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ARGH!!! Remaining cats are mating

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

The remaining cats in our colony are mating - the two fluffy females and some tuxedo/black males. I tried to catch them today and they won't even look at the trap, much less go for the tuna fish.


I think the two I saw mating were Tiki's mom and dad....he looks like he has mange or something on his face.

post #2 of 35
It is getting to be that time of year... *sigh* I HOPE we're fortunate again this year - there have been no new females around, the bulk of the colony was neutered and relocated to barns - just two males around now, only one yet to be neutered.

I hate to say this, and I'm sure you know it, but despite the fact that they're mating, you can still trap the females and bring them in to be spayed.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, I just caught the black cat.

BUT - the now-impregnated (I'm sure) fluffy female watched the whole thing go down, and then took a long, hard look at him trying to escape the cage. I set a 2nd trap with tunafish and catnip, but she just watched it for a half-hour and then just took off in the other direction.

One down. I'll post a photo later.
post #4 of 35
Scott, have you tried camoflaging the cage? Especially if she's seen others get trapped, you're right, she probably won't go in there. BUT, you can defintely trick her with some branches, leaves, a blanket, etc. Something that makes it NOT look like a trap.
post #5 of 35
One down - GREAT job, Scott!!!!!!!!!!
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, we're going to have to do something. I'm usually good with the regular cage (14 captures so far), but it might be the time for one of the Have-A-Heart -style traps.

Here's the newest:

This is about 15 minutes after he mated with one of the fluffies, possibly Tiki's Mom. I broke them up, but who knows - it was probably a successful mating. That puts birth at about April 15.

There was a 2nd male there - white and black - that we think is Tiki's dad. I discounted the black male because it looked very kitten-ish to me and I considered it might actually be the offspring of the female.

post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
I just checked my archive of cats (I always take a picture to keep a track of who's who)....

Looks like this is the same guy, from last summer, so he's older than a year.

post #8 of 35
Just gorgeous.

and your trap looks so roomy.. the cat can fully stand up straight?
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
I don't use traditional traps - I usually bait a dog/cat crate and have a line attached to the door. I run about 60-70 feet of rope and when they enter the crate, I pull it closed hard. I then hold it closed and close the clasp.

I'm not really opposed to using traditional traps, but I've got about 3-4 of these crates that we use in rotation, and it's good because we can simply house the cats in them while they calm down. The only time I've had a problem is with the hard-to-catch cats. Unfortunately, we have a lot of feeders around here, so the cats don't really "need" the food in the traps and stay away.
post #10 of 35
post #11 of 35
Scott77777..GREAT that you caught the male...and I second that you can spay the female...even if she is pregnant. We spay female cats at the feral cat clinic. There are just too many cats already and it is difficult to retrap a cat and her kittens after the kittens are born.


Sending out..here kitty, kitty vibes to the female you haven't trapped.
post #12 of 35
Scott, try a little bit of catnip in the trap, add it to the food and sprinkle it around the ground then put the trap on top of the catnip. Good luck!

I am bummed, I can't see any of your photos in this thread.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
I actually put some catnip around the trap...but the fluffy wouldn't go near it.

Ironically, the "momma" cat (the one with part of her face missing) DID go into it, and I caught her, but she's already been spayed so I just checked her out and let her go.

When she went up to the trap, she began rolling around in the snow and I thought, "OHHHH Geez, no catnip next time." But eventually she went in.

Hmmmm...why can't you see the photos? Maybe refresh your browser?
post #14 of 35
I can see them. What a gorgeous boy that is!!! Good job trapping him!
post #15 of 35
Oh he is so handsome: I just love black cats Good job Scott I hope you catch the female soon.
post #16 of 35
Now I see them! Great photos by the way- WHAT? No watermark?

Something I have found NO feral can resist is Plain Brown Tabby's Kitty Kaviar- you might want to go to the Market Place and order some from her-
post #17 of 35
I always use kippered herring. It is really smelly! I haven't failed yet with it! I usually dribble a little "juice" from the can and a few small bits of the herring in a trail leading into the cage. Once they get that first taste they simply HAVE to go to the pile of fish in the back of the cage...they just can't resist!
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, as long as the sherrif's in town, not many cats stay on the loose.

I caught one of the fluffies today. I left the cage out for six hours; I can see it from my window. Tuna, some cat food, sprinkled tuna juice and smeared food on the neighboring trees, then sprinkled catnip inside the cage.

Worked well enough....

There's still (1) fluffy female and (3) males. I'm sure that won't be the last of it, but it's the main part of this colony.
post #19 of 35
Darn..I WANT!! I am such a long haired mush. She is GORGEOUS! Congrats!!!

post #20 of 35
You have such beautiful ferals.
The black male is to die for

You do such great work.
Hoppe you catch the other four.
post #21 of 35
Scott, she is beautiful!! You are such an angel for these kitties, even though they don't know it when you catch them. One less female to add babies!
post #22 of 35
That is an awesome trap cage! I am curious, do you find they don't slam around the inside like they do when they are in the trap?
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yes, they do. We've had them ram their heads pretty hard against the side, and it's probably worse because they have some distance. We've had one or two (out of 14) end up with bloody noses.

It usually happens when I go to seal the latch shut. I hold the rope tight while I go and either latch the door shut myself or have a person do it for me. The cats usually freak out for about 1 minute, then they calm down. They might freak again when we try to move the cage. Overall, it hasn't been that bad - it usually lasts 1-2 minutes, then they settle down because they know they're caught. I imagine they freak out in the smaller traps, though, too.

I think the advantage of the crate method is that it's much more open than automatic traps, so the animal is [probably] more likely to go in. You also don't need to release them into anything else - just put a litter pan and some food in there, and you can house them until the vet visit. I've also caught a mother + kittens or (3) kittens at once with this method. Obviously, since you need to actually man the trap, there's no false captures or raccoons.

Luckily, for many of these, I haven't had to handle that aspect of it. We work with a local woman that takes them for the vet visits, while we handle everything for the kittens.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Here's the expanded view.

Obviously, the size of the crate allows you to catch mutliple cats or kittens at once.

post #25 of 35
Scott way to go congrats. OMG that black cat is awsome.
post #26 of 35
Thread Starter 
Well, since he's so popular, here's picture #3 because he's a black cat on Friday the 13th.

post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 
And just the eyes.

post #28 of 35
Wow..you have GREAT pictures...it would be awesome if you could put a book out of the feral cats you have caught so that people can understand that they are just as beautiful as domesticated cats...I think more needs to be out there about the plight of stray/feral cats.

post #29 of 35
OMG The last picture of the black male is wonderful. He looks so handsome. And his eyes are gorgeous.

Black Cats
post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
OK....caught the last female today.

She's actually Tiki's mom...same exact face (shape) and eyes.

I didn't take a picture, but she had a bad URI. All of her kittens did (including Tiki), so it wasn't surprising.

It took me awhile to catch her. She's walked past the cage on a few occasions without even looking twice at it, including today. Eventually, I put some boards up so that she'd be forced to walk in the direction of the cage. When she went in for the food, my girlfriend (who was watching from 60 feet away in the apartment window) waved a big green folder. I couldn't see her, but I pulled the rope a boom! Got her.

Here's an older picture of her:

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