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Feral advice

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been feeding the neighborhood cats. I don't know how many there are, but there are only 5 that I see daily. They are feral, and we can't get within 20 feet of them or they bolt back into the abandoned house that they appear to live in. Nobody wants to take these cats to a shelter as there aren't any no-kills around and they'll surely be euthanized. I found a place about 30 minutes from here that will do speutering for $20, and while I don't have $100 right now, I think 2 neighbors will pitch in. I was going to call the Michigan Humane Society to see about borrowing live traps. My question is mostly about what you would do about kittens. It appears as though at least one is pregnant. She's not really wide, but her belly is low. If any are pregnant, should they be aborted? I live in a one bedroom apartment with 2 cats already, so I couldn't keep a feral cat in my house and I wouldn't want her having them outside either. I was also planning to get DH and go breaking into that house their living in to look for any kittens. What if I find some? Should I take them from their mom? I just don't know what to do.
post #2 of 9
Thank you for caring! I care for 12 ferals in a colony - started with 20 but lost 4, and still have 2 out there I haven't seen in a bit..

Anway, I recently caught (2) females - almost the last of the cats I needed to do... and both came up preggers. One was far along, and the vet did C section but did not abort. Those kittens died, because they were 3 weeks premie!! I wanted the vet to abort them, but she could not/would not.

The other kit was 4 weeks along, and her kittens were aborted.

Both cats are fine, only (1) kitten is still survining from the preemies.

It needed intensive care, and only through the grace of a cat rescue did it make it.

So, my advice is GET a KITTY ABORT. The kittens will never be born, and unless you've got someone to raise them and socialize and provide shelter for mama cat while she nurses, you should do the abort.

OTH if someone is willing and able to take mom and let her have the kittens and THEN nurse them then let mama have her babies.

I bless you for the urge to get them fixed however, this is the best
thing for them. YOu may find after catching they are quite tame
having been abanonded there...

If so, consider having them rehomed...

PM if you want tips on TNR or other advice, I am happy to help anyone
with such a worthy goal.
post #3 of 9
IMO it doesn't make sense to kill them now just because they may be euthanized down the road. I say let them have their babies, and then spay/neuter. Again, just my opinion. . .
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by theallis5 View Post
IMO it doesn't make sense to kill them now just because they may be euthanized down the road. I say let them have their babies, and then spay/neuter. Again, just my opinion. . .

My concern is about catching the babies outside. First of all, they're living in an abandoned house that I would need to break into and that's if I can find the kittens in there at all. I can't take any of the moms in. (That's the only reason I would abort if necessary, because if I had the space, I'd take them in and let them have the kittens here.) And also, if I do find kittens when I get up the courage to venture into that house, should I kitnap them from their moms and hand raise them? Leave them with the mom?
post #5 of 9
Although I do not live in the US, I would not go in an abandoned house hunting for kittens. It is dangerous.
Quite a few of the cats I've TNR'd have been and are still living in abandoned houses and empty lots. Although it is always better to get as many as possible, common sense dictates also to be careful. I usually start with the ones I am familiar with and then work slowly to get the "unseen". The pregnant ones do have abortions. The advance pregnancies are allowed to continue and kittens remain with mom until they are old enough to get fixed. At this point I'm lucky that the cats know me so I haven't had any problems with catching the young ones.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by yayi View Post
Although I do not live in the US, I would not go in an abandoned house hunting for kittens. It is dangerous.

I know that going into abandoned buildings is dangerous. I live in inner city Detroit, and DH is a fine art photographer so we go on "urban exploration" walks through abandoned buildings and dangerous neighborhoods. It doesn't make it totally safe still, but we go with a group and people not with us know where we are and when we expect to be home. I would do the same thing if I went in looking for kittens
post #7 of 9
Chances are that when you went into the house, the kittens, if old enough, will scatter. Feral kittens are very good at hiding. You probably won't have success at doing that.

I used to believe in allowing the feral mom to deliver her babies, find them homes and have the mom spayed. The problem with that approach is that more often than not, the mother will disappear once her kittens are weaned and you have lost your opportunity to spay her. And you take on the responsibility of finding good homes for a litter of kittens, which you might need to socialize before adopting them out. I don't regret this, as my entire household came to me this way (all 11 of them). After many years of doing this, I finally started to spay, no questions asked. I haven't had any new kittens in 5 years.

It's a tough choice to make. I suggest that you find a no-kill rescue group to help you. If they can't place the adults, at least they might help you place any kittens that you find.
post #8 of 9
Also, you might try posting in different areas of Michigan on craigslist. I'm from MI, relocated to NY, and I know that things are different in the more rural communities than in inner-city Detroit. You could post for the 2 mamas, see if anyone can take care of them. If I was coming over for a visit anytime soon, I'd bring them home with me. Surely someone can help.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
If I waited until June we'll be going home for 4 months. The in-laws have a room in the back of a barn that would work out if worse comes to worse I guess. The only problem is, there has yet to be a summer gone by I haven't found stray kittens up there!!
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