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Requesting Help, Stray Cat!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Before I begin let me say their are a lot of stray and feral cats in my neighborhood but they cause no problems.

About 3 days ago I heard something rubbing against my window. I went out and saw an average sized grey and white cat. He was scared at first, but then he came closer. He had the cat equivalent of eye-boogers and his right ear was nipped. He appeared to be in good health otheriwse(well fed and such). He appeared to be without illness so I petted him(not a good idea?). He became very affectionate after that and would rub up against me every chance he gets. He's very friendly and doesn't scratch our mess up anything so I assume he was domesticated, although he has no coller or tags or anything. I petted him some more and left out some milk and went to sleep. Now it seems he's here to stay, he follows me everywhere and is very well mannered and I wouldn't mind keeping him. However if this is somebody elses cat I don't want to steel it. That cat is free to leave anytime he wishes but he has not yet.

Any suggestions of what to do? Should I just give it some more time? And how do I clean those eye boogers?

Thanks in advanced
post #2 of 6
He does not belong to anyone. How do I know this? The tipped ear- it is an indication he was or is part of a larger feral colony. Sometimes, these cats tend to stray to find cat friendly people when they are tired of being alone and always hungry. I would let him in your home if you have no other cats. I would also take him to the vet and get him checked out, and scanned for a chip (just in case). But sounds to me like he has chosen you as his- and my guess is he has been neutered- (the tip of the ear missing could also be from a past fight).

Also please don't feed him milk, it really isn't good for him. Feed him dry and wet food, and make sure he has water. I hope you keep him, he sounds wonderful!
post #3 of 6
This cat sounds awful friendly to be feral. If he was hanging around a feral colony chances are he could've been trapped and ear-tipped. When we trap in our colony, we take whatever cat is not ear-tipped to be fixed. This doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't a neighborhood cat and belonged to someone. We don't know that, so if the cat is unaltered, we alter! Ear-tipping marks each sterilized feral cat as "fixed". It's straight across 1/4 inch. This allows the cat, if trapped again, to be released without having to undergo anesthesia and surgery again. Some people also notch the ear, but ear-tipping is more the nationwide symbol. If you plan on keeping this cat, I would follow Hissy's advice and take to the vet for testing, shots, ensuring it's fixed, and any other necessary attention. Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help guys. I'll take him to a vet sometime soon and I'm going to get some tuna for him later today.

Any more info would be welcome.
post #5 of 6
It sounds like you have found a companion and he has found a home! But one word - tuna is OK as an occasional treat but not as a regular cat food. Feed him the best quality cat food you can afford - wet or dry, whichever he prefers. Get him vet-checked, de -flead and de- wormed and I am sure you will be very happy together.
post #6 of 6
If you have decided you want this cat as a pet, here is what I would do:

Start by following the above advice (about going to a vet, feeding, etc.). This message board is a fine place to post your various questions. You are going to make some mistakes at first, but eventually you will do okay and then get up to speed.

Beyond that, you need to establish yourself as this cat's owner:
1. List a "found cat" advertisement in the newspaper. Be generic in your description and thoroughly question anyone claiming to know the cat. There might be some fakes respond -- people who just need a free cat for whatever purpose.
2. Make a respectable attempt to locate the cat's owner around your neighborhood. I put up signs within a 0.25 mile radius and did a door to door search within a block. So I knocked on maybe 100 doors but I did it at noon -- so maybe only 20 people were at home and 90% didn't want to talk to me about cats. But I had maybe 3-4 minute conversations with two people, just running down the situation and they agreed with what I was doing.
3. Meanwhile, do the flip side. Scan the "lost pet" ads in the newspaper and drive around looking for "lost pet" flyers within a mile radius.
4. Call the animal control center and explain you found a friendly stray cat that doesn't have a home. Ask what else you need to do in order to claim this cat as your own. (I had cheated by looking up the animal control center's website in my area...so I had already DONE what was required of me.)
5. The final steps for me were to generate paperwork with the clinic at the vet school that the cat was fully vetted (up to date on shots, spayed, etc.), scan for microchip (chips are very rare in my area)...then register the cat with the city ($10-15). Registration was handled by the vet without an extra trip.

So...now I have proof of my efforts (saved a couple flyers, wrote down the addresses of two people I spoke with, saved copy of "found cat"newspaper ad) and the resulting confirmation of my ownership with paperwork showing that the cat is fully vetted. I put it all in a file for safekeeping.

That all might sound like overkill, but when I bring a pet into my home it is "for keeps" and since Nano is 6-8 years old she has probably had multiple owners (or "attempted" owners) so I wanted to get rid of any claims or rights these people had. Seeing as she was near death when I rescued her, I don't know what sort of "rights" any of them would have...but I was just being thorough. It only cost an extra $25 with maybe five hours of effort.

One friend commented "wow, so you got a free cat"...what a misconception. Rescuing a homeless cat is actually more expensive -- vet bills, generating paperword, etc. I could have saved a few hundred dollars just paying the standard adoption fee for a healthy cat.
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