How do I help a feral cat?
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10-02-2016, 07:36 PM
How do I help a feral cat?
I live in a rural area, there are a few farms and in between a good deal of wilderness. It is very common here for farmers to have semi-feral cats to look after the mice in their barns, and the cats are usually not very tame.
For the past month I had seen a little calico wandering and I had assumed it was a neighbor's barn cat out hunting. Over time she started to come closer and closer to my front door, and two weeks ago she came close enough for me to see how thin she was, and I noticed that her tracks in the snow wander around my yard and then back into the wilderness, so I think she is just a stray instead of a barn cat.

Now for the past few weeks I have been leaving food outdoors every evening to try to coax her to trust me. She eats three cans of cat food each night. It is bitterly cold out right now, she looks thin and not cared for, and now I have noticed she started to limp slightly. I would adopt her if I am able to. But how do i get her to let me?
So far, I have gotten her to trust me enough for her to allow me to watch her eat, and to open the door slightly and she will not run away. Today she was less than a foot away from me and I cracked the door open and talked to her while she scoffed the food I gave her.
However, if I step outdoors, she leaves until I go inside. I am also worried that she has to be treated for worms, fleas and other diseases to keep the other pets from getting sick..and I also know that a fisher lives in the woods in my back acres, and they eat cats. I would like to get her to become an inside cat, Is it possible? Any suggestions to help her be safer and warmer in this climate? Or am I fooling myself?
Any cat whisperer able to help me?
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10-02-2016, 07:42 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
Live trap her with the canned food you have been providing her. When you get her take her to the vet. They will probably sedate her, treat her (I recommend spay and notch [they notch the ear of feral cats so you can see they are fixed]) then you will have to work at gaining her trust. She obviously wants to be your friend so go slow and enjoy the love of a cat.

**edit: Contact your animal control or vet to see if you can borrow a live trap. If your animal control helps you, a small cash gift will be appreciated. Smile

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10-02-2016, 07:49 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
The kindest first step would be to trap her and get her fixed, even if you find out he is a she, though spaying females is more effective for population control than neutering males. It may be a bit traumatic, but is the kinder alternative to her trying to birth and care for a litter of kittens who will also face the same circumstances. Once you've accomplished that, you've done the cat the biggest favour you can.

Next....make friends.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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10-02-2016, 07:50 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
Lmao, Heatheness and I are sharing a brain today.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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10-02-2016, 07:53 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
(10-02-2016 07:42 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  Live trap her with the canned food you have been providing her. When you get her take her to the vet. They will probably sedate her, treat her (I recommend spay and notch [they notch the ear of feral cats so you can see they are fixed]) then you will have to work at gaining her trust. She obviously wants to be your friend so go slow and enjoy the love of a cat.

**edit: Contact your animal control or vet to see if you can borrow a live trap. If your animal control helps you, a small cash gift will be appreciated. Smile

Thank you, I never thought of that, and I think it will work very well because she is so hungry.... I will call them tomorrow! Every night now I worry about her, because it is cold out...Now for a cat name...something that respects her qualities...she is a pretty thing, tortie/and white with yellow eyes that stared right into mine for three or four seconds. Then she blinked at me and I started to feel so fond of her Heart
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10-02-2016, 08:02 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
My sister and her SO are currently feeding three stray/feral cats. Sis started out with two cats...then her daughter moved back home with her two cats. (My niece volunteers regularly with a cat rescue in Chicago.)

Along the way there was a stray that my sister started to feed. Winter worried my sister too so she got her SO to build a house for the cat - with heat. That cat moved on and so did my niece - with her two cats. Another stray showed up and over time the nice warm house and regular food helped to build trust. Sis finally made friends with him and took him to the vet for care and to be neutered. He moved in quite happily. Her other cats weren't as happy...so she went to the rescue and got him a buddy.

At one point there were six cats in the house when the niece moved home again. Now that she has left again my sister is down to four cats. I will not be surprised to find out that one, two, or three of the new visitors get adopted and moved in if she is able to gain their trust.

Mind you, my sister has to get allergy shots to be able to live with these cats.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

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10-02-2016, 08:12 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
Be aware that if it is feral, the time to domesticate it can vary from a few weeks to never.

I have one cat that is still feral after 12 years, others became cuddly kitties in a few weeks.

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10-02-2016, 08:31 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
(10-02-2016 08:02 PM)Anjele Wrote:  My sister and her SO are currently feeding three stray/feral cats. Sis started out with two cats...then her daughter moved back home with her two cats. (My niece volunteers regularly with a cat rescue in Chicago.)

Along the way there was a stray that my sister started to feed. Winter worried my sister too so she got her SO to build a house for the cat - with heat. That cat moved on and so did my niece - with her two cats. Another stray showed up and over time the nice warm house and regular food helped to build trust. Sis finally made friends with him and took him to the vet for care and to be neutered. He moved in quite happily. Her other cats weren't as happy...so she went to the rescue and got him a buddy.
`
At one point there were six cats in the house when the niece moved home again. Now that she has left again my sister is down to four cats. I will not be surprised to find out that one, two, or three of the new visitors get adopted and moved in if she is able to gain their trust.

Mind you, my sister has to get allergy shots to be able to live with these cats.
Your sister seems like such a kind woman, and the cats are lucky!
A heated cat house? i would bet there are designs online. I also have some out buildings I could use to make a cat palace!
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10-02-2016, 08:34 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
(10-02-2016 08:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  Be aware that if it is feral, the time to domesticate it can vary from a few weeks to never.

I have one cat that is still feral after 12 years, others became cuddly kitties in a few weeks.

OK, so it is possible she will stay a wild kitty. I can accept that, as long as I do what I can to help her.
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10-02-2016, 08:35 PM
RE: How do I help a feral cat?
(10-02-2016 08:31 PM)carol Wrote:  
(10-02-2016 08:02 PM)Anjele Wrote:  My sister and her SO are currently feeding three stray/feral cats. Sis started out with two cats...then her daughter moved back home with her two cats. (My niece volunteers regularly with a cat rescue in Chicago.)

Along the way there was a stray that my sister started to feed. Winter worried my sister too so she got her SO to build a house for the cat - with heat. That cat moved on and so did my niece - with her two cats. Another stray showed up and over time the nice warm house and regular food helped to build trust. Sis finally made friends with him and took him to the vet for care and to be neutered. He moved in quite happily. Her other cats weren't as happy...so she went to the rescue and got him a buddy.
`
At one point there were six cats in the house when the niece moved home again. Now that she has left again my sister is down to four cats. I will not be surprised to find out that one, two, or three of the new visitors get adopted and moved in if she is able to gain their trust.

Mind you, my sister has to get allergy shots to be able to live with these cats.
Your sister seems like such a kind woman, and the cats are lucky!
A heated cat house? i would bet there are designs online. I also have some out buildings I could use to make a cat palace!

I think she did tell me that Jim got the plans online. They live in a suburb of Chicago but are quite near a wildlife area. Apparently word got out among the cat population that there is free food and a warm bed at sis' house. Big Grin

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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