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Kind of Food to Feed Ferals

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if there was a specific recommendation of what kind of food to feed ferals? While I was taming Elsa, I gave her kitten food, because she was so skinny. There are a couple of ferals in the neighborhood, and I may take over feeding at some point. I thought I'd "get the food out there" so they might discover it. I do know they've been near the house before. One is neutered for sure, I'm not sure about the female. I think she might be spayed, or there'd be trillions of kittens around. A neighborhood lady has done this all so far. Thanks! Kim.
post #2 of 20
I have been feeding a colony over the past few years that range from 5 adults to 7. Every day, twice a day...rain, shine, hail, etc....they get 3 medium size bowls of dry food with 4 cans of wet food sort-of laying on the top. I found that if I mixed the wet food into the dry, the dry food would get stale during the day. Of course, they get 1 large bowl of fresh water every day.

Before & during the winter months, I add chicken raw & boiled, fatty chop-meat and any leftover steak/meat that we have.
post #3 of 20
Oh, Leesali, you are very nice! My outside cats and ferals get dry food put down once in the morning. But we are in the country, so there is plenty of food for them to hunt as needed. Sometimes dh puts another scoop of dry food out in the evening when he does barn chores, but we try real hard to feed only the cats, not the pesky raccoons (who eat at night!)

I use the dry food from the feed store where we buy the horse feed. My cats prefer it to other brands, both the inside and outside cats!
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
So, adult cat food? Just whatever a regular house cat eats? I know it's not rocket science, but I thought I'd ask.
post #5 of 20
I would try to find a good all stage food ..
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julietta
So, adult cat food? Just whatever a regular house cat eats? I know it's not rocket science, but I thought I'd ask.
Yes...regular adult food is fine. Hate to sound like this but because I have an inside crew of "7" and I do have a human child that wants sneakers, video games and whatever else a 13-yr. old boy needs/wants...I buy whatever dry food is on sale!! I use coupons like crazy and frequently visit manufacturer web sites for print-out specials, etc. It can get very expensive to keep all these furry (and not furry) belly's full
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well, yes, and it really is better than nothing.
post #8 of 20
We feed a colony of 40 - 45 daily. They get what food we can get the most for our money. You just have to figure it's better than no food at all and our colony is very healthy. Good for you for taking care of these cats! One suggestion is when you get them fixed you should have them ear-tipped. That way you will be able to keep track of the ones already done.
post #9 of 20
I have yet to find anything more accepted by ferals for the cost than "Cat chow"
There are better foods for their diet, but the cost becomes progressivly prohibitive.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Plus I don't know how many raccoons I'll be feeding! LOL
post #11 of 20
Pretty much any food is okay. Most people I know feed a combination of Purina Cat Chow and Purina One for dry and large cans of Friskies and Whiskas for wet food. As a matter of practicality it is better to feed some wet food since it encourages them to eat more in a single sitting. It is best to avoid leaving food out since it can get rancid or rain-soaked or attract unwanted wildlife. Feeding wet food encourages them to come at mealtime and eat their fill over 30 minutes or so, which is ideal for keeping the area clean and the neighbors happy.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Pretty much any food is okay. Most people I know feed a combination of Purina Cat Chow and Purina One for dry and large cans of Friskies and Whiskas for wet food. As a matter of practicality it is better to feed some wet food since it encourages them to eat more in a single sitting. It is best to avoid leaving food out since it can get rancid or rain-soaked or attract unwanted wildlife. Feeding wet food encourages them to come at mealtime and eat their fill over 30 minutes or so, which is ideal for keeping the area clean and the neighbors happy.
You know, my regular cats LOVE Purina One.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Pretty much any food is okay. Most people I know feed a combination of Purina Cat Chow and Purina One for dry and large cans of Friskies and Whiskas for wet food. As a matter of practicality it is better to feed some wet food since it encourages them to eat more in a single sitting. It is best to avoid leaving food out since it can get rancid or rain-soaked or attract unwanted wildlife. Feeding wet food encourages them to come at mealtime and eat their fill over 30 minutes or so, which is ideal for keeping the area clean and the neighbors happy.
That helps me understand so much better! No wonder I do it different, I have barns and garages where the kitties come inside to eat, so can leave dry out. And my big guy Will (in my avatar) is very protective of the food, so it is better in my case to have everyone eating the same thing, so he doesn't think he might miss out by not eating the other guys food!
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Pretty much any food is okay. Most people I know feed a combination of Purina Cat Chow and Purina One for dry and large cans of Friskies and Whiskas for wet food. As a matter of practicality it is better to feed some wet food since it encourages them to eat more in a single sitting. It is best to avoid leaving food out since it can get rancid or rain-soaked or attract unwanted wildlife. Feeding wet food encourages them to come at mealtime and eat their fill over 30 minutes or so, which is ideal for keeping the area clean and the neighbors happy.
We can't afford wet food since our colony is so large ( 40 - 45 cats). We go daily at the same time and feed with dry food. It's fun cause when we drive up they're all out waiting for our car!
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseofCats
We can't afford wet food since our colony is so large ( 40 - 45 cats). We go daily at the same time and feed with dry food. It's fun cause when we drive up they're all out waiting for our car!
Aw, that's sweet.

When I was taming Elsa, she knew how my car sounded, and she'd show up when I drove in.
post #16 of 20
How sweet. That is the downside to leaving food out, sometimes I don't see the really feral kitties for a long time. I only see Jeff out my window as he walks through the yard...maybe once a week. I have only seen Peaches once recently, in fact I feared she was dead!

However, my bunch are not a colony, but 4-6 separate cats, maybe some friends in pairs, but not all one group. Its not like they all get along, but maybe they would if I try harder...
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
How sweet. That is the downside to leaving food out, sometimes I don't see the really feral kitties for a long time. I only see Jeff out my window as he walks through the yard...maybe once a week. I have only seen Peaches once recently, in fact I feared she was dead!

However, my bunch are not a colony, but 4-6 separate cats, maybe some friends in pairs, but not all one group. Its not like they all get along, but maybe they would if I try harder...
Well, cats aren't pack or herd animals like dogs or horses, per se. I don't think you could do any more than you are!
post #18 of 20
That is the downside to leaving food out, sometimes I don't see the really feral kitties for a long time. I only see Jeff out my window as he walks through the yard...maybe once a week. I have only seen Peaches once recently, in fact I feared she was dead!

Only the males from the colony I care for seem to wander. I, too, get a bit nervous when I haven't seen them in a few days. Those females though...boy!!...I just need to give a little call of one of their names..."oh Minky"...and they all come running to me.

I wrote a quick email to 9-lives, Purina, etc. explaining that their food is sooo healthy & wonderful for the feral colony...they sent an envelope full of coupons. Everything helps in feeding these guys!!
post #19 of 20
Oh, mine are much more wild than that! They were adopted as ferals from the foster agency. Peaches would let us see her until she got injured a few months ago. Jeff and his brother hid even when they were in cages adjusting to living here! And Tommy came as a full feral who I trapped and TNRed. Haven't seen him since, but he is friends with Peaches so he could still be here!

My other two outside cats are really pets, they are totally friendly and always looking for some loving, but they fight with each other!

I don't know if I have time or inclination to try to "tame" the wild kids to where I can see them. I will think about it though, but I don't think they could ever all eat at the same time, so it would be a matter of waiting as they take turns.

I do make a fuss when I put food in the pole barn, hoping they will learn to come eat when they hear me. But when I am there, so is my Will, who won't let them eat! I always woo him back into the garage with me for some loving, so he will leave the wild kids alone! And there is no way to call them without him coming, because he loves me so! I feel bad locking him in the garage while I feed and call them, because he is free but is nice enough to stay with us and come when called.

Anyhow, I love the info I get here on TCS.
post #20 of 20
I put out Authority Adult for our little dumpster divers.
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