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Need your opinions please!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been taking care of a feral population since I moved into my house 10 years ago. I TNR as many as I can, and TNK or TNA (trap-neuter-keep or adopt) those that are socializable.

I have FeLV running thru the outdoor cats. Haven't had them tested, but the 2 kittens that I TNK'd 8 months ago carried it in with them. The feral population took a sudden downturn about 2 months ago - about 6 disappeared completely and the rest are not looking very healthy. What is left are 3 older neutered (7-9 years old) cats, the litter mate of the 2 kittens and 4 five month old kittens. All kittens came from the same queen that gave my TNK'd kittens FeLV.

My dilemna: The entire population is not socializable (I've tried). In all my readings of FeLV, it CLEARLY states that you need to bring outdoor positive cats indoors to keep them away from other cats. Since I have a household of negative cats, this is not possible. There are other folks in the neighborhood that do the same as I and their cats will wander to our yard from time to time.

In the last month, I have tried to locate help in the area for FeLV positive cats to no avail. Healthy cats are difficult enough to place, let alone feral, non-socialized FeLV+ cats.

My question to the forum: Do I risk the general population of the neighborhood by leaving my ferals as is (getting the kittens neutered of course)? Do I have them tested and put them down if positive? Any other creative ideas on what I can do here? I'm at a loss!!!

Thanks for all thoughts and opinions on this!
post #2 of 6
Yes, I think that having FelV cats running around does but all the out door cats at risk. When we get our cats/ferals test my husband and i agreed before hand that if they came back postive they would be put to sleep. I do not want to risk the other cats that are out there because I know that alot of people around her let there house cats roam and with some of the friendlier ferals (snowwhite) there was always a chance that she would come in contact with one of the inside cats because she would come into the laundry room. Knock on Wood so far everyone has tested negative. We normal just test one from the litter.
post #3 of 6
Here's a site that gives reasons not to:

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good article, and emphasizes where I was leaning towards anyway - get all of the ones I've yet to catch neutered, thus avoiding any future contact with the unneutered Tom's that roam our way. They are already well fed and have numerous warm, safe places to live, so their environment can't be improved anymore than what it is.

What has been difficult for me, is that there was one queen that we have been trying to trap for years, is the mother of the infected kittens, and I assume she was infected by a wandering Tom. She disappeared in June, relieving me of trying once again to TNR her, but will need to do so for her surviving kittens, infected or not.

Ever have one of those periods when your brain hurts!?!?! I'm sick of agonizing over this - I will TNR the lot!
post #5 of 6
We don't even test any of our ferals, we just TNR, feed & water. We have done over 90 cats now in the park, and there's probably about 25-30 left in the colony (all but one male fixed). This was our first year we did not see any newborn kittens!

Don't agonize over this, you're doing the right thing by stopping the population growth! Good luck!
post #6 of 6
One interesting thing is that in some cases it seems those viruses run their course, dessimate a colony, then almost disappears! This has happened in two groups of outdoor (I won't say feral, some are friendly) cats I am aware of. In the late 90's so many were dying it was feared they'd all die out. But for some reason, the survivors and their offspring appear to be immune! Is there such a thing as building up resistence or some just not getting it?
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