How to prevent inappropriate feeding

solomonar

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I occasionally feed 2 colonies near my condominium.
One has no identifiable caregiver, but cats look very healthy.
The other one gets cheese, milk, and cooked chicken bones from somebody.

Question is:
a) How big is the risk of this diet?
b) Should I interfere (say by leaving a note), or leave things as they are?

Thank you very much!
 

Kieka

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Cheese and milk can cause stomach upset which then can lead to dehydration. Cooked chicken bones can splinter and cause problem. The combination would not be providing full nutrition but chances are the cats are getting food from other sources too. If you are willing to help, then I would say something. If you aren't, something is better then nothing for those cats who depend on it.
 
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solomonar

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I can't care about the colony on daily basis. This is the problem.
I can only provide some food once a week or so.
If I let the caregiver know she/he is not feeding the cats according to their nutritional needs, there is a risk for her to stop feeding them or even feeding something else, even more harmful. Maybe. I don't know.

Leaving a sealed bag of food on the spot for the caregiver could help?
 

Kieka

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Leaving a seal bag can help. You both nudge them in the right direction while not criticizing them so that they stop. Just pay attention to weather and put it in a plastic bag if needed, better would be a plastic tub so raccoons or other wildlife don't get into it.
 
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solomonar

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I will do that.
===
I really enjoy the presence of cats around but a city is a dangerous place
Some people say cats insanely reproduce. Maybe, but during the past three years, the colony numbers stay at 5-6 individuals.
Sadly, many kittens died (I saw them) and many adults are hit by cars.
There are only a couple of cat shelters here and the ones I know are run on personal revenues of the owners - which are very low.
 

Kieka

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I will do that.
===
I really enjoy the presence of cats around but a city is a dangerous place
Some people say cats insanely reproduce. Maybe, but during the past three years, the colony numbers stay at 5-6 individuals.
Sadly, many kittens died (I saw them) and many adults are hit by cars.
There are only a couple of cat shelters here and the ones I know are run on personal revenues of the owners - which are very low.
A feral cat on the street only has about a 50% chance of living to a year, a virus can wipe out an entire litter quickly. The colonies can seem fairly level just because of the mortality rate. But a well fed colony can explode or seem to when other cats figure out there is food and move in.
 
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solomonar

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I don't know much about ferals.
I wish I could do more for them, apart from placing some food on the spot once in a while.,
One day I had an idea: to arrange public parks to shelter cats.
But well, I know I dream.
 

gilmargl

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I can't care about the colony on daily basis. This is the problem.
I can only provide some food once a week or so.
If I let the caregiver know she/he is not feeding the cats according to their nutritional needs, there is a risk for her to stop feeding them or even feeding something else, even more harmful. Maybe. I don't know.

Leaving a sealed bag of food on the spot for the caregiver could help?
People often leave cat food near the small feral colony (all the cats are neutered) which I help to feed. I think it is mainly left over supplies when a cat dies or simply food which a pampered cat has decided not to eat. I have also met children on the site with cat treats, hoping to see and feed one of the cats. We are of course grateful for the donations. Anything we consider not good enough for our kitties (they may be feral but they only get served the best) we put in the skip for petfood which is delivered to the state animal shelter.
Perhaps you could ask the caretaker if you should put food down for the cats or give the food to her, without mentioning nutrition or good and bad cat food.

Thank you for helping to feed these cats. In my case, unless one of us is on holiday, I only feed the ferals twice a week (mornings and evenings). There are three of us and we have a rota.

If the caretaker is friendly, you can perhaps try to come to some agreement with her so that you are responsible for feeding the cats just on one particular day of the week.
 
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solomonar

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Thank you for your kind advice!

I got some MERA dry food and hope it will be ok with this one.
MERA is a German Manufacturer, which food is high in protein (some 30%).
Looks like Medium Range Food, seen from price and composition.
The reason for choosing this brand is that it is not so expensive, but of good quality and available anytime in a petshop nearby.
I had some bad experiences with Premium brands here, or at least my tomcat did it :-(.

I put it in a sealed bag and I am going to leave it on-site these days.
I think I will leave it there during the evening, not sure it is the right time.

I also plan to leave on-site 2-3 small empty bowls, because I saw all cats eating from the same large one, which I think is not the right way to feed a lot of cats (but please correct me if I am wrong, as I said I know close to nothing about caring ferals).. Thank you!
 
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solomonar

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I have visited the spot today- found bread and soup in large bowls and dry food on the grass.
I will leave my bag down there, but I am concerned about what will happen next- will the caregiver change the diet?

===

A slightly different situation: a small black cat conquered the grass stripe in between my condominium wall and the pedestrian path parallel to the street.

Do I put him in danger if I feed him? I mean, if no food found, maybe he will roam elsewhere, in a less dangerous place.
Any idea. should I feed him or not?

Thank you for your advice!
 
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solomonar

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Found the bag on site, apparently not opened.
The bowls are full of (rotten) boiled rice and bread.
I will check again these days.
 
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solomonar

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Checked- my bag vanished. Two bowls full of milk and another one - with freshly boiled rice.
One handful of dry food (not mine) spread directly on the soil.
For unknown reasons, the caregiver didn't get my message. :-(
 
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solomonar

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Checked today - again one bowl full of milk and one with milk and rice.
Nothin else.
Meanwhile, I saw the cats leaving their spot and attempting to cross the heavily circulated street. to reach the large green area nearby.
:(

I guess my diplomatic message was not understood.
I am confused because on one side I see that cats are not properly cared for but on the other side, I can't take the responsibility to feed them on regular basis.
:headscratch:

I do not feel comfortable criticizing the big-heart people who care about the colony.
I am thinking to leave them a note, but I am struggling to conceive a diplomatic yet crystal clear message.
:dunno:
 

gilmargl

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Checked today - again one bowl full of milk and one with milk and rice.
Nothin else.
Meanwhile, I saw the cats leaving their spot and attempting to cross the heavily circulated street. to reach the large green area nearby.
:(

I guess my diplomatic message was not understood.
I am confused because on one side I see that cats are not properly cared for but on the other side, I can't take the responsibility to feed them on regular basis.
:headscratch:

I do not feel comfortable criticizing the big-heart people who care about the colony.
I am thinking to leave them a note, but I am struggling to conceive a diplomatic yet crystal clear message.
:dunno:
So sorry that you're having so little success. Sadly, it is often the poor (and uneducated?) who want to help such ferals. These people have problems of their own and, although what they do is not helping much, at least they are trying to help. I wish I lived nearer so that we could sort this out. I've heard that there are many stray cats (and dogs) in Romania. There are groups who rescue suitable cats and get them sent to other countries. But, the Corona pandemy has meant that transport is difficult. The ferals are breeding and the problem is getiing worse. Can you try to contact one of these groups? One is called "Ein Herz für Streuner e:V" but I don't know where the shelter is situated (Bistrita?). Animal Hope Romania in Magurele? Heats4Paws has a shelter in Cosoba. If you get in touch with a good (non-kill) shelter, they should at least be able to give you some advice and moral support.
Good luck. 💖
 
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solomonar

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gilmargl gilmargl
In fact, there is plenty of cats on the streets, but almost no dogs. In Bucharest, I've seen only one stray dog during the past 5 years or more.
There are dog shelters around, some also host a couple of cats.
There are 2 ladies operating their homes as cat shelters, but with little to no financial support (besides their own pensions).

===

I will contact the organizations you listed, they may find a solution. Thank you heartfully!

I should analyze in-depth the option to displace the cats from the area, however. That is because they live in a medium-size green patch, they have their wooden "cabins" there and plenty of trees. My assumption is that if the cats get sufficient (and suitable!) food, they will stay there and live a happy life. But maybe I am wrong - I have very little knowledge about the ferals. My cat is 100% indoor :-).

I am also thinking to find the caregiver and have a talk to her.
 
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