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HELP! Need Advice About A Feral.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
About a month ago a cat started hanging around my neighborhood. Soon after I saw it I found out it was living in my backyard. It was so desperate for food I saw it walking around with a ramon noodle bag on its head. I tried to get it off but I guess it heard me coming and it ran. Since then I have been feeding it and it comes every evening to eat. I would rather not trap it just becuase it looks like its a young male that could be carring something that I could get. I have saved a stray kitten though but that is the only experience I have had. So my point is I want to try to gain its trust to let me handle it. It is very scared and skittish and I have ran out of ideas. So if anyone can help me, give me advice I would be greatly apperciated.
post #2 of 8
I'm sorry but you confused me a little. You said you don't want to trap in case it may be carrying something you could get, yet you want to tame it so you can handle it?

You can never go wrong with trapping and getting them fixed. When they're trapped you do not have to handle the cat to get anything. You just leave them in the trap to transport to the vet. Once the vet gives it a clean bill of health and fixes it you have nothing to worry about catching. Then you can work on gaining it's trust.
post #3 of 8
HouseofCats gave you great advice. Hope you'll take that cue and get the little man fixed a/o! and his basic innoculations, too.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. But if I trap it wouldnt it be harder for it to trust me after words? I am planning on keeping it, if I tame it. But I already have a dog and cat so I cant keep it in he house if i were to trap it.
post #5 of 8
I went through what you are going through too. It is much better if you trap your little boy and get him all vet checked, neutered, and shots, flea treatment, wormed and everything he needs.

You don't mention where you live, but if it is in an area where winters are hard, I can tell you from experience that you will want to take care of your boy and his needs before it is too cold outside.

It is hard to trap for the first time, but the people on this site can help you through it. They helped me and it was the best thing I did.

I've had my feral boy (and his GF LOL) for almost 2 years now. He lets me brush and pet him and he loves to snuggle. I have not brought him inside yet, but I built him a house outside and I plan on trying to bring him in this winter if possible. He does come into my house to eat during the cold months and I just shut my kitties into their own room and feed them at the same time there.

Both my feral boy William and his GF Ace let me put Frontline on them too. They have become completely trusting. It just takes time and establishing a routine as well as talking to them and playing with them, just as you would your indoor kitties. The only thing you can't do is pet them before they let you.

There are a lot of solutions to your care for this little boy. It just takes time to think it all through. I hope this has given you some thoughts and ideas. I will be happy to help you with anything more you need

If you will keep your boy outside for now, just be sure to prepare for him to live there. The worst thing is getting attached to him and then seeing him soaking wet from the rain, or injured, or freezing in the cold. I can help you with that too, just let me know. There are also lots of links for ideas. I am rushing off to meet my hubby now but will post more later :-).
post #6 of 8
Also, yes he will be freaked by the trapping, but he will come back for the food. With the trap, you need to get it outside and get him used to seeing it. If you can wire the door open and get him used to going inside for his food, that is optimal.

When you trap him, you need to make sure the food is located where he will put most weight on the little part that will trip the door. Also you need to test the tension to make sure it is the right amount to actually trip the door with his weight on it. You can do all this inside your house with a friend to help (makes it less scary).

Once he is trapped you need to cover the trap with a dark sheet or towel and he will quiet down.

Call vets ahead of time to find one that will treat a feral. Find out in your neighborhood if there are any groups offering reduced fees for treating ferals.

And before you do all this, make sure your boy is really indeed feral and not just a stray who is shy at first. Get him used to eating at regular times and try a stick with a string to see if you can get him interested in play. Cats are most relaxed in the very early morning and late at night. Try engaging him then and talking to him then.

Ok now I am late, I hope this helps LOL.
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by CatLuvr1228 View Post
But if I trap it wouldnt it be harder for it to trust me afterwards? I am planning on keeping it, if I tame it. But I already have a dog and cat so I cant keep it in he house if i were to trap it.
No, not really. In fact not. The human trap is thus much much better than say, chasing it and throw yourself at it and holding it by force... - THIS could get negative effects, yes.
He will perhaps avoid the trap in future, but he will probably not connect you with the trap.
So tell all the rescuers who witness.

Good you are thinking on contagion as you do have own animals. There IS some danger of such with all homeless. Not so great as some dreads, but the danger is real.

Do prepare some sort of isolation-room, = a quarantene of sorts. And do have the cat there at first till deworming and all the shots are fully working. (about two weeks I guess). You cleaning hands in between. And if he dont get a 100% clearance by the vet, you prefebly also change clothes in between.
This quarantene room dont need to be fancy if you dont have a extra, spare room.
Many swedish rescuers use their own bathroom.
Or a big dog-cage is also useful. The cage you can have in basement or something.
post #8 of 8
BarbB and StefanZ have given you great advice and info -- I'll just add my good thoughts and prayers for success all around. Patience is key, and a calm, serene environment and demeanor from you will go a long way to help him overcome his fright, which may be considerable - don't forget, the only experience most ferals have with humans is apt to be negative unless they're in a managed colony with caregivers who love them. You might want to visit http://www.alleycat.org for lots of good information about ferals, including trapping do's and don'ts, which basically echo the posters'.

I've always used a bathroom for quarantine, making sure the cat has a bed with soft bedding, a roomy, clean litterbox (with scoop and all in the room!), food and water, and toys, and adequate ventilation/climate control. It's worked out very well. Visiting the quarantined cat several times a day helps with non-ferals; with ferals, probably you want to limit the visits to two or three a day so as not to scare the cat too much. GOOD LUCK and THANK YOU for caring about this cat!!!
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