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Please help-Regarding taking in a stray cat.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am a new member, and I joined to ask your advice on one particular issue that has troubled me. In my apartment complex, an old woman has been leaving out food for stray cats. At first, there were only two. Now, due to one of them having a litter, and then another one, there are 10 cats!

The woman, when asked, says that they are strays, and that she does not own them. However, when I offered to take them to a no kill shelter, to recieve proper care, she became very aggressive and mean towards me, even suggesting I was dirty and underhanded! Now, let me reiterate that these cats are strays. She does nothing more for them than leave out plates of table scraps. They roam the area and woods arround it most of the time. They have not seen a vet, been collared or registered, or given any medical attention, or even seen the inside of a house.

I only have the Cat's and Kitten's best interests in mind. Part of me just wants to take them in the middle of the night, to recieve proper care, (I believe some have eye infections) and proper housing. I doubt any of them will last in this area, especially when you include the factor of young children arround the area, cars, and the impending winter. I even want to take one in for myself, where it would be happy among the 4 cats I allready own.

Please, oh please, tell me your opinions, and/or tips on accually catching the strays? Thank you so much!
post #2 of 4
Welcome to TCS! You might PM (send a Private Message) to TNR1 for advice on trap/neuter/release programs in your area. Yes, the cats are at risk in the woods, but subject of feral cats is a hotly debated topic. Also, you might check with your local animal control agency & find out what options are available for stray cats. IF you trap them, are you going to pay for vet care yourself, or are you planning to surrender them to animal control?
As I mentioned, the subject of feral cats is hotly debated; is life in a small cage at a no-kill better than risking death in the outdoors?? I agree that all outside cats are really at risk but have seem some sad shelters that were no-kill but prisons just the same - no chance to do anything but languish in a corner next to the litter tray which is next to food & water dishes - a real quality of life issue
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the warm welcome
The no kill shelter is one that I regularly volunteer at (with very good conditions and adoptors), and one that I would prefer taking them to (Compared to the kill shelter that animal control would take them to ) The cats would get complete medical care, and I think would be adopted quickly into loving arms. Also, I would take one of the kittens myself, and pay for it's medical dues, not to mention giving it a loving warm home

My main problem is a moral one, as the old lady seems very attached, but won't understand that the cats can't live on table scaps and be healthy! I don't want to "Snatch" them from the area, but she has refused any help that I have offered her, very rudely, might I add

Also, the cats seem VERY afraid of humans
post #4 of 4
Here is a link to Alley Cat Allies that will teach you a LOT about outside kitties.
In some ways, you are right. Just feeding strays table scraps isn't healthy, and just promotes more strays to show up. It also promotes them reproducing, creating more strays. And more fights over the food and territory.

In some ways, the old woman is right. Often the outside cats are very wild, or feral. They cannot simply be taken into a shelter or home and tamed. Maybe some of the kitties are rather tame, and will be found homes. But the really feral ones will be terrified of people, and may be better off outside.

What we do in my county is what Alley Cat Allies recommends. We set humane traps for the feral kitties, then take them to the vet to be spayed or neutered. They also get their basic vaccinations, and ear tipped. Then they are released.

It sounds crazy at first, but once you spay/neuter the colony of kitties, they stop fighting. They become more stable socially. We also have a person who agrees to feed the colony cat food daily. Scraps are not a good substitute.

Learn more about this, and talk to your shelter. See if they will cover the spay/neuters and vaccinations. Then approach the lady and see if she will help you stabilize her colony. Someone will need to get her catfood to feed them, whether your shelter or another source.

This can be done, and has been done in communities across the US!
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