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A cat has how many babies in a lifetime?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was reading the sticky thread about spaying and read the high amount of offspring a unspayed female cat can produce. Wow. How do they figure that anyway? by how many heat periods a cat would have in an average life span? I guess from what I've seen on our farm prior to me spaying and neutering the farm cats, I just can't see that they could produce that many. Maybe a very healthy well fed cat,but not a feral cat. The cats we had previously to good vet care/spaying/neutering didn't really live that long. They'd get absesses and die cause we couldn't get a hold of them.They;d get diseases. They would lose weight,they'd lose their whole litter. I can honestly say that we started with 4 tame kittens and over 10 years we only had 6 at the end. The mothers would end up either being sterile for whatever reason(bad health I"m assuming)or the kittens wouldn't make it. I feel bad now that I didn't try to more actively catch and treat the cats. NOW I have barn cats but they are all vacinated and fixed and friendly. Well,there are two that are feral but they look robustly healthy and must be males,cause no babies. Anyway, I take my hat off to those of you that feed so very many feral cats!!!!!It would scare me to see 100 cats flood my yard twice a day for food. I can't imagine. I also am in awe that you spend your own money to capture and fix the ferals that you can get ahold of. I consider myself a cat lover(animal lover in general)but I just would not do that. We've had some strays over the years that have stuck around or been dumped and I leave food out 24/7 in our barn but we've never had a flood of cats at our place.
Wow. some of you have hearts of gold. I would never turn a hungry cat away,but I've never seen that many cats in one place!
I have to share.....we live in Iowa on a farm and have a big old(8yrs)Saint Bernard that lives in the barn outside fulltime. Anyway,all our cats just love her! I walked outside today and she had 6 cats laying on her back.Priceless!
post #2 of 6
I think they come up with that number assuming each cat had four litters per year, four kittens per litter (all surviving), and those kittens growing to adulthood, and having kittens, and so on, and so on...

You are indeed fortunate that more feral cats haven't made their way to your barn. Who knows why not?

Here in the city, feral cats are rampant. Maybe they live longer here due to more sheltered areas, and lack of (natural) predators. That's just a guess of course. To let you know how bad it is, between just three of us, we trapped a total of 26 cats and kittens...in a 2 block area! That's just since spring, too. I know someone else who trapped over 25 in another small area. I also know of someone else who trapped over a dozen in two yards. That's just the barest tip of the iceburg.

It's mind boggling.
post #3 of 6
Well,there are two that are feral but they look robustly healthy and must be males,cause no babies.
Hey Smokie...here is the issue with the argument of "I never see any kittens"...perhaps there aren't any unspayed females left on your property...but males tend to roam in order to reproduce and they may be creating litters elsewhere and then returning. Best thing to do it to get a trap and trap these 2 cats and have them seen by a vet so that they can be neutered.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
It is trully mind boggling thinking about how many cats you find in such a small area!wow!
As for the two that come around but are wild.....I'm assuming you use a live animal trap to trap them? How in the world does the vet get ahold of them to be able to work on them....is there a way to tranquilze them or do they "gas" them to sleep somehow? The tricky part is that they will disappear for a few weeks and then come back for a day maybe two and then off they go again,unless they are coming back in the night. Oh, I guess if you set up a live trap,I'm sure I'd spend lots of time catching and releasing our farm cats too! Or if I'm really unfortunate,I'd catch a raccoon or a skunk.Bluck!
post #5 of 6
You keep them in the trap and the vet will sedate them to work with them and on them. Once they are spayed/neutered and vetted then you can re-release them in the wild.
post #6 of 6
I'm out in the country, too. The beauty of country cats, on remote farms, is that they tend to have never seen a trap before. So where city cats have had many people tryin to trap them, and making them wary of traps, I was able to trap my feral pretty quickly.

I used salmon, and yes, did catch the tame kitties. And I thought Will (his pic is in my avatar) would explode from eating so much salmon. But after nightfall, I did trap the truly wild boy who I call Tommy. The vet even commented to dh when he picked Tommy up after his neuter, that he was one of the "most feral" cats he had seen.

I have volunteered at the spay/neuter clinics for ferals...we prefer the kitties be in live traps instead of carriers. There is a wire tool, like a large fork, that we use to hold the kitty at one end of the trap as we inject them with a sedative through the openings in the trap. The cat doesn't come out of the trap until they are asleep. After their injections, and spay or neuter surgery, they are held and petted until they just begin to wake up. Then back into the trap to be sent home.

If you set a schedule, where you feed on a certain rotation-like at 6pm every night, the cats will get used to coming then. And the ferals will get used to coming when your cats are done eating. See if you can borrow a live trap from your vet. Mine loans them free, and does the surgery with shots for $25 for ferals. I think it is about $85 for a regular neuter...and that doesn't include shots!

If your vet doesn't have live traps, check with nearby cat rescues. If you look on-line at the Petfinder site, they have lots of contacts of rescues. Or maybe your neighbors have traps. Your cat population will be more stable once everyone is fixed. Tommy and Will used to fight, resulting in major injuries. I only heard one fight after Tommy was neutered, and it seemed to be a yowling match. Everyone is much happier and healthier now.
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