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

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Shawna87

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I’m still working on asking around for the orange cat. She did however come back to my house the next day looking for more food. So tonight I set out some food under a container since it was raining. I saw my cats looking out the window and I was so surprised and happy when I saw that tuxedo cat eating the food I set out on our porch! Poor baby looks skinny and must’ve been very hungry to have ventured out into the rain all the way to my house. After she finished all the food I came outside with some treats but she ran off under our truck. I set out another can of food and lots of dry food so she could eat till she was full. She ate her fill and then left. I was so thrilled I finally saw the tuxedo cat and she now knows there’s food outside my house so I’m hopeful she’ll be back. Maybe the orange one will be back too! I’m currently still looking for a dog shelter to buy so I can place the heating mat in it and create a warm space for both these babies.

Also my husband told me when he was feeding his pigs he saw another cat (white with brown spots) eating a rat. We saw it again today twice at the hog house. Im assuming it’s hanging out around there because there’s a dry place and lots of mice and rats to catch. I’m also going to try setting out some food for this cat too.

I had no idea how many outdoor cats there were around here. So far out of all the cats I haven’t seen any with an ear tipping. I’m going to work on gaining their trust and seeing if anyone owns these cats. Then I’ll try to see if they have been spayed or neutered.

If anyone has any suggestions to better help the cats or anything I could be doing better I’m all ears for it. I’m new to feeding strays/ferals and just want to make sure these cats are cared for and have full bellies.

Also thank you all to those who have been helping me with this and for all the advice. It is so greatly appreciated since I am so new to feeding any outdoor cats or caring for them. You all are the best and have the best hearts ❤
 

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Also thank you all to those who have been helping me with this and for all the advice. It is so greatly appreciated since I am so new to feeding any outdoor cats or caring for them.
You're doing the best you can, and I think you are doing a great job, based on what you've described.

I totally understand what you mean about it being heartbreaking when you encounter cats like this, and you want to give them better care, but just can't, and so you can only do the best you can with the resources you have.

I recently found a stray that was outside in the cold, shivering and scared. I am a city-dweller, living in an apartment, with my own senior cat with cancer, and so I absolutely could not take another random cat inside. I also don't own a car, relying on public transportation, Uber, etc., and so I can't physically transport a cat to a shelter or rescue group.

I had to do the best I could, which was to comb the neighborhood trying to find a possible owner. I went back several times, rang doorbells, left notes, etc. I also ran into a woman who also spotted the cat and was leaving food out, so I knew someone else (who lived closer than me) also cared, which put my mind a little more at ease. But I never found an owner, and eventually lost track of the cat.

I try to assume that it was found by its owner and returned, or at least brought to a shelter where its chip (hopefully it had one) would be scanned. But just that one encounter with a stray always makes me feel a little bad whenever I think about it. I will never know if it was rescued or if something bad happened to it, and there was nothing I could do.

I try not to dwell on that, though, and just take comfort in the fact that I did the best I could. Also I ran into a random person who also cared, so I am hopeful that there are other people out there who also care enough to act.
 

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I had no idea how many outdoor cats there were around here. So far out of all the cats I haven’t seen any with an ear tipping. I’m going to work on gaining their trust and seeing if anyone owns these cats. Then I’ll try to see if they have been spayed or neutered.

If anyone has any suggestions to better help the cats or anything I could be doing better I’m all ears for it. I’m new to feeding strays/ferals and just want to make sure these cats are cared for and have full bellies.
Yes, I think if you see one, you'll see more. Sometimes when there are not many people around and not much of a complain, strays and ferals will be around as they need to hunt for food and they wander afar and probably ended or passing by your area.

It'll be good if you recruit yourself in helping to do a TNR work around you area as to control the over population and also give them a better and healthy life to live on.

You can check if any rescue groups are in or around your area and work with them.

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The orange cat has been coming regularly for food and cuddle. Still trying to find out who owns the cat. However I came here because the cat that my husband saw at his pig house showed up again today. It was raining and cold outside. She was hovering under a small roof. My husband called me to bring her some food. When I saw her she kept meowing at me. It seemed like she was saying I’m scared please don’t hurt me I’m too weak to fight. My heart completely broke when I saw her condition. She is skin and bones. Her face looks swollen and she is very small. I threw her a few treats and she quickly ate those up. I managed to get close enough to set down a bowl of wet and dry cat food. She ate very fast like she was very hungry. I sat down a distance from her because as to not scare her and let her eat. To my surprise when she was done eating she turned around and went right up to me to rub against me. It was as if she was saying thank you. I gave her some head rubs and pets. I tried to check if she’s a boy or girl but she didn’t like me touching her too much. I carefully picked her up and she didn’t seem to like it but didn’t have much strength to fight me. I brought her in pig house so she would be out of the rain. I set food down in there and set her down in there too. She ran back outside so I followed. I picked her up again but this time started rubbing her head and ears and she started to fall asleep in my arms. After a few minutes though she wanted down to eat more. She has fleas and ticks on her. I will continue to leave food in the pig house for her to see if I can get her to keep coming back. What do I do from here on for her? I can’t take her inside but would be happy for her to be a barn cat. She seems so so skinny and I’m sure she’s either been abandoned or is a feral. I would love to get her to a vet to make sure she’s healthy and get her fixed along with flea, tick, and worm medicine. I’m afraid to catch her though because that might make her associate me and the pig house with a traumatic experience and she’ll never come back and end up starving again. I also want her to gain my trust before I try to do anything. Any suggestions? Anything I can do right now to help her condition and get some weight on her? Any idea why her head looked swollen?


Thank you so much an advance for all the help!
 

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The orange cat has been coming regularly for food and cuddle. Still trying to find out who owns the cat. However I came here because the cat that my husband saw at his pig house showed up again today. It was raining and cold outside. She was hovering under a small roof. My husband called me to bring her some food. When I saw her she kept meowing at me. It seemed like she was saying I’m scared please don’t hurt me I’m too weak to fight. My heart completely broke when I saw her condition. She is skin and bones. Her face looks swollen and she is very small. I threw her a few treats and she quickly ate those up. I managed to get close enough to set down a bowl of wet and dry cat food. She ate very fast like she was very hungry. I sat down a distance from her because as to not scare her and let her eat. To my surprise when she was done eating she turned around and went right up to me to rub against me. It was as if she was saying thank you. I gave her some head rubs and pets. I tried to check if she’s a boy or girl but she didn’t like me touching her too much. I carefully picked her up and she didn’t seem to like it but didn’t have much strength to fight me. I brought her in pig house so she would be out of the rain. I set food down in there and set her down in there too. She ran back outside so I followed. I picked her up again but this time started rubbing her head and ears and she started to fall asleep in my arms. After a few minutes though she wanted down to eat more. She has fleas and ticks on her. I will continue to leave food in the pig house for her to see if I can get her to keep coming back. What do I do from here on for her? I can’t take her inside but would be happy for her to be a barn cat. She seems so so skinny and I’m sure she’s either been abandoned or is a feral. I would love to get her to a vet to make sure she’s healthy and get her fixed along with flea, tick, and worm medicine. I’m afraid to catch her though because that might make her associate me and the pig house with a traumatic experience and she’ll never come back and end up starving again. I also want her to gain my trust before I try to do anything. Any suggestions? Anything I can do right now to help her condition and get some weight on her? Any idea why her head looked swollen?


Thank you so much an advance for all the help!
She does look very hungry and cold. Good that you brought food for her.

Yes, if you can, bring her to the vet and have a good check and clear the fleas and ticks and get he r fixed. I think it's a good idea to have her be a barn cat Don't worry that she associate you of being associated with he pig house. It'll just be temporary and soon she'll forget all about it.

With the head rub and sleeping in your arms, she looks like she has already trusted you and right now, keep her company as much as possible and keep bringing food to her so that she'll associate you with food. Feed her with wet kitten food if you can as kitten food is full of nutrients and proteins and this will help boost her growth and gain weight. Also leave some of your clean unwashed non perfumed garments with her so that there's familiar scents of you and with that, it'll help gain more trust in you.

Again, yes, to the vet ASAP since you said the head is a little swollen so that the vet can do a though check on her.

The other thing is, will the pig house always have someone around? If yes, that'll be good so that the person can continue to feed her and with you around, it's also boost her confidence. Make a nice warm place for her to rest. Once she feels that she's well taken care of, she is more likely to stay put.
 

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The orange cat has been coming regularly for food and cuddle. Still trying to find out who owns the cat. However I came here because the cat that my husband saw at his pig house showed up again today. It was raining and cold outside. She was hovering under a small roof. My husband called me to bring her some food. When I saw her she kept meowing at me. It seemed like she was saying I’m scared please don’t hurt me I’m too weak to fight. My heart completely broke when I saw her condition. She is skin and bones. Her face looks swollen and she is very small. I threw her a few treats and she quickly ate those up. I managed to get close enough to set down a bowl of wet and dry cat food. She ate very fast like she was very hungry. I sat down a distance from her because as to not scare her and let her eat. To my surprise when she was done eating she turned around and went right up to me to rub against me. It was as if she was saying thank you. I gave her some head rubs and pets. I tried to check if she’s a boy or girl but she didn’t like me touching her too much. I carefully picked her up and she didn’t seem to like it but didn’t have much strength to fight me. I brought her in pig house so she would be out of the rain. I set food down in there and set her down in there too. She ran back outside so I followed. I picked her up again but this time started rubbing her head and ears and she started to fall asleep in my arms. After a few minutes though she wanted down to eat more. She has fleas and ticks on her. I will continue to leave food in the pig house for her to see if I can get her to keep coming back. What do I do from here on for her? I can’t take her inside but would be happy for her to be a barn cat. She seems so so skinny and I’m sure she’s either been abandoned or is a feral. I would love to get her to a vet to make sure she’s healthy and get her fixed along with flea, tick, and worm medicine. I’m afraid to catch her though because that might make her associate me and the pig house with a traumatic experience and she’ll never come back and end up starving again. I also want her to gain my trust before I try to do anything. Any suggestions? Anything I can do right now to help her condition and get some weight on her? Any idea why her head looked swollen?


Thank you so much an advance for all the help!
Well definitely not feral and not semi feral either,this white/brown kitty has been stray for a bit and probably isn't very good at it yet as she seems solely dependant on humans as the source of food,very sad Who knows what happened to her,if she accidentally got lost in a move with her humans,owner moved away and she slipped out or her owner passed away or has been looking for her for months- I'd definitely post her photo around and try to see if anyone is looking for her

As tabbytom tabbytom suggested kitten food is high protein,lots of calories and would help put some weight on- she would greatly benefit by a Vet visit to take care of her medical needs etc and I see no reason why she'd associate you with anything negative by bringing her there.You pick her up,she dozes off in your arms and my guess is she's been in a carrier before,should be no problem

So there's no way you could bring her in to join your clowder? I'm betting she was an indoor kitty- are there no - kill shelters in your area that might be able to get her adopted?Of course she can acclimate to living in the barn or pig house but I doubt she'd make a great ratter-lol you mentioned " lots of mice & rats" yet she's emaciated. Oh,are you sure her head/face is swollen or does it just seem thst way because she's skeletal? Any possibility " she" is an intact male? They usually have pronounced jowls and a thick neck.....

Sounds like a wonderful kitty that would make a loving companion to someone.... thanks for caring for all these poor homeless babies,just breaks my heart
 

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Who knows what happened to her,if she accidentally got lost in a move with her humans,owner moved away and she slipped out or her owner passed away or has been looking for her for months- I'd definitely post her photo around and try to see if anyone is looking for her
This is a good idea. I agree that this cat seems like a stray and just doesn't know how to do it well enough.

That's how my cat Willy was, initially. He was around 1 year old when found, so plenty old to be able to take care of himself... if only he knew how to. He was skin and bones, so he must have come from a human lifestyle, then got lost.

When we rescued Willy, we brought him to the vet and he was scanned for a chip, but had none. He was also found in a semi-rural area, so there weren't really any places to post pictures. But we did have neighbors whom we asked first

Maybe if there is a grocery store where most people in your area would go to? Even if it's not close, but it's the closest grocery store, that could be a good place to ask management if you can post a picture.

Just a thought.
 
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Hey everyone! Thank you so much for your responses. I had never thought that it could be a stay. I’m wondering now if that’s what it was. Thank you so much for suggesting that! I decided to take everyone’s advice and was able to get the cat in a carrier today and put a crate in our shed with a littler box, heating mat and bed, food, and water. I found someone that offered to take her in until I could find a rescue to take her in. I’m going to bring her by the vet as soon as I get a chance. I also gave her wet kitten food like one of you suggested. Here’s some photos of her. She was pretty freaked out when I got her in the carrier but once I put her in the crate she ate some food and settled down on the heating mat. She then requested some head rubs and cuddles and started to purr. Here’s some photos of her that I got.
 

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cmshap

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I decided to take everyone’s advice and was able to get the cat in a carrier today and put a crate in our shed with a littler box, heating mat and bed, food, and water. I found someone that offered to take her in until I could find a rescue to take her in. I’m going to bring her by the vet as soon as I get a chance.
Great job!

I love hearing stories like yours, about these moments when an animal is fearful, but after you show them some care, they become affectionate.

Requesting head rubs after you fed her just further makes me believe she is a stray.

I love tri-colored cats like this, BTW.
 

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Hey everyone! Thank you so much for your responses. I had never thought that it could be a stay. I’m wondering now if that’s what it was. Thank you so much for suggesting that! I decided to take everyone’s advice and was able to get the cat in a carrier today and put a crate in our shed with a littler box, heating mat and bed, food, and water. I found someone that offered to take her in until I could find a rescue to take her in. I’m going to bring her by the vet as soon as I get a chance. I also gave her wet kitten food like one of you suggested. Here’s some photos of her. She was pretty freaked out when I got her in the carrier but once I put her in the crate she ate some food and settled down on the heating mat. She then requested some head rubs and cuddles and started to purr. Here’s some photos of her that I got.
So happy to hear you acted so quickly- hugs ,hugs & more hugs for helping this darling kitty

She was somebody's cat and with your intervention she now has the opportunity to have a new forever home like she deserves... Be Blessed that you can continue to be a Blessing❤❤❤
 
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She is still in my shed but she’s eating a lot of wet kitten food! She seems so happy to be there and rubs against me and wants head rubs every time I visit her. I brought her to a vet to get her scanned for a microchip and they told me her overall health looks good. I think she has a respiratory infection though so I’ve scheduled an appointment to get her seen for that. Her main problem is malnourished. She gets fed wet kitten food three times a day and is fed all she can eat and I leave a high protein dry kitten food in her bowl during feeding times. She knows how to use the litter box and adores her heating mat. While at the vet she did get dewormed. I also gave her a flea bath and pulled off all the ticks along with giving her some flea and tick medicine. She did better with a bath than any of mine would!

I have someone who would be willing to make her an outdoor cat. They said they would set up a house outside for her with fresh food and water along with a heating mat and blankets. She would live on their porch. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I like the idea of her having a home instead of being at a rescue but at the same time she has five dogs and I don’t want them to scare her away since she lives where no one is around and I’m scared if the cat runs away no one will find her to help and she’ll die alone. What’s everyone’s thoughts on this? She is so sweet and has been through too much. I just want to see her happy and no longer have a rough life.
 

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She is still in my shed but she’s eating a lot of wet kitten food! She seems so happy to be there and rubs against me and wants head rubs every time I visit her. I brought her to a vet to get her scanned for a microchip and they told me her overall health looks good. I think she has a respiratory infection though so I’ve scheduled an appointment to get her seen for that. Her main problem is malnourished. She gets fed wet kitten food three times a day and is fed all she can eat and I leave a high protein dry kitten food in her bowl during feeding times. She knows how to use the litter box and adores her heating mat. While at the vet she did get dewormed. I also gave her a flea bath and pulled off all the ticks along with giving her some flea and tick medicine. She did better with a bath than any of mine would!

I have someone who would be willing to make her an outdoor cat. They said they would set up a house outside for her with fresh food and water along with a heating mat and blankets. She would live on their porch. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I like the idea of her having a home instead of being at a rescue but at the same time she has five dogs and I don’t want them to scare her away since she lives where no one is around and I’m scared if the cat runs away no one will find her to help and she’ll die alone. What’s everyone’s thoughts on this? She is so sweet and has been through too much. I just want to see her happy and no longer have a rough life.
That would be a big " no" for me......she deserves a home and obviously came from one

That's my 2cents,I'd not give any cat to someone to live on a porch or outside
 

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My initial reaction is that it wouldn't be a good placement for her. The dogs in particular worry me. Also, she has shown that she is not good fending for herself and would probably be better in a home. You may have mentioned it and I missed it but was the vet going to spay her? That for sure needs to be done before she goes anywhere else.
 

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I have someone who would be willing to make her an outdoor cat. They said they would set up a house outside for her with fresh food and water along with a heating mat and blankets. She would live on their porch. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I like the idea of her having a home instead of being at a rescue but at the same time she has five dogs and I don’t want them to scare her away since she lives where no one is around and I’m scared if the cat runs away no one will find her to help and she’ll die alone. What’s everyone’s thoughts on this? She is so sweet and has been through too much. I just want to see her happy and no longer have a rough life.
Please no! You have done quite a bit for this kitty and she's already trusted you and now giving her away to someone to make her an outdoor cat is as good as not rescuing her and given what that someone with 5 dogs, I'm very sure that this cat will run away and who knows what will happen to her.

Please, I beg you, don't do it.
 
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After reading everyone’s comments I decided to keep looking for a rescue since I don’t think she’ll do good outside. However I’m wondering what I should do if I cannot find a shelter or a rescue to take her in? I’ve contacted almost every shelter and rescue in my area that’s no kill and they are all completely full and will not take her. I cannot keep her and I’ll be going out of town in a couple weeks so I need to find a home or a place to take her before then. Has anyone been in this situation? It’s been stressful for me.
 

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After reading everyone’s comments I decided to keep looking for a rescue since I don’t think she’ll do good outside. However I’m wondering what I should do if I cannot find a shelter or a rescue to take her in? I’ve contacted almost every shelter and rescue in my area that’s no kill and they are all completely full and will not take her. I cannot keep her and I’ll be going out of town in a couple weeks so I need to find a home or a place to take her before then. Has anyone been in this situation? It’s been stressful for me.
Sure have- and thsts how I have 5 cats.....
 
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I finally found a rescue that is going to take her in! I drop her off Monday evening when they’ll have their vet on site to see her. It’s a no kill rescue and none of the cats are in crates or cages. The rescue is one house where all the cats live in together. It makes them feel more like they are living in a home and have access to lots of toys and fun things! I’m so happy for her and they are excited for her to join them. She’s on her way to find her forever home. Another rescue also helped me out by getting me the antibiotic and eye drops she needs for her respiratory infection. Her body is starting to fill in a little since I’ve had her and her eyes look so much happier. I am very sad to see her go but she’ll be happier there than in a crate in my shed. I’m still sad I couldn’t keep her but at the moment we don’t have the space and my girl cat doesn’t do well with other females.
 
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