If I could only catch the feral cats I feed

by Ann Raven
(Omaha, Nebraska)

I’ve been feeding a litter of four cats for the last few months. Two calicos and two yellow and white tabbies (see tabby and white coats). I must admit that I have a favorite, although I love them all! He’s the smallest one but he is the most vocal and friendly.

My kitchen has a side door, so when I was cooking supper, the little guy and his siblings were letting me know they were out there and hungry.

Two months ago I moved to a different apartment, due to finances, lucky not to far from the other apartment.

I worry so much about my extended family, so I put my coat and boots on, warmed up their food and took it to them.

I live in Nebraska and it gets very cold here and I don’t know where they sleep. They still go to the side door so that’s where I feed them.

I have a Siamese cat named socks and I think he also misses them. Now they call me the cat lady, I don’t care!!!


Hi Ann… thanks for visiting and sharing. You are one of us – join the club. But this club is for people who care about other animals, no matter what species they are and you care obviously. This is a good quality.

I feel though that the system that you have in place – feeding them at your previous apartment – is a fragile one and it might not be sustainable.

What if the apartment becomes occupied? Is it occupied by someone else? What do they feel about this?

The trouble is that feral cats are extremely vulnerable. Few people care. Shelters frequently euthanize them if they are trapped and taken to a shelter. You can’t call them “shelters” really because there is not much sheltering going on, it seems to me. Some are good though.

I think your dilemma is the dilemma of all people who care about feral and stray cats. There is no formal, humane, process for dealing with them. It just comes down to people like you who care and who give their time and money to help. And what is bad is that other people then brand you a “cat woman” which is a slightly derogatory remark. These people should be helping too.

Feral cats are the responsibility of the community. The community, through the city councilors etc., should put in place formal procedures for dealing with feral cats humanely as it is the community who put them there.

Good luck. The cats may migrate to your new place if it is not that far away and if you put some food down near your new place.

That said some people don’t like others putting food down for feral cats. They think it encourages the breeding of a “pest”. That is modern life.

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If I could only catch the feral cats I feed

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Feb 21, 2011 Catching Feral Cats
by: Bob Tucker

Hi Ann,

I just read you post about your Feral cat

delima and have a little info that may help. With some patience and a few tricks you can get them tamed. they will still be afraid of anyone else for a good while.

Food will get them close to you and they will gradually begin to trust you more. The more times a day you feed and are around them the sooner they will learn that you mean them no harm. They will love meat scraps or canned food and come up to you for it. When you go to feed them whistle, they will quickly learn to come to the whistle.

If they are young cats, they will love to play with a string. Tie one on the end of a stick a few feet long, they will love it and they will bond to more quickly. When you can get close enough lightly rub their backs and scratch their heads. Don’t ever forcefully do anything to them as they will scare easily. If you get this far, start petting around their bodies and just slightly lifting and moving them around. After a while of this you can try to lift and hold them. If they resist back off and use more patience. With a little time they can be really good pets.

The sooner you can get them tame enough to get in a carrier and to the vet, the sooner you won’t have more babies to feed. Four can turn into twentry real quick. They should be spayed, neutered and vaccinated soon as possible. You can trap them but I have found that this scares some of the cats so badly that they may not ever be tamed. If you have an animal shelter near by, maybe they can help or some of the neighbors may help with the costs.

If you can, put out some cardboard boxes, with a blanket or old towel in the bottom for a warmth. Try to locate the box out of the wind and rain or cover the whole box, put it under the house, in a garage or shed. There is some info on POC under “Cats are Freezing to Death” that has some info on cat shelters.

You will soon learn that the cats will appreciate what you are doing for them and they will show it. Good Luck

Jan 25, 2011 TNR for feral cats
by: Alley

You should trap the cats and TNR them…trap-neuter-and return. Unless you have barn homes for them, you can return them to their home, after all this is where they have been living and surviving. TNR not only stops the breeding of unwanted litters, TNR’d cats are healthier, as the females no longer have to give birth to kittens and take care of them, and males will no longer, for the most part, get in fights over mates.

Check out the Cat Action Links on www.saveacat.org

There may be a feral cat group in your area who can assist you with traps and discount on vet costs.

Alley Cat Rescue is a National Resource for all aspects of managing and controlling feral cats.

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