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feeding - how close to house

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I feed a feral cat near my garden - somewhat away from my house. It's a pain now in the winter to get back there and I was thinking about feeding her on my patio or deck to make it easier for me to put the food out and retrieve the bowl each day. Do you think it's okay to have he eat closer to the house or is it best to keep them off to the back? I wasn't sure if she was sticking around, but she seems to have made a home in my backyard so this could be for the long haul!
post #2 of 5
If you accept to have her around, and perhaps even with time she accepts to be adopted homecat, so sure.

Ie, having the food on your deck is often a first step to get them inside.

I think.
post #3 of 5
I agree and think you can make it work if you are willing.

Do you have dogs that are around? That may take her some getting used to. If not, just move the food bowl closer to the spot you want it, a little bit every day. I moved our office cat from the woods by the end of the parking lot to right outside the kitchen door but it took some time. I used a large rubbermaid container as a feeding station to keep the food dry and the water clean and just started moving the container closer to the building. At first he would stay in the original spot until he was fed, but after a few weeks, he moved in closer and stayed around while we prepared his bowls. Then we put a shelter out for him and he used it too. Thankfully, this week he has decided to come inside at night,it is bitter cold here, so I am hoping he will want to spend more time inside the building.

Just take it slow, as soon as he gets it that you can be trusted he will come around.

Are you planning to trap and have him neutered? That would make a transition inside much easier. Good luck!
post #4 of 5
When I lived on the farm, I fed mine on my back porch stoop, then switched them over to the front porch because it was covered and out of the elements. Now that I'm more in x-burbs than country, I feed them on top of my patio table. If you are feeding further away from your home, you will want to slowly move the bowl closer to your house. You are committing yourself to care for them for life by doing this.

The draw back for all of this? If you are in an area with skunks, possums or raccoons, they will sometimes be drawn closer to your house than you would like.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. I'm willing to care for her for the long haul (however long that is...) since I already have 2 cats and I'm buying the food anyway! I feel bad for her...there are some cats who are lucky and some that aren't, and I can't help but worry about her. I put a cat shelter out for her, but I don't know if she is using it. I can't really tell..although I did notice her go under my deck yesterday, which is probably a decent shelter for her.

Apparently she is already fixed, because her ear is tipped. I was going to try to trap her (I trapped a few others before she started coming around) and I snapped a picture of her because it looked like her ear was tipped...I showed it to my vet and she said that there was no doubt that her ear was tipped. The curious thing is that this is the 2nd cat that I have found who was already fixed....where the heck are they coming from? I can't imagine any of my neighbors doing any kind of rescue or TNR.

Anyhow, I moved her food a little closer, and it's beeen fine, but I am not going to put it right outside my door because I am afraid to attract raccoons so close to my house.
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