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The cycle repeats - Page 2

post #31 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your input. Sadly, this mom and her kittens are just the tip of the iceberg. The mom is the only one from her litter that comes to my deck. I know she has at least 3 other littermates, so I know that there are alot more cats out there. These cats are truly afraid of people so won't be seen by anyone, their existance must be so much harder.
post #32 of 62
That is why you must contact the organization that I provided a link to...groups that are familiar with feral cats will know when the best time is to trap them. If you want to help this cat and her babies and all the other cats...get them fixed so that they can enjoy a life free from having to have more litters.

post #33 of 62
Katie is so right. The life of unaltered ferals is awful. The males constantly fight and become infected with nasty diseases, the females slowly get the life drained from them because of continuous pregnancies and nursing. Females are also wounded and infected trying to fight off unwanted males.

It is not at all difficult to trap ferals. Most of us on this forum do it all the time. You are lucky that your state has an organization to help. Most of us have to figure it out on our own. Please contact the group right away so they can help you control your population before it becomes ravaged with disease and the problems that come from inbreeding.
post #34 of 62
Hi Fuzzmom! They are GORGEOUS creatures!!! There have been a few threads in The Cat Lounge where people listed ideas for names. Here's one of them: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ed+AND+name%2A

If you would like to learn more about the problems of and cycle of homeless cats, please visit www.straypetadvocacy.org.

It is so wonderful of you to love these kitties so much! They are so easy to love, aren't they? I never knew what I was missing in my life until that first stray picked us to care for her.

But feeding them without fixing them actually does more harm than good down the road. It is so wonderful to find people like yourself with such a big heart and a cat lover to boot! But without having them sterilized, unfortunately, especially providing them with nutrition and shelter - it just means that they'll survive to produce more homeless kitties.

We're here to help with tips, advice and resources to help you help them. Please use our knowledge and resources to really love these beautiful creatures. D:

post #35 of 62
BTW - that one stray led to our discovering the tip of the iceberg. We contacted our vet, borrowed a trap, and got to work. The iceberg might seem huge, but once feeding regularly, the ferals are really quite easy to trap. Especially if there is an organization for you to contact that can help, as lotsocats pointed out, anyone with any experience at all will be able to help tackle that iceberg. The only way to help the homeless cats is one cat at a time.

If you'd like to read the story of that one stray and how she helped us help so many other cats, please click on this link: http://savesamoa.org/html/booger.html

...and since then, we've relocated many of the ferals to become barn cats. We've set up relationships with local area vets, and they contact us when people call in for assistance with ferals. And as the ferals continue to show up here, we continue to trap them, have them sterilized, and return them. This way they can live out their lives but without creating more homeless cats in so doing.

There are many people out there like Gary and I. If you feel overwhelmed on your own, and you don't live in Worcester County - maybe they know of someone or an organization in your area that can help? Also, calling local area vets to find the "crazy cat people" that might be able to help often turns up someone - or people - like Gary and I.

And if you want to borrow a trap and tackle the project yourself, you can search for low-cost spay/neuter services by clicking on the link in my signature line. You can also ask local vets and shelters if they're aware of any low-cost spay/neuter programs. And if you need help trapping, we've got advice for you here...

Any questions you have or other help you might need, please just ask.
post #36 of 62
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm happy to say that with the help of http://www.secondchancefund.org/ last night we trapped 3 of the 4 kittens and one adult male (possible father of mom and kittens). One kitten is adoptable as she is friendly and SHE turns out to be a HE. Oops! She...I mean he is healthy and tested negative for FIV/FELV. So much for naming her (him) Peaches. Hmm, maybe Fuzz instead??!!

The adult male on the other hand tested positive for FIV. I'm not really surprised as he was always getting into fights. We're hoping to place him for adoption since he is friendly, but his chances just went down because of the FIV. There may be someone interested in an FIV+ cat as a companion to a current FIV+ cat they have. Keep your fingers crossed.

The other 2 kittens (orange and calico) will be released because they are too scared of people. I really hate releasing them especially now with the temperatures going back down, but I just don't have the room to accomodate them. If there is anyone near north central MA that would be able to help socialize these two adorable kittens, please let me know ASAP. I'm picking them up tomorrow morning at 8:30 am from the vets.

The mom of these kittens and one other kitten are still out there. Hopefully they will be trapped soon before the spring arrives.

So it's a mix of good news and not so good news. But at least it's a start.

Thanks again to everyone for offering such good advice. I know that their lives just became a little bit easier.
post #37 of 62
fuzzmom...that is GREAT news...3 less cats to have babies. Sorry about the one that is FIV+ but hopefully someone will want to adopt him. Also...since you live in MA...maybe you can help Brenda. She has a post on this board about some strays that she is keeping in her garage. Perhaps you can get her in touch with Second Chance.

post #38 of 62
Thanks so much for keeping us updated. I am so happy to hear the good news, and am bummed to hear about the FIV. I hope he can be adopted by an understanding cat lover.
post #39 of 62
Thread Starter 
Well, Tom (FIV+) male is at his foster mom's house. He's sharing a room with another FIV+ boy and a few girls. He settled right in and actually began to fall asleep. Good sign.

The little kitten, who's been renamed to Mango (was Peaches because I thought he was a she), is enjoying the comforts of a home for the first time in his little life. He's with me until Sunday, though I may have found someone who is interested in him, otherwise he'll be heading for a no-kill shelter where they are confident he'll be adopted quickly.

I was letting him out of the bathroom last night and he began exploring the upstairs. He met my ferrets and wasn't quite sure what to make of them. They all sniffed noses (and butts) and said hello.

He came downstairs and started checking out everything. My cats just looked at him and hissed, but he could care less. They just watched this little squirt and left him alone.

I don't plan on letting him have too much freedom because I noticed something that perhaps occurs in ferals. When he had alot of room to explore he suddenly became afraid of me and would run from me if I walked toward him. He hadn't done that before and would always demand attention by rubbing against me and wanting me to pat him. So I just sat down on the floor until he suddenly decided that I was ok again and came over and rubbed against me and began purring. So I think it's best to confine him to small areas where he obviously feels more comfortable.

I've attached some pictures I took of him last night. Can you say cute!
post #40 of 62
Thread Starter 
Showing his cute belly, a favorite position of his.
post #41 of 62
Thread Starter 
and a closeup
post #42 of 62
AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW SOOOOO CUTE!!! I love Orange and White Medium haired males. Someone is going to definately adopt him .

Thank you soooo much for caring about these feral cats.

post #43 of 62
Oooooh! I WANT HIM!!!!! He looks so much like my Ollie. I'm sure he will be adopted right away.

His behavior is pretty typical of former ferals. So, I wouldn't worry about it at all!
post #44 of 62
Thread Starter 
I caught the 4th and last kitten tonight!!! woohoo!!!

I wasn't planning on it because the next available day for a surgery was Monday so you usually trap the night before. But mom and kitten were on my deck and kept coming to the door. I opened the door alittle and the kitten sniffed my hand. I figured what the heck! There are 2 traps on my deck but I knew if I tried to set them they would take off so I got one of the pet carriers and placed sardines inside. The mom took a sniff but wouldn't go inside, but the kitten just couldn't resist and walked in. It was only a matter of closing the door behind her. I couldn't believe how easy it was. I still have mom to trap but at least her daughter is now safe.

She's currently in my bathroom with her brother. He's heading for a no-kill shelter on Sunday and his sister will be spayed on Monday. I'm hoping she's not too afraid of people. I would love to see her adopted as she's a very pretty tortie girl.
post #45 of 62

And my god - WHAT a gorgeous little boy Mango is!!!!!!!

We had several feral kittens that were terrified of people. We continued feeding them outside after adopting others out, and we'd hand out there as much as possible with them. They came to trust us and want pets. Then it got soooo cold last winter that we couldn't take it and put them in a cat-only boarding facility - where the owner continued to work with them and they became friendly and then were adopted out! So don't give up hope on those you had to release.

Keep up the GREAT work!!!!!!

post #46 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thank you

I was soooo siked when I caught her that I was shaking (could have been because the door was open ). I think it was because I wasn't expecting it. I'm hoping with the extremely frigid weather right now (-7 this morning) that the mom will be more willing to take chances. She came about 1/2 way inside last night to look around, but then ran out.

So send some good vibes my way... {{you WANT to get caught...you WANT to get caught...hmmm...sardines}}
post #47 of 62
We've got one feral too that we just can't get to spring the trap, and Gary frets over that boy every night. He's in need of medical attention, and the wind chill here last night was 30 below zero.

Sending GET IN THE TRAP vibes your way!!!!!
post #48 of 62
Thread Starter 
Right back at ya for that little boy...and so Gary can get some peaceful sleep!!!

{{Go towards the trap, go towards the trap}}
post #49 of 62
OMG! She is gorgeous...just like her brother.

You are doing such great work! I love the fact that you were able to catch the baby without using the trap. Bravo!!!

Come-on momma cat! Go inside where its nice and warm!
post #50 of 62
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping I can get momma cat the same way. It would be great if this time she walked all the way into the house, not 1/2 way like before. I'll worry about if she freaks later at least I'll have her. She's been in my house before when she was a kitten, but she probably doesn't remember it. She walked around the house and would lay at the top of the stairs, looking down at her servant.

Come on momma, it's time to come home.
post #51 of 62
Thread Starter 
Mango went to the shelter last night. I originally dropped him off on Sunday, but I mentioned that he had a strange mark on his paw. The lady at the shelter thought it might be ringworm so I brought him home as a precaution and he went to the vet with his sister on Monday. Good news...it wasn't ringworm.

The dilute torti was given the name of Miss Marble and she will NOT be released back outside. She began coming around while in the bathroom with her brother and started to relax around me. I could get within 1 - 3 feet of her without her trying to get away. She would sniff my fingers when I extended my hand to her. I am happy to announce she went with her new foster mom last night to work on socializing her.

One of the kittens I released has come back and seems friendlier than ever. He kept rubbing against the sliding glass door and sniffed my fingers when I put my hand outside. So we've decided to recapture him and place him with his sister in foster care. Keeping with his brother's fruity name, we've decided to call him Tangerine (Tango for short). He's an all orange kitty. Now the fun part is waiting for him to come back so he can start his new life.

I'm still trying to capture the mom and her brother, another all orange cat. He's very scared of people and will run off the deck if he sees me moving inside.

That's it for now. I really miss Mango. He was the sweetest kitten I've ever known. Such a wonderful purrsonality and so very loving. The house seems so empty with the kittens gone. But I finally have my bathroom back!

Below is a few pictures of Miss Marble enjoying a day at the "spa". As you can see, she was beginning to relax.
post #52 of 62
Thread Starter 
post #53 of 62
Thread Starter 
last one
post #54 of 62
Thread Starter 
I recaptured the little orange kitten last night, now named Tango (short for Tangerine). It took awhile but he finally found the courage to go into the pet carrier for the sardines. He showed up with his calico sister but she wouldn't come up on the deck. I think she remembers being trapped there. Tango kept coming up to the door and rubbing against it, meowing all the time. When I finally closed the carrier door I thought he would panic, but he didn't. In fact, he seemed very relaxed about the whole thing. He didn't even try to get out. I might be imagining it but I think he was relieved to be caught again. He was the one when released that didn't run from the trap but looked back at me then slowly walked under a tree. I don't think he wanted to be released in the first place.

Right now he's in my bathroom. He needs to be tested for FIV/FELV and wormed, then he's heading to the foster home where Miss Marble, his dilute tortie sister is.

I thought when I opened the door to the carrier last night he would panic and run from me. Nope. What did he do? When I put my hand in and patted his head he flopped onto his back for a belly rub and began purring. Turns out he has a very similar purrsonality to his brother, Mango.

Mango, BTW, got adopted last night!!!! Yippee!!! He'll be sharing his home with a big sister, a Norwegian Forest cat.

Even though these kittens are at least 3rd generation feral, they still are the friendliest, most loving kittens I've seen. Tango is just a love sponge. He can't get enough attention and gives this little hoarse meow if you aren't loving him enough. Another lap cat.

I've attached a few pics of him. Now all that's left is to trap mom and her brother. That will be more difficult as the brother is extremely skittish of people and I haven't seen the mom for awhile. I'm hoping they show up Sunday. Wish me luck.
post #55 of 62
Thread Starter 
post #56 of 62
You just made my day! I am so excited that Mango was adopted and that Tango came in so willingly and has become such a cuddle-bunny!

Thanks so much for letting us know this wonderful news!
post #57 of 62
Thread Starter 
last one
post #58 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thanks lotsocats. It's nice having Tango here because I've really missed his brother, Mango. The house just seems so empty when Mango and Miss Marble left. I'll be bringing Tango to the shelter Sunday for his tests and I'll be able to see Miss Marble again. From what I understand she's been staying under the bed at her foster home. Perhaps her brother will be a good role model to show how cats and people interact. I know she use to watch Mango and me very closely when we played together. Hopefully it will help bring her out of her shell. If she is anything like her brothers, she'll be affectionate.

I REALLY want to get the mom soon or I'll be doing all this again next year. She hasn't been around recently but her brother has. He's going to be the tricky one. This time before saying a cat is too scared of people and needs to be released I'm going to give him the "scritch" test. If he starts purring if I pat him then his outside days are over.

Does anyone else find that boys tend to come around faster than girls, or is it just that this is a family trait with this group?
post #59 of 62
Thread Starter 
I finally got a picture of him with BOTH eyes open. It's a little blurry because this guy just won't stay still.
post #60 of 62
Originally posted by fuzzmom
Does anyone else find that boys tend to come around faster than girls, or is it just that this is a family trait with this group?
Everyone will have their own experience with this, but I've found that red male tabbies come around faster than any other ferals and second to that the black males. For the males, we have a strong red tabby gene in our general area, and I'd say that about 50% of the toms that I've encounted have been red. We do see the occasional black, tuxedo or brown tabby male. I have the hardest time socializing brown male tabbies.

On the other hand, the predominant female color here is tri-color: torties, diluted torties and calicos, with the occasional red tabby, black or grey. I have the hardest time socializing the tri-color females, and the easiest time with the red tabby or black females.

So, I'm not sure if there is some genetic factor with the mellowness of the red males, or the skittishness of the tri-color females. We have enough dumpster cats in the neighborhood to keep the genetic lines fresh, but also wonder about long term inbreeding due to the predominant colors in my area. (My neighborhood is a rural area with hundreds of acres of pasture land surrounded by clumps of forests.)
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