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Cat rescue question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Around Easter of 2007 my sister and I noticed a beautiful long haired orange tiger hanging around our back yard. I have one outside cat and the new cat was helping himself at the dinner bowl. This poor fellow was terribly frightened of everything and everyone. If we even went near the window to look at him he would streak off and hide under a storage shed. I did some internet research and soon came to the conclusion that he was a lost cat displaying all the classic lost cat behaviors.

I phoned all the local vet, animal shelters, and police departments to see if anyone had reported a lost cat. I came up empty handed. My brother-in-law posted a large poster at the corner of the yard advertising that we had found a cat. A couple of weeks later a couple of women came by and said they had lost an indoor cat. The description fit and she was truly amazed that her lost cat could still be alive.

I shared with her what I had read about the lost cat behavior and how catching such a cat might require a humane trap. I offered to help in anyway and asked that she let me know when she wanted to do this so I could put my outside cat inside. She took our phone numbers and left saying she needed to speak to her husband.

I thought that was a very odd thing for her to say. She either wanted her beloved cat (she did shed tears) back or not. Two months have past and she has never returned. We have named the cat Streak because we still only see fleeting glimpses of him. He is a little more accustomed to us but not much. We can get close to the window and he does like to sun himself on the upper deck when no one is in the back yard. My sister has been trying to condition him by shaking the food bag when she feeds him. He will stay on the farside of the deck but if she doesn't retreat inside he takes off.

We live in the country and have coyotes, raccoons, possums, and other lovely wildlife that boldly go through our yard. In the winter months my outside cat comes in at night. My sister's recently passed outside cat spent the winter in the heated garage. I would like to see Streak do the same thing. This is to protect the cats from the cold and from the hungry coyotes during the cold winter months.

My dilemma is this. If I get the humane trap and manage to catch and befriend Streak who's cat will he be? If I take him to the Vet's and discover he has a chip will they take him away? I feel that his former owners gave him up when they never returned for him.

I was also wondering if anyone could offer helpful suggestions on how to befriend Streak before he is released. He has been an outside cat for the past 13 to 14 weeks and seems to have adjusted. He gets along fine with Louie, my outside cat. My plan was to capture him and then move the cage into the bathroom so it is a small enclosed space. I thought I could just speak to him and offer him tidbits of canned food through the bar. Eventually if and when he calms down I thought I could pet him through the door of the cage. Anyone have any ideas as how to proceed?

Thanks, Rebecca
post #2 of 8
If he is chipped ... the vet will call the "owners and ask them to come get the kitty...

First step humane trap and vet ... if no chip he is yours
post #3 of 8
I am an absolute novice, but I see that none of the usual helpers have offered up advice, so let me tell you what I have read and tried.
A good thing to do is to take an old tshirt and get your scent on it. Lay it down on the porch and put treats on it. The cat will associate your scent with treats. Then if you do catch him do the same thing while he is in the cage so that Zoobeca = treats.
Will the cage you keep in the bathroom have room for a litter box? Cats can be very unpredictable when they are captive and afraid. You may find it difficult to open the cage to clean the litter box, feed him or pet him.
There is a product called Feliway that is supposed to be good for calming cats, but I have not tried it.
As far as the vet goes, I don't know about that. If he is chipped, then explain to the vet that the owner never came back or called. If there is a chip, there would be a phone number on file and maybe you (or the registering agency) could contact the owner to resolve the situation.
If you vet him as soon as you catch him, the vet might have other advice for calming him.
Good luck and keep us posted.
post #4 of 8
why are you bothering to catch him if he's going to be an outside cat anyway? I know he probably needs to go to the vet, but otherwise, there's really no point. If you have so much wildlife that actually goes through your yard, I feel very sad for your kitties.
post #5 of 8
Wow fosterkitty, she asked for help not blatant criticism and judgement. If you don't have anything appropriate to say, don't say it.

I think you are doing the right thing Rebecca.
post #6 of 8
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post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
If he is chipped ... the vet will call the "owners and ask them to come get the kitty...

First step humane trap and vet ... if no chip he is yours
I agree...it is most important to trap him so the vet can determine whether he is neutered or not and whether he has a chip or not. If he has no chip and isn't neutered, neutering him would be a very humane and responsible thing to do. That way...regardless of whether you bring him into your home or allow him to remain outdoors..he will not be able to impregnate any female cats.

post #8 of 8
Fosterkitty....I can appreciate your concern about the coyotes.

Rebecca....if the coyotes are crossing through your yard, you may want to take some precautionary steps to avoid them having one harm one of your cats. Lots of people I know have created wonderful outdoor enclosures for their cats..that way, the cats can enjoy being outdoors but cannot come to harm by a predator or harm any other of nature's creatures such as birds. Some I've seen also have entrances from a window of the house so that cats can come and go as they please.

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