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Advice on stray rescue

everythinggoodisgreen

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Hello everyone,

First post and I'm from the u.k too so I hope that's okay - I'm just looking for some advice or reassurance really.
I'll start at the beginning;
About a year ago I noticed a young tortie female and her kittens living in the engine of an abandoned van in the carpark at work. I have since befriended them, trapped them and handed them over the Cats Protection and they've been rehomed ( hurruh! ) though sadly one was hit by a car before we could get them to safety :(
During this process I also noticed a young ( maybe 2 years or under )male who is un-neutered (probable dad of kittens). I told cats protection and he's still on the waiting list to find a space. I totally understand rescue resources are very limited and rely on fosters being available - so in no way am I ''shaming'' or criticising cat rescues :)
However.. Time is marching on and it's getting colder, wetter and the constant worry that he will be run over, harmed or poisoned from the rat traps is hard to ignore and there's still no sign of a space for him. Over the time I've been feeding him I've gained his trust - I can pick him up, give belly rubs, lap cuddles and he'll spend the day in our back room in a box chilling. He is still a little jumpy but that is to be expected.
I myself have three cats, 1 indoor 2 outdoor (aged 2 to 15 ) and not much inside room to give him a space without upsetting them so..

My plan is:

-I have purchased a very large ( 3m square ) walk in outdoor pet enclosure made of steel with a weather cover, as well as a cover running around the bottom edges to try and limit the contact with my 2 outdoor cats
- My partner is a woodworker and is making a little insulated house for him.
-I will create the space and ensure it's safe and comfy
- ''trap'' him at the weekend ( I'm pretty sure I can just pick him up and place in a carrier)
- Bring him to my house and try and settle him in the enclosure
- Take him to the vets for neuter and check up etc
- Bring him back to enclosure to recover for a while
- Re-home ( I have offers already, if not I could end up keeping if introductions were at all successful )

Any tips, flaws in my plan spotted or advice is greatly appreciated as although I've had cats for years and would consider myself a cat geek - I've never done this before - usually just trapping and handing over to rescues.

Thanks so much in advance!!!
 

di and bob

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Oh my goodness, you are an angel to go through this for that little boy, I truly appreciate what you are doing forhim!
I think your plan sounds perfect! I just have some advise for you putting him in the carrier. It will scare him badly and he will lose a little trust in you, so be prepared. Once he is settled in and understands you are trying to help him, he will get over it. I recommend standing the carrier up on it's end and have the door facing up. Then when you have him in your arms have a hand ready on the scruff of his neck to try to avoid his claws and lower him into the carrier quickly. Not giving him a chjance to know what you are doing. Trying to stuff a cat in a carrier when they have a way of grabbing the ground with their feet is NOT easy!!! There is a side opening carrier on Amazon tthat allows the whole side to lay down and that is a much easier carrier to get reluctant cats in. You can place him in it and at the same time be raising the side just enough to slip your hands out. You might want to try to entice him in with a really smelly treat like a tiny amount of salmon, etc. first. And then shut the door on him, but outdoor cats are really leary about entering a carrier. Remember, to him you are trying to trap him and he will really fight back hard, it is instinct kicking in. If everything fails, and you do not get him into a carrier, stroke him and entice him close in a few days with treats and try to get a blanket over him. You have to be quick.
I wish you well, PLEASE keep us posted on how succesful you are! You will be blessed for saving that boy!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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Thanks so much for the reply! Yes...I am a little worried about his trust in me being shaken....the whole ordeal isn't going to be fun for him and I've no doubt my boys at home will be grumpy about it all...but I keep telling myself it is better in the long run and I'm not crazy!
The carrier I have already is a large wire top loading crate, it looks very open and is very tough ….so fingers crossed it goes well! I hope I don't have to resort to blankets as I don't ant to add to my ''rescue scars'' :lol: . Be nice if you could talk to them and let them know it's not a scary thing!

I will deffo keep you all updated :) Thank you for your kind words, but really... I cannot leave him there as he's not safe. I worry constantly about him at the moment. At the very least he needs those balls off!! haha! As lovely as his kittens came out we don't need anymore!


Oh my goodness, you are an angel to go through this for that little boy, I truly appreciate what you are doing forhim!
I think your plan sounds perfect! I just have some advise for you putting him in the carrier. It will scare him badly and he will lose a little trust in you, so be prepared. Once he is settled in and understands you are trying to help him, he will get over it. I recommend standing the carrier up on it's end and have the door facing up. Then when you have him in your arms have a hand ready on the scruff of his neck to try to avoid his claws and lower him into the carrier quickly. Not giving him a chjance to know what you are doing. Trying to stuff a cat in a carrier when they have a way of grabbing the ground with their feet is NOT easy!!! There is a side opening carrier on Amazon tthat allows the whole side to lay down and that is a much easier carrier to get reluctant cats in. You can place him in it and at the same time be raising the side just enough to slip your hands out. You might want to try to entice him in with a really smelly treat like a tiny amount of salmon, etc. first. And then shut the door on him, but outdoor cats are really leary about entering a carrier. Remember, to him you are trying to trap him and he will really fight back hard, it is instinct kicking in. If everything fails, and you do not get him into a carrier, stroke him and entice him close in a few days with treats and try to get a blanket over him. You have to be quick.
I wish you well, PLEASE keep us posted on how succesful you are! You will be blessed for saving that boy!
 

di and bob

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I completely agree with you, especially about his Christmas ornaments! I have stepped on my ferals and they don't like me and avoid me for a while, but they always come around. I wish you the best!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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I completely agree with you, especially about his Christmas ornaments! I have stepped on my ferals and they don't like me and avoid me for a while, but they always come around. I wish you the best!
:flail:hahah!!! I've not heard that one before, his little ornaments!! hehe!!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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Okay so today I put him in a carrier and he is now inside the outdoor enclosure . He was quite upset at first had has climbed the walls trying to find a way out, biting the mesh. He has calmed down a bit now but still very nervous however I have been able to sit in there and he’s had a cuddle on my lap and a little bit of food. At the moment my cats a locked in so I’m dreading tomorrow as I have to let them out! I contacted cats protection again and they’ve still said he’s on the waiting list but will get back to me ASAP. I’m not sure how often to go out and check on him or let him settle overnight? He’s sat on top of his little house but it’s dark now and I don’t know whether to comfort him or let him be? Picture of him in the carpark so you can see his lovely face
6016F6F9-EFDE-4990-9AEC-96D01DA499AE.jpeg
 

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You really are an angel and a smart one to have devised a very carefully thought out plan. I once rescued a young adult male the same way...he was able to be picked up and put in a carrier and taken to the vet. Once I got him home, he had to go in a bathroom which he protested a little, but seemed to know that it was going to be okay. I do think that your beautiful boy really does have a bond with you from the look on his face.
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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Your right he does have a lovely face. Thankyou for helping him. And I hope it's ok your from the UK there are a few of us. ;) :rock:
Lol, for some reason I was thinking mostly an American forum? I’m glad there are u.k people out there helping kitties!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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You really are an angel and a smart one to have devised a very carefully thought out plan. I once rescued a young adult male the same way...he was able to be picked up and put in a carrier and taken to the vet. Once I got him home, he had to go in a bathroom which he protested a little, but seemed to know that it was going to be okay. I do think that your beautiful boy really does have a bond with you from the look on his face.
Well I do hope he settles in and my cats don’t cause too many fireworks 😩 I went back out there and sat with him on my lap for another 45 mins/ hour this evening but I’ve come in now and hopefully he will bed down in the little house. He makes it easy because he’s such a little love 💕 I do feel bonded but if my cats and him don’t get on as long as he goes somewhere safe I’ll be happy - though I’ll miss him !!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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CA57CD30-F5F5-47F5-AD80-6385BAB41C5E.jpeg

Just to share : These are all three ‘carpark cats’ Mum; Minerva Daughter; Yuki and Dad ; unnamed yet , I just call him sausage bum 🤣🤣 Minerva and Yuki went to be re-homed by cats protection with new names.
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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I’ve woken up feeling so anxious about it all, I’ve been out there early this morning. He has pulled some of the cardboard I’d cable tied as a barrier around the bottom down and trashed it .. but he is in his little box in the wooden hut and has used the litter tray ( thank goodness) so I didn’t disturb him. I’ve been peeking out the window and he hasn’t eaten yet and is still in his box. I’m so nervous about letting my cats out today and one of them getting hurt or over-stressed . But I have to go to work tomorrow so today is the only day I can monitor.. Im also worried about how soon and how to get him to the vets to be neutered? Cats protection say he has to be indoors for a while afterwards but really I don’t have a spare room , so now worried the enclosure is not okay for post neuter? But I feel like it’s better if it’s done sooner so ? I know it’s all for the best but I do hate causing this stress for him ( and later today, my cats ) this is the enclosure and house inside :
F139B343-AF67-492E-BCB7-60AA1A990E27.jpeg

82BAA95B-AFC5-494A-B32F-EF15DE902BF6.jpeg
A0AC0098-394B-4C17-8E90-E4CBA047411D.jpeg
 

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I would give him time to settle in his encloser a few days Maybe put a ramp on his house for going in and out just so he's not jumping after his op. How does it work with TNR maybe your vets near by could advise you. You could email them I hope the cat's weren't to stressed out this morning. And I hope someone who has experience in TNR sees this and you get some answers :clover:
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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I would give him time to settle in his encloser a few days Maybe put a ramp on his house for going in and out just so he's not jumping after his op. How does it work with TNR maybe your vets near by could advise you. You could email them I hope the cat's weren't to stressed out this morning. And I hope someone who has experience in TNR sees this and you get some answers :clover:
Thank you for the ramp suggestion that might come in handy!TNR I believe they keep them in the trap post op for 12-24 hours recovery and then release. I kept my cats in today in the end and will do for the next few days or week at least. I was too stressed about the idea of upsetting any of them and I came to the conclusion it’s less stressful to use a litter tray ( my ginger hates it but eventually he went in the tray today) than meet a strange cat and really it’s a lot for the new guy to handle so soon. I’ll keep in touch with cats protection incase they get a space and keep asking around for good homes. If not I guess I’ll have to find a way as I’m sure he can’t stay in the enclosure for too long really. He has eaten today and had cuddles and belly rubs but he hasn’t left his little safety house ! Fireworks night is soon!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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Just a quick update. We've decided we're going to try integrating him into our cat gang at home once he has been neutered.
Cat's Protection are helping with a chip and snip voucher, then run some blood tests/vaccines... so should be getting that done soon.
Then turn the house upside down ( lol ) to clear a spare room, bring him indoors and see how they all get on!
If he can't settle in or our cats won't accept him then he'll either go to my friend/work colleague ( doesn't move into her new home for another 3 weeks ) or into CP for rehoming. I'm pretty sure she's hoping it doesn't work out with us as she is in love with him!! :lol:
He's still nervous of my other half so we're trying to overcome that - not sure if it's because he's in a new place or has an issue with men? He had been fine with all the ladies at work but it was '' his territory ''.
We did have a play with a little rope and feather toy too last night so I think that's progress!!

Fingers crossed!
 
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everythinggoodisgreen

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So today Jeff ( had to give him a name on the spot to register at the vets) went for his chip, snip and snap tests. All went well and he’s such a good boy not one bit of trouble from him, but his FIV test came back positive ☹ He’s indoors now in a space room with a double door access so my cats haven’t noticed yet. He’s fairly settled all things considered and has just had a two hour cuddle! I’ve come out for a food break so hopefully he has settled in there on his own.I’m really devastated at the news though and sad as I will not be able to keep him. Even though I’ve read and been told only deep bites will transfer, I can’t take that risk with my current 3 cats. I’ll be speaking to cats protection this evening and see how to move forward. X
 

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