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Feral Cat Colonies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a question for caretakers of feral colonies. According to Alley Cat Allies, once you have all the cats sprayed and neutered the colony will stablilze and no new cats should show up. It's been my experience that every time one of my cats die or disappears another one shows up to take it's place and that's one more I have to try and catch and have fixed. I have a female now that showed up last summer and I've been trying to trap her with no luck. With kitten season coming up I'm terrified she will have a litter before I can catch her. I feel like I'll be doing TNR for the rest of my life. I would like to hear from other caretakers about their coloniels.

post #2 of 7
I have heard that when one of the colony cats die another will arrive to take its place. So, I don't think your experience is unusual. Sadly, just about everyone I know who manages a colony has to continue to trap in order to maintain the balance and to keep new kittens from being born.

Regarding the female you haven't been able to catch, what kind of techniques have you used? Perhaps we have some trapping tips that you haven't yet tried.
post #3 of 7
Or so it seems. I just got my colony down from 23 to 8 took me over a year to find good placements, and last week another feral shows up. A male, unneutered and though he won't find a fertile female on my place, he will find one somewhere else if he hasn't already.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi,lotsocats and hissy!

I didn't want to hear that I'll be doing TNR the rest of my life. It took me two years to trap 22 cats. Unfortunately, I lost Missy and Gracie last Saturday, I found them laying side by side on the side of the road and Patches has been missing over a week. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Little Emily showed up last summer when I lost Bart. My other ferals chase her off so I have to feed her on my front steps away from the others. She will let me pet her when she's eating but no other time. There's a s/n clinic for feral cats in DC that I've been taking my cats to. They have it twice a month and they won't touch a cat unless it's in a trap. The clinic is every other Sunday, so the Saturday before I don't put food out for her and I put a covered trap, with some kind of canned fish inside, and put the trap out late Saturday night. But so far I just haven't had any luck. I would love to have some suggestions.

Hissy, how do you manage to find homes for your cats?
post #5 of 7
And except for the real extreme ferals, I do get them socialized and turn them into loving kitties. The ones that are hard to reach, I end up advertising them as good mousers and barn kitties, plus it helps that a friend of mine owns a goat farm and she takes a group of them every so often. I am out of the kittie business for awhile though. I recently lost a rescue that has completely shattered me. I had her since she was 5 days old and when she died, something inside me died as well. I will happily help anyone who has questions, but when it comes to taking in anymore litters and ferals, I am shutting my doors.

As far as trapping, you need to buy the cheapest and foulest smelling cat food you can find. You can also try buying a few cans of sardines, and take the juice and dribble the juice all over the cage to entice the kitty. I have even taken strips of green onion tops and tied sardines from inside the cage hanging down behind the trigger. I had to figure out how to use something to hang the fish that the cat, if they did eat it, wouldn't hurt themselves. Once they are trapped, you want to cover them right away with a dark cloth and move them somewhere that it is quiet and cool to keep them calm. I have been TNR for over 12 years now, and it really never ends, because there are buttheads out in the world who do not spay and neuter their animals, and they will just dump these unfortunate creatures out in the woods, or near a barn (like our place) and wash their hands of it thinking the cat will be "fine." It really is a never-ending job, and right now, I just need a break for it as I recover from the loss of my sweet Bacardi. You can email or PM me if you have any more questions. I will be gone tomorrow on an anniversary trip, but will get back with you as soon as we get home.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Hissy,

I'm sorry to hear about Barardi. I know what you are going through.
I just wanted to tell you that I got my little Emily a few minutes ago. When she was eating I was able to get her into a big carrier that I have. Tomorrow morning I'll be taking her to a place called Lucky Ones to be sprayed.

Thanks for all your help, and I hope you are feeling a little better.

post #7 of 7
I'm glad you caught Emily! I tip my hat to you for helping these feral kitties!
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