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Young Stray - in HOT desert, Need to Catch

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
have no clue as how to do this, been reading other posts which are really helpful!!!
Here's my "story"....

I live in the HOT desert of California - been over 100 - and the last couple of days 115 degrees -- (Palm Springs area)

A Gray stray has been wondering around - I have never trapped a cat, nor have a clue of even where or how to start.

I've learned that his/her schedule of coming around my house is about 8 P.M. each evening - think it started with visiting my inside cats. I knew he was around because my Simon went crazy - he is so sensitive!

He's been here almost 8 pm on the dot, so I know when to put out the food.

Food doesn't last long - between the crickets, and the ants I have a real fight on my hands making sure the cat has food when he comes to eat.

I started feeding him the remaining Natural Balance that we have - dry. Can't feed my Kids that anymore - so, having this extra food was really great.

I think he may be becoming dehydrated, and considering putting out some wet food tonight - ???, but concerned that the heat will cause bacteria problems?? if he doesn't come and eat it soon after I put it out.

He's been talking to me, and not running so far away now when I come out to feed him ... but last night I think I overdid my "welcome" - I tried to get closer to him when I went out to give him more food - I think his meow was more of a "please don't come here" ... and when he left he didn't come back, I felt just horrible and cried that I may have deprived him of his only food for the day by trying to rush things along.

When I was able to get closer to him, he wasn't looking as strong as the first couple of days.

I did manage to put up several motes of water around his food. Yet, by the time I went to bed, around 12 a.m., he hadn't come back.

This morning I checked the dish, and all the food was gone, so I'm feeling just a little better.

I don't have any cat-catching skills, and just plain naïve about this whole thing ...
1. I have 3 inside cats - and haven't given them shots except for their first sets - so, I know I have to be very careful about exposing them to something.
2. I have 3 cats - and after seeing the news stories about cat hoarders, guess they take in more than they can care for - read the Wikipedia on that one ... anyway - I don't want to take him to a place where they will kill him, either ---
3. I have 3 cats - but, I can't just stand by and let this one die, either.
4. ... he may even be lost, and have a chip?, or maybe his caregivers left because of the hot weather and forgot to take care of the cat or couldn't find him and had to leave - nah - that would be just too cruel!

I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Today is Saturday, so even if I can persuade him into a cat carrier I'd have to try and find a place to put him inside - which will bring on another whole list of problems - did I tell you I have 3 inside cats?

I have one of my cat carriers outside - I'll remember to put paper inside of it as someone in the forum suggested, and I have a large towel so if I can get my hands on him I'll wrap him up in it to try and not get scratched or bitten ... maybe I'll be able to get him into the carrier.

So, where am I doing wrong here ?

What should I begin -or- stop doing?

What's your wisdom for me?

Does anyone have a clue of what the cat might be doing during the heat of the day? The nights get down to around 80+, so he's not getting any relief.

Our SPCA is charging $20 to rent traps for 5 days, is that reasonable? I saw traps on the Net for under $50 - ?

If you have any specific help for me, I'm very grateful - meanwhile, I keep browsing our Library.
post #2 of 2
I'd say you need to rent a trap, the metal one where the door is sprung when he goes in. You could try putting canned food in a small bowl in the trap a few minutes before the cat shows, adding cool water to the food and stirring it may add some time so it wont spoil, but once it's night that shouldnt be a problem.
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