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Feral Cat - Won't Eat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi - I have just trapped a feral cat who appears to be pregnant, and I've put her into a quiet room at the back of my house with litter, places to hide, and food. I've been feeding her for months and have already trapped her only surviving kitten from her last litter (and the kitten is now spayed).

My plan is to have her deliver the next litter then find homes for her kittens; then spay the mom and keep her indoors.

I'm worried because I've never trapped an adult feral before and it's been almost 48 hours - she hasn't moved from under the couch and hasn't eaten or used the litter box. I've put down fresh wet and dry food, as well as a little bit of canned tuna to tempt her, but she won't touch it.

Any suggestions? Surely she cannot go on much longer without eating? I'm getting worried.
post #2 of 6
Our Annabelle was a semi-feral.
It was about 2 days or so before she ate anything or used the litter box.

I don't know this for sure, but I think it was just because she was scared because I took her from the only home ( outside ) that she'd ever known and brought her into an envirment that was completly new and different to her.

But, if she doesn't eat within the next little while I think I'd call the Vet and get his/her advice.

Good luck and bless you for taking her in.
post #3 of 6
I've trapped hundreds of ferals in the last 15 years. It's very rare for them to eat much, if anything, the first 2 days. Sometimes it's 3 days. I'd say probably 80% of the females I've caught were pregnant, but I trap at night and have gotten every one of the spayed or neutered the very next morning.

{ I do that mostly because I'm never sure if I'm going to have to release them soon. My goal, unlike many who trap a lot of cats, is to tame them, rather than to release. But, I'm often doing it with no help, so when I have large colonies of more than 20, I end up having to release some. }

Since none of mine continue being pregnant for more than 24 hours, I can't say I've been in the EXACT same situation, but I also know that it takes more than 24 hours after an abortion for all the hormones to change, so they should be just as hungry as if they're still pregnant.

The amt. of fear that ferals have at the beginning, though, is tremendous. Give her time. And since you're letting her have the kittens, make sure you're giving her a quiet space, too. The more threatened she feels, the less likely she is to eat.
post #4 of 6
One other thing I just thought about: have you figured out how you're going to access the kittens to make sure they don't grow up feral? I guarantee she's not going to allow you to pick them up. I'd think she wouldn't even consider letting a human near them until she gets to the point of being tired of about 6-8 weeks.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouraging words everyone.

And I didn't know that the mom cat wouldn't let me near her kittens - that is a concern because I would like to be able to adopt out her kittens. I didn't realize she would be so concerned.

I am learning a lot... quickly!
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by TNT View Post
I guarantee she's not going to allow you to pick them up.
That's not always true. I've been able to handle kittens from feral moms when fairly young (sometimes days old). You don't always know how they will respond to you.

If you have been her caregiver for months, she might have some degree of trust in you. Keep feeding her at the same time every day. When in the room with her, get on her level, don't make eye contact, and read a book out loud to her. Regain the trust you had with her when you were feeding her, and she could very easily allow you to handle her kittens.

For litter: have you put either dirt in the box or tried Cat Attract litter (it smells very earthy)? A smell from the outside might help calm her down.
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