Author Topic: Stray cat...what to do??  (Read 2867 times)

Offline *~Phoenix~*

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Stray cat...what to do??
« on: December 04, 2009, 10:04:24 PM »
So my family has a wide variety of animals (rats, guinea pigs, lizard, chinchilla, 3 cats and 2 dogs). There is a stray cat that has been living outside for at least a few years. He's such a sweet boy, i've recently been spending more time with him. He's a big boy and is well-fed (we feed him as well as the neighbors, oh, and I also put flea and tick drops on him), but I'm just so worried about him this winter as it is bitterly cold and snowy. I want to take him in, but my parents say no. I told them that all I want for Christmas is for him to be safe and warm. I can understand why they don't want to bring him in. We do have 3 cats that would not be that accepting to a new and wild cat. And we also have an older dog and a puppy that like to irritate the cats. My concerns are that someone would get hurt if they got into a scuffle. I told my parents that if they let me take him in that I would 1) pay for his vet bills (including a neuter and declawing--because my parents refuse to own cats with claws), 2) pay for the food, 3) clean the litter every night and 4) keep him confined (in the bathroom during the night and in my room during the day when we can't supervise him. Would he adapt and be happy in these conditions? Or would he be happier outisde where he can roam around and be the wild cat that he is? Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated, including tips on how I can convince my parents? (I'm 20 by the way, so I'm not like a "little kid" or anything)
Home of Daisie, Maizie, Bailie, Maci, Ebony, Kassadee, and Ivy (mice); Chico and Maggie (dogs); Smeagol, Mia (cats); Wildfire (horse); Sullivan (aka Sully) and Jakey (goats); Starlight, Starbright, and Esteban (fish)

Offline Eugooglizer

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 11:13:19 PM »
I work/volunteer for a cat rescue in my area so I have alot of experience with cats in general.  Honestly, from what I read in your post, I think the best/most humane thing to do for this cat is to have him neutered and vaccinated and continue to keep taking care of him outdoors.  You can provide food and they make outside water dishes that are heated so the water doesn't freeze.  You can also provide an insulated "house" for him to sleep in when its cold.  It concerns me that he would automatically have to be declawed to come inside--declawing can be extremely traumatic for adult cats and he hasn't even scratched anything yet.  After living outside I do not think he would be happy living the rest of his life in one room.  Sorry that I couldn't be more helpful.

Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 11:19:11 PM »
I have to agree with Iheartmyrats. It would be traumatic for the cat to come live inside. As an outside cat, it is very important that he have claws. If you're concerned about him getting sick, I'd recommend and neuter and a set of vaccinations. Then release him back. Getting him an insulated home is another idea.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 11:28:58 PM by DracheDame »
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Offline *~Phoenix~*

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 11:28:08 PM »
Thank you for your advice. The ONLY thing I care about is his well-being, and I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that he's happy and healthy. In a perfect world, I would take him in for a test-run. Leave his claws on in case he wanted to be back outside. And get him vaccinated and neutered. Possibly let him outside during the day and just keep him in a room in the house at night? He's really friendly and he even let me pick him up and hold him tonight. I'm just so worried that he'll get sick or freeze to death. If there was an insulated house available, to you think he would take to it or just sleep where he normally sleeps? I would want to know that he's using it..where would I put it? Best case scenario would be if he got along with my other cats and my dogs left him alone so that he could free-range the house. Worst case scenario (if he lived inside) would be that he didn't like the other animals and would have to hang out with me in my room. I love this cat to death and I just hate to see him suffer.
By the way, his name is Taz.  :) I call him Tazzy and Tazzy-pants. I don't really know why lol.
Home of Daisie, Maizie, Bailie, Maci, Ebony, Kassadee, and Ivy (mice); Chico and Maggie (dogs); Smeagol, Mia (cats); Wildfire (horse); Sullivan (aka Sully) and Jakey (goats); Starlight, Starbright, and Esteban (fish)

Offline Eugooglizer

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 11:37:44 PM »
If you went with the idea of letting him out during the day and bringing him in at night he could NOT be declawed.  And if you do bring him into your house with other cats he has to be tested for FIV and FeLV before he has contact with them.  And I'm not understanding the whole "has to be declawed" thing?  Your plan was for him to stay in your bedroom?  Get a good scratching post and teach him to use it.

Offline *~Phoenix~*

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 11:53:35 PM »
Well I'm personally against declawing. I think it's mean and unneccesary. But I live with my parents and unfortunately they do not agree with me. I put up the biggest fight when my last kitty had to be declawed. I absolutely would not get him declawed if I knew that he was going to be outside at all. The only way I would is if he was going to be in the house permanently.
Yes, my plan was that if he was inside, and did not get along with my other cats, he would be in my room. Definitly not ideal, i know, but I'm just looking at all possible options. I just want him to be okay.
Home of Daisie, Maizie, Bailie, Maci, Ebony, Kassadee, and Ivy (mice); Chico and Maggie (dogs); Smeagol, Mia (cats); Wildfire (horse); Sullivan (aka Sully) and Jakey (goats); Starlight, Starbright, and Esteban (fish)

Offline Eugooglizer

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 12:03:00 AM »
I think he'd rather live outside (neutered) with claws honestly.  Wait to get more cats until you're not living with your parents who are forcing the cats to have their toes amputated just because they refuse to live with cats who aren't declawed.

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 01:30:07 PM »

What about bringing him inside as a foster?  First put up signs and fliers for a "Found Cat" to make sure he isn't actually owned.  Lots of people in my neighborhood have indoor-outdoor or outdoor-only cats that are CONTSTANTLY hanging around in my yard, on my porch, etc.  I had to ask my neighbor if they were owned and she knew which houses they belonged to. 

If you can't find an owner, what about neutering, vaccinating, testing, and bringing him in for a foster.  You can put up fliers and post on craigslist to try to find him a home.  Ask your friends, family, and coworkers if they'd be interested in adopting him. 

It's a shame your parents are so unreasonable about declawing.  I don't agree with cats living outdoors, but I don't think it's necessarily fair to keep him cooped up in a room by himself as a long-term plan.  I know you're attached to him, but he may be happier in a new home where he can be out playing with the family.

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 04:53:16 PM »
I think he'd rather live outside (neutered) with claws honestly.  Wait to get more cats until you're not living with your parents who are forcing the cats to have their toes amputated just because they refuse to live with cats who aren't declawed.

+1

get a small dog igloo put a  door on it and some bedding in the bottom so he has someplace to go when its cold. Male cats especially dont always do well after being a stray for a long time. The spraying doesnt always stop after being neutered. They spend most of their time bawling to go out.


Offline ⚡⚡DrachenDame⚡⚡

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 10:19:58 PM »
If you really care about this cat and his well-being, then get him neutered and leave him outside. If you're worried about him being cold, get a small dog igloo, as Forkyfork mentioned, and put either a towel or some bedding in there. He will have a better quality of life if you do nothing, than he will declawed and kept in a room. Please consider his feelings before yours. Get him neutered and let him be. Jen
Some people think the best way to protect animal life is to make scientists fear for theirs. Support the Foundation for Biomedical Research.

Offline nakedrats

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2009, 10:55:09 PM »

I've had many male strays in my house and I haven't had a problem with spraying.  My own boy was at least 2 when he came inside, and I've had other mature males in as well.  I have other cats as well.  Most males actually do quite well transitioning to being indoors.  I've had 20+ strays stay at my house on their way to forever homes, and the only one I ever had litterbox problems with was the owner-surrendered cat.  Many friendly strays were once housecats, and litterbox habits are self-taught for even wild-born cats.  Sometimes the cats are interested in going back outside, but many are not.  My cat is terrified of going outside.  I my experience, most adjust very well to being indoor only cats without lingering behavioral problems.

I don't think leaving him outside is better than finding him a home.  Outdoor cats don't have a nice romantic wild and free life.  Even neutered males can get into fights with other cats or other animals while protecting their food.  There is also significant risk from traffic, dogs, and unsocialized humans.  Kids throw rocks and sticks at stray cats.  It is not uncommon to see dead cats at the side of the road.  My own kitty is a rescued stray that I found with a broken hip- it was most likely either a near miss with a car or a hard kick from a person that didn't want him around.  Some people (and I use the term loosely) have severe problems with roaming cats eliminating and marking in their yard and will try to poison them.  And let's not forget the nice warm engine block on a cold winter day.  Our rescue had several situations pop up where cats were mangled from car fan belts last year.  It's pretty gruesome, and most didn't make it.  One cat last year was found with a gangrenous remnant of a degloved tail.  The outdoors isn't always a nice romantic free existence for the cat.  I'm not saying being shut in a room is better or worse, but there is a third option here: foster and rehoming.  He could have a good home where he'll be cared for, loved, and kept safe, including all his toes.

Offline *~Phoenix~*

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 03:12:26 PM »
Well, I posted him on Craigslist a few days ago, and someone contacted me. One thing led to another, and Taz will be going to a private rescue tomorrow most likely. The cats at the rescue are only caged if absolutely necessary, and the cages are large. Taz will be neutered, receive shots, and be posted up for adoption to an indoor-only home.
I caught Taz yesterday and he's been staying in my room. He seems pretty happy. I was petting him last night and he was purring, and drooling, and he almost fell off of my bed from stretching out so much. He's been using the litter box, too. He slept in my bed with me last night, all curled up next to me purring the whole time. He likes to sit on the windowill while I'm not able to be with him. He meows when I leave the room and comes running up to me when I come back. I'm still trying to convince my parents to let me keep him, but either way, I'm just happy that he will be safe and warm.  :)
Home of Daisie, Maizie, Bailie, Maci, Ebony, Kassadee, and Ivy (mice); Chico and Maggie (dogs); Smeagol, Mia (cats); Wildfire (horse); Sullivan (aka Sully) and Jakey (goats); Starlight, Starbright, and Esteban (fish)

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Stray cat...what to do??
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2009, 02:21:16 PM »
I used to have a cat who drooled when he was happy.  :)  Sounds like Taz is on his way to a safer life.  :)