feel guilt about semi feral cat being eaten, need feedback.

BBirdcat

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backstory: saw a cat in the corner of my outside house area 8 months ago. it was a baby and abandoned by its mother. I ended up feeding it and giving it water. At first it was extremely skittish, but over time it finally allowed me to pet it, and eventually started coming into the house to play. w my other family members it was and to this day incredibly skittish.

2 months later we ended up trapping and getting it neutered (female). it was miserable during this time getting trapped but after went back to its normal routine. would feed it and play with it in the house, but let it roam free at night.

one day I felt the urge to play w the cat at 2am, and woke it up where it slept in a cat house we bought. it ended up (based on cameras we had outside) almost getting eaten by a few coyotes. we saw on camera them chasing it up, and the cat ended up hiding in a tree for hours until evening. we thought it was eaten but when I called for it, it meow'd and came down.

that night, we tried to turn it into a house cat. (6 months in?). the cat was miserable and cried the entire night excessively. it ended up hiding in a corner of the house all night and in the morning I let it roam free like usual. it was a horrific experience for the cat and I couldn't sleep that whole night being with it.

the next few months were good. however, with the cameras we had outside, every 2-3 weeks we would see a coyote or two run out really quick occasionally and scatter away. they would show up at different times. sometimes at 5am, sometimes at 5:40 am. once at 12:40am. it was very stressful.

2 nights ago, I was playing w my cat like usual. My routine had changed in that I went to wake her up at 6:00pm, which changed to 7:00pm, and a week later it was 8:00pm. After waking it up, the cat ate. I usually turn off the lights in the living room at MIDNIGHT to signify that I am gone, but I was hungry that night and ended up turning them off around 11pm bc the cat had left.

At 11:20 I saw the cat come back and sit right at the glass. I turned on the light and brought it in. It was very tired. I let it nap, and I had already thrown out it's typical dinner meal, so I gave it some snacks of dried shrimp, chicken etc.. At this point it was around 12:15. The cat went back to sleep near my foot.

It had issues sleeping (dealing once again w ear mites, ticks etc..) and it woke up. I saw a flea on it's back a few minutes later and freaked out. It jumped off my hand and was somewhere in the house. At around 12:40 (the time when coyotes usually roam around) I forced my cat out by using a cat toy. I then vacuumed around the house. My cat was waiting outside right near the glass, and as I turned off the lights I saw it climb the glass wanting to come inside. It then ran off.

That was the last I saw of my cat.
:( Looking at the cameras outside, the coyote attack didn't happen near my house but must have been in the neighborhood. I feel horrible bc the last moment I have of my cat was it trying to come inside and reaching at the glass. Yes, I took care of her, but I still feel horrible for a few reasons:

I had changed our normal time routine (instead of 12am it was 12:40)

12:40 was the time a couple weeks ago the coyotes were in the area

I didn't let the cat back in when it wanted to, and that is the last memory I have of seeing her.

I know I tried to take care of her, but I'm dealign with some serious guilt right now. I'm not sure what else to say, but could use some feedback. Thank you.
 

game misconduct

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sorry for your loss i do have a non lethal suggestion for you though buy a paint ball gun from walmart .the gas kind freeze the paint balls then sit on your porch and snipe the coyotes as they pass or go through your property. you can call animal control or fish and game but they dont handle things fast unless a human gets attacked or some poor small dog owner gets their pooch snatched in front of them while walking it. cant really blame the coyotes though theres a food source around for them in the area thats why they are there looking for food .
 
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BBirdcat

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thank you, the coyotes are so quick and come at weird hours it's tough though.
 

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your welcome and it is and its a horrible feeling to have to go through but its not your fault though
 
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BBirdcat

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It feels like it is.

The two times there were coyote incidents it was when my cat was not leaving the house at 12am and/or I woke her up at a different time so her schedule was "off" (even though she was very unpredictable when she went in and out).

And my last moment of her is her wanting to come inside and clawing at the door.


Even though the coyote thing didn't happen in my house area (maybe a house or two down), I still feel tremendously guilty. It's eating at me even when my family says it's not my fault
 

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its not and i am sorry you had to go through this all you can really do is make a call to animal control and file a complaint etc i got plenty of bad advice though sorry my minds kinda twisted and i am pretty sure you want no trouble with the law.plus i am not sure how the laws are in your state at my dads before i moved out we had a coyote problem in our area i filed a complaint they did nothing so i got a high powered pellet gun and sniped a few of them spent a few long nights waiting until i got them but they avoided the area around my dads after i shot a few of them.
 
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BBirdcat

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thank you, Im just really struggling with this
 

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I am so, so sorry. That's such a sad story, both for you and for her. We love our kitties, both our inside ones and our outside ferals, and yours was both.

To help you, I will step back a bit and give a few thoughts. First of all, if you have coyotes roaming around every night and there is a cat out there, the odds are very great that the cat will end up being their dinner. That is nature's way; harsh, but real. If she wasn't dinner the other night, she probably would have been at some point.

The fact that the coyotes were around at 12:40 a couple of weeks ago doesn't mean they still have the same pattern or were anywhere near your house at that time. They are opportunists; they will camp out somewhere if it shows promise, they will change their route for various reasons, and there is really no reason to believe you sent your cat right into a waiting coyote's jaws. They may have been nowhere around, and if they got her, it may have been hours later and not connected with your timing at all.

If I had a cat on my bed and saw fleas, I would freak out too. Fleas can get invested in a house and believe me, it takes a long time to fully get rid of them. And they hurt when they bite. Your reaction was entirely within reason.

Changing your time pattern with her is just one of those things. Cats are creatures of habit, but they adjust.

The thing that makes this harder is you are left with a heart-wrenching vision of her wanting to come in. That is so, so unfortunate, but it does NOT mean you sent her to her doom. We can't see into the future. You would have brought her back inside if you had known there was a problem, but you didn't know. What happens once she is outside and away from you is not something you can control, and she wanted to be outside. You gave her what she wanted. Most outside cats don't live a long life, and coyotes are one of the many reasons why. I am sure if I were you, I would feel guilty too, probably anyone on this site would. But at the same time I'd try to remember that I would have done things differently if I had known more. But I would still feel awful. Some things in life are like that; we wish we could go back and re-do them but we can't.

One more thing: this may have had nothing to do with not letting her back in. You don't know what happened or why, you can only guess. Ultimately I think you will just have to grieve through this and be thankful for the time you had with her.

I'm so sorry, I know this is just a raw wound right now. You definitely gave her a better and longer life than she would have had if you hadn't stepped in and helped her; maybe that will ease the pain a bit.❤
 
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BBirdcat

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Thank you very much. You've really hit the nail on the head.

I wish I had some closure knowing where and what time she got killed. You are right, it sucks that she wanted to be back in. Even if she only stayed for a minute it would have made me feel better. I thought the flea/lice spray I put in the house was poisonous to cats, but I found out it wasn't (probably still not good for cat if they licked it, but obviously better than alternative).

I spent most every night other than that one, saying good night to my cat before she left and sprinted out but didn't that night. I also prayed every night for my cat, but for some reason forgot to that night. I think I was so consumed and frustrated by the re-appearnce of fleas/bugs on her and was already planning if I was going to give her cap-star the next morning or night or neither and wait till 2 weeks later for the Revolution to come in.

You really hit the nail on the head w everything, thank you for being so understanding. I just want to have closure w this and I'm not sure how. I'm wrecked w guilt but your post in some ways has helped me feel a bit better.

My cat was also not sleeping good that night (and the night before that I called for her twice and didn't hear from her at all which scared me) and had inconsistent sleep schedules. She also really loved to roam and was so adventurous.

Like you said, I just want to know what happened and I will never know.

Thank you for your words, I went on a different message board w the same post and got trashed and said what a bad owner I was. I tried my best but I feel such guilt and sadness. Thank you again.
 
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BBirdcat

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I also know in life she wanted to be an outside cat, but in that moment she wanted to go back inside. I "Tricked" her into going outside and after a minute or two after I vacuumed and sprayed the house, she wanted to go back inside but I turned off the living room lights and left. Even if it was just for a minute or two she stayed and then left I would have felt a little better. I'm not sure what happened.

In general I usually turned off the lights which signaled "I'm done for the night" by 12am, but on that day I turned off lights a little early after I called for her, she didn't come, and then came in really quick and left again (around 10:50.. she then came back at 11:20).

Part of me wonders if I should just have not came back after I turned off the light but I felt bad and let her in. She was so tough bc she lately was constantly going inside and out which was frustrating, but she was so wonderful.

I just wish things were different. It's very painful and I don't know to deal with this loss. I might have a funeral for her to get some closure but not sure what else I could do.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss :( I am just wondering was there no options of letting the cat be indoors or creating a cat pen which is outside but enclosed so she could go out into the pen and in the house if she wanted to and not be exposed to the coyote? I guess money could be an issue and space etc. Like I think changing the cat's habit wouldn't have changed the fact that if the cat went outside, the coyote would not get to her, they would have attacked her at any time of the day or night, i think it is a good temporary thing to do, but coyotes are unpredictable.

It's just sad that this happened and it's a sad vision to have as the last thing to remember her by :( I guess in the time she spent with you, you did love and care for her and kept her safe when the time came and you did what you could do at the time and you shouldn't blame yourself because the coyote was the ones that took her, they should have left her alone, but coyotes are coyotes.

And I guess you could take this situation and learn from it, maybe think of ways if in the future you find yourself with another stray cat needing the assistance. Maybe you could build a cat pen just for stray cats in your yard just in case one shows up and needs help getting used to being inside etc.

It's a tricky situation to be in:( I'm sorry i don't have any more ideas, but I feel for you and its not your fault :(
 

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It could have happened any other time, please don't feel guilty about it. The stray we had been feeding on occasion was killed by a dog when we were away and I have since regretted not adopting her. The next stray I took care of, I took her in forever. I don't normally take care of strays, I ignore them as much as I can because I'm selfish I guess. When you bond with an animal like this, it's really heartbreaking
 
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BBirdcat

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thank you b
 

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I may be wrong here but do you know for sure the coyotes got her? If not, someone else may have taken her in or she may have just gone somewhere safer. Cats are smart. I am hoping she is still out there and if you don’t know for sure, you can look for her. If you are sure, I am very sorry. It seems that no matter what we do for our kitties we always have that ,” what if I had.....” We don’t know it all. Maybe it’s too soon but perhaps it would ease your pain if you saved another kitty to keep as an indoor kitty. Helping others can give us some comfort. If you don’t want to take in a kitty, there are so many shelters that need help. They need foster parents, people to help educate and various other positions where you could be a huge help. Your heart is obviously hurting but it’s in the right place. You saved her as a kitten. We can’t choose how things end but we can choose to continue helping. :grouphug2:
 
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BBirdcat

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Im not 100% but last time there was a coyote incident I called for her that night and she was hiding in a tree. They may have chased her away but I have no idea where she went.

Today is 4th of July so probably a bad night to look but maybe tomorrow I'll call for her at night around the neighborhood. I have truly no idea where she explored at night and where she may have run off to so that really sucks. Maybe she crossed a street and got lost, I feel so bad.

I just want to know where and what happened to her to get closure.
 

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Cats are masters at hiding and at knowing when they need to find somewhere else to go. Having coyotes there could easily have sent he to look elsewhere for a safe hiding place. Somewhere they can’t go. Rooftops are a good place. Very high or some small opening or a neighbor. Start asking and maybe post some flyers. If she is near, you may find her. When the nights is quiet, use a flashlight to shine because cat eyes reflect really well. Call her and keep your old routine that you had with her. Also, early mornings and at dusk are good times to search although I have found missing cats at 10 in the morning too. Go when you know the coyotes are not on the prowl. Can you put a feeding station up really high? Maybe something on the roof that can only be accessed by a ladder or from tree branches. Look for cat accessible only places. Don’t leave food there extended periods. It will attract predators. I have had ferals vanish for long periods when humans were acting as predators. I was amazed to find one of them a year later. I caught her and brought her to be an inside only cat when I found her. Don’t give up! Stay hopeful and put out good vibes. Cats seem to sense these things. We will stay hopeful with you.
 
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BBirdcat

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Thank you. My cat is very skittish. I would just think after a little while (it's been 5 days) she might return back home and wait at the glass for food? The coyotes rarely showed up at my house but were in the neighborhood.

The day after I clicked to top of my house to call from her in the back but didn't hear or see anything. I could have sworn I heard a super faint meow but after looking the next night didn't see anything (could have been imagining it).

tonight around 2am Ill probably search within 2-3 houses and call for her w a flashlight on the left and right and on the other side of the street.

Thank you. I would check at 10am, but there are usually gardeners/loud people at that time.

I know it's quiet around 2am but not sure if coyotes are out then or not. They keep changing times they come around, very annoying. Sometimes was there at 1240 (like mentioned), other times at 5:30am, 5:00am, etc..
 

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I always tell people to trust their instincts. If you thought you hear a faint meow, it very well could be. Cats can get into the oddest places. I had one got into a very tiny hole and into the wall. If you have a chimney, she could even be there. Look everywhere, even if she could not possibly be there, look anyway. The flashlight trick is very helpful. Even if it isn’t totally dark you can catch the reflection. I’ll find some photos so you can see what to look for. I don’t think I have any from the woods but you’ll get the idea. Look up, down, into, above, below and call. If kitty knows the sound of dry food being shaken in a bag or dish, do that. Popping of an opening can, tap on one lightly with a spoon. Whatever kitty might recognize, do it. And.... listen after every call or sound. They tend to meow more quietly if they feel scared outside. Adult ferals have learned to be quiet. The reflection from eyes may be quick since the kitty will turn and may try to hide so, look carefully. I would do this every night. Five days is actually a very short time to be hiding. Since she may think she can’t quickly get in to glass, she may wait until she knows you are looking for her. Be patient and give her all the time she needs to feel confident enough to sneak back out.

This cat hid from me! I did get her and she is safe. Don’t give up.:alright:
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BBirdcat

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I've checked like 4 times in the back and heard nothing other than that one time the first day of a really faint meow. I hope she's not trapped somewhere.

Tonight I'll try the front. I have a toy I play w her so maybe that will help.

How long if you say 5 days is not a while did it take for you to find cats? I know you said a year, but is it possible after a week or month? I don't know how she'd survive without food and water for that long :(

Thank you for the help, will definitely try the flashlight trick tonight.
 
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