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First Feral - Help!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've just discovered a little black and white kitty living, I believe, under the deck of our apartment. My cats go on our back deck (which is completely closed off) all the time, and today I heard crying under there after they were in.

I went outside to investigate and here's this little cat, probably not more than a couple months old, sitting under our steps. He ran when I got close but I set out some food for him anyway.

My husband is understandably not too happy about this. He's afraid if I feed this cat, every critter in the neighborhood will hang around our apartment - opossums, rats, etc.

What can I do? I can't just let the little thing starve. Obviously I don't want to announce a neighborhood buffet either. I feel almost obligated to help this little kitty though. Help!

(edit: Shoot! I posted this in the wrong forum. Too many windows open! Can a moderator kindly move it?)
post #2 of 8
First, you need to find out if it's feral or a stray. If the latter, you may be able to get friendly with it very quickly, then take it to a shelter or find someone who "needs" a cat. Well, maybe another cat.
post #3 of 8
Be sure to set out food only during daytime hours & establish a schedule so the little guy knows when to show up. That should discourage other pests
Bless you for looking out for the little guy & sending prayers and vibes that you find him a good home very soon
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Actually, we think it's a stray. As it turns out, my husband has seen the cat before near our apartment and it sort of hangs around there. It doesn't seem to have a collar or tags.

It's so small... I don't know what else to do other than to set out food for it at about the same time each day so it might come around and come to expect it. Maybe even let me get close to it as it seems to want to be around people before the survival instinct kicks in and says "maybe this isn't such a good idea".

Anything else I can do to help this little guy out (Dunno if its a boy or girl, been calling it a "little guy" all day) ?
post #5 of 8
Whatever food you give him, make it the most energy-packed you can provide. That would mean kitten food, definitely.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
A quick update...

Someone, hopefully the kitty and not an opossum or a rat, has been eating the cat food and drinking the water I've set out each day, so that's a promising sign.

The downside is, I haven't seen what, exactly it is. It's going to get rather cold here in the next few days .I don't know where the little guy hides out (thought it was under our back porch but haven't seen anything), and want to make sure he has somewhere he can go to stay warm.

Any ideas or am I spending too much time worrying about him
post #7 of 8
Same thing happened here last September. A mostly-grown tortie got locked in our garage for the night, and when my ten-year-old found her, she was terrified. I picked her up (way against her wishes) and she was nothing but bones. Of course I fed her, with my husband's approval (at the time). She ate, left the garage, and I didn't see her for a day or so.

Then I decided to put a bowl of food out across the street (quiet neighborhood street) where I had seen her behind a fence in a neighbor's yard. Wasn't long before a little nose peeked out from under the gate, and she ate. And ate and ate and ate. We quickly got into a routine, I put a bowl out twice a day, and she inhaled it.

She was absolutely terrified of every noise, every movement, everyTHING. If I even stood in my front yard she was hesitant about coming out from under that fence. Cars made her go ballistic. Once I tried to feed her in my driveway, and she came over, but heard a car coming by and decided to RACE back across the street - right in front of the car! - to her "safe spot". I went back to feeding her beside her fence, to keep her off the road as much as possible.

A month went by, and October arrived with cold mornings. One day I walked across the street, called her, set out the food, picked her up and brought her in. She's been in ever since.

She's been spayed, is pleasingly plump, and beautiful. She lets me do anything with her, my daughter and youngest son can interact a little, but she still won't come to my 16-year-old son. Don't know why. My husband tolerates her, he was NOT happy about this newest addition (we have 2 other cats and he's a dog-person.)

All hell broke loose when the 3 cats all met. One fixed male began spraying; still occasionally does. The tortie was extremely aggressive at first, and tried to kill my other fixed male by chasing him to death. She still chases him, but not really to kill him now. She has calmed down considerably.

Would I do it again? More than likely. I could NOT have left her out there to starve, freeze, or get killed by a car. She is so happy now, and so loved (well, maybe not so much by my husband).

So, I understand perfectly what you are going through. Good luck to you and the kitty.
post #8 of 8
canned food works wonders on helping bring 'em in... for a temporary shelter, try a large sterilite bin [cut a couple of access holes - a heated knife does this best] & put a bunch of straw in it.
how cold is it likely to get where you are? if it's really chilly, you might want to use 2 bins, 1 smaller than the other, & line the 'in-between' part w/styrofoam.
here's a link showing what i mean: sterilite or rubbermaid shelter
HTH!
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