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Feral Mama Kitty Outside (Sugestions)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We have a tailless male outside ( Bobcat) .. and since i have been baby sitting a puppy(isac) for my Fiance's mother i have been going out everyday several times a day walking the puppy... i am sure that our next door neighbor thinks me totally nuts by now. Isac and i go walking and i call for Isac because he is playing and Sniffing Bobcat and both of them come running .. * shakes my head* So we end up going around Me dog Cat *LOL*

Anyways i do feed Bobcat.. and he is staying under our house or napping in our leantoo in the sun. Well yesterday i was watching and Bob cat finished eating ( i only give him small amounts at a time so it does not attract more cats ) .. up comes a black and white cat which i had seem flashes of before, but this was the first time i had seen her for a long period of time. Her little belly is HUGE!! She is also VERY skitish around people.

I can not bring her in the house to possibly infect the cats who are inside with anything. Our cats are up to date with their shots. Delilah is pregnant. All of the cats were outside with this crew of cats though, so they would already have the possibility of having caught anything they could.

We have a large out building that i could use to put her in, but as it gets warmer i am afraid that she and the kittens will get to warm in there.
post #2 of 19
i would say do what you can to get her some where safe and secure. newborns are far too vunerable to be left outside. kittens need to keep warm so if the building isnt too hot for you it should be ok for the newborns. there is a thread about overheating newborns here. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46339

if you leave the cat outside more than likely the kittens will die or be condemmed to a life of being hungrey, the females bearing litter after litter and the males forever scrapping over territory.

any little you do willl help.
post #3 of 19
Trap the cat and bring her inside. The odds are close to zero that she has anything that your cats could get without direct, prolonged contact with her. If your cats are vaccinated, the odds go down so far that they are negligible. It is commonly believed that feral and free-roaming cats are sickly and diseased, but this is simply not true. They are as healthy as pet cats.

You can either have her spayed (and abort the kittens), or bring her inside to have her kittens in a quiet place in your house - a spare room like a den or guest bedroom or powder room, or even a walk-in closet. However, I can only recommend letting her have her kittens if you will commit to finding homes for all of them and you are willing and able to have all of the kittens spayed and neutered before placing them in their new homes. The breeding cycle has to stop with this generation. But the one thing you cannot do is let her have her kittens outside. That is inhumane. Approximately half of the kittens will not survive (due to various factors, many of them preventable) and if there are any complications associated with the birth, Mama will have no chance of survival. So leaving her to have her kittens outdoors is not an option. You can either spay Mama now or spay her and her kittens once the kittens are 8-12 weeks old. Either option is acceptable.

Also, be sure to neuter Bobcat as soon as possible.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegansoprano
Trap the cat and bring her inside. The odds are close to zero that she has anything that your cats could get without direct, prolonged contact with her. If your cats are vaccinated, the odds go down so far that they are negligible. It is commonly believed that feral and free-roaming cats are sickly and diseased, but this is simply not true. They are as healthy as pet cats..
I completely disagree- outside cats are not vaccinated, they are carriers of all sorts of problems. They may have ringworm, roundworms, tapeworms, ear mites, they have fleas.They are not healthy as pet cats!

Your pregnant momcat needs to be brought inside. You can either put her in a small bathroom all to herself until you get her to the vet to be tested, or you can use the small building you were talking about, if anything to keep her and the upcoming litter safe. It is not inhumane to let the mom have her kittens outside, but it is not the safest way to go. The kittens will be susceptible to the elements, to predators, to other tomcats that will want to do them harm so that they can mate with momcat again.

Your best course of action is to get the female indoors to be safe and to be vet-checked-
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
I completely disagree- outside cats are not vaccinated, they are carriers of all sorts of problems. They may have ringworm, roundworms, tapeworms, ear mites, they have fleas.They are not healthy as pet cats!

Your pregnant momcat needs to be brought inside. You can either put her in a small bathroom all to herself until you get her to the vet to be tested, or you can use the small building you were talking about, if anything to keep her and the upcoming litter safe. It is not inhumane to let the mom have her kittens outside, but it is not the safest way to go. The kittens will be susceptible to the elements, to predators, to other tomcats that will want to do them harm so that they can mate with momcat again.

Your best course of action is to get the female indoors to be safe and to be vet-checked-
Parasites are easily treated and are certainly not evidence that a cat is "unhealthy". Extensive studies have been done on the general condition of feral and free-roaming cats and they state quite conclusively that these cats are not diseased or in any way unhealthy. In fact, when statistics of many feral cat spay/neuter clinics around the country were compared, it was found that less than 1% of all cats needed to be euthanatized due to poor health. The vast majority of medical problems found in free-roaming cats are routine, easily treated, and pose no risk to other cats. I'm not making this up. It comes from peer-reviewed scientific studies.
post #6 of 19
It is irresponsible at best to tell someone who has a pregnant cat already to go ahead and bring a stray inside because they are as healthy as pet cats anyway. If this were true, than why are so many ferals and strays dying that are out in the world. Even in managed colonies you have disease that sneaks in when new cats show up. When people irresponsibly toss a cat outside, oftentimes that cat is not vaccinated, because if they cared enough to vaccinate the cat, they wouldn't toss them outside when the cat inconvienences them. Also vaccines are NOT 100% foolproof, so again, telling someone not to worry about what a stray can bring into a home is not a wise thing to say. Any time you bring a cat into a group you quarantine that cat until the cat has been to a vet and been checked out thoroughly, otherwise, you can open yourself up for a world of trouble and high vet bills.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
It is irresponsible at best to tell someone who has a pregnant cat already to go ahead and bring a stray inside because they are as healthy as pet cats anyway. If this were true, than why are so many ferals and strays dying that are out in the world. Even in managed colonies you have disease that sneaks in when new cats show up. When people irresponsibly toss a cat outside, oftentimes that cat is not vaccinated, because if they cared enough to vaccinate the cat, they wouldn't toss them outside when the cat inconvienences them. Also vaccines are NOT 100% foolproof, so again, telling someone not to worry about what a stray can bring into a home is not a wise thing to say. Any time you bring a cat into a group you quarantine that cat until the cat has been to a vet and been checked out thoroughly, otherwise, you can open yourself up for a world of trouble and high vet bills.
I wasn't saying to throw the cat in with the established population. That isn't sensible in anyone's book. But the odds that something would be transmissible to healthy, vaccinated adult cats through air or indirect contact (like their touching an object that had been in the same room with the other cat) are nearly zero. People bring strays in their homes all the time and just toss them in with their cats and usually nothing goes wrong. Taking minimal sanitation and isolation precautions further reduces the risk. And certainly, a vet check-up is a prudent measure no matter what.

If feral and stray cats don't die from outdoor hazards like cars, they typically die from the same age-related conditions that pet cats die from - things like cancer and kidney failure. They die because no one lives forever, not because there are strange and horrible infectious diseases that affect them. Again, this isn't stuff I'm making up. It's substantiated in scientific studies and through the experiences of many long-term feral cat caregivers who have necropsies performed on their feral cats when they die. I have two good friends who care for colonies totaling over 100 feral cats between them, and with the exception of a handful of cats that died of leukemia, I have not heard of any of their feral cats dying of infectious diseases in all the time I have known them.
post #8 of 19
I would be very interested in seeing the scientific studies that you are citing. I know that the hype over feral cats having rabies, FIV, FeLV is overblown in many cases by the same people who think ABC Birds and Cats Indoors! have credible information about feral cats. But it's always better to have real studies in our informational arsenal to combat these people...which is much better than the studies they use, like The Wisconsin Study about feral cat predation of birds and particularly songbirds.
post #9 of 19
If this cat is truly feral and you have not had regular contact with her (such as consistent feedings), she could have a very stressed reaction to trying to bring her inside, or trying to confine her in any enclosed space. Some feral moms get more protective of their young while others become more friendly during this time. You don't know for certain how she is going to respond to you.

You asked for ideas, and I'm guessing none of these are ideal for your situation, but they are options for you:

1) bring her inside and confine her away from your cats.
2) start feeding her regularly in your outbuilding to gain her trust there. When she has the kittens, build a good sheltering box for them that can keep predators out. We have used a large wooden box with a lid that lifts off and an opening on the side with long extensions that twist and turn so that dogs/coyotes cannot get inside.
3) Borrow a LARGE cage from a rescue group and put her in that in your garage.
4) Trap her and have her spayed (which will abort the kittens), or ask a rescue group to help you do this.

If she has these kittens, regardless of how you intervene, get the mom spayed afterwards. While the kittens are young, get as many people to handle them as possible to get them used to humans - more important if the mom is truly feral. Once tame you should speuter (can be done at 8 weeks old) before you adopt them out.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I would be very interested in seeing the scientific studies that you are citing. I know that the hype over feral cats having rabies, FIV, FeLV is overblown in many cases by the same people who think ABC Birds and Cats Indoors! have credible information about feral cats. But it's always better to have real studies in our informational arsenal to combat these people...which is much better than the studies they use, like The Wisconsin Study about feral cat predation of birds and particularly songbirds.
http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/buildingthebody.pdf

This summarizes several studies that appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). Full texts are available on the AVMA website, but you do need a password. You can probably also purchase copies.

As for the Wisconsin study, it's not a study at all, just a brochure. Nothing else was ever published, and it certainly has not been subjected to peer review. I've read it in its entirety and there is nothing there that should even earn a passing grade for an undergraduate project, much less be elevated to gospel status as this brochure has been.
post #11 of 19
I would just caution you that handling a feral cats kittens can be hazardous to your health. If you handle them, do so when they are 2 weeks old and no sooner. By then, the mom should be used to your presence and you will have her trust. But if you don't and you reach for her kittens, she will attack you and her attack is quick and could prove quite painful. These are not the same as having a domesticated litter that you can handle and coo over. Depending on the momcat, her level of feral behavior- that should be your guide. You will be able to tell if she trusts you or not.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegansoprano
http://www.alleycat.org/pdf/buildingthebody.pdf

This summarizes several studies that appeared in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). Full texts are available on the AVMA website, but you do need a password. You can probably also purchase copies.

As for the Wisconsin study, it's not a study at all, just a brochure. Nothing else was ever published, and it certainly has not been subjected to peer review. I've read it in its entirety and there is nothing there that should even earn a passing grade for an undergraduate project, much less be elevated to gospel status as this brochure has been.
Oh, I thought there was more than that by what you were saying. Yes, I'm well aware of that publication by ACA. Basically it says that if the feral cats have an active caretaker who provides TNR, consistant food, water and followup vet care, the colonies are not diseased. Ferals cats left completely on their own have not have conclusive studies done on them. We've been working on a section on Feral Cats and Disease for quite some time, with a geneticist doing the scientific research.

So, basically, while it's true that IF this cat has been a part of a managed colony, the changes of her having serious infectious diseases such as distemper, FIV or FeLV are substantially lower, if she hasn't had any previous veterinary care or wasn't part of a managed colony the risks of her carrying something infectious are higher. More than likely, she doesn't have anything worse than parasites, but it is always wise to err on the side of caution.

Yes, I am very familiar with The Wisconsin study. http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/html...sin_study.html I'm one of the co-authors. And yet that is what the anti-cat people claim as their scientific proof. The study is nothing more than a theory that was published, by the authors' own admission.
post #13 of 19
Well, keep in mind that the cats were evaluated when they were brought in to spay/neuter clinics. At this time, they had not been sterilized or vaccinated. There is no information provided as to what proportion had a regular feeder. Probably most did and some didn't. At any rate, the data collected is representative of cats' general condition and health status before management programs were implemented, because the cats had not had any medical work performed at all at the time they were evaluated. After sterilization and vaccination, of course, their health improves even more, which is summarized in the study that evaluates the long-term effect of TNR on a population. The studies summarized in this article speak of the cats' general health conditions both before and after sterilization, and it is found to be adequate in both cases.

The same is true for the FeLV/FIV study. The cats were tested when they were brought in to be spayed and neutered. So once again, the results are representative of what can be expected in unmanaged colonies.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by qtkitty
I can not bring her in the house to possibly infect the cats who are inside with anything.
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Go with your gut feelings on this.

While I respect other people's opinions on the topic, it is my opinion that true isolation cannot be achieved in the normal household and it is not in the best interest of your current resident cats to bring in an unknown factor at this time, scientifically compiled data or not.

~gf~
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I was planning on making the outbuilding my office anyways so i could get a cheap window air conditioning system. The cat will be seperate from my cats.. she can have kittens out there and not be bothered. I am thinking that once she does have kittens and they are 12 weeks i will get her fixed by the HS and re-release her if she hasn't come around to liking people. If she has then i could find her a home too.

At our old house we had a small colony of fixed cats which had all their shots and had been "cleaned out" all of them spent a month in our spare bedroom waiting on Surgery and then recuperating afterwards. They got fed when they came to the door and meowed, because when i was feeding them unlimited we had a baby Opossum decide she was a cat and come to here kitty kitty kitty .. she wasn't rabid or anything she was just used to people and knew what me saying here kitty kitty kitty ment *lol* but it gave me a wake up call.

In my wolrd of worlds if i had the money to do so .. i would make containment systems of an acre or for a smallish colony of feral unwanted cats.. the cats would have a nice barn type set up in the middle of the acre for them to hide and play in.. also to get fed in so the food would not get wet.. plus they would all get fixed, shots, wormed .. and each new cat added would be contained for a month before adding it to the other cats to make sure they would be healthy. They would be protected from the outside world like pet cats, but they could live their wild ways out to a full long life.
post #16 of 19
Yep that would be the perfect set-up alright. You are already ahead of most people in that you are feeding and spaying and neutering. Just feeding brings more and more cats- at least getting them spayed and neutered and taking care of the kittens that do result before you go that route, shows the world you care about the cats.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thats one reason my inside females have yet to get fixed .. when new ones outside show up .. i put them on the list before ours since they are in contact with unaltered males. One summer with an unaltered female outside around here will have 3 or more litters .. some have seen as many as 5 ... so i would be over run!!

I used to feed stray dogs .. and neighbors dogs who were not cared for properly...Sampson seemed to attract dogs to himself.. and they would not fight since Sampson was biggest and strongest around he ended up being the Dominate figure. Although he was leashed. He got loose from his leash where we used to live and came back with a friend .. i didn't know he was loose till i came home and he was sitting on the front porch with his new buddy .. * shakes my head* ..just waiting on me to come home.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
now if only the queens would come to us like that *LOL* ..it would be more effective to get all the females then the males outside
post #19 of 19
I'd like to add to this message by noting that feral survivors have to be the strongest, healthiest cats of all. Because they are not vaccinated and exposed to so many dangers, they have to rely on their survival instincts and immune systems.

Take our feral, Punky, for instance. She was a nine month old kitten weighing only 3 lbs. 5 oz. and afflicted with a respiratory infection that produced an intense nagging cough. She was wobbly and so weak that she just wanted a place to sleep and some food. It took several weeks for her to become stronger and at least a month for her cough to go away, but now she is in good health.
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