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Confused Need Advice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Gang... I just had our stray cat & 3 kittens neutered/spayed & they are doing fair to partly cloudly (2 of them are very listless & will hardly eat... sigh) but that's a different issue... prior to being fixed, we had a stray Tom hangin out & occassionally coming in the garage for a snack (I thinks he's the kitten's father) well, last night he came back when the food was out & I watched him to see if any kittens or the Mom would approach... Merlin (our lil male) paid him no mind but the girls stayed hidden in their box... I decided not to let him eat & removed their bowls & did not see him the rest of the nite... so my question is, should I try to not encourage feeding & scare him off or just let things happen as they will... he doesn't seem to be mean to any of the cats & isn't unfriendly, although he will not let me closer then 5-6 feet...

Really need some help here as this is completely uncharted territory for me...
post #2 of 19
Are you going to release the ones you just had spayed/neutered? Cats tend to have a very specific hierarchy so I would keep things as normal as possible for them if you are but you certainly dont want the girls getting injured while they have fresh spay incisions so I would try to keep him away from now as a just in case
post #3 of 19
More cats is something you have to be prepared for. I started about two years ago feeding three or four...now some nights I have almost twenty on my porch, I can pick and choose who gets to eat. I know some of them are even someones pet (which pisses me off). Did you get the cats spayed and neutered at a low cost place? Hopefully you did so you can keep it up. I got mine done at the humane society for thirty dollars a cat, which is a great deal.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
so my question is, should I try to not encourage feeding & scare him off or just let things happen as they will... he doesn't seem to be mean to any of the cats & isn't unfriendly, although he will not let me closer then 5-6 feet...
Feed him, and TNR him -

I have the daddy and mommy to my "feral" kittens. The daddy is more of a stray, the mommy was more feral.

He showed absolutely no signs of trying to harm them. He groomed them, slept with them.

I had always thought that Toms try to kill the kittens - but, in my case, this certainly isn't true.

Now after almost 10 months of experience with the cat family, I've found that the two boys hang out more together, and the two girls are together more. (Mommy had a female and a male kitten.)

Another thing - if you can TNR (trap, neuter, release) him, and your place becomes his territory, he will be helpful (along with mommy) in protecting his territory - which helps keep down the visiting of other cat visitors.

My heart goes out to the tom because of the experience I've had with the stray that arrived at my house - he even comes when I call him - lets me carry him, and now, when I'm outside, is like a little puppy following me around.

I say feed him, especially if he's "family" .
That's my 2 cents for what it's worth - just my limited experience, and speaking from my heart.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I took Glorias advice & fed him tonight & now the kittens have all left the garage! & this is the coldest nite of the year here... not sure what to make of this... maybe I made a mistake but they didn't seem upset... so confused... will check one more time before bed... the good news is lil Jett seems more affectionate & sat on my lap for a spell... will post tommorrow... need more advice please!
post #6 of 19
How old are the kittens - is the mommy with them?
Can they get back into the garage?
Is there food in the garage so they can get it?

I'm concerned about the cold too - but, if they're together they most likely will cuddle together to stay warm - better yet, if there's a place in the garage where they've been staying, and they can get back in, then hopefully they will seek shelter back in the garage in their box.

Your sentence about the "girls staying in the box" leads me to think that they know this is a safe place - just don't fiddle with it, or mommy will move them - maybe she did already if there was too much action where she was ??? I'm only guessing here because I don't know the specifics about your situation other than what your wrote in your first post of this thread.

Since you said that they didn't seem upset, it could be that they are out being cats and exploring the area.

Who is Jett?
post #7 of 19
Lil Jett was the friendliest of the litter of kittens that were just sterilized, and after the spay she became very distant. Obviously she's starting to feel more back to herself as the effects of the trip & the anesthesia are wearing off and she's feeling better.

Dave - did you install a cat door that can be "locked"? If they all come in for "dinner" in the evening - anyway to "lock" the cat door so they're in for the night? And put food outside for the Tom - and then get him neutered?

An un-neutered male can cause a lot of problems. He'll spray around the property causing territory issues, he'll get aggressive about food (un-neutered males are FAR more aggressive)...

????????????????????????

Laurie
post #8 of 19
Did he spray in the garage? I'd be surprised if you can't smell it if he did. But just in case, you may want to invest (not expensive) in a black light to take a look. In the dark, cat urine shows up as orange in a black light.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Laurie (can I call you that?)... good points all around... I could lock the door but then I would need to keep the litter box going full time which is more work but wouldn't be the end of the world I guess... if I had him neutered would that mean he would stay with us full time? He is getting very comfy as he ate last night 1-2 feet away from my grown sons foot! He also was in the garage for a good 3 hours sitting on the chair, etc. but when I went outside last nite to check on them for the last time (12 midnite) the kittens were back & he was gone...

I guess bottom line I'm wrestling with the idea of adding a 5th cat... but I don't like the alternatives of not adding him... plus he does seem like he could be friendly some day...

so you would not recommend trying to get friendly with him prior to taking him to get neutered? Last night all of the kittens were out while he was there & acknowledged him but Mom cat did not come out of her box... He did look in once but did not enter... is she in any danger do you think? This is mind racking stuff I must say... multiple cats is complex!

Note: I thought he sprayed last nite but he didn't but I definitely don't want that smell in the garage! So neutering will end that?
post #10 of 19
Sounds like he is just a stray if he is trusting of people near him already and you haven't been feeding him for a while, do you have a low / no kill shelter near you

Neutering should stop him spraying but there are neutered cats that will and unneutered cats that dont.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey ickle... could be, he has hung around our property for probably the last 5-7 years as I always thought he wa the neighbors but they have now moved... he doesn't seem very afraid but he will not let me get closer then about 5 ft right now... he looks identical to the mother & 2 of the kittens so he mite even be the mothers bro... 5 cats... hard to believe...
post #12 of 19
Sounds like you have a family there.

Number of Cats: 5 cats - the number is just a number - all you have to do is look into their sweet faces ... well, for me, I couldn't break them up - in fact I didn't with my outdoor family. But then, I did have a choice - give them to the no kill shelter, (well, maybe not the feral mommy, they wouldn't take her) hope for adoption while they were living out their lives in a cage - I couldn't do it, but, then - that's just me.

We care for 3 inside cats, and now, 4 outside cats, that equals SEVEN, Yikes - when I think of it the number sounds huge - but, then each one has a piece of my heart. You should see non-cat people's eyes glaze over when we happen to mention that we have 7 cats we care for. There are folks on this website that have more than that number that they care for.

One day I hope to bring the outside cats inside, but can't right now, so I pray for them a lot!

"Tommy": I don't think he will hurt the mommy - I bet she can take care of herself if he tried.

Any Pics of him?

Back in the Garage: Glad to hear that they found their way back in to their safe place in the garage! I was a little concerned when you said they left and the weather was cold.

I've found with my outside cats that they do have a schedule - they may leave the garage at a certain time of night, then return after they've done their exploring.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Gloria... thanks for your concern... no pics of big black as I wasn't sure he'd be back after Mom was spayed... & yes, it is not unusual for them to leave at nite (plus they go potty outside rite now) but I was just a lil freaked out cuz he's never stayed in the garage like that with me going in & out plus I think I'm overly concerned about them rite now becuz they were just fixed...

Just so you know, the kittens (2 girls, Pearl & Jett & 1 boy, Merlin) are probably 5 mos old now so they are fairly good sized...

I'm leaning towards seeing if we can get more friendly with him prior to taking him to get neutered so he won't freak out as much when he is caged... when I fixed the kittens & Mom, I got then so used to their cages that I was able to actually put all 3 kittens & the Mom cat into their traps by hand & they were very calm which helped my nerves!

But I would like more input from all as to the pros & cons of this...
post #14 of 19
Well - without being there to see the interaction, and having no experience with strays/ferals living in a garage - I honestly have no idea what to recommend. Around here, we never waited for cats to become social to get them spayed or neutered - we get the trap and sterilize them. Our feeling on the situation is - the sooner the better.

If he's spraying - I think you wouldn't want to wait. If he was your neighbor's pet, it's possible they moved and left him behind. Sadly, many people do that. If he was someone's pet, he may already be neutered. Can you see if he's still got his "bits" so to speak? Or is that how you're sure he's male?

If he's not spraying... then it's really just a "trust your judgment" situation. If you see him getting aggressive about food or with "your" cats - don't wait. It does take about a month for the hormones to cycle out of their system.

And of course you can call me Laurie! I used to always sign my name - but it's in my siggy. Many of us use our "real" names - or they're around here. People I know real names of off the top of my head that post frequently or fairly frequently here (not that you need to use them!):

Momofmany is Amy
eilcon is Eileen
white cat lover is Natalie (Nat)
Stefanz is hard to guess - yup! Stefan
mrblanche is Mike
kscatlady is Krysta
Sarahp is Sarah
lostmary is Mary
AddieBee is Adrien
Icklemiss is Eithne
coolcat is Rigel
TJN66 is Tammy
valanhb is Heidi

Ummm....... Been a long time since I saw it around, but found it - Here! This is the Cat Lounge: What's your name?

post #15 of 19
when in dought put more bowls out, got a problem with the cats and wildlife that come in so I put 2-3 bowls of food out spaced about 3 feet or more from each other they can have space and still all eat , I wouldnt chase the male away just have a separate bowl for him to just away from the other bowls so the others feel comfortable to come out and eat from the other bowl to,I have a skunk that keeps comming in to eat the cat food and one feral that comes in about the same time, it finally saw the skunk and just sat looking at it, so I chased the skunk away but for the last few days had to put its food out on a dish several feet away , took a year for it to kinda get used to me but it will come back and eat its dish of food, skunk is making me mad taking over her section like that , might have to try to relocate him, he is just a baby, he is getting used to me to, he is a young one , he has his own section with seeds but he goes for the cat food, little stinker





Quote:
Originally Posted by catmanmew View Post
Hey Gang... I just had our stray cat & 3 kittens neutered/spayed & they are doing fair to partly cloudly (2 of them are very listless & will hardly eat... sigh) but that's a different issue... prior to being fixed, we had a stray Tom hangin out & occassionally coming in the garage for a snack (I thinks he's the kitten's father) well, last night he came back when the food was out & I watched him to see if any kittens or the Mom would approach... Merlin (our lil male) paid him no mind but the girls stayed hidden in their box... I decided not to let him eat & removed their bowls & did not see him the rest of the nite... so my question is, should I try to not encourage feeding & scare him off or just let things happen as they will... he doesn't seem to be mean to any of the cats & isn't unfriendly, although he will not let me closer then 5-6 feet...

Really need some help here as this is completely uncharted territory for me...
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi all... Laurie... he does have his "bits" but seems to be warming to the "easy life" pretty quickly... this morning I came out to get their bowls for food & he must of been already in the garage & may have been sleeping overnight cuz he bolted out the kitty port & scared all of them (including me!)& made Mom hiss but he was back in after I put the food down & let me get within a few feet before slowly going out the kitty door... & buehler... I like your idea of an additonal bowl for him maybe closer to the door for him to eat out of...

but I think he will be spending more an more time here as the weather gets worse... can't beat a warm dry place with free food, cats you know & friendly humans!
post #17 of 19
Have you ever happened to have seen an old, old TV series - and I mean OLD - entitled "The Life of Riley"?

Excerpt from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_of_Riley
The expression, "Living the life of Riley" suggests an ideal life of prosperity and contentment, possibly living on someone else's money, time or work.

I thought of that when you described the Mister being in, and waiting for his morning meal ... he's beginning to have the "Life of Riley" knowing that he's finally found someone to love and care for him.

I hope you'll have continued progress and success with them all! Oh, a suggested name - ... Riley.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey Gloria... nope... on the Riley thing... that's a tad b4 my time but at 50 I do remember hearin about it... but guess what... n I still can't believe but I PETTED BIG BLACK!!!

He was eating some food Satruday nite & I was sitting on the steps & reached down real slow to give him a pet & when he felt it he didn't look up but pushed back firmly so I gave him a good scritchin & he seemed pleased & would even stop eating to enjoy!!!

It's so sad that so many cats simply get left to fend for themselves becuz noway would he have reacted like that unless he had felt it!

anyways... didn't see him again until this am but he is definitely getting more n more comfortable :0)...
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by catmanmew View Post
Hey Gloria... nope... on the Riley thing... that's a tad b4 my time but at 50 I do remember hearin about it... but guess what... n I still can't believe but I PETTED BIG BLACK!!!

He was eating some food Satruday nite & I was sitting on the steps & reached down real slow to give him a pet & when he felt it he didn't look up but pushed back firmly so I gave him a good scritchin & he seemed pleased & would even stop eating to enjoy!!!

It's so sad that so many cats simply get left to fend for themselves becuz noway would he have reacted like that unless he had felt it!

anyways... didn't see him again until this am but he is definitely getting more n more comfortable :0)...
Riley - oh, well - so, when you see a re-run of oldies you'll be able to identify.
Big Black - I love black cats. The one we have is the most loving and best cuddler anyone could ask for.

I'm so glad to hear the exciting news about his reception to your kindness - good for you!
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