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Possibly TNR'ing ferals

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I work in what could be classed as a slightly rural area. We are a mile off the main road, through lots of fields, and there are farms past us. I found out a few weeks ago that our security guard is feeding some cats, I have been told 4, but not seen him since to confirm. I left a note for him saying that if they started becoming ill or pregnant to let me know and I would see what I could do. I got to work this morning to find a note saying that he thinks the female is pregnant, and that she keeps on being chased by two tom cats (so if she isn't, she soon will be) - I didn't get chance to see him tonight, so don't know how he knows what sex they are, I know one of them (I am presuming the female, i just hope there is only one) is fairly friendly, he has managed to get her to tolerate being approached, stroked and picked up. I have spoken to the woman I foster for (hence not posting earlier), and she wants me to see if CP can help with vouchers due to them being feral first - have done that, and have got to ring someone else tomorrow to see if any financial help is available. CP can't help with manpower to trap though, but it does appear that they are fed every day, and go to the security guard to be fed, so might not be too hard to trap, one of the cats I saw was very friendly. Any tips would be welcome.
post #2 of 13
CATS SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FED (Continue giving water.)
Do not feed the cats for 24 to 48 hours before you try to trap them. They will not go into the traps unless they are really hungry.

1. Checklist of things you need or may need when you trap:

Traps
Can opener
Cover for each trap
Dish or lid to hold cat food
Flashlight
Tarp or plastic for under traps when transporting in vehicle
Newspaper

2. Set the traps around the area where the cats are used to being fed. You can also set up in areas where they are seen. In general cats like to be up against walls, etc. so you are more likely to catch them there.

3. Potential Trap problems: Be sure that the trap door has a full, unhindered swing. If you are using the brown traps with the side chain attached to the trip plate (thing that they step on) check to see that the chain is not twisted or jammed when you set the trap.

If your trap is one with a back door look at how it is secured when you get it so you know how to correctly close it. If you do not close it correctly the cat may be able to escape.

4. Put newspaper, folded in half length wise, in the bottom of the trap and put a small amount of smelly food on a lid or other small item in the back of the trap against the door that will remain closed. Sprinkle a very small amount of the food along the newspaper in one or two places. Never put any food outside the trap itself. Suggested food: Tuna fish; sardines; Fancy Feast salmon or other smelly cat food.

5. As you trap the cats and move them be sure to look at the ground. Sometimes the tuna or other food you use for bait will spill onto the ground. Pick it up immediately if you have not yet caught all the cats you are trying to trap. You don't want it to be eaten by the other cats you are trying to trap.

When a cat is in a trap:

1. Immediately cover the trap completely with a towel or sheet then take the cat away from the area. (Careful as they can move back and forth quickly in the trap and catch you off balance.)

2. Always check to see if the left ear of the cat is ear-tipped. The tip of the left ear is cut straight across so that the tip is removed. That means that the cat was previously trapped, altered, and returned. It can be released. If you have sufficient traps, hold the cat in the trap until you are done trapping, and then release it.

3. It takes a while for other cats to come back in the area after a cat is trapped so be patient. It gets harder to catch the remaining cats with every trap they see or hear go off.

4. Do not feed the cat in the trap you risk escape and the cat is having surgery the following morning and should have nothing in its stomach. (The exception is kittens that are small but big enough to alter. Kittens blood sugar drops when they do not eat causing added risk during surgery so the recommendation is to feed them a small amount of MOIST cat food right up to a few hours before surgery.)

5. Put the trapped cat somewhere where it will not be too adversely affected by the weather and where it will be safe from people and other animals.

Transporting:

1. LEAVE THE TOWEL OR SHEET ON THE TRAP THE CAT IS IN THE ENTIRE TIME THE CAT IS IN THE TRAP. If the cat pulls the cover into the trap get another cover to put on the trap. Cats in traps must be covered.

2. You should put a tarp or other waterproof covering in the vehicle (for example, an old shower curtain.) The cats may urinate or defecate.

3. MAKE CERTAIN THE TRAPS CANNOT ROLL OVER IN YOUR VEHICLE. Gravity-operated (brown) traps will open if turned upside down. If you must stack the traps on top of each other make certain that the handle is not sticking up on the trap that is on the bottom and that the top trap is secure so that it will not tip on either side.

Holding the cat overnight and releasing the cat:

1. Hold the cats in an area where they are safe from predators and protected from the elements. After surgery, cats cannot regulate their body temperatures the way they normally can, so their holding area cannot be too cold in winter or too warm in the summer.

2. You should give the cats water and a little moist food, use extreme caution so the cats cannot escape from their traps. Using the same door you used to put the bait in the trap, lift the door up no more than necessary and never so far up that the cat can fit through the door if it suddenly decided to bolt forward. (The door should come up only a couple inches.) Be sure to secure the door correctly as well. If a cat is very groggy or unsteady, wait. You do not want to risk having the cat drown in the water or choke on the food.

3. Hold the cat a minimum of 24 hours after surgery. If there is continuing bleeding or other problems do not release the cat. Follow the instructions given by the veterinarian.

4. To release take the cat to its usual secure location preferably where there are bushes or other things in which it can hide, open the back door, pull the trap cover back, and stand at the opposite end of the trap to wait for the cat to go out. If it is near an area where there is vehicular traffic wait for a time when there is no traffic because the cat may make a panic run directly into oncoming traffic.

Follow up:

1. Clean the trap with a bleach solution. Bleaching traps helps prevent the spread of any diseases for future trappings.

1 gallon of water to 4 ½ oz. of bleach
2 gallons of water to 8¾ oz. of bleach
3 gallons of water to 13 oz. of bleach
4 gallons of water to 17 1/4 oz. of bleach
5 gallons of water to 21 ½ oz. of bleach

2. Wash the towels or sheets that were used as trap covers. Use bleach.
post #3 of 13
Thanks for the info-I plan on trapping T2 this spring and wasn't sure of what all to do!!
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
Thanks for the info-I plan on trapping T2 this spring and wasn't sure of what all to do!!
Please be sure they are ear-tipped.

Eartipping is the nationally endorsed method of identifying sterilized, free-roaming cats that are part of a managed colony.

Eartipping is painless and humane. While the cat is under anesthesia for the spay/neuter surgery, the point of the left ear is flattened slightly. Should a cat that has been eartipped enter a trap again, it is immediately released since it is clearly marked as having been sterilized. Recognizing a cat in the field as previously sterilized prevents that cat from enduring the additional trauma and risk of another trip to the clinic, being put under anesthesia, and in some cases undergoing exploratory surgery. Not only does the absence of eartipping cause further trauma and risk to sterilized cats, it wastes valuable resources such as money for veterinary services.

Other forms of identification have been tried, but have not proven to be as effective as eartipping in signaling early on in the trap, neuter, return (TNR) process that the feral cat is sterilized. For example, internal microchips and ear tattoos are impossible to detect in the field and nearly impossible to detect on a feral cat before it has been anesthetized. Microchips do have value in getting cats back to where they belong, but should be used in conjunction with eartipping.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Cheers for the advice. I am wondering if the female is a true feral - I have been told that cats are dumped in the area I work in (have attached a photo so you can see the likelehood - the main road is the top blob, my offices are the bottom blob) - we have a lot of things dumped near my work. So I was going to try and trap her myself and assess how she is to see if she could be socialised - would this be OK? They do come to the person who feeds them, so I was hoping that it would make things easier - there maybe a caravan we can get them in. Not sure how hungry they would be if they weren't fed, we have a lot of mice and rats where I work.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Things have all changed now - female isn't feral (unless ferals now let you stroke them, pick them up, check their sex and then come back and try and stand on their legs to touch you for attention once you have put them down!!). The rescue I foster for are willing to let me foster her, she is so affectionate and gets chased by the males, so want to get her out of the situation, and may be able to do it next week (fortunately the woman who gives me a lift home is very understanding, think she has just given up passing comment on the number of cats I have!!), even though I should be waiting till the home imps are done - just concerned that if she is unneutered (she may have been there a year without any apparent kittens) waiting a month isn't good. As for the males, the rescue have just told me she does have a trap, and when her back is better, she will be able to help me set it up. Need to clear that by the security guard next week. So, just waiting for the form and geting the finances from CP, so things are looking promising. They are only fed by one security guard rather than both though.
post #7 of 13
I'm so glad she found a caring person for her! Thanks for taking her in and ensuring she finds a good home!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh good, I am glad that you think I will be OK taking her out of the situation. I was concerned that if she has been there over a year that she will be established and it wouldn't be appropriate, but she is being chased by them, so I don't think it is a good sign. Incidentally, I wont be taking her till next week, and really shouldn't be taking more fosters in cos of home improvements, but she could be unneutered, as could the males, so I don't want to leave her for another month and then have to deal with a pregnant cat.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
i have gone soft - couldn't bear to think about her being out in this weather, so I rang the security guard last night and am meeting him tonight to pick her up and bring her here. then will make a vet app for Tues for her, I know she will at least need worming. Am also going to take some dry food with me and ask him to start putting some down for the males in preparation for us trapping.
One more bit of advice please - these cats apparently shelter under the caravan. I don't know if it is open on all sides (I have a suspicion that the caravan is on bricks rather than wheels, so might provide some shelter). Is there anything I can provide to give them some more warmth that wont get wet and nasty if rain can get under?
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger
i have gone soft - couldn't bear to think about her being out in this weather, so I rang the security guard last night and am meeting him tonight to pick her up and bring her here. then will make a vet app for Tues for her, I know she will at least need worming. Am also going to take some dry food with me and ask him to start putting some down for the males in preparation for us trapping.
One more bit of advice please - these cats apparently shelter under the caravan. I don't know if it is open on all sides (I have a suspicion that the caravan is on bricks rather than wheels, so might provide some shelter). Is there anything I can provide to give them some more warmth that wont get wet and nasty if rain can get under?
Can you put straw under the caravan?? Stray will help them retain heat.

Katie
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, she is here. She was very easy to catch and get in the carrier - thought we were going to have to leave the carrier in the car, coax her in the caravan and then get her in, but she allowed herself to be picked up and put in. She was wild when she was first seen though, so not sure about her background. Will make a vets app this week to see how old they think etc.
I have learnt a very valuable lesson though - don't put the opening of a carrier facing you when you don't know the cat - my arm and hand aren't too bad as I had put two pairs of gloves on and two jackets on, but I only had one pair of trousers on, so have some lovely puncture marks on my knee. Fortunately I am used to scratches, so have antiseptic disenfact in, and had a tetanus less than 4 years ago.
Will post pics later, am letting her get used to the room and have her tea first.
Not sure if I will be allowed to take straw to work - the caravan isn't on wheels, and is blocked off on at least two sides, and one side is fairly close to a building, so I think they might get a fair bit of shelter. Just means they are sitting on concrete though.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger
I know one of them (I am presuming the female, i just hope there is only one) is fairly friendly, he has managed to get her to tolerate being approached, stroked and picked up.
Quote:
So I was going to try and trap her myself and assess how she is to see if she could be socialised - would this be OK?
When I began to read this thread and these words by you I though instantly: This cat shouldnt be released back after spying, but should be taken in and resocialized -a typical example of a "feral" who can be succesfully socialized with only moderate work.


I didnt sayed anyting as you in next letter told she is no feral and you shall pick her up.

But this is important to others to know:

If a feral not only tolerates to be approached, but also accepts to be stroken and even to be picked up - this is no feral, this is a homeless cat!

Although she may defend herself at first if cached. Of course.

You are doing a great job, Booktigger.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
You are the fourth person to say that to me. I hadn't picked up on it (having no experience in this work), but as soon as it was mentioned, that is when I wanted to do the catching, at least of her, as I wasnt sure if a different rescue group would bother to notice, or just put her back if they did claiming lack of space.

here are a couple of pics - teh second one shows she is no feral - she arrived Sun night and these were taken last night.





She is at the vets at 3.50, we are going to get a guess of her age, and check her over etc. She is relatively happy in a house, she does miaow a lot when I am near the door, or when one of the others is miaowing, but I always isolate cats for 2 weeks. The security guard says she has been there a couple of years and was wild when seh first turned up. she is just so desperate for attention, she is constantly fussing for more, even to the point of not eating if she thinks she can get fuss - takes about 10 mins for her to have had enough to contemplate eating.
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