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URGENT- need advice about ferals and hurricane

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Hello! I need advice FAST. I live in MD CLOSE to DC and as some of u might know, there's a hurricane on its way and will probably hit us on Fri.

I have been feeding and taking care of some ferals in my area and have one regular feral named Callie who practically lives on my porch. I am very worried about shelter for her during this hurricane if it hits. She refuses to let me touch her and she won't come into my apt. Several times, there have been rain storms, etc and she'd just sit in front of my sliding door getting soaked and stare at me and my other cats. I have opened the door many times but she'd run off then as soon as I close the door, she'd be back. So due to this, I am afraid she won't be smart enough to go find shelter during this hurricane.

I am thinking of running to lowes or home depot and buy a dog house for her but not sure if that'd work?

Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated! I'll add pics of her so u can see how cute she is. In the 2nd pic, u'll see how dumb she is being- sitting on the fence in a rainstorm getting soaked!! It makes me feel TERRIBLE to see her outside in the rain but what can I do ESPECIALLY now with the hurricane???
post #2 of 54
Thread Starter 
Here she is sitting on the fence in the rain looking sad!
post #3 of 54
Poor sweetie. I think a dog house is a great idea.. it's better than nothing.
post #4 of 54
I wouldn't do anything. You would just waste your money. The cat has great instinct and she will know well in advance of any human when the storm is coming. She will also go to ground and hide. If you see her outside in the wild of it, then open your door (if you can) and my guess is she will bolt inside. But other than that, she will go to ground, under a porch where she is protected and safe or under a building. She will not stay in a plastic dog house, it is not natural for her and it will smell funny. She will steer clear. If it were me, I would put a ton of food under my porch way back out of the wind (use a broom to push it far under) or find another place where she can be safer and entice her under there with food. Standing out in the rain is one thing, not to many ferals will stand out in a hurricane!

Good luck! I hope it fades before it hits, last I heard the winds were 150 mph!
post #5 of 54
Thread Starter 
What about a wood doghouse?

I will try the food under the porch (hope my landlord won't catch me doing it grin). However, the food will become soaked and I know that Callie won't eat soaked food.. Think I should put out dry food anyway and cross my fingers??

Let's hope she is smart enough to find shelter from this hurricane! We have had some BAD storms before and she just huddled in front of the sliding door looking pitiful and getting really soaked so that's why I am worried about her not getting to shelter but u're right, a hurricane is a whole different thing.. Sigh..

Yeah I HOPE the hurricane fades before it hits us...
post #6 of 54
That poor cute and pretty cat . I would have said the same thing then Sicy , but Hissy is a specialist in feral . You may want to listen to her . Good luck . And let us all not forget to pray that that hurican will not make land fall .
post #7 of 54
Cant you try to catch her with a trap from the animal controll and maybe to get her a spare room to get used to you ???
post #8 of 54
If you do get a wooden dog house that might work. If you can stuff it with straw that would be great. And secure it down somehow so it won't move. But honestly, she may not even go in it. It is hard to say. You can try sprinkling catnip inside of it to entice her in. But again, she may just ignore the whole deal.
post #9 of 54
Do you have a garage or storage shed that could be left open enough for her to get inside?
post #10 of 54
Ferals are incredibly smart. A feral showed up at my house in early May with 4 kittens, 2 hours before a tornado hit our house. She brought them from where ever she was raising them (back in the woods??) and simply laid them out in the open along the back of our house. Knowing that a storm was coming that night, we made a makeshift wooden overhang over the kittens, and the tornado hit an hour later. The mom found shelter elsewhere and came back in the morning to take care of her kittens.

What do I think happened? Mom sensed the storm and tried to get her kittens closer to shelter. She knows us and knew that we would take care of her kittens. She wasn't going to have anything to do with what we built, and we're glad she found somewhere else to ride out the storm. I

f you build a wooden shelter, there is no quarantee that she will use it. If she is scared, she is going to seek something familiar to her.
post #11 of 54
Thread Starter 
No, unfortunately I don't have access to a garage or anything- I live in a basement apt of a house and have no access to my landlord's garage. I can't ask him to lve it open for cats (I've already pushed my luck with him by leaving catfood outside- he doesn't really like to see a messy deck but I sneak food outside anyway).

I thought about trapping her and bringing her in. However, I live in one bedroom apt so there's no "spare" room to keep her in except for the bathroom and it's a TINY bathroom. I did that to her when I trapped her and had her spayed and let me tell u, that bathroom was too small for her!

I think I will look around and see if I can find some kind of wooden dog/cat house and set it up in a corner against the walls so even if Callie won't use it, maybe other ferals will. I will feel better knowing that at least I tried. HOwever.. a friend pointed out recently that the doghouse might be blown away by the winds so now I'm not so sure about the house. I guess I'll just have to look more and think more about this. I will also do what Hissy suggested and put some food under the deck...

Cross ur fingers that the hurricane will dissolve before it hits land! If it does hit, it'll be my first time experiencing it... I just hope that my 4 inside cats and outside ferals will be okay and not be freaked out by all of the wind/rain, etc..
post #12 of 54
I would almost opt for trapping and the bathroom until it's over. It's only temporary and at least you would know she as safe. Good luck to you, and I think it's great you're trying so hard for this adorable cat! She's a beauty. Please let everyone know how it all went. Again GOOD LUCK!
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
Hissy- should I go ahead and trap her and bring her in for a couple days to be safe or just let her ride it out and hope for the best?? U have so much experiences with ferals..

I can't help but love Callie especially since she's here almost 24 hours a day! Anytime I look out, she's sitting there staring at me and my cats. I found out recently that if I leave the living room to go into the bedroom, she'd leave the sliding door and come sit at the window nearest my bedroom and wait for me and my cats (who always follow me) to come out where she can see us.. Cute huh?

I have rescued 2 litters of Callie so far in the last year I've started feeding her before I got her fixed.

I guess u can see that I am a big SOFTIE for cats...

Will keep u posted about the hurricane and cats..
post #14 of 54
We also rescue ferals. We have 17 at home, all who were feral and TNR at a park near our home. We've done in the neighborhood of 90 cats. I would trap her and know that's she's safe. It's just a temporary situation, just like when you had her fixed. She may not like it, but it's much better than hoping she survives the storm.
post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 
I own my own trap so I can trap ferals anytime I need.

I think the problem will be to determine WHEN to trap Callie- trap her Wed? Thurs? What if the storm doesn't start till sat? And when to stop feeding her so when it's time to trap her she'd come HUNGRY into the trap.. U know?

I'll keep a close eye on the news for the next few days and see if the hurricane will be lessening by the time it hits us (HOPEFULLY!) and if it is still to be BAD then... I'll try to trap her and hope she comes into the trap so I can get her into the bathroom.

Another question- if I do trap her and put her in the bathroom, I keep her in the trap???? I'd feel so bad for her being in the trap.. It wasn't bad while she was being fixed cuz I knew she was still "knocked out" from the surgery... However if I let her out of the trap then who knows what would happen anytime I enter the bathroom to do my business..... Hmmmm...
post #16 of 54
It won't hurt her to be in the trap for a bit. You can still feed and water her, safely. How long would a storm like that last? I would only let her out if you know you can safely capture her to release her back outside. You might purchase a large kennel, if funds allow, and transfer into that. At least it's not as small as a trap and you could take that outside to release her. That's what we have and it works out really well. We can even fit a small litter box in it.
post #17 of 54
Thread Starter 
I have no clue how long the hurricane will last since this will be my first experience (if the hurricane stays strong).. I don't think it will last longer than a few hours??

I cannot afford to buy a kennel (WISH I DO) and I don't have room for a kennel in my apt anyway so I guess she will have to do with the trap.

Let's hope the hurricane dissolves before it hits us so that way I won't have to worry about trapping Callie, keeping her separate from my cats, worrying about Callie being frightened in the bathroom, etc etc..
post #18 of 54
Well I really don't think it would hurt her to be in a trap for a few hours during this. I'd rather see her there, than in the storm. There's some calming stuff you can buy over the counter you might try putting in her water. I think it's called Bachs Rescue Remedy or something like that. You could always ask a vet who might recommend something also. Again good luck to you! Another thing, keep the trap covered and this always helps to keep them calm.
post #19 of 54
The storm may last anywhere between a few hours before and a few hours after the eye or, if it stalls, it could be centered over one spot for a day or more.

I would keep the cat in the trap in the bathtub, propped up on something that would keep the cat from sitting in its own urine. Keep the trap covered with a large towel or light blanket.

Remember that hurricanes can be deadly, and that you and your family may need to move into the bathroom or a closet during the storm because the walls of these small rooms may be able to stand up if the roof or walls collapse. Make sure your own cat is in a carrier the whole time as well so that if the house is damaged your cat will not escape. Make sure your cat has a collar or has a chip so that if the cat does escape, and is found it can be returned to you.

If you have never lived through a hurricane, you can't imagine how horrific it can be.
post #20 of 54
She is a beauty. If you have a way of trapping her, I would trap her now and not wait. The closer the storm gets the higher her anxiety will raise as she is aware of the approaching danger. She may surprise you and settle right down, then again she may go ballistic once she is in the trap (some do).

The longest I have left a feral in a trap was 48 hours. I have a large cage that I use- one big enough for a german shepherd dog. It was an expense to be sure, but has paid for itself several times over. You can keep a good sized litter box, food and water and the cat inside there for days in relative safety.

Good luck and thanks for caring for this creature out in the world.
post #21 of 54
Good pointers Renae!!!
post #22 of 54
I just posted this paper from the Humane Society on disaster planning for pets. I think it will be helpful.
post #23 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips. I really appreciate it! I will try to trap her tmr nite after my night class then I won't have to worry about her for the next several days.

Remember that hurricanes can be deadly, and that you and your family may need to move into the bathroom or a closet during the storm because the walls of these small rooms may be able to stand up if the roof or walls collapse. Make sure your own cat is in a carrier the whole time as well so that if the house is damaged your cat will not escape. Make sure your cat has a collar or has a chip so that if the cat does escape, and is found it can be returned to you.
This is a very good point- I planned to loan a friend of mine 2 of my cat carriers since she needs 2 extra cuz she lives closer to the coast but now I think I better keep all 4 of my carriers so just in case I need to transport my babies, I will have sufficient carriers. I feel bad for my friend but I'm sure she'll understand...

Pls keep ur fingers crossed so that I won't have to deal with disasters... I CAN'T think of losing my babies. It scares me.. I think u guys can tell I am more worried about my cats than myself!
post #24 of 54
Thread Starter 
After I have thought some more about this, I've decided to go ahead to Petsmart tmr (will call in sick tmr am)and use my credit card to buy a small crate or kennel. The hurricane might come earlier or later and might last short or longer so if I do have to keep her longer then it's not fair to keep her in a small trap where she can't move around much so that's why I've decided to go ahead with the crate or kennel even though I can't really afford it..

I will keep u posted regarding trapping Callie tmr nite. HOPE she comes in the trap right away and not give me a hard time like she did when I tried to trap her for spaying.
post #25 of 54
This is a wonderful thing you are doing!!! They still don't know where the hurricane is going to hit, but thankfully it looks like it's slowing down a bit (last I heard).

If you're not able to trap her, I expect, hope and pray she'll find safe cover.

How's it going, and what have you decided to do at this point?
post #26 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks for asking and thinking of us poor suckers out here on the east coast.

I am going to run to Petsmart tonite and see if I can buy a small crate or kennel so that way Callie can have some space to move around in after I trap her and move her into the kennel.

I also realized that there'd be a problem with having the trap in the bathtub cuz I was told that I should fill the bathtub with water in case electricity goes off so that means I can't have Callie in the bathtub.

What I've heard and read so far from news doesn't sound too good. Yes, the wind is lessening but still...Here's some quotes from USATODAY I read. (I only live 10 min away from DC so I'm really close to DC) .
Washington braced for the prospect of what one local disaster planning official called "the perfect storm" — a hurricane barreling up the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River and into the nation's capital.
Authorities there have set up the old convention center and Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, former home of the Washington Redskins football team, as disaster mobilization sites.

Another part from that website-

Hurricane forecaster Stacy Stewart said he "could easily see" winds at hurricane force — 74 mph and above — extending 150 miles out from the storm's center when it strikes land. Winds slightly less than hurricane intensity could extend up to 300 miles from the center.

In a conference call Monday for federal and state disaster planners, Stewart said the storm could bring widespread damage inland, not just along the coast.
Sigh. I have SO MUCH to do AND now I think I am starting to get a kidney infection again cuz my back and side has been hurting for the last few days and is getting worse. I have a class tonite from 4-7 pm then am having a bed delivered tonite to my home, have to run to Petsmart which is about 30 min away to get a crate or kennel and some bachs rescue remedy to calm my cats down if they get freaked out or Callie from being trapped, trap Callie, get more food and water together, check all of my flashlights' batteries to make sure they're working! And I have to do all this tonite! HOPE I accomplish everything tonite.

I can tell that the cats knows there's something up because last nite Buddy kept wanting to ride on and STAY on my shoulders- ususally he'd just jump up on my back and stay there for about 10 min before jumping off but last nite he stayed on my back/shoulders for over an hour before I had to pry him off.. Some of my other cats are starting to act a bit differently- more nervous...
post #27 of 54
Here's some good reference sites for disasters and prepardness:


post #28 of 54
Thanks HouseofCats those are some great site's .
post #29 of 54
How are things going? Did you trap her? Are you prepared?
post #30 of 54
Thread Starter 
No luck with trapping her so far. Will try again tonite and tmr am. Still trying to get prepared!! Am half prepared now. Ha.. It's frustrating to hear that Isabella was downgraded to category 2 therefore I got my hopes up that it won't be bad then hearing that it was upgraded to a category 3 again.. ARGGGG It's nervewrecking.

Thanks for asking..
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