4 strays in heat

japam

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Got four stray cats living in my garden in heat, 1 is an adult female, other 3 are between 9 to 11 months [based on neighbours sighting them], one orange, one light gray and other dark charcoal.

On the back of the females being in heat, garden has been invaded by four tom cats,the female adult heat started the earliest, say three days ago, the ginger 2 days ago and the other two, i would say probably a day in, although those two [light grey and charcoal], disguise it well.

Neighbour was feeding them, without doing the sensible thing of getting them TNR, and as i just go back home, from working away, noticed the behaviour.

I have a feeling all four will become pregnant, as i have witnessed mounting on the adult female, by two suitors, the other three i persume have evaded their suitors, hence the suitors are still about.

I have contacted a local charity about getting them neutered.

In the short term is there anything that can be done, none of the male cats are remotely affected by smell [garlic, vinegar], i do have a small shed in the back, but cats being cats, will not take to being locked in there, even for their own benefit.

I have witnessed the male suitors, cornering a single female, i.e. 2 vs 1 or on other occassions 3 vs 1, and the male suitors are not even dukesing it out to mate.

any suuggestions welcomed
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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Trust me if you or someone don't get these cats, especially the females tnred asap, this situation will go from bad to worse real fast. I lived on a block where a pregnant cat wandered in, got fed by someone and had her kittens. There were two females from that litter who came into sexually maturity in no time and had litters of there own and the population spiraled out of control in no time. Ignoring the problem and just focusing on keeping the cats out of your yard is the worse thing you can do. This problem will be in your face, if no one is stepping up to the plate and practicing tnr. I have been through the nightmare of having a exploding cat population problem on my block. It wasn't only the offspring of these female cats, but male cats who came and stuck around. There were a few sprayers out of the bunch that stunk up everything. There were cat fights going on all the time. It was absolutely terrible. It is now over 2 years since everyone was tnred and although the population went down a bit, there is still a considerable size post tnr population around. It will continue to go down in size, by each passing year, but we still have plenty of cats around. Please heed this post, act fast and don't let this population to continue grow. I just had 10 cats dumped on me in the past year when one feeder moved away and the other feeder who is feeding too many cats--sent them my way. I can barely afford to feed these cats, but do it because I am a dedicated animal lover who hates to see any animal suffer.

Please contact a tnr/rescue group or trap these cats yourself and take them to anywhere that has a feral tnr program or a discount vet, or look into spay/neuter certificate programs. I am lucky that where I live the ASPCA offers a free tnr program. I worked along side a tnr group who were of great help getting these kitties tnred. If you don't have anything like this and don't have the funds to pay for discounted vet care, please crowd source. Don't let anything get in the way of getting these cats tnred. Trust me, you will be so relieved when you do this. Best of luck to you.
 
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japam

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I have contacted a large tnr group, but they are closed for business, with no impending date, when they will resume their service.

I have managed to speak to another charity, smaller in size, who have assured me they can and will help, but this is not immediate, and by the time they get round, i am afraid all four will be a week or two into their pregnancy.

The adult female has already mated with two suitors.

Strangely theres only being one fight between two of the male cats, over the four days, today is day four into the heat.The rest seemed to have a pack, 'as long as i get mine, i am good'.

There has to be something that can be done in the short term, to shepherd the male cat away, it must be a nightmare for the females for the last four days, constantly being on the chased, with no let up, thinking you have got away from one only to fall into the path of another.

No time to stop or hunt for food.

I refuse to believe, there is no way to chip away at the male suitors.
 

Willowy

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by the time they get round, i am afraid all four will be a week or two into their pregnancy
That's ok; they can still be spayed, and terminating that early in the pregnancy shouldn't be a moral conundrum for anybody.

I refuse to believe, there is no way to chip away at the male suitors.
If anyone knew how to discourage tomcats from pursuing a female in heat, I think there would be a lot fewer cats!
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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I can tell you from my experience, I did everything to discourage the males from sticking around, even going out of my way to make sure they didn't get meals from me. These males STILL stuck around because they knew the females were in heat. They were like white on rice. I could not control them.

I desperately tried to see if there was other options for the female, like birth control. I got the idea when I heard that some University were putting rabies vaccine pellets in the woods for the racoons. There was a product I looked up call Feral Stat, but I heard some negative things about it from animal advocacy groups so I lost interest. There is another product and Ally Cat Allies seem to be okay with it so I will attach the article to this post. I really don't think this should be in place of tnr, but could be a possible solution to preventing females from going into heat and getting impregnated in the winter months where trapping is difficult and it could be detrimental to the female cats' health in winter (because they would have there bellies shaved and be exposed to the elements). This B.C. product can be used on males, too. However, why I think TNR is the best solution is because it permanent. If you are not consistent or the cats don't get the right amount of this stuff in there food, it could end up being ineffective. Also, cats do wander away, so once the effects of the birth control wears off, they can go back to mating and bringing offspring into this world.

Here is the article as mentioned. Your situation is not an easy situation, I have been through it myself. I still 100% support TNR. What I did was buy a bunch of traps, got TNR Certified, and thankfully another feeder got a TNR group to get most of the cats tnred, I did the rest. It was a daunting task, but something had to be done. Please go on social media and into forums and ask for help. Times are tough with the Covid 19 lockdowns, but there has to be someone who can help you. Hang in there.🙂
Non-surgical Contraception – A Potential Lifesaver During COVID-19
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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fionasmom fionasmom I just put it up. During these difficult times and the winter months. This could be helpful. Although, i still strongly advocate TNR.
 

fionasmom

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Very interesting....yes, TNR absolutely is the best solution and the medication would require some precision and guarantee that the cat actually ingested all of it. It could be a lifesaver if someone were really up against it though with females who could not be trapped immediately.
 

Willowy

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There was a product I looked up call Feral Stat, but I heard some negative things about it from animal advocacy groups so I lost interest. There is another product and Ally Cat Allies seem to be okay with it so I will attach the article to this post.
FeralStat was a brand name for megastrol acetate, just exactly what they're talking about in the article. They don't make FeralStat anymore; you have to have it custom compounded. But it's the same thing.

At any rate, it won't do anything once the cats are pregnant.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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Darn, I was hoping this b.c. drug was in no way related to Feral Stat. Maybe they made some major improvement to it. Ally Cat Allies are usually cautious in what they give the stamp of approval on. If it prevents pregnancies until tnr could be done, I say that it is a plus. I can only see this as a short-term solution as best. These difficult times with the lockdowns are pushing these kinds of solutions to the forefront. I am still a strong advocate for tnr. That is the ultimate solution.🙂
 
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japam

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thanks for the replies, will look more into contraception and the ally cat allies products.

Just an update, i would say the female adult cat is pregnant, she's been mounted several times and the remaining tom cats are no longer pestering her.

The charcoal cat, has probably come out of estrus cycle, either last night or this morning as she is no longer being pestered, or exhibiting any behaviour, although saying that she does have a poker face, so getting a read on her is a little harder than the others. - so thats about 4 to 5 days of hide and seek.

The ginger cat, was in a little heat this morning, but she is not being pestered as much by the remaining tom cat, she's not as on point about making get aways, so she might of survived the week unscathed.

The grey one, smallest one of the lot, is having a torrid day, week, still being pestered by the one remaining tom cat. [she's the fighter out the lot]

Managed to get rid of the black tom cat on thursday afternoon, he has not been back since.
The white tom cat was about this morning, but even the reluctant adult female ain't having none of him, he's still a work in progress to get rid, he'll be back tomorrow, very crafty in his approach.

The spotted grey and black tom cat, ['who ate all the pies, in all my life never seen a tom cat so big] saw me this morning and has darted of, for the last 6 hours, normally he would try and another point of entry, he's already had a few doses of the adult female.

The last tom cat, black and white, bit of pain in the proverbial, grey kitty will definetely have nightmares, but she has valiantly fended of all his and the other suitors advances, with her twinkle toes, and graceful balance.

So i guess, until spaying [anything from 1 to 3 weeks from now], contraception, will hopefully hold them over till next heat cycle and as a backdop, give the tom's a taste of their own medicine.
 

Willowy

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There's zero chance that any of them weren't mated, they are now pregnant, 100%, unless one is infertile for some reason. Tomcats do not take no for an answer. But fortunately that will bring them out of heat so you won't have any more toms around, and if they're spayed within the next 3 weeks everything should be fine :).
 
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