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Stray-feral cat in the neighbourhood

January 6th, 2006, 11:58 PM
I seem to be a magnet for cats (I have this theory that cats know where cat people live, lol) but this fellow - and I THINK it is a fellow but I am not sure has been hanging around my back door, on a carpet that is warm but I think he has either been a stray or lost for awhile or is feral(but that almost seems unlikely in this neighbourhood, I don't know what to think actually). When I open the door, he scatters to the wind and races across the street where the woman of the house - who is a homemaker and home during the day feeds him (as do I now that I see him here, I did not realize he was even here till a gew days ago!) and hides behind one of her trees. But like clockwork now, he is at the door, waiting for me but not wanting to make any introductions. I did take an old comfortor and put it in a crate so that he can get warm (It was -10C here the other day!!!) , I am wondering about whether to trap him and get him some help. He loves YY and the S Girls' Wellness food and tuna and sardines which I first fed him. But I am wondering whether he would take to life indoor or whether he a feral who will freak out. Either ay, I'd like to be able to see if he is neutered!!!!

Anyway - wish me luck! He runs too fast for me to take pictures and I meet him in the AM when I am leaving for work and it is dark - and when I come home, I saw him warpped up in the comforter but he ran again when he saw me but at least he is warm. The crate thing is set up next to my home so that he is getting some heat - I added a couple flannel blankets as well. I am hoping he may just become friendly but it is so cold now that I am worried about that!!

Any thoughts!

January 7th, 2006, 04:44 AM
I have heard that straw is the best insulator, stuffed into a cheap styrofoam cooler or one of those plastic garbage cans with the tight lids, with a strategically cut door facing out of the wind. I haven't worked out how to get a bale of straw to my back porch on the bus yet, so I use blankets too. Anything down is good, like an old duvet.
Sounds like a feral to me, although over time he may surprise you. If you're going to trap, neuter and release him, I'd wait until the spring. Once you bring him in, it will be very hard to put him back outside in the cold and if he is a handful where will you put him. Just keep those calories coming, he'll be OK.

January 7th, 2006, 11:11 AM
I would be prone to trap him now rather than later as we still have 21/2 months of cold weather to endure. Take him to your vet, spay or neuter, get him/her de-wormed and you could have an affectionate thankful pet to add to your collection. Even if he decides to become semi-feral again, he'll be healthier and have a better chance of survival and not be bringing more stray kittens into this tough world.

January 7th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Blankets get wet and don't dry if it's cold outside so check them and change if necessary.

Hay or straw does make great insulation and the styroform cooler is a great idea.

Straw captures the air and allows dampness to slide through and can dry with the body heat of the cat. If you use straw: fill the container (anything from a cardboard box on up) full of straw, really stuff it in there, then put your arm in the middle of the straw and make a small access hole the cat will climb in and adjust it to it's needs.

I've made temp homes by taking two cardboard boxes, one bigger than the other, wrapping the smaller box in insulation then shoving it into the bigger box. I've also made them by just taking a small crate and wrapping it in a blanket and putting a garbage bag over it to keep the wind moisture out although strays would not like this because the garbage bag makes noise if the wind blows.

I turn the homes away from the prevailing wind and facing a wall or fence(something solid) leave enough room between for the cat to enter.
It helps them to feel secure and hidden--safe.

January 7th, 2006, 06:24 PM
I guessI did not explain well - I have cared for ferals for years, since I was a young cgild actually and used everything (blankets, straw, styro,etc). My back door is actually sort of "inside" and it is a carport that only has an opening for the car and another - door - that goes out to a deck. And I heat it so he is not in danger as long as he is inside there (I would normally heat it only on really cold days when I am plugging in vehciles to ensure they start but now I heat it for him) - the blankets et al are for comfort but I added one of those little teddy bear thing we use at the hospital for preemies and infants and heat it from the inside. I have noticed him snuggling the thing now. I suspect he arrived when my neighbour allowed her intact Queen to go into heat (grrrr!) but who knows. He looks bedraggled for lack of a better word - a long hair tortie. I am sure he needs vet care and my inclination is to trap him - desite the heat and the food et al.