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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Critter Cafe / Wild Stray Kitten
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    Wild Stray Kitten

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    Connie Lea
    Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:46 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Okay you cat experts, I need your opinions. There has been a skinny little grey kitten hanging around our place, so I've been leaving food out for him/her. Is it kinder to let him forage on his own since we will be leaving in about four months and won't be back for six more months or is it okay to put food and water out until we leave? I don't know that I could tame him and in any case, we don't want another cat. As you probably know we have three little dogs and if we could tame him and take him back to the farm in Minnesota with us, my mother's dog chases cats and could probably kill him. For some reason Princess hates cats. Should I try to trap him and take him to the humane society? I'm not sure that they wouldn't put him to sleep and I certainly don't want that. So opinions please?
    Saralaya
    Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:49 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Okay you cat experts, I need your opinions. There has been a skinny little grey kitten hanging around our place, so I've been leaving food out for him/her. Is it kinder to let him forage on his own since we will be leaving in about four months and won't be back for six more months or is it okay to put food and water out until we leave? I don't know that I could tame him and in any case, we don't want another cat. As you probably know we have three little dogs and if we could tame him and take him back to the farm in Minnesota with us, my mother's dog chases cats and could probably kill him. For some reason Princess hates cats. Should I try to trap him and take him to the humane society? I'm not sure that they wouldn't put him to sleep and I certainly don't want that. So opinions please?


    Wow.... well..... there are dangers inherent in any response you make. If you leave him/her food and water regularly he/she may not forage as much and become dependent on you feeding him (OK, I'm gonna make the kitty a "him" for now) and when you leave may not be able to feed himself.

    Plus, if the weather gets cold there he could die from exposure. Even if he grows a winter coat, cats and dogs can still die from exposure in winter.
    You could mitigate this by leaving him clean water in a safe place and trying to make sure he has access to water thru the winter. Also, feeding him a minimum amount once a day should help him get through the day- not enough that he doesn't need to hunt for himself, just enough to keep him going. If it gets really cold there I can send you to a place with instructions on how to make inexpensive feral cat shelters for winter. He could also use it the rest of the time until you come back and you may find him still there when you return. I don't know exactly what the countryside is like, if there are a lot of predators around etc.

    A really good option for the kitty is to find out if there are any cat rescues in your area (NOT regular shelters). They might be willing to come out and trap him and take him in and find him a home. Failing that there nay a TNR program in the area (Trap, Neuter, Release) that would help, that way at least there wont be MORE little stray cats around!

    Let me know if I can help you track down resources for rescues; the feral cat outdoor shelter etc...
    Connie Lea
    Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:13 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks Sara. It does get cold here in Oklahoma in the winter, and not for long, but there are a lot of places he can get in out of the weather. Also we live in a smaller town (3500 people) so there shouldn't be very many predators. I'll cut down on his food so he can hunt some on his own and will also try to check out agencies. it probably would have to be a trap, neuter and release program as I'm not sure they would be able to tame him. Would be worth a try though. Thanks again.
    Krislady
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:35 am
    Forum Host
    If you're going to be around another 4 months, isn't that essentially through the winter?

    Why not feed him a little dry kibble while it's cold, then assume he's supplementing that with prey? In 4 months time, it'll be spring and he'll most likely be doing more hunting anyway.

    My MIL was feeding a litter of feral kittens over the summer, and she found that as they got older, they didn't show up as often to eat. She did provide a safe haven for them, though, on her porch - they'd go there and sleep during the heat of the afternoons.
    Connie Lea
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:30 am
    Food.com Groupie
    We are here for the winter (to get away from Minnesota winters). It's usually pretty warm here before we head back home. I still think we'll see about a trap, neuter and release program. He probably needs to be a little older though before he/she is spayed or neutered.
    Saralaya
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:09 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Thanks Sara. It does get cold here in Oklahoma in the winter, and not for long, but there are a lot of places he can get in out of the weather. Also we live in a smaller town (3500 people) so there shouldn't be very many predators. I'll cut down on his food so he can hunt some on his own and will also try to check out agencies. it probably would have to be a trap, neuter and release program as I'm not sure they would be able to tame him. Would be worth a try though. Thanks again.


    If he is a kitten it would not be as difficult to "tame" him.... it sounds as though he's not completely feral if he comes close to you and is eating the food you put out. But TNR programs are very successful in general so I hope you find one. Let me know if I can help.
    Connie Lea
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    He doesn't come very close to eat. I put the food outside the fence and he doesn't come to eat until I go stand on the steps. We've only been feeding him for a couple weeks so I may be able to get closer yet. I'll keep trying. Thanks so much for your help.
    Studentchef
    Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:11 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Personally, I would feel much better if you can get the cat to a no kill shelter. At the very least, he has a place to stay and is fed regularly.You may also want to call city hall if they have a trap and neuter program, and ask them if they have the means to keep an eye on the stray cat population. That way they know how many cats are out there, and can take some of the cats in if the weather gets bad or openings in shelters.
    Connie Lea
    Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:16 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I haven't checked yet to see what kind of programs are available here, but I see very few stray cats. We did see the mother with the kitten first a couple times, but the last couple weeks have only seen the kitten.
    Saralaya
    Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:09 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie, I found this today...it's a good article and has links to find out how to make a safe, warm winter shelter, tips about feeding, leaving water out etc....

    http://www.petside.com/article/help-feral-cats-winter?nlcid=ps|12-12-2012|
    Connie Lea
    Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:21 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks Sara. I read the article. My DH wants to build a house for him. We also now have two cats. An adult cat has been coming to eat and drink. He/she is multi colored whereas the kitten and it's mother are both solid grey. We haven't seen the mother for about a month.
    Saralaya
    Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Great! I have been to the site that was mentioned in the article regarding making shelters for feral cats

    http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=631

    While at the top of the page are shelters for sale, as you scroll down there are links for instructions for DIY ones.. they're not too complicated or expensive! YAY for you and your DH!
    K9 Owned
    Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:23 pm
    Forum Host
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Thanks Sara. I read the article. My DH wants to build a house for him. We also now have two cats. An adult cat has been coming to eat and drink. He/she is multi colored whereas the kitten and it's mother are both solid grey. We haven't seen the mother for about a month.

    Sounds like you're going to have a Kitty Kondo. icon_wink.gif
    Connie Lea
    Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Saralaya wrote:
    Great! I have been to the site that was mentioned in the article regarding making shelters for feral cats

    http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=631

    While at the top of the page are shelters for sale, as you scroll down there are links for instructions for DIY ones.. they're not too complicated or expensive! YAY for you and your DH!


    Thanks Sara.
    Krislady
    Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:21 am
    Forum Host
    K9 Owned wrote:
    Connie Lea wrote:
    Thanks Sara. I read the article. My DH wants to build a house for him. We also now have two cats. An adult cat has been coming to eat and drink. He/she is multi colored whereas the kitten and it's mother are both solid grey. We haven't seen the mother for about a month.

    Sounds like you're going to have a Kitty Kondo. icon_wink.gif


    Or maybe a little kitty apartment building. icon_biggrin.gif
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