eats if we see him. He will eat a full can in about 90 seconds.
The plan now is to get him used to the regular feeding time, then scale back the amount so he enters the trap. Right now the trap is next to the food, but never opened. He seems to have had prior experience with a trap and gets nervous around it.
This is going to take much longer that I thought.
 

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A friend of mine just adopted a kitten who must have been let go recently from a family of people, because she was way too sweet for a long-time feral/barncat. She kept coming and coming and coming, so now she's theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well Mooch is clearly spooked and will not come near the house if someone is out. If the trap is placed he will simply ignore the food and leave. Obviously in his wanderings something happened, although he still comes by every evening to drink out of the pond. It appears this guy is moving further away from people rather than closer, too bad. To think 5 days ago he was eating right next to me.
 

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What a set back. Someone must of done a number on him. Keep trying. Cats can change their minds pretty quick. He may figure out your the one person worth trusting. You never know!

Tutubean that is heartwarming about your friends rescing the kitten.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well we were away for a total of 8 days, divided in 2 parts so Mooch wasn't fed. It didn't seem to change him one bit. We came back, opened the patio door, turned on the light and in 5 minutes there he was. He ate 2 full cans of food so I thought here is my chance. Today I placed the food just inside the door. In he came while I waited outside. I gently shut the screen door thinking I can direct him to the room set up for his capture. Epic fail. Mooch looked at the door, and promptly jumped right through the screen. This is the second time I have had him in the house only to watch the quick escape. This guy defies capture.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting idea but probably not safe. Anything that would act quickly could also be lethal so I am not going there. He continues to visit and eat just outside the door. He is also quite persistent if we do not notice his presence. As long as we respect the 4 - 6 foot "approach zone" he is content to visit several times a day looking for his handout. My concern is if he has parasites or is FIV +. If he cannot be tamed at least he should be vetted, innocluated, neutered etc. My feeling is once he is confined he will calm down because even the escape was not a panicked one, he looked, he leaped and then simply walked away.
 

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Not to worry to much about it. Most literature say the only 2% of feral and domestic cats have FIV. Parasites are easy to remedy too! Thats the good news. Now if you could only catch this elusive kitty!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mooch has settled into a nice pattern, visits every evening for his can of food, hangs out for a bit (just don't approach) and then leaves. Now he is leaving a mouse by the door in exchange for the cat food. Maybe before winter he will permit capture.
 

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Mooch has settled into a nice pattern, visits every evening for his can of food, hangs out for a bit (just don't approach) and then leaves. Now he is leaving a mouse by the door in exchange for the cat food. Maybe before winter he will permit capture.
Ah, that brings back a happy memory. One day when I was feeding Josie when she was outside, I tried a can of Merrick's food as a special treat. The next morning, there was a dead mouse on the porch. I took it that she was offering the mouse to show her appreciation. :luv

Good luck with Mooch! Keep us posted.
 
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