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How do I tell if outdoor cat is a stray or not? - Page 2

post #31 of 81
Thread Starter 
Thanks Laurie and Mary Anne! I will go out and buy some kitten food today to mix with her dry food, and I will also try to build one of those feeders.
I hope she is not pregnant but if she is, is there a way to insure that she has her kittens near my house? Should I build a little shelter like you suggested Laurie, and see if she will use it for her kittens (if she has any of course)?
She is soo sweet, I love her already
post #32 of 81
Ginger, I guess my thinking here is that it doesn't hurt to try. Run a search in this forum for ideas... I know there's been discussion of it, I just don't have time to go looking myself for it today.

But know that if she is pregnant, she will find a safe place to have the kittens. She will continue to feed, and don't worry - she'll bring the kittens to you.

If she is pregnant and does have kittens, don't go looking for them or try to find where she has them. She'll just move them if she doesn't feel safe. Don't worry - like MA has said many times, she'll bring them to you once they can eat on their own.

post #33 of 81
Thread Starter 
I made a feeder tonight
Now I just need to get a plastic cutting board type thingy to put under it.
I hope it works

post #34 of 81
Way to go, Ginger! I think you'll find something tall as opposed to something long will work better as it gets down to the bottom. The food will flatten out... so maybe tilt the feeder up with something? That'll help the food fall down towards the hole.
post #35 of 81
Thread Starter 
Ya, I realized that last night This morning it looked like something had been digging in the hole but the food did flatten. Hmmm, I will have to go to Plan B
post #36 of 81
Try tilting it up... does that work?
post #37 of 81
Thread Starter 
I got to pet her tonight! And what a little LOVE BUG!!! After I pet her briefly, she even let Steven pet her AND pick her up. We have been scratching her ears and giving here lots of love all night long. Wow I can't believe it
I will take close-ups of her when I get a chance.
I wonder if she has owners more than ever now since she is so loving???
post #38 of 81
Thread Starter 
Here are a couple of pics of her...

post #39 of 81
She is so cute! She looks a lot like the Scooters we have in our yard. We have Scooter, Scooter2, and Scooter3 who we call Cube. Our Scooters all look almost identical to each other and look a whole lot like your girl.
post #40 of 81
Ginger, she's so pretty! In the pics, she does look pretty clean, and she really looks well-fed (unless she looks that way because she's pregnant). Have you put any posters up around the neighborhood, or taken any to local vets? You can consider an add in a local paper too, if you really want to find out if she belongs to someone.
post #41 of 81
I love Val's collar & tag idea!

But sometimes cats will get in cars w/open windows and can get pretty far from home. Try also calling the shelters to submit a found pet report - and in our city, the newspaper will post a "found" ad for free. Don't be overly specific with the ad description, though - leave out some detail so you can identify the real owner if you get any calls.

First and foremost, as mentioned by others here, before you introduce any stray animal to your pets, get it checked by the vet! Wash your hands before you touch your pets after you've handled a stray, too. I picked up a kitten on the freeway once that was loaded with fleas & losing hair. I thought she was losing hair because of the fleas - but it turned out to be ringworm! I spent the next TWO YEARS & a ridiculous amount of money to get rid of that horrible fungus, bathing, dipping & medicating ALL of my cats, cleaning the house top to bottom every week, too!

All of the feral care tips here are great - you guys are so wonderful to take care of them! Think I'll try the covered bed idea for my one little feral - she has a snuggle tunnel, but yours sound nicer.

Many years ago, I was reunited with my dog who was stolen out of my yard after she had been missing for 3 years! It was a small town, and the shelter staff knew my new address & phone even though I had moved. When the shelter called me because she still had her old tags on (!) I said "What dog? I don't have a dog!" before they described her to me. I was sooooo happy to get her back!
post #42 of 81
Thread Starter 
Now that I have her trust I can start searching to find out if she has an owner. I will be able to catch her now if I need to take her anywhere.

She was outside my door this morning when I got up. Today is the first day I have seen her before 5 pm. I guess she slept in my bushes last night.
post #43 of 81
I'm glad she trusts you now. She is very pretty. If she doesn't have an owner, you'll have a very sweet new cat!
post #44 of 81
Tess, What an amazing story about your dog! I can't believe the theives didn't even remove her old tags. geez! Did she recognize you when you went to pick her up?
post #45 of 81
Yes, she did!
I was afraid she wouldn't , but as soon as I went to her cage she climbed all over me! I was really worried about her being at the pound; they had a parvo epidemic going on and my dog obviously hadn't been vaccinated for a while. Whatever mean idiot (I'm sure glad they left her tags on!) stole her from us must have kept her penned up somewhere small, too, because she had developed a habit of running in little tight circles. But she turned out just fine, and was with us for quite a while after that...a great dog! She loved cats, too - couldn't understand why strange cats didn't appreciate her trying to lick them
post #46 of 81
Thread Starter 
We had a photo session today

post #47 of 81
Yes, she does trust you now, doesn't she? What a cutie! I'm glad you're caring for her. (I'm sure she is, too!)
post #48 of 81
omg Ginger! I just found this thread! I have been smiling ear to ear as I read that she let you pet her!!! You are an amazing soul to be doing this for this sweet cat.

This reminds me of ttmeows. I found him in the parking lot of my work one day.. all black, declawed, long hair cat. He wouldnt come near me at all, (I tried to do the kissy kitty come here sound). The next day I saw him again and tried to walk near him to give him some of my turkey sandwhich. I set it down and backed away. He slowwwwly came up and ate it! For the next couple weeks he came around to see if I was going to leave him food.. so I started leaving out cat food for him. Eventually I got to pet him and he would sit and wait for me every single day to come to work and feed him. On my lunch hour he would jump in my car and sit on my lap while I ate lunch. He was sooo sweet. I fed this cat every day for a whole year. One day after 4th of July 4 day holiday I came back and he was gone In the weeks before the 4th I noticed he was losing some hair under his neck, and he also had a very large lump on his side.. I know he probly belonged to someone (since he was declawed) and I should have done something more, but this was a few years ago, and before I started visiting cat forums.. I had no clue what to do other than give him love and give him food. I could have called the pound, but I think in the back of my head I thought they would just put him to sleep. I bet he's crossed the bridge by now.

Ginger good luck to you. you're doing an awesome thing girl
post #49 of 81
What sweet stories from everyone!!!

Sicycat - he looks like a big ol' sweetie.

Tuxedokitties, I'm so glad you got your dog back! That is an amazing story.

And Ginger - she is so beautiful!
post #50 of 81
These are the best stories, all so happy.
We have outside kitties also. How would you know if a cat is feral? Some of the cats like us, allow us to pet them and purr like mad when we do. The other cats stand back and look at us. They won't come to eat until we go inside. They sometimes act like they want to be "friends" but aren't quite sure. I have so many questions that I should probably just start a new thread so I don't take over Ginger's. Please advise.

P.S. How do you submit a picture? I have tried and after a very long period of time (7-10 minutes) a message comes that my file is too big. But its only 1 little picture. What am I doing wrong?
post #51 of 81
Hi Gert! (Hope you don't mind I shortened your screen name!)

There's no exact formula for determining if a cat is a stray or a feral. Ferals tend to be distrustful of humans - but a trust can be built, and if they get used to your presence, especially an association with food, then you may, over time, be able to approach and pet them. Strays warm up MUCH more quickly because they're used to people, though they may have learned after running away or being released to be afraid of people. Also, the younger the feral, the less time (often) it takes for them to be OK with your presence or even touch. We had a batch of feral kittens out back last summer, and (four of them are now inside only pets!) Lazlo took several weeks of sitting while feeding them before we could pet him... Spooky took months! (And they were about 5 weeks old when we first encountered them). There's just no set measure.

Either way, you've found the right place to ask questions! Please feel free to start a new thread, or I'm sure Ginger doesn't mind....but if it's of a new topic, go ahead! And we help both strays and ferals here and can answer your questions about either! Glad you found us!

Oh - about the pic. Sometimes high quality pics even though of a "small" size are large files. You'd have to use a program to resize the picture. The only program I'm familiar with is Adobe Photoshop. There is a thread here Your Computer Questions Answered! that can help.
post #52 of 81
Thread Starter 
Great stories Sicy and Tuxedokitties.

Update on Peaches...She now lives on my front porch. She never leaves and she comes to get pet every time I go outside What a little sweetheart!

She is declawed in the front and I am assuming she is spayed since she is not pregnant yet.

Poor little kitty! I feel so sorry for her having to stay outside all the time. Especially when it rains. I can't take her inside because I have already had to break up one fight at the front door when my cats saw her there.

Peaches is the sweetest cat! She has to have been someone's special cat once upon a time. I just wish I knew how whe ended up being a stray on my front doorstep.
Here is her most recent pic...today!

post #53 of 81
What a great picture! She is beautiful.

I wonder if there's a way you could check her to see if she has a microchip since she's declawed? I'd hate to think someone just abandoned such a gorgeous cat.

I'm so glad you're caring for her. You must be very sweet for such a shy girl to trust you.
post #54 of 81
Thread Starter 
I know, I would hate to think she was just abandoned too. She literally lives with me on the porch now. Hmmm. Does any vet have micro-chipping detection or do I have to take her to a special place?
post #55 of 81
Thread Starter 
Oh and...
I am going to try and build some sort of shelter for her this weekend. A place to get out of the rain and a "carpeted" floor so she will not have to lay on the mulch outside.
I will take pics when it is finished.
post #56 of 81
Ginger, she is beautiful! You are definitely her angel for taking care of her.

Unfortunately, her being declawed could be a reason why she may have been abandoned. As we all know, declawed kitties many times have behavioural issues, biting, litterbox use. And if these people didn't want a cat scratching the couch, think what they may do if she started *peeing* on the precious couch.

As for microchip readers, some shelters and some vets have them. Call around and find if someplace has one. If you bring her in to a kill-shelter to get scanned, be sure that they know you are *not* turning her in!
post #57 of 81
I'm pretty sure you'll find most vets have scanners - it shouldn't be difficult to find one that does, at least.

Ginger - whatever type of shelter you build, it really shouldn't have carpet or blankets (or things like that) in it. I know it doesn't sound appetizing to humans, but hay, if the shelter is enclosed properly so it doesn't get wet, is really the best thing for her to snuggle in at night. You can just replace the hay every couple weeks, and she has a clean space. If she has fleas or tics they can nest in the blankets or carpet and they'll be impossible to get rid of. Dog houses with hay inside - especially since you're in Florida and don't need to worry about really cold weather or snow (our ferals survived in outside shelters in literally sub-zero weather this past winter!!!!) - should work like a charm. They make pre-molded plastic ones these days that are cute - something you might not mind having on your porch!

Cats can live happily outside! Perhaps the best thing to do is make a vet appointment for her (at a vet with a microchipper!) - and while you're there, if she's not microchipped, have them give her a shave to see if there's a scar from being spayed. If she's free of pests, pop some Frontline or Advantage on her, and she'll stay that way.

Seems like you might have yourself an outdoor pet!
post #58 of 81
...and by the way, she's a beautiful girl!!!
post #59 of 81
Thread Starter 
Our latest photo session!

post #60 of 81
She is darling! She reminds me of "our" Thanksgiving... (who now has a new furrever home )
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