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What are my next steps?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
We not only have our two little girls inside, but we have mainly 3 feral barn cats outside. Sometimes 5 but I haven't seen 2 of them here lately. They absolutely will not come to you and actually flee the moment they spot you. For the past week or so I have been feeding them canned food. I don't like it, but it's Friskies, but I feed the two kittens inside Blue Buffalo and I don't really have a lot of money as it is. I have some treats and what not I give to them as well as some dry food.

Since I started feeding them, they have been hanging around when we are outside more. I have even touched one. (this is a big step!) My whole point is that I want to be able to eventually get them comfortable enough to know that I am no danger to them so that I can get them somewhere to get them spayed or neutured. I don't even know exactly what sex they are.

My question is am I doing the right thing? How long ( i guess there is no approximate timeframe) should I wait before I try to actually pick one up? I'm still kind of afraid to pet them honestly. I am not afraid of them, I just don't want my eyes gouged out. lol.

If I ever started making some more money and had a little extra I might get some better food but right now for 3-5 feral barn cats Friskie's will have to do.

I appreciate any help you all can give me. My plan is not to bring them inside because Lord knows I can't deal with that. We have a barn that they hang around in and in the winter time my dad has a fire going so they will have warm shelter. I just want to be able to take them somewhere and get them fixed so they don't unneccessarily reproduce.

Thanks guys!
post #2 of 4
You'll probably have to trap them to get them fixed, even if you make friends with them. Ferals tend to panic and you wouldn't want to get hurt. You can usually borrow a trap from Animal Control or a shelter, or from an acquaintance that might have a raccoon trap on hand. Or buy one from a farm store; I think they're about $40.
post #3 of 4
What a wonderful thing to do for your barn kitties. And you're right - they'll be perfectly fine as outdoor kitties.

You can search for low-cost spay/neuter services a couple of ways:


if there aren't many or any listed there, try here: http://www.pets911.com/local-shelter...1cc68f790c44dd - and you can look for local rescues/shelters OR feral cat services. Local rescues or shelters may know where there are low-cost spay/neuter clinics - or they may be able to lend a trap - and you may be lucky enough to actually have feral cat services in your area.

You can also just google "low cost spay in XXXX(name of town), OH" - if nothing turns up, you can search for the same thing but use the name of your county. And if you're not far from a larger city, you can try searching there.

Another place to search is at http://www.petfinder.com Just search for "cat" in your zip code - a list of animals for adoption comes up. Scroll through them - each cat has a rescue org associated with it. You can scroll through them searching for ones you haven't already turned up, and you can contact them regarding a trap or if they know of low cost spay/neuter services.

....but as to having them sterilized - do not waste your time trying to socialize them so you can pick them up. The very best thing to do is simply trap them.

Once you've located a trap and a place to have them spayed/neutered, wash the trap with a light bleach solution to get the smell of other cats and fear off of the trap. Set newspaper down over the wires - or pour soil over the bottom (the trap will lift right up through it) so the cats don't have to step on the wires. Use that wet food or something strong smelling to attract them to the trap. Maybe cover it up with some straw or hay or something so it doesn't look as foreign.

It REALLY helps if you're feeding them on a schedule so they know when to come for the food.

This is up to you - but when TNRing, (TNR - Trap, Neuter, Return), most of us have the cats ear-tipped. This is where the top of the left ear is snipped off at the time of the spay or neuter. That way you can very quickly tell if a cat that is in the trap is one you've already trapped and you can just release it rather than have everyone go through the trauma of taking an already altered cat to be altered.

When transporting them, place a thick plastic sheet or tarp over whatever surface in the vehicle, because most trapped cats will pee, poop, vomit - or all three - out of fear. And trapped cats often freak, so do not be surprised by banged up noses. This is not unusual.

Open one or two windows in the vehicle just a crack - enough for a little fresh air, but not wind sweeping through the vehicle. And if you have a radio or CD player, classical music won't hurt to help everyone calm down a little.

This is a wonderful and very responsible thing you want to do for your barn kitties!
post #4 of 4
I just want to be able to take them somewhere and get them fixed so they don't unneccessarily reproduce.

Hahaha... I love that... you sound like my wife before she had ME fixed! (sorry couldn't resist)... an just so you know... I did the research for a rescue & am going in on Friday to a local rescue near us (we live in SE Mich) & am only paying $35 each since we have (4) new/used stray cats living in our garage... if you pay a typical vet, you will pay around $100 each so it's definitely worth it... & in my opinion please do not worry about the food quality because, as you well know, they like to eat MICE!

Keep us posted & keep up the great "kitty care" work!

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