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New male spraying all of the colony shelters...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or strategies for a new male that's been spraying all of the colony shelters. Of course, other than the obvious -- getting him neutered. I've had a tough time trapping him lately. I'm a commuter, and only home on the weekends, and he tends to come around after midnight to spray our feeding area. Since it's winter and there's a good-sized group of other cats, leaving a trap out late at night (or unmonitored) really isn't an option.

Anyway! I plan to continue trying to trap him, but I'm wondering if the existing colony will ever use the shelters again.

He's been spraying the outside, so I've been cleaning them with clorox cleaner, hot water and soap (they're heavy-duty plastic - nicer than rubbermaid, but same concept).

Any recommendations of products -- or depressing information that the cats won't ever use the shelters again -- would be appreciated.

Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott77777 View Post
Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or strategies for a new male that's been spraying all of the colony shelters. Of course, other than the obvious -- getting him neutered. I've had a tough time trapping him lately. I'm a commuter, and only home on the weekends, and he tends to come around after midnight to spray our feeding area. Since it's winter and there's a good-sized group of other cats, leaving a trap out late at night (or unmonitored) really isn't an option.

Anyway! I plan to continue trying to trap him, but I'm wondering if the existing colony will ever use the shelters again.

He's been spraying the outside, so I've been cleaning them with clorox cleaner, hot water and soap (they're heavy-duty plastic - nicer than rubbermaid, but same concept).

Any recommendations of products -- or depressing information that the cats won't ever use the shelters again -- would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Scott....sorry, no other ideas.....but certainly getting him neutered will help. Have you thought of trying a drop trap?

Katie
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks,

Yes, I suppose I could try an alternate trapping method .... but he runs once seen. Hard to trap a cat that comes around once every 10 hours, and often -- that's at 4am. Leaving the trap out will probably result in just catching another cat, and working full-time makes it tough to sit and monitor traps for extended periods of time.

His routine seems to be morning @ 7-9am, night at 7-9pm, and then 4am, so I'm going to just have to get lucky. Being a tom, at least he announces his visits. All of the cats follow this routine, so isolating him from the pack is part of the problem.

I could, of course, simply re-trap everybody, but I like to avoid traumatizing the whole group.
post #4 of 11
Scott just wanted to say I know how you feel! All the ferals around me are already fixed but there is this male cat that comes on my patio sometimes and sprays on everything.. its really annoying. And I know I would probably end up just trapping a resident cat trying to trap him and that is quite traumatic for them.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

Well, I caught him this morning. Luckily, the colony cats came to eat early, so by the time I put the trap out they were pretty disinterested. He showed up about 30 minutes later.

Usual drill: Tru-Catch trap lined with newspaper, tuna oil dripped on the paper and a good clump of tuna at the far end.

He's now been passed off to the local foster / holding person, for a neutering appointment.

I took the shelters to the nearby car wash, and blasted them with pressure sprayer for awhile. I replaced the bedding...so hopefully, the cats will start using them again.
post #6 of 11
WOW that is awesome!!
post #7 of 11
FABULOUS news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I remember correctly - didn't you have a problem with someone putting out traps where you were a year or two ago (or so)? I don't remember what happened - did it turn out to be animal control?

If it wasn't you, I'm sorry for asking here.

Laurie
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello,

No problem. Yes, I did. It wasn't animal control -- who is OK with our rescue group -- it was a neighbor who has been trapping cats, allegedly for many years. My efforts (and those of the rescue group) have been pretty well known in the neighborhood. I've always gone to get permission from homeowners before trapping on or near their property. Personally, I've probably had around 60 cats and kittens spayed, neutered or adopted so far. The larger rescue group(s) have been involved with hundreds, if not thousands. Everyone sees the impact, so people have been pretty supportive. Obviously, when someone is having the animals euthanized, that kills the TNR campaign...we were literally spending thousands of dollars and trapping and sterilization, only to have the cats dumped at the shelter. And he was trapping multiple species, and leaving the traps set during heavy snowfall. At least one of the animals was left in the trap for days.

We've had a few "mystery" disappearances since the conflict peaked, but things seem to have settled down. I keep my eye on the colony and the local population, and I do keep my camera and video camera handy. Most of the cats in the immediate area have been fixed now, but we occasionally get a new cat.

I'm also now licensed as an NWCO (Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator), so I legally can transfer raccoons & such to the local wildlife rehabilitator.

Thanks for asking (and such a great memory)!

It's tough to control someone's behavior when they're bent on negative and evil actions, but we've been a HUGE help to the community and I'd like to believe good people and good actions win in the end. And it's illegal to relocate raccoons, or take a cat that's being cared for and relocate it. Because these cats also get food, shelter and medical attention, it's also a question as to when a cat goes from "feral" to being property. Trapping and dumping or euthanizing a cat that is known to be cared for should always be a crime.
post #9 of 11
Well, I'm really glad to hear that the activity died down. I just remember being so infuriated but not having really any ideas about what to do about it.

I loved the page you put together with the pics of all the cats that had been altered - and it was a large "list" back then!

Congrats on doing SUCH a wonderful job!

Laurie
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott77777 View Post
Hello,

Well, I caught him this morning. Luckily, the colony cats came to eat early, so by the time I put the trap out they were pretty disinterested. He showed up about 30 minutes later.

Usual drill: Tru-Catch trap lined with newspaper, tuna oil dripped on the paper and a good clump of tuna at the far end.

He's now been passed off to the local foster / holding person, for a neutering appointment.

I took the shelters to the nearby car wash, and blasted them with pressure sprayer for awhile. I replaced the bedding...so hopefully, the cats will start using them again.
Wow..and YEH!!!!!

Katie
post #11 of 11
Re if the other cats would use the shelter if it was sprayed by a tom..I can just tell my experience with "our" ferals; most males were neutered late (over 6 mos and adults) so all are sprayers. I scrub and they don't mind it! Even if I miss a sprayed spot they use the shelters all right. Notable is a large male that beds with another in a shelter that is regularly sprayed by the patriarch and a female (she had her litter in that shelter_Juliette in my sig is one of her kittens_ don't know if that has something to do with it since that was her fav nest..she is spayed now, don't worry
This feral is always arguing with the patriarch but maybe it is too cold to be choosy or something..
All that said, I haven't noticed (maybe wait until it warms up yuck) intact boy smell, I wonder if it doesn't matter when neutered males spray..
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