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Author Topic: Need advice with feral/stray cat  (Read 4400 times)
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lilabeth
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« on: November 11, 2012, 06:24:16 AM »

I have a stray/feral cat that has been coming around since May.  When I first saw him he looked young and very skinny so of course I left food out for him when I would see him in the yard.  He wouldn't have anything to do with me and would only come up to eat when I left.  Most of the summer he was never on a schedule and sometimes I wouldn't see him for days.  One time it was three weeks before I saw him again.  He just reappeared very, very hungry but clean and unharmed.

Fast forward to present…..He lets me pet him and we talk and he eats three squares here a day.  I have a feral cat house set up for him and microwave a heating pad every night.  He won't let the neighbors cat in our yard so I am thinking he thinks he lives here!!   I called my vet and they have a feral spay/neuter program that includes the neuter, vaccinations plus rabies, worm meds and flea meds.  My dilemma is…do I have any right to take this cat to be neutered?  Would if he is someones cat that lives down the road?  I also wouldn't want to re vaccinate him or give him any meds if he already has had them.  I would think that that would make him very sick.

So….any thoughts on this?  We live on a very busy road and having him neutered would keep him from roaming so much not to mention preventing him from creating so many unwanted kittens.  I want to prevent any unwanted kittens but I also don't want to be sued.  The neighbors that I have talked with don't know where he belongs either. What to do?
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mikken
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 06:46:12 AM »

You advertise on Craigslist for three to seven days to tell people that you have a "found cat".  You call the local shelters and see if anyone has reported a cat matching his description as missing.  This is due diligence and assumes that the cat may belong to someone. 

After that, consider him yours (he already considers you his!).

When you take him in for neutering, be sure to get him scanned for a microchip (just in case).

Sounds like the s/n program does a lot at once - see if they'd be willing to do just the neuter first and you can bring him back for other things at later dates.  Those programs are generally set up for untouchable cats that you may not be able to catch more than once, but this guy sounds like he's there to stay.




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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 06:50:48 AM »

I would also check at any local feed or pet food stores. Sometimes people will put up flyers there about missing pets. Then as mikken said, he's all yours. Feel free to name him & neuter him . Make sure any ads or posters you put up don't fully describe him, that way if someone responds you can ask about a marking & be sure it is their cat.
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
Mandycat
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 09:57:00 PM »

Three of my cats over the years came to me in just this way.  I posted flyers and made attempts to find owners, but with no response, they were mine.  They were all vetted and spayed and were beloved members of our family for many years. 

I know some people would not agree with me, but I am not in favor of letting cats wander un-neutered and without a collar to identify that they belong to someone and are loved and cared for.  The fact this cat has been in your neighborhood for so long under those circumstances, and is hungry enough to keep coming back, tells me that he is homeless and wants to be with YOU.  Good luck!
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catmom5
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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 04:46:09 AM »

I agree with Mandycat. This does not sound like an owned cat. I'm glad that he found his way to your house - they have a way of knowing who will take care of them.
Keep us posted, please.
catmom5
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lilabeth
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 05:45:23 AM »

Thanks everyone for suggestions on what to do.  He is an orange cat and so we call him Sunny.  Deep down I do believe that he has an owner somewhere in the neighborhood but one that really doesn't care.  Possibly throwing some cheap dry food out when the mood strikes.  Or maybe the owners moved and Sunny just wasn't around when they pulled the truck out the drive so they just left without him. :-(  I am doing my best to take care of him but I worry about this winter.  I already have nine cats and they freak when they see him in the yard and this isn't good for them. l probably will never be able to bring him in but wanted to get him neutered to prevent more of this.  Once I gained his trust he is very friendly and loves to be talked to and have his ears scratched so he must have been around people at some point. He likes to sit by my sliding door and peer in...makes me so sad to see this.

Thanks again for all the suggestions!
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catmom5
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 06:38:28 AM »

I understand about not being able to bring him indoors. You can do a lot to help him be safe, well-fed and sheltered outdoors, too. Mikken has a couple of outdoor cats so she might be able to give you some insight. And he will be cared about and loved. I would definitely go ahead with the neutering. That will make his life much easier, too. And, perhaps, there is a family who would be able to give him a good indoor home once you get him vetted and taken care of.

Bless your heart for taking care of Sunny. (My angel Jess was buff and white and was one of the most amazing cats I've ever known.)
catmom5
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mikken
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 09:30:43 AM »

Oh yes, my ferals started out with this type of shelter -

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ucl/sets/72157602171198946/

And it served them very well for our northern Ohio winters!

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lilabeth
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 11:07:17 AM »

Ha! Mikken I am in northern Ohio, too!  I had seen the feral cat house that you linked to when I was searching for one, but they were't making those anymore.  I  know a lot of these outdoor shelters can be easily made but for me i decided to order this one: http://www.thekittytube.com/the-kitty-tube-feral-option-with-straw-only-1/.  At first, I didn't think he was going to use it but when Sandy roared through he figured out that it was the better place to be!

He is getting braver,too.  I had tried to get him to come in the garage during Sandy and he wouldn't have anything to do with it and I didn't want to force him.  Yesterday I was sweeping up some straw and he did come inside the door so maybe when it gets really, really cold he will be willing to stay in there.


Thanks Mikken, Mandycat, catmom5 and Lesliek for your help with this.
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catwoods
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 02:25:16 PM »

I'm late to this, but I also feel the cat has shown a definite preference for you as caregiver. Those shelters do look good and snug for the winter.
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2012, 05:28:04 PM »

Lilabeth, I am very late to this, but am assuming he is still hanging out with you. ANY cat that comes my way, owned or not, if he is not neutered, gets neutered. I don't give a rats butt what anyone else would like, there are way too many cats on this planet and not enough homes. Best to stop the reproduction in its tracks. Here in Canada, the property laws are such that if you find an animal and it isn't claimed in 30 days after being reported to the SPCA or local humane society, it is yours to keep. I don't even wait that long to neuter. If I find the cat DOES have a home, then, I just did them a favor.

As far as what to do to find his family? Posters in the neighborhood are your best bet. If nothing comes of that, 30 days (depending on where you live) and he's yours. I don't know where you live, so I the shelter links you have been provided may be good, but if it's very cold where you are, there is a link to the shelter's I build in this section:

http://itchmoforums.com/feral-cats-and-dogs/pictorial-guide-to-building-a-shelter-for-feral-cats-t3629.0.html
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
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