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Need Advice!!!! I trapped my feral!!!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A beautiful siamese I've been feeding for about 3 months. She (or he?) is now on my back porch, with food, water, and a litterbox. My porch is unheated and it's 6 degrees outside. I washed out a cat carrier, however, and put about three inches of straw in it, covered that with a faux sheepskin, then covered that with a soft pallet (the kind Drs. Foster & Smith sells, which reflects the cat's body heat), then wrapped the whole carrier in an old blanket.

Here's how she's reacting: She growled when I carried her into the porch, ran to the door (of course) when I let her out of the trap, growled when I went onto the porch to leave her some food, is mesmerized by the sliding glass door (the light over the deck is on, so she can see outside), has thrown herself against it a couple of times, desperate to get out.

Have I done right??? Should I let her out? Do you think she has kittens outside somewhere? She's been staying somewhere behind my neighbor's house, and they have a huge yard, so I don't know if there are kittens anywhere. She's quite plump, as I've been feeding her Wellness. I feel bad that she wants out so badly. Will she calm down? Should I keep her on the porch? PLEASE advise???!!!
post #2 of 16
Can you see her nipples? Do they look engourged with the hair around them mashed down or missing? If so she is nursing and you need to release her-

She will try to get out,they always do. If you can put her in a darkened quiet room(if she is not nursing) that will help her to calm down.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I can't tell if it's a he or a she. If it's a she, her belly is so round, I can't see her nipples. And I think there's no way she'd let me near her. I'm really on the fence with this one!
post #4 of 16
Pengy clawed at windows. She scratched at doors. She unraveled carpet to get under the doors.

She also changed that after about 3 days. I took those precautions needed to make sure she couldn't hurt herself, laid down a plastic mat where she was unraveling the carpet, and let her go through what she had to deal with. She's never even tried to escape out the door when I'm coming or going.

It's hard, P&Q, but s/he'll adjust. You might be able to run a search on nursing kittens and see if there's any photos attached to help you determine if a) she's a she, and b) she has kittens.

Thanks for loving her and being willing to take care of her. She doesn't know how lucky she is yet, but someday, she will.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response. That's a great idea about searching for the photo. I only came up with one, and all the kittens were attached, so I couldn't tell!! I did see a photo of how to tell the gender from the under-the-tail view. The only thing that gives me pause is the possibility of kittens. Otherwise, I wouldn't really be worried. She growls a lot when I go out there. There's just no way she'll let me look for nipples or raise her tail so I can check. Damn!!
post #6 of 16
bless you for taking this one in - any chance you could do a search in your neighbours area and look for kittens
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, it's 1:45 a.m. and I don't think I can really go prowling around in the snow with a flashlight in my neighbor's backyard (lol), as much as I'd like to!! I'm beginning to think I should just let him out and continue to feed him and hope he'll be okay. Clearly, he's not leaving the neighborhood. He's found a good place to hide next door, and he's always on the ready for dinnertime. I think I just screwed up in bringing him in. I was just so worried about the cold.

Thank you for your kind thoughts and good advice.
post #8 of 16
how long have you been feeding this kitty? is it possible that the kitty is just fat due to you fattening him/her up?

I would hate for you to release this kitty to find out that there are infact no kittens - but then again - vice versa is bad too - oh I understand why your frantic

EDIT - no I dont think you screwed up - its cold and you care
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you again. Will definitely keep you posted on my decision.
post #10 of 16
Please don't let him/her out yet. I know it's heartbreaking to see a feral doing all they can to escape but you need to be strong. As hissy said, put the cat in a small room (a bathroom is ideal) with food, water, bedding and a litter pan. Make sure the room is warm enough too. You'll need to buy soil from a garden centre (outside soil can carry bugs) and mix that in with the normal litter, as the cat won't know about using a litter box. Put the litter pan as far from the food as possible, as cats don't like to eliminate near where they eat. Then it's important you take the cat to a vet for a check-up, vaccinations and to be spayed/neutered. That's the biggest gift you can give this cat.
post #11 of 16
Peasandcues, the only way to be certain if this is a nursing mom cat is to get her to the vet ASAP. If she's nursing, you can release her and try again at some point to re-trap her. If not, you can get the cat S/N and decide whether to socialize or release.
But if you think there's a possibility there could be kittens out there, get her to the vet NOW.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, the earliest appointment I can get at the vet is next Saturday. I am going to call my neighbor this evening, however, and ask him to check around all the nooks and crannies around and under his house to see if he sees any kittens. As I noted, I don't even know whether it's a female or male cat, as he's hiding at the back of the carrier I set up for him. And I have no idea whether there are kittens or not--I just thought that might be a possibility for any female cat. I am worried, however, because he hasn't used the litter box. I worked all day and simply couldn't get to the garden store to buy some dirt. BTW, any special kind of dirt I should buy??? Last time I went, all they had was potting soil. Thanks so much for your reply.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
P.S. I just went out to check on him for the first time today (just got home from work). He's all curled up in the very back of the carrier, with his back to me. I tried to talk to him, even lifted the blanket a bit--he didn't even budge. Do you think he's alright? I would expect SOME kind of response--if even a hiss and a growl. But nothing? I know it's cold on that unheated porch, but surely it's better than outside???
post #14 of 16
Hi Peasandcues

Don't doubt yourself - you're doing a wonderful thing for this kitty - giving him/her the chance of a safe life with people that care.

When we first brought Adelaide inside about three months ago, she leapt to the top of every window in our conservatory and howled for about three nights. We seriously wondered whether we had done the right thing too.

Then she withdraw like your little kitty has done now. I think it's very much a case of "if I can't see you, you can't see me". Trying to keep as small and quiet as possible. If he/she is not howling/bouncing off the walls anymore - you're making progress. Other people who have taken in ferals/strays on this board have experienced just what you're going through now.

We're with you all the way - and here for you anytime you need support or wonder whether what your kitty is doing is something you should expect or is unusual.

Good luck
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I moved her to the basement--it just got too cold out on our porch. And she hadn't eaten or eliminated in over 24 hours. Fortunately, the next morning when i went down to check on her, she had used the litter box and had eaten all her food. She's been there for two days now. She crawled out of the carrier and now hides behind a framed print that is leaning against the wall. I think she comes out only when we're all asleep, because it appears that she doesn't touch her food during the day. I leave a nightlight on for her at night, and today I turned on NPR at a low volume for her to get used to the sound of human voices. I also went down and read for a little while. She never came out from behind the print, though. I'm wondering just how long she's going to hide from me. We have a vet appointment for her this Saturday. Thank you for your offer of support. Hissy corresponded with me a few times with suggestions, as well. I'm very grateful for everyone's feedback. If you have any further suggestions, please know that I'd love to hear them!!
post #16 of 16
If Hissy's given you advice then you're well on your way!! I got so much help from this board with Adelaide because I just didn't know what to expect.

Going to the Vet's is a bit traumatic - not so much when kitty is actually there because Vets are used to this kind of thing (just be sure to let them know she's feral). The problem is the getting the cat there. I know Hissy has some good advice here. Hubby just put thick clothes on, got really thick leather gardening gloves (the kind you would use to take out thorny bushes) and grabbed Adelaide. It wasn't pretty, or elegant and the second time she pooped on him (she was very frightened) but nothing else would work.

We tried enticing her into the carrier with mackerel - that worked until the day we were going to take her to the vet and then she seemed to know that something was afoot!

As for her not coming out from behind the print - that's fine. She's out of her hidey-hole, that's a bit step forward. Just keep the radio playing and go in and talk to her or read to her. That's what we did with Adelaide.

Addie was a bit tubby and we wondered whether she was pregnant - or whether we'd trapped her and there would be some starving kittens somewhere. As it happens, she went to the Vet to be spayed on Friday and when they got in there they found she had already been done - she was just tubby!!
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