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Moral dilemma about trapping in the Spring

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Of our immediate colony, we have one tortie [assuming female] still left that hasn't been caught. I have no way of knowing if she has kittens somewhere. I only see her at night (10pm-midnight). She looks small-ish (maybe 7-9 months old or the runt of her litter?) and I haven't seen her looking fat like she's pregnant. Our local males have been neutered, but I have to assume that she'd get pregnant regardless, because there are enough colonies around to make that happen.

We'd like to capture her, but my fear is that she has kittens stashed somewhere.

How does a person handle this?

I've tried to find her during the day, but haven't been able to. I don't see her enough to really know if there are kittens around.

post #2 of 8
Well I think the only way would be to catch her and look at her nipples . For sure you would know then if she had kittens .
post #3 of 8
That's right Scott, and you could release her if you found she was nursing, and trap her and her kittens later on.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
My thinking is that -- if I catch her once, it will be much harder to catch her later one. I've caught numerous ferals twice, but I'm still working with the assumption that it's a one-shot deal.

How prominent will her nipples be? Will I be able to tell through the cage?

When I see her, it's not as though her belly is really hanging down...hard to tell...she's extremely shy, so I typically only get a moment's glimpse before she takes off. (Our complex has tons of shrubs and a parking lot, so the cats cat be under a car in the blink of an eye).
post #5 of 8
Scott....I say trap her. We get a lot of "lactating" cats who are spayed at the monthly clinic. Most caretakers at our clinic are of the same opinion...that it is harder to trap a second time and they usually are just happy to have the female fixed.

post #6 of 8
If the weather is not too cold, the kittens can survive a night without mom. Trap her and release ASAP (but not before the anethesia has worn off). We usually trap in the evening, fix the following morning, and then hold her over night. If possible to trap early in the AM before vet appointment, that would even be better. We do this all the time and then trap the kittens later. It works!
post #7 of 8
I accidentally trapped a new mom one year, and we took her right in, had her done and waited 24 hours before releasing her. She scampered right off, and about 6 weeks later brought in a healthy brood to the feeders. We trapped the kittens, found them good homes where they were spayed and neutered and still living quite happily (last time I checked)
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I don't know that I would be able to get a 24-hour turnaround, since I don't actually handle the veterinarian dropoffs myself. There's another rescue contact that has an ongoing relationship with a particular vet that handles this for us. It's possible, but not probable. And I know that they typically hold the females a few days before re-release...hence, why I feel torn about trapping.

My main goal has been to get a good look at her or a good picture (to see if she looks pregnant). I only catch a narrow glimpse when I see her - she's very skittish and runs off immediately, unlike many of our other ferals, which are somewhat tolerant and tame.
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