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Aarrrrrrggghhh!!! Snow!!!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was going to do some trapping today; I bought some new crates last night, etc... Of the six or so unspayed/un-neutered ferals still out there, I've only see two for the past week.

There is one pair that has been perpetually together, but one is missing. And one of our spayed releases has been MIA as well.

Now today, it snows in NY!!! Thirty-one degrees after a week of sun. It was even sunny this morning.

post #2 of 16
I know how you feel. !!!!!!!!!

We spent a good part of last fall/winter tramping around in the snow trapping cats.

And I hate to say it, but we had one female we spayed that never came back after that. But she's the only one out of 28 cats.

Sending Come Home Kitty vibes your way!!!!
post #3 of 16
How frustrating! When winter comes, I've noticed that the ferals may move to a location with more shelter - I actually get more around my house over the winter months since I have lots of warm places for them (barns, garages, underground storm cellar, under the house). Hang in there - if you have to trap as they show up, just remember that "heat" time usually starts in February!

My guess is that your pair of cats that hang together are females or an adult female/older kitten pair. Males just don't hang out like that unless they are litter mates but they will detach from each other once mature.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, the snow looks like it's stopping - big snow shower, but maybe it will clear. And I just checked and it looks like the pair are back as a pair.

See if you think these long-hairs are the same cats...



post #5 of 16
I'm looking at the red blotch over the forehead and blackened ear tips on Tiki's mom and she doesn't look like either in the lower picture. But then again it's a different camera angle and the lighting is different.

I LOVE red tabbies by the way!!!
post #6 of 16
They sure look VERY similar to me!!!! (Maybe the resolution on my monitor isn't as good?)

BTW - "our" ferals would all disappear (except the kittens that lived under our home) when the snow hit. Depending upon how deep the snow was, they would come back after a day or two. NONE of them liked walking in the snow!!!!!

One of the ferals (that is now an inside pet), Tuxedo, found refuge in the groundhog burrow in which was born during one of the worst snow storms last winter. It was so unusual for him not to show up for meals, even right after the snow, that after he was missing for two days Gary went out looking for him - we were very worried he was buried somewhere. He opened up access to all the places we could think he might have hidden - including the burrow. Turns out he was buried in the burrow. After digging everything open Gary checked outside after about half an hour - and there he was! A little row of footsteps trundling down from the woods - out of the groundhog burrow. Thank God Gary unburied him. I really don't know what would have happened, because it was about three feet of snow - and it was there all Winter after that. The poor little kitty was sooooo hungry!!!
post #7 of 16
And I have to add - I totally agree with Amy. What gorgeous kitties!!!!!!!!!!
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
There's one more.

This summer, we had a tabby that was curled up with the older feral with mouth cancer that we put to sleep. One day I saw her/him curled up, looking really sick (feline herpesvirus?). I think this might be the same cat. It's hard to tell - the red tabbies all look the same. The cat was covered in flies and I assumed it was dying. The next day it was gone.

As for Tiki's Mom, I really HOPE it's Tiki's Mom. We never caught her and that's a goal of mine.

Re: groundhog burrows - we have a few. According to a neighbor, those calico kittens spent their early days in one. I wonder what the groundhogs think.

post #9 of 16
BTW - I'm so glad the pair is back. It can be SO nerve-wracking working with (and loving) ferals!!!!!

Re: groundhog burrows. "Ours" was no longer inhabited by groundhogs. I think you should keep an eye out - if there's no groundhogs living in them, the ferals may hide there in the snow, and you might have to dig them out like we had to. But I'm pretty sure that'll depend upon whether they're already occupied or not.
post #10 of 16
Telling red tabbies apart isn't always easy. I had 2 sets of red tabby brothers that I had a heck of a time with - even inside my house! This is what I look for, in order of success:

Look for the overall red shading - when they are fluffy, their tabby lines are not always easy to distinquish them, and their general color can be a giveaway. Also check the fluff of their tail or the length of their mane.

Look at the shape of their eyes, the shape around their mouths and general face structure.

Look at the "M" marking on their forehead. Sometimes the part at the top of the M will be different on each cat. Scarlett has a light streak that crosses over in that area.

Lastly, if you see them regularly, often you can pick them up thru their habits, their gait, how they look at you, or how they handle themselves.

After a while, I could distinguish mine in the dark.
post #11 of 16
Those are some pretty kitties.
I just wanted to wish you luck in trapping the rest of the feral cats.Hope the snow clears up for you very soon.
post #12 of 16
Hey Scott, Im in NY too, on the Island, and am also so not happy about this snow crap coming! Tis another reason why I felt it critical to get the kittens ASAP (just posted about them) I am praying kitty #4 didnt go into hiding cause he saw me take the other two Much luck to you on your ferals ...hopefully they are just bedding down preparing for the cold.

post #13 of 16
It is insulating!

My black/white porch cat, Sylvie, hasn't been appearing as regularly as she did. (I'm assuming she's female, as I don't notice any male plumbing.)

Scott, any suggestions for catching a very large cat that's a bit skittish?

If it keeps snowing here, I'm determined to build a big insulating snow mound next to the back porch.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
In terms of recommendations, hmmmmm, I'm having some of the same issues myself.

First, if they're well-fed and they're not hungry, then they don't have much incentive to come eat. There are about 5-10 people putting food out in my area and the remaining cats look at my traps with a shoulder shrug, like, "Yeah? OK funny guy, we've seen you here before and there's 5lbs. of food on the old lady's porch." I think if the food gets cut for a day they'll have more incentive.

One thing I've been doing is making a tuna fish oil/water mixture (make sure there's no sediment) and keeping it in a large spray bottle in the fridge. I make sure it's really smelly. We had a feral go MIA last week and I sprayed down his usual area with the fish water, and when I came back an hour later he was sitting there. So I guess that works to get their curiosity up.

Obviously, feeding them in the same place regularly works. We have a neighbor with a crate on her balcony, and the cats come to the balcony to eat. She's moved the food into the crate to get them used to it. I'm not sure if they've gone in, but they're definitely more comfortable with a crate or trap on her balcony than they are seeing me walk a half-block with a big crate in my hands, plunking it down in front of them. Unfortunately, living in a big complex, I can't just leave traps out and come back later.

So far, tuna has been irresistable to them, and they only get comfortable if I'm sitting far away. They might not come into the cage for the tuna, but if I toss a bit in front of their nose they're definitely on top of it.

So I suppose some tuna, some scent marking, some work on getting them used to the trap or cage, regular feedings, and denying them food for the day before trapping will help get them going.
post #15 of 16
Awww what precious furbabies
post #16 of 16
Thanks for the advice on cat catching. The black/white tux cat is just so big, (OK, I admit I'm afraid of big cats!), that it's going to be difficult to put her into a carrier and transport her to a vet, the ideal situation, vs. the trapping. I'm feeding her some top rate food: Nutro's Natural Choice dry cat food, Max cat, Hills, and Iams canned food, and fresh water. Sylvie really likes the Nutro Natural Choice kibbles.

As for that big pic of the orange tabby cat, he looks just like a cat that was visiting our porch and back yard and a cat my daughter insists is Punky's dad.
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