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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Need support and advice on pregnant feral

Oh boy, I'm feeling pretty sad right now and could use some advice from those who've been in this position. Here's the background:

I have a feeding station set up in my backyard for a couple of TNR kitties (as well as a few of the neighbour's cats with a taste for the good stuff). A while back, can't really pinpoint when (a month? 6 weeks?) a new cat started coming around. This one a stunningly gorgeous Flame-point Siamese. Young and female. She was incredibly shy and would take off at a full run if there was any sign of life from my house. But with regular meals of tasty wet food, she started to get used to my presence and was finally at a point where she'd come over if she heard me open my back door. I couldn't figure out if she had a home or not, but she became my most dedicated customer, waiting for me at 5am sharp to bring her breakfast. And then it dawned on me that she was pregnant.

Contacted some rescue groups here about taking her in, but they are chock-a-block with kittens and moms right now, so there's no room at the Inn. The only option was to take her in myself, or let her have her babies on the street. I prepared my spare room for her and caught her last night. My plan was to plaster the neighbourhood with posters in case someone was missing her, but once I got her in the house, it was obvious that she was indeed feral. She'd clearly never been in a house before.

Which brings me to where we are now. She ate a small amount of wet food around midnight or so, and nothing since. Hasn't used the litter box, although footprints indicate she did walk through it. The part that's really killing me is how depressed she is right now. She's not scared of me, but she is clearly despondent about her situation. There were some scary moments last night when she was throwing herself repeatedly at the window, and now all she does is stare up at it. Her meows to me are pleading. I'm bawling as I write this cause I may have to let her go if she doesn't start eating by tomorrow. I'm bawling for causing her this stress when she was clearly such a happy playful cat outside. I'm totally second-guessing everything I've just done.

Anyone have some words of wisdom they can pass down to a newbie feral cat "rescuer"?
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:18 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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OMGosh SCM. I have absolutely no idea as to what is going on with her. It could be the stress of being confined or the stress of the pregnancy. This is such a bad position to be in.

I am certain someone will be one shortly with more cat experience. I wish I could do more but I am lost.

Hang in there SCM. You did good by trying to help her.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:21 PM
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SCM - thank you.
Will Meow Foundation abort and spay? If they will I would think that is the best option for her. As for not wanting to be indoors - it's a new situation. If you think she has never been indoors or has maybe been a stray for so long she has forgotten how to be indoors you are probably right. So flippin' sad! And people wonder why we get so upset when we read stories of them letting their cats out

As hard as it may be to do - I personally feel the best thing for her is to be where she is right now. Indoors with someone who loves her. Do you have a heavy curtain or heavy material you can block the window with? Something so she can't see outdoors. May seem mean but it may help to settle her down. Maybe give her as many things to play with, look at, explore, as you can to keep her busy.

I don't envy you what you are going through. It is very very hard when dealing with ferals. Just please rethink the letting her go. She may be very close to delivering and is maybe looking for her nest too. Have you given her lots of materials and things so she can make a new one?
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:25 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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SCM - is there any breed specific rescue groups in Calgary? Maybe they may help as she is a purebred (I know - don't say it...).
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
You did good by trying to help her.
Thanks BM, that means a lot to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
SCM - thank you.
Will Meow Foundation abort and spay?
They will up to a point, but I'm pretty sure she's past that point. I'm kicking myself for not getting her sooner. It took a while for me to realize she truly was pregnant and not just getting a big belly from the food like that tortie girl that I trapped a couple months ago (who has since been adopted by a woman that runs a pet food store ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
As hard as it may be to do - I personally feel the best thing for her is to be where she is right now. Indoors with someone who loves her.
And wow, do I ever love her. She's completely stolen my heart, which is part of what makes this so hard. I feel like I betrayed her.

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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Do you have a heavy curtain or heavy material you can block the window with? Something so she can't see outdoors.
I closed the blinds and the window is actually pretty high up. Initially I had put a tall cat tree next to it, thinking that if she could see outside, she'd be less panicked. Lesson learned. I've since moved the tree. The room she is in is pretty ideal, with lots of built in shelving to explore and perch in. Part of the problem might be that it was also Aztec's favourite room, and although I cleaned it thoroughly, his smell no doubt lingers. There is a Feliway diffuser in there. I also sprayed Feliway in the various nooks and crannies and rubbed catnip on the cat trees and the new carpet I bought just for this (the floor is vinyl tiling).

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Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
She may be very close to delivering and is maybe looking for her nest too. Have you given her lots of materials and things so she can make a new one?
What sorts of materials would be good, do you think? I have some towels in there and a fleecy blanket.

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SCM - is there any breed specific rescue groups in Calgary? Maybe they may help as she is a purebred (I know - don't say it...).
Unfortunately nothing Siamese-specific.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:52 PM
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I have to go out for a few minutes. I'll be back.
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We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:56 PM
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She will probably want a large, covered box with a hole in the front that is just big enough for her to get in and out. The entrance should be about 6 inches above the towel so the kittens don't accidentally get out.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:26 PM
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As for the not eating very much - if she is close to delivery she won't. Also, she is in a new situation. As hard as it seems - hang in there. If you are concerned about her hurting herself do you have, or can you get, a large dog crate? You can turn it into a little den/home for her and she may settle more. Something she feels more confined in and safe. It just may do the trick.
I really do not feel putting her back out to deal with a new family is the best option.
Sometimes as rescuers you have to close your ears to the pitiful cries. Hang in there hon!!
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Assumptions do nothing but make an ass out of u and me.

We can stick our heads in the sand for only so long before it starts choking us. Face it folks. The pet population is bad ALL OVER THE WORLD!
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Old July 1st, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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SCM, Luvmylabs should be able to give you tons of advice, I would try PMing her.

Sending her out to the streets to have her babies would be just cruel in my mind, but doing as 14+ suggested, aborting and spaying then releasing would be the second best option if she doesn't settle down in the room.

BTW, I do know of a very tame, house kitty that does the same thing to try to get out of his enclosure. He is almost obsessed with it . The owner has clear corregated plastic sheathing along the top of her fence so he can't get out.

Are you sure she hasn't had her babies?
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Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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  #10  
Old July 1st, 2010, 12:58 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
SCM, Luvmylabs should be able to give you tons of advice, I would try PMing her.
Shall do, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
Are you sure she hasn't had her babies?
Pretty sure she hasn't. She spent a lot of time in my yard yesterday, she's still quite "wide", and her nipples don't look distended enough.
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  #11  
Old July 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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Quote:
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Shall do, thanks!



Pretty sure she hasn't. She spent a lot of time in my yard yesterday, she's still quite "wide", and her nipples don't look distended enough.
Just a thought that she was trying to get to her babies.
__________________
Cat maid to:

Jasper, male Ragdoll ?? (approx 10 yrs)
Rose semi feral, a cpietra rescue, female tabby (approx 7 yrs)

Sweet Pea RIP (2004?-2014)
Puddles RIP (1996-2014)
Snowball RIP (1991-2005)

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.-English Proverb

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.” Stephen R. Covey
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  #12  
Old July 1st, 2010, 12:55 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
can you get, a large dog crate?
Good idea! I'll see what I can come up with. Hubby, as awesome and supportive as he's been through this, is getting a little concerned about the money I've spent on her so far . I do have some big cardboard boxes that might do the trick though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Sometimes as rescuers you have to close your ears to the pitiful cries.
If it's even possible, I have even more respect now for those of you who do this regularly. I feel like such weakling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 14+kitties View Post
Hang in there hon!!
Thanks so much for lending a shoulder.
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Old July 1st, 2010, 09:48 PM
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scm...sounds like u are doing a wonderful job!
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