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Need Cat Advice....

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Here is the situation. I have 5 well adjusted happy cats. My backyard borders up with a field and an old farm. Since my wife and I moved into the house 3 years ago, a cat has been coming to our back patio to "visit" our cats. Until recently, the cat looked healthy and we figured it was owned by a neighbor. (Many of our neighbors have cats they let out during the warm seasons.) However, the cat now looks thin and is asking for food. So we have started feeding it and are starting to wonder if its a stray ?

The farm was owned by an old man who passed away during the spring and we are wondering if it was his cat ? Nobody in our area seems to know were the cat came from. Bottom line: Its Fall now and we are not about to make it spend the winter outside if it doesn't have a home to go to. It seems friendly, but get too close and you will get scratched. Its very weird ....It meows and rolls on its belly like its looking for attention. However, if you reach out to pat the cat you will get scratched.

Options: We adopt the cat. The only problem is we really can't take a 6th cat. I'm afraid this one will be the one that breaks our happy cat society. (spraying, fighting, etc etc) Two of our males hiss and spit out the window when it visits. The other 3 just like to watch.

I refuse to take it to a shelter. The ones in our area put down cats if they are not adopted within 60 days. Nobody I know wants another cat and the rescue groups in our area want you to foster home the cat.

My wife thinks we should just feed it outside and treat it like an outdoor cat. Sure...thats ok when its warm, but what about when its Jan and 20 degrees outside.

What to do !!! Any advice !!! I'm not sure it will let me pick it up.
post #2 of 3
Try trapping the cat and get it fixed and checked by a vet at the very least. Someone here had suggested that you place a break away collar on the cat with a tag that reads "If this is your cat, please contact me" and your phone number. Many pet shops have a machine that will print it while you wait.

When the cat is trapped and at the vet have them place the collar on the cat and then let it go when you get home. At the very worst you could put a dog house in the back yard and fill it with straw for the cat to sleep in at night. I would lean a piece of wood across the doorway at an angle so the cat can get in and it cuts the wind or blocks the rain that may try to blow in.

Keep us posted!
post #3 of 3
If possible to capture it and get it vetted that would be great. It may already be neutered or spayed, but it should be seen by a vet, for chances are strong it is fighting ear mites, fleas, parasites and other problems.

Depending on what your winter is like, you have several options to providing this cat shelter. We have on one side of our barn, elevated cat houses attached to the outside of the barn wall. Off the ground to protect from the elements, one plank goes up to the first house, and then it is a simple matter of the cat using the houses themselves to get back and forth because of how they are placed. There is one large entry hole in the front, and in the winter, they are stuffed with straw for bedding.

If you are fighting severe weather, try and elevate the house for the cat as much as possible.
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