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I am in an area where there are eighteen people neighbors.

We have about eight stray cats (there were more earlier on) that have all been spayed/neutered as of this month. I saw that half got their surgeries and another neighbor did the rest. They live together as a colony and one person feeds them with some of us providing food to him, now and then.

Well, there is one cat who is not part of their colony. He goes near them some, but doesn't really hang out with them. He is alone. He was from a small group of strays that died out eons ago. He was neutered.

This particular cat is on up in age. I would say over seven years. One elderly couple took him on to feed him and see to him. However, I am not sure if they are seeing to shots, fleas, and worming. I do know that he is totally outside and they never take him in in extreme weather. Our temperatures are the lowest for about two months. Although the cold in the southeast isn't bad for long, there is still the once in a while teens or twenties night. In addition to this couple, I have heard another neighbor or two may give him some food here and there, but I am not sure.

Over the years, this cat always ignored me and never wanted to come to me. Months ago, I got my own kitten who is almost a year old and they are aware of each other through windows now. My cat is all indoors. One day, I was taking the last spay stray out after her recover from surgery and he was waiting and wanting to get near me and check us out. Also, a very tiny piece of tuna fell out of the cage.

Since then, he waits at my home for me to come home. I give him a can of cat food hear and there. This has been going on for about three weeks. Now, he waits for me and eats and wants me to pet him. He rolls over on his back and wants me to pet him and purrs. It breaks my heart to see him in the cold waiting for me to come home. He has even sat out at my door in a light drizzle or beginning drizzle. It makes me wonder if it is because he never gets canned food and loves it or if he is not being cared for enough by the elderly couple.

We had a really cold and rainly night this week and I called for him. I wanted him to come in and eat and stay in a bathroom until it was morning. He didn't come. I talked to a local rescue and they said by this time he has a good spot for cold. That might have been where he was. As old as he is and as many cold days he has experienced (they said), he has a plan and place. I guess so because he is still here.

How would you handle this cat? I want to ask the old couple if they get his shots and all. If so, maybe I could give him a place in my house on cold nights they don't. How cold is too cold outside? I feel so sorry for this guy. It's like he is half owned and half stray. A home, but not fully loved.

What would you do? I don't know how much I should look into his welfare. As experienced cat people, what do you make of this?
 

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Well, my inclination would be to see if he could tolerate being inside. But before that happens, take him to the vet and get him checked out for the usual transmitable diseases so you don't expose your kitten. It may be that with a clean bill of health he can adapt to going in and out of your home. He sounds tame enough to make the transition. Seven is old for a stray. Good luck, I hope you can convince him to be a pet.
 

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Hey, when you say that seven is old for a stray, do you mean that he is getting to the age where being all outdoors is at that time where it can take its toll?
 

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Orangekitty, I definitely think seven is getting old for a cat to be strictly outdoors... as sad as it is to admit, outdoor cats just don't live as long as indoor cats. It's more stressful and difficult on their bodies, as well as all of the dangers that could potentially be outside. If he was brought in to be indoor-only... he would have a much better chance of living many more healthy years! I definitely agree with Greenport Ferals, I would get him checked out and then see how he tolerates being inside. It really sounds like he would love a warm home with you to cuddle with, if that's an option for him. It sounds like he's a really sweet, loving kitty who has bonded with you. :) I wish you the best of luck, and also - it is awesome what you and your neighbors do for these cats. It warms my heart to see people taking TNR and caring for colonies so seriously. <3
 

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Hello

If I take him to the vet, is it going to hurt him if the elderly couple have already given him shots and rabies this year? I didn't know if a double dose could hurt him. Like I mentioned earlier, I can't tell how much they are doing for him. The only thing is that I know he stays outside on cold days/nights and hot days/nights. We have extreme heat here as well as temperatures that are in the 30s and sometimes 20s or teens. The 20s and teens are not often. Sumer heat can be extremely hot.
 

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If you can talk to the elderly couple ask if they have taken him to the vet for his shots. I'm assuming that they dont I've noticed most people feed the ferals and strays and thats it. You cant blame them since its what they could do as some dont know about tnr and vaccinations. So talk to the couple to find out and take the cat to the vet if you plan to take him inside. You can insulate a 30 gallon tote or bigger with insulation Styrofoam you can buy at Lowe's. Thickness should be 1 inch cut to fit and use duct tape to connect the sides and cut a sheet for the top. Get the styrofoam with the silver lining and this will face toward the cat. You can add a door and fill with straws not hay. I have pics of this in my link pics of feral cat shelter in the feral cat forum.
 

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It won't hurt him to be given double shots but the easiest way to be sure is to ask the older couple about it. We have given cats double shots in error at the shelter and they are ok. Now having said this, they are basically healthy to start with.

Cats are pretty adaptable in finding warm places to weather a storm in. He probably has more sense than you give him credit for. Also, he may not WANT to come inside a house. He may feel trapped and miserable not being outdoors and he may cry his head off, causing more stress than he might normally have. In a nutshell you could cause more harm than good. Stress lowers their immune system and that can cause all sorts of sickness.

Take deanna79's advice and make a feral box for him to get cozy in. A old large insulated cooler with a hole cut in the side will work too. You can sometimes find these at thrift stores. Straw makes a great insulator but if you can't find any an old sleeping bag or fleece throw (also thrift stores) can be used in a pinch. You can usually find straw for sale at a feed and seed store.
 

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Orangekitty,
What Marcia says, could be true...
It could also be true, that he's had a hard enough outside life, that he would love to be indoors now...
Maybe at one time, he was indoors, and his people left, and threw him outside? ?
The only way to know for sure, is to give him a chance, and see how he does...
It's amazing he's survived this long!
Perhaps the elderly couple would be thrilled, to know, you want to give him a home!
Good Luck!
Sharon
 

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What ^^^ says, too. My Coco was a stray, foraging for herself outdoors when she was found and picked up by Animal Control. Her people "didn't want her anymore'. To this day she HATES going onto the screened porch unless the doors are wide open and we are out there with her. She is very much a home body. Your stray could go either way, might be miserable inside or might find nirvana.
 
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