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Nasty male feral

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have quite a few ferals around here. Thye have been around for years and years. I feed them, water them, and provide shelter of sorts. Some come for a quick pet before scittering away. I would take them in for a nueter/spay but I just can't afford it. The vets in my area all feel it is a "farmers" problem. They say because the farmers all need barn cats that if they think there are too many the farmer will take care of the problem.
Anyway, here is my problem. All of the ferals for all of the years have all gotten along. They have played, slept, and ate together. Plus, none of the boys have EVER sprayed. Well there is a new boy in town. He is mean and nasty, and sprays every thing here in sight. I swear he is like the Pied Piper. I see him leading kitties out into the woods, all in a line behind him. Some come back , some don't return. There aren't any other boys around that I know of because this bully has chased them all off.
Now I know he is only doing what comes naturally but isn't there something I can do? This behavior is deeply disturbing. I hate to see him come into the yard because I know he is going to pick a fight with someone.
Any suggestions?
post #2 of 10
Just curious, but if all the males are following him, are you sure he isnt a she in heat?

If it is a male, he must be very strong and healthy, to take over so quickly, in other words he is probably the one fathering all the kittens being born.

He will probably take over and make this his territory, thats what happens when there are multiple unrelated males, only one rules the territory and the others get evicted.

Your males may be under a year old, and not strong enough to fight him, nor will they bother spraying. But I can assure you when they reach a year old they will start fighting,spraying, and mating.

Theres really nothing you can do, if they want to come back they will. It's best to get them fixed so they wont fight,spray, or get the females pregnant.

Fixed males get calm and gain weight, when they arent fixed they wander so much that they dont gain too much weight.
post #3 of 10
I agree with much of what keith p posted.

As you've said, the "new" boy is only doing what comes naturally to a unneutered cat - he isn't purposely being malicious. It's simply instinct so unfortunately, it's nothing he (or you) can control. With so many unneutered cats, it's surprising you haven't seen lots of this type of behavior.

I know you said you can't afford to get these cats fixed, but at the risk of sounding glib, you can't afford not to. How will you afford feeding the large number of cats that inevitably you'll end up with? What will you do when illness runs through the colony - can you afford antibiotics for all of them? What will happen to all of these cats, now dependent on you for food, if you're no longer able to feed them?

The vets are being irresponsible when they tell you it's a "farmers problem". Ferals should be a community concern, including vets. One would hope that local vets *especially* would have at least a bit of compassion for the plight of feral cats. Sorry to say, in rural areas there persists the notion that animals, cats included, are expendable. Few farmers are sentimental about a litter of kittens that is one litter more than they need. Too many of these cats and kittens come to a terrible end at the hands of people who consider them nothing more than a nuisance.

Please PM TNR1 - she may be able to help you by researching any low cost (or possibly no cost) spay/neuter programs in your vicinity. You may have to travel a bit out of your local area to take advantage of such a program but it will be well worth it for the sake of the cats and kittens you care about. And thank you for trying to take care of all those feral kitties.
post #4 of 10
I've lived your life on a farm with barn cats and feral colonies, complete with the attitude of "its a farmers problem".

The ONLY thing you can do to help is to have all of them spayed and neutered. You are describing behavior that is natural to intact cats. My rule of thumb when I lived there was simply this: If you eat at my place, you are neutered, no questions asked. It was the only way I could control the situation.
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by gert452000 View Post
Any suggestions?
Yup....borrow some humane traps and trap this feral and the others and get them spayed/neutered. By "quite a few" how many are we talking about....10, 20, 100??? Until 70% of this colony is fixed, it will continue to grow and attract other unfixed males...so the ONLY answer to your problem is really the best thing to do for the entire colony which is to get them fixed. Below is a list of TNR groups in your state:


Low Cost Clinics:

Spay, Neuter, Aid Program (SNAP)
Contented Critters
PO Box 385
Makinen, MN 55763
Low cost spay/neuter for pets of qualified low income people.
Duluth Animal Allies Humane Society
& City of Duluth Animal Shelter
2627 Courtland St
Duluth, MN 55806

Ask around and see if there is any vet that is willing to donate a spay or neuter a month....or give you a discounted rate.

Join this site:


and ask how others raised funds to get their feral colonies fixed. There are people on that site that live on disability and still have managed to get entire colonies of cats spayed/neutered so it can be done.

post #6 of 10
So you witness: all other male grown ups do behaves, save this one?

There is some solutions: Best is to begin the neutering with him! If you can get the others neutered too - excellent! But begin with him. Ie. If you can afford only one, take him. But if at all possible - take them all.

Tell more about him taking all the others males into woods? And some dont returning??
Do you say they are taking fights there?
post #7 of 10
Gert452000, please heed the advice you've been given about spay/neutering.
It's the best thing that you can do for these cats. Even if you can only do one every couple of months, do it no matter how long it takes. Take TNR's suggestion and speak to every vet in your area about what you're trying to accomplish. I would hope that at least one of them will offer you discounted rates because of the number of cats needing S/N. Ask the vet and/or receptionist if they know of any grassroots organizations in your area that may be doing TNR who might be able to assist you. Call vets in surrounding towns as well.

Please let us know how it's going.
post #8 of 10
In addition to the groups Katie listed, you can try other searches if you need to.

You can click on the SaveSamoa site picture in my signature line and it will take you to a list of further links to search for low- or no-cost spay/neuter services.

In rural areas, shelters or vets will often have traps you can borrow.

The only way to stop the male from spraying and have him calm down is to neuter him.

Also, it sounds harsh, but if you are not going to spay/neuter the cats, I think it's best you stop feeding them and providing shelter for them. I know it feels like you're helping these cats, but without spaying/neutering, it is helping to create even more homeless cats. If you weren't attracting them to your place, it's possible they'd find somewhere else to eat, and wherever that is may be someone who is willing to trap, spay, neuter and release them.

post #9 of 10
also, if you decide to stop feeding them, please do it in the summertime
when they have half a chance of finding some other food.

i would suggest trying to follow TNR's suggestions. if you are successful
in TNRing these cats you will feel so much happier for what you were able
to do for them.

good luck.
post #10 of 10
It's too late to stop feeding and sheltering the cats now. Though it would have been best not to start feeding in the first place, the cats are now dependent upon the food and shelter that's been provided for years. Cutting off feeding now, especially in the midst of winter, would be cruel.
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