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my story with ferals.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
hi again. this is a repost of my intro thread containing my story with our feral cats. i'm reposting (as suggested) just for any sort of feedback or advice, but i hope to learn lots as i read through already posted threads. thanks for any help!

hi all. i'm new.
that's a line i'm sure you've read over a hundred times already.

anyhow, hi again. i'm kae. i joined your forum because i was looking for a good source on how to get help and learn more about cats.

for the past couple of months, my family has had a small family of (feral) cats living in our backyard- a momma and her 4 kittens. they were pretty well behaved, and we tried our best to get them to trust us, but the momma cat was always hesitant. we gave them food to eat and water to drink and just watched over them, making sure each one was okay (as best we could) and not lost or separated from the family too long. it was a nice period in time, watching them together, taking care of each other and play and grow. we soon got attached and named them all, even if they didn't consider us trustworthy people. our backyard was their home; it was where they slept and ate, played and socialized with each other. it was wonderful times.

the our neighbor's got 2 rottweiler dogs whom they let roam all over their yard. the dogs were very sweet to us, but frightens our family of cats to no end. eventually they moved to our front yard, and go back and forth whenever the dogs weren't around. we didn't want the cats in the front yard; it was too dangerous because of speeding cars in our neighborhood streets.

and then, tragedy occured. after a happy wonderful weekend, the following Monday morning my mom discovered one of the kittens dead on the road in front of our house. we were all crushed. and it totally broke up the cat family. after that, the momma cat disappeared for 2 weeks. the remaining 3 babies stayed in our backyard, eating, playing, sulking, sticking together, basically. i thought that maybe the momma cat didn't know about her deceased baby, and went off looking for him, telling the others to stay here safe. i don't know.

i was probably wrong, because after 2 weeks she returned, tired and hungry. her kittens were playing with each other as she returned and they saw her. she went straight for the food and began eating, and as they each approached her one by one, she turned on them. she hissed at them to stay away, and she even swipped her paw at them. i was unbelievably angry when i witnessed this and scared her away. her kittens must of been confused and upset. i know that her smallest one was probably emotionally hurt, because he was the one always hanging with his momma back before the accident. he's the most shy and frightened one now, of everything.

since then, the kittens know not to go near their momma if she turns up. they raise their backs to her. if anything, they're pretty vengeful. she came back another time and we gave her food, but she was scared of me (since i chased her away), and she just sat there, looking at it. her 2 older kittens saw her and saw the food, and watched her, and after she momentarily walked away, they jumped from their spots and ran to her food and furiously ate it. it was like they wanted to finish it before she came back so she wouldn't have anything.

anyhow, this is so long, i aplogize.
at the moment, we're training the kittens to trust us more. we're planning on trapping them, and we already have an appointment for them to get nuetered and spaded at the Feral Cat Coalition. we started feeding them indoors, so that they would get used to us and the noises inside our house.

the momma cat doesn't stay here anymore, but she comes back occasionally for food. i feel sorry for her because she's lost so much weight since her disappearance. we still feed her, but she never stays long enough to finish. we want to keep the kittens and train them to become domesticated, so they can be safe and live inside with us. we also plan on trapping the momma cat to get her spaded, but we're probably going to release her again. she's not too trusting of us, but my mom wants to keep her. we're unsure what to do with her yet. we want her to have a home, but it's probably too late and too hard to tame her. and i'm not sure her and her kittens living together under our house would be a good idea anyhow, since they no longer get along.

anyhow, so that's my long story! i'm sorry it is long! hope i didn't bore you all. so basically i'm here to learn more about cats in general.

thanks for your time!
post #2 of 7
If possible...I would try to trap the mom now...unfortunately...she could be pregnant again so it's best to trap her and have her spayed now.

BTW..thanks for helping this family.

post #3 of 7
It is so kind of you to take in those kittens...a feral life is a hard life

I have a colony in my backyard that I look after also. I have seen the mother cat ignore her kittens but her kittens are now adult age. I don't really have a clear answer as to why your mother acted nasty towards her young. Ferals (outside/strays) do react differently than inside/domesticated felines. This is a great site with tons of information regarding ferals, kittens, etc.


How old are the kittens? Have they had any shots...vet visit?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
i'm not exactly sure how old the kittens are, seeing as we've never owned a cat or dog before (fish only). if i would relate it to a human's life, i'd say the kittens are about toddlers? they're not small anymore, they've definitely grown since we first found them, but they're also still young. they don't look like adult cats or young adult cats. then again, i could be wrong. i will try to take some recent pictures.

they haven't had any shots or vet visits yet. as mentioned, they do have an appointment with the feral rescue group in our community, where they will get shots, an exam, deflea'd, and nuetered and spayed. they advised us to trap them the day before their appointment, which actually isn't until 3 weeks from now. i know it's a bit long, but we couldn't get anything sooner, and our local animal shelter wouldn't help us because they were feral (they had the nerve to tell us to abandon them and adopt their cats!).

i'm still shopping for a vet that's close to our home, and looking for pet insurance. if anyone also has suggestions on pet insurance, i'd appreciate it muchly!

i think after we trap the kittens we will trap the mom. it's our goal, anyhow.
post #5 of 7
i think after we trap the kittens we will trap the mom. it's our goal, anyhow.
I would *highly* recommend trapping mom first...the reason is...the kittens are still young enough to not have kittens themselves...but mom can and will go back into heat and she will get pregnant again. It's best if you get her trapped and fixed first...waiting 4 weeks will give many intact males the chance to get mom knocked up again. You can certainly return her back outdoors once she has been spayed. Here is a list of low cost clinics in CA:

CALIFORNIA...Low cost or free spay/neuter info and programs: ARRANGED BY AREA CODE:

Eastern Madera SPCA
Oakhurst, CA
Discount certificates for s/n of cats of qualifying low income people.

Los Angeles Animal Services
Los Angeles, CA
Free spay/neuter to pets of low income residents 62 or older.

Animal Birth Control
11314 W. Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Animal Birth Control
1950 Pacific Coast Highway
Lomita, CA 90717

For Pets' Sake - R.E.A.L.
PO Box 1079
Manhattan Beach, CA 90267
Low cost spay/neuter.

SNAP (Spay Neuter Assistance Program)
Los Angeles CA
Free s/n in Los Angeles.

Pet Assistance Foundation
South Bay Chapter
PO Box 1506
Hawthorne, CA 90251
Low cost spay/neuter for all pet cats.

North Figueroa Animal Hospital
5550 North Figueroa Street
Los Angeles CA

Animal Birth Control
San Jose CA

Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley
2530 Lafayette Street
Santa Clara, CA
Low cost spay/neuter, testing, and vaccinations for ferals and pets.

City of San Jose
801 N. 1st Street, Box A
San Jose, CA 95110
For any cat residing in San Jose.

St. Francis of Assisi Spay Clinic
12000 Murphy Ave
San Martin, CA
Open two days a week for free spay/neuter and low cost vaccinations.

Animal Birth Control Clinic
738 A Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
Low cost clinic for spaying, neutering, and vaccinations.

San Francisco SPCA
2500 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Low cost spay/neuter for pets and ferals.

Marin Humane Society
Novato, CA
Low cost spay/neuter clinic and low cost exams and vaccines.

Fix Our Ferals
Berkeley/Oakland CA
Please visit their web site for important information about their great s-n clinic for ferals, which operates on Sunday.

Oakland SPCA
Spay/Neuter Clinic
410 Hegenberger Road
Oakland, CA

Animal Save
Grass Valley CA
Low cost s/n clinic and free s/n for pets of low income people. To determine if you qualify for the free s/n of pets, call 530-271-0220.

Pet Adoption League
Grass Valley CA
For pets and ferals.

Nevada County Sheriff's Office Animal Control
Grass Valley Ca
Provides discount coupons for s/n a few times a year.

Butte County Humane Society
2379 Fair Street
Chico, CA
Low cost or free spay/neuter in exchange for a specific number of hours volunteer work for the humane society in advance. Since there's usually a two-month waiting list for spay/neuter appointments, it's best to start work at least two months before your cat needs spay/neuter.

Yuba Sutter SPCA
Yuba City

Animal Spay and Neuter Clinic
11458 C Avenue (DeWitt Center)
Auburn, CA 95603
Low cost spay/neuter for pets and ferals, including cats as young as 8 weeks. Also offers low cost testing and vaccinations.

Siskiyou Humane Society
PO Box 1437
Mount Shasta CA 96067
Certificates for low cost spay/neuter.

CCSPCA Education Office
103 S. Hughes
Fresno, CA 93706
Free spay/neuter for cats of qualifying low income people.

California Feline Foundation Spay/Neuter Clinic
Fresno, CA
Very low cost s/n for all feral cats and also low cost s/n for the pet cats of qualifying low income people.

Valley Oak SPCA
Visalia, CA

Animal Care Center
Golden State Humane Society
Long Beach CA
For residents of a particular area, low cost s-n. Call for information.

Coalition for Pet Population Control
San Diego, CA

Feral Cat Coalition
San Diego, CA
Free spay/neuter for feral cats.

Spay/Neuter Action Project
San Diego, CA

Pet Assistance
San Diego, CA
Referrals to low cost spay/neuter.

Palo Alto Low Cost Pet Clinic
3281 East Bayshore Road
Near 101 & San Antonio Road
Palo Alto, CA
Low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations for all pets.

Peninsula Humane Society
Near 101 & Peninsula Avenue
Burglingame, CA

Silicon Valley Animal Rescue
Animal Medical Center
Redwood City CA

Bouquet Veterinary Clinic
Canyon Country CA

Kern Humane Society
900 21st Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Provides discount certificates for all Kern County residents.

Tehachapi Humane
707 Valley Blvd
Tehachapi, CA 93561
Several services for low cost s/n and vaccinations.

Morgantown WV
Low cost s/n for feral or stray cats.

Humane Society of Napa County
3265 California Boulevard
Napa, CA
Very low cost spay/neuter for all.

Sequoia Humane Society
Eureka, CA
Low cost or free spay/neuter for pets of qualified low income people.

Friends of the Animals in the Redwood Empire
Rohnert Park, Cotati, CA
Provides discount certificates for s/n for residents of Rohnert Park, Penngrove or Cotati.

Sonoma County Animal Regulation
1247 Century Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Provides discount certificates for s/n for low income residents of the county.

Animal Discount Clinic
13252 Euclid Avenue
Garden Grove, CA

Humane Society of Sonoma County
PO Box 1296
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-542-0882 ext 204
Low cost spay/neuter programs for qualifying low income households and annual spayathons.

Humane Society of Sonoma County
"Strawberry Fund"
For pets of qualifying low income people.

Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County
1275 Fourth Street, #366
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Low cost spay/neuter for ferals.

Larkfield Veterinary Hospital
Santa Rose CA

Pet Population Control Fund
Sonoma CA
Low cost s/n vouchers for cats and dogs of low income residents of Sonoma and Sonoma Valley.

Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital
Santa Rosa CA

Petaluma Pet Pals
Assistance with feral cats -- and also low cost s-n vouchers for cats and dogs of low income residents of Petaluma.

Petaluma Animal Shelter
Petaluma CA
Depending on whether funds are available, the shelter provides lower cost s/n surgeries for cats and dogs.

LaPlaza Veterinary Hospital
Cotati CA

Animal Hospital of Sebastopol
Sebastopol CA

Analy Veterinary Hospital
Sebastopol CA

Guerneville Veterinary Clinic
Guerneville CA

Upvalley Spay/Neuter Network
PO Box 841
Calistoga, CA 94515
For pets and ferals in the upper Napa Valley area. <

Mendocino County Care-A-Van
Operates a mobile clinic in a van for low cost s/n in rural Mendocino County towns.

Pet Partners of Victor Valley
PO Box 1241
Apple Valley, CA 92307
No collect calls, please. Provides help for spay/neutering of cats and dogs in the Victor Valley area of the Mojave Desert.

Victor Valley Animal Protective League
Apple Valley, CA
Low cost spay/neuter clinic.

Animal Samaritans SPCA Inc
Thousand Palms CA

Animal Birth Control Clinic
Thousand Palms, CA

Inyo County Animal Reserouces and Education (ICARE)
PO Box 76
Bishop CA 93515
Low cost s/n for residents of Inyo County.

Spay/Neuter Clinic of Ventura
Oxnard CA
Santa Maria Humane Society
Santa Maria CA

Central Coast Spay Shuttle
Mobile Spay/Neuter clinic
Arroyo Grande, CA
Toll free 866-PET-SPAY Travels the central coast, providing low cost s/n in areas ranging from Paso Robles to Santa Maria.

San Luis Obispo, CA

Feline Network Information Line
San Luis Obispo CA
Call here to hear a recording listing the low cost s/n services in the local area.

Concerned People for Animals, Inc.
PO Box 632
Somis, CA 93066
Helps with low cost s/n for feral and pet cats living in Ventura County.

PO Box 622
Ojai CA 93023
805-646-1919 answering machine
Thrift and Gift Shop (Tue-Sat 10-5) 805-641-1170
Offers information and/or financial assistance for local resources for spaying/neutering for companion animals.

Humane Society of Ventura County
Spay/Neuter Clinic
402 Bryant Street
Ojai, CA 93023
805-646-6505 or 805-656-5031
Low cost s/n for all pet cats plus low cost vaccinations and microchips during s/n surgery.

Greyfoot Rescue
PO Box 310
Ventura, CA 93002
This group may have information about low cost or free s/n for cats in Ventura.

Santa Barbara Humane Society
5399 Overpass Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Best Friends Catnippers
Los Angeles, CA
Free spay/neuter clinics for feral cats at various clinic locations in Los Angeles County.

Spay For Life
9909 Topanga Cyn Blvd #178
Chatsworth, CA 91311
email: spayforlife@yahoo.com
Helps people find low cost s/n vets and clinics in Los Angeles County.

Pet Family Planning
8256 Louise Ave
Northridge, CA
Pets and ferals.

Cat Crossing
PO Box 3696
Winnetka, CA 91396
Gives information about Los Angeles area low cost or free spay/neuter for ferals and pets.

Actors & Others
Information about discount certificates and low cost s/n clinics.

Living Free
PO Box 5
Mountain Center, CA 92561
Low cost spay/neuter clinic.

Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley
763 West Highland Ave
San Bernardino CA 92405
909-882-2934 or 909-886-5026

Sacramento SPCA
6201 Florin-Perkins Road
Sacramento, CA 95828
916-383-7387 ext 9111
Low cost spay/neuter pet clinic for members of the SSPCA, or low-income people, or senior citizens.

post #6 of 7
they advised us to trap them the day before their appointment, which actually isn't until 3 weeks from now.

I definitely would not wait 3 more weeks to bring these kittens in. The longer they are out in the elements, the more possibility of disease, other animals/strays, people doing harm, etc. can come to these little ones. Also, the longer they are without human touch, feel and sound, the harder it will become to socialize them. They really need to be in a safe, clean & of course, loving environment.

You mentioned they seem like "toddlers". Do they have teeth? Are their eyes still blue? What have you been feeding them?

Again, it is such a wonderful thing that you are doing for these little ones. Please bring them in as soon as you can. Just my opinion.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
to TNR1: thanks for compiling that list, it's an incredible amount of info which i'm sure will be very useful. thanks again! the place where they have an appointment is at the Feral Cat Coalition, which is one of the places you listed down.

Leesali: i believe they have their teeth. i can see their canines when they yawn. 2 have yellow eyes, 1 has blue eyes. We've been feeding them dry food with water. Whiskas meaty selections (the package read it was for cats of all ages). we bought that one first because at the time we were feeding the mother with them, so they ate the same food.
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