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Neighborhood Cat-Feed it or not???

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I moved to a new neighborhood around Thanksgiving. There is this very friendly cat that lives outside on our block. The first night we moved in I saw him across the street and called for him. He came running over and begged for attention. He is the friendliest at I have ever met! I talked to the neighbors two door down briefly. I think they feed him but I am not sure about it. He has on a rabies tag on a collar around his neck. He does not go indoors, he is an outside cat only. The neighbor said that he has lived around this block for 9 years!!! I asked what his name was and the man said that one of his sons calls him Fred. Well that was my first indication that noone really "claims" ownership of him. I call him "Big Kitty" because he is huge! He looks like a dog not a cat . So the neighbor then says that he "makes a good rat cat". He says it lovingly, not mean.
So my problem is this...He comes to my screen door every day to get petted and I started giving him a handful of food each day for about a week now. I am afraid that he will become dependent on me for attention and food. Since we move alot, I don't want him to rely on me because when we move next I don't want to take him with me. He has lived here for 9 years. He really deserves a home of his own but I already have 5 cats and can't take him in. He is always around now, he even sleeps on a chair on my doorstep. I don't want to just ignore him because he is soooo sweet.
Any advice??

edit: I just went outside and he jumped up in my lap (he barely fits), and i noticed that he has a nasty ear infection! Now what? Who is responsible for treating him? His tag is from the county and on the other side there is the phone # for the animal clinic he was seen at in 2001! I guess I will have to talk to the neighbor and see if they are the ones who took him to the vet the first time. He is neutered so that is good news. Maybe I am over reacting here and he is being taken care of more that I know. The only thing that bothers me is that his ear is pretty bad and no one has noticed it except me.
post #2 of 20
Good for you for paying attention to this guy. Since the rabies tag is very outdated I would say that his owners aren't paying too much attention to him.

I would call the number of the animal clinic on the back of the tag and give them the number. They should be able to look it up on their computer and identify the owners. Whether or not they will give out any private information is another thing. Let them know that he has started showing up at your door and you're concerned about his ear infection. Perhaps if they hear how concerned you are they'll contact the owners (if they're not allowed to give you the info) to inform them of his condition. Depending on what happens next you may have a new member of the family or he'll go back to his owners (hopefully with a reprimand for not keeping up with shots).
post #3 of 20
Being fair, if Big Kitty got a 3 year rabies vaccination, he could be current on his shots and due for another round this year.

Ginger, I don't see anything wrong with feeding him and loving him, even if you probably won't be there forever. Nothing wrong with a bit of instant gratification. If he's been around for 9 years, someone is obviously taking care of him to some extent.

I would ask your neighbor first. Even if his "owner" moved away long ago, there may be enough people who care for this cat that everyone can chip in a little to pay for his vet expenses. If that brings no further information as to his real guardian, I would do what Fuzzmom suggested and call the clinic. By law they have to keep that information on file.
post #4 of 20
That's true. I forgot (senior moment - it's been one of those days) about the 3 year rabies. They should make tags that show 2 dates - year it's given and year it expires for those states that recognize a 3 year rabies.

I was wondering, do all rabies tags show who administered it (i.e., vet's name and number)? Is there a central database that contains all tag numbers (per state)? If not, then how can a tag be identified as a 1 year or 3 year shot? What if someone gets bit and the tag looks expired but really isn't because it was a 3 year rabies. What is to prevent that animal from be putting down?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I walked over to the neighbor's house who i suspected was taking care of him. There was a big bowl full of cat food on thier front doorstep (no water though ). I knocked on the door and asked if Big Kitty belonged to her. She told me that she ehas lived there for 11 years and Big Kitty has lived outside there for as long as she remembers. She said that she took him to the vet a few years ago to get his shots since they were required by the county. This was before I saw the posts about the 3 year shots I told her that he had a nasty ear infection. She said that she hadn't noticed it yesterday. I asked if he were to goto the vet, who was responsible for taking him there? She said that he wasn't technically her cat but she would look at him and take him to the vet. She said she didn't have a pet carrier to transport him in. I volunteered mine to her. do I know if she will actually take him in??? I feel bad asking her to take her 'own' cat to the vet. Was this too bold of me to do??? Should I follow up with her to see if she actually takes him? At least I know that he is being fed well and i can stop feeding him here. No wonder he is such a Big Kitty. He has lots of food over there and comes to my house and begs like he is starving LOL
post #6 of 20
I'm not 100% sure, but I think so. I know mine does, and I'm in Colorado. Big Kitty's does and he's in Florida. I don't think there is a statewide database, but the vets have to keep records of all vaccinations they did. But I'm really not sure about the whole process.
post #7 of 20
Ginger, I'd follow up on it. The cat obviously has to have treatment for the ear infection. If she doesn't come and get the carrier, you could take it over and ask her point blank if she's made an appointment. Whether he really is "her" cat is hard to say. Where I live, anyone who regularly feeds a "stray" cat and has gotten it medical attention becomes the "owner" by law, but I'm sure the laws differ from county to county, at the very least.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
The neighbor still has not taken Big Kitty to the vet. I am going to have to take him myself. His ear is still swollen but it looks better. Its not bloody anymore. Here is a picture of him. This is his usual spot outside on my doorstep. He is so friendly and loving In the pic you can see that one side of his head is swollen larger than the other:
post #9 of 20
Ginger, you're such a sweetheart! BTW - what happened with the kitties in the warehouse? Any local groups ever get back to you - anyone to help?

And about Big Kitty - I'd go ahead and take him to the vet! It sucks that those that "care" for him aren't caring for him, but on the other hand it seems the neighborhood is really his home, and even if you're the most wonderful (!!!), if you have to move again, it seems there will be people there to continue caring for him.

You've sure earned your wings!

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
The cats living at the warehouse are still there. We decided to keep the shop for now. I have been feeding the kitty's on nights that we are at the shop.

Ya the neighboorhood is Big Kitty's home. I wouldn't want to move him from here since he has lived around here for so long. It's too bad no one has adopted him and made him an indoor cat! He would make the best lap cat ever!
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here is another picture of Big Kitty:
post #12 of 20
omgosh he is so good looking!! He kind of reminds me of Kim's Peanut!
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
He sure is a looker
His fur is black with a white under-coat. I wonder if he has always been that color or maybe he is going grey since he is about 9-12 (not quite sure) years old??
post #14 of 20
Wow, he is gorgeous!!! He does remind me of Kim's Peanut.
post #15 of 20
Big Kitty has a gorgeous face. It looks like he's trying to adopt you, though.
post #16 of 20
Ginger, as she said he's not "officially" her cat, I think you can offer to take him to the vet and/or pay for the vet visit. I did that over here once with one of the neighbours. They were happy to accept the offer. You can tell her that you don't want him to get used to you feeding him as you're on the move a lot - so she doesn't think you're "adopting" him instead of her.
post #17 of 20
Originally posted by fuzzmom

I was wondering, do all rabies tags show who administered it (i.e., vet's name and number)? Is there a central database that contains all tag numbers (per state)? If not, then how can a tag be identified as a 1 year or 3 year shot? What if someone gets bit and the tag looks expired but really isn't because it was a 3 year rabies. What is to prevent that animal from be putting down?
Hi All,

I'm a rescuer, work with ferals - we tend to see a lot of rabies tags

There isn't yet any national database, or even state ones as far as I know, but there are standards or codes for public health officials to tell whether a tag is for a one or three year shot, and which year it was administered. Hopefully, and I think, factually, there would be a lot of investigation done into exactly who/where/what/when of a rabies shot, if someone gets bitten. Believe me, our rescue group keeps very close tabs on rabies information on "our" cats, and our vets would definitely have backup from us if there was a question. The clinic name is on each rabies tag, by agreement (this is an agreement made by CDC since rabies is one of the diseases that the CDC monitors the spread of, and one which is transmissible from animals to people).

post #18 of 20
Originally posted by Coco Maui
He sure is a looker
His fur is black with a white under-coat. I wonder if he has always been that color or maybe he is going grey since he is about 9-12 (not quite sure) years old??
I think he has some fancy-pants blood (purebred) in him somewhere. I think that coat is known as a "smoke" among exotic breed folks, isn't it? It's NOT the same thing as going grey, cats don't show their age like we humans do.

He really IS a nice lookin' cat!
post #19 of 20
I have a huge dishpan under my porch full of cat food. I dont know for sure who eats it. I just keep filling it back up when its empty, at least someone (or something) isnt hungry. We have alot of stray animals and outdoor animals here and feeding them keeps them somewhat away from my garbage bags!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well the bump in his head "popped" and is oozing stuff!!! Oh my gosh he needs to go to the vet now! Steven doesn't want to take him because he says we have 5 cats already that we have to worry about and Big Kitty is not our cat! Ugh, if I had money I would take him in but I don't work. I am gonna go try to talk to the neighbors again. Maybe they will take him now since it looks so bad.

Poor kitty
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