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completed first TNR...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
It wasnt that difficult - actually i bearly made it to my car before the first cat was trapped. The 2nd was more difficult ONLY because the stupid trap didnt work and i had to go back several times to fix it - it was funny because the cats did run away but not far at all - it was like they were waiting for me to fix the trap...

ANYWAY - i have one important question - i was given paperwork stating i should hold feral cats for at least 2 days. I was told by the organization im working with - to hold them for 24 hours. I just dont feel that is long enough. I was told they are too stressed - the cats didnt SEEM stressed - they just laid in the cage - which doesnt mean they arent - what do i know. I just worry that being they live in the woods that something could easily tear at their stitches....
what do you guys think???

THANKS!!!
post #2 of 21
Woohoo!! Congrats on your first TNR!! It's exciting, isn't it?? Thank you for helping them!

As for your question, I don't want to tell you to go against the group you're working with, don't want you to get in trouble... But I've worked with two groups, one said two days, one is saying three. Longer for females than males.

As long as you have your group's blessings, I say to go with your best judgement. You can see the cat and how (s)he is healing and acting...

Thank you again for helping!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
they definitely seemed very alert and they both took off when I let them out - but I just worry they werent healed yet. If they had been freaking out in the cage - thats one thing but they were just laying in there the entire 2 days I had them. I think next time I may hold them at least till the evening if not the next morning - unless they do show stress. Im just sitting here at work wondering if the stitches are still intact.
Actually though - its just the one cat im worried about - the other had already been neutered!!! - which is great to know - but the ear wasnt snipped so this could now be an ongoing situation with me taking cats JUST to get their ears done - which slows down the process of getting those cats in that NEED to be. My boss said she had a cat the vet said was already neutered and it was a mistake - it was just a scar!!! Im hoping thats not very common.

The other thing is and I did speak to someone about this already too - just double checking here. I went back 15 minutes later to feed all the cats and the 2 that I let go didnt show up. I was told they may go missing for a few days because of the stress and fear. Im just worried about them... Im trying not to get attached - but I actually did feel a little sad when I let them go (even though I see them everyday anyway). I know that will pass once i continue to do this - they were my first though.

thanks for your help. And YES i feel GREAT about this - it was a little stressful for me (only w/ carrying the heavy cages in the heat and having to go to work while taking them to and from their operations - but Im sure Ill get used to it - and its definitely worth that aggravation anyway.)
post #4 of 21
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

If we trap males and take them in the morning to the vet, we release them the following afternoon. If we drop them at night, they're there two nights and we release them the next morning. Of course, if it's foul weather outside, we leave them at the vet until the weather's better.

Females we leave for two days - again, depending upon weather.

We've had ferals we released that never showed up again. We've had some come back the same night for the regular feeding - and we've had them come back after a couple of days. You just never know, and have to hope for the best.

The emotional aspects of getting involved with the ferals can be a bummer sometimes. It's the problem with loving cats you have no control over. There's two things to do - come here for support! and just keep reminding yourself that you're doing the right thing. The kitties that are spayed and neutered will not only live happier, healthier lives (even if you don't see them again), you're helping to prevent LOTS more homeless cats.



Laurie
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

If we trap males and take them in the morning to the vet, we release them the following afternoon. If we drop them at night, they're there two nights and we release them the next morning. Of course, if it's foul weather outside, we leave them at the vet until the weather's better.

Females we leave for two days - again, depending upon weather.

We've had ferals we released that never showed up again. We've had some come back the same night for the regular feeding - and we've had them come back after a couple of days. You just never know, and have to hope for the best.

The emotional aspects of getting involved with the ferals can be a bummer sometimes. It's the problem with loving cats you have no control over. There's two things to do - come here for support! and just keep reminding yourself that you're doing the right thing. The kitties that are spayed and neutered will not only live happier, healthier lives (even if you don't see them again), you're helping to prevent LOTS more homeless cats.



Laurie


I understand loving them is hard. But at least you are there and care about them. I doubt many of them have experienced human kindness before.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
that actually leads me to my NEXT question. This morning I fed them and noticed that they didnt run as far as usual (for the last couple of days it was just one - who actually stands by the tray as I pour)

Thing is Im wondering are they now becoming human friendly or is it because I feed them? I just dont want them to now trust all humans... ya know??

Also the one cat I trapped did show up this morning. Thing is with 4 all black cats - i cant tell which is which - the ear marking is so freaking small - i would have to trap first then check.

Which now i realize I have yet another question - is it possible to keep already neutered cats from entering traps - or do I just have to let them get caught and then release until I catch those I want.

AND... I forgot to mention the maintenance man told me how his mother fed ferals for some time and one actually attacked her - she went to the hospital. Is this a rare occurrence - i mean no one else has warned me of this. But I do get a bit nervous when the one stands so close.

THANKS AGAIN!!!!
post #7 of 21
I'm so glad one of the kitties you trapped showed up. Our vet lops off quite a bit of the ear. Did you have them tatooed?

And no, there's no way to prevent already sterilized animals from entering the trap. That's one of the reasons for the ear-tipping - it's real easy to see right away to just release them from the trap.

And they're becoming friendly with you as they come to trust you - the food is helping that. Especially those that formerly lived with humans - they may come to be very friendly with you. They may even begin to trust other humans because of you. But they'll still bolt at the first thing that makes them nervous. And the ferals in the bunch will take longer - and they'll trust other humans less easily.

As to the maintenance man's mom - I don't know what the situation was. Any animal, if "cornered" - or perceives he's cornered - can attack. But to just attack in an open space out of the blue - if you're not reaching toward them or trying to catch them or touch them - I've never heard of it.

The one kitty stands close because he trusts you, not because he wants to hurt you.

Laurie
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
The place Im taking them just snips a "v" in the top of the ear. But its so small - i cant see it from as close as i can get to them at this point.

Yeah, I was assuming there was more to that story - he said she didnt do anything to provoke the cat - but it did worry me a bit.

I do find it sweet that the one cat comes close to me - is it ok to try to pet them???? Or is that when like you said - they may attack?

I just dont want to make these cats trust everyone - because then if they start hanging out in people's doorways - Ill have THAT to deal with. It sucks that I dont live in that building then I could always watch out for them - so moving them closer to mine is my hope eventually anyway.
post #9 of 21
Our vet takes off like the top third of the ear! He doesn't do the ear notch, because so often feral cats have tattered ears from fighting - and it can be really difficult to tell the difference between an ear notch and a small rip from a fight. I think our vet lops off too much of the top of the ear - but a nice, straight surgical slice cannot be mistaken for anything else.

Once you get them coming regularly for food, it won't be too difficult to move it closer and closer until it's where you want them to be.

As to pets - that's something I'd hold off on. It can be so hard not to just want to love all over them. But when socializing feral cats, the best thing to do is basically ignore them until they come to you. In this case, with outdoor kitties, avoiding any signs of aggression is really the best thing to do. In fact, you may not have received the advice not to look them directly in the eyes. Look at them on the forehead instead.

But once the kitty rubs on your legs, or headbumps you on the leg or foot, then it's OK to slowly reach down, palm down, and let them sniff your hand and give a tentative pet. If they're not ready, they'll skitter away.

We're caring for two feral boys that skitter when we walk toward them, come up to us when we put the food down - and want love and pets from us before eating. So we always leave, let them eat (we don't live in an apartment), then go outside when they're done for pets. They stick around to clean themselves afterwards. We're now able to brush them. They had Revolution applied, so they don't have fleas, but we're working on getting the ticks off of them. They're so friendly to us now, in fact, that I put my hand on the chest of one of them and put his front feet in my lap - and he crawled up into it! But the rustle of a stiff breeze will make them bolt. And if any other people go by - that's fine. But if they look like they're coming here, they bolt.

So I think your being friendly to them won't result in them hanging out on people's doorsteps. But if THOSE people are feeding them, that's a different story.

What you may do is find that some of them are strays, not ferals.

If you do end up petting them, go real slow with it. As I'm sure you know, cats can get overstimulated. Our indoor guys can now handle almost endless pets and brushes. But, for instance, Tuxedo (all of our indoor kitties are feral rescues) could stand exactly one pet on the cheek at first. Now, when he doesn't want any more pets, he either picks his paw up and puts it on the back of our hand, or he puts his mouth gently on our wrist. At first, he'd just swat at us. So if a kitty indicates he or she wants pets or is ready for them - just try one pet on the cheek at first. Stop - and if they bump you again, pet again. Just go real slow, and definitely pet less than you're sure they can take - you know what I mean? They may not know they're becoming over stimulated, and may not give you the polite message to stop.

Are you still in touch with animal control or a rescue group? If so, if you find you've got strays in your group (which is very, very likely), and they warm up quickly, you might want to find out if there's somewhere they can be fostered, or if any of the shelters give the kitties foster time - because friendly strays deserve to be adopted out, if possible.

You're doing SUCH a wonderful thing! And I'm so glad your first time round went so smoothly.

Laurie
post #10 of 21
I think the story about being attacked is missing some pertinent facts. She probably didn't understand the difference in a feral, semi feral and a stray. Ferals can seem friendly enough as they begin to trust you but still may not want to be touched.
I would just keep feeding and like Laurie said look for the strays in the group so that they can be rescued and homed. I also would not worry about the ferals liking others too much. Usually they get attached to their people only.
post #11 of 21
congratulations on the successful mission! every cat is different, a truly feral cat might come around to humans, while there are some housecats who never seem to like being around people. seems to me, if you try to pet one of your guys, he'll probably just run away if it spooks him. i do have a feral who's super touchy, she'll swat you if she thinks you're too near (even if you're just trying to refill the food bowl!) but most ferals I've seen will show their human-tolerance by the amount of distance they keep.

I sometimes wonder as well if we do them a disservice by getting them to trust humans, but i think most understand the difference between you and all those other humans. good luck!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks again for all hte info!!!

I just trapped again last night - these traps are annoying - they dont set off - and the cats just sit in there eating away... i dont know how to get them to press on the release bar.

Anyway - i still havent seen the one cat i trapped from last week and am wondering because I again brought in a cat that had already been neutered because of no ear clipping. Which is great as i said before (less kittens) - but annoying because its a waste of time and the poor cats have to be put under AGAIN. Since i dont know when these cats were neutered and given their shots - could getting their shots again possibly make them ill or even kill them????

I trust the organization im working with to know this and keep it in mind - but im just wondering about that...

tHANKS
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
the 2 cats i got last week and this week were both a male and female....

im keeping the females for 2 days from now on- but should i let hte males go the day before?? I was just wondering if the female would feel lonely - what do you guys think is best??

I know no one can know what they truly feel - but I dont want to keep a cat longer than i should but if another day is ok if it means keeping the other company - i would choose to do that

thanks!!
post #14 of 21
We hate the stress of the vet on these cats - but we prefer to release them together.

Laurie
post #15 of 21
I would not worry about the vaccines. It is better safe than sorry. It seems like someone had been caring for this colony at one time.
They may not have needed neutering but they do need the shots. So you did accomplish something. And now they will be tipped like they should have been all along.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Do I need to clean the traps???

If so how - they are metal (im assuming most are).

And just in case - as of yet I havent had any accidents in the car - i do have a blanket and newspapers down... but if pee did get in my car - what is the best way to get that out??? I have fabric seats...

I was using my bf's car but I used my own this morning when I released the 2 cats by putting the back seat down and the traps fit in nicely.

They were really cute - it took them awhile to run out - and when they did they just looked around like they were very confused as to what just happened. Last week the 2 cats bolted off into the woods.... as i said yesterday I still havent seen the one... im hoping he comes out when im not there and isnt gone forever. I know that happens as someone mentioned - but that really bums me out and now Im anticipating what will happen as i continue to trap....

Didnt mean to write so much - only wanted to ask about cleaning the traps..
post #17 of 21
We take a bucket of soapy water and a brush and just scrub 'em down and give 'em a rinse. It gets the smell of fear and other cats off of them. When it's dry, spray a little bit of Feliway on it (a "friendly" marker smell).

...and if a kitty pees in the car and it happens to get on the seat, the best thing to use to clean it up is some type of enzyme cleaner. Nature's Miracle is an example of one, and it's available at most pet stores or supermarkets. You soak the area with it, let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes, take rags or paper towels and soak up as much as you can, then just let it air dry. Nature's Miracle isn't the best, so you may have to do it again. A good (but more expensive) enzyme cleaner is Anti-Icky-Poo, available here: http://www.catfaeries.com

he's not gone forever!

Laurie
post #18 of 21
Petastic is another enzyme cleaner I like. I like Urine OFF too because it actually neutralizes the pheromones.

I hose my trap down in between catches. Only thing my catch is able to free himself like Houdini.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok - thanks

Ill have to clean the traps today after work.

I keep the traps on my neighbors porch and man does it STINK. I feel really bad. I sprayed Spic and Span on the concrete porch - but i didnt work. Any ideas?? Bleach sounds good - but Im thinking that might stain the concrete.... ??

I was very interested in seeing if the 2 cats I released yesterday would be there today. One was - in fact hes the one who ALWAYS comes up to me at feeding time (the one I wrote about before) - I caught a glimpse of the notch in his ear and was surprised - I had no idea I had trapped my buddy.
So not only is he over the trauma - he still likes me!!!!!! But of course Im worried about the other one - ill be looking for her....

ALSO today I swear there were a few more cats. I have a large tray where all the cats can fit in nicely and today there were 2 left out. (i do have a tray in the other part of hte yard where a smaller cat likes to eat in private - but Ill go back tonight and feed them again.
If people are letting their cats out - would a colony accept them so easily??
post #20 of 21
Sounds like you are on your way. The Neon sign has been lit and the kitties are spreading the word.
Vinegar and water is excellent for getting smells out. I use it on my wood floors and when I have the cat room mopped twice a week. It even helps with urine though I usually go back over it with peroxide and baking soda.
post #21 of 21
Hi,

I've been away from TCS for a long time -- no excuse other than I've been keeping very busy! -- and just mostly wanted to say,

YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!

for the successful TNR!

Also, did anyone suggest that when you are transporting trapped cats to and from the vet, you can line the car seat with plastic trash bags (you can split one down the side seam and you have a pretty big sheet) and lay old newspaper over it. If a cat has an accident on that, you can just roll the whole thing up and throw it out. We have also suggested that people do this if they are holding trapped cats overnight in a space with carpeting or flooring that is not sealed or that's delicate in some way.

You are asking good questions! Thank you for all of what you do!!!!
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