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Feeding ferals/strays

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am trying to be more diligent on feeding this tom that has been hanging around. So do you feed at the same time everyday?? They same place?? In my case for instance its snowing and the food will get covered I can move to under a large shrub nearby. Do you free feed or put food out once day/twice a day?? I would not want food out all the time as I know I will be feeding possums in the spring!!
Bobber must be used to this cat as I let her out for a few mintues yesterday afternoon and called her to come in and she and the tom must have been right by the house and she chased him for about 10-15 ft. She is a bit smaller but quite the queen bee of our property. I didn't see him after she ran him off!!
When I had Tommie who was much larger he backed off too.
post #2 of 22
Gail....the best thing to do is to feed your ferals at given times (usually the best times are dawn and dusk) and remove any left over food so you do not attract raccoons or other animals. It is also recommended to feed your ferals in the same location if possible. If you can make a small feeding station so that the food doesn't get wet, that would be ideal. Many of the feral caretakers here can show you examples of the feeding stations that they have created using rubbermaid containers etc.

Katie
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I forgot to pick up the food Wed nite and it was gone. I put food out at 7ish this am got busy and looked at 11 and it was gone. I put more food out and went shopping got home at 3 and the food was gone. He must come from across the road as there were pawprints in the driveway starting from the road and I could see prints across the road (its a corn field) He was sitting on the corner of my compost bins this afternoon for quite a while. I know in the warmer months thats a good hunting spot as I have seen chipmunks/gophers there. But when I saw the footprints I had a thought. The owner of the field across the road called me shortly after Sheba died and offered me his son's cat(s)? I declined but I wonder if this is one of them. He had an older cat who is inside/outside-I don't know if that cat is still living.
They keep the garage door open about 1 ft from ground-I'll have to see if they still do that. Or I guess stop and ask if its their cat??? Either way I'll keep feeding.
post #4 of 22
My 2 cents on feeding strays/ferals. We have a lot of raccons, possums and giant fruit rats (plus we live on a lake, so alligators and snakes). We fed the same time every night, around 11pm (they always showed up around that time). Either my husband or I would stand outside with a flashlight and wait for them to eat, which usually was no longer than 10 minutes. Don't forget the fresh water! We then removed the bowls to throw away in the big garbage in our garage as not to attract other creatures.

Thank you for having a kind and caring heart to feed these poor little ones.

PS ... we socialized them (which took some time), had them fixed and found homes for them.
post #5 of 22
I feed a kitty, and have, for a few years. I call him Thugboy. He is ONE tough guy!!
I feed him under our deck, as it is very high off the ground. I have a "feeding station" there, and it is just a Rubbermaid-type tub, turned on it's side, and the lid is duct-taped to the "roof of it", to protect from rain and snow. I put some of that no-slide shelf liner stuff on the "floor" of it, to keep the bowls from sliding around. You may have to put something on top to keep it from blowing away... Oh--and I always feed him after dark, as that is when he is prowling around here! Here's a picture of it:
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Something similar might work if I make it shorter to fit under the mature spruce trees. I am worrried though about the weather we have had the last few days. I saw animal tracks around my potting shed but have it sealed up this time of yr.
There are other places around my house and the neighbors though that a cat could hang out.

UPDATE!!!
I decided to go looking for tcat tracks and put some Max cat (lucky cat!!) food out and I saw T2 the one thats been around regularly. Neil left the workshop garage door open and he was coming around the front!! He saw me and ran but I used a older deli container and scrounged to find a old corrugated plastic sign and placed a burlap bag on top so his feet won't get cold. Its only 3 degrees now. I saw him run to one of the two neighbor's that have property behind us!! I put under a spruce tree so I'll have to monitor tomorrow. Those trees are high enough that your container should work.
post #7 of 22
Gail: A rubbermaid container, with lid attached, placed on its side, with a hole cut into it. Or just a carboard box, with plastic trash bag taped around it, to provide wind protection. lots of newspapers inside on ground. Blanket maybe? That would be a temporary shelter, put down away from winds, by the trees. Food to be placed in the same type of box, nearby. Use a brick to weight down...so they don't blow away. Go out and clear snow, if snowing....

Boxes can also be LIned with newspaper and/or bubble wrap stuff used to wrap hot water heaters, taped to the insides and roof. Put a piece of carboard or something on a slant infront of the hole to provide wind protection.

Place under trees, facing away from winds. Maybe, maybe, cover with a few branches. Place food near by. Cat will find the shelter. Also, leave your garage open a little, cat will come in when late at night and colder. Bless you for helping!!

Tommy 2 loves you. He maybe even will tame for you! Have faith.

Poor ole Grey's been round, but today was chased away by EVIL Pirate cat. (Whom I promptly chased out of my yard and round and round outside and scared and prevented from chasing Grey, like he was GOING to do.) Am thinking of getting a spray / water pistol, to spray with noxious smelling stuff like lemon oil and water or bitter orange, stuff he won't like and will avoid coming in my yard because of...

Poor Grey, I hope he came back later for the food. I know I've shelters he can go to that are NOT in my yard - and I've seen him use in a pinch. And unbelievablely I think I saw him or his exact duplicate out at my feral site, Carradoc Hall. I know those little guys got fed and are eating okay, even though I only see one or 2 cats total when I go out there. The cooks said there were about 9. Sigh. I wish they'd show themselves to me....

Trapping one of them hopefully this Thursday,
when the cold spell weakens...

Cheers and best of luck with tommy 2 !
post #8 of 22
It is definitely best to feed at the same time each day, as close as possible to dawn or dusk or both. This is because it will make it easier to trap them to get them s/n. Once everyone is s/n then you don't have to be so diligent about feeding in the same time and place each day. Just make sure to clean up leftovers after about an hour. Eventually you will get a feel for how much they will eat within that time period and you will be able to feed about the right amount each time.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well I checked the spot under the trees the food was gone however I don't think a cat ate at least some of it. I had the food container on a old sign covered with burlap so the cats feet wouldn't get cold in the snow-however there was a depressesion in the and a paw print which was much larger than a cat. But maybe I'm wrong too. I'm not sure what it was as most wildlife is dormant yet (like possums!) So I moved the food dish back to behind the service door of the garage. Tomorrow I will work on a shelter. I have lots of places to put it I just have to figure out the best spot for me to get to. DH snowblows paths all over out property which the cats like to use.
post #10 of 22
I feed my eleven everyday at the same time -- about 7pm. They wait for me at the spot where I feed them and come running to me when I come out! It always gives me a good feeling when they do that.

I wait for them to eat the wet food which takes about 30-minutes because they have to take turns from the two plates I bring out.

I don't have a problem of other critters so I leave the kibble out and it is always gone before morning. Of course, if it isn't the pigeons eat it right away like vacuum cleaners swooping in!

I have three males and a female kitten that need to be trapped for s/n soon.

Affording this is the hard part. It always seems like its the people who are the worst at making money that are drawn to this or am I wrong about that?

I join the others in thanking you for your kindness towards the stray and feral cats.
post #11 of 22
I feed the last 3 of my ferals both in the morning and in the evening. It's not always the same time: earlier and later on my workdays, later and earlier on the weekends. They are fed on a snowless place on my front porch where I also have shelters for the cold weather and the hottest weather where they can find some shade. I say 3 cats because Empsey stays out in the summer and stays in during the winter as she has some arthritis (she is 8 years old and the momma and grandmomma of the rest of my ferals. The last batch of kittens will be 3 in June (all have been trapped and fixed now) and almost all of ferals except 2 are in and out. Shaddows loves to have me petted but doesn't like to be picked up, and Ms Claudia will only let me pet her on rare occassions although she will stay on the porch with me for awhile. During the winter months, I also give them very warm or hot water that warms up their innards and they seem to appreciate this.
Goldenwren
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I haven't been leaving out water as it will get very cold/freeze within a few hours. I could try during the day but at night it will freeze. I left food out yesterday as we where gone and when we got home it wasn't touched so I left it out last night and it was gone. It should be getting warmer soon so I can move the dish and add water just inside the garage to see if I can lure into garage to take a nap. The only down side is he will smell the other cats and spray in the garage!!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
I haven't been leaving out water as it will get very cold/freeze within a few hours. I could try during the day but at night it will freeze. I left food out yesterday as we where gone and when we got home it wasn't touched so I left it out last night and it was gone. It should be getting warmer soon so I can move the dish and add water just inside the garage to see if I can lure into garage to take a nap. The only down side is he will smell the other cats and spray in the garage!!
Gail...you may want to cook a pot of chicken broth and leave that out for the cats....it will cool down rather quickly but will provide them more nutrition in this cold weather.

Katie
post #14 of 22
I would have never thought about chicken broth for my ferals. However, wouldn't the salt free be better than regular than just chicken broth? Since I don't like boiled or stockpot chicken, I could just use solt free canned broth, couldn't I. I have been feeding my ferals for nearly 6 years and outside of hard catfood, I have been heating their water several times a day in cold weather when I am not working.
Beverly
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenwren
I would have never thought about chicken broth for my ferals. However, wouldn't the salt free be better than regular than just chicken broth? Since I don't like boiled or stockpot chicken, I could just use solt free canned broth, couldn't I. I have been feeding my ferals for nearly 6 years and outside of hard catfood, I have been heating their water several times a day in cold weather when I am not working.
Beverly
You know....I would think they would enjoy the regular broth more...you may want to try the salt free variety first. None of the sites that talk about chicken broth specify salt free.

Katie
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had been thinking along those lines as I this am I was trimming a pork roast I though why couldn't I cook those scraps. The would have been too fatty to eat but I could hve a broth. Good idea!! Thanks.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well Tommie 2 seems a regular at about 7 am. I snapped a couple of pics of him this am eating!! The other male I dubbed "Mr Mask" was around yesterday also. He is very vocal.
Yesterday afternoon I let Bobber out for a bit and when I peeked out the window Tommie 2 was by the food dish which is by the service door. She got excited (shes such a territorial girl)I opened the kitchen door which scared Tommie 2 off and she came trotting in her Bobtail the size of a big puffball!!
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
I had another cat appear Friday afternoon. However I think it had a collar on. There are really only two other houses that would have cats. Not sure of sex but I know the one house has at least one female as they would have a sign in their yard for kittens. Maybe with the weather warming up this "new" cat is going outside but either house who owns this cat-its crossing a road that cane have a fair amount of traffic at times.
On the other hand-DH didn't know I was feeding the "strays" (oops!!)
Saw Tommie 2 today!!
post #19 of 22
***Quote: On the other hand-DH didn't know I was feeding the "strays" (oops!!)

HeeHeeHee
Yeah, my DH has not known I've been feeding Thugboy, for 2 years now. I have tried, at LEAST 20 times to trap him, but all to no avail!!! He is still, footloose and fancyfree, and he is VERY, VERY wary, of anything new, near his food dish and shelter! I also made some cat shelters from some old styrofoam coolers and they have worked out SO great! I lined the bottom of them with newspapers and put some old woolen blanket sections in them too. I check them regularly, to make sure they are dry. If not, I have plenty of new woolen replacement rags available. I went to Goodwill and told them what I was doing, and did they have any old WOOLEN rags/blankets etc? The wool cloth wicks moisture away from the body. They gave me a bag SO heavy, I had to use a big cart to drag it out to my car!
Here's a pic of the styro cooler I made awhile ago and my Katy Kitty is making SURE it is made well! haha


Here is a box I covered and before I did place it at the old grainmill, where I feed a colony of feral cats, I did line it with newspaper inside on the "walls" of the box...


The boxes I placed, are in a protected "overhang" area at the grainmill and are VERY well used, daily!!!
post #20 of 22
Missy&SpikesMom..those look great...one recommendation....I've read that straw is a better insulator for heat than blankets. You may want to consider using straw instead.

Katie
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
I think Tommie 2 has a place to sleep-my neighbor who lives at the end of the lane next to me-her well its not a building for a vehicle but its good sized-the roof was damaged last fall. I see tracks coming from that direction so I think he's sleeping there. That will change sometime this yr as they will be tearing that building down. I'll have something for him by that time!!
post #22 of 22
I really did consider using straw, except these kitty shelters are being placed on public property, owned by our village. I am actually HUGELY surprised, that nobody has taken and dumped the kitty shelters I have left there, so far! If I left straw in them, it would add to the disheveled appearance at that building overhang area. I am trying to keep that area as low-profile as possible, and so, I DO check those shelters every day, to make SURE they are dry and clean. It is infinitely easier, to grab a few wet or damp woolen blanket sections, and replace them, then and there, with nice warm dry blanket sections, than to try and drag straw bales up there in my car and lug them back from the parking lot, all the way back to that overhang area where the kitty shelters are located! BUT, I agree with you, as I know, for a fact, that straw is a VERY good insulator and kitties and dogs etc will use it successfully, to stay a lot warmer in winter, as long as it is kept dry.
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