How to know if someone’s caring for a feral?

maggie101

3 cats
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Messages
7,795
Purraise
9,741
Location
Houston,TX
Coco's ear is tipped. When she was taken as a stray 5 weeks old then came back a year later a friend helped me get tnr done since i could not afford to take her in and couldn't find her a home. now she is afraid of the outdoors but if she were to ever escape, people might think she is feral since she hides from everyone and has tipped ear.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,526
Purraise
36,461
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
Whoah... what? Can someone please explain this to me?

I recently spotted a stray for the first time in my area, and I assumed it was a stray by the way it seemed kind of timid/scared vs. cautious/assertive... it let me get very close and then hid under a car. It was shivering and didn't seem like it knew how to make it outside, hence I assumed a stray that got lost.

But this is seriously the first I've ever heard about tipped ears. Is this just done to trap-and-release ferals? I've honestly never seen a reference to this before.
13244599_1124411510931161_8098574853379237221_n.jpg
 

IndyJones

Adopt don't shop.
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
3,954
Purraise
3,598
Location
Where do you think?
Thats the V shapped notch thats used around here. They are mostly barn cats though and will come to the bowl and scatter like fish after tapping the glass if approched. They stay on the rural outskirts for the mostpart though.

There's one or two pet cats with notches too. They i think had been altered at the popup clinic that sometimes comes.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,526
Purraise
36,461
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
Thats the V shapped notch thats used around here. They are mostly barn cats though and will come to the bowl and scatter like fish after tapping the glass if approched. They stay on the rural outskirts for the mostpart though.
For us, it's tipped.
 

cmshap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
1,490
Purraise
3,529
Location
Milwaukee, WI
I never thought of other aspects of population control besides for the sterilization, like what is explained in the graphic tabbytom tabbytom posted. That returning TNR cats to the same neighborhood where they were found will prevent new cats (who can reproduce) from moving in there.

It makes sense... I just never would have considered that before.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,526
Purraise
36,461
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
I never thought of other aspects of population control besides for the sterilization, like what is explained in the graphic tabbytom tabbytom posted. That returning TNR cats to the same neighborhood where they were found will prevent new cats (who can reproduce) from moving in there.

It makes sense... I just never would have considered that before.
Sterilization is the way to go for them.

Maybe the notch is because the vets in this area have more experience notching pigs/cows idk. The vets that run the popup clinic are farm animal vets as well.
I guess different areas practice different ways of tipping.
 

DeesCats

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jul 21, 2023
Messages
252
Purraise
532
Location
Northeast Ohio
In my area they do left ear tipping whether male or female for TNR. They avoid doing the V-notch as it's more difficult to see for the trappers and in the event any cats get in a fight they might rip off one side of the V-notch.
 

dahlia

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
394
Purraise
291
I have used various vets to TNR and there approach to ear tipping seems to differ. Some do Vs and some take the tip of the ear off. One of my little females had a new vet work on her and he took off pretty much the top of her ear. She looks like she lost it to frost bite. I am happy to say that this little one was very friendly and I eventually found a home for her.
 

Antonio65

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
6,014
Purraise
9,601
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Here is one of my feral colony cats. She's living at the local shelter now.
You can see her right ear tipped. This is customary over here when a feral cat is TNR'ed. Anyway, this is the only cat in my colony with its ear tipped. After this one I asked the vets not to tip ears anymore because I didn't want to spoil my cats' beauty. After all, nobody else but me will ever care for those cats.
Polpetta 2022_12_14rr.jpg
 

Meowmee

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
2,864
Purraise
3,594
I hope you figure out if this kitty is a stray, feral or needs help. It can be hard to tell it first all the cats that I took in from outside seems like they were pretty good condition at first but then they became rundown…

so if it’s a stray who was abandoned recently, they might look OK… they can travel around from community to community of colonies too. If they’re getting overweight and you’re feeding them it’s likely they’re also getting food from other people because there are lots of people that feed Feral Cats plus they will be hunting as well if they are outside.

just observe the cat and try to feed at a specific time in the morning when it’s light if you can, then take the food if any is left inside overnight. If you can get some outdoor cams to see when he is showing up.

With my Zena I saw him on the first day he was Abandoned and I tried to make friends with him as he was crying for help but he got scared. I put food out with a carrier cause I was trying to get him to go in and then he didn’t come back for a while plus my other outdoor cats chased him away.

So it took me almost 2 years to get him inside, if I had just kept putting the food out and waited for him to trust me more, I might’ve had a better chance of getting him.

Anyway, everyone is inside now and doing pretty well although there are some territorial issues that were going on that I haven’t resolved yet from the touchable cats, and the two who are still not touchable.
Good luck 🤗😀

ps. The ear tipping…If you try taking a photograph of him, you may be able to zoom in on it and see. I did have one cat once who was tipped but it looked like an injury. Even the rescue people couldn’t tell, and I ended up taking her for TNR but when they shaved her, they said she was already spayed. She did get some medical treatment and was vaxed again.

I have never liked ear tipping. I prefer the tattoos because it seems like a mutilation of their ear. I’m still upset that poor Merlin, who is so beautiful, had such a large part of his ear chopped off. If I had the money, I would probably try to get plastic surgery to get it reconstructed lol😹
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #33

Shawna87

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
Good idea! I’m definitely going to start putting out the food in the mornings before I leave for work and then pick up before it gets dark. Hopefully he or she will figure out where the food is! Thank you!
QUOTE="di and bob, post: 5745661, member: 53351"]
Yes, if you are worried about attracting wildlife, pick up the food at night. Cats very quickly learn when you set out food if you do it at the same time. i would start by getting her used to eating from you, then slowly move the food nearer to your house. You could get a large plastic dog house, cheap on facebook, or a large tote on its side to feed her, to keep the weather out. you could stick with hard food to amke sure its OK to leave set out. a house for her could be any kind of tote, etc. with straw and blocked off to only have a small hole in the front. I have those prefabbed heated huts up on a table in my garage. if they have a heat pad you can use blankets, the heat dries them if they get wet from wet paws.
Bless you for worrying about her, they lead such a hard life. Any kind of kindness goes a long way. PS if you do decide to keep her, please get her spayed this spring or asap. Get a cheap liev trap or maybe borrow one from your local humane society. i cat turns into too many to handle VERY quickly, especially where her kittens could have more kittens at 6 months. Get one spayed, not twenty!
[/QUOTE]
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #34

Shawna87

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
That’s so sweet of you to have taken your sweet cat in! Thank you for caring so much about it! I hope I can figure out if he or she needs any kind of help. It’s so hard because I don’t see it often but I’ve seen it enough to know it’s hanging out around my neighborhood. I live on a dirt road in the deep county with mainly farmers surrounding us so there’s plenty of places for it to hide or a chance it could be a barn cat. However the times I’ve seen it has been by an abandoned house and at my house. But again I’ve only seen it a few times but someone else also told me they saw it too.
QUOTE="Meowmee, post: 5746444, member: 10018959"]
I hope you figure out if this kitty is a stray, feral or needs help. It can be hard to tell it first all the cats that I took in from outside seems like they were pretty good condition at first but then they became rundown…

so if it’s a stray who was abandoned recently, they might look OK… they can travel around from community to community of colonies too. If they’re getting overweight and you’re feeding them it’s likely they’re also getting food from other people because there are lots of people that feed Feral Cats plus they will be hunting as well if they are outside.

just observe the cat and try to feed at a specific time in the morning when it’s light if you can, then take the food if any is left inside overnight. If you can get some outdoor cams to see when he is showing up.

With my Zena I saw him on the first day he was Abandoned and I tried to make friends with him as he was crying for help but he got scared. I put food out with a carrier cause I was trying to get him to go in and then he didn’t come back for a while plus my other outdoor cats chased him away.

So it took me almost 2 years to get him inside, if I had just kept putting the food out and waited for him to trust me more, I might’ve had a better chance of getting him.

Anyway, everyone is inside now and doing pretty well although there are some territorial issues that were going on that I haven’t resolved yet from the touchable cats, and the two who are still not touchable.
Good luck 🤗😀

ps. The ear tipping…If you try taking a photograph of him, you may be able to zoom in on it and see. I did have one cat once who was tipped but it looked like an injury. Even the rescue people couldn’t tell, and I ended up taking her for TNR but when they shaved her, they said she was already spayed. She did get some medical treatment and was vaxed again.

I have never liked ear tipping. I prefer the tattoos because it seems like a mutilation of their ear. I’m still upset that poor Merlin, who is so beautiful, had such a large part of his ear chopped off. If I had the money, I would probably try to get plastic surgery to get it reconstructed lol😹
[/QUOTE]
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #35

Shawna87

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
I wanted to update everyone. I’ve been out of town for a week so I haven’t seen the cat for a couple weeks. My husband however said he saw it in our yard a week ago. I recently bought an outdoor heating mat for pets so I’m currently working on finding a shelter I can set out with the heating mat, some blankets, food, and water. I’m hoping this will attract it to come to my house more often. I’ll keep you updated on things though! I’ve been going outside almost every evening to look at where we saw it last time but haven’t had any luck seeing it.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #36

Shawna87

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
Another update. I saw the cat tonight! It made me so sad though because it was eating the trash out of the bag my husband had in his truck bed. No cat should have to resort to eating trash… I’m so happy I saw it tonight though! We were pulling into our driveway when I saw it and the car scared it and it ran off. I used a flashlight and some treats to walk around our property but didn’t see it. We haven’t had the raccoons climb his truck to get into the trash in the truck bed so I set out a plate of wet food in the truck bed incase it comes back tonight for some more food. I’m hoping it’ll come back tonight. I’ve also been leaving treats out where I saw it the first few times by our house and I’ve noticed the treats are going missing. Whether that’s the cat or raccoons I’m not sure.
 

cmshap

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
1,490
Purraise
3,529
Location
Milwaukee, WI
I’ve also been leaving treats out where I saw it the first few times by our house and I’ve noticed the treats are going missing. Whether that’s the cat or raccoons I’m not sure.
This is a tough one, because raccoons will learn where the magically restocking food supply is and come back for it over and over, too.

I don't have any experience with feeding stray/feral cats outside, but I have a lot of experience with raccoons raiding all and every stash of food I have left outside. Like when camping... coolers that I thought were securely fastened closed (even with extra straps around them), backpacks while hiking, garbage cans that come with "raccoon-proof" locking mechanisms, etc.

I wonder if anybody has any tips on how to leave food out for a cat and minimize its chance of getting pilfered by other animals?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #39

Shawna87

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 25, 2022
Messages
164
Purraise
416
The cat came back! It wasn’t the tuxedo cat that I have originally been seeing but an orange tabby cat instead. It had a blue collar on it so I’m wondering if it belongs to someone around my neighborhood. It seemed starving though. It ate two 5 ounce cans of cat food, some treats, and a good amount of dry cat food. I let her eat till she was full. I was able to lure her close to me and she eventually let me pet her. She now won’t leave my front porch and it’s completely breaking my heart to see her sitting out there wanting more love. I gave her lots of love but I wish I could take her inside but I can’t with my three I have inside. She didn’t look thin but acted really hungry. I took some photos so what do you all think? The collar looked pretty torn up. Im wondering how I can find out if it’s someone’s cat that lives close by or if it was abandoned. Any suggestions to know? She’s so sweet and beautiful and it’s breaking it heart she’s left outside at night and was that hungry! 😭
 

Attachments

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
19,526
Purraise
36,461
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
The cat came back! It wasn’t the tuxedo cat that I have originally been seeing but an orange tabby cat instead. It had a blue collar on it so I’m wondering if it belongs to someone around my neighborhood. It seemed starving though. It ate two 5 ounce cans of cat food, some treats, and a good amount of dry cat food. I let her eat till she was full. I was able to lure her close to me and she eventually let me pet her. She now won’t leave my front porch and it’s completely breaking my heart to see her sitting out there wanting more love. I gave her lots of love but I wish I could take her inside but I can’t with my three I have inside. She didn’t look thin but acted really hungry. I took some photos so what do you all think? The collar looked pretty torn up. Im wondering how I can find out if it’s someone’s cat that lives close by or if it was abandoned. Any suggestions to know? She’s so sweet and beautiful and it’s breaking it heart she’s left outside at night and was that hungry! 😭
You can ask around or put up a poster with the photo of this cat and see anyone respond to it. Give it some time for response and in the meantime, decide whether you want to keep her or not. If you do, I suggest that you start getting to work on like building a big enough catio for her on your front porch since you can't take her inside because of your other three cats.

This way, you are still kind of keeping her and also be sure that she is safe and being loved and she has a safe place to live too.
 
Top