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Need advice, suggestions, please

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I live in a first floor apartment, and my backyard is Kittycat Highway #1. There are constant travellers passing through, most are neighborhood cats with collars, but there are a couple of ferals, two intact males and one black & white female that I THINK is a feral, but I haven't seen her in many months. The last time I saw her many, many months ago, she appeared to be pregnant. She hasn't returned, nor have I seen any kittens come through.

I have NOT been feeding the cats because they seem to like to nap right underneath my kitchen window and I don't want to encourage their presence in my yard. Last summer the orange male tried to attack Ginger through the open window and nearly popped the entire screen out, and in doing so, left some huge tears in it, which I now have to pay to have replaced. (My landlord is an idiot and put nylon screens in replacing the old metal mesh ones when I moved in.)

Because of this, I can now only open my windows at the top, and then only a few inches, so that the cats don't try to attack my babies through the windows. This makes for a VERY hot kitchen in the warm months. Both males are vocal and extremely aggressive, and like to do their local courting on my porch or under my windows.

My concerns are these: Both the orange male and the white male have been looking thinner and thinner lately, and the orange male now appears to have some problems with the underside of his tail. It looks nasty from what I can see, but I can't get close - he runs away FAST if I open the door.

Part of me wants to try to trap them, but I certainly can't take them inside, and my local no-kill shelter won't take ferals like these two, especially not sick ones. I don't have any traps anyway, and I know that to trap them, I would have to start feeding them first, which again, I don't want to do for good reason.

I'm wondering if there are any links that I can find that might help to connect me to someone who could do something about/for these two guys. At the VERY least, they need to be neutered, but I am afraid that they more than likely need to be PTS, as again, they both look pretty bad off, and if they have something contagious, then they are just out there passing it around.

I don't know what to do, but am feeling like I can no longer just chase them off my porch. The orange guy has lately been singing songs through the window to my Ginger - he actually shows up on the porch and calls for her. I've been calling him her admirer, asking her if he tells her how pretty she is.

I've woken up some mornings to see him out there on my porch, asleep in a ball on the cushion of my wicker love seat, a light coating of snow over him as he sleeps. It makes me feel so bad - but what can I do? I'd really like him to NOT be around once it is time to open the windows again, but I'm not heartless, either.

Can anyone suggest anything? Any advice or ideas that may help me deal with this?

Thank you!
post #2 of 20
TNR groups in Mass:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html#ma

Katie
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
TNR groups in Mass:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html#ma

Katie
Thanks, but there aren't ANY in my local area.

Knowing that, what can I possibly do for either of these two? Again, they both look quite ill, and I'm not sure TNR is wise in this case, they may both be better off being humanely put down.

This saddens me so much. And I just CAN'T have this orange male trying to get in through my windows once spring hits. Especially not now that I have semi-feral Ferris who WILL try to attack in return.
post #4 of 20
Here are some more links that may help:

http://www.pets911.org - look up shelters and rescue groups and start calling (a lot respond faster to the phone than to e-mail).

You can also try the Best Friends No More Homeless Campaign network: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...ts/thenetwork/ on the lower right-hand corner of the page is a link you can click to e-mail them for specific cat emergencies.

I don't know what your financial resources are, but you could consider trapping them, getting them to the vet for a few weeks (having them neutered if they're not), and then releasing them. But it's a very expensive solution.

Laurie
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Here are some more links that may help:

http://www.pets911.org - look up shelters and rescue groups and start calling (a lot respond faster to the phone than to e-mail).

You can also try the Best Friends No More Homeless Campaign network: http://www.bestfriends.org/nomorehom...ts/thenetwork/ on the lower right-hand corner of the page is a link you can click to e-mail them for specific cat emergencies.

I don't know what your financial resources are, but you could consider trapping them, getting them to the vet for a few weeks (having them neutered if they're not), and then releasing them. But it's a very expensive solution.

Laurie
Because I do NOT want to encourage the cats to come to my porch, I cannot put food out there for them.

Because I cannot put food out there for them, trapping them is not a possibility for me. I am saving money right now to make my trip to NC to adopt Tinta and to cover her vet visit when she's home with me, and I am NOT interested in the expense that I would incur to have to buy traps for a single use, and then the vet care for these very sick boy cats. I just don't have that kind of cash.

I do not think that TNR is a good idea in this case - they are both sick, and again, I do NOT want these cats trying to get in through my windows to my cats - it's bad enough that I have to pay to replace the screens where the orange male tried to get in to attack my Ginger.

No-Stay sprays don't work to deter them, I don't want to put out mothballs because I don't want to poison the cats, but they are visibly ill and I think they should be put down rather than neutered and released to spread disease.

Again, I'm not heartless, I love kitties, I adopted a feral rescue, but I don't like the fact that a sick intact male feral has claimed my back porch as his place of business.

There is a shelter within 5 minutes from me but they will not do TNR because they don't have the resources, and they won't take in sick ferals. And there are no local rescue groups in my area, so I'm at a loss here.

I could do nothing and hope they just die (which seems even more mean to me than trapping them to have them put down.) But that doesn't solve anything in the short term.

Maybe I can see if my vet has access to a trapping cage and would put them down for me if I can actually catch them.

This stinks.
post #6 of 20
I think if you find somebody who can tnr these cats then they will have them vet
checked,and IF they are that ill they will either get the meds they need and be
released back or if they are that sick that they cannot be treated then it will probably be best to pts.
But since you are not a vet and don't know how sick these cats are and looks can be deceiving when a feral in the wild is sick.
If they were tnr'ed and put back then the 'problems' you have won't be a problem
anymore.
You don't have to 'encourage' them to your property to trap them the tnr people will
lay traps away from the property and to be honest it sounds like they don't need food
to be attracted to your 'highway'.

To be honest from your post and replies,It seems you just want rid of the cats because they have diseases,because you say you care about them but in the same
breath you are making excuses for not getting tnr involved.

By the way when you say first floor do you mean ground floor(bottom) or next one up?
Since in the Uk we call first floor the one up from bottom.
post #7 of 20
Sweetie - I so know you are not heartless!

Don't get me wrong - it was just a suggestion. I do understand the problem with them interacting with your kitties and the issues you've had with them. I obviously didn't fill in enough blanks - I thought perhaps trapping them off your property could be an option as you mentioned they seem to be "neighborhood" kitties. ....And it is because they're sick that I said it's an expensive option, but the idea was to leave them at the vet until they're healthy and then re-release them. It is an option that is above and beyond what I would expect anyone to do.

I respect your decision not to feed them - it is the advice I give (don't feed if you're not going to trap).

I hope the other links may help.

It is sad - and it does suck.



And thank you for wanting to do something!

Laurie
post #8 of 20
I totally understand where you are coming from, it must be a daily concern for you and your kits. You are right that you have to do something, as obviously the cats are still there, but do you think you could really bear to just leave them die ?

I think your idea of asking about at vets to see if they can maybe assist you is a good starting point - lets face it, they can only say 'no' and all you need is one to say 'yes' Have a go at least you will know either way.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Diana,

I know I'm not a vet, but I've seen sick and dying cats before, and the white one definitely looks like he isn't long for this world. I don't know what is wrong with the orange one, but his tail is a real mess, and his hindquarters are getting skinnier, and every time I see him he looks worse off - it doesn't take a vet to look at a cat and say it is sick, but it does take one to give a diagnosis, which is NOT what I am doing.

And I've said it before, I will say it again, THERE IS NO TNR GROUP IN MY LOCAL AREA. How is that making an excuse? And I do not have the time nor the financial resources to start one. I am overcommitted as it is to several volunteer organizations that are important to me, including one that I helped to found over 6 years ago. I know what my limits are, and honestly, it feels like you are attacking me while all I am doing here is asking for suggestions and advice.

I am on the ground floor of a two family. The orange cat has attacked my Ginger through the windows more than once, the last time he tore the screen and nearly got into the house. Am I a bad person for wanting this to NEVER happen again? I can't afford to keep replacing screens in an apartment that I do not own. Nor do I want to be forced to keep my windows closed once the warm weather comes - I do NOT have air conditioning.





Quote:
Originally Posted by furryferals View Post
I think if you find somebody who can tnr these cats then they will have them vet
checked,and IF they are that ill they will either get the meds they need and be
released back or if they are that sick that they cannot be treated then it will probably be best to pts.
But since you are not a vet and don't know how sick these cats are and looks can be deceiving when a feral in the wild is sick.
If they were tnr'ed and put back then the 'problems' you have won't be a problem
anymore.
You don't have to 'encourage' them to your property to trap them the tnr people will
lay traps away from the property and to be honest it sounds like they don't need food
to be attracted to your 'highway'.

To be honest from your post and replies,It seems you just want rid of the cats because they have diseases,because you say you care about them but in the same
breath you are making excuses for not getting tnr involved.

By the way when you say first floor do you mean ground floor(bottom) or next one up?
Since in the Uk we call first floor the one up from bottom.
post #10 of 20
Betsy I understand what your saying but even when there is no-one local to help
you have to look further afield.
When I stumbled on some kittens and trying to get help to catch them thinking they
were 'lost' (I knew nothing about ferals then )I couldn't get help from anywhere.
While I was there trying to befriend them I realised there were loads of cats..too many
to even tell..because they all looked identical.
When I realised just how many there were and how much effort would be involved in
trying to get these cats help and nobody wanted to know,I broke down in tears and
wondered if anybody really cared.I never gave up hope.
But I made a decision to do it myself whatever it took.
10 months later I finally was able to get some help with tnr.

Please contact the ones further away,offer to try to trap the cats for them,if they can
be treated they may be able to find them a farm or smallholding they can go to live on.
Good luck
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryferals View Post
Betsy I understand what your saying but even when there is no-one local to help
you have to look further afield.
When I stumbled on some kittens and trying to get help to catch them thinking they
were 'lost' (I knew nothing about ferals then )I couldn't get help from anywhere.
While I was there trying to befriend them I realised there were loads of cats..too many
to even tell..because they all looked identical.
When I realised just how many there were and how much effort would be involved in
trying to get these cats help and nobody wanted to know,I broke down in tears and
wondered if anybody really cared.I never gave up hope.
But I made a decision to do it myself whatever it took.
10 months later I finally was able to get some help with tnr.

Please contact the ones further away,offer to try to trap the cats for them,if they can
be treated they may be able to find them a farm or smallholding they can go to live on.
Good luck
Thank you, I'm glad you can understand where I'm coming from. It may sound like excuses, but if I didn't care about these cats at all, I wouldn't even have posted here.

I guess the best thing to do is start with my vet's office. He may have some contacts for me, as I know that he does occasionally speuter ferals, but I also know that he does this for organizations that are not local, because there are not that many vets in the North of Boston area that will provide discounted services for strays and ferals.

He's a good guy - he even gave me a discount on Ferris' neuter when he learned that he was a feral rescue that I adopted from foster care.

If nothing else, your comments & suggestions have helped me think this through some more, and I appreciate your responses.
post #12 of 20
not sure if you've considered this place already (it was on the list in the link posted above). i heard about them recently, and according to the website they do some work in the essex county area. it might be worth calling them? http://www.mrfrs.org/

in any case, best of luck with this. you seem like a very concerned cat owner/lover.

*edited to add* i realize tnr is not what you want, but perhaps they'll have some suggestions.
post #13 of 20
Several years ago Anne posted a news story that had been printed in a local paper in TX. It was about a cat the writer of the story dubbed "Osama" because he was "terrorizing" the neighborhood. We called around to local vets to ask if they knew who the local "crazy cat person" was that might be willing to help in the situation. On our second call, we found a vet receptionist that knew someone who might help. We left our number, the vet receptionist contacted that "crazy cat person," who was willing to help, so the vet receptionist gave us her number and we called. She intervened, trapped the cat, and got him adopted out.

So calling around to local vets to find the local "crazy cat" person might help.

Also, there are quite a few organizations that come up when I use the zip code for Salem, MA in the http://www.pets911.com site. I don't know if any of them can help, or if they're willing to ask if there's someone who works/volunteers for them that may be able to help, but it's worth the call(s).



Laurie
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whuckleberry View Post
not sure if you've considered this place already (it was on the list in the link posted above). i heard about them recently, and according to the website they do some work in the essex county area. it might be worth calling them? http://www.mrfrs.org/

in any case, best of luck with this. you seem like a very concerned cat owner/lover.

*edited to add* i realize tnr is not what you want, but perhaps they'll have some suggestions.
TNR is not something I want to do because I cannot afford it personally. It isn't that I'm not in favor of it or anything. I don't live near any woods and the vast majority of "strays" in my area are roaming neighborhood cats, well fed and cared for. It's just these two intact males I'm concerned for.

I took a look at the group, and they are an hour's drive from where I live. My city isn't connected to any major highways which makes travel a pain when trying to get somewhere outside of the North Shore.

I will give them a call, though, and see if they can help in some way. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Several years ago Anne posted a news story that had been printed in a local paper in TX. It was about a cat the writer of the story dubbed "Osama" because he was "terrorizing" the neighborhood. We called around to local vets to ask if they knew who the local "crazy cat person" was that might be willing to help in the situation. On our second call, we found a vet receptionist that knew someone who might help. We left our number, the vet receptionist contacted that "crazy cat person," who was willing to help, so the vet receptionist gave us her number and we called. She intervened, trapped the cat, and got him adopted out.

So calling around to local vets to find the local "crazy cat" person might help.

Also, there are quite a few organizations that come up when I use the zip code for Salem, MA in the http://www.pets911.org site. I don't know if any of them can help, or if they're willing to ask if there's someone who works/volunteers for them that may be able to help, but it's worth the call(s).



Laurie
Thanks, Laurie - like I said, I'll check with my vet first. I did go to that 911 site, but it appears to be 100% FL based, and found nowhere to plug in my zip code. Can you give me a link to the right place on that site?

There ARE lots of TNR groups in my state, just none that are close enough to make it easy. Arrgghh.
post #15 of 20
You might be able to find someone prepared to help you here
http://feralcat.meetup.com/cities/us/ma/

a 'crazy cat lady' maybe

Or there might be a feral rescue listed here

http://www.h4ha.org/shelters/USA/Mas...ts/1-22-0.html
post #16 of 20
My first post.......I guess I probably could have picked a more "sedate" thread.

Ginger's mom, I understand where you are coming from. I was in a similar situation. Only the cat wasn't a stray or feral it was my neighbors HUGE tom cat that would come to my house and beat the crap out my two girls through the screens in the kitchen breakfast area. This was so tormenting that one of my girls started spraying inside the house, around this area to let big boy understand this was NOT his space. Yes she was already spayed. It was a very upsetting situation all the way around.

So I couldn't do a TNR or trap and euthanize ( I don't recommend the latter, BTW, JMO, and most certainly doesn't need to be listened too )

My solution for the attacks and screen damage: This should cost you zero dollars, but will take some time on your part. Get a hose set up with a sprayer attachment, then sit and wait. When the cats come to a point you don't want them to cross, spray him. If he comes on your back porch.....spray him, near the window....spray him.
You will have to do this several times, maybe a few days in a row, but it works.

Only took my neighbors cat 3 sprays and he didn't come in my yard again. I felt bad, because he was a really nice cat and I liked him. He was of course afraid of me after that, but no more attacks through the screens and no more cat pee in the kitchen.

This solution isn't going to help with the feral cats' health, the fact they will be contributing to future litters, cat fights, etc. But hopefully it will stop the immediate threat to your kitties and destruction of your property

Ok......one more thing that I am sure you already know. IF you get these boys pulled out of there and not returned, it is very likely that others are just going to show up. So, if you can get the neutered then re-released.....then do the spray with the hose trick.....you might have the best situation of all. They wont bother your kitties, plus they will keep others away from the territory as well. Just a thought.

Sending you lots of good vibes that things work out quickly and well for all.
post #17 of 20
I screwed up. It's not .org, it's .com http://www.pets911.com - it is a national database. I typed in zip code 01970 - a zip code for Salem, MA, and it pulled up this list of places in Essex County. I skipped most of the Animal Control agencies and all of the dog, rabbit or ferret rescues:

Organization\tType\tDistance

Northeast Animal Shelter
204 Highland Avenue
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 745-9888\tNonprofit\t0mi.
www.northeastanimalshelter.org

New England Veterinary Clinic
204 Highland Avenue
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 744-8325\tPrivate\t0mi.

Peabody Animal Rescue & Shelter
79 Prospect Street, Lower Level
Peabody, MA 01960
(978) 531-7478\tPublic\t3.5mi.
www.peabodyrescue.petfinder.com

Animal Umbrella
1 Neptune Boulevard
Lynn, MA 01905
(781) 731-7267\tNonprofit\t5.2mi.
www.animalumbrella.org

North Shore Feline Rescue
P.O. Box 1263
Middleton, MA 01949
(978) 774-4413\tNonprofit\t7.9mi.
www.nsfr.org

Protection of Animals in Wakefield Society, Inc. (PAWS)
P.O. Box 1842
Wakefield, MA 01880
(781) 246-6111\tNonprofit\t8.6mi.
www.pawswakefield.petfinder.org

Melrose Humane Society
2 Avalon Road
Stoneham, MA 02180
(781) 662-3224\tNonprofit\t10.3mi.
home.ici.net/~clyde236/MHS/

Cape Ann Animal Aid Association
260 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-6055\tNonprofit\t13.7mi.
members.petfinder.org/~MA128/

Kitty Love Cat Shelter
P.O. Box 383
Wilmington, MA 01887
(978) 657-0967

Saint Meows
P.O. Box 380462
Cambridge, MA 02238
(617) 767-6294\tNonprofit\t14.5mi.

Animal Rescue League of Boston
10 Chandler Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 426-9170\tNonprofit\t14.6mi.
www.arlboston.org

Stop The Overpopulation of Pets Clinic
P.O. Box 374
South Boston, MA 02127
(617) 571-7151\tPublic\t14.6mi.
www.thestopclinic.com

Alliance for Animals
1241 Massachusetts Avenue
Arlington, MA 02476
(781) 648-6822\tNonprofit\t15.7mi.
www.afa.arlington.ma.us/

Quincy Homeless Cats
9 Brigantine Lane
North Quincy, MA 02171
(617) 472-4558\tNonprofit\t17.3mi.

Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering
Suffolk County
Brighton, MA 02135
(617) 787-8872\tNonprofit\t17.3mi.

Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA) Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center
350 South Huntington Avenue
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055\tNonprofit\t17.8mi.
www.mspca.org

WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals - USA)
29 Perkins Street
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7000\tNonprofit\t17.8mi.
www.wspa.org.uk/home.html

Billerica Cat Care Coalition
P.O. Box 141
Billerica, MA 01821
(978) 777-7777\tNonprofit\t18mi.
www.billericacatcarecoalition.org



Laurie
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I'm glad you can understand where I'm coming from.
Oooh yes....... I know exactly where you are coming from.

Thinking about it,are you sure they are feral?That doesn't sound like normal behaviour
for a feral,trying to get in a window.Hanging out where people come and go.
I think it's possible they could be strays that have been left to fend for themselves or
lost,If thats the case then the tnr people will scan them for a chip and they will be able
to assess their behaviour.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryferals View Post
Oooh yes....... I know exactly where you are coming from.

Thinking about it,are you sure they are feral?That doesn't sound like normal behaviour
for a feral,trying to get in a window.Hanging out where people come and go.
I think it's possible they could be strays that have been left to fend for themselves or
lost,If thats the case then the tnr people will scan them for a chip and they will be able
to assess their behaviour.
I am POSITIVE that these two intact males are feral. I did a lot of reading on ferals before and after adopting Ferris, and these two are not being taken care of by anyone, and I've seen them out there for more than two years now.

And it wasn't that he was trying to get into the window, rather, that's where Ginger likes to sit and look out, and he THREW himself at her trying to attack her. It happened more than once, and I actually witnessed it once, and it scared the heck out of me, not to mention freaking out my poor Ginger kitty!

And to address kittymonsters's post: There is NO WAY that I am going to spray these cats down with a hose. A.) I work 45 hours a week, B.) I don't own the house and C.) The hose and attachments do not belong to me, they are my landlord's, plus they are attached on the opposite side of the house, and D.) I think that would be cruel to do, regardless of A., B. & C.

These cats will NOT approach when I am outside, and as soon as they see me, they run away FAST. The stray cats that I can tell are NOT ferals don't run like that - they don't fear humans the way these two intact males do.

I honestly don't mind the other cats that come and go through the yard - none of them spend any time on my porch beyond taking a walk through. The orange male has effectively marked the area, and marks it every single day, so the other cats know that my porch is HIS territory.

Thanks for those links, Laurie. The first one is the no kill shelter near my home, the one that refuses to take in sick ferals. That's where I adopted Ginger from. They do not have vets on staff, and although they foster, they do not do TNR.

I'll make some calls to some of the other places later this week when things slow down at work, and I'll let you all know what happens if I can get anyone to help.

Thanks again, everyone.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
I am POSITIVE that these two intact males are feral. I did a lot of reading on ferals before and after adopting Ferris, and these two are not being taken care of by anyone, and I've seen them out there for more than two years now.
This MAY seem picky to you but since this is a public forum and there may be visitors
coming here looking for advice and information,I feel it only right that they receive the
correct information.

No amount of reading and just watching the cats can ever be an accurate assessment
of any cat as to wether they may be feral or not.
I have only been trapping re-habilitating and rehoming ferals for a couple of years and
in that time I know some of the' most feral' of cats once trapped can be the sweetest
little love bug and not feral at all.
Just because a cat is not being taken care of does not mean it is a feral and the cats
behaviour does not mean that it is a feral just because it is acting out it's natural
instincts,If cats are un-neutered they will fight/spray and act like a feral.
I have had the honour of being mentored the past 7 months by somebody with
32 years experience and even he would vehemently disagree with your 'positive'
statement.
Since you have never fed the cats or tried to get to know them and interact,then you cannot make any judgement asto wether they be feral or not.
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