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new kitties

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
There is this cat, actually several cats, that keeps visiting my house for food ever since I got my last cat in march. My cat, roxy, showed up at my door in March, and we have a strong belief he is the child of a stray cat that has been in my area for the past 2 or 3 years but who died over christmas. We live on a farm road where many people dump off unwanted animals, not only cats but dogs and sheep and stuff also. There is atleast one feral colony living on my grandma's farm which is just down the street from my house. There is also a pack of wild dogs that are really scary but they stay FAR away from any house, in fact I haven't seen them since last summer so maybe someone from the neighborhood called animal control or something..

ANYHOW, this cat roxy showed up at my house, I think he's around a year or so old, I took him to the vet twice since march but always forgot to ask his age, and he's lived outside his whole life, but as I said I think his mom was a stray indoor cat who was dropped off on our road so he wasn't truly wild or anything. I fed his mom Fifi and took care of her, but before our vet appt she got hit by a car, so I stopped putting food out since I've never seen another cat around. This was in late december. In feb we had over 2 feet of snow that lasted on the ground for at least a week or two, then my childhood cat Snuggles died suddenly. The weird thing was, she died but there were all these fresh cat prints in the snow. I'm thinking either she's a ghost cat or there's some poor kitten without shelter out there. Maybe a day later this emaciated looking cat strolls up to me, mewing and mewing. His head was huge but his body was so tiny, so underdeveloped, I couldn't believe he could even hold his head up. I'm of course leary as we have raccoons and all kinds of animals around with rabies and distemper and stuff, but this cat runs up to me and just stares so I tentatively pet him and realize I can not feel one ounce of fat on him, just pure bones covered with skin. Long story short I fed him and now he is normal weight and very active and happy..

BUT.. He brought some new cats over, including one that's all black, a pure gray one, and a white one with a few black spots on its butt. I'm sure there are others but I never see them. I hardly see these three but they are always around, they are just terrified of people. I only catch glimpses until last night. Me and my bf went in the garage and didn't close the door because we were leaving in like 5min. When we came back to leave, the white cat was in the garage underneath my car.. The problem is, she looks a little knocked up. These cats are for the most part lean (not starved or anything.. i give them food) but none of them are fat just because of how active they are. Well this one is chunky and I'm worried.. She freaked and ran as soon as she saw us, and I freaked out too because that was the last thing I expected.. Now I'm starting to think about her.. I can't afford to get everyone fixed but I need to do something, u kno? I do have a trap, it's a wild animal trap we use for groundhogs and stuff, but it's plenty huge for even a dog or something.. I'm hesitant to use it tho as I have no experience with such things and don't want to make the situation worse. Where would I look for a TNR program in my area? There is plenty of room around here for kitties to have fun and not feel trapped so I'm not too worried about keeping them (at least the adult ones..) I just don't want 4million kitties and no food and no hope, but I really can't afford $100 for neutering and like $150 for spaying for every cat I find, not to mention follow up shots and stuff, at least not at this point in my life with no job (i kno pathetic BUT i just graduated a couple days ago and am actively searching). If I had the money, like if I had Bill Gates money I would pay for everyone to have their cats fixed without blinking an eye.. I think it's horrible that someone can not only drop off a cat on a road but they do so without fixing them thus ensuring that they will not only hurt THAT animal but generations to come. They should include stuff on pets in biology in grade school, about how fast cats and other animals can multiply because I think maybe a lot of people are just ignorant to how much harm they're doing.. Blah.. I can't stop talking just shut me up
post #2 of 9
Anna, first of all, thank you for wanting to care for these cats! It always seems to start with just one...

Hubby and I live in a farm community, too, and I sympathize with your plight. It's illegal to dump animals here, but of course they do.

I don't know how much work you want to put into helping these animals, and what resources are available depend a lot upon where you are and how far you are willing to drive.

The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that you do not want to contact animal control. In most towns, they'll catch the animals and euthanize them. HOWEVER, a few phone calls are worth making.

Is there a "local" SPCA (or are you within an hour of a city)? They are often kill-shelters, so you don't want them to help directly, but they also are often aware of Mobile spay/neuter units, or provide spay/neuter services free or at reduced rates if you can bring in the animals.

They will also know if there is a mobile spay/neuter unit available in your area. The animals would have to be trapped and ready, however, if there is a mobile spay/neuter unit servicing your area, those services are often free.

There is an organization that MAY have someone in or near your area that is willing to help trap and make arrangements to have the cats vaccinated and spayed/neutered. The organization is www.alleycat.org (Alley Cat Allies). Log on to their website, and send them an e-mail asking if there is anyone in your area who can help trap the cats.

Also, low-cost spay/neuter certificates are often available. There are several places you can search to find out if there are any participating Vets in your area.

You can also call all local small-animal hospitals and vets wihtin a reasonable drive of where you are (whatever your definition of "reasonable" is). Our Vet is very sympathetic to the cause of feral cats. They actually take in pregnant females, help find the kittens homes, and have several people who help pay for vaccinations, FeLV and FIV virus tests, and spay/neuter services. It's worth a call to any Vets in your area to find out what they're willing to do, what services they may provide, etc.

We don't own a trap, but borrowed a have-a-heart trap (a humane trap) from our Vet to trap all the ferals around here. Sometimes a local SPCA is also willing to do this... some charge rent on the trap, others require a deposit which you get back when you return the trap.

If you click on the link in my signature, you will find access to many resources. There are several sites where you can search for low-cost or free spay/neuter resources, several rescue sites where you can search for facilities in your area. If there are any, they are all worth calling to see what services are available to you.

You can also consider searching for any local shelters. They frequently make food available at subsidized rates to people who want to care for feral colonies.

You can also log on directly to the sites of all the food manufacturers (Friskies, Whiskas, Purina, etc.). Contact them, and they usually send coupons or certificates, enabling you to purchase food at a discount.

But like I said, it all depends upon how much time you have or want to put into this. You can usually find subsidized rates for just about everything, and creating shelter or feeding stations, etc. can be done cheaply and easily.

But, as you already understand, the most important thing is trapping the cats, getting them vaccinated and spayed and neutered to ensure their health and to stop the growth of the feral colony. There are people and resources out there... but in order to help you any further, I'd have to know more specifically where you live. I know there are some wonderful organizations in the Philly area...

Please feel free to e-mail me, PM me, or contact me through the www.SaveSamoa.org website. I'm more than happy to help you search for services that can help in your area.

I live in Northern NJ, and I've helped find services for people near Trenton, about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, OH, and near Amarillo, TX.

Again, thank you for helping these cats!

post #3 of 9
Anna - Duh! Dummy me - I put all the links into one thread here. It's "stickied" up at the top of this forum. Here's a link:

Helping Ferals....

post #4 of 9
Laurie the feral cat angel to the rescue! I am so glad you put up that website Laurie, I have directed a lot of people to it. You, Christy and Heidi are to be commended for all your hard work. I can't wait until it is completely finished.
post #5 of 9
Anna - here's another useful thread. Has advice about trapping:

Helping With a Colony of Cats

Please don't forget to contact me if you want more direct help, and please keep us posted!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
do u think it may be a sign of pregnancy that the white cat is trying to get shelter when for so long she stayed away from the house? My mom has said she keeps sneaking into our storage shed into a box in there.. The thing that has me worried is that we are fixing up a trailer next to us for rent and we are now redoing the floors and getting it leveled so the underneath of it is open but there's all kinds of fiberglass insulation and I don't want her (if she even is pregnant) to have her kittens there because (1) it wouldn't be safe and (2) how could we get to them if the floor is done.. I keep checking but I'm still scared. I don't kno how to keep her out of it because my cat goes in it all the time and I can't even stop HIM from doing it..
post #7 of 9
They will try to nest when they are close to giving birth. If she likes a box in your shed, start placing food for her near there. It will encourage her to nest in your shed and not in the trailer.

Others may have better advice - I have no experience with pregnant ferals, I only know what I've read here on TCS.
post #8 of 9
Unfortunately she will nest where she wants to, and not always where you want her to. You can perhaps encourage her by going to a local appliance store and asking them for an empty cardboard box- such as a microwave oven comes in, or even larger. While you are there, ask them if they have any shredded paper, some places have a bunch in their office. If they don't then either find a feed store and buy a bale of straw or grass hay, or failing that, get a bunch of newspapers and strip them out (tear them into strips) Flip the box upside down, cut a hole in the side off the ground, but big enough for mom to pass through, and fill it with the shredded paper, straw, or hay. Place it in a sheltered area, cover it with a dark blanket/tarp, and secure the roof with clothespins. I always run a rope around the blanket as well to keep it taunt in case a cat comes in and jumps on it, I want it to hold. Sprinkle a little bit of catnip in the straw to entice mom to go in the *cave* then just hold your breath and hope she does.

About the insulation, is there anyway you can string chicken wire around to keep her out of that area or board it up? She will most likely want to have her kittens there, and that would be a shame and quite dangerous for the family.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
The thing about it is, the floor was supposed to be done in less than a week but our contractor (who happens to be a relative) was doing our project on the side of his real projects and some stuff came up with him, then the past few days there have been non stop storms so they've been putting it off.. Hopefully it will get done SOON. I guess I'll try to stick something over top the holes, but there are about 12 about 3'X 2.5' holes so i need to find enough stuff to cover it.. It was made so workers can crawl under the trailer from every direction.. I thought we still had the original siding (or whatever it is, the aluminum base stuff) but it turns out it was tossed so we can get it replaced. I'm gonna see what i can do!
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