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New (Very Cute) Kittens, Raccoon Problem, and More....

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
We brought one of our feral mothers back to the apartment complex after a spaying, ready to re-release her. We estimated that we have four more cats (of about 15) to spay/neuter and capture.

Well, Lo and Behold, two more feral kittens that we’ve never seen before pop up looking as though they could be triplets with our original rescue from July, Tiki.

The "new" kittens:


We believe Tiki to be from a different litter, but the general percentage of colors in her calico coat seem surprisingly similar.

Anyway - to complicate matters even further, we have large raccoons that have been rampaging through our courtyard. Tonight they scaled two trellises to reach our 2nd floor apartment balcony, opened a sealed (!!!) plastic container full of bird seed, and dumped it all over the deck. I turned on all the lights and tried to chase them off and they didn't budge.

I am wondering how we're going to feed these cats now without a clash or raccoon problem... ????

post #2 of 37
Oh My!!! Those two new cats are SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! I just love their coat. OooOoh if my boyfriend would let and if we lived near eachother I'd beg and plead to have one of them.

I can't believe how beautiful.
post #3 of 37
Oh Scott they are lovely! I have the same problem with the wildlife, and now I feed consistently during the day, taking up the food at night. At first I was worried the ferals wouldn't get enough to eat, but they caught on quickly and now come at dusk to eat their fill and then retire. I really think strays network with each other. Now the skunks and the coons don't have food at night, but I am sure they are finding natural food to eat- least I hope so!
post #4 of 37
they are just breath taking!
post #5 of 37
Have you contacted any of the larger TNR groups to ask how they handle it?? Obviously you do not want your efforts to be shut down and I am sure groups like Alley Cat Allies and Neighborhood Cats have faced similiar issues.

I think Hissy's idea of only feeding them during the day is a very sound one..and I would keep the birdseed indoors so as not to attract them.

Thank You for taking care of these gorgeous ferals!! Hopefully your colony will be completely fixed soon.

post #6 of 37
we have trapped raccoons, possums, and groundhogs and released them in the wild. I think it's dangerous to have them around with cats, but I'm an animal lover so I can't hate them so I figure it's best for both of us to just move them from the area.
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I'm not sure if that's possible in this situation - we all live in small one-bedroom apartments, driving around in economy cars and such. No space for traps, a hose, a garage, etc... There's no real staging area for catching raccoon-sized animals and cleaning up afterwards.

And for obvious reasons, I'm trying not to attract the attention of Animal Control to the complex.

It's a problem.

The day feeding makes sense and we can get some of the feeders to try that. Unfortunately, one of the women that feeds the cats is elderly and not someone you can explain this stuff to (or get her to comply easily).
post #8 of 37
Those are such beautiful cats. The idea of feeding them during the day is a good one, since most raccoons feed during the evening hours. I used to feed some strays at a park in the area. There were a lot of raccoons there and they never seemed to bother the cats. The only problem though, is that they are big eaters and would eat all the cat food, if I didn't stand by to chase them away, until the cats finished eating.
post #9 of 37
What beautiful girls!

I too have problems with racoons and possums. I have to do what Hissy suggested -- I feed during the day to avoid the wild critters.

But, during the daytime birds steal the cat food, but they aren't as messy or dangerous as racoons. Last night I watched a grandaddy longlegs carrying a whole piece of cat chow in its mouth as it climbed up the wall!!! The food was bigger than the spider's body!
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
I just did a tour again - it looks like the top kitten is missing. The mother and the other kitten were feeding. She might still be around, but when we've lost them in the past, they've stayed gone. These kittens are particularly skittish as well.

The remaining cats are also back to mating....ARGH!!!!!

With Thanksgiving, I doubt we'll be doing any trapping this week.
post #11 of 37
I hope the top cat returns....at the Alley Cat Allies clinic we spay pregnant cats and abort the fetuses...with so many cats it's just the kindest thing to do right now.

post #12 of 37
Originally posted by lotsocats
Last night I watched a grandaddy longlegs carrying a whole piece of cat chow in its mouth as it climbed up the wall!!! The food was bigger than the spider's body!
OMG where do you live? I need to know so I never go anywhere near a place where they get spiders that big and strong!
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
OK, I was able to count 2 kittens today.

It rather sucks, with the holiday, I don't think we'll be able to catch them until at least the weekend (or more...)

I hope they stick around!

I also know we're missing crucial socialization time...

Anyone have an estimate on their age???

I was thinking 3-4 months? Maybe younger? It's hard to tell...they're younger than Tiki (6-7 months) but they're pretty fluffy.
post #14 of 37
Scott they are so cute, I would take both of them in a heartbeat, but I am afraid that I am to far away to help you.
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it's amazing how the coloration works. The one on the bottom is so even, with that black nose and mask, and the one on the top is like Ying/Yang.

They're VERY skittish right now. It doesn't help that the grounds crew comes in with leaf blowers and mowers every week, probably scaring them to death. And the raccoons at night. That said, if we can get them socialized, I'm sure they'll find homes!

After having one of the earlier kittens run over by a car, I don't want to wait too long on this. It drives me nuts that we have no space. Our cats were vaccinated for distemper and rabies, and they're FELV-negative, but we can't really keep the feral kittens in the apartment without knowing their health status. And other than that, we have nowhere to keep them until we can get them vet appointments or have one of the local rescue people take them.

post #16 of 37
I'm in with these kittens. Their colouring is gorgeous.

I haven't followed your story, but are there no foster networks for cats in your area? Usually there is some feral rescue organization that has one in place. Have you even checked with the local pet shops/vets that are near by? With all the clientelle that go in and out of these stores there are sometimes bulletin boards set up for rescue resources. Even the manager of these stores may have some connections.
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
Actually, our area is pretty light on rescue resources unless you go into Manhattan (an hour away), which tends to be overburdened. We have one woman from a local group that helps us, but our rescues revolve around her schedule. In other words, we can't really pick up 20 cats, call her and say "Hi! We've got a present for you! Call us when they're adopted or fixed!" There's another woman that does this locally, but she's had 70 or so cats go through her, so she doesn't really want us calling her.

Sooooo....we've been doing rescues one or two cats at a time. We catch the cats, our contact makes the vet appointment, then we work together on getting the cats adopted, fostered or socialized. But everybody works or has other responsibilities, so it takes some time for our schedules to match and we usually have the cats for a few days before they can be picked up.

The perpetual kicker is that we live in a small 2nd-floor apartment with a balcony, and we already have two cats and a rabbit, so it's not like we have a garage or spare room to put cats in after we catch them. If we keep them outside, we have to build a shelter on our balcony to keep out the rain, etc... I doubt the neighbors appreciate the cardboard and tarps, but no one has complained yet.
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 
There are a few photos of previous cats we've taken in or captured in this thread:


Most recently, we caught this mother and two kittens from two of her separate litters:

She has since been fixed and released. On the day we released her, we found these two calico kittens. I have no idea where they've been hiding for the past few months....
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
OK, they've been caught.

We had one in the crate and it took forever to get the 2nd one to go in. Ack. I thought it wasn't going to happen. They sure like the smell of tuna, though.

I believe that makes us 10 for 10, with another 5-6 to go and one stray adoption (hypothetically, 11-11).
post #20 of 37
That's great Scott! Congrats on catching these two adorable girls! What a great Thanksgiving present.
post #21 of 37
HIP HOORAY! U got these GORGEOUS kitties!!! Hang in there. I know how overwhelming it can be to trap, try to take care of multiple cats, get them fixed and find homes for them but it can be very rewarding.

So u've found someone to take these two kittens in until they could be adopted or ?

Would love an update on this..
post #22 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, these pictures tend to go a long way toward finding prospective adoptive families.

A woman from the local rescue group who works with me has taken the kittens to have them socialized in a foster home. There's already plenty of word in the grapevine of people interested in adopting them. Good looks never hurt a kitten without a home.

The torti we caught prior to these two also goes to a new home tomorrow for a trial run as new company for a house cat. We'll see how they get along.

The nice thing about the pictures is that after the first four cats we caught (which were all sick with URIs and one had a corneal ulcer) we basically had a nervous breakdown on the vet bills and the difficulty to find homes. Since I've been taking pictures and have gotten hooked up with this woman, prospects have been infinitely more positive and I actually feel like I'm accomplishing something.

I told her today that I'll bring her more feral females if she can find the space for them. People in the complex must think I'm nuts. I've turned into the cat hunter. (no-kill, of course). I can't bear to have a repeat of this year, however, and find sick kittens. It kicks me in the a$$ too much, emotionally. I want all these cats spayed or adopted.

post #23 of 37
Truly what you are doing is wonderful.

post #24 of 37
Thanks for the update Scott!! I'm so glad you the kittens are being rehomed! It's great to hear when someone has a heart AND takes action!

post #25 of 37
It warms my heart to read about what you are doing. You are winning many Karma points! I tip my hat to you.
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well, the two calicos are going to a home together.

This kitten was adopted as well and is apparently a big mush now that he's been socialized:

The mother has been spayed and was re-released a few weeks back, and although it looks like now she might be a little sick (big tears, maybe an eye infection).

We also trapped another female today, who never settled down and managed to escape INSIDE a neighbor's apartment while we were trying to transfer her to the local rescue group. There's nothing like having a crazed feral loose in a small apartment. We were able to get her back in the cage - ironically, using a Catopoly (like monopoly with cats) box to block her exit.

Good times.

Another 6-7 to go. (at least for this batch)
post #27 of 37
Those pictures are beautiful! I've gotta figure out how to post such crisp pictures! But that's besides the point.....

That is so wonderful that the calicos and the kitten found homes! BRAVO!!!

You are doing a wonderful job with your ferals. I hope that the spayed momma cat gets better soon.
post #28 of 37
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW....what wonderful news!!!! I hope the momma cat gets better soon. Great to hear you are down to 6 or 7 left. I will keep my fingers crossed that you can catch them all before April (when kitten season begins).

post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
Caught another one today - "Ringo"

He was limping - if you look at his right foot, you can see he's got some sort of hole in it.

These photos are from the summer, a month ago, and today. As you can tell, he's not a happy camper about being in that cage. But, that said, he'll spend tonight in a warm garage instead of freezing outside.

Hopefully, that foot will recover. The abandoned building near us has lots of exposed nails and such - hopefully he didn't impale himself on one of them.

post #30 of 37
That's great!! Hope his foot is ok.

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