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Started TNR on my small colony

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sunday I trapped the first female, a little tortoiseshell girl and took her in and had her spayed yesterday. I have been feeding this small colony and want to keep it small. Luckily there are only 5 that hang out together but there are a few males that wonder in and about at night. I got this one easy, only took a few minutes to trap her with mackeral in the trap. She did very well at the vet and got tested for leukemia, spayed and vaccinated. She went back to her family this morning. I sure hated to let her go, but she knew exactly where she was and ran up to the others and she was happy to be back out. It breaks my heart to see them out there but they're pretty scared of people. I have made shelter for them that they use and feed them daily. I had someone helping me feed them but they havent been back for a while so I guess its just me now taking care of them. I plan on getting them all neutered or spayed till they are all done, and trying to catch the tom kitty that comes to visit at night and getting him done also. I will feel better knowing hopefully there wont be new kittens this spring out there if I can get all the females in soon. I have another appt. for another one next monday. I will hopefully get one a week till they are all done.
post #2 of 18
Good Job and Good Luck next monday
post #3 of 18
Congrats!! It's wonderful what you are doing for your colony. I've heard so many reports at the clinic that once the cats are spayed/neutered...they end up looking so much more healthy. It's a good thing.

Katie
post #4 of 18
Congratulations on your success!! And you are doing an awesome job - you are a real guardian angel for those cats! Maybe there are some girls in your neighborhood who would be willing to help you out. That is quite a chore for you to handle on your own, esp. if you need to go out of town or something. I wish you continued success with your colony!!I hope that you are getting funding assistance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by malynn
Sunday I trapped the first female, a little tortoiseshell girl and took her in and had her spayed yesterday. I have been feeding this small colony and want to keep it small. Luckily there are only 5 that hang out together but there are a few males that wonder in and about at night. I got this one easy, only took a few minutes to trap her with mackeral in the trap. She did very well at the vet and got tested for leukemia, spayed and vaccinated. She went back to her family this morning. I sure hated to let her go, but she knew exactly where she was and ran up to the others and she was happy to be back out. It breaks my heart to see them out there but they're pretty scared of people. I have made shelter for them that they use and feed them daily. I had someone helping me feed them but they havent been back for a while so I guess its just me now taking care of them. I plan on getting them all neutered or spayed till they are all done, and trying to catch the tom kitty that comes to visit at night and getting him done also. I will feel better knowing hopefully there wont be new kittens this spring out there if I can get all the females in soon. I have another appt. for another one next monday. I will hopefully get one a week till they are all done.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I had no luck on the next attempt to trap, although I did take in a male cat that has taken up here at home, he was taken in yesterday and was neutered and vaccinated and tested. I brought him home, kept him in overnight and let him back out this morning, he is a big tom, but he is a sweetheart. He ate his breakfast and left for the day, like he usually does, he usually comes in the evening too for his dinner and sleeps in a heated house on our porch.
Hopefully I can get more of the colony in soon for spay and neuter, they arent in my neighborhood but about 6 miles away living behind a furniture store. I have been taking care of them, well, feeding them and trying to give them some shelter for a year now, I have done 7 of them so far, one had to be put down because he was sick and want to get the rest done, there is only 1 maybe 2 females left and I want to get them so bad before kittens start coming, but they know it seems, that I want to trap them. I think I am overfeeding them right before I'm trying to trap them, putting out too much food the days before I try to trap and they are scared of the trap or not hungry enough to go into it.
I got a free spay certificate for one female last saturday from Spay Day and hopefully I can get one in and prevent another litter from being born.
My vet also put me on the state program (funds from the special vehicle tags for spay and neuter) where I can get one a month done half price, she is so great!!! It is expensive, and other than that I dont have financial help, but its worth it to me to not see them suffer from having litter after litter. My husband is great about it, he hasnt complained a bit about me spending so much on them. He loves cats too so that helps.
post #6 of 18
That's really excellent, Malynn Good luck with catching your last few, especially any girls. We have about 4 left to catch in our colony, so I understand how anxious you are to get them.
post #7 of 18
Malynn, I've had luck with my small colony by changing the food I have in the trap. I make sure its heated, and something new each time I set the trap. So far I've used tuna, chicken, heated wet food and a hamburger. The chicken and hamburger has worked best for me! I've gotten 2 out of 5.
post #8 of 18
All the best to you Malynn!
post #9 of 18
Hi Malynn! I've got a small colony too. You're very smart to do the spay/neutering now before spring... Is there any way that you could safely leave the trap where the colony is? The idea would be for you to secure the door of the trap with string or a bungee cord and get the cats used to eating in it so they lose their fear of the trap. Since you still have several cats that you need to catch, it would be helpful if you could get at least one more trap to attempt a "multiple trapping"!

The cats do catch on quickly to the trap. To increase your chances of trapping, make sure to withhold food (but not water) at least 24 hours before you intend to trap. This is very tough to do, but necessary. Sweets had an interesting idea about varying the type of food used for baiting the trap. Several members have also suggested that Kentucky Fried Chicken works like a charm!

Just a couple of tips: instead of lining the floor of the trap with newspaper (which will scare the cats if it's windy out and the paper starts flapping around), cut some cardboard to fit the floor of the trap. It's much more comfortable for the cat to stand on than the wire when you are carrying the cat in the trap. Make sure to cover the trap with a towel as soon as the cat is caught - he'll feel safer and it will help calm him.

If possible, try to let female cats recuperate for at least 5 days before release - 7 days is even better. Though it's long been a common practice for ferals, it's been found that it's dangerous to release females outdoors too soon after being spayed. They've had major, invasive surgery and the only way to be sure they are healing is to keep them confined for several days. You want to be sure sutures have not opened up, and that there is no infection. You also have a better chance of getting pain meds into them, which female cats should have for at least a day or two following surgery. It takes time for them to heal properly.

You're doing a great thing for these cats - they are so lucky to have you to care for them! Hope you have good luck catching the rest. Please let us know how it's going.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I have another appointment for a spay or neuter tomorrow, so I will be trapping tonite, there are 2 more females, I think one is pregnant, I could never get close enough to her to tell if she was male or female and sure enough she is female and is getting bigger, so as much as I hate to do it, I think I will try and get her first and then the other one next time. Gosh I hate to think of those poor kittens not being born, but I'm not sure they would make it and if I would be able to find them once they are born and then them reproducing too. I want to make sure the mom is taken care of, she is feral and wont let me near her so I think its best for her to get her in first. I have tried several times to trap the other female and she wants absolutely nothing to do with that trap, she is smart! Hopefully I will have good luck tonite getting a female. Gonna try the KFC this time, last time I used sardines and it didnt work. Sometimes I kind of feel overwhelmed, especially now since its kitten season but I just cant give up on them. Hopefully I can get the other female in to the vet too before she has a litter. If I can catch her!
post #11 of 18
Hi Malynn - I see you're still hard at work!

It's very difficult to take a pregnant female in for a spay; I understand your feelings about it. But I agree with your reasons for doing so and sad as it is, it's the right thing to do. I hope you'll have the best of luck (and maybe this being St.Pat's Day will help!) trapping her. Since she's probably pregnant, she'll be very hungry and more inclined to go into the trap. Don't give up if she's not interested in the first bait you use - bring several kinds, and try a few.

I'm familiar too with that feeling of being overwhelmed - glad you're not letting it stop you! Push through it because you ARE making a difference to each cat you trap, as well as preventing countless unborn kittens that would result if you didn't neuter the cats.

Keep up the good work - I'll be crossing my fingers for you for successful trapping tonight!
post #12 of 18

Congratulations Malynn! It is so hard in the beginning but not imposible.
You beat me by 1! I've 6 left to trap,5 females (best guess) and one male. One is very pregnant, she walked in the trap this morning but not as far as to trigger it, another one went in and is now at the vet for surgery tomorrow.
BTW..they had to use a hog snare at the clinic with the trapped feral, Rockette, I didn't see it but heard the screeches and yowls, it was chaos, poor Rockette (I hope they finally got it that these aren't housecats) But finally got her in a cage. How safe is a hog snare with a cat?
post #13 of 18
malynn, I want to say you have my respect and that you are doing a very good job with your colony. Good luck in your efforts.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I got her! Went by on the way to trap her and picked up some KFC and she went for it, I was only there about 10 minutes! She isn't happy, she is on the back porch with a heating pad under the trap and covered up. Poor girl, just hope everything goes ok tomorrow. Wish her luck! Only 1 more female to go!
post #15 of 18
well done and good luck!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well I just got bad news from my vet, she was positive for Leukemia AND Aids. She was pregnant also, so we thought it best that she be put to sleep.
She didnt hang out with the same group that I had been working with, but in the same area, sofar my other small group has tested negative, so I will trap the other 2 that she hung out with, they are males, and have them tested also. I feel awful about it but at least I know she wont suffer a slow death from leukemia and aids. The vet said she saw no wounds on her, so she may have gotten it from breeding. Poor girl, I had such hopes that she would have been ok. Bless her heart, its so sad.
post #17 of 18
Malynn, I'm so sorry about your mom cat. You did such a good job trapping her, too...

Be aware that many cats with FIV (only) can live long lives. Many of the groups in my area will not PTS cats with FIV, especially if they've been living peacefully among the same group of ferals.

There was an interesting article I read quite a while ago by Nathan Winograd concerning testing feral cats for these diseases. I'll see if I can find it.

I know this certainly wasn't the outcome you'd expected, but trapping the cat was the right thing to do. I hope you'll have much better luck with the other kitties who need to get S/N.

Hang in there, Malynn. This is one of the saddest parts of TNR, but it gets balanced by the good you'll be able to do for the other cats who still need help.
post #18 of 18
Malynn, my heart goes out to you, but I believe you're doing the right thing rather than she suffers and alone, poor baby. It is so very hard anyways, sending a big hug
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