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How To Stop More Ferals From "staying" In Yard

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by luvcats222, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. luvcats222

    luvcats222 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Nov 12, 2014
    Hi,

    I was unfortunately involuntarily made into a colony keeper. It started with one litter that I fixed and then decided to build a cathouse for. I kept one with a broken leg and then two females only came to eat daily. The two males and one red male stayed and lived in the house for 4 years. OK, no problem. Little by little more have come and ate (after fixed, of course), and I now have one stray, a kitten, the one with the leg that was broken (nursed back 100%) and my first rescue. I have four indoors. I now feed about 15 outdoor, 6 of which have stayed (the last 3 in the past year). I do not want any more ferals to come or stay. I have two feeders on my small block. Any suggestions? How did this ever happen? I am so exhausted, broke and wish I could reverse all I've done. I cannot keep up. This week alone a kitten and two adults showed up. I have been trying to catch a mother (She slipped out of drop trap) so that no more kittens will be born, but even if I get them, more keep coming! Please help.
     
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  2. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I think alot of us fall into the "involuntarily" category. ;) It always starts with "just one".....We always laugh that we've got a sign on our street that says "cat suckers who will hand feed you chicken just up the driveway..."!

    But seriously - - it sounds like you've done an amazing job with caring SO completely for so many. Many more than most would do (or have done - - or you wouldn't have this situation!). And I'm glad you came to this site and this forum...there are lots of people here who've been in your shoes who are wiling to lend advice and a shoulder. Coming here has kept me sane when I've felt ready to cry, scream, and throw in the towel at times. Like you we started small. Even though I've volunteered at shelters for more years than I'd like to admit, fostering over 100 cats and kittens, we didn't even know we had a cat colony issue in our small neighborhood (we now think we just didn't want to know because we knew where it would lead!). We can see our neighbor's deck from our family room, and one day saw three tiny kittens darting out from under it, playing in the grass. We TNR'd mom, took the kittens in, socialized them and found them homes. Dozens more feral and stray TNRs/fosters/adoptions later, - - we're out of money as far as doing thing everything ourselves - - so I 100% understand your feelings and how you feel at the end of your rope. We've at least been lucky enough to get it as under control as it gets, and are "down" to 4 permanent ones we feed and shelter. But our 4 are more "typical" - - they actively keep any more "permanent residents" from coming to roost. Do the ones you feed and shelter yourself outside not keep others away? I'm just curious on that part - - it's kind of unusual (but obviously not impossible!) for a colony to keep growing like that when they're fixed but still "on the premises."

    You mention you have 2 other people/homes who help you feed, which is wonderful. Does anyone help you with the other parts of this all - - the monetary portion, the trapping portion, the sheltering portion? Because I know how that part - - particularly the trapping & subsequent monetary portion - - can get very mentally draining. Would those other 2 homes be willing to help with either of those parts? Or do you know of even a few other "cat friendly" neighbors who might be willing to pitch in? I know for me, it took branching out and actually approaching other neighbors (without immediately letting them know we TNR - - not everyone's as friendly about helping kitties). We were surprised at how willing others were as far as help - -- some just monetarily, but it all helps. Does your neighborhood have a social network space? Again - - I wouldn't recommend just posting that you care for the kitties and need help - - but it's a good place to check to see who might have posted about cats/etc to see if there are more compassionate people in your neighborhood you're not even aware of.

    Do you have a local spay/neuter clinic? They very likely have a person or team who you could at least talk to - - - and may even be able to provide help with trapping. They also may have funding set up for your area, or just in general. They'd rather keep compassionate people like you sane and willing to "fight the fight" - -and they know how much work it is for just one or two people. It's at least worth going in and talking to someone to see. Chances are they already know you!!!!! :grouphug2: And they too may be able to point you in the direction of someone else you may not even know in your neighborhood who's wiling to help. I'd also reach out to any area animal shelters (particularly cat shelters) - - they definitely know what it's like to feel overwhelmed!

    Try to remind yourself of all of the good you've done, which is an enormous amount to SO many!!!! But as hard as it is - - - try to remember you can't do it all, much as you want to or feel you should. :alright:
     
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  3. luvcats222

    luvcats222 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Nov 12, 2014
    No, actually, it's not a good thing. One house started the whole thing 8 years ago. I trapped all of the cats and then they took them in (6). They now have dogs that hate the cats? (insert rolling eyes icon) I have tried speaking to them and they never offer money (even though they are both Principals) and they do not want any part of anything. The other neighbor is "slow" or perhaps an ex-drug addict - something is off. She is more easy to reason with, however, she doesn't get it.

    The problem is, our backyards almost touch because it is such a small block. Everyone tells me to "just stop feeding the cats and it'll stop." How can I do that? Even if I could, if the two feeders are still right in my backyard, we will be inundated with cats. I've threatened diplomatically that it's against the law and they can get fined for leaving dishes out. I've explained that they must pick up the dishes after a reasonable time and never leave out all night. I've explained that I am competing with them because some of the cats do not come to my yard and I am the only one fixing.

    Thank you for your support and understanding. I just don't know what else to do. God forgive me, but I've thought of euthanizing the whole lot and any new cats that keep coming. I've thought of having a cop visit their homes to threaten them with fines unless they stop feeding (luckily they both feed in the front of the house for various reasons). I thought if they stop, and all the cats are gone, the vacuum may not continue.

    I'm really at wits end. I can't go anywhere, I support myself and I just can't believe this is happening. I do care about the cats, though.

    To answer your question, no, these cats are quite docile, scared. I trapped them when they were about 8 months old. In any event, one of them has started to chase some away, but that is not a good thing. I see one of them on my neighbors stoop and I need to fix it!

    Thank you again.[/QUOTE]
     
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  4. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi!
    I can't do much other than send lots of good thoughts and prayers!

    Can you give us a general location, your state possibly, maybe what quadrant? It could help with information that may be of use for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
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  5. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Jul 2, 2013
    Ohio
    Oh - THAT kind of neighbor "help"! I understand (we have a few of those too) - so I'll roll my eyes with you!

    You obviously DO care so much - - and it really is hard. So many of us here have been or are currently in similar situations. I used to say I almost hated that hubby and I cared....life would be simpler if we didn't. But I'm not built that way....and obviously you're not either. You've made an enormous difference in SO many of these little furry creatures lives already. You've saved the lives of those you already DO care for and saved so many kittens from entering the world, or living a short, difficult life. You truly have done SO much already... even if you never add another one to the list of the TNR'd ones....you've done more than most people ever will!

    I still think I'd try talking to any spay/neuter clinics you have in your area. They really do often have people to help - - - and suggestions/options for your specific location and needs. Our clinic even does free spay/neuters in certain zip codes. And shelters - - particularly cat shelters. Both hear from people in your situation multiple times a day. Emphasize how much you've already done and how you truly need help. Another thing I didn't note before are pet food banks. Many are more than willing to help people like you who've done such a herculean task ease your food burden. And many shelters and clinics offer free food (since they are often donated food they can't use in their shelter - - but still want to use that food for good). I'd go to a spay/neuter clinic first, and they might be able to help you get food from a food bank.

    I hope something above helps a bit. Keep coming on - - - lots are willing to listen.
     
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  6. luvcats222

    luvcats222 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Nov 12, 2014
    I am in Queens, NY
     
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  7. luvcats222

    luvcats222 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Nov 12, 2014
    Thank you for your advice/help/kind words. I was contacted by the ASPCA here to help someone else in my neighborhood. I reached out to her, only to find out she is in the same boat. She is really losing it. She had a plate put in her back years ago due to a car accident so she cannot lift the traps. Luckily, she traps, so I offered to transport back and forth. Emotionally, though, she is worse off than I. She lives in her father's house and he is threatening her to get rid of the situation as it has grown. (sigh). I too wish I didn't care, but I will meet you all in "Cat Heaven." Thanks again for your support. It does help.
     

  8. luvcats222

    luvcats222 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Nov 12, 2014
    Thank you too for the thoughts and prayers. I need them!
     
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  9. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Colorado USA
    :vibes::grouphug2:
     
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  10. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Colorado USA
    Have you had a chance to talk to her father? citing stats that TNR, which you're now doing there, eventually helps to stabilize the population etc etc? ...that sort of thing to try and ease his mind/perspective?
     
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  11. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I add mine, @luvcats222, and also these links which may offer sources of help:
    alleycat.org and bestfriends.org/resources.

    And following another poster's wonderful suggestion, you can also visit www.lacroixtees.com and use their dropdown menu to choose your state and see links to various rescues right in your area to contact.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  12. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    I would think, NYC having SO many people, that there must be someone around who can assist with the various duties. A volunteer with one of the TNR groups or something. Then you can just put out the amount of food you want to put out, enjoy your personal strays, and try not to stress about the details. Try contacting all the cat rescue groups in the area and explain the situation.
     
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  13. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Colorado USA

  14. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Also - Alley Cat Allies (it was mentioned above by @tarasgirl06) is an organization started specifically to help people understand strays/ferals, TNR, etc. - and provides people with all kinds of info regarding those kitties. Years ago when I started working on my first TNR cases (and before i knew of catsite.com !) - - I was able to call them and speak to a very experienced TNR specialist there, who was very helpful (they now have an actual group for that, called "Feral Friends Network"). They have alot of resources and TNR specific info - - -including resolving neighborhood issues, how to connect with people & organizations who can help in your specific area, and more. They also are able to get you free printed info to help you deal with neighbors, the law, etc. (it was free years ago - - hopefully it still is!).

    Below are just a few of the pages you might find really helpful....and keep coming back to The Cat Site to keep us updated, and to let us lend a shoulder.

    Hope these help...

    www.alleycat.org/FindFeralFriends

    Alley Cat Resources

    What to Do if Neighbors Complain

    Feral Friends Network Connect
     
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  15. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    You’re doing something wonderful, exhausting and emotionally stressful. Many of us have been where you are now. Myself included. There are moments where you just feel like sitting down and holding your head in your hands and never getting up again BUT there are the moments that are full of rewards. With each kitty spayed or neutered, with each new group you contact and are given a ray of hope, with every small help and every kitty saved you take s step forward. There will come a time when you will look back at that first post and take a big, deep breath that you have made progress, friends and that the situation has lessened greatly. Don’t give up! You came to the right place to start getting help! I had over a hundred outside in the early stages. Now, there are none outside. I am still working to find homes for about ten but all the rest were vetted, socialized and adopted. I had one place that helped me with 18 Spays and neuters, one woman who helped foster the kittens I caught and two shelters that too the kitties for adoption once I got them prepared. Like you, I sunk all my income into it. I know you are struggling. I totally sympathize but I want you to know that there is hope. You are one of the great ones! You have gone the extra mile for these kitties. Just hang on. It can get sorted out. The advice given by the previous posts with links are excellent! I know these people and they do great work. If needed you can let me know and I can help you look further. You can google feral rescues in your are to find groups near you that you haven’t found other ways. Make sure that every time you talk to someone you also ask if they know of any other help you can get. Look at the packages of cat food you use. There is a customer service number there. Call them and tell them your situation and that you are a loyal customer who needs help. Good companies will send you an envelope full of coupons for food. Tell them that someone writing you here said that the great companies care about their customers and the pets they love. It’s true. A company that cared helped me early on. It will take some time to get things going but once it does, you’ll be okay. I’m so glad you wrote in here. You should know that you are not alone. We all care and will try to help you and the kitties.
    I’ll be back to check in! :hangin::rock:
     
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  16. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, @kittychick, it is still true, and then some. Longtime member of ACA here!
     
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  17. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yay, ACA! There are great contacts and people here.
    You are getting great tips! Please keep us posted about how things are going for you and the kitties.
     
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  18. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Ohio
    @tarasgirl06 ---longtime member too!!!!!! I didn't know of this wonderful site yet years ago when I started TNR. I found myself really quickly in the boat that @luvcats222 is in - - cthat so many of us who've found our way here. Where it just feels SO overwhelming but you don't know what to do - - and "the hits seem to just keep coming!" Despite my many shelter connections - - ferals were a whole other issue. I'd left increasingly frantic messages with Alley Cat Allies phone service - - I was ready to throw myself into traffic I was so beside myself that what started as a good deed got beyond overwhelming in every way. And the person I spoke with there was very kind (like she was calming someone from the institution I'm sure she thought I as calling from:crackup:). Plus they've expanded SO much in terms of materials, etc. for people who are just trying to keep on top of things w/o going batty! Anyway - - the woman who I spoke with several times there was able to guide me to places for help I was unaware of - -- and she sent me a few packets (for free!) that had pieces that I could give to a "helpful" neighbor...and pieces I could give to anyone to explain things since I was finding myself going crazy trying to come up with other ways to approach them, to find REAL helpers (not like your crazy neighbors!), clinics, etc.

    I didn't have time to double check the Alley Cat Allies site to make sure they still have those info packets, which looks like they do! Looks like they actually have more materials they can send, more info online, and more!!!!!! So yes - - - @luvcats222 -- - know that there are more than likely some very good places near you, and Alley Cat Allies (as well as this wonderful community here - - - many who've been in your shoes!) and that you can always lean on people here even if you do find help in your immediate area!

    Please keep us posted. It's a pretty compassionate bunch here.:heartshape:
     
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  19. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Glendale, California
    Yes! ACA is SERIOUS about helping cats, not only here, but increasingly, worldwide, via education and programs.
    When we lived in a neighborhood with communitycats, I guess we just took it "one cat at a time", earning their trust, getting them vetted, "speutered" and innoculated, and adopting them. We had a large furmily indoors, and an ever-growing furmily outdoors, which wasn't ideal as I know, but at least they were looked after medically and fed and cared for. Over the time we were there, many more showed up/were born. We took it all in stride. It's one of the things I'm proudest of in my life, being able to get that care for them, feed them and love them.
     
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  20. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Ohio
    @tarasgirl06 -----"furmily" is my new favorite word!!!!!! Somehow I'd never heard that - - -and I DIG IT - - I snort laughed out loud when I read that!.

    Don't think anyone's mentioned this to you yet - - - if they did already - -I apologize for reiterating something already said. But when I saw you're in Queens - - in the middle of the night last night it popped into my head: Mike Phillips. He's an ENORMOUS advocate for TNR, socialization, stray cats - - all of it - - he's a very "cat compassionate" guy. Years ago - - -when I first began doing TNR work, very little was written about TNR/ferals/ferals vs stray/socializing, etc.

    Long story short: I ended up in a long, very wonderful, funny, compassionate tip-filled phone conversation with Mr. Phillips!!!!! He now works mostly with two organizations - NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, and the Urban Cat League. My phone chat with him was one of the big factors in my not hiding under the pillow, trying to drown out the sound of un-neutered males mating in my backyard.

    So I did a quick search - - and the NYC Feral Cat Initiative (along w/ASPCA) is having a FREE workshop about socializing feral and shy kittens for adoption - - and it's hosted by - - Mike Phillips!!! Even if the subject - the socialization part - - of the workshop isn't where your need is right now - -- attending this could, at the very least, help you connect with people (both individuals and groups) who might be able to help you in a "boots on the ground" way that people like me can't! Link below is for that workshop:

    Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Inc. - Taming Feral Kittens for Adoption (03/13/18)

    I'd also highly recommend taking a look at the website for NYC Feral Cat Initiative - - it's got alot of info - - including specific places you can find help and resources right there in NY (no - I'm not a paid spokesperson :) ). They offer things like workshops about things like bottle-feeding, taming kittens, AND neighborhood relations !!!!! Not to mention free loans of traps, cages, dividers....free transport of cats and traps to and from clinics in your area...AND free community outreach materials (just for "helpful" neighbors!!!!!), and help in the manner of advice, education, and resources through phone and email!!!

    About the NYC Feral Cat Initiative

    I really hope combining lots of support here on our forum with some "boots on the ground" things offered by places like the others I mentioned will help you find the help that will help YOU feel a little less "trapped!"
     
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