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OK, I think I may do it!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
About a month ago I noticed a very pregnant little girl in my neighborhood. (I guess when I brought Bella home the "cat radar" went up and all the strays/ferals started hanging around closer) then she disappeared for a couple weeks, and I thought maybe she was somebody's pet. Well, now she's obviously had her kittens, because I saw her and the ginger tom I always see going thru the dumpster last night when I got home, and she's pretty trim-looking and was very hungry (the tom took off as soon as I pulled up, but l'il miss continued to scavenge thru the garbage bags).
So my first question is, do I go looking for her nest, or do I just start feeding her and trying to gain her trust? I've not been able to get within 5 feet of her, so she's at least semi-feral. I just hate to think of her babies growing up out and about in our neighborhood and the over-population that would cause. I can't sit by and watch, now that I know she's nobody's pet. I think I need to TNR at least her, and hopefully her babies, before something happens to them.
post #2 of 10
Rica...if it were me..I would feed the mom and try to gain her trust so that you can trap her when the time is right. Chances are she will bring the kittens when they are old enough. Bless you for caring for these cats!!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thx Katie, that's kinda what I was thinking (even though I'm pretty sure I know the general area where I could find them). It just really got to me last night seeing her pawing thru those garbage bags for scraps, knowing how much food she needs to take care of those babies.

There are at least two toms in the neighborhood as well, a black and the ginger. The black boy made friends the day I moved in - he started talking and I talked back, and he almost came into the house with me! I don't see him too often, so I can't really tell if he's someone's poorly cared-for pet or a true stray. Regardless, he's unaltered and prone to fights, as evidenced by a fresh scar on his ear and the morning caterwauls out my bedroom window (my landlords own the empty lot behind us too, so there's lots of hiding spaces!) and getting him neutered would help ease my mind as well.

I'll be reading all the wonderful TCS resources over the weekend, but any advice you feral veterans have would also be appreciated!
post #4 of 10
I say get the toms fixed first if you can....if the one is friendly..you may be able to coax him into a carrier. Getting him fixed will help reduce or even elliminate the catawalling and the fighting. Neutering is usually easier to perform.

post #5 of 10
You can start feeding the mammacat, and then she will bring her babies when they are old enough. By this time, she WILL be pregnant again, so will need to be spayed ASAP.

Thanks for helping this poor girl! The female feral cats are the ones that just break my heart.
post #6 of 10
Rica...if you need a list of low cost clinics...let us know. Please keep us UTD on the situation..and thank you again for caring!!!

post #7 of 10
Rica it is so lovely to know that someone is there looking out for her and her little babies. Good Luck with it all, please let us know how you get on.
post #8 of 10
Males cat are usually cheaper to get fixed too. Catch as many as you can. hopefully she will be one of them. I would put a saucer of tuna juice (Tuna that's packed in WATER, not oil) and add a bit of kitty relaxer to it. Like this Calm Down! elixer. It's cheap and it seems to work for Tigger when she's upset. It only cost me $6
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TNR1
Rica...if you need a list of low cost clinics...let us know. Please keep us UTD on the situation..and thank you again for caring!!!

Katie that would be fabulous! I do have a couple of names from the shelter where I adopted Bella, but any insight you could give would be appreciated. I'm taking Bella in for a check-up Friday (she's got ear mites, and I want THEM to clip her claws, since all she'll do is hiss and nip at me when I try!) so I'll be sure to ask the vet as well.

I noticed ANOTHER one yesterday - a long-hair dilute calico. Poor thing is pretty matted, but doesn't look to be starving yet. I put out a small dish last night and it was all but empty this morning, so someone's not afraid to approach my front porch. I'll have to watch and see, though.

Thanks for all your encouragement. Everyone has been so helpful, and it helps reassure me that this is something I need to do!
post #10 of 10
Rica, you can click on the link in my signature line to help you search for low-cost spay/neuter resources, although calling local shelters and vets is always a good call. If you can't find any, you can always contact SpayUSA (www.spayusa.org), and they can help negotiate with a local vet. Especially since there seem to be multiple kitties you're dealing with.

This is really a wonderful, wonderful thing you're doing!

And I agree with the advice you've already gotten. If you go looking for the kittens, it's very likey om will move them unless you take them right then. But without a foster home lined up for them, bottle feeding and hand-raising kittens without a mom is a LOT of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's really best for them to be fed by momma, at the very least until they're weaned. I think you just keep putting out the food - I agree that momma cat will likely bring her kittens to the food if she knows she can rely on it. Also, when it came to trapping cats, we'd always leave the trap open and not set up to trip so the cats would get used to eating in there before we set the trap. There's a thread at the top of this forum titled "Helping Ferals...." - it has lots of info, including trapping tips.

One thing you should consider doing - whenever you trap a feral and take it somewhere for a spay or neuter, please ask the attending vet to "ear-tip" or "ear-notch" the kitty. This way you can tell at a glance whether or not you've previously trapped this cat and had it spayed/neutered and vaccinated - it also acts a sign to others who may be trapping, or trapping in the future - that the cat has been spayed or neutered.

If I think of anything further, I'll post again.

Just know you're doing a truly wonderful thing, and we'll help as much as we can!

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