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What do I do?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a feral female who has calmed enough to allow me to love her though she still insist on staying outdoors (if any one has read anything else by me, this would be Tigger that I am talking about). She has already given birth to two litters this summer and may already be pregnant with another. Her last litter kittens are 11-weeks right now so I don't know how far along she is if she is pregnant, I just know that her sides are filling out again (and she is normally a thin cat). Her kittens are being taken in tomorrow to be neutered and if they have room, they say they will take her also. I am emotional about this because I can't imagine any creature being killed. Is this really what is best for Tigger? Will she be alright? How do I get over feeling so awful about the kittens (though it would be nice to not have to place any more kittens, I'm having problems with the ones I do have)?
I guess what I am looking for is support.
post #2 of 18
That is a hard decision, and one only you can make for this cat. I've read some very interesting arguments supporting both sides, but it comes down to the individual case. Perhaps you can find a local no-kill shelter or feral advocacy group that can help you home the (presumed) kittens. Maybe with the stress of worrying about finding homes off, the answer might be easier for you to find.
post #3 of 18
Jen, it is a difficult decision, but unfortunately it really is better to get Tigger done now, whether or not she is pregnant. On a personal level, these back-to-back pregnancies are very wearing on poor Tigger. If her last litter is only 11 weeks old, she hasn't had time to replenish the vast amount of resources that having and nursing the last litter took from her. You said she is a thin cat anyway, and this strain on her system of having yet another litter may compromise her - she won't have the natural defenses to ward off the viruses and diseases that she normally has.

On a larger scale, you're right, placing more kittens will be difficult for you and adding to the already horrible overpopulation problem in general.

Getting Tigger spayed now, although a hard thing to do, really is the best thing.

(((HUGS))) I'm sorry you have to make this decision for her.
post #4 of 18
I echo the previous sentiments, and would like to add that if she is pregnant now, a winter litter of kittens is not an easy thing for a mom to raise, even down south in Georgia. Kittens have the worst survival rate in the winter months, and life for them is extremely harsh if they survive at all.

I think you will be doing the right thing by having this baby fixed now.
post #5 of 18
It is quite possible that she is indeed pregnant again, in fact I would bank on it. I know that you feel like you are a murderer if you catch her and take her in and have her spayed. Because I used to have the same thoughts when I would do this. But, the hard reality of it is that because she in underweight, living outside, she is in constant stress and not able to recover from one pregnancy before a Tom will mount her again. This means both she and the kittens are at high risk of not surviving at all, versus if she were inside, and able to be cared for, given nutritious food and a warm place to sleep so she could regenerate.

No one here would find fault for you making this decision. You can take her to the vet and have her spayed, I pray that you do. Tell them when you drop her off that you do not wish to know anything, other than if she is healthy and going to be okay after the spay. If Tigger had her choice, my bet is she would opt to not have yet another litter of kittens to deal with. But living on the streets as it were, that choice is not one she can make.

Best of luck-
post #6 of 18
Jen, you've already gotten the advice I would give. I really like MA's idea of asking them not to tell you anything more than whether or not Tigger's OK. No matter whether she's pregnant or not, this is the healthiest choice for her, and you don't need to detract from the good that you are bringing into her life. We are ALL animal advocates here, and we would all go out of our way to rescue if a cat in need crossed our paths. Some of us go out of our way to rescue cats that are in need even though they're not directly crossing our paths. And MA said it for all of us - not one of us would find fault with the hard decision. It is emotionally difficult for you, but best for her.


I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Please let us know how it goes!

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
I want to thank you who put in their input. You were all wonderful and some of what you guys said really hit home harder than anything could of.
Perhaps you can find a local no-kill shelter or feral advocacy group that can help you home the (presumed) kittens.
How I wish!! The shelter near me that I foster for is not high-kill, nor is it no-kill, but I may be able to place the ones I already have in their adoption program. I have begged every feral and cat rescue place around here to help me (since I have one kitten and one adult cat to find homes for) and it is the same story everywhere; "sorry, we are just to full." Some have been nice and others have been rude but I know it's hard down here. Georgia is a very uneducated state when it comes to pets. People out here don't really care. There is still so much country that there are strays everywhere and it is finally beginning to dawn on people that there is a problem; the stray cat population especially. This summer was one of the hardest for cats. On average, just on the weekends the shelter took in 40 cats every weekend. Very few seem to care down here.
On a personal level, these back-to-back pregnancies are very wearing on poor Tigger.
a winter litter of kittens is not an easy thing for a mom to raise, even down south in Georgia.
But, the hard reality of it is that because she in underweight, living outside, she is in constant stress and not able to recover from one pregnancy before a Tom will mount her again. This means both she and the kittens are at high risk of not surviving at all
As a mother of 5 (all back to back basically), those words made so much sense. I never thought of it that way.
Tell them when you drop her off that you do not wish to know anything, other than if she is healthy and going to be okay after the spay.
Which is exactly what I am going to do, but all I could think after reading the other post was, how would I feel if I let her have the kittens and because she is still weak, I lost her. I know exactly how I would feel and all the chocolate in the world would not help that go away.
So with all the great advice you have given I have decided that if they have room tomorrow, then Tigger will go in, and if not tomorrow then she will go in on Monday.
Thank you so much for all you support in this. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how everything goes.
post #8 of 18
Good luck Jen. You are a wise woman and I support your decision 100%.
post #9 of 18
Jen, we're here for all the support you need. I've got you in my thoughts today and am sending you lots of cyber hugs!!!!
post #10 of 18
You are doing the right thing Jen. When our feral cat Scrappy's kittens were 8 to 9 weeks old she went into heat and the male cats came to call. A week latter I took her into be spayed and I did not ask and they did not tell. The only problem with being spayed when the milk is still in, is mastitist (sp) can happen. It did with Scrappy and I just put warm heat on it when I could and all worked out well . She is now a Happy Feral Cat and has been named Queen of the Garage .
post #11 of 18
You are a very brave and wonderful person. This was not an easy decision to make, and I am very confident that you did the right thing. Please keep us up to date on how things go with Tigger, and if possible I'd love to see you post some pictures of your fur family in the "Fur Pictures Only" thread.

Here is to Tigger having a healthy spay and recovery!
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry this took so long to post. For some reason, in the mornings this forum (and another one for dogs- yes you have an "intruder" ) won't come up for me. I had to "take a break" from trying so I could get school started and finished with the kids sometime today, so here I am.
The most wonderful news...Tigger was not pregnant!!!!!! I was fine with my decision of having her spayed but finding that out really made me glad I had her done so she didn't get pregnant again!!
Unfortunatly, I was only able to keep her in the garage until this morning and then she practically attacked my husband when he opened the door to check on them, flew out the door into the upstairs and hid out until we opened the door to let the dog out, and she was gone. She is still hanging around the house at least. She is mewing for her babies, but she won't let me anywhere near her, lest she gets trapped again.
The boys came through fine, though I am a little worried about Mr.Ray. He is swollen this morning. The lady who took them for me brought them back late last night and he had made a huge mess in the carrier that she did not clean up, so he had been sitting in his own feces (with two opened wounds )for I don't know how long. I am hoping it is not infected but I won't be surprised if it is. Any ideas what I can do? He has always been the gentlest of the kittens, but he's been very stand-offish today. He wasn't that way last night.
I am also having a problem with them using the litter box now. Because of the neutering I was told I needed to use shredded up paper for awhile in the litter box. Well, they used the paper but not for litter. I walked into the garage and there was paper every where!!! What do I do? They are now finding other places, and there are many in this garage, to do their business. Many in spots that I cannot see or get to, and the smell is Help!!!
Thank you to all of you who were so supportive. You made the whole day easier yesterday and helped me feel right about the whole thing. Katie, if you ever read this, thank you for leading me to this forum. I am forever grateful to find a place I can come to for help, and actually get it. Thanks
As soon as I get my film develped (O to own a diggie!!!), I'll get some pics posted.
post #13 of 18
I was told it was okay for them to use there normal litter after being fixed. Happy to hear everything went well!
post #14 of 18
I use normal litter after speuters - I think the issue with litter is after declawing. Just make sure that you keep it very clean for them (scoop a couple of times a day).

I am so glad that the mom wasn't pregnant again!!
post #15 of 18
That is GREAT news. And I'm glad to see that you found this place as well with it's MANY wonderful experts on ferals. Glad the cats and kittens have gotten fixed.

post #16 of 18
I've never heard of using newspaper after neutering -- I hear to do this after declawing, but their butts don't touch the litter when they potty, so it doesn't matter if they potty on clay versus paper.

Also, when a male is neutered, the opening is cauterized, so there shouldn't be much chance for it to become infected from sitting in a dirty cage. Just keep an eye on his rear, but I'm sure it will be better quickly on its own.

I usually let the boys out within 24 hours of the surgery. So, unless you are planning to adopt them, there is no need to keep the boys confined.
post #17 of 18
I'd put back in the normal litter too. Never heard of that before. Like others, I've only heard of that in relation to detoeing.

One thing to make sure of - when you clean up the messes, don't use ammonia. That smells like urine to them, and unless you get rid of all the smell, they may go to the bathroom there again. The best way to get rid of smell is to use an enzyme cleaner. They are generally only available at pet stores. Walmart might carry - I don't know. The one we use is called Nature's Miracle. But any brand of enzyme cleaner will do.

I'm so glad all went well and that Tigger wasn't preggers!!!!!!

...I am sorry about the little boy, but he should be OK. All ferals we've had spayed/neutered were released as soon as they came home. Spays stayed at the vet from two-three days to a week depending upon weather. Neuters were generally released the same day, unless the weather was terrible. So everyone, including Tigger should be just fine. Frequently our ferals would be a little upset, too. But all of them but one (out of 28 over time) always came back. And many of these were older ferals not socialized at all.

You have done such a wonderful, wonderful thing!!!!!!!!!!

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
The litter box is back to normal!! The bag of litter just stays in the garage, and those guys had found it, gotten into it, and used it anyway!!!
The reason they give for not using the litter is, that it is absorbant and would stick to the wound and possibly absorb into the body. I was not told that the wound was cauterized, they told me that the wound was an open wound, which really did not make sense to me because you can tell that it's not open. Glad to hear that you all use the regular litter, I could not go another minute with not knowing where those guys were making their messes and smelling the smell.
Tigger is still hanging around and is using her food dishes and she has let me pet her a little again, but not pick her up, so I am just going to keep watching her and allow her to do her thing. If I even act like I am going to pick her up, she growls and I know she will act out her growl if provoked further. A few times she has thought about coming back in, but then changes her mind and runs off. I was hoping that the impulse of being with her kittens would be stronger than the fear of being indoors. They made such a small cut in her though, that I'm not to worried. Cookie did the same thing to me when she was spayed, though she did stay away for a couple of days and scared me into thinking that she torn open her stitches and had gone off to die.
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