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Help Please

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've rescued and adopted 3 strays/ferals in the last couple of years. Also I've been feeding a beautiful black and white tuxedo feral cat for 2 years or so. I've named him Oreo and he knows his name. I've gradually gained a bit of his trust - tempting him with good food, treats, tuna juice, etc. He's come into the house a couple of times and looked around but is still VERY AFRAID.

The last day or two he's started wandering around the outside of my house and crying/howling. He seems reasonably well/not obviously injured. He had some bad injury (cat fight maybe?) about 3 weeks ago and looked awful. But he wouldn't let me treat him or touch him. He seems to have healed fairly well.

My question is about the crying/howling. Any idea what this means? Is it a territorial thing? There are other cats outside sometimes - other people's pets I think and they let them roam at night. - who try to eat his food (I leave it on the patio at night). Any other ideas what his crying/howling means? It was so loud it woke me up from a sound sleep last night.
post #2 of 6
Crying and howling could mean any number of things, I guess. I have no idea what it could mean in this particular case, though the sappy part of me wants to say that after two years of "courtship" he's asking you if he could now live with you inside! Do you have any more room for him?
post #3 of 6
Is he neutered?

If not, the howling is either warning another male not to come in his territory or he will fight that other male, or during mating season, the howling is him advertising himself to the females that he is strong and a good choice as a mate.

I would get him fixed because he will continue to fight other males and breed and spray the area creating a bad smell.

Also, fighting males are prone to catching illnesses more from fighting, if lets say he fought and Aids positive male and got scratched and it drew blood, there is a good chance he will become positive for aids. Usually at feral/stray spay/neuter clinics they vaccinate for free against rabies.

Neutered males fight alot less and are less aggressive, and often after not at all!

Being he comes inside your house is excellent, that takes alot of trust in itself! Be patient he'll eventually come around, especially if he is neutered.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies.

RobertM, I would like to think he's asking if he could live inside. But he doesn't howl at the door, on the patio or where I can see him. Usually it's on the far sides of the house where I really can't see him. I'm not sure I have room for him - I also have a 4th cat that I already had when I got the 3 others and some of the ones I have don't get along. I live in a small townhouse. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) thinks I have too many cats for the amount of space I have. I'm more than a little overwhelmed by the cat hair too.

KeithP, I don't think he's neutered. And it's probably a warning about his territory or I think it is mating season and he might be looking for a female. Certainly I will get him fixed as soon as I can. Trapping him right now would be a really bad thing - I'm so much closer in the last few months to getting his trust. I think I just need to keep being patient.

Thanks again.
post #5 of 6
I think KeithP is right - it was my first thought too. It is February, the time when all male cats are strutting their stuff. Try and get him in to be be done, and keep a look out for any other male that he may be warning off.
post #6 of 6
If you didn't neuter him, then given his behavior, I'd have to say he's not neutered, and there are females in heat around.

I would call around to local shelters and vets to find a trap you can borrow and get him neutered - or he will be fathering homeless kitties and possibly turning up badly damaged in a fight. Or not returning at all.

A good place to search is here: http://www.pets911.com/organizations/organizations.php

....and at the same site, a good place to search for low-cost spay/neuter: http://www.pets911.com/services/spay.../locations.php

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