Author Topic: Feral Cat Problems???  (Read 717 times)

Offline harpbeat339

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Feral Cat Problems???
« on: June 06, 2011, 07:33:26 PM »
Ok, so on a busy street near me where my friend lives there is a serious feral cat problem. They are being fed by a family living on that street, and they refuse to stop feeding them because they believe they will starve. The problem is, the cats are completely untamed and spend most of there time in backyards. One even bit a child on that street. Also, none of them are fixed, so they have had litters every year, and this year, the cat population is at an all time high. This year, two litters were born and there are a total of seven kittens. There were eight, but earlier in June one was killed by a car when it strayed away from its mother at night. Last year was the year that the child was bitten and had to be vaccinated in case of disease, and the year before that another kitten was killed. This year we decided that it was time to do something so more kittens aren't lost. I am so terrified because the kittens are at their wandering stage right now and might try to cross the street. So anyway, here's my question. Should I take the kittens away from they're mothers, and risk getting attacked by an adult cat, or do I wait until they are old enough to neuter them so they can be part of the TNR program (trap-neuter-return)? Any other information and advice you can give me about doing the Trap-Neuter-Return program thingy is also greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Proud Mommy of:
Dogs - Brody (cockapoo) <3 <3 <3
Rats - Colby and Brie

Offline crazychelss

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Re: Feral Cat Problems???
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 04:58:18 PM »
I would deffinatly make sure the cats are old enough to leave mom before taking them and then i think it would be best to place them in a rescue and maybe catch the older feral cats in your area and bring them to farm homes where they can still be wild but safe and have food and water. It seems like if you caught and released them even fixed youd still have an overcrowding of cats in the area.
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Offline nakedrats

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Re: Feral Cat Problems???
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 10:35:32 PM »

Someone else had a similar problem and did TNR on their neighborhood cats- lots of good information here:
http://www.goosemoose.com/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,118/forum,cat/topic,4084653.0

Kittens can be taken away from their mothers at around 6 weeks old.  If you aren't sure when they were born, watch them eating adult food- if they seem to be able to eat a reasonable amount (not just lick or play with the food), they can be taken away from their mom and tamed.  If you get small kittens indoors, you can play with them and tame them, you can adopt them out to homes. Take kittens quietly right as the food is going down, and the mom will be distracted.  Most feral cats are too scared to attack a person unless they are cornered or you're grabbing them.  I've caught kittens before and the mom never tried to attack me.  If you have cat(s) of your own, you'll want a separate place to keep the outside kitties so your cats don't get fleas/worms/viruses/ringworm from the grubby newcomers.  A basement or garage can work well here.  Don't forget to get mom too- 12 weeks after giving birth, a female cat goes back into heat and can get pregnant again.

If you have other specific questions, ask away.  I did TNR in Philadelphia for 4 years.

CrazyChelss's barn cat idea is a good one, but it may not be practical.  In my experience, people with farms/barns already have more random stray cats than they want.  When I did TNR, the only place to put feral cats was back where they came from.  Most people don't want them, unfortunately, so it is actually lucky that you have a feeder who is willing to look after the cats.  Once they are all fixed, the number of cats should stabilize and slowly decrease over time.  Rescues will sometimes take kittens, but you want to check first to make sure they have room.  With the recession, abandonment is up and adoptions are down.  Rescue space is limited.

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: Feral Cat Problems???
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2011, 03:08:23 PM »
Nakedrats had a really thorough, good response, as far as I can tell!  I have extremely limited experience with feral cats, but I basically worked in a building where we had a pretty decent feral cat community with people who cared for them.  They were always trapped and fixed, released...and even in the neighborhood where we were, the community was pretty darned stable.  (It was a small-industry building just a couple blocks removed from a residential neighborhood...we had a system of wood crates covered with straw, etc. as our winters can be quite severe...which got changed when appropriate...due to the industrial nature of the building, supply was never a problem.  As long as I was involved there were very dedicated people who kept track of the population and they got the new adults right away to be spayed/neutred...we really NEVER had kittens unless something extremely quick happened.)  I mostly was an outsider but contributed in food and a few funds and checking in on a couple of sweeties who happened to like me.  (Grey kitties, imagine that!  They're always the sweet peas!)

I think before that I always thought that feral cats should be captured.  But my opinion changed as long as population control is involved.  Of course, my opinion about adandoned cats is different.  If survival isn't provided for, it's not a life.  And to many of our indoor kitties, a nice warm place with your snuggling person IS survival.

Does this make any sense?

Oh...and just make sure the kids know to leave the "outdoor" kitties alone.  Really.  I had one of our extremely tolerant indoor kitties bite me once...really good, too!  I think it was a matter of pulling the tail and somehow thinking he liked the game.  I won't say that isn't not serious, but perhaps if they know they aren't "people kitties" and people are serious about it...just a suggestion.  (I know that sounds awful!)

Best,

Raaz.