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dmskraba July 10th, 2012 02:27 PM

Injured Feral Cat
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.

sugarcatmom 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:

Barkingdog July 10th, 2012 09:39 PM

[QUOTE=sugarcatmom;1042888]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:[/QUOTE]

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.

dmskraba July 11th, 2012 08:24 AM

Thanks so much for the advice. I'll check with the local humane society!:pawprint:

lindapalm 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.

dmskraba 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.

Barkingdog July 12th, 2012 09:08 AM

[QUOTE=dmskraba;1042962]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.[/QUOTE]

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:

lindapalm 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.

dmskraba 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.

Jarvis1 July 13th, 2012 01:40 PM

[QUOTE=dmskraba;1043053]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. [/QUOTE]

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.

lindapalm 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.

dmskraba 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:

lindapalm 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.

dmskraba 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.

lindapalm 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.

dmskraba 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.

hazelrunpack 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

dmskraba July 18th, 2012 01:02 PM

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm not going to give up!

dmskraba 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.

lindapalm 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?

dmskraba 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!

lindapalm 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.

azrael2000 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?


dmskraba 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.

lindapalm 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?

dmskraba 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

lindapalm 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.

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