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I don't think he/she is feral, but advice needed please.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
For a couple of weeks, just as its getting dark each evening I've been visited by a pretty little tuxedo cat. Initially it was very shy, wouldn't let me within 10 feet of it, but voraciously ate every bite of food I would give it. As time went by, each evening I would talk to it and it would allow me to get a little closer each night until I finally got to touch her. (I am pretty sure its a "she").
She appears to be a young adult, and is pretty skinny from the feel of her. She is now up to rubbing all around my legs whenever I am outside. However the last few evenings when I have put her food outside, she takes a few bites and walks away, only to sit and stare at me with the most exressive eyes I have ever seen on a cat, and she will cry with the most heart wrenching meows I think I've ever heard. I get the distinct feeling she is trying to tell me something and I so wish I could understand. I made a small attempt to gently pick her and she was having none of that. Anyone have any thoughts about why she is refusing food? Or any other suggestions? I thought she might be down on her food because of internal parasites or something of that nature. If I can ever gain her trust enough to have her allow me to handle her, maybe we can make a trip to the vet. But, then again, I have to be careful about handling her and possibly bringing something into my two indoor babies, Squirt and Sugar.
I would appreciate any suggestions ya'll might have. Thanks!
post #2 of 13
Glad you found us!

Awww......... Really, the best thing to do is to trap her - not wait until she's better socialized. That could take forever.

Sounds like you live in a rural area. I don't know about your rural area, but in ours, there are no rescues to help, but ALL the vets have traps they'll lend.

Of course - if the only problem is fleas, ticks or internal parasites, you don't need to pick her up to get the medicine on her. The ONLY thing that should be used is what can be purchased at the vet. It IS more expensive - but any stuff you can buy at the supermarket or pet store may kill her. Drugs for animals are not regulated like they are for people - and anything that kills a flea or a tick is, in fact, a poison. The OTC stuff sold to get rid of internal parasites doesn't kill them - it just causes the cat to expel some of them - which does nothing.

There is a product called Revolution that kills external and internal parasites. Our vet recommends this exclusively - though I'm pretty sure Advantage now has an Advantage Multi, which also kills the internal parasites. This is stuff you squeeze out a small tube (it's liquid) inbetween the shoulder blades of the cat - so you do have to be able to touch the cat - push the fur apart at the shoulder blades, because you do have to get it on the skin, or it just runs off the fur. But it works for a month - so has to be applied monthly. It's a great solution for friendly outside cats.

BUT... all that being said... she really should be spayed. Nothing kills an outdoor cat quicker than too many pregnancies.

...and if she's friendly - she should have a chance at a home, if you have time to look for one for her (if you don't decide to adopt her yourself. ).

Friendly young adults can be transitioned to indoor pets without too much difficulty....

Maybe just foster her while you look for a home for her?

Whatever you decide - to have her as an outside pet, just to get her some medical care - to adopt her, to foster her - or to try to adopt her out - she should be seen by a vet, and she should definitely be spayed.

The best and quickest way to do this is to trap her. Have tips on how to do that if you want them.

To locate a trap - you can call around to local vets. You can search for local rescues and shelters - most lend them, some for a fee, some just for a deposit you get back when you bring the trap back. You can search here:


You can go to http://www.petfinder.com - choose just "cat" and type in your zip code - and every cat that pops up for adoption has a rescue org listed next to it - all of them have a link somewhere to either an e-mail address or a website. Not being kitten season, you may even find a rescue that can rescue her, or a foster network willing to take her in!

While you search for a trap - you can also look for low-cost spay/neuter services. In addition to the above searches, you can also google "low cost spay cat" and include your town, NC in the search - and see what turns up. You can also search for "low cost spay cat in Your County, NC" and see what turns up. A lot of rescues/services aren't listed on pets911, and if they're just a clinic and don't rescue cats, they won't turn up on petfinder.

...my point is that a lot of rescues won't spay or neuter themselves, but will know where you can go to get a low-cost spay/neuter for a stray or feral cat that is not your pet.

We're here for any and all questions - and thank you for wanting to help her!
post #3 of 13
add to the excellent answer, is to check to see if she is a nursing mom. If she is and has young babies, she should not be advantaged until the babies are 8 weeks old. Also, if you trap her and she does have young ones somewhere, they will no doubt die. You may have to follow her when she leaves to check this. You have a good heart to care about this little one. Let us know the outcome!
post #4 of 13
Good point!

I caution - unless you do intend to follow through with having him/her spayed/neutered, it really is best not to feed or get further involved.

That said... the best way to find out if she's a mum is to put food out at a regular time every day for a few weeks. This will give you time to find a trap and to get her on a schedule. After three weeks or so (assuming she didn't JUST give birth), if she's a mum, she'll bring the kittens to eat with her.

It is a risk that she disappears and you never see her again. So it's really a trade-off - and not an easy decision to make.
post #5 of 13
Can you quickly grab her by the scruff of the neck and put her in a cat carrier? I've done that a few times to my cats outside, the ones tame enough to let me pet them, any way. But, I have to say that I'm a bit of a fearless idiot when it comes to thinking about being bitten or scratched.
post #6 of 13
I could tell our feral cat Spot was nursing by getting down on the ground and watch her as she walked by. I could see little tufts of fur sticking out of her belly. That was where each of the kittens fed. It was easy with her because she was short haired. Don't think it would be as easy with a long haired cat.
post #7 of 13
Do you have any pictures you could share of that?!! (just teasin but I do get a pretty funny visual of that...)
post #8 of 13
used to strange going's on here. We ended up trapping Spot for a quick visit to the vets for a rabies shot and distemper. She came back, and it hurt to do it but we let her go again to be with her kittens who were hidden down the road. Eventually trapped her and her baby, Beeba. Sadly, Spot passed away, but Beeb is my buddy.
post #9 of 13
great story... thinkin outloud here about our situation... even if the "mom" has a fresh crop of kittens (maybe as young as few weeks), I could trap her Thursday night... have spayed Friday & return her to her kittens Saturday afternoon & they would still be OK?
post #10 of 13
I don't know the answer - others might. I'm pretty sure a vet can tell if a mum is nursing though. I'd trap her if it's an option, take her with you - and as they're coming home the same day, let the vet make the decision (unless someone here knows!).
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by catmanmew View Post
great story... thinkin outloud here about our situation... even if the "mom" has a fresh crop of kittens (maybe as young as few weeks), I could trap her Thursday night... have spayed Friday & return her to her kittens Saturday afternoon & they would still be OK?
That seems a little too long, especially considering you don't know the age of the kittens if she has them. You can spay a nursing mother, but she needs to be released the following day. There's no way to trap her the morning of the spay?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am fairly certain she is not a mama, during one of the brief moments she let me touch her, I slid my hand under her belly (was gonna see if she would allow me to pick her up) there were no engorged teats. She struggled a little and rather than freak her completely out, I didn't push the issue with picking her up.
She still shows nightly for feeding, but one of the neighbors beagles was roaming around last night baying at the moon, and that freaked her, she was in no mood to be loved on. I will be contacting my vet about some meds for her and possibly trapping her. I think given a little more time she will allow me to snatch her up and put her in a carrier.

Thanks everyone for your great advice!
post #13 of 13
Thanks for taking the time and caring about this little one. You have a big
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