March 23rd, 2005, 07:36 PM
I was at the neighbors the other day and she was asked me if I knew that I had feral cats living in my barn. I had no idea! We live out in the country and you can see my barn from both my neighbor and my house (from the back windows). Our barn is quite a bit aways from our house and right now we are not really using it for anything so there has no need for any of the family to go back there especially with all the snow we have had this winter. Our boarder said that he walked back there and saw a couple of them but they scattered as they saw him approaching. I had noticed that Molly has been barking more the last week or so when out on her lead but didn't think much about it since it is getting warmer and we do live in the country with racoons, skunks, squirels and such. However this morning we were eating breakfast and we looked up and there at the back door ( on the partially enclosed porch) was a cat looking in. I went to the door and it took off. It was back again this evening looking in the door again but took off when Molly discovered it looking in and barked at it. I am not sure what to do and thought that I would post here and hopefully get some suggestions. I don't know how old they are or even how big they are. The on that I did see didn't seem to be a kitten but really didn't seem to be a full grown adult cat either. I am really concerned about them having enough to eat. The only thing I have here is dog food. Do you think that it would be alright to take some dog food out to the barn for them or should I even do that? I do not know if they belong to a neighbor because our neighbors houses are not close to us except the one neighbor that told me about the cats and I know they are not hers she only has 2 dogs.
March 24th, 2005, 12:48 AM
No, get some cat food or even raw meat or tuna (Ferals love tuna - it is what rescueres use to catch them so they can be snipped. That is the only way to manage the colony. Otherwise, you will have a huge colony as the moms become pregnant again and again and their babies folow suit. Do you have a trap - you can rent or borrow them from rescue groups and then bring them to low cost facilities or to a rescue group if you do not want to pay for it yourself.
Good luck at helping those needy kitties!
March 24th, 2005, 08:01 AM
I always used to tame ferals when we lived out in the country. A lot of times they don't get enough to eat so full grown they are not as big as a full grown cat that has been taken care of. That has been my experience, anyway. I always used canned food at first and I would entice them to come near me until eventually they would eat out of the can with me holding it. Then you can catch them and take them to get fixed or to a rescue, whatever you want to do. You can gradually switch them from the canned food to dry food by mixing them together and decreasing the amount of canned until it's all dry.
March 24th, 2005, 09:49 AM
I would definetly buy some cat-food and feed them,poor little guys,they could be strays having turned feral,because of human stupidity and might even be s/n.
You could get a cage from SPCA,maybe your HS would let you catch them and s/n and rerelease them.My HS does that,but after what I've heard it is not a common practise :sad:
Your problem is,they might just multiply and multiply....but first off,I would feed them and try to get closer very slowly.
March 24th, 2005, 10:13 AM
The very first thing you need to do is trap them and have them spay/neutered.
You can call around to rescues and see if any will help you with this!
If you don't sterilize them, they will multiply so fast you will be shocked.
I would feed them cat food - dog food hasn't got nearly enough protein for cats.
Once they are s/n and being fed, they will live in your barn and you won't have any rodent problems.;) They need only minimal care - a bowl of dry food and one of water is enough.
Some ferals can be tamed, but others cannot. It often depends on how many generations of ferals they are descended from.
March 24th, 2005, 10:24 AM
Every time I hear the word feral cat, I think of an old cat in my grandmother's colony. I say old but what is old in a feral cat's life, sigh! This kitty looked awful and gram had never been able to ctah her to bring her to the vet (in a trap - she'd never would have allowed anyone to pick her up, very very skittish!!). I wanted to try but gram not hear of it. She said in her Irish brogue which was more pronounced when she she was excited - "she'll scratch your eyes out that one!". By this time, gram was elderly and fighting breast cancer, amg other ailments.
My grandmother died and it was left up to me to care for "the tribe" - along with sundry cousins and friends - . I determined to catch this cat. I would stay at gram's house for hours as I was going thru stuff anyway with my siblings. I managed to get that cat to come closer and closer. It was obvious she had given birth to many litters of kittens and she had obvious cyst like bumps throughout her body. I wondered if she had FeL or FIV - not that I could have IDed those diseases then. I did wonder if she had cancer. She was a long haired moggie - sort of a torbie - part tabby but mostly with brown and black colourings. Finally, she would come to the porch to feed. One night it was very cold and rainy and I managed to actually get her to stay in the porch. I cannot recall the exact sequence but at long last, I managed to get her into the house where I made her a bed in the "back kitchen" (Having survived the depression, gram had three kitchens!".
I cold not keep her but I called our local SPCA who will not kill cats unless absolutely necessary - they are the only thing we have and were new at this time - and I just wanted them to help me find a home for her while I fostered her. She never ever did "scratch my eyes out" and actually became a lap cat. I doubt she was really feral but a kitty someone dumped "in the country". She had many lumps and you could tell she'd been thru many a fight (probably protecting her babies). She had her snip surgery and was adopted by a kindly family I know. She did have cancer (sigh!) but lived a couple years at least in a good home.
Sorry - did not mean to hijack your thread - but I often think of this poor kitty when people mention ferals. This cat loved tuna. Another food that brings cats (bec of the smell) is sardines. Once enticed, you can feed them better stuff!
March 24th, 2005, 01:21 PM
You could try calling the Ottawa Humane Society who I believe loans out humane traps. There is also a Cat Rescue Network in the Ottawa area, who might be able to help (unfortunately, don`t have their tel number off hand, but you could probably find it through the Animal Defense League).