Caring for an Orange Cat

daftcat75

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This is OC ("orange cat".)
OC-rock-1.jpg

He's getting his own thread now rather than complicating Krista's bridge thread.

OC is his stray name. I haven't decided on a more permanent name yet. Though I'm leaning towards Meatball because he's so muscular. Like a tiny orange pit bull.

He is a friendly, intact male who has been hanging around the apartment complex for over a month now. I used to see him before Krista passed. Krista just passed a month ago. Please don't tell me he's an angel kitty or that Krista sent him. Too soon. Too raw. I'm not ready to be a full-time cat guardian again. And given the last few messy years of Krista's life, I will not house a male until he's fixed.

That said, he needs someone to step up for him. He's been frequenting both this apartment complex and the one next door. He's been listed as a Found Cat on both Nextdoor and Pawboost and no-one has claimed him yet. I don't know if he has a chip yet. If I can catch up to him Friday morning, I will take him down to my vet for a chip scan, an exam, and lab work. If I can't catch up with him in the morning, I'll look to see if one of the low cost clinics that sometimes operate out of the pet food stores are still running right now. While I have snuggled the love out of him while he tried to bust my body barrier during meal prep and I have once lifted him off the counter and set him on the floor, I really don't know how he's going to react when I try to get him into a carrier (or box.) That's only the first step.

Because of Covid, the shelter has been pretty useless. Most of their services are still closed. They aren't answering their phone and their email has an auto-reply saying it can take "up to four days" to receive a reply. I'm just trying to find this guy a low-cost neuter and they're a black hole at the moment. I have one more low-cost lead. But that's probably not looking good either. I will likely have to get him snipped out of my own pocket. Even then, it sounds like a lot of vets are backed up because they only recently got the go-ahead to resume elective surgeries. And for some maddening reason, spay/neuter was deemed elective.

This is probably why he's homeless. I imagine he was an adorable kitten who came of age and started marking the apartment. The owner tried to find a neuter and learned those weren't happening during Covid and turned this sweet guy loose. That's how I think it went down. 😿
 
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daftcat75

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Ideally, I want him snipped, chipped, vaxxed, and found a foster or forever home. He's a good guy and deserves a home with someone who has the heart and spirit to be a full-time guardian to him right now. But as an intact male, his options are limited until he's snipped.
 
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daftcat75

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He's marked my apartment once. I tried to keep him longer than he wanted to be kept. He got bored and marked a storage cube. Now I'm trying to train him to come to the deck for meals. He's not there yet. I catch up to him somewhere in the complex about this time for lunch. Usually once he sees me, he knows what's up and will bound towards me and follow me in. He leaps to the kitchen counter and really wants to get into the food even before I get it out of the can or broken up on the plate. It's pretty adorable having this tiny orange pit bull trying to muscle his way in. Once plated, I'll carry his food to the deck and he'll follow me out. I give him some scritches and leave him to it. When he's done, he can leave underneath the deck fence. Eventually, I'd like him to just show up and call out to me. But I'm just a lunch stop and sometimes a dinner stop on his love tour. There are at least two other neighbors (that I know of) feeding this guy.
 

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He's marked my apartment once. I tried to keep him longer than he wanted to be kept. He got bored and marked a storage cube. Now I'm trying to train him to come to the deck for meals. He's not there yet. I catch up to him somewhere in the complex about this time for lunch. Usually once he sees me, he knows what's up and will bound towards me and follow me in. He leaps to the kitchen counter and really wants to get into the food even before I get it out of the can or broken up on the plate. It's pretty adorable having this tiny orange pit bull trying to muscle his way in. Once plated, I'll carry his food to the deck and he'll follow me out. I give him some scritches and leave him to it. When he's done, he can leave underneath the deck fence. Eventually, I'd like him to just show up and call out to me. But I'm just a lunch stop and sometimes a dinner stop on his love tour. There are at least two other neighbors (that I know of) feeding this guy.
Thanking you for starting this great thread for a great cat and hoping and praying it will generate intense interest from someone who can fulfill that role. He SO deserves it, as does every cat and kitten. But this is just ONE cat. Surely a loving permanent home will step up for such a good cat.
 
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daftcat75

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I don't know where he is for lunch today. I plated it and left it out for him on the deck. While I was circling the complex looking for him, I spotted a mostly finished Friskies can. He'll do alright if he skips my lunch. 😼

You know, I realized I still have a SureFeed motion activated feeder that I was going to hack into a timed feeder solution. Never quite worked out that way. It's not a microchip model. But assuming he learns how to use it (and there is a training mode), I'd be thrilled to set out three meals a day for him on the deck, and let him come around to feed on his schedule. Next time I catch up to him for a meal, we'll try the SureFeed.
 
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daftcat75

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I found him. He likes that area where that rock is in the picture above. That’s across the complex from me. He was HUNGRY! 😋 Tongue darting out his mouth hungry. Didn’t have to ask him twice to follow me back. And since I had already locked up my place because I was heading out for my own lunch, I was relieved that he went right under the fence (with a little love shove and encouragement) and started eating. Without me having to open the front door and lead him out to the deck. So maybe he’ll learn to check for food now rather than waiting for me to find him.🤞
 

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Orange boys are my big soft spot and you are very kind to take an interest in helping him. I hope that you can get the low cost neuter, although I have paid for this service myself when necessary and other obstacles presented themselves. My Jamie is a big guy like this, about 16 lbs and not fat. He already considers you to be his best friend and will learn quickly where the food is and what the rules are.
 
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daftcat75

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Orange boys are my big soft spot and you are very kind to take an interest in helping him. I hope that you can get the low cost neuter, although I have paid for this service myself when necessary and other obstacles presented themselves. My Jamie is a big guy like this, about 16 lbs and not fat. He already considers you to be his best friend and will learn quickly where the food is and what the rules are.
He's a compact 9.7 lbs. I got him to step on the baby scale.

I'm just one stop on his two apartment complex love tour. And I guess I'm not the breakfast stop given his reaction to me this morning.😞🤞 Yet. That I know of, there is a neighbor who will give him kibble when he comes around. There's a neighbor leaving a can of Friskies for him. There's one who had an empty container by their door that looks like they may also be leaving kibble for him. These are just the neighbors I know of. I'm sure there are a few more that I don't know about sneaking him food.

I would be content leaving him as a community cat. But since he is friendly and seems like he was probably a pet once before, he certainly deserves another chance at a home. And anyway, the property manager seems torn about him. She doesn't want to see him put down (which is almost certainly what will happen with the shelter since they're still mostly closed.) But she also says he can't be a community cat indefinitely. I guess a neighbor or two has complained about him. One said he tried to follow her into the apartment. And while he's mostly a polite guy and he does pull his punches like a socialized kitten would learn, he will still swat and nip if he has a mind to. Though he's also done the nip and lick that Krista used to do. "I don't want to hurt you. But listen to me!" 😻
 
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daftcat75

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Shelter finally wrote back to me:

Sure! Please feel free to bring this cat in Sunday -Thursday between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.
I feel like it's not going to be that easy. But let's start somewhere, right?

I specifically asked about spay/neuter but they might be thinking surrender. At least I'll be able to speak to someone.
 
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daftcat75

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This is a great thread and of interest to me because a similar situation is occurring to me with visits from a intact male to my yard,who likes to be petted but didn't care for the food I put out,both canned and kibble! Looking forward to more posts :hyper:
I give OC Fancy Feast Classic pate, Turkey and Giblets flavor. I figure everyone else is probably giving him chicken and fish. He loves it! I would try Fancy Feast Classic pates with your male. They're highly appealing. They're a sound recipe. And they're cheap which is important when it's not your cat and you may have to toss a meal. I ran out of Fancy Feast last weekend and decided to give him Rawz instead. I have so much Rawz leftover from Krista! 😿 I'm relieved he didn't really like it. He ate about half of it. But he doesn't like it as much as the Fancy Feast that's about half the price too. Friskies is also universally popular. But I don't like the recipe so much. Tiki Cat has a good recipe but it's going to be a little more expensive than the Fancy Feast and they don't have pates. You have to feed more of the grilled/shredded texture as it's going to have more moisture than a pate.

Does yours meow? That would suggest more a stray than a friendly feral.
 

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Obviously you have some other neighbors who care enough to put out food. Do you think any of them might be willing to pitch in on basic vet cost and a neuter if he comes back as having no chip? Also, in my city we have a very robust Facebook group devoted to cats, many who work with rescues, and members work together to help cats and contribute to vet bills for people in need. If you have a group like that it might be useful.

I do think getting him neutered sooner rather than later is going to increase his adoptability as well as keeping him out of fights with other cats.
 
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daftcat75

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I don't know that others want to pitch in for his costs. And that's alright. I switched jobs earlier this year and did pretty well for myself. I can sponsor this cat as my mea culpa for not wanting to take him myself.

I don't do Facebook. I find the platform manipulative and upsetting and stopped using it back in 2016 or 2017. Every now and then, I log on for a minute or two to confirm that I still made the right decision. In 2020, I see little has changed. :(

I have a friend who's involved with fosters and rescues. She's on the other side of the Bay. It sounds like she might be able to find a foster home for him if I'm willing to sponsor his costs. Which I am.

But first he needs to be fixed. And when he's snipped, I have a small dog play pen I can house him in while he recovers from the surgery. But I don't know how he's going to respond to that. So I'm saving that for post-surgery recovery rather than pre-appointment housing.
 

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I give OC Fancy Feast Classic pate, Turkey and Giblets flavor. I figure everyone else is probably giving him chicken and fish. He loves it! I would try Fancy Feast Classic pates with your male. They're highly appealing. They're a sound recipe. And they're cheap which is important when it's not your cat and you may have to toss a meal. I ran out of Fancy Feast last weekend and decided to give him Rawz instead. I have so much Rawz leftover from Krista! 😿 I'm relieved he didn't really like it. He ate about half of it. But he doesn't like it as much as the Fancy Feast that's about half the price too. Friskies is also universally popular. But I don't like the recipe so much. Tiki Cat has a good recipe but it's going to be a little more expensive than the Fancy Feast and they don't have pates. You have to feed more of the grilled/shredded texture as it's going to have more moisture than a pate.

Does yours meow? That would suggest more a stray than a friendly feral.
I find turkey to be VERY palatable here. Males, especially, seem to love it.
 

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After the snip, it will take a week or so for the testosteron levels to recede. The vet should be able to give a better timeline. So he may still spray for a few days. After it levels off, he won't be as prone to wander about. ("Looking for love in all the wrong places.")

Keep us updated.I rescued a pregnant orange cat years past. Very affectionate.
 
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daftcat75

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Assuming he's not crying his head off about being locked up, I can start him in the dog pen and see how he does. I can do what I did with Krista where I let him out for some supervised time within the home office. If he sprays, he can go back in the pen.

The other option, my foster friend said she could lend me a two story cage. I may take her up on this. I think he'd be more comfortable in that. The dog play pen is not very big. Maybe 4 feet diameter? It will still be roomier than the cages at the shelter or the vet.
 
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daftcat75

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That was an easy dinner. I did have to go looking for him. But once I found him, and once I came close enough for him to recognize me...

Meow!

Spotted!

I love how this cat will follow me back to my apartment. And under the fence he went when he could smell/see there was food in his dish once again. It may not take many more days to teach him to come around when he's hungry rather than me having to go look for him.

I just hope that once he's snipped, he won't miss his outdoor stud life quite so much.
 

tarasgirl06

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That was an easy dinner. I did have to go looking for him. But once I found him, and once I came close enough for him to recognize me...

Meow!

Spotted!

I love how this cat will follow me back to my apartment. And under the fence he went when he could smell/see there was food in his dish once again. It may not take many more days to teach him to come around when he's hungry rather than me having to go look for him.

I just hope that once he's snipped, he won't miss his outdoor stud life quite so much.
He won't. And again, THANK YOU for all you're doing for him.
The cat apartment sounds good. ;)
 
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