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Taking care of a stray, how do I get her/him to

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
come to me? I have been feeding her/him for a few weeks now, I think it's a girl so I will just refer to her, She comes every morning at the same time, she won't let me near her, I just put the food outside and shut the door and then she will eat it. She has gone from running away completly to just walking away and staring at me from a distance. I feel like that is one step closer. A male stray that a guy takes care of up the street was hanging around for a week non-stop so I am afraid if he isn't fixed that this stray may be pregnant, she doesn't look like it but I don't know, I am worried because it is getting colder and colder, I want to catch her, and take care of her even if she is an outside cat I would like to make her a bed in my shed or something but I need her to come to me first so I can get her to trust me, I have tried a can of food, milk,catnip, treats but she hesitates and waits for me to leave it. Any other advice?
post #2 of 10
Well it took us 3 months for Joey to trust us, after that he let me hold him and he would come in the house without flipping out and running around in circles It takes time unfortunately. My DH has cats at his office that are so used to him now they come right up to him, but no one else.
post #3 of 10
I have two former ferals who are inside cats now - only in the sense that they never go out. One has allowed us to pet her but her brother seldom almost never comes out unless food is involved. I guess I'm saying that it does take a long time to help them undersand you're not going to hurt them.

Keep feeding her and if you can, provide a shelter. Please trap and spay her ASAP - better a little trapping trauma than another pregnancy. Of course, if she is pregnant, you need to decide what you want to do.

Can you provide her with a warm, safe place until the kits are born? A large crate in a garage is fine. That way the kits can be socialized and mommy can be spayed and go back to her outside life. Hey - who knows, maybe's shes just a frightened stray. Might turn out she's "socializable" too.
post #4 of 10
By the way - thank you for helping her. Life's tough on the streets. Without us crazy cat peole, it would be a whole lot tougher for her.
post #5 of 10
The process will be slow to get her to trust you, as you don't know her past, or if she's possibly feral. Just don't get discouraged or frustrated!
post #6 of 10
You are doing a wonderful thing by feeding and caring for her. Unfortunately there is no set time that they will learn to trust you. Too many factors involved. How long they have lived alone and on their instincts makes it difficult. The cat's personality is another part.

The best for her would be to trap her and get her to the vet to be spayed. Let her recover for a few days in the area you want to provide as shelter and then let her go. She will recover from this and as long as you continue to feed her she will get back to the routine.

It could take months or more to gain her trust to touch her. Lots of kittens could be born in that time. Wishing you the best.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
get her to trust me and make a warm bed for her in my shed and if she is pregnant then I would keep her in my garage until she had the babies. Do I need to get an actual animal trap to get her or just try to coax her with food and grab her? I don't want to miss then ruin the little trust that I have built up for her now, I will keep trying, it's getting so cold and I worry so much about her, she ate 2 cans of cat food yesterday with 1 hour and today within 1 hour so do they eat a lot more when the are pregnant, I will have to go research now.
post #8 of 10
Some shelters, vet offices, or animal control will loan you a humane trap.

They will show you how to use it. Take up all the food and set the trap with food in the back. Watch the trap from a distance so when she goes in you can get her out of the cold. Cover the trap and take her to the vet in the trap.

Pregnant cats do eat more. Cats preparing for winter will also eat more. I feed all mine kitten food for the winter to help with their winter coat and energy.

If she is early in pregnancy the vet can still spay her. There is lots of info on trapping. You are doing an awesome thing for her!
post #9 of 10
I would recommend getting a trap as mentioned above, taking her to the vet to get spayed/neutered, then it's up to you whether you want to keep her in your garage, or release her again and just continue with the feeding.

I would guess she's not pregnant - it's very late in the season for a cat to be pregnant, especially in the colder areas. We've had a few 8 week old kittens come through my shelter in the last couple of weeks, and that is odd to still be getting kittens, and I'm in a warmer climate.

You can make a toasty warm cat shelter if you wish to and leave it somewhere outside for her to use when it's cold. If you get her fixed, and provide her with food and shelter, then you are doing a wonderful thing for her.
post #10 of 10
I have been feeding a stray/feral for two years and he still won't let me touich him. He is still very afraid but he (mostly) no longer runs away and just recently has started coming inside for 5-10 minutes to eat - always close to the door so he can dash out if he thinks I might hurt him after all.

All of that to say it takes TIME! And sometimes alot of time. It is best if you can just encourage her to stay indoors and make it more attractive inside than outside without forcing it. They will (almost always) soon discover that inside is much more attractive than outside - safer, warmer, plentiful food and water, etc.

Good luck.
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