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Wondering about feral kitty

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm usually pretty good with ferals, but I'm in a new situation here and hoping you guys have some ideas.

Theres a new kitty hanging around who has been eating out of my garbage can. I don't bother him... let him eat... because he is just absolutely scrawny and looks like he could use a few good meals. I figure the least I can do is let him munch on my scraps. (There's nothing in the garbage that can hurt him... its just a bag of food scraps.)

But really, I just want to get some food in the poor guy. With the ferals I fed in NY, I just put food out for them at the back door because we didn't have a population of other wild animals in the neighborhood. Where I live now, if I put food out, I'd have a zoo of wildlife at my door in a matter of minutes. I've been trying to make friends with this little guy... whenever I go outside I talk to him while he ducks down in the grass and watches me... but I know if he ever trusts me at all its going to take a while. So at this point if I put food out while I was watching the dish, I don't think he'd come eat out of it.

Has anyone come up with a way to feed a feral without attracting every possum/raccoon/rat/etc within a 50 mile radius?

I've considered trapping him, but I don't have the money to neuter him at the moment and if I turned him over to animal control, he'd be automatically put down because he is not people friendly. I can't bring myself to do that to him Right now, I just want to get him fed a bit and consider trapping/shelter or TNR later... to trap or not to trap is not my main goal in this yet.

post #2 of 5
I lived in the country with possums, raccoons and skunks. When I fed my colony, I did so on a raised platform (it kept the skunks away), and pulled the food when it started to get dark. It seemed like possums and coons prefer raiding food when its dark.

Perhaps call animal control in your area and ask about low cost neuter places. Or call your vet and ask about a discount. Mine used to speuter my colony members at his cost, as I was the neighborhood good samaritan.

Good luck with this boy!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ooh a platform! Ok I'll see if I can dig around in my garage and find somewhere to put the food up higher. Thanks!

There is a low cost spay/neuter place nearby.. it'd cost me I think 30 or 40 to get him neutered. I'm fully willing to pay it, I just can't right now because I'm out of a job That's why I figure I can trap him later... as soon as I get a job again I'll have the $40 to spend. But for now I can only afford to spare a little food for him.

Being jobless sucks!
post #4 of 5
Yup - we did the same thing Amy did. We used a slotted platform and put the food out between 6:00am - 8:00am and 6:00pm and 8:00pm. They get used to coming during those hours, and then you're not feeding the whole forest. We trapped quite a few racoons and possums along the way.

Good luck!

post #5 of 5
I agree with MOM and LDG. If I were you I would put regular cat food on an a deck chair or other raised area next to the garbage can. I would focus on the routine, i.e. when your kitty currently raids the garbage.

For now just get his attention on the food you are giving and your location. Make a trilling noise when you set the food out so he can hear you. That way when you move it to a better location he will follow the noise.

I would plan to feed him once a day, preferably at first at the time when you see him raid the garbage. I would try and slowly move the food/feeding time to around 7 or 8 am because you will have fewer other predators then, even if it is a pain to be up at that early hour LOL.

Where I live the coons and other animals are so hungry they will come out in the middle of the day to grab whatever food is there. The coons will also climb onto any raised area. That is why my suggestion is you supervise the feedings thru a window or whatever, and never leave food out. Take any unfinished food inside.

I learned this the hard way because when I went on vacation and my cat sitter could not feed my ferals at the early time, I told her to put it on the porch table where they usually slept. What happened was that the coons invaded the sleeping area of my ferals and they could no longer sleep there until I recreated a safe environment for them.

I hope this helps!
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