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Stray/feral Toms

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to coax the stray toms onto the porch for a while. I've managed to get one successfully TNR'd but there are still many more.

Right now there are 3 main toms I'm concerned about.

#1 is a SHort haired grey tabby with a white blaze and white feet. He's the youngest and has a crook in his tail, like it was broken. He's still got a bit of that kitten look to him. He's been the most social, but until today he hasn't allowed me to get closer than about 15 feet. But today I say him sitting in the breezeway between apartments. I filled up the food bowl outside and sat on the chair on the other side of the patio. He must have been hungry, because he came within 3 feet of me today! He even let me shift my weight without running off! He glared at me the whole time he was eating, but this seems to be a huge step towards trust. If I can catch him and get him to trust me first, then TNR will be so much easier, and I might even get to rehome him!

#2 is a medium haired brown tabby and so very very beautiful. He's come a long way from the scruffy, starved and sickly boy he was when I first saw him. He is the next most social boy in the neighborhood, but he's not the bravest little guy. He takes off running as soon as he hears the door. Today though he readily shared the food bowl with #1 when I went inside and even tolerated me watching him through the garden door. Usually just seeing a person will make him flee the scene. So although he's not coming along as well as I'd hope, I've still got a little bit of hope that someday I'll be able to get him TNR'd.

#3 is definitely a challenge case. He is also a grey tabby with white feet, but no blaze and no crook in his tail. He's a pretty hefty boy, and I have a feeling this is likely to be the neighborhood badboy. He's been chsaing off all the other toms in the area and he starts a lot of catfights. I'm worried about getting him TNR'd soon b/c his fighting could be spreading diseases. I'm also worried about the huge number of females he could potentially be "knocking up". I know getting him clipped will reduce his aggresion.

ANd that brings me to a question: Can anyone tell me what to do about the females? A male's TNR isn't that invasive and has a much lower risk of infection. The females would really need to be supervised for 6 weeks or so, and given antibiotics. I can't keep stray and feral females in my home, and I certainly can't be trying to give them oral anitbiotics. Anyone have any suggestions for me?
post #2 of 11
Why do you say they have to be supervised for 6 weeks - and given antibiotics? We usually keep females after surgery for 48-72 hours, depending on how they heal.

One we had to let go after only 24 hours because she was banging against the sides of the crate so hard, we thought she would hurt herself. It was better to let her go. She's fine now, five years later. Still a pisser, hisses and snarls anytime anyone looks at her but faithful as all get-out at dinnertime!

Feral cats are a lot tougher than we give them credit for. After 48 hours, you would be able to tell if she needed more attention or antibitotics. But that is usually the exception, not the rule...
post #3 of 11
Our tnr group releases the toms the next morning after surgery. The girls stay inside in the crates for abt 24 hrs. sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It all depends on how soon the come out of the fuzzy head feeling they all have after surgery. It's amazing how well they recover.

post #4 of 11
Make sure they get dissolvable stitches, and there is now an antibiotic shot that lasts 2 weeks. Vets are making it easier to do TNR these days.

And I agree with the others. There is no need to supervise a female for 6 weeks. Most times I see the vet keep them overnight, then they are kept in a cage for another day before released.
post #5 of 11
Wow, I don't even keep my pet cats confined for 6 weeks and I definitely don't give antibiotics for a routine spay. My ferals were released after 3 days, but I had them in a room that they were comfortable in, and they were OK with staying that long. When I TNR'd my grandma's female cat, I let her go after 24 hours, because she wasn't comfortable staying longer.
post #6 of 11
I'm with the others here. In the last two years I've had 11 females and 5 toms sterilized, and the only one who needed any extra time to recover was the highly pregnant and severly ill female. she had to be watched for a while, and was on a 10 day round of Amoxxi, but that was due to her health.

Neither my vet nor I are in the habit of late term spays on sick animals, BTW, but her physical condition at the time I caught her made it a safer option than delivering and trying to nurse 6 kittens. She only lived 9 months after that, sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to euthanize then, but when I think of how happy she was for most of those 9 months it was worth it.
post #7 of 11
Good for you for wanting to do the right thing and get them all TNRd!
Why do you need to get them to trust you before you trap them? You can work on that after them been neutered. The sooner you trap them the better it will be. Good luck!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm having trouble getting them anywhere close to traps. and it would be a lot easier and safer for the vet if the ferals and strays I brought in were at least a little socialized.

Every time I've had a female cat spayed they were given staples and a round of antibiotics, so I had no idea ther were other options! I feel so much better about the chances of the strays and ferals around here. Some of the girls are a little more approachable than the boys, so I might be able to get them done sooner! thank you all for the wonderful info!
post #9 of 11
I just got my last male stray neutered in January. I had 2 more before him that I had to "make friends" with. I also just got a female stray, who was very nervous, spayed and had to "make friends" with her to. I would sit on my porch and when I'd see them coming (I'd feed them around the same time at night) I would wait until they came inside my gate...then (lol I know this sounds silly) I would lay down on my stomach and hold the food dish out...usually the first couple of times they would either bolt or look at me weird and not come near me....eventually they got used to me laying there and then I would inch closer until they would eat out of the bowl...

I've had the experience where the males became very friendly and the females are more stand offish / afraid. That is how I've become friendly with them and its worked more times than not! I also would meow at worked for me!
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by Ondine View Post
Feral cats are a lot tougher than we give them credit for.
Yes, that is the key here. The ferales and successful long time strays we do talk about, are the survivors. They wouldnt be here if they werent made of tought wood.

So, surgery onto the side (you know surely the proper word, dont you?) , and self dissolving stitches - and with a little luck 24 hours should suffice, if you cant keep them longer. Although 2-3 days is of course preferable.

If you dont have suitable room for them in your house, consider using a big dog crate. In this way you can often use rooms otherwise totally unsuitable for holding confined a cat in them.
A cellar, heater room, a hut...

I see your question is really about the females, not the toms?

Good luck!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been having a little success with the tabby tom with the white blaze. I have been purring (fluttering my tongue just on th eback of my teeth) every time I sit on the porch when he eats, and today he let me touch the end of his tail. It was all I could reach without moving, but he did have his back mostly turned to me so this is showing some trust, right? As soon as I tried to sdjust just a little to see if I could touch the rest of him, tho, my movement made him bolt. the other toms are still very skittish. I'm not giving up tho.

Most of the females have recently disappeared. I don't know why. one I think was preggers, so she may be hunkered down somewhere with a litter. One was looking thin last time that I saw her, but now she's gone too. I'm thinking that she must have been sick, poor thing. Animal Control has been making rounds around the area lately, also, and I'm sad to think that many of the ferals and strays have been taken to the kill shelter. I still see one or two of the females, but they are the ones that I can only see from a distance. they are truly feral.

But thanks for all the advice! I'm hoping I'll get some of these kitties TNR'd soon, and help with the population control in the area. I think Mr. Blaze will be the first one to the vet this round. :-)
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