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First timer! Hello!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! So glad I found this forum!! I have two indoor cats but have been feeding all of the strays & ferals in my neighborhood. I became close with one of them that eventually went missing. Then after that I became close with another cat that ended up getting hit by a car and came home to me and died under my mothers bed...I had a necropsy done and they said it was by car.

I've now taken in a nice black male cat that took to me right away (i got him fixed/shots)...he goes outdoors for a couple hours ONLY(since I lost my two other cat friends I vowed to keep the ones I bond to in more if I can) and mostly just stays within my fence line. Well about 4months ago I noticed he had a little girlfriend that was always loving on him etc...Well I will be moving at the end of July back to NY and just couldn't leave her because she is always around my house now and I thought it'd be cruel to move away with her being left wondering where everyone went! So I caught her (what an ordeal!) and took her to the vet and got her spayed and her shots. I brought her home a couple days ago and she is ofcourse underneath my bed. She used to let me pet her when she was outside but now she retreats further under the bed if I try. She does come out and "Investigate" but only if my black cat is around. She does come out to eat etc...so I guess that is better than nothing!

I just had a couple questions...I put a litter box under the bed with her...should I use litter or use the organic potting soil that I've seen mentioned?

Also I do have a dog and wonder if any of you have had feral/strays and how have you gotten them to take to dogs? MY dog is big but loves and kisses all of my other cats. I'm also moving to New york in July and driving from Florida to NY...how can I make this trip comfortable for her? what kind of cat carrier should I buy etc?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! I'm such a cat lover and I'm just happy I found a nice place to read info and meet others who enjoy cats!

Thank you! Clare

My First "Outside" Love - Peanut (went missing)



My second "Outdoor" Love - Tiger (car)


My baby boy - Ollie




Cats aren't the only thing eating my cat food!
post #2 of 7
Welcome!


Quote:
Originally Posted by CattyClare View Post
have been feeding all of the strays & ferals in my neighborhood.
Reading this, I get firstly a little nervous.
Givning the hungry food is nice, but it is not enough to be really excellent.

Reading on I saw you are doing everything along the manual as far it is possible to you!
Giving food, and when they are a little socialized and safe with you - get them neutered and or adopted.
- Here, you are the adopter yourself.


I agree with you, your newest little female will surely do OK. Her shy behaviour now is entirely normal in these circumstances. Her seeing the other cats, including her cat friend the Blackie, being friendly with you and the dog, will help much. So cuddle with them where she can see you! Encourage Blackie to cuddle and play with the dog too!

Of course, the dog IS a stress moment: many strays do get chased and killed by dogs.
But some do get killed by "humans" too. Yet she become friendly with you, so lets not exaggerate here... They will do OK.
When the time is ripe for the first contact, let the dog lie down. So she can examine him closely on her own without extra stresses.

About the litter: I presume she has already used the litter you had?
So it is not a real problem any more which sort to use??


Peanut, who went missing: I really hope he get spontan-adopted by someone. The possiblility is guite high: he does have the looks of Russian Blue. In fact, quite a decent russian (scandinavian type).

good luck!
post #3 of 7
My bet is that Ollie will be the bridge between you and your new girl. Whether she is just a very scared stray or feral, I find that they usually adjust when they see their friends interact with humans. Some cats adjust quickly, and others can take a very long time. Ignore her for the most part and she will come to you when she is ready. Never look at her directly in the eyes and if you catch her eye, slowly blink (this is a greeting with cats). Never tower over her (things taller than them shows domination) but sit on the floor when you are in the room with her.

If she is using the litter you've offered, no problem. If she doesn't, then adding something that you would use in your garden (soil, sand, etc) to the litter will help draw her to the box. You may also want to investigate Cat Attract litter. It has a very earthy smell and cats are definitely drawn to it.

For dogs? All of my cats were born feral and I have 3 large dogs. When the dog realizes that she is part of the pack and she realizes that he will protect her, they'll be OK. When I moved and first let my ferals back outside, they wouldn't venture off my patio until the dogs walked into the yard. They intuitively know that our dogs are their protectors.

For moving - what type of vehicle are you using to move your 4-leggeds? What I would recommend will be based on what type of vehicle you will use. I've done cross country transports a couple of times in anything from a cargo van to a car so have some ideas.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for writing me back!! I guess I'm okay with the regular litter as last night I could hear her digging to china underneath my bed and when I checked this morning she had gone in the box!! Yay!! I wish I could get my black male cat to do that...but he will have to eventually because when I move he won't be going outside!

I will be moving 4 cats and a large dog in a Kia brand car...not big at all, lol. So I'm still trying to figure out how to load them in. I wanted to get a soft carrier for my old cat (16yrs) and have him in the front seat with me. The other babies will have to be arranged in the backseat somehow. So any advice on how to transport the scared female would be great...Should I cover her crate with a sheet...etc?

When I began feeding the strays/ferals in my neighborhood I noticed that the males themselves really took to me right away! I must have been a sight because around 1 am I'd be lying on my stomach trying to inch close to them to feed them...then eventually they would come to me and bump me and it was loving from then on out!

I did fix all the males I fed...except for one who would run right down the street if you even looked at him. He eventually went missing to We do have coyotes around here sometimes so I wonder if that happened or with the crazy drivers who DO NOT follow the speed limit! This is the only female that I've seen and she did have a litter underneath a house in late february but I haven't seen the kittens at all...She hasn't brought them around and I just took her in now after I noticed she wasn't leaving my yard anymore and was hanging around all the time (Not going to under that other house anymore) Do you think her litter died?

Thank you all for the advice! My black cat Ollie is laying at the foot of the bed trying to get her to come out and play...so I'm hoping!!

Clare
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CattyClare View Post
...
I will be moving 4 cats and a large dog in a Kia brand car...not big at all, lol. So I'm still trying to figure out how to load them in. I wanted to get a soft carrier for my old cat (16yrs) and have him in the front seat with me. The other babies will have to be arranged in the backseat somehow. So any advice on how to transport the scared female would be great...Should I cover her crate with a sheet...etc?
The transport: Ah, a small car. AND a long way to go, 2 days?? Are you alone?
No possibility to have big dog cages for them all...

So advice nr 1 is you do have leashes on them all. Even on the cat you do have in a crater.
Or at the very least collars.

You must stop now and then, stretch your legs, let them use litter etc.
Having leashes on them the risk is lesser they get away. And your possibility to control them much better, especielly in situations where they get outside the carrier. And they will as they probably must go to the "bathroom and washing hands".

It is probably wise to get them attached to the car with these leashes.

Have your mobile phone number attached to their collars too - if they get loose and run away. - Such things do happen.

Yes, do have a sheet on the cages. They should do OK, homeless are used to hide in a hole a couple of days running if necessary. As long as they feel safe in the hole - it is OK.
Other cats may prefer to look out - so be prepared to take off the sheet...

Do have a lot of toilet paper or similiar with you - risk for they getting messy is quite big... They will probably lay on old towels or something? Have some old towels in reserve, by the same reason: you can simply change to a clean towel.

Have a Feliway spray with you, and use this during the driving.
If the dog is nervous, there is something similiar for dogs, it is called DAP.


Good luck!
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CattyClare View Post

I must have been a sight because around 1 am I'd be lying on my stomach trying to inch close to them to feed them...then eventually they would come to me and bump me and it was loving from then on out!

This is the only female that I've seen and she did have a litter underneath a house in late february but I haven't seen the kittens at all...She hasn't brought them around and I just took her in now after I noticed she wasn't leaving my yard anymore and was hanging around all the time (Not going to under that other house anymore) Do you think her litter died?

Clare
Interesting tip to LAY DOWN while feeding them. This makes of course the contact easier: you are totally non threating!


Almost all of the homeless being males... I think there may be two different explanations:
ferales, where the males get rejected by the dominating male as soon as they get fertile. While females are allowed to stay in the colony, or accepted into other colonies.

Not neutered male home cats who tend to get astray as soon they are fertile. Or disappear as they say, when they are fully grown, ie 16-20 months - this being quite typical.

So my guess most of these males and your boys are no truly ferals, they are such homecats who went astray.
Save this very very shy boy who went running as soon you looked at him - him being probably the only truly feral.


About her litter. Yes, it is very possible her litter died.
If you want to be optimistic, somebody perhaps took care of them for fostering, not bothering to do anything with their "ferale" mom.

In any case, they arent apparently together any longer.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the replies! Just an update! She is still under my bed for most of the day but does come out to eat and play with Ollie if he calls to her (its so cute he does this little sound at the end of the bed and then she peeks her head out and looks around!)

When she is out and looking at me I can now look at her and she won't bolt back under the bed. I blink alot and talk really nice to her ...but if I move to much...she is gone!

Last night I laid partly under the bed with a cat toy and she was grabbing it with her paws and trying to catch it...so I think she is coming along really well!!

I wanted to ask a question though...I noticed last night while she was eating she has a pouch that hangs down and a little out at her sides. She has been pregnant before but now being fixed do you think that will tighten up to make her lean like other cats...???

She is so pretty and has nice eyes...I hope to take a picture of her when she allows it.

-Clare
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