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Feral or Stray

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is there really a difference between a Feral and a Stray cat? I have been feeding what I thought was a feral cat until my daughter was able to pet him. Now he seems like a lost or dropped off cat. He loves the attention, he comes to a whistle, he even sits on my daughter's lap and sleeps, but sometimes it's like he remembers something bad about people and gets scared. I feel so bad for him because he is in bad shape, his ears are bleeding from earmites. Which I've only been able to treat once so far, he has a cold. I've been able to treat his eyes a couple of times. I just feel so bad for him. I would take him to the vet, but I already have 11 cats, and the vet bills are high. I'm getting attached to him, because he is so sweet.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
Is there really a difference between a Feral and a Stray cat? I have been feeding what I thought was a feral cat until my daughter was able to pet him. Now he seems like a lost or dropped off cat. He loves the attention, he comes to a whistle, he even sits on my daughter's lap and sleeps, but sometimes it's like he remembers something bad about people and gets scared. I feel so bad for him because he is in bad shape, his ears are bleeding from earmites. Which I've only been able to treat once so far, he has a cold. I've been able to treat his eyes a couple of times. I just feel so bad for him. I would take him to the vet, but I already have 11 cats, and the vet bills are high. I'm getting attached to him, because he is so sweet.
A stray cat will often at first act like a feral cat...but after receiving care, they tend to show that they have been around people before. The one thing I would recommend is that you at least have this cat neutered so that he cannot create any litters. If you live in the USA...there is a list below of low cost spay/neuter clinics by state:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

Katie
post #3 of 19
A feral cat is one that is born and raised outside and has had little or no human contact. Fearful of humans, adult feral cats are very difficult to tame and most content outside.
A stray cat is a domestic cat who has been abandoned or has “strayed†from home and become lost. A stray cat may be skittish in your presence, making it hard for you to decide if he is stray or feral. Usually after feeding and gaining it's trust, it will warm up to you.
post #4 of 19
I wish I could help you. I always say/said that Grey cats
rock for sweetness of disposition. I have a grey feral
I'm TRYING to tame and feed - but other hood cats
keep him away sometimes. If you can trap, there
MAY be groups willing to help with basic vet bills
for the neuter, get his ear mites treated and give
him some antibios shots... Ask TNR and others
on this board.

I am going to do my guy thru low cost spay/neuter
but I am ALSO having to pay on payment plan...
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I finally got the stray cat taken to the vet. He has a really high temperature, he is wheezing, and sneezing, and very sick. He also has ear mites and an injured front leg. He got a shot of antibiotics, and his ears treated. I hope he gets better soon. I hate seeing him this way. One good thing he has really good spirits about being sick and going to the vet. He doesn't even act like he's sick, he still eats and is very affectionate. I hope this is a good sign that he will get better soon.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
I finally got the stray cat taken to the vet. He has a really high temperature, he is wheezing, and sneezing, and very sick. He also has ear mites and an injured front leg. He got a shot of antibiotics, and his ears treated. I hope he gets better soon. I hate seeing him this way. One good thing he has really good spirits about being sick and going to the vet. He doesn't even act like he's sick, he still eats and is very affectionate. I hope this is a good sign that he will get better soon.
It's good you got him to the vet...but I'm curious why the vet didn't neuter him. It's really important that he be neutered so that he doesn't get any females pregnant.

Katie
post #7 of 19
Ya I am curious too, unless he was already neutered. Good job on bringing him into the vet! Where are you located by the way?
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
It's good you got him to the vet...but I'm curious why the vet didn't neuter him. It's really important that he be neutered so that he doesn't get any females pregnant.

Katie
Frankly I would not respect a vet who went ahead and spayed or neutered a cat who was obviously sick. " Wheezing and Sneezing" does not make for a good patient.
So much for introducing myself....
JoKatZ
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokatz
Frankly I would not respect a vet who went ahead and spayed or neutered a cat who was obviously sick. " Wheezing and Sneezing" does not make for a good patient.
So much for introducing myself....
JoKatZ
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I've never thought it was good to do surgery on a cat who was sick.

I am also having trouble justifying spending a lot of money on this cat that I've taken care of because he is and will be an outdoor cat. I've heard of stories where cats run away after getting them fixed, or he could get ran over by some uncaring person.

I've gotten attached to this cat, he is very sweet and loving, but being an outdoor cat anything could happen.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I've never thought it was good to do surgery on a cat who was sick.

I am also having trouble justifying spending a lot of money on this cat that I've taken care of because he is and will be an outdoor cat. I've heard of stories where cats run away after getting them fixed, or he could get ran over by some uncaring person.

I've gotten attached to this cat, he is very sweet and loving, but being an outdoor cat anything could happen.
Given that he is an outdoor cat...you can be assured that he will run off to find females to mate with....this is why it is CRITICAL to neuter him. Also, leaving him intact increases the risk of certain cancers. If it were me, I wouldn't take the risk of having him catch a disease or be wounded trying to mate with females (which is probably how he hurt his paw). I also wouldn't want to be responsible for knowing that I could have fixed a cat and ensured he wouldn't add to the overpopulation through mating..but that's just me.

Quote:
I am also having trouble justifying spending a lot of money on this cat that I've taken care of because he is and will be an outdoor cat
Below is a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics by state:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

If you care about this cat....I would think you would want to improve his life...no matter how long it will be.

Katie
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jokatz
Frankly I would not respect a vet who went ahead and spayed or neutered a cat who was obviously sick. " Wheezing and Sneezing" does not make for a good patient.
So much for introducing myself....
JoKatZ
JoKatZ...we aren't talking about a cat living indoors..we are talking about an outdoor cat. Our feral cat clinic fixes all the cats that come in because we know that these cats will most likely not be able to be trapped again and stopping their breeding is the most critical thing to do.

Just so you can put that into perspective....we had 87 cats at the last clinic....half were female....80% were in heat.
Some had a definate URI but we fixed them anyways. You don't have to respect the vets...but know that those vets have now ensured those cats do not add to the overpopulation. In my state alone....70,000 cats are euthanized every year.

Katie
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
JoKatZ...we aren't talking about a cat living indoors..we are talking about an outdoor cat. Our feral cat clinic fixes all the cats that come in because we know that these cats will most likely not be able to be trapped again and stopping their breeding is the most critical thing to do.

Katie
What does it matter whether a cat lives indoors or outdoors? Either way the cat was sick. A cat living outdoors is just as important as a cat living indoors. I would make him an indoor cat if I could, but I already have 9 cats inside, and that's way too many. I'm tired of their marking behaviours, I don't know how to resolve it. I have order Felliway spray, I wish it would get here soon!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Below is a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics by state:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

If you care about this cat....I would think you would want to improve his life...no matter how long it will be.

Katie
I have checked that site before and I would spend more money in gas, food, motel room, etc. for traveling and whatever they charge than just paying my vet to fix this cat. So it wouldn't be worth it to use a low cost spay/neuter clinic.
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
What does it matter whether a cat lives indoors or outdoors? Either way the cat was sick. A cat living outdoors is just as important as a cat living indoors. I would make him an indoor cat if I could, but I already have 9 cats inside, and that's way too many. I'm tired of their marking behaviours, I don't know how to resolve it. I have order Felliway spray, I wish it would get here soon!
The difference is that an indoor cat has less chance of catching a disease by mating...they also do not have as great a risk of adding to the overpopulation. Waiting until an outdoor cat is no longer sick can mean allowing the cat to disappear in it's quest to mate or even allowing it to catch FIV/FELV through fighting/mating etc.

Neutering cats reduces their spraying:

Urine-marking. The intact male's urine is especially foul-smelling. Both sexes can engage in territorial spraying.

Without neutering....feliway will not be effective. I do hope all your indoor cats are already fixed.

Katie
post #15 of 19
Most vets will not put a cat under if there is evidence of illness, unless this vet is skilled in feral cat care. The cat in question needs to be neutered. There is no arguing that. It is a fallacy that they run off after they are fixed, they run off when they are tomcats to find a female. They follow the scent of the female's spray.

If you have 9 indoor cats and they are "marking" I would ask if they are all spayed and neutered? Generally, unless they are ill or stressed, a neutered and or spayed cat will not spray.Cats living in a small area with other cats can sometimes become stressed just because of personal space issues.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Most vets will not put a cat under if there is evidence of illness, unless this vet is skilled in feral cat care. The cat in question needs to be neutered. There is no arguing that. It is a fallacy that they run off after they are fixed, they run off when they are tomcats to find a female. They follow the scent of the female's spray.

If you have 9 indoor cats and they are "marking" I would ask if they are all spayed and neutered? Generally, unless they are ill or stressed, a neutered and or spayed cat will not spray.Cats living in a small area with other cats can sometimes become stressed just because of personal space issues.
Yes, I agree he should be fixed, but I have to pay for my indoor cats first before my house is permanently ruined from them urinating everywhere. I am constantly carpet cleaning, and washing bedding, etc.

What I am referring to by marking, is urinating everywhere. The one that started it was my fixed female, and now half of the rest are doing the same thing. Even my fixed male is urinating where he shouldn't be. The four male kittens are five months old and are scheluded for a vet trip this week along with their unfixed mother the first part of next month. A cat in heat is the most annoying thing!

I've never seen a female cat spray, I didn't know they did.

Any ideas on how to resolve my situation with the cats being territorial and marking all over the house?
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayFluffy
Yes, I agree he should be fixed, but I have to pay for my indoor cats first before my house is permanently ruined from them urinating everywhere. I am constantly carpet cleaning, and washing bedding, etc.

What I am referring to by marking, is urinating everywhere. The one that started it was my fixed female, and now half of the rest are doing the same thing. Even my fixed male is urinating where he shouldn't be. The four male kittens are five months old and are scheluded for a vet trip this week along with their unfixed mother the first part of next month. A cat in heat is the most annoying thing!

I've never seen a female cat spray, I didn't know they did.

Any ideas on how to resolve my situation with the cats being territorial and marking all over the house?
Have they been checked for Urinary Tract Infections??? That is the first thing to rule out whenever cats aren't using the litterbox:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9563

Oftentimes when one cat smells the urine in a particuliar place...others will also urinate in the same place. I would first look at the advice in the thread above.

Katie
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Have they been checked for Urinary Tract Infections??? That is the first thing to rule out whenever cats aren't using the litterbox:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9563

Oftentimes when one cat smells the urine in a particuliar place...others will also urinate in the same place. I would first look at the advice in the thread above.

Katie
I would say the reason for the peeing is because of this: The cat could be stressed out over something. Urinating on some object that holds your scent is calming to him. I think having 9 cats in the same house they are stressed especially because some of them aren't fixed. By mid Feb. they will be.

Is there a citrus spray I can use all over my house that is safe for fabrics? I need to spray my carpet, rugs, bedding, etc. Does lemon juice stain fabrics? I also use a detergent with color safe bleach will this attract them to clothing, bedding, etc., or is it straight bleach they are attracted to?

Thanks for help and advice!
post #19 of 19
You need to use a neutralizer- but first of all you need to invest in a black light to find all the pee stains in the house. Female cats can and do spray, especially those who are not spayed. During breeding season the females will spray the bushes outside enticing the males into the yard with their scent. The males, when they find the mark, will overpower that mark with their own scent, then mating begins soon after. I hope you care keeping your males and females separated in the house, or pretty soon you may have more than just 9 cats.
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