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Feral Cat Behavior

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
A colony of feral cats lives in the woods behind my house. I've been putting out food for them, but I haven't tried to catch and neuter any of them yet.

Yesterday, one of the feral kittens got under my husbands car and he accidentally ran over it. We went to get a shovel to bury the kitty, but when we got back, the mother cat was carrying the kitten's body to the woods.

This morning, in the exact same place where the kitten was killed, appeared to be remains of the kitten. (tail, foot, etc.)

What does this behavior mean? I don't understand why the mother cat would bring remains of the kitten back to the place where it died. This is interesting behavior, but really puzzling. Any answers or advice you have would be great. Thanks.
post #2 of 6
Hi Lori
I'm so sorry to hear of this. In a feral colony there is always the one alpha queen who is the smartest of all of the females. She most likely left or put those parts there for you to remember what was done and a message to you. Winter is coming and it will be getting cold. Cats and kittens will also hide under hoods of automobiles, behind tires on lay on the top of the tires. Word of warning, check out your vehicles before starting them up and moving them. Best advice I can give you is to get some help with trapping them. Get them neutered and spayed and return them. As for the kittens, contact a local organization to have them adopted out. If you need some help with information on that please feel free to post your desire and I'm sure there are a lot of us here that will be able to help out in that situation. Me included. Don't be hard on yourself,that mother is a real good mother with obvious strong bonds to her young. Good luck and keep us informed.

Warm Hearted Wishes
post #3 of 6
This queen is very intelligent. She may have left the remains there as a warning to the others kittens not to venture into that territory. Call your local vet or animal rescue and see if they have a kitten trap and a cat trap you can borrow or rent. Our feed store rent them out for $2.00 a day. Then go to the grocery store and buy the smelliest, nastiest cheapest can of fishy cat food you can find. Put the traps where you think they will be seen, dribble the liquid of the fishy food all over the back end of the trap and inside, and then set a small dish of food into the trap. This is best done by raising the entire cage up while it is sitting on the ground and inserting the dish past the trigger and sliding it to the end of the cage.

Once a kitten or the mom is caught, if you have no other place to put the feral, cover the cage with a dark heavy cloth (this will keep them calm) Please if you handle the cats, be sure to have help, have a long sleeved shirt on- maybe more than one, and gloves. If you get scratched immediately disinfect the wound and if you get bit go to the hospital! Good luck, ferals are really wonderful cats once they have been tamed but it takes a very long time to trap them and to gain their trust. Also a fishing net is helpful when you are transferring them out of the trap to a cage. It is traumatic for them, but it is safer for you and once you have gained their trust, they will love you regardless
post #4 of 6
Lorri - I am sorry about the incident with the kitten - How many cats are there and how old do you think the babies are?
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who replied. I am trying to get the mother cats a little more tame before I try to catch them. No vet I've called yet seems interested in dealing with wild cats. There are 2 mother cats and two half-grown kittens. The kitten that was killed was half-grown, too. The mother cats seems to take turns nursing the kittens. I have seen another adult cat but I don't know if it is male or female.

One of the mother cats let me pet her some while she eats. They still run away most of the time if people are too close.
post #6 of 6
Sounds like they are a close knit group.
I wish you luck with your endeavor.
These fur-baies are lucky to have found you!
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