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pregnant stray living in my garage!

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone I'm new to the forum.
I joined because I need advise on a preagnant feral cat living in my garage (at least i think it's living there, after about 10pm every time i go into the garage it runs out.)
I have tried to interact with the feral cat (preggers iv nicknamed her). She quite often strolls across my back garden so i left a bowl of tuna at the very bottom of it and when i saw it eating the tune i walked down very slowly to see what way it would react. It let me get within about 7 yards of it and then ran and sat on the opposite wall. After about 10 minutes i was able to sit on the while about 30cm away from her while she ate out of the bowl which i thought was very good. Also when i tried to pet her head she immediately jumped about 2m away but did not hiss or scratch, Is this definately a feral cat?
Anyway I've had a stray cat have kittens in my garage before behind a snooker table propped up against the wall so i decide to put some blankets beneath it and the box that collects the grass off my lawnmower, with a blanket in it and a blanket over the top of it at the end in the hope that she would settle and have her kittens there.
There is a hole in the back door of my garage which i'm hoping that she will use to get in and out of the garage while the main door is shut. I'm like half a tin of cat food beside the hole every morning and night and it is always being eaten. The problem is i don't know whether its definately Preggers that's eating it as theres a white cat owned buy my neighbours who i hav caught trying to approach the food andI've scared it away hoping that it will learn not to come back. Is there any advise anyone can give me for caring for this feral cat and making the garage a nicer home and insuring that only Preggers is eating the food?

P.S should i be giving Preggers milk or water?

All help much appreciated!

PPS i wanted to post pics but it says 'you may not post attachments' anyone know why??
post #2 of 95
How sure are you that she's pregnant? What do you plan to do if she deliveres kittens in your garage?

Here's what I'd do... catch her in the garage in you can and confine her there until she delivers. If she comes to trust you I'd even consider bringing them inside if not, then care for them in the garage. Once she's delivered I'd call a vet to have her spayed even if that means trapping her. Then try to find loving homes for her and her kittens once they are old enough to be weened.

Option 2: Trap her and take her to a vet NOW to have her spayed and likely abort the kittens.

Option 3: Trap her and turn her in to a shelter.
post #3 of 95
Thread Starter 
She's just massive and her belly's round. If she has kittens in my garage then I'll let them live there and take out food every day and after about 6-8 weeks take one of the kittens and care for it, find home for the others ( my brothers girlfriend and my cousins) and then see what preggers does. If she keeps coming back and getting more tame then I'll adopt her too, take her and her kitten to the vet and all that.
So do you think i should try to keep her in my garage? The only problem is the washing machine and freezer are out there so people are going in and out so she could just run out every time someone opens the door.
post #4 of 95
I hope it kittens and not worms. I like your plan with a few exceptions... please, try to trap her (after she's had the kittens) and get her spayed even if you just let her back out. Also, if you do decide to keep a kitten I'd give them more than 8 weeks with mom if possible. The reason I suggest keeping her to the garage (if you can) is so that you know the kittens are being born is a "safe" place, it'll also keep her from having them there and moving them later, it will probably make getting her to trust you easier and it will probably make catching/trapping her and the kittens if necessary much eaiser.
post #5 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yeh i would like to have her in the garage constanly but i mean the main garage door is what we use to get in and out is massive and she could could just slip past you when you're opening it. The only thing i could think of would be a cage inside the garage but i wouldn't feel right about doing that. Any suggestions about what way to try and keep her safe and healthy?

Also is there any way of telling whether she's pregnant or she just has worms without actually capturing her?
post #6 of 95
Short of not using your garage for a lenght of time I can't think of a way to keep her in and still use the garage. I think at this point your doing all you can by providing her a place to get out of the weather and food/water. You might try setting up a nursery of sorts. If you have or can get a storage tub and cut a hole in it's side high enough for Preggers to get in and out but not so if she delivers there the kittens will fall out. Line it with old towels/blankets/sheets and hope she uses it.

As for telling she she's pregnant with out touching her I have no idea.
post #7 of 95
Thread Starter 
Ok i tried to trap her and it didn't work but it really scared her i think and she sprinted away across the street! Do you think I've scared her away for good anyone? Also should i be giving her milk or water?
post #8 of 95
If your feeding her and she has shelter with you I doubt she'll stay gone for long. Water! Cows milk isn't good for cats and will upset her stomach. Although, if you want to "spoil" her a bit you could give her kitten food. The extra calories will be good for her if she is pregnant.
post #9 of 95
She'll be back, if theres food she'll be back.

She should have water at all times to drink, and dry cat food.

Get her a bowl for dry food, and another for canned food.

Cats love tuna, but canned food and dry cat food is healthier.

Also, if your going to eventually try trapping her, tuna is the thing to try using. If your giving that to her each day she wont be very eager to go in a trap with the tuna then, because it's nothing special.

So stop with the tuna and switch to canned food if you can. Friskies or 9 lives is just fine. Feed whats in your budget, if you can only feed one type, dry food is the way to go, they'll put on more weight with dry food than canned food, but they love canned food too!

My garage is sort of like yours, I use it alot, but it also has lots of junk inside. I could never keep a cat loose in it, chances of it getting hurt or trapped are very great and escaping when I open the door.

If I trap any cats to get them fixed I keep them in my garage in the largest dog crate on the market I found. It's great for 1 cat, but a mother and small litter also would do well. Only problem is if you need to change the blankets/litter/food they have a chance to escape if given the opportunity. If it's cold you can cover the crate at night with some large towels to keep out drafts, and have towels inside the crate lined with newspaper on the bottom.

I have also trapped a litter of kittens who were with their mother outside, but were old enough to be away from her. Sometimes it's not easy, because the mother may realize the trap is not normally there, and call her kittens away from it. You would need to have the trap in your garage each day so they get used to seeing it. If you can prop it open so they can go in but not be trapped that is great, even put some food in there each day so mom can be used to going in.

Once the kittens are old enough to be trapped, they must also be used to the trap. They are the easiest to catch because they never would see the trap as a bad thing, and probably go right in. The hard part is if lets say you have 3 kittens, and you catch 2 and the 3rd see's this, it MAY be too smart to go in the trap again and may avoid it from then on. But usually after a day or two of not trying to trap it they go back in.

If you do catch them and the mom, they need to be fixed they'll be happier and healthier.

It's great you may consider finding homes for them all, we need more people like that!

If you have any questions PM me.
post #10 of 95
If you keep putting the food out, she'll most likely be back.

Most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, so water is best. As long as you're buying cat food for her, it'd be a good idea to buy kitten food for her. It has a higher protein content, and if she is pregnant, then she'll need this now.

I don't know just how much you want to help this little lady - but if you get her to the vet and it turns out she is preggers and not just full of worms, and you decide not to spay her (and abort the kittens), depending upon how far along the vet says she is, you may want to bring her inside your home - if you've got a room you can close her in. Most strays, if they're in the last week or so, are happy to make a nest if given a place to do it.

If you decide to bring her in, we've got advice for that too. Otherwise she and you will just have to take her chances in your garage - if that's where she decides to make her nest. It may be too busy a place for her to feel safe with her kittens.

One thing is for sure - if she is pregnant, you don't bring her in, and she doesn't make the nest in your garage, do NOT go looking for the nest. This usually just results in mom cat moving everyone. If you keep putting the food out, she will bring the kittens to you.

Also, most adoption agencies like to take the kittens at 8 or 10 weeks, not 6 or 8. But so you can make an informed decision, moms usually teach kittens the skills they need until they're about 12 weeks old. Cats are left with their moms this long usually have better social skills, litter box habits, etc. This is why it's actually best to bring her in - then the kittens are raised in an environment with people, and they learn what they need from mom, but they're also better socialized to people, and it's easier on them and people adopting them when they go to new homes. They'll still be scared, and we have tips for that too.

Just let us know what info you need, and feel free to keep asking questions!

OH - as to posting pics - I don't upload them through the site, so I'm not familiar with that message. Maybe you have to have a certain number of posts or something before it lets you?

What I do is I opened a (free) account/photo album at http://www.photobucket.com. I upload my pictures there. Once they're in the album there, they provide a list of links to the location of each picture. When you post here, if you copy the IMG Code line and paste that in here, once you submit the post, the picture appears as a picture.

post #11 of 95
Thank you so much Keith & Laurie! I don't deal with feral/strays often and I know you both have much better advice than I probably do.

I completly forgot about pictures! Yes, the reason you can't post as an attachement is your "status" as a new cat. You need to have a certain number of posts and time as a member to do that. If you have a free image hosting account you can post using that like Laurie said.
post #12 of 95
LDG is right that if you can keep her in your house in a small room, at least you'll know where the kittens are and they will get used to being with people better than if in the wild.

Plus, if they become friendly, that will eliminate the stress of trapping!

I've never had a pregnant cat in my house so I dont know how to care for one, but there is a section on pregnant cats and there you can find out how to care for a pregnant cat and kittens in your house if you decide to go that route.

But please make sure if you do that the cats wont be exposed to other pets, or be in a room you need to use.
post #13 of 95
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Thank you so much Keith & Laurie! I don't deal with feral/strays often and I know you both have much better advice than I probably do.
What blush? If you hadn't spilled the beans, who would know you don't have as much experience? It's great advice! The more the merrier!

post #14 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for all the great advise guys I've learned so much since i joined here yesterday! I'm definately not allowed to bring preggers into the house because the parents say it will go to the toilet everywhere which is probably true.
I left food out for Preggers last night after I'd tried to trap her and i looked out of the window to see if she was eating it and a white cat had eaten all the food and was lying on a cusion beside the bowls! I opened the window and hissed at it and it ran off. I put more food out and sat watching it and the white cat came back and i hissed it away again. I waited about another 45 mins but it didn't come back. That's the second time the white cat has eaten the food and its owned by someone im sure of it because it's really tame!
I'm not sure if Preggers is definatley a stray either. She let me get within a foot of her while she ate her dinner which i thought was strange. Maybe she just sensed that there was no danger or something i dunno.

LDG thanks very much for the info on photobucket, here are some pictures of the garage, tell me what you think.
Thanks, Robert.

post #15 of 95
Thread Starter 
Picture number 1 is the Preggers' house/bed.

Picture 2 is the back entrance to the garage.

Picture 3 is the entrance to Preggers home/bed ( A door and an old snooker table propped against a wall.
post #16 of 95
Actually, cats are quite particular about where they go potty. If you were to bring her in and confine her to a large dog crate or small room with a littler box I'd giver her a 90% probability of using the box. But being that you live with your parents it really is up to them.

Her little corner looks quite cozy and probably way better than anywhere my MIL's barn cat births. I hope she'll use it when she's ready to deliver.
post #17 of 95
Glad you got the pics!

Sending vibes your stray comes back.

Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Actually, cats are quite particular about where they go potty. If you were to bring her in and confine her to a large dog crate or small room with a littler box I'd giver her a 90% probability of using the box. But being that you live with your parents it really is up to them.
Couldn't have put it better.

Her little corner does look quite cozy I'm not sure - it looks like there's another way out the back? I really don't know what "requirements" mom cats have for nesting dens, because we've always only dealt with ferals and I've never seen where they make their nests. I do know that ferals (for the most part) won't use winter shelters unless they've got more than one entrance. (Couldn't figure out the first few weeks why none in the colony would use the shelters we put up). On the other hand - mom cats may want a place kittens can't easily escape without her knowing, especially when she rolls to eat. So I just don't know.

I would consider posting in the Pregnant cats' forum! I don't know how many there are up on strays, but they may have better ideas.

post #18 of 95
Thread Starter 
Rightyo Laurie thanks for the help. I'm still wondering is this definately a stray?! She let me get within a foot of her while she ate!
Also this white cat from next door is becoming a pain, she keeps sneaking in and eating the food, i suppose it's just in her nature but it's not fair on wee Preggers!
Any ideas on how to stop her?
Thanks for the help, Robert.
post #19 of 95
The white cat may just be another stray. I have a few strays who let me pet them and brush them, and I know 100% they arent anybody's pet, they are just really friendly! Yours may have been abandoned or fed by another person earlier before in it's life, and they decided to stop feeding it so it found your house with food, they have good noses!

Most likely they both will be back, cats will come early in the morning too between 12-4 AM so it may come by each night and you wont even know it.

If you REALLY think the white cat is somebody's pet, you could ask around or see if you can follow the cat and see where it goes?
post #20 of 95
Yeah - she's definitely a stray. Feral cats if pregnant sometimes become pretty friendly, recognizing by instinct I guess, a friend when in need. But it's unusual. The feral mom would let her kittens hang out with us - but she wouldn't even eat if we were around, let alone come anywhere near us.

I'd take a picture of the white cat - maybe even the other stray - print up a few and post them around with your phone number. They both may turn out to be someone else's cats! You can let those people know that their cats are hungry and need attention. ....and need to be spayed or neutered so they don't keep having unwanted kittens - or so they can't get females pregnant (we don't know if the white cat is male or female).

post #21 of 95
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help everyone, I've set up a better trap and I'm going to try and trap the white cat as well as Preggers. If I'm trying to attract the cats to my garage should i have the light on, off, or a small lamp beside the food? I need to be able to see when a cat's there so that i can pull the string and the trap falls.
All help apreciated, Robert.
post #22 of 95
A muted low light would work best.

Quick question if you don't mind my asking - what's the plan? Sounds like you're planning a trip to the vet?

post #23 of 95
Thread Starter 
Yep once i catch it i'll take it to the vet to get checked out for worms or anything, and also buy quite a big dog cage for my garage and put it beside the boiler which should give it some heat. I've been sitting watching the trap from the window for about 3 hours and no cat has come! I'm starting to think that i did scare it off last night with the failed atempt at a trap, Robert.
post #24 of 95
I assume your using a drop trap? If you have a have-a-heart trap that is easier because you dont need to look when the cat will go in, it closes automatically. But you need to check every couple of hours if you catch the cat.

Usually when a cat is fixed it gets vaccinated against rabies and, well forgot the other thing.

But there is other things cats can pick up, like aids or leukemia. Now for a stray you may not be keeping, tests for those 2 things are expensive, but if anyone will eventually be adopting these cats, they'll need to be tested for those.

A fecal sample can be taken by the vet to see if the cat has any internal parasites,like worms. If they do they have de-wormers for that.

Also, if the vet can give the cat something to get rid of fleas (like frontline), that is also good.

Again, just fixing the cats and getting the 2 main vaccines is most important, if there not pregnant.

Females who get spayed need to be caged at least 3 to 4 days after surgery, they take longer to heal. Males about a day after. But you need to watch for any signs of a bad reaction from the anesthesia, you can ask a vet what to look for after you get a cat fixed and when to feed them after.

In the cage you should have a food/water dish, cage lined with newspaper and towels for extra comfort, and a litterbox (not filled with the clumping grain litter, get non-clumping litter,preferably unscented.)

You could even put a catnip toy in if you want.

If it's cold cover the cage at night with a few towels, but make sure the cat has some air.
post #25 of 95
Thread Starter 
Ok thanks for the help everyone, here is a 'diagram' of my very basic trap, tell me what you think if you can even make sense of it.

When the cat goes inside the upside down box to eat the food, i pull the string causing the stick to move and the box to fall!

post #26 of 95
Cats a very smart. Since you tried to trap her just a day or two ago she probably "knows" what your up to now. If you can contact a local shelter and ask if they have a humane trap you could rent or borrow for a day. I'd also wait a few days before tying again... this will give her time to let her guard down again.

This is a hav-a-heart trap Basically, you bait the back end of the trap and when the cat walks in it trips a switch that drops the door. The bait is far enough away that they can't run out before the door falls.
post #27 of 95
You know, these are good ideas. I'd give her a few days of food before trying to trap her again. I hope whitey cat is leaving enough food for the other stray and that she'll be back!

....you may also want to have the drop trap set up, put the food in there, and give that a couple of days before actually pulling the string. Giving her the sense of safety eating under the box might help too.

post #28 of 95
HOnestly, I think if you can get your hands on a humane trap, you will have an easier time. She will be scared enough. It will be easier to "collect" her in a metal wire humane trap and take her to the vet or transfer her to a carrier.

And it can be disguised a bit by putting a tarp or a towel or blanket over it.
post #29 of 95
Thread Starter 
Right i got Pregers in the box last night but she escaped into my garage and when i went back in today there was no sign of her so she must have got out somehow :S.
It was really difficult to try and get her from the box into a pen that i'd made her, it was then that she escaped.
I hope she comes back but i wouldn't be surprised if she didn't .
post #30 of 95
Keep the food out and I bet she will. Particularly if your the only one in the neighborhood feeding which I suspect you are since the white cat keeps coming back too. I wondered how you were going to handle moving her from your trap. Does your pen have 6 sides? or just 4? If there is any way to squeze or jump out she'll find it and cats can squeeze through some pretty tiny openings.

I want to thank you for continuing to try to hard to help this kitty. I hope she realizes that your only trying to help and comes back.
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