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feral cats



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 17th 08, 01:19 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
snuffy
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Posts: 33
Default feral cats

My daughter lives in Manhattan in Hell's Kitchen and bikes to her job
in Harlem on a bike path along the Hudson River. At 125th Street she
has become smitten with a little clowder of young cats and she wants
to rescue them and take one home. One has already been run over and
she fears they all will die eventually. She does not know how to do
this. You cannot park a car anywhere near the place. She doesnt know
how to catch the cats. She called some NYC Feral Cat Initiative and
they offered no help and said after a certain age you have to forget
about adopting a feral cat. It is kind of a weird situation. When
got my own darling feral cat (in Philadelphia) I just enticed him into
the house with yummy food and he was a bit injured at the time, his
knee is still kinda peculiar, so he is very happy to stay here. He
clowder showed up a few times but I haven't seen them in months.
anyhow: does anyone have any suggestions on how she can go about
rescuing one of these feral cats? I am afraid that she might get
bitten and get rabies or something like that. If she captures one of
the cats, gets in into a box, then she will have to take it home on
her bicycle. I think its hopeless. Of course that cat will be very
upset. But there is little hope of them surviving where they are
now.


  #2  
Old November 17th 08, 04:51 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
[email protected]
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Posts: 126
Default feral cats

On Nov 16, 8:19*pm, snuffy wrote:
My daughter lives in Manhattan in Hell's Kitchen and bikes to her job
in Harlem on a bike path along the Hudson River. *At 125th Street she
has become smitten with a little clowder of young cats and she wants
to rescue them and take one home.


a) The chances of rabies in a feral cat are vanishingly small - but
still wear VERY good gloves when handling them. Have

b) I have had very good luck capturing such cats with a bit of
tincture-of-valerian on raw or barely-cooked chicken. I will put the
chicken in something like a Dell or Gateway computer box (heavy
cardboard and large enough to not frighten a clausterphobic cat) and
when sufficient cats are inside flip the lid shut and tape it.

There are enough reinforced hand-holds that the cat(s) will not get
out for at least an hour or two - sufficient for safe transport. As to
the 'other end', my habit has been to let them out one-by-one, wearing
said gloves, in a closed room and treat them with a systemic flea-tick-
mite poison, then leave them for a day or so with food, water & litter
and bedding. Other than one nursing female (with kittens), none have
remained biting-angry feral for more than a couple of days, and none
at all for more than about 10 days. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Fortunately, where we live now, there are very few feral cats - but
quite a variety of natural predators including the usual urban
raccoons, but also foxes, various hawks and such.

Valerian may be obtained at any old-fashioned pharmacy as are still
common in NYC, or from several on-line sources. I prefer to find it
from a pharmacy - as I can at least be sure of its quality and
strength. The stuff smells vile - except to cats (and some dogs), upon
which it acts as high-strength catnip with a definite anesthetic/
soporific effect.

Keep in mind that rescue-feral cats will forever want to go outdoors,
but will also greatly value their new home (once adapted). If you are
not prepared or unable to give them outside access, they will never be
'quite right'. We had such a rescue cat for many years - and even when
altered he would spend weeks outdoors at a time. Sightings and in for
food and a few pets every few days, but otherwise out. He finally died
of cancer at a very ripe old age.

Our present younger (of two) cat is a rescue-feral. We got him at 8
weeks, he was rescued along with his mother at about 3 weeks. He is
the most affectionate cat we have had for a long time - since our last
similar rescue. And he loves the outdoors, but stays very close to the
house.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

  #3  
Old December 9th 08, 05:12 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
Edward A. Falk
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Posts: 3
Default feral cats

Related question: I have two cats who were rescued feral kittens. They
did all right for a few years, but I then adopted another kitten who hissed
at them constantly. They decided to hell with it and moved out of the house
and now eat their meals on the back porch.

It's cold and dangerous out there. I want them to be indoor cats again.
What's the best way to handle this? Should I just catch them and lock
them inside? Guaranteed at least one of them will pee on things if I do
this, but I guess I could drape plastic over anything that doesn't clean
easily.

--
-Ed Falk,
http://thespamdiaries.blogspot.com/
  #4  
Old December 9th 08, 04:19 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
cybercat
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,216
Default feral cats


"Edward A. Falk" wrote in message
...
Related question: I have two cats who were rescued feral kittens. They
did all right for a few years, but I then adopted another kitten who
hissed
at them constantly. They decided to hell with it and moved out of the
house
and now eat their meals on the back porch.

It's cold and dangerous out there. I want them to be indoor cats again.
What's the best way to handle this? Should I just catch them and lock
them inside? Guaranteed at least one of them will pee on things if I do
this, but I guess I could drape plastic over anything that doesn't clean
easily.


You got it right. Just bring them in and keep them in. At first, confine
them to a small room with cat box, food, toys and bedding, to get them in
the habit of using the box. Visit them a lot. Let them out after a couple of
days. At the first sign of inappropriate elimination, back in the room.
Eventually, they will be retrained. They are creatures of habit. This works.
(I assume you have them fixed.)


  #5  
Old December 11th 08, 03:23 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 126
Default feral cats

On Dec 9, 11:19*am, "cybercat" wrote:
"Edward A. Falk" wrote in ...

Related question: *I have two cats who were rescued feral kittens. *They
did all right for a few years, but I then adopted another kitten who
hissed
at them constantly. *They decided to hell with it and moved out of the
house
and now eat their meals on the back porch.


It's cold and dangerous out there. *I want them to be indoor cats again.
What's the best way to handle this? *Should I just catch them and lock
them inside? *Guaranteed at least one of them will pee on things if I do
this, but I guess I could drape plastic over anything that doesn't clean
easily.


You got it right. Just bring them in and keep them in. At first, confine
them to a small room with cat box, food, toys and bedding, to get them in
the habit of using the box. Visit them a lot. Let them out after a couple of
days. At the first sign of inappropriate elimination, back in the room.
Eventually, they will be retrained. They are creatures of habit. This works.
(I assume you have them fixed.)


Yikes!

You do seem to have a single remedy for all cat-related problems. Lock
them in a small room.

Here is the problem with that solution. Cats that have lived wild
never quite get it out of their systems. Further, they cannot quite be
'broken' like horses. So, you can trap them inside - and they will
constantly want OUT. And they will act out even if - especially if -
they perceived that they are trapped. These cats already trust you to
a point - so don't push that trust. If you do trap them, and they do
then get out, you may well never see them again. You have to work with
them and attempt to gain their trust.

I have had much better results with once-feral cats by giving them the
choice of IN or OUT. Over time, they will achieve a modus-vivendi with
the other animals (cars or dogs) based on their personal comfort. Once
*THEY* make the choice to come inside - and the rough weather does
help - you have a chance to win them over. A feral cat that I trapped
some years ago, now living with a good friend, went through that
process over about a 2-year period (all with the friend, not me). Now
he is an aggressively affectionate extrovert who goes out only with
"daddy" - but has the option at all times. Once, recently, daddy
dropped the slider on the cat-door. Almost instantly, a poop right in
front of it.

It is also no strange thing that they left the house upon introduction
of a new kitten. You are the "DADDY CAT" and toms are known to kill
kittens not their own. They may have the perception that the new
kitten is *yours* and so they are threatened. You permit the kitten's
aggression, probably even protect it - this actually makes them
fearful. When food is plentiful and there are many families of cats
around a small area, this behavior is less common. But in small
groups, there is a huge significance between "family" and "non-
family".

The goal here is to make the feral cats feel unthreatened and welcome.
Even an inveterate outdoor cat will not turn down a warm bed and good
food on principle - were it not feeling threatened. One more thing -
most house-cats are pretty thoroughly kittenized by their
surroundings. Kittens get along with anything. Adult cats, on the
other hand, are independent top-of-the-food-chain predators which are
acutely aware of their environment and have very specific threat-
responses. You need to work towards re-kittenizing them - or they will
never be happy inside. And this take considerable time and patience.
"Conditioning" them based on short-term 'imprisonment' unless
medically necessary simply won't work and is thoroughly counter-
productive.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA
  #6  
Old December 26th 08, 07:28 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.rescue,rec.pets.cats.health+behav,rec.pets.cats.community,alt.pets.cats,alt.cats
Bill Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,065
Default feral cats


wrote in message
...
On Nov 16, 8:19 pm, snuffy wrote:
My daughter lives in Manhattan in Hell's Kitchen and bikes to her job
in Harlem on a bike path along the Hudson River. At 125th Street she
has become smitten with a little clowder of young cats and she wants
to rescue them and take one home.


a) The chances of rabies in a feral cat are vanishingly small - but
still wear VERY good gloves when handling them. Have

b) I have had very good luck capturing such cats with a bit of
tincture-of-valerian on raw or barely-cooked chicken. I will put the
chicken in something like a Dell or Gateway computer box (heavy
cardboard and large enough to not frighten a clausterphobic cat) and
when sufficient cats are inside flip the lid shut and tape it.

There are enough reinforced hand-holds that the cat(s) will not get
out for at least an hour or two - sufficient for safe transport. As to
the 'other end', my habit has been to let them out one-by-one, wearing
said gloves, in a closed room and treat them with a systemic flea-tick-
mite poison, then leave them for a day or so with food, water & litter
and bedding. Other than one nursing female (with kittens), none have
remained biting-angry feral for more than a couple of days, and none
at all for more than about 10 days. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Fortunately, where we live now, there are very few feral cats - but
quite a variety of natural predators including the usual urban
raccoons, but also foxes, various hawks and such.

Valerian may be obtained at any old-fashioned pharmacy as are still
common in NYC, or from several on-line sources. I prefer to find it
from a pharmacy - as I can at least be sure of its quality and
strength. The stuff smells vile - except to cats (and some dogs), upon
which it acts as high-strength catnip with a definite anesthetic/
soporific effect.

Keep in mind that rescue-feral cats will forever want to go outdoors,
but will also greatly value their new home (once adapted). If you are
not prepared or unable to give them outside access, they will never be
'quite right'. We had such a rescue cat for many years - and even when
altered he would spend weeks outdoors at a time. Sightings and in for
food and a few pets every few days, but otherwise out. He finally died
of cancer at a very ripe old age.

Our present younger (of two) cat is a rescue-feral. We got him at 8
weeks, he was rescued along with his mother at about 3 weeks. He is
the most affectionate cat we have had for a long time - since our last
similar rescue. And he loves the outdoors, but stays very close to the
house.

Peter Wieck
Melrose Park, PA

We seduced our only feral cat with food. It took several years before he
felt comfortable with us and our other 4 cats. He is now quite old, and
sleeps inside all the time and never goes outside, even though we have two
cat doors and our other cats can come and go as they please. So, it is not
true that once a feral cat has grown to adulthood, you can never tame them.
Our Smokey is as tame as the other cats now, and doesn't even run when
strangers come into the house.

 




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