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do you have a plan re: strays?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I thought of you all last night. I ran an errand, was driving the loop of the parking lot to exit, when in my headlights I saw a 4-5mn old kitten hanging out by the dumpsters. I assume he's a stray b/c he was v. dirty. I live in the city and he didnt seem spazzy enough to think he might be feral.

I sat looking at him thinking "what do I do? what do I do? Catch him, then what?"

I parked and followed him but each moment I got closer to him he ran off a bit more...but not so much so that he seemed unfamiliar with ppl. He might just be lost and missing his family my baby was in that position until some nice folks took care of her.

Anyway, I guess I'm asking, do you all have a plan in mind? I really didnt know what to do. I rarely see strays but the few I've gotten to know were sent to this great rescue place. As far as ones just on the street...I didnt really know what I should have done.

It was dark and I didnt have a flashlight, but I might go back when it is light out and see if there is a colony out there. I worry about finding ferals that can be caught, b/c their fate seems bleak if taken to a rescue place.
post #2 of 5
If you have the finances to follow through: to offer immediate vet care, spay and neuter, feed quality food and confine the animal safely you can have a plan.

Here is mine:

In the trunk of my car, I carry a live trap (humane) Inside this trap is dry dog food (stinkier than dry cat food) a pair of heavy gloves, flashlight, rope, jar lids (I use them in place of bowls in the traps) and a dark cloth (to drape the trap) and feliway spray. I also have a cat carrier there.

This gives me all I need to rescue a cat in distress. If it is a lost cat and comes up to me, I use the cat carrier.If it runs, I bait the trap and either watch it or come back and check it.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy.

If he had been injured to the point I noticed and could get to him, I would immediately have taken him to the 24 trauma vet, w/o question. I unfortunately have a disgusting amt of open credit on my CCs.

A no-kill shelter here does great things, and they have taken kittens and dogs from me over the years with no cost to me, even if the animal is injured.

I never thought about a lone kitten just happening along while I'm driving.

Hissy - do you try to trap any unhomed kitty you see? I mean, you happen to pass one and cant get to him easily, do you then take it upon yourself to trap and then continue from there?

I wish he let me catch him. I was sooooo going to surprise my parents
post #4 of 5
Do I trap every cat I see outside? Heaven's no! To many people would be losing their pet cat if I did that. It depends on several things that I guess at this point is just instinctive within me. Where the cat or kitten is located, how it appears, how it looks, how it acts. I have scooped kittens off the median in the middle of a busy freeway (that was fun)

I really don't go looking for them, they find me. My hubby calls me a cat magnet- lol

Again it just depends on where they are, how they look and act and the weather also plays a factor. Any cat or kitten I do find is taken to the vet to be scanned for a chip. If I see a tipped ear, I know it is part of a colony somewhere. If it is un-neutered, it aint for long.
post #5 of 5
Hi CDubbie,

(I'd love to know where the no-kill shelter is near you. I am in Maryland too, but it's probably not near enough to me.)

Please DO come up with a plan BEFORE you "rescue." Know where you are going to take the cat, know what your real options are for the cat before you get your heart and mind set. It's just not very fair to remove an animal from the only home that it knows, only to have to put it in a worse situation, in the final estimation.

If you do not think a location is safe or healthy for cats who are currently living there, then you do need to consider whether YOU are willing to provide a home for life for the cats. Consider, that a lot of places that might not be totally wonderful for a tame cat or cats, are actually pretty comfortable for cats that are born and raised there - they know the danger places and the routines.

If you can't house the kitten or cat, you CAN still plan to get it trapped, spayed or neutered, and returned. Just know what you are doing; know where you can absolutely reliably take the cat for surgery. Plan to minimize time that the trapped cat has to stay in a trap -- and recognize that this does not mean, necessarily, that a vet has to be willing to open his surgery at your call. Rather, it means, that you plan your effort to trap a cat based on when you know you can take the cat within a day to a spay/neuter date. My group teaches people to make appointments, then trap the night before the appointment. (Most vets do not mind if you cancel a feral cat appointment, since you give them enough lead time to be able to take a full-price client in instead).

I HOPE that not many people carry traps in their trunk and just stop and set them whenever they see a stray animal! I guess that may seem the most effective way to get to zero cats outdoors, but, that's a very risky approach, for reasons such as others have mentioned already. It also can drive a conscientious TNR group to distraction when people call up and expect you to schedule a vet appointment at the drop of a hat, because, we already have our share of TNR projects we are usually helping with, and we owe those projects our support first. So, if you work with a TNR group -- and I urge you to do that if you at all can -- please find out what that group's plan is and at least try it once, before you decide you have a better one. There's sometimes a lot of method in our madness. Honest!

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