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question about cages

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
As you might remember, about a month ago, we had the pleasure of a mother cat and her 3 kittens take up residence under our front porch. I am seriously considering getting the mother cat spayed before she gets pregnant again. I read a thread about putting the "new" cat in a cage while in the process of getting to know the other cats and going to the vet. My question is...What size cage is big enough? And also, If she does happen to have a disease of some sort, is there a chance our 2 indoor cats might catch it, even though she will be in the cage but in our house?
I am pretty sure the kittens are old enough to leave her. I am guessing they are around 3 months old now. She has started to push them away at times. And they often go off wondering on their own during the day in the corn field across the road from our house. But she does still seem to be very protective of them and calls for them to come home. Is it too soon? Will the babies be even more afraid of us if their mother is gone? They don't seem to run away from us as much as they used to but they also won't let us get too close. I want to do the right thing and get the mother spayed but I don't want the kittens to suffer in the process.
I think I will be letting her return to the outside world after she is spayed and has receive a thorough check-up unless we can convince my husband otherwise and our own cats and dog decide to accept her. She is a very sweet, affectionate cat.
post #2 of 6
I used a dog crate in my livingroom while trapping my feral Goldie's kittens - As each one was trapped and then spent a morning at the vet, they were placed in the dog crate. Complete with food, water and small litter box, and a place to nest. I worked on the kittens first, but unfortunately momma did not cooperate and has now delivered another litter - i plan on not giving up and getting her after she brings the next brood over. Go to your dollar store and get a feather toy - this is how I got 3 out of the 4 that Goldie brought me! They work wonders. Hissy told me about using feathers - and I plan on using them again. They cannot resist them. Using the crate allows you to socialize the kittens while giving them a safe place to be. I used an old blanket to cover the crate for quiet time. This has worked well the three we have placed. ( one with us!!)
Good luck and MEOWS to you!
post #3 of 6
They are taken to the vet and tested then vetted. Once they are clear, I use the cage method. I bought the biggest cage I could find, ours is large enough that two GSD could turn around in them easily at the same time. I cover the cage with a blanket, tucking the ends underneath so the nosey nates that come in can't get to the newcomer. The cage was expensive, but when you figure the cage needs a litterbox, food bowls, blankets, a large one just made sense, plus when it isn't being used for a welcome cage, our german shepherd sleeps in it.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Debra and Hissy,
Thanks for the information. I never used to worry about how to introduce stray cats to my own but over the years I have read a lot about cats and cat diseases and I wanted to be more cautious this time.
They need to see the vet before coming into the house. Got it!!
Now my other question is, should we try to capture the kittens first and then the mother or doesn't it really matter? Mom shouldn't be a problem for she lets us pet her all the time. The kittens are a different story. I am going to try to find one of those feather toys and see if that helps.
post #5 of 6
Capture the kittens first. They have kitten live traps you can use, and I always buy sardines for this. I dribble the oil all over the trap, and then dribble a path to the end of the trap so the kittens will have their nose down and go for it. You will have to use gloves (heavy ones) to transport the kittens from the trap to the carrier or the cage, or whatever you are using. If the mom knows her kittens are with you, she will be anxious and follow their cries.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hissy. You are a big help! I truly appreciate it. This might take a while though. Wish us luck as we emabark on this mission to capture our cute little Porch Purrers!!
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