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Author Topic: need some brainstorming from you all  (Read 10514 times)
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catmom5
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« on: December 10, 2012, 10:17:50 AM »

Okay, I have a crazy idea. I live in a city neighborhood and need to replace the fencing around my house. The house sits on a corner lot with the garage off of the side street. Right now the feral house is set up beside my garage (away from the house) and the feeding station is in the backyard behind the garage (so I can see it from my house). I wonder about building in some feral friendly features when I have the yard fenced. I wonder if it would be possible to create little hidey holes or platforms or areas where the ferals could feel comfortable and safe. I also have raccoons and possums, plus plenty of birds and squirrels. Any ideas? Think outside the box here . . .

And maybe if there was more for the ferals, Lucy would come back, too. I fear that Tommy has chased her off.

Thanks!
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mikken
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 04:08:00 PM »

Levels is an excellent idea.  Cats do like to be able to get up high (quickly, if need be).

What kind of fence are you installing?

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lesliek
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Trooper,Remy & Fragile


« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 04:28:24 PM »

Maybe some 3 sided corners between the fence & house & between the fence & garage ? If they are above ground level that would be a plus. If you can set them up far enough apart, Lucy & Tommy might coexist better.
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"the world's most inept extortionist"
catmom5
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 05:09:02 PM »

Okay, I'd like to hear more. Love your ideas so far . . .
I don't know what kind of fencing - definitely wood, though (I think). The house next door is a rental and so far the renters have been nice folks, but not interested in any kind of yard work, so I want some privacy. I wish there was a way to do a sketch.
Still haven't seen Lucy, but I'm hoping with colder weather that she will be back. AND no one is sleeping in the insulated shelter. They both must have someplace they can hunker down in.
Tommy waited in the ornamental grasses for me to bring him his food tonight - he is most definitely getting comfortable here again. Then he finished and ran across the road (as I watched and held my breath) safely.

I'm open to any suggestions at all. This is a work in progress . . .

catmom5
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caylee
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 05:58:56 PM »

As for posting a sketch - you could draw one and then take a picture of your drawing and post as you would a photo.

Sorry I don't have any other ideas at this time.

Hugs
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petslave
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 08:02:53 PM »

Sounds like a fun project!  You could just have a wood fence put in, then build in all kinds of additions to it over time.  Maybe take a look at websites of cat enclosures - they usually have some interesting structures you might get ideas from.  Here's one:

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm


(or you could fence in 2/3 of your yard, then catch the ferals & start an outdoor safe cat colony!)
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bug
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2012, 04:38:55 PM »

I was thinking about a cat enclosure as well. It can be made of wood, like the fence, but be attached to it on the inside of your yard. Inside there, you can insulate it all with styrofoam insulation and have different levels with straw in all of them. They could be connected by holes or you could have them completely separate. I don't know if you have a tree in the back, but you could also build something around a tree - kind of like a tree-house. You could also dig a hole and put an igloo-like dome (coming from the Canadian, of course, lol!) over it and fill the whole thing with straw. Cats like to hide. You have to give them hidey spots.
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GKit
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 05:32:45 PM »

Maybe some plants that provide summer shade but shed their leaves so you get winter sun?  And a spot of loose dirt/sand mix; for, you know.   Smiley
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catmom5
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 02:05:23 PM »

Thanks so much everyone. I don't want to provide an enclosure - I want them to come and go freely, but just to provide some comfortable places, safe spots for them in my yard.

Another question, though . . .
I ordered a rather nice feeding station for Tommy and it arrived today. It's on legs, enclosed on three sides and open in the front. I put it out in exactly the same place I've been feeding him BUT he wouldn't even get in it! I watched him walk around it and look at it and then go into the grasses to hide. I decided to go out and put the dishes down in front of the shelter (but protected, sort of, by a sheet of plywood propped against the garage) to see if he would come back and eat. He did. I wonder now, if I just continue to feed him in front of the shelter for a bit if he will eventually be willing to go into it. He's one I've never been able to trap because he is so cautious/saavy.  Any thoughts?

Thanks - he takes more time and energy than my 4 indoor girls!!!

catmom5
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caylee
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 02:41:49 PM »

Maybe you  could put some extra dry food just inside the shelter, continuing to feed him his regular meals outside of the shelter. When he eats the dry food inside, then move it into the shelter a little further. That way he will not be missing any food, but yet maybe it would help him trust the shelter better.

Hugs
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lesliek
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 05:02:42 PM »

I think caylee's idea is good. Leave the regular dishes & add some just inside the shelter. Move the outside dishes a tiny bit closer to the shelter each day and hopefully Tommy will go in !
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Mandycat
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 08:00:36 PM »

I think he is probably just a little spooked and wary of the new structure. Caylee and Leslie had some good ideas for you.  Good luck!  At least he wasn't totally scared away and will still come and eat. He should eventually trust the new, scary (to him) place
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JustMe
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My RB Angels Elvis, 1991-2010, and Twit, 2001-2010


« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 06:10:51 AM »

I agree with Caylee, Leslie, and Mandycat.  Yes, it is only natural that Tommy would be wary of something new. We know how smart cats are, especially ferals, semi-ferals.
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Eventually they will understand,
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catmom5
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 10:57:13 AM »

The interesting thing is that he is eating directly in front of the feeding station - it's set up on a couple of layers of patio blocks. He just won't get up in it - yet. And, for a feral he is very fussy about what he likes and doesn't like. It has to be Friskies pate and the only kitten kibble he really likes is the Purina (I've tried the better ones and he's not interested). So I give him what he will eat and hope it gives him enough calories to survive our Michigan winter. He does look good, though, and is sitting close by (out of sight) at feeding time, waiting for his dinner to be served! Silly boy!!!
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catwoods
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 01:42:51 PM »

Sorry I missed this the other day! I agree that Tommy is just being cautious because the feeding station is just something new, and he will likely get used to it. Something I thought of, if it hasn't been mentioned already, is a separate feeding station, although I know it's more trouble. Lucy might be encouraged by this, since ferals like their own space. Separating the feeding dishes within my house helps keep things peaceful between former feral or semi-feral Anna, her son Bud who does not please her, and feisty little Stinkpot.

But of course, Tommy may decide to dine in both locations... Smiley
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