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Pregnant feral, what is best? Help!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Someone suggested I move this here...

Ok, I have another feral mom that is ready to give birth at any moment. Here are some facts:
1. She lives on the roof of the parking garage.
2. The garage is in Metro Phoenix, and it will be 93 or so today
3. She has never let me touch her. She usually walks (she doesn't run) if I get too close but for the past few days she's just been hissing because she's too pregnant to run.
4. I have a cat in the house and no "spare" room I could keep her and the kittens in.
So, here is my question. Is it more humane to leave her here and let her do what comes naturally? Or should I try to trap her and take her home and put her in a cage in the backyard? Either way, she'll be raising kids in the heat.

I have already called the organization that took the 5 orphans I had last weekand they have no openings and in fact told me that in Maricopa County, 800 cats/kittens are being euthanised each month.

Any advise? I put out a box with a blanket in it last night hoping that she would find that comfortable, but she's still hunkered down under a car.

PS> the organization is helping me to get a TNR going for the colony here.
post #2 of 23
If I were you I would try to get that cat out of the heat. Just for everyone's info it's going to be like 101 degrees this whole week. It's way to hot outside for her to be giving birth in. See if you can find someone to trap her and maybe we can find someone to keep her until the babies are old enough to go to new homes??? If you need ANYTHING- please pm me you have my phone number as well
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi, All of the people here that care enough to do anything already have animals at home and that's how I arrived at this problem. *If* I could trap this mama, I don't think that she will just lay down and be docile. I am not sure it would be safe for anyone to have her. She might bite if they try to get food to her or change litter, that kind of thing. Of course I really don't know.
post #4 of 23
Hmmmm. good point! I really hope someone with more experience with feral's will come along!! Have you contacted any trapping organizations? And if so, what did they say? Geez, your house must be where all the ferals go! LOL. Keep me posted
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ha ha, well there is a pretty active feral colony here in the parking garage where I work. This is the first spring I have worked here that I actually saw kittens and pregnant moms.
There are a few people who will help with the $$'s to get some TNR going here, so I did get that ball rolling last night.
I did call pretty much everywhere yesterday and all of the organizations are in the same boat. Overloaded.
I just went to check on her and she was not under the car. There are a lot of cars up there (the cars are parked there long term, so no worries about them moving) so she could be hiding anywhere. She didn't touch the food I left for her this morning.
Boy, trying to do the right thing is tiring!
post #6 of 23
I've answered you post in the Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care forum but I've basically said what others have said here. Could she be in the box you set up?
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi Kumbulu,
She was not in the box I set up for her. There are a lot of places for cats to hide around here. I even got on my hands and knees and looked under the helicopter pad, but nope. We had one cat that crawled through an opening above a tire well and gave birth in the engine compartment of a car last year.

I have no problem with the expense of getting a cage that I could put in the backyard, but I just don't know what is better, he having the babies here with the colony of friends she knows and an environment with which she is familiar or trapping her and taking her somewhere new where she would be all alone.

The babies we found last week made it to 3 weeks old before I found them and I am up there every single day. I think they were either in an engine compartment or under the helipad for those first few weeks.
post #8 of 23
As I said on your other thread, I think it is much better to trap her now and put her in a large cage, than trying to trap her and her kittens later. Although she will initially be stressed, she should settle down. This also gives the kittens a much better chance of being rehomed as, when they are around 6 weeks old, you can bring them inside and have them socialised for when they are ready for their new homes at around 9-10 weeks old. You can also guarantee that mumcat will not become pregnant again as cats can mate and become pregnant again as soon as a few days after giving birth. One last advantage is that she can have a steady supply of food, water and shelter while she raises her brood. She will need to be fed a good quality kitten food from now until the kittens are fully weaned, as she needs the extra calories.
post #9 of 23
I have to agree with Kumbulu. I think having the mom and kittens in a cage is better than leaving her out there. A big concern, however, is the heat! Would your back yard be cooler than the garage?

Please keep us posted! And thank you so much for doing all you're doing!

Laurie
post #10 of 23
Laurie-

Do you think it's better for her to try to keep them or do you think it's better if she tries to find a feral organization to come and help her out? What is the best thing to do for the 'cats' in this situation?
post #11 of 23
Well, it sounds like she's already contacted all the orgs in the area, and they're full. (It sure is kitten season!). And Marine also mentioned that she's gotten the ball rolling on TNRing the "garage cats," so other than this particular emergency situation, it seems like Marine's got things well in hand.

The way we handle it is that we work with our vet to adopt out rescued kittens. They have a great org, and we know the kitties are going to responsible owners. They charge us a reduced rate for the care and boarding and they let us pay over time. We started a no-kill shelter in 2004, but that's been full since like month 3.

However, I know some people have a problem with this, but unless mom is really far along, we have mom ferals spayed even if they're pregnant. There are just too many kittens as it is.

And to Marine... just in case you need the resources, here are a list of places you can search to find orgs or TNR groups in your area:

http://www.alleycat.org/orgs.html
http://www.pets911.com



Laurie
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi Laurie,
Well, mom hasn't been near her food in a few days. I don't think I would have been able to trap her because she doesn't seem to be food motivated right now. I did talk to the rescue org that I just started to volunteer with (well, I start tomorrow) and they said the same thing about spaying even though she was pregnant. However, between Monday evening when I last saw her and this morning, I think she had the kittens. Monday night she was resting on her side and I could see her big belly. She didn't move when I got near her, instead she would just hiss. Today I saw her briefly and she was sitting sphynx-style and she took off when she saw me. The other two cats that hang with her took off as well, and let me explain that they don't have many escape routes. They went under a car and seemingly disappeared. I am sure that she and her buddies and perhaps now the kittens are hiding in the cavity of a car. We opened the hood and they are not in there, but we can't get into the trunk.
So for now I can only wait to see if the kittens can eventually be seen or heard. I have filed for 10 TNR certificates to start on this colony but I will be careful about taking her away for a few weeks until I am sure about the kittens.
My personal garage can get very hot during the day because there is no air circulating, that is why I figured that a cage in my backyard with some sort of shade rigged up couldn't be any worse than inside the abandoned cars here at work. But alas, I can only do what I can and this won't be the first or last cat to have babies in the hot Phoenix sun.
The kittens I found last week were about 3 weeks old and they were under the SAME car that this one is using for shelter so the last mom hid her babies from me for at least 3 weeks because I feed them every day and I surely would have seen or heard those little guys if they had been on the ground earlier. (Thank goodness the no kill shelter actually had room for them - I was so lucky)
Thanks goodness my husband (the "Marine") is a complete angel and would never fuss about me raising kittens in the bathtub as long as I kept them away from Pooh, the King of our house.
I am off for the next few days and have dial up which for some reason keeps me from connecting to this site, so I will update on Monday. My friends know they should call me if they see or hear kittens. Mom has to eat eventually!!
post #13 of 23
Yup! It sure sounds like she had her kittens. I was just explaining to someone that in a situation like this the best thing to do is just keep putting the food and water out at the same time in the same place. She'll probably be holed up with her kittens for a while, and going looking for her will just result in her having to exert herself to move the nest.

I think you're doing the right thing given the circumstances!

And mom cats sure know a good reliable source of food and water when they find one! At this point, it's best just to let her bring the kittens to you - which I'm sure she'll do.

Sorry 'bout the troubles connecting! We'll look forward to an update when you get the chance.

Laurie
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I plan to hang back right now and let her do what she can. I have enlisted the help of others to make sure there is food and water while I am gone. I figure that eventually I will see and hear the kittens. I can really only wait to see how many survive and then perhaps intervene when they are 3 or 4 weeks old (still young enough to socialize, but old enough that I would have the ability and time to take care of them) and see if I can home them through my network of friends and coworkers or though an agency.
Thanks for talking me through this. I am like most people I suppose, I want to do the right thing but am not always sure what that is.

Well, except getting that TNR done. I am confident THAT is the right thing.
post #15 of 23
Yes, you are doing the right thing

PS. keep us updated
post #16 of 23
I would really suggest trying to trap her at your earliest opportunity....the problem with waiting is that she will most likely be pregnant again. See if you can get a same day spay and ask the vet if they can perform a flank spay as opposed to one that is through the belly. That way, the kittens can still nurse but it won't hurt mom as much. I wouldn't try to search for the nest, but as the kittens get a bit older...mom is going to spend more time away from them so definately keep an eye out for your earliest opportunity.


Katie
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine View Post
Thanks, I plan to hang back right now and let her do what she can. I have enlisted the help of others to make sure there is food and water while I am gone. I figure that eventually I will see and hear the kittens. I can really only wait to see how many survive and then perhaps intervene when they are 3 or 4 weeks old (still young enough to socialize, but old enough that I would have the ability and time to take care of them) and see if I can home them through my network of friends and coworkers or though an agency.
Thanks for talking me through this. I am like most people I suppose, I want to do the right thing but am not always sure what that is.

Well, except getting that TNR done. I am confident THAT is the right thing.

Marine.....I don't know what your personal feeling is about spaying a pregnant cat...but I would certainly encourage you to trap and TNR as many cats as you can. With so many cats and kittens in shelters, each outdoor cat that is spayed/neutered means that other cats and kittens can find homes.

Katie
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Marine.....I don't know what your personal feeling is about spaying a pregnant cat...but I would certainly encourage you to trap and TNR as many cats as you can. With so many cats and kittens in shelters, each outdoor cat that is spayed/neutered means that other cats and kittens can find homes.

Katie


Katie;

I just wanted to add to here that---that's really good advice
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi, just FYI, I am waiting for some certificates from AZ Cats so that I can get the colony here all "fixed" up. Most of these cats are very food motivated and they come running when I put a can down, so I am sure I can trap them.

Keep in mind that my current concern is where I would keep them overnight while they recover. I have no "extra" rooms in my house, so I am trying to work something out. Too hot to keep them in cages outside now (100+ during the day and 80's at night)

Mom cat was upstairs when I got here this morning, but still no sign of babies. Her tummy is for sure smaller so I know she had them.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello,
For those of you who have been following my saga - - there was no mom this morning but her "pal" was hanging around. Do other cats ever stick around to watch over kittens while moms wonder off?

Also, the 5 that I rescued a few weeks ago are still doing well. I had only named one of them, Cheeta, because of his markings, so the shelter named the rest of them after wild cats. I can't wait until their pictures post so I can share them with you.
post #21 of 23
Thank you for keeping us updated! I really don't know what to tell you, I would keep them at my place...I just don't have the room. I hope someone can come along and give you good advice!
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine View Post
Hi, just FYI, I am waiting for some certificates from AZ Cats so that I can get the colony here all "fixed" up. Most of these cats are very food motivated and they come running when I put a can down, so I am sure I can trap them.

Keep in mind that my current concern is where I would keep them overnight while they recover. I have no "extra" rooms in my house, so I am trying to work something out. Too hot to keep them in cages outside now (100+ during the day and 80's at night)

Mom cat was upstairs when I got here this morning, but still no sign of babies. Her tummy is for sure smaller so I know she had them.
Could you ask AZCats if they have someone who can overnight a few cats? Then you could pick them up and rerelease them.

Katie
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi Katie,
I spoke with a lady from AZ Cats last week and she said that sometimes they have people who have accomodations, but not always. So I'd like to have a backup plan. Again, they are outside all day here anyway, so it's not like I am doing something really mean to them, but I worry that with surgery and the heat, there could be a problem. I have never TNR'd a cat, so I am ignorant on the subject. I am hoping that when they do actually send the certificates, I will be able to talk to someone again and get some details on how this kind of thing is done on a daily basis here in AZ!!
I'd hate to wait for fall (when putting them in the garage is no problem) because that just means more kittens.
Thanks again,
Denise
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