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Beautiful feral kitty---how do I help him?

June 25th, 2008, 09:01 PM
There is a beautiful black young cat in our neighborhood. He has a little white "tie" and the brightest green eyes. Either he's a young cat or an old kitten or he's just not going to be a big guy.

I see him at least a few times a week but he's very skittish. I have some Pounce cat treats in the house. (Cooper likes them, but Cooper doesn't know he's a dog. He thinks he's a lap cat.:laughing:) One day I went out with a handful of the treats to try to coax him in and he sat about 15 feet away and eyed me but would move if I moved. He wants to keep his distance.

I heard that the woman up the street feeds him but I don't hink she would take him in. Her cat is an outdoor cat. I've seen him at all hours of the day and night.

I'm really worried about this little guy as we live on the edge of the woods and there are a LOT of bears, foxes and coyotes. About 10 years ago we even saw a coyote snatch up a cat. :sad:

Last night I saw him run out of my garage so tonight I put a little bit of tuna in there and left the door open.

Any other suggestions? And if I can catch him how do I get him to be content indoors. It's dangerous out there for kitties. But I'm probably putting the cart before the horse and should just concentrate on getting him to come around more often and let us approach him?

June 25th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I never tried to tame a feral but I'm guessing you should start with yummy food , and baby steps ... if this guy ever does become friendly enough , before getting him in the house , I would bring him to the vet .... have him checked out for worms and fleas , because he could give them to Joey (that I know and it's not funny !!)

Good luck with kitty ! :goodvibes:

Are you thinking of adopting him if he does become friendly ?

June 25th, 2008, 09:22 PM
If you caught him is your plan to keep him? Are you sure he is a he?
Each cat/kitty is different. No telling how each one will react to different situations.

If you have the time to devote to trying to tame him before you attempt to take him in the house then be prepared for a long haul. It means every day putting food out for him, trying to get closer to him, hoping once you get close to him he doesn't take a hunk of skin off you the first couple of times you try to pet him. You don't want to scare him away with sudden movements. Everything needs to be slow and steady.

If you don't have the time to try to tame him outside or you are worried about coyotes then a live trap may be the fastest way to catch him. You can sometimes borrow one from your local shelter or a rescue. Bait it with something smelly - sardines, tuna - a strong smell to get his attention. Then you hope he will go in. Just a note - in order for the trap to deploy properly you need to have it set on hair trigger. As in the arm needs to be as close to closing as possible. It will work a lot better.

Once caught he needs to be somewhere he will feel comfortable
I use a large dog crate to hold cats in. A little box, food and water fits well in the crate and still gives kitty lots of room. It is amazing how fast they settle in. From the comfort of the crate they can watch you go about your routines and feel safe. For the first day or so don't try to touch him, just talk to him. If he is really skittish then when you open the crate he will go to the back. You can then clean the litter box, give him fresh food/water, do what you have to. After a day or two he should start feeling a little more comfortable and may come to you for a pet. From there it's pretty straight forward. Vet visit, letting him meet other animals in the house, etc, etc.

Of course, this is all supposing he hasn't been around people before. If he has it should be a lot easier to tame him and acclimate him to house living.

Hope this helps a little. Feel free to PM me if you want to ask a question(s) or whatever. I am by far not an expert but have caught a few in my time.

June 25th, 2008, 09:25 PM
I am by far not an expert

ahem , exsqueeze me ? :rolleyes: let me remind you of your username 14+KITTIES :laughing:

You're an expert here :thumbs up

June 25th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Yeah yeah yeah, :D but they were babies for the most part. Easy, smeazy. And I am a little more devil may care than some. I already have so many scars and scratches that one or two more don't matter. I tend to take more chances than some people would. But thanks Frenchy.

June 25th, 2008, 09:34 PM
Badger will come around with advices too , she is used to this with adult cats. :angel:

June 25th, 2008, 09:43 PM
Badger will come around with advices too , she is used to this with adult cats. :angel:

Yep, badger deals a lot more with adult kitties. She is amazing!

June 25th, 2008, 10:03 PM
I think everything's already been said :laughing:
You get them on a schedule, feed them at the same time every day, which establishes a certain kind of trust. And hope that they aren't run off by bigger, tougher cats in the meantime.
Percy wouldn't come near me, he would vacate the porch the minute I opened the door to set out the bowl and only return to eat when I was safely inside. This went on all winter. Then he got bitten and started to limp, so his defences were slightly down. One day when I was a little slow putting out the food, he jumped up on the windowsill (setting off WWIII inside) and I just went out and grabbed him.
He turned out to be the sweetest, most loving cat, no transition, he went from the porch to my lap. So you never should think you're necessarily seeing a cat's true nature until he feels safe, everything depends on the circumstances.
Or you could cut to the chase and trap him.
I just have to post a picture of the boy in question.

June 25th, 2008, 10:07 PM
Oooppss, sorry badger. :o

June 25th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Awww, Percy is a darling !

Yes if I take him in I'll keep him. I wasn't in the market for a kitty but if fate intervenes.....

Thanks for the advice on the vet Frenchy. I'm getting anxious about his safety and would probably have brought him right in. Instead I'm going to call my friend to borrow a cat carrier so if I'm lucky enough to catch him (or her) I can take him straight to the vet.

The weather is good here and if he stays on this street he won't be in too much danger from cars. There are only a few houses and no outlet at this end of the street. I'm just worried about what might get to him in the woods. I hate the thought of him being attacked by another animal.

Thank you Badger, Frenchy and 14+.

If I can get close enough I'll try to get a picture !

June 26th, 2008, 08:15 AM
That's great you are helping this little guy, or gal. Did you have any luck getting hold of her/him yet?

Jim Hall
June 26th, 2008, 08:29 AM
i would wait a while and get him to trust you a bit more he seesm to be taking care of himself and it might just take some time for him to make up is mind

June 26th, 2008, 10:10 AM
I have two words for you....."rescue remedy"....I have had a feel cat in my basement for 2 years and last week I have been putting rescue remedy in her water...she came up stairs for the first time in 2 years...she ran off once she saw me but she actually came upstairs....use rescue really works. They are so much more trusting and relaxed with you.

kashtin's kin
June 26th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Just posting to say 'thanks!' for caring :angel: about this young feral-ish cat...and I'm glad to see all the regular :D cat/feral folks have already given you a ton of great advice! I started on this BB as someone suddenly facing a feral cat situation, and not having a clue as to how to handle it; with all the advice/encouragement/support, two years later I've livetrapped (and 'porchtrapped'!) well over 10 ferals.

(Guess you've been on here a while, so you'd know all about the caring BB-ers!!)

We ended up socializing adopting 3 half-grown feral kittens, neutered some livetrapped stray Toms, and have 2 'friendly ferals' (i.e. can pat them, they'll come into the back porch carefully, but not for too long!) living outside. I try to keep their tummys full enough that they won't go far :fingerscr .

I've learned a ton-still lots to go!-and really enjoyed the whole feral experience, even though it can be a bit stressful i.e. trapping etc. I do hope that you'll find it similarly rewarding :thumbs up . Keep us posted!!

p.s. badger, Percy is gorgeous...I looove that smokey grey, and he looks quite entirely pleased with his situation!! :cat:

June 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM
No sign of my buddy today. I put out some tuna again this morning and got only ants for my trouble. I bought cat food this afternoon so I'll start putting that out in the same place each day. The woman two doors up the street told my husband to tell me to stop feeding him because she doesn't want him to keep coming around. She has two indoor cats but lets them out in the yard on a leash so Tom thinks she doesn't want this kitty near her cats, or she doesn't want him to poop in her yard.:shrug: Too bad for her. I can't sit around and wonder if he's ok in the woods.

Tom also said that maybe the coyotes and foxes aren't as active since there seems to be a good amount of bunnies around.

Thank you again everyone for the advice. Please keep your fingers crossed.

June 26th, 2008, 05:19 PM
I hate people like that. How can you NOT feed a homeless little animal? She's got cats, you'd think she'd have some sympathy.

I hope you see him/her soon.:fingerscr

June 26th, 2008, 09:17 PM
She's got cats, you'd think she'd have some sympathy.

THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT TOO !! :frustrated: My first thought was "How would she like it if one of her cats was out there scrounging for food?"

June 27th, 2008, 07:50 AM
THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT TOO !! :frustrated: My first thought was "How would she like it if one of her cats was out there scrounging for food?"

Yeah, that was my problem with the COL. She's got a dog, a pet, you'd think she'd feel sorry to see a homeless animal who just wants some food. I don't consider a person like that a true animal lover. I don't consider someone who only loves their pet and could give a crap about the circumstances of another animal, an animal lover.

June 27th, 2008, 08:14 AM
Not too long ago, I heard the late not-lamented head of the Montreal SPCA, on a radio phone-in, advise a caller not to feed the strays in her neighbourhood because 'it would only encourage them'. Encourage them to what? Live?

We are literally hardening people's hearts against animals in distress by doing nothing and advising them to do the same.