Categories: Feral Cats

Feral Cat Den in my Backyard – Need Advice!

by Tricia

I live on a river in Michigan and there is a “den” in the yard. I have seen cats run into and out of it on several occasions. I don’t know if it is the same cat, different, how many, or any other details. The den is on a cliff-type ridge leading down to the river so I am unable to see inside. It is made of cement, I don’t know what it is or how it got there as I just moved here this year.

Last night at around 2 am, I saw a young cat curled up on my porch steps. It was very chilly outside, and the cat was clearly cold. I went outside and tried to approach it, but he ran to the backyard. Later I saw him on the back porch and approached again, and he ran from me into the den.

I put out food & water on the porch if the cat decides to come back. I am very concerned about these cats, especially due to the bizarre shifting weather that we’ve been having. I would like to help or do something, but I don’t know what else to do.

I have no problems with bringing the cats inside and secluding them once they are rehabilitated or even giving them homes, but I am unsure what the best approach is at this point. Any help and input is greatly appreciated.


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Feral Cat Den in my Backyard – Need Advice!

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Apr 14, 2012 Resources
by: Michael

This page has lot of good information:

Feral cat information – link broken Oct 2012.

Maybe too much information. I think it is quite difficult to successfully care for feral cats. I don’t want to put you off, the opposite in fact but realistically it takes time and effort.

I’d try and get someone else involved to work with you if that is at all possible. It would share the load etc.

Apr 13, 2012 Michigan Pet Fund Alliance
by: Ruth

It sounds as if you need help with the cats and I’d think if these people can’t help you or aren’t near enough to you they will know someone who is.
Michigan Pet Fund alliance

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance
2210 Lancaster
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

You do need someone to find out how many cats are actually living there. Adult true feral cats are very hard to socialise and they would be better trapped, neutered and returned to your property as you are so kindly willing to feed them. But it does sound as if they need safer shelter. They can stand a lot of cold weather but not wet places to sleep.
Good luck.

Apr 13, 2012 Classic
by: Michael

Hi Tricia. Firstly, well done for caring. You are one of us. But watch out for people who don’t like cats and don’t care. There are quite a few stories out there about people who care who get into a bit of bother with neighbours when they feed stray cats. Watch out for the cat haters. Don’t make enemies in your neighborhood so early on.

OK, that said, I have asked friends and colleagues to advise. I hope they have time to do so.

It seems to me that the den could be a water inlet to the river. It might flood therefore. Just a thought. I could be wrong. If I’m correct they need to be moved and that would mean trapping and repositioning the cats. Difficult.

Food, warmth and protection from the elements are the basics. You don’t want to get some organisation involved as they might just trap them and kill them. Unless you know the organisation and they only trap-neuter-return.

I would have thought that the best bet was to try and get food to them at their den. Get their confidence and then see if you can get them neutered and spayed. That is important otherwise you might get a growing colony and be blamed for it.

If they are true feral cats, trap-neuter-return is the best answer as opposed to trying to domesticate them.

Apr 13, 2012 Alley Cat Allies…
by: Anonymous

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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