Feral cat staying by house

TardisDance

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I have had a feral/stray mama cat that has been visiting my house since late February. She had kittens in my neighbor's barn back in early May. I've only seen the kittens twice as they usually stay in the barn. My neighbor has been trying to socialize them and get them eventually inside, fixed, adopted, etc.

The mama cat really doesn't like hanging in the barn and seems to be warming up to me much more. In the past week, she's actually come up to me and will eat if I stay a few feet away and she kind of meows (she tries but it sounds like a smoker lol). For months now, I've had to put the food on the border of the woods, walk away and she'll eat. And now she is starting rest on my welcome mat on my covered porch. My indoors stare at her and she slow blinks them like crazy. If I try to open the door, she runs. She seems to be okay if I approach her by opening the garage (I usually don't use the front door anyway out of fear of my indoors getting out)

I think these are all good signs? I don't have a trap and frankly I rather she warm up to me - I've thought about keeping her, but it depends on how she is indoors, around my my 2 indoor cats, etc. If anything, I just want her to get spayed so she doesn't have more kittens.

For those that have had ferals/strays, what are next steps? Is it possible she'll want to come inside? She has a small injury on her neck that looks scabbed over. I haven't been able to get a good look but it's on the front of her neck. She otherwise is very small (6 lbs-ish) but healthy looking.
 
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Alldara

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Next step would really be to get her to a vet, get her checked out and fixed.

Usually rescues trap and keep them indoors after surgery for recovery. This lets them see if the cat will come around to living indoors.

Most cats can do slow introductions to one another just fine.
 
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TardisDance

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I just left a message with the local no-kill shelter to see if they loan traps. They are only open 5 hours a day, so I’m hoping I’ll hear from them soon. I’m just so worried about her neck . . I had a better look today and it’s a big strip that’s missing fur and covered in dried blood - poor little lady. I’ve gone back and forth on whether I’d want to keep her since my cats are just starting to get better with each other - I just adopted a young male that was a former TNR a year ago and my older female is just starting to get on better with him now that he’s calmed down some with his playfulness.
I’m so torn and I know the shelters are so full around here.

Here is a picture of her. The injury in right under her mouth. There’s a tom cat that’s been around that’s caused a lot of issues even for my indoors (in another post I shared, he actually torn our screen trying to fight my male cat, windows were closed fortunately). I hope it wasn’t him . . .I’m pretty sure he’s the father of those kittens too Ughh.
F44BDECF-C6F1-4924-A2C1-0183A3DA165A.jpeg
 

Alldara

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Whew! A lot going on there...sounds like someone will need to trap-neuter-release that Tomcat at some point too!

Rehoming him to a barn or cared for colony might be best. It could be that he has a high territory drive, but if he's being so agressive it's also likely that he has an injury or illness making him mean.
 
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TardisDance

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It's been problematic with the Tom cat. He's covered in ticks and missing most of his ears. I haven't seen him in at least a month at this point.
 
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TardisDance

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Quick update - the shelter won't take her unless I can get her in a carrier, and they also said because she has a wound, she'd need to go into isolation for 60 days and they just don't have the capacity. They gave the name of a TNR group I knew about but when I checked for spay appointments, they are booked out for 2 months and they don't put folks on waiting lists for cancellations.

Her wound is at least healing up now and it's mostly a patch of missing fur. I also suspect she has giardia - I saw her take a poop so I did a quick check. Kirby (my male tuxedo) had the same thing when I adopted him from a rescue group so I have a good idea of what it looks like. It's a common parasite in our area. Without a visit to a vet, I don't know of any OTC meds that I could sneak in her food.

My plan is to keep trying to socialize her and eventually trap her or coax her inside? She allowed me to pet her for the first time yesterday and today while she was distracted eating (I’m probably crazy to even try and could have ended with a nasty bite or scratch). I’m just not sure what to do about the whole spaying and shelter situation - I’m hoping more kittens gets adopted and there’s room for her in October? I really don’t think she’s a true feral so I hate the idea of treating her as TNR.
 
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