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little longhair girl

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was surprised to look outside this morning and see a new kitty outside. She came around with the big black male that I have been feeding. That brings the total to 7 ferals by my apartment complex. This little kitty is a very small long hair tabby. She is beautiful and I don't think she is as feral as the others. She came trotting right up to me but stopped a few feet away. She just meowed and meowed and laid down in the sun. I am sure she is in heat and with the male who is always hanging around...I am afraid if I don't catch her, I might have some kittens hanging around soon.

So, my question, what do I do when/if I catch her? I have been saving a lot to spay my last kitten and her appointment is Friday. I don't think I can afford another one and I really can't have another cat! Shelters will put strays/ferals to sleep won't they? I would like to make a trap somehow, not sure how to do this though.

There is a low cost clinic by my house which charges a total of $65 for spay and all shots. I know this is a deal but that is still a lot for a poor college student...I could catch her, save up a bit and make sure she's healthy and find her a new home. I know I will get attached though. I don't know, sorry to ramble, just wanted to share my thoughts. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
post #2 of 20
Hey Jen...

I would suggest you contact one of these groups to see if they can assist you:

They also may be able to assist you with the spay.
post #3 of 20
Jen, BRAVO to you for wanting to help these cats!!!!!!!!!!!

TNR1 always has great links - I hope any of those organizations get back to you and can help! But there are other options.

If you click on the link in my signature line for low-cost spay/neuter services, you can search those links as well to see if there are any listings specifically for your area. I don't know if there's lower cost than you've already found, but it's worth a quick look.

You can also call around to local vets and explain the feral situation at your apartment complex. You may be able to find one that's willing to work with you on paying an affordable amount each month. They may even have a trap they can lend you. They may be in touch or know of local feral rescue groups or people who do it individually that they can put in touch with you. It never hurts to ask, and if the first one says no to all of this, call the next one.

You're right - if you call animal control or most shelters, they often either put ferals down, or they have regulations that allow them to keep the cats for 3 days to two weeks and if they're not adopted by then, then they put them down. You can also search the rescue section of to see if there are any local no-kill shelters. They're usually full, but they're worth calling to see if they know of any groups or anyone who might be able to help. But PLEASE discuss their policies regarding ferals, because some organizations pass themselves off as "no-kill" orgs - but what they mean is that they're no-kill if the animal is adoptable. Orgs like this sometimes do put down ferals despite being labeled as "no-kill."

(I keep mentioning individuals because my husband and I don't work with a group, but vets in the area know to call us if they get a call from someone like you. )

If nothing else, if there's a no-kill shelter near you that can't help, they may be able to at least lend you a trap.

If you get to the point where you find a vet that is willing to accept payments over time, or you find some place that will provide a free or $35 spay (that's the lowest I've heard of) and you've located a trap you can borrow, we have trapping tips here: Helping Ferals: socialization, trapping & low cost...

I hope some of these have helped! Again - I DO know how difficult it is for a college student to afford things like this, and I wish the world were populated with people like you who wanted to find a way to help these wonderful creatures despite being constrained by a budget.

post #4 of 20
I looked this up for u on Google just to make sure it was still there. It is. Its toll free at 1-800-990-spay or you can put in 1800 spay in Google and it is the first link listed. On the second page are listed different state. You click on your state and they will give you the names of vets that will either spay/neuter for free
or low cost or if you call them you tell them the vet you prefer in your area and they contact that vet and ask them how much they would do the operation for. It never costs more than 20.00 dollars for the individual. they do the operation and give them their first rabies shot as part of the deal that 1800Spay makeswith them. I had my 2 girls spayed using them and I am really glad there was such a place.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your help. I will try all of these things over the next few days or so. I hope everything works out good. Sometimes people tell me I care too much, like my dad. He almost flipped when I told him I am concerned about the ferals around here. He says focus on school blah blah (which I do don't get me wrong). Anyways, I will let everyone know how it's going in a few days when I figure out what I can do. Thanks again!
post #6 of 20
I have found that when a new cat is friendly enough to either follow you around and/or talk to you, it is probably not a true feral, but perhaps a dumped stray. While they are usually very scared and will seem tentative, with a little work, you don't necessarily need to go thru a live trap catch.

If you are feeding them, bring your carrier out by where you feed them and put the food near the cage. Leave the door open, and eventually move the food closer and closer to the cage, then in the cage. Keep talking to her to see how she responds to you. Get her used to you. Sometimes you can pick them up and put them in the kennel, and sometimes you have to lure them in there with food then simply close the door.

If she is truly feral, then go the no-kill shelter route and ask for help trapping. If you are paying for the spay, then they should be glad to work with you.

Good luck!!
post #7 of 20
Jen, don't let people like your father discourage you. There are many people out there that have family members who just don't understand. Thankfully there are places like this on the web where support, help, education and encouragement are available.

Obviously your education MUST come first! But I remember college days (long ago though they were), and I had time for "extra curricular activities" despite having a part time job as well.

Someone I worked with while in college told me (and I had many "causes" then) that that they believed "if you're not idealistic in your 20s you have no heart, and if you're not more conservative in your 40s you have no brain."

Quite frankly, my full-time job takes far more time and commitment than college ever did, and yet I still find time to follow my heart and passion, which now is kitties and homeless animal advocacy in general.

Don't let your studies fall behind because of the cats, but don't be discouraged by detractors, follow your heart, and do what YOU think is right. Not what we or your father thinks is right.

When you have the time, make the calls, search the web, contact orgs or whatever. Sometimes feral help groups/shelters are REALLY busy and completely overwhelmed by the amount of work, and it can take a while to hear back from them.

Persia provided the contact information for SpayUSA, and she's right - they are a GREAT organization! I didn't realize they proactively contacted vets not in the program - that's fabulous news!

And if you find you don't have the time and resources to personally care for these cats, your efforts in finding someone to help them are already far and above beyond what most people do, and as far as I'm concerned you've already earned your kitty angel wings!

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I guess the big black cat isnt really feral, after LOTS and LOTS of coaxing (over months) he finally will approach me. BUT AWESOME NEWS! I CAUGHT HIM AND THE LITTLE FEMALE LONGHAIRED GIRL!! She was way more friendly (obviously not a feral) but he took some tricking! I finally left a trail of food to the cage and when he came up, I pushed him in. This happened sooner then I thought it would so now I gotta really figure what to do fast. The big boy may have gotten the little girl pregnant. I have seen him mounting her many times when I was around. So who knows what happened when they were alone. Anyways, I am gonna call around now. The male has bald patches on his neck from old scars and it looks like a newer wound. I'm just afraid someone will take him and put him to sleep right away because he's hurt and stray/feral. Ok gotta go make some calls.
post #9 of 20

You GO girl!!!!! BTW - if your girl is a stray, she may already be spayed. The vets can tell by shaving her tummy to see if there's a scar. Got my fingers crossed for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
She has been showingsome of the signs of heat though. But not sticking her butt up in the air. I called a bunch of places some didn't answer their phones, one guy insisted he isn't feral if I was able to approach him, even after explaining this took months to do. I don't know what they are but the one needs a vet. I don't get paid til NEXT Friday though so the money I have in my bank now is for my appointment tomorrow to spay my kitty. The vet was willing to help if I was gonna pay but I cannot do that right now. The one no-kill place that will take in any cats no questions asked and give them their medical attention as long as you sign a paper saying you are turning the cat over, they told me their are full and cannot help at all.

I left a message with the animal control guy which the Animal Protective League I volunteer at works with to help ferals and strays, so I am waiting for him to call me back. I will post some pics below if anyone is interested.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
see all that hairloss and cuts on his neck? Its hrd to tell but his eyes are always half shut like he's stoned or something.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
and here's the little girl, she is really sweet.
post #13 of 20
You're right - he looks like he needs some medical attention, and she's gorgeous! Jen - check your e-mail!

Thanks for the pics!!!
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! good news, I was able to contact the APL again and they said since the male needed medical help and I had him trapped I could bring him in and they would take care of him. I brought in the female as well and they were ok with that.

The cats seemed to be a lot more friendly then I thought they would. The female at least, she was probably just dumped. I am keeping my eye out if anyone in the area reported a lost cat fitting her discription.

The male on the other hand, he needed the vet badly and they said he was harder to handle and very scared. He was probably stray for a long time as opposed to being a feral wild cat. I am new at the whole feral cat thing...

So the female might actually be spayed and available for adoption real soon as long as she doesn't have a major disease.

I will be going back in a few days to see how they are doing, unfortunately they are only open M-F from 12-4pm, very inconvienent time for me. Probably can't check back until next Wednesday. If I run into the girl I know that works there I will as her how they are.

I am just so so happy he is able to get medical attention. After 6 or 7 months of coaxing and finally trapping him and taking care of him, that just made my week! Funny cuz right when I got back home, I looked out on the back patio and theres a huge black and white cat sitting there. As if saying, 'ok my turn'. He is actually approachable though. My roomate can pick him up for a short period of time. The black one I caught, I think he was like the leader of the whole group (about 8 or so). He was my main goal. Catching the female too was just an added bonus! I will have to work on the B&W one next.
post #15 of 20


Jen - you really did a fabulous job, and you should be proud. And don't worry about the black & white cat (well - I don't mean don't worry about him!) - you can't help all of them all at once.

BTW - you should start naming them!

If you keep it up like this, you'll have to save up for a have-a-heart trap!
post #16 of 20
Ooops! Forgot to mention. Once you start feeding them, they'll keep coming. Mary Anne (hissy) told us when we first started working with them that once you start, it's like hanging a neon sign outside, LOL! It's like they pass the word along - hey, there's good thing going on over here!

So I expect your black & white kitty WAS sitting on your porch saying "Okay - my turn!"
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey as you all know I took the 2 cats to the APL and unfortunately the black one (my favorite) had Feline Leukemia so they put him down. I am so sad about that, when I worked at the Humane Society we took the FIV/Leukemia positive cats to a rescue and here they don't do that. Anyway, the little girl cat tested negative suprisingly and she is a year old and they named her Ella. She is a shy little thing but purrs louder then anycat I ever heard when I picked her up. I hope her shyness doesn't turn people away but at least she is safe now and getting fed and kept healthy.

I have another cat that has been coming around for the past week. A huge black and white one. I am pretty sure he doesn't belond to anyone or else he is very lost. He sat outside crying in the pouring rain to be let in the other day. I don't want him around my cats since the other male had Leukemia, I don't want to take any chances. Anyway I am trying to find his home or find him a new one. There was an ad in the paper today that someone lost a cat that fits his description and I left them a message. They live kind of far tho from me. Anyways, gotta go, just thought I would share this information with everyone.
post #18 of 20
Thanks for the update. I am so sorry about the black cat. I know how hard that must be for you.

I am glad you are working to find a home for the shy one, and I hope the people you called are the lonely cat's owners.

Bravo to you for taking care of all of these cats!
post #19 of 20
Good job Jen! Thanks for caring for those pretty cats! I can't wait to hear how the boy does!
post #20 of 20
Oh Jen, I'm so sorry about the black kitty!

My grandmother's name was Ella. I sure hope she gets adopted! Sounds like she'll be a snuggle bug.

Let us know what happens with the big black & white boy.

Keep up the great work!

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