- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Injured Ferral Cat

July 10th, 2012, 02:27 PM
There are several feral cats in my neighborhood. I've been caring for them as best I can since my husband feels we have enough animals (6) inside. In the last few weeks, I noticed that one of the "yearlings" somehow hurt its back leg. The leg looks very dark on the underside, but I can't get a good look because he/she runs away when I get within 10 yards. The cat keeps the leg elevated when moving around. He/she is eating and getting around OK, except using just 3 legs. I don't know what to do. If I trap it to take to the vet, the leg may need to be amputated. If so, I would hate to release the cat back into the wilds again, and my husband refuses to let me keep him/her.
Is it kinder to allow nature to take its course, whether that means the cat will recover on its own or not?
What would you do? I really want to do what's best.

July 10th, 2012, 03:47 PM
Can you contact some of the local rescue organizations that specialize in feral cats and see if they can help, or have any advice?

Good luck! And thanks for looking out for these kitties. :goodvibes:

July 10th, 2012, 09:39 PM
Can you contact some of the local rescue organizations that specialize in feral cats and see if they can help, or have any advice?

Good luck! And thanks for looking out for these kitties. :goodvibes:

I did that when I was feeding a homeless cat. I called a no kill cat shelter and had them help me trap the cat as it been attacked by a raccoon or coyote and the cat's back was just about bitten off . You could see the poor cat bones! The cat got better and has a new home. The cat could get an infection in it leg and dies a painful death.

July 11th, 2012, 08:24 AM
Thanks so much for the advice. I'll check with the local humane society!:pawprint:

July 11th, 2012, 10:45 PM
Please call and try to get help as soon as possible. Two weeks ago a feral cat that my son had been feeding for a long time showed up with mangled legs, either from a car or animal. He got a trap to try to get the cat, and the next morning he noticed turkey vultures on his shed out back. The poor thing had gone under the shed to die, which must have been a terrible death. Please act fast, he may not last long and has to be really hurting.

July 12th, 2012, 08:31 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. It is so sad. So far the animal welfare agengies in my area have been useless, so I will have to take matters in my own hands and borrow a trap. I hope I can catch this cat before it's too late.

July 12th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Thanks for sharing your story. It is so sad. So far the animal welfare agengies in my area have been useless, so I will have to take matters in my own hands and borrow a trap. I hope I can catch this cat before it's too late.

you may trap a raccoon too! This happen to me when I was trying to trap a homeless cat , I found a big fat mad raccoon in the trap.

Dog Dancer
July 12th, 2012, 11:51 AM
Good luck with trying to trap this injured kitty, and bless you for caring enough to try. I really hope you get him/her and are able to help, but at least in your heart you will know you are one of the good ones for trying. :angel2:

July 12th, 2012, 09:48 PM
My son also had no luck in calling the animal welfare agencies. It has happened a couple of times, and makes you so mad. Why are they there if they continually refuse to help? For an animal control officer to say hes too busy to help, and let an animal suffer like that is so wrong, and sad. Good Luck.

July 13th, 2012, 11:09 AM
I set a trap last night around mealtime, and the injured cat walked right past it! Sure enough, by morning I'd caught a young raccoon. I released the mad baby coon far away from home and came back to re-set the trap in a slightly different place. Hopefully, the coons will be sleeping during the day, and with some Divine intervention, maybe I'll get the right cat. At least he/she is still eating, even though looking thinner than usual.
As for the area animal welfare people, I have never had good luck with ANY of the agencies. They either don't respond to messages or tell you they have too many cats and/or no time to help. This is very disappointing.
Thanks to everyone who's given me suggestions and encouragement. I'll keep you posted.

July 13th, 2012, 01:40 PM
I set a trap last night around mealtime, and the injured cat walked right past it! Sure enough, by morning I'd caught a young raccoon.

One of the tricks I learned is to set the trap with a long string and stick (holding the trap door part open with the stick, and not arming the trap in the usual way) so you can selectively pull the string and catch whom you want. This of course, involves being on site.

I use this to capture mother cats first (ignoring any of her kittens that enter it) and then later catch the kittens. We've found if a kitten is snagged first, the mother will often move the others and foil our objective to get them all.

I also use this to make sure I get a specific adult cat I want, and ignoring others already who might venture-in, like racoons and possums too.

When desperate I also get smelly sardines to bait the trap.

Best of luck to you.


Dog Dancer
July 13th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Please be careful about releasing animals into another area. You said it was a baby raccoon you released far away, perhaps this baby was not ready to be removed from his family yet, and as a youngster may not be able to survive in a new territory with an established group of coon. Good luck getting the cat you are looking for though.

July 13th, 2012, 09:28 PM
Are you using tuna fish with oil inside the trap, and also spreading a little on the front going into the trap? Good Luck.

July 16th, 2012, 09:19 AM
I appreciate the feedback from everyone.
I am not present when the cats come around because that scares them away, so the advice about using a string to selectively close the trap won't work so well for me. The good news is that these "kittens" are almost a year old, so we don't need to worry about mom's interference. If I caught the wrong cat, I'd just take him/her to get neutered, then try for the injured one. I'm using tuna for bait, but I will get some sardines packed in oil - what a great idea!
The raccoon I caught was a young one - not really a baby, and definitely appeared to be self-sufficient. It actually was larger than any of my dogs (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels), so I wasn't worried about it being too young.
Anyway, I haven't caught anything in the trap since the raccoon. Strangely though, the food was gone this morning. I have NO clue how the trap didn't close! :shrug:
I'm going to keep trying to get the injured cat. The leg is looking really bad...the paw is terribly swollen and the back of the leg is black. When the cat is close enough, it smells like a rotting carcass. It's still eating, stalking prey, and getting around OK, though. Please keep your fingers crossed.:pray:

July 16th, 2012, 10:59 PM
Are you putting the food behind the flap that sets off the trap, and not before it? Thats the only way I had any luck. I wish you luck, and quickly. That poor kitty must be in so much pain.

July 17th, 2012, 07:48 AM
Yes, I'm putting the food clear at the back of the trap. Someone cleaned it out again last night - twice - sardines in oil. I think it was the sibling of the injured cat, who was hanging around a lot. The last time I baited the trap with tuna. No one touched it after that and the food was untouched this a.m.

July 17th, 2012, 11:05 PM
You have some very smart kitties hanging around. Keep trying, hoepfully he'll get hungry very soon. Thank You for trying so hard to help them.

July 18th, 2012, 08:23 AM
They are TOO smart. Last night the injured cat (Boots) and his/her sibling (Luna) came over and I watched them from aroung the corner of my garage. (I think they are both boys since they're old enough to have litters and neither has done so.) I keep water next to the trap. They drank, sat there next to the trap, and ignored the sardines inside. I'd sprinkled the fish liberally over all parts of the trap to lure Boots. At one point, Boots saw me and we looked each other in the eye. I was mentally begging him to go into the trap, but after awhile, he just walked off. The sardines were still there this morning. I am worried. I wonder - if I camoflauge the trap with branches or something, will they be less cautious? I really don't know what else I can do.

July 18th, 2012, 08:33 AM
It's baby season outside--I suspect hunting is good and they just aren't tempted by supplemental food. In another week or so this year's youngsters should be savvy enough to avoid predators better, so don't give up yet! The cats may show more interest in the fish when hunting is harder. :thumbs up

July 18th, 2012, 01:02 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm not going to give up!

July 23rd, 2012, 09:53 AM
Over the weekend I trapped another raccoon and two cats, but not the injured one. At least I found a bait cats seem to prefer - rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

July 23rd, 2012, 08:00 PM
My sons is trying to do the same thing you are, with as much luck. Its a mother cat and two kittens, and she keeps moving them everytime they set up the trap. Do you still see the injured cat?

July 24th, 2012, 07:57 AM
I last saw the injured cat on Saturday, but not since. It's not unusual not to see him for a couple of days, but it worries me more as time goes on.
Good luck to your son! I hope he's more successful than I've been! Momma Kitty sounds pretty smart!

July 24th, 2012, 10:07 PM
I hope he shows up soon, he has to be in a lot of pain, and its probably infected, also. Keeping my fingers crossed you have luck real soon.

July 25th, 2012, 05:43 AM
Hi there.

Really off the wall suggestion here...

Tranquilizer Darts? Maybe the MNR (I'm Canadian) Ministry of Natural Resources ... Can help?


July 25th, 2012, 08:19 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm in the US, and none of the animal welfare groups in my area have bothered to get back to me about helping. I thought of a tranquilizer gun, but what happens after the "hit" and the cat runs off and falls asleep where you can't find him?
Still no luck with trapping the right cat, and I haven't seen him now since Saturday. Please say a little prayer.

July 25th, 2012, 09:53 PM
Whats the longest you've gone without seeing him? Can you walk around and maybe look for him, or is there too much woods and fields?

July 26th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Since I first noticed his injury, it would sometimes be a week or so between sightings, and sometimes I'd see the cat almost every day. There are woods around my house, and I've looked as best I can. I'm very worried. (S)He and his/her sibling (one of the cats I did trap and release) seem to live underneath the deck of the neighboring house. It's hard to see under there, but we're going to ask if we can take a look. It's a long story, but the house is a group home for disabled folks and the "neighbors" are employees. That's why we're sort of on our own with this situation.
I caught a squirrel yesterday. Can't figure out why a squirrel would go after chicken-bait. I hope I don't catch a skunk...

Dog Dancer
July 26th, 2012, 10:47 AM
Thank you for continuing to try. You have a good heart to care so much. I don't have any suggestions unfortunately, but you have all my best wishes and hopes for success. I think I read somewhere if you catch a skunk cover the cage with a blanket so it can't see you. Also if the cage is small enough that he can't lift his tail you're probably okay - maybe....:o

July 26th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Looking under the deck is a good idea, I'm praying you don't find anything. Those kitties are so lucky to have you watching out for them, and don't even know it.

July 27th, 2012, 09:32 AM
Still no luck. We had tornado warnings and heavy rain all afternoon and evening last nite, so I couldn't look under the deck for the cat. Nobody was out roaming in the storm, either.
Thanks for the suggestion about trapping a skunk! Hopefully that won't happen, but I seem to catch all the wrong critters.
Thanks so much for all your support. I am not going to give up unless and until I know it's too late. I wish I could give all the strays a home.

July 31st, 2012, 08:35 AM
The injured kitty was seen on Friday night (July 27) by a neighbor. I was away until last evening, so the trap wasn't set until I got back - nothing. At least he's been seen recently. I'm not giving up.

August 8th, 2012, 08:27 AM
I think I saw him last night! I'm not positive it was the right cat, but I'm 90% sure...AND it looked like he only had 3 legs. Again, he was moving too fast and hid before I could confirm, but I didn't see the injured leg that was dangling. It's like a miracle.

August 8th, 2012, 08:39 AM
You should look into starting a TNR - trap the cats, have them altered, and then release when they recover. If they are feral they're not happy as housepets, but if they're altered at least they won't be making more ferals. They also have some other trap options, one is a bigger cage that they put the food in, the whole group goes in to eat, and then drop the door and there is a smaller door to transfer them to traps.

August 8th, 2012, 10:12 AM
I hope that was him, dmskraba! And I hope you finally manage to trap him! :goodvibes:

Dog Dancer
August 8th, 2012, 11:29 AM
It sounds like maybe, maybe, somebody else trapped him and had the leg removed during the time he was missing and you were looking for him to do the same thing. I guess it's a possibility. Hopefully that's the case. If you manage to trap him you will be able to confirm that. :fingerscr

August 8th, 2012, 07:38 PM
If he was already trapped and released, he might be even more cautious about going into your trap now. Hopefully you will get a good sighting of him and will be able to notice the leg. Do you have binoculars? They might help you get a better close up, maybe while he's eating?

August 10th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Thanks for all the comments! It's possible that someone else trapped him and provided medical attention. I hope that's the case!! I can't confirm anything since I haven't seen him since Tuesday, but I'm keeping the trap set and hoping to get him. You're right, though, lindapalm - if he's been trapped once, he's not going to come near another trap. I do have binoculars. I'll have to keep them with me when I'm outside, 'cause when I do see him, it's usually when I don't expect to.
Kilter, the TNR idea is great. I already did that when I trapped the injured cat's sibling. The second cat I caught was one I thought belonged to someone. That's the thing - if I'm not sure it's feral, I don't want to mess with someone's pet. Still...I think all roaming cats should be neutered!
I'll keep you posted when there's news. Thanks again!

Dog Dancer
August 10th, 2012, 10:22 AM
Well, gee, if you "accidentally" get somebody else's pet fixed because you catch it in a feral trap, oops! I wouldn't lose sleep over it myself. It the cat looks like a purebred persian or something maybe, but unless you suspect it's a show cat they don't need to breed it anyhow. Just my opinion.... Thanks for caring for these ferals, they need all the help they can get.

August 10th, 2012, 11:33 AM
If there are any bylaws in your area about roaming animals (including cats) then I don't think if you accidentally fix someone's pet they can complain. They'd need to explain why their cat was roaming in the first place. Plus it would be free vet care for something they should have done long ago. :rolleyes: I wouldn't lose sleep over it, either. :o

August 14th, 2012, 09:13 AM
I agree with both of you. Haven't caught anything lately, though, and haven't seen the kitty I'm after.
Thanks again!

August 22nd, 2012, 10:44 AM
I think I saw "Boots" last night! It was dark when I got home, and he ran under a car, but I think I saw white boots on his feet, and I think he was limping a bit as he ran away. I tried to follow him to see that bad leg, but it was impossible to catch up. If it really was him, at least he's still around!

Dog Dancer
August 22nd, 2012, 10:52 AM
Well here's hoping it was Boots and that you'll get a good look at him soon. :fingerscr

August 22nd, 2012, 07:30 PM
Wouldn't it be great if it was him and he's slowly improving on his own. You coud still TNR him, but at least he made it, if its him.

August 23rd, 2012, 08:44 AM
I do really hope it was him and that he's healing without my intervention. I would dearly love to know what's happened to him. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for caring.

Dog Dancer
August 23rd, 2012, 03:14 PM
We do care, but you are the one doing all the work :thumbs up

September 4th, 2012, 10:36 AM
Last evening I definitely saw Boots! It was about 6 p.m. and he was slowly limping across the neighbor's yard. I got close enough to see that the injured hind leg was gone from the knee down. It didn't look like a vet intervention, as the stump was kind of rough looking, but he's alive at least. He was very thin. I tried to approach him, but there's construction going on in the yard with lots of debris, and he disappeared before I got close. At least he's still around!

Dog Dancer
September 4th, 2012, 03:39 PM
OMG, how sad is that. Poor fella. I hope he is clever enough to let you catch him before winter sets in.

September 4th, 2012, 06:28 PM
I hope you're able to catch him soon!! :( Poor kitty! Bless you for caring enough to worry about him.

Is the live trap still out?

September 4th, 2012, 10:39 PM
It breaks your heart to think of the pain the poor cat must have gone through, and still is. I just hope you will have luck in geting him, and very soon.

September 6th, 2012, 09:17 AM
Yes, my heart aches for the poor kitty. I think the Have-a-Heart trap scared him so much that he isn't going to go back in, so I need to find a different trap (any ideas?) and place it somewhere new.
I'm afraid his disability makes it hard for him to be a good hunter, and his brother seems to be getting most of what I'm leaving out. I'm worriedd about poor little Boots.

September 6th, 2012, 08:49 PM
He's going to have a hard time in the snow pretty soon, and he doesn't need any more problems. Do you know where the ferals stay? Hopefully there is a protected area to keep them dry. I'm sure you've tried all kinds of stinky stuff to lure him in the trap, but have you tried covering it with branches or something to camaflodge it? He's got to be really smart to have made it this long, hopefully he'll let his guard down once and you'll be able to snag him. He's a very lucky cat to have you on his side and trying so hard, Thank You.

September 7th, 2012, 09:37 AM
You're right, lindapalm, I've tried every stinky thing I know of, and have also tried to camoflage the trap. I'll just keep trying! I do know where the ferals "live" - under the neighbor's deck. But last winter when they were just a couple of months old, I built them a warm kitty house and they did use it. At the very lease, hopefully he will go there again for shelter once I put it back outside. It would make a good trap if I could see inside it! I'll have to think about that!

September 20th, 2012, 06:01 AM
Yes, my heart aches for the poor kitty. I think the Have-a-Heart trap scared him so much that he isn't going to go back in, so I need to find a different trap (any ideas?) and place it somewhere new.
I'm afraid his disability makes it hard for him to be a good hunter, and his brother seems to be getting most of what I'm leaving out. I'm worriedd about poor little Boots.

With weak cats or kittens I have successfully used a simple drop trap.

This is a large "box" (perhaps a large, clear Rubbermaid container), supported on one end by a stick, with a long string going to the concealed "hunter". Pulling the string drops the trap. Of course, this does involve manually triggering the trap on stake-out but it can work.

Then, carefully slide a firm thin board under the box, trapping the cat. Duct tape the board to the box and then have two people carry it off to a place you can transfer him to a transport container.

Of course, if you can lure him into a large warm kitty house as you suggested, that is even better. You need to build it so you can efficiently remove a portion of it, and then snag him.

December 5th, 2012, 08:36 AM
It has been a long time, but two days ago I finally learned what happened to Boots from the neighbor who moved into the house next door, where the construction had been going on. They moved in in October, and during the process, found a very wet and cold Boots hiding in the debris under the deck. He was very weak and thin, with the remainder of his injured leg completely rotted from gangrene. She said it was pitiful. They had to call Security to end his suffering. I knew he had to be gone by now, but it broke my heart. It's devastating.
Meantime, a new stray cat appeared in my yard. At first I thought she was Boots' brother Luna, the white cat, but she was very friendly and came up to me immediately - so it was a NEW (skinny) white cat! She began to visit daily and soon she began to get plumper. At first I thought she was responding to being fed, but no - she was pregnant. Rats! So...I brought her in. On Oct. 9 she had 3 little ones - 2 white and one tortoise. They are now 8 weeks old and 2 will go to their forever homes this weekend. The little white female is tentatlvely placed, and I think I'll keep mom. I had her spayed 2 weeks ago. She is lovely.
So while the tale of Boots didn't end happily, there are new lives that will be taken care of by good people.
Thanks for your support in all this.

December 5th, 2012, 08:47 AM
I'm sorry Boots didn't make it, but I'm glad you were both willing and able to take White Cat in. Since that's almost exactly how my cat (and her kitten) ended up living with us, this made me smile.

December 5th, 2012, 11:16 AM
So sorry to hear about Boots :grouphug: You're such an angel for caring so much.

And congrats on the new addition. Good job in getting the kittens placed! Their mom is a very lucky kitty!! :D

December 5th, 2012, 01:48 PM
:pawprint:You are wonderful. I so appreciate the examples you set and your support. Be blessed!:cat:

Dog Dancer
December 6th, 2012, 10:21 AM
It has brought tears to my eyes that Boots did not make it. RIP sweet Boots know that you had one wonderful human who was pulling for you and many others thinking of you. Dmskrama, bless you for all you did for Boots and now for White Cat and her kittens (we really need a name for her) and hopefully you will stick around and share pics of her as she bonds with you. Bless you for being such a kind soul, the world needs more people like you.:grouphug:

December 7th, 2012, 06:37 PM
You have such a good heart. I would think that someone would want to help you out. Is there a place you can call and get some advice on what to do in your area? Maybe someone would be willing to help you out and take on this pet?