How to attract a stray cat?

Mossytoad

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Hello, so recently I've been trying to feed this stray cat, and the first time was successful, I just left the food bowl out there and a day later it was eaten. But I filled it up again and he hasn't come back. This time I put tuna on top of the kibble to increase the smell.

In my area there are a bunch of stray cats, mostly from owners who abandoned their sweet little kitties and cats that aren't neutered. I'm hoping I can maybe capture him and give him to a no kill shelter nearby, I've done this with a pregnant stray kitty before.

Do y'all have any tips on attracting him back? And please tell me if I've done anything wrong, thank you!
 

Furballsmom

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Hi!
I think just keep trying, and watching, --do you happen to have a camera you could set up to see if he shows during the night, or to see who else arrives for your food?
 
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Mossytoad

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Hi!
I think just keep trying, and watching, --do you happen to have a camera you could set up to see if he shows during the night, or to see who else arrives for your food?
I do, but unfortunately the battery is broken so I have to get a new one. So far he is the only stray I have seen on our property in a while, but I could be wrong.
 

Jcatbird

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Repetition. Keeping a regular routine of putting out food will bring that one and possibly others. Perhaps someone else in your area is feeding? He also may well show up when you are not aware of it. It’s mostly letting him learn that food is available when he searches for it. Smelly is good! Putting the food in a place he feels safe may help too. Since he ate there once, you may want to keep the dish in the same spot but if he does not eat there regularly or hesitates, try putting it in a sheltered spot. Make sure the food out is kept fresh and take up old stuff or unrated food since it will attract predators. Whatever time of day you have seen him is the time you should look for him to offer food. Dawn and dusk are often when cats start hunting. Some are active in the dark of night since that is the time humans are less apparent. Mostly, it just takes a little while for them to understand that you are a regular food source. Once they know that, they should feed there regularly. Other things can affect their pattern. Mating time is a big influence. If that cat or others nearby are in heat, routines are interrupted. If human or predator activity changes, their routine changes too. Just keep up what you are doing now. Keep fresh water available too. A fresh bowl of water can be as valuable, or more, than food. I’m glad you noticed the kitty and I hope you can get him to return. You may be saving a life. That’s awesome that you rescued that pregnant kitty too! :clap2::goldstar:
 
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