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post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't understand. The only ferals I have seen are Princess (she's running around like she owns the joint), Patches (the boy I didn't know I had) and ValerieCat only once. MotherCat is gone, DaddyCat is gone (fixed), ValerieCat is gone (fixed), Tippy-Tail is gone (fixed). Whaaah happened???? Is this normal? I feel so very disappointed and depressed.
post #2 of 12
I have heard this is very normal..and that many times they come back after a few days. My own personal impression is that they have gone off to tell other cats..."psst, look, over at that house not only do you get fed, but you get cleaned up and fixed so you no longer have to worry about fighting and having babies...it's a good deal"

So do not be surprized if some "new" ferals show up.

post #3 of 12
Several of the older ferals we had fixed always came and went - very few were here "all" the time, like the kittens and their families we cared for. The one family we were closest to - mom cat disappeared completely after we had her spayed. Never seen her again. The others all came back after a few days. I think they get a little freaked from being trapped and the vet visit - and then come back for the regular, easy food.

And if you keep putting out the food, they will come. If not the ones you had fixed, then others. Once you start caring for them, Katie's right! It's like hanging out a neon sign, and the "cat network" swings into gear.

The hardest part of caring for ferals is when you don't see them. We're always wondering - did something happen? A fight with a raccoon? Hit by a car? Poisoned by one of the farmers around here? The waiting to see them again is THE WORST. I know EXACTLY what you're going through!

Keep your hopes up, send up a few prayers or "kitty come back" vibes....

(and this is why we always wait until we're sure kittens are 12 weeks old before trapping mums to be spayed. At this age is when she'd send them packing to be off on their own anway. So just in case mom doesn't come back after being spayed, we want the kittens to have learned all the need from her....)


post #4 of 12
I've had neutered ferals disappear for over a year then come back to my house (Larry was gone for about 1-1/2 years). You always worry about them, but if no mishap happened to them, you at least know that you gave them a fighting chance in the world by eliminating their need to mate.

And I agree, there are signs out there that cats only can read that say "good food, stop here and stay awhile". Some may be back with reinforcements.
post #5 of 12
Yes, this can be normal. They know where the food is and will be back. Keep us posted.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, we are back on schedule. DaddyCat, ValerieCat, Princess, Tippy-Tail and Patches are all back to their eating schedule. The only one that is missing is MotherCat and I think she has run off to have her babies. Now all I can do is just wait and see who shows up.
post #7 of 12
If mom was pregnant, there is a good chance that she has holed herself up to have the babies. You may see her come to feed if she is close by, but only briefly. But my guess is that you will see her once the kittens are old enough to follow her in about 4-5 weeks. Hopefully she will bring them your way, and you can catch them, adopt them out, then have mom fixed.
post #8 of 12
I agree kitten...the missing kitty probably took shelter somewhere to have her babies....this happened to us a few times, and they usually don't venture too fay off. You may want to look around any places a kitty could get into around your house. We've found kitties underneath the woodpile (for my uncle's retirement home, so the wood pile no longer exists) to getting in the neighbors shed (thankfully they're relatives of ours and throw food out for the kitties too. The number of kitties that come out to eat varies...2 years ago we had 20 cats...now we have 7 (all are fixed). I agree with TNR...I think cats like to netwark....especially when the weather is nice.

post #9 of 12
Oh KittenKiya, I'm so glad they're all back!!!!!!!!! You must be so relieved.

Re: Mommy cat. I wouldn't recommend looking for her or the kitties. They're really good at finding protected places - and while I understand the "need" to want to keep an eye on them, her first instinct will be to want to protect them, and your looking for her/them might make her feel insecure or unsafe, no matter your relationship before she left to have the babies. Some pregnant moms will sit on your porch and walk right in to have her babies with you in your home - but Mommy Cat didn't choose this route. I'm sure she's not far from her food though.

If you go looking for her - and find her - she may feel the need to make a new nest and move the kittens. If you just leave her be, she'll eat when she can, and when the kitties are up and about, she'll lead them straight to you and her steady source of food. You can decide from there what to do. If there's any doubt about getting them adopted out, they need to be with her for 12 weeks to learn everything they need to know in order to survive on their own.

I know other organizations recommend you take feral kitties at 8 to 10 weeks when you're adopting them out. But they're still learning from mum until they're approximately 12 weeks old.

One last thing - when they do turn up, they'll be sooooo cute! And the more time you spend outside with them when feeding them, etc. - not even necessarily directly interacting with them (best not to at first - let them get used to you and come to you) - the more social they'll become with people, and the easier time they'll have adjusting to being loved so much when they move inside to new homes.

post #10 of 12
I meant for her to look for the Mother cat to make sure she is okay since she hasn't seen her at feeding time. Sorry, but we once had a mother cat that didn't show up for feeding time and we found her babies had been eaten by some sort of wild animal, and the mom had a broken/bloddy leg leg, and although we took her to the vet...her leg was never the same. I don't worry if I do see the mommy kitty without her babies at feeding time because eventually they will come out too. Sorry, I may be a little paranoid after my experience.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
I can't thank you all enough for all the encouragement and sharing of ideas that I have found here. A lot of people think that "cat people" are nuts and worry about things they shouldn't. I think that the people here are loving, caring, thoughful and most of all, very much in tune with their feline friends. I appreciate all of you and many blessings and much thanks head for all of you. Diddo Kahli, Princess Alexis, KittenKiya and Pete (insiders) have watched all this help too, and they say "Meow", "thank you". DaddyCat, ValerieCat, Princess, Patches and Tippy-Tail all say "Merrrrowww" "Thank you too". Bless you all.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, it seems that even though DaddyCat is fixed, he still is protecting his family. He chased the bob-tailed male out of the yard this morning. He was under the porch waiting for breakfast with Princess and ValerieCat. I'm glad he is still protecing his own, and I really think he is staying with MotherCat and the possible new kits during the day. I am so happy, my family is intact. They are such joys. :icecream:
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