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post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So, when 8 ferals go missing - almost all at once, right after
a 3 day rain event, what is the caretaker to think?

That's what happened to me. Something happened to my colony
to terrorize them. After the 3 days of rain Thursday, Friday and
Saturday I found my colony's numbers decreased to 8-12 cats tops!

I had had 20 or so coming. Before the rains, while it was warm
they were always VERY appreciative of the food, ready to eat,
dashing up etc. etc.

Now, they no longer do that. I go to feed and they don't show up,
they aren't interested in the food so much!

I was told someone had been feeding them. I did find 1 of the missing
cats dead on the highway However, what about those other 7
missing cats?

I thougth about predators, but decided that they would not take
8 cats in 1 day or so. It has to a human.

I talked today to the management, its not them. Officially anyway.
I talked to the shelter - no mass dumping of cats ferals there. I
am about to talk w/ SPCA and Humane Society. I fear someone has
trapped to use as dog bait for fighting dogs. Or something eqally

Because this happened right before Halloween - it makes you wonder!!

The sad part is I'd trapped an neutered 14 of them! Of the ones missing,
most are ones I'd trapped and ear tipped. A few are not - I did see 8
today in the evening. They came but were not eagerly devouring food -
I just don't get it!!

what could have happened to make them a) not come out b) not be hungry and c) reduce the numbers like that?

If someone is feeding to trap, my feeding at night hopefully will make
it less likely. I've alerted the management there to keep an eye out,
and I hope to catch some of the kitchen staff and talk to them about it.

We have to stop who ever is doing this! Or figure out if it is a coyote or bobcat in the hood!

anyway, any help feedback/suggestions etc would be great. If these cats go to the shelter - they are eartipped and recently spay/nutered so that might help some....

Meantime, I'm praying they show back up!!
post #2 of 19
What are the chances that somebody has taken them in? I know that it's unusual with ferals for them to be "domesticated" easily, but is there at least a chance that they were taken in by someone who didn't know that they were being fed elsewhere?

It seems like 8 cats in three days is an awfully big number to put down to predators such as coyotes or wolves, but I suppose that it's possible. Unlikely, but possible. If it's human, wouldn't you think that someone would have noticed? And how easy would the cats have been to trap?

The remaining cats appear to be acting more timid than usual, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they've had a bad experience with humans. Cats have long memories, yes, but if they're young, is it possible that the rain is what traumatized them?

I'm just trying to throw some thoughts out there for you. I will keep these kitties in my thoughts and prayers.
post #3 of 19
I don't know. over the summer our has gone from 15 to one, the one I have been taming Baby, now she has one baby for sure I think there maybe two. I think someone has killed mine . they all disappeared when I was away for a week. I know the neighbours hate them. They also know how hard I have worked with Baby to tame.
post #4 of 19
Ohmigosh!! I'm so sorry. Like you, I can think of more bad than good things that might have happened. Have the ones that have come back, come back in ones and twos? It might be that they found someplace to hide from the storm that had some food supply and are only now trickling back slowly.

When my colony was being fed by Jose, and he quit, it was five days before anyone told me. In that time a neighbor did start to feed them. Could a neighbor close to their storm hideout be feeding some of them?

I hope you figure it out. It is hard not to know.
post #5 of 19
I lost 7 cats one year when I went on vacation. I had 2 different people over to my house feeding them while gone. It's always been a mystery to me.

Talk to people in the area and try to find out if anyone else is feeding the cats. I hear you about being close to Halloween, but if they were truly feral, someone would have had to take the time to set out traps, which most Halloween pranksters wouldn't bother with - too much work. Could they have gotten themselves holed up inside a building that is now closed off?
post #6 of 19
Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about this. Hoping that they're ok and just getting fed somewhere else.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update on the missing :

I have yet to see any of the missing cats. There are 8 that I have not seen. I have seen about 12 others - never all the same ones - excepting a core of 6 that are steady and hang out under the shed, or in the tuppewear storage containers converted into "mini shelters"

At the moment I have a dog igloo, a larger tupper wear container and 2 smaller one level bee boxes on legs.

I am making 2 more smaller tupperwear boxes, as I have no good fitting lid for the larger on...

I plan to put the lids securely on top, insulate bottom/sides with core/foam board and stuff with lovely straw/hay. Hole cut in on side, faced away from wind, behind the shed where the kitties can shelter securely at night.

I'll take away the larger cruder tupperwear shelter, and reuse it as food shelter/windbreak.

Because its cold tonight, I'm using a snuggle disk in the tupperwear (i'm buying another one soon) and an emergency hand warmer type of body pack for heat in the dog igloo. I'm burying both under the hay/straw a little so
the heat will be there, but not hot enough to be uncomfy for the kitties.

2 of the 6 regulars are preggers 2 are male I think, one is a kitten still, and the last one is a spayed grey that someone else spay (no ear tip).

I know the igloo and tupperwear are in use - the straw / hay has little "nests" made in it. Indentations showing cat shape, LOOL.

Also one bee box, the other isn't as popular. At any rate with what's there 6 cats could shelter together in a pinch 8-12.

Lets pray my other missing babies come back ... or make it home.
I'm sad and blue they went missing, but the ones left are okay,
and I know some at least are fixed up so they won't breed...

Fingers crossed I see more of them tonight! I'd give alot to see
these kitties I'm missing come back safe and sound.
post #8 of 19
I hope you find answers soon, and all the kitties are safe
post #9 of 19
You are working very hard for your kitties. Don't get discouraged, it can be difficult at times. Try to remember that they do appreciate your work for them. I'm glad they're coming back, little by little.

Do you ever wonder how they think of us: The Food Lady, The Cute Girl that Feeds Us? or what?
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Katie. I think they think of me as "that ym food lady"!

I saw something disturbing last night - the outline of a fox or GASP coyote
on the hill near where the shed and food are. I've been leaving out food, so perhaps this fox came by and has eatn one of the kits and scared the rest of the cats??

All I can say is, there were 6 there (from under shed) and they came and
ate in cold circumstances. I put out food near the hold under shed, protected by being under one of the wooden structures. The legs are
8 inches off the ground, so under there the fox can't get, and if
they have to they can scatter up a tree or nearby roof of shed, or under shed...

I put out heaters (my one snuggle disk and an emergency heat pack) last night, checked and yes, they had used the Dog Igloo with heat pack, but not the other tupper wear with snuggle disk. I am thinking its too large for them.

I am going to remove it tonight, and
leave the other (1 to 2) cat shelters behind.

They are secure, protected from rain and
cold and should make kittens very comfortable.
Providing they GO in them LOL.

I will also add MORE hay to the igloo to make it more attractive comfortable ...

And I'm buying 2 more snuggle safe disks - so each tupper container
AND the dog igloo has 1 in it. That will make the containers way more attractive, and if they insist on using the igloo, at least igloo will be comfy

I will make a third tupper wear jobbie for my feral cat in the yard
too. That should hold em through winter, LOL.

Okay off now. Just wanted to share that they are using the
shelters AND that I have seen 12 of my orginial 22. 6 pretty
consistent, the rest on and off - meaning the others may still
be out there roaming somewhere OR just hiding and not coming out.

Cheers to all, keep you posted on my progress
post #11 of 19
If there are predators about and the cats don't have a safe place away from them, they will find a new place to live.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes, Mom of Many I know that predators will scare them away.
But, what can I do? They have no other good places to
eat undisturbed. I can TRY to see if management will feed next to
the Hall, but I am VERY reluctant to do that. I'd rather co opt
a kitchen workers... and the more people in on it, the hard
to care for them it becomes...

Sigh. I'm working on it. Give me time please. And vibes for success..

One day at a time I say.

Anyone else with suggestions though, I'd love to have you give input.
If you've done this before?

I can't move the ferals - cats from the houses over the hill will move
back in anyway. Maybe I should give up? I'm pretty depressed by it all, I have to say.

But I've got faith. These are smart cats and can go down the drains
if needed...
post #13 of 19
It sounds discouraging after all your work providing food stations and shelters to possibly have it disturbed by predators. I'd be crying too.

It was a little funny to me when the raccoon or possum came by, but they are not the danger to cats that a fox or coyote would be.

You are stronger and braver and smarter than you think you are and you will find a way. Your cats are also smart and want to survive.

Take care sweetie sending you all the best prayers and good wishes I can.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for words of encouragement. I have NOT seen the fox again or
the coyote - which ever it was. I HAVE seen 14 cats, back to their
usually mad dashing round, when they hear my car pull up! Yayyy!!!

I note they disappear into safety quickly - the shelter boxes ARE in use, so
the fox/coyote probably wasn't chasing them into sewers, under the shed or
anywhere near the shelter boxes, but was probably catching them out in the open somewhere...

Heartwarmingly, the day I went in daylight - one grey white cat went back to get KITTENS from their hidey spot - they were about 4 months old. She was giving them the "all clear" come eat signal... :

I have about 4 missing - 1 I know died because I buried her
The other 3 I don't know. They might have been taken in or something...

I do have 2 of these ferals from the colony at home, beautiful and friendly love bug Grey Goose (part Main Coon to judge by tail and ruff and shape of head), and Laphrogie the Lavender/Blue tabby. I also currentl have my Dewey (not feral, donated to me by neighbor who could keep a 5 week old kitten GRRRR), and my Titi who are both 5 months.

Dewey has sneezing we are trying to cure then will go to AAWL.
for adoption. I will carefully follow his future, and will pray he
get a QUICK adoption. He is such a handful but loving cat - he
will make a special cat friend to someone. He's one of a kind, LOL.

I am PRAYING Siamese Rescue takes Titi, please send vibes and prayers. Titi is a DELIGHT. YOu would NEVER know he was from feral colony - he's become so laid back and loving...and playful!!

So, that's my update. I have shelter boxes, and 3 snuggle disks to swap out so there's always one shelter with heat. These babies are SET for rain, for snow and cold. And it shows, because MORE are STICKING round in the evenings. Despite the fox/coyote. I think they are tucking up in the sewers, eating before its really dark, sheltering in shelters while waiting for me, then
going off to do their thing after dinner - or reach a "safe" place where coyote can't/doesn't go...

Anyway, send vibes for their safety! We are definitely making progress. Only 5 need fixing now. Just 5 to TNR! Now, if only I could catch those buggers...
post #15 of 19
Bless your heart.

I just got finished reading this thread and I am so happy to hear about all the work you are putting into these kitties. I am sure they really appreciate you and everything you do for them. I'm sorry to hear about the 3 that are still missing and the one that passed. Glad to hear you have had sight of the others!

MANY, MANY your way!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Update all. I now have 14 cats coming at twilight. They mostly are
gone by 9/10. Then I am down to 9 cats I "see". I suspect that
the 8 / 9 are using those shelters I put out! Yayyyy!! The others
are traveling somewhere. After I feed, they disappear and stay
safe somewhere. I hope.

They dash madly when they hear my car, tails up and ready to
greet me. Seems their fear has faded some. I leave them food,
count them, put snuggle disks in the 3 large shelter boxes, and
give the ones that let me, pets.

I think I have 5 left to trap, and tho not doing so this weekend, will trap NEXT Saturday. Please, please all, send prayers and vibes I get 3 trapped!

That will go a LOONG way to finishing up the project!!

And then I'm on maintence for winter, with a push in spring for
management buy in

Wishing myself luck there...

Thanks again to Katie and others for words of support. Sometimes this job I've elected to do is heartbreaking. I lose them to cars, to predators.

But NOW - I've got shelters, and food, and most of them fixed. (Less roaming). Sooo, I'm significantly AHEAD of the game!

I am still planning to build a drop trap (vibes please BF has to do this fr me),
and use it this winter. I am also still planing to upgrade shelters after
winter is passed. I just have limited time and attention to give, so I'm
spreading it out.

For now, the immediate concerns are addressed, and we will go from

Hugs to all out there...

and Katie - I would keep trying on the shelters for your ferals.

Go to OTHER counties where they've done something like what you propose.
Stress the benefitis to the RESIDENTS that the cats give ... company, freindship and so forth... Talk to Best Friends animal advocy group (found on the internet).

Possibly they would help you with verbiage, with process and go with you as an ADVOCATE. Just keep trying till you find the one person who can help you.

I'll send you vibes and prayers...
post #17 of 19

I am dealing with the same thing.  I have never had this happen and can't figure out.  Feeding 5 neutered ferals 2 xs a day for 5 months.  ^ days ago only 2 and then 0.  Since then 0.  Right before they vanished they seemed to have lost interest in canned food which was they had preferred.  I am so confused.  No other neighbors feed them and they are just gone...vanished

post #18 of 19

I have never had a feral go in an igloo....but I built wooden boxes with two openings and I put a heating fan blowing in it.  Cats love it.  I now have several of these stacked on top of each other.  Cats in all of them.  Key is two openings.

post #19 of 19

@Elizabethmoir  this thread is about 10 years old. :)  It's still good to add information, though.


If anyone can help Elizabeth with her own problem, please answer in her thread about it here.

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