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I Have More Trust Issues Than This Feral..

Feral Mom

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jul 11, 2019
105
255
Clearwater Florida, USA
Aw, he will be back.
He will.
If it is any consolation,
My lil cat was so skinny and scraggly, fur like carpet...and yet, she got over being caught in a "slamming" type of trap.
I was sick, too, sure was,
Yet, the cat turned up again,
And did heal.
But I won't touch a "slamming" type of trap ever again. Shiver.

Many TNVR groups loan out their traps for small deposit.
 

Jcatbird

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I’m sure he will return. I have used the same trap you have and often found it tripped and empty. No cats were hurt. Just try feeding him calmly for a day or two. Keep the trap nearby but maybe put his food beside it tonight. Some other creature could easily have tripped it. Try to hang on to that thought and just wait for supper time to see if he shows up out in the yard. He may have heard the trap, he may be jumpy but I’m betting he won’t skip food for very long. I found that Raccoons were usually responsible for empty traps. Lets’s just hope for that. When you do see him, try sitting , unmoving with him for a bit. Maybe speak in soft an reassuring tones if he doesn’t get scared of you being there. If he is scared, just back off and let him eat to maintain his energy and relax. Patience is the key to catching cats. I know the feeling of being frantic to catch one you are worried about but they sense your nervousness. It’s kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.
 
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Buffster7

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Jul 1, 2019
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I’m sure he will return. I have used the same trap you have and often found it tripped and empty. No cats were hurt. Just try feeding him calmly for a day or two. Keep the trap nearby but maybe put his food beside it tonight. Some other creature could easily have tripped it. Try to hang on to that thought and just wait for supper time to see if he shows up out in the yard. He may have heard the trap, he may be jumpy but I’m betting he won’t skip food for very long. I found that Raccoons were usually responsible for empty traps. Lets’s just hope for that. When you do see him, try sitting , unmoving with him for a bit. Maybe speak in soft an reassuring tones if he doesn’t get scared of you being there. If he is scared, just back off and let him eat to maintain his energy and relax. Patience is the key to catching cats. I know the feeling of being frantic to catch one you are worried about but they sense your nervousness. It’s kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.
Well, good news - I just saw him pass across my back porch and he was not limping! I went a few steps to retrieve some food and when I came back he was gone. Normally he would hang out and hope for contact or food. Then again, it's still wet outside, not exactly hanging out weather. At least I know he is mobile and okay.

I thought about luring him to the garage with food and then shutting him in and just spending time with him in there. Too soon? I figure the trust is already broken, may as well try to get him contained and then feed him in the trap so I can get this boy to the vet - but perhaps I should rebuild trust first?
 

Jcatbird

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Well, you will need to gauge his attitude first. Is trust really broken??You aren’t sure who tripped the trap. I’d advise you to try to continue feeding him as you have been. Keep his routine the same as much as possible. Act like nothing different has happened. Calm and steady.
 

Feral Mom

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jul 11, 2019
105
255
Clearwater Florida, USA
I think Jccatbird is righr, just feed him near trap for a few days.

FYI-- I have never found one of my brown tramps empty and tripped. Sure it's possible with some of these super ferals, but, I've never had a brown empty trap.
And the door closes gently. So even if an animal was half in and half out is chance of injury is reduced.
But those slamming kinds of traps? They can really hurt a cat. Two times I have seen a cat get out of those "slamming" traps and one of those times he was hurt and limped for a long time.

I watch my traps and so far, I have not seen any cat get out of my brown one. Nope.
But I do think one downside of the brown kind is--- the trigger is slightly further backthan the slammers. The cat has to go allll the way in. That's why I put the firm cardboard in there--- to help it trip sooner.

But I bet your lil cat comes around, eating, eating near the trap,
and I think Jccatbird advice is good, watch him.

In a few days, if all is well?
Try again!!
GOOD LUCK!!
 

shadowsrescue

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Apr 27, 2011
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Ohio
I use the same trap as Feral Mom Feral Mom . It is my favorite and absolute best trap. I switched to it because of the slamming traps absolutely freaking out the cats. One year, I was out early morning setting the trap. The cat was nearby in the bushes watching me. I set it down and it was all ready to go. I just needed to move out of the way. I tripped and fell into the trap. This set it off with a huge bang. The cat ran and didn't come back for 2 days. I then tried again and he would not go anywhere near it. I then bought the Tru Catch trap and have been so very very happy with it. I love the rear opening where you can easily feed the cat while still in the trap. I bought the divider to keep the cat from escaping during feeding.

I line my traps with puppy pee pads. I also like to practice with the trap so see how much pressure it takes for the trap to go off. Some are so sensitive that by just knocking into the trap, it will set it off.
 
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Buffster7

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Pretty amazing little update. I spotted him across the street today, so I went out and called to him. He meowed back to me but was verrrrrrrry wary. It was definitely him in the trap last night; we made very painstaking progress talking to each other once he got to the yard, but he wouldn't come near me and made a wide berth around the garage.

I opened up some food on the back porch where I usually feed him, and we hung out til he came close enough to eat. Once he was finished eating, he allowed me to touch him - then let go of his fear and pressed against me. I'll attach a pic.

I was not going to do anything other than hang out with him and stroke him if he would let me. Something about the way he was pressing against me made me reach for him, fully aware of his body language and tuned in to whether he stiffened. At first I thought it might be a growl but then realized it was some rough, weird purr. Lasted a few seconds. But somehow I just felt the 'go ahead' and picked him up and put him in my lap, and he stayed there. I was shocked!! I put him down after a couple minutes as it was starting to rain. Walked to the garage and he followed. He was very fearful once in the garage, but I put a little kibble on a plate next to the trap and he started to eat it.

Not sure what happened after that - good thing I left the door into may house open; I stripped down and left all my clothes outside and sprinted to the shower. This poor baby - I don't feel free to truly let my guard down and love on him due to the fear of all these parasites and bringing them into the house on my clothes and passing them to Charlie! I have ordered some revolution, and it should be here soon. Perhaps I can treat him with it and that will help til I can get him to the vet. Right now their next opening isn't til next Monday.
 

Avery

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Alpha Cat
Aug 5, 2018
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915
Holy cow! This is so wonderful!! He looks so sweet and trusting and comfortable with you. Great work! Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you and this fantastic progress. If your vet has a cancellation list, maybe they would put you on it -- just a thought.
 
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Buffster7

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Holy cow! This is so wonderful!! He looks so sweet and trusting and comfortable with you. Great work! Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you and this fantastic progress. If your vet has a cancellation list, maybe they would put you on it -- just a thought.
Thank you! I'm just flummoxed - there's no way a feral could be that trusting so soon, right? Yet he is so young to be so wild. Maybe he has just been horribly mistreated in the past? His fear was palpable today - very much like when he first came to my yard. Just makes my heart sore for him. After I put him down, he followed my happily until I got to the garage, then his fear kicked in. I'm very sorry about that; I had hoped that the garage could be his "safe" place.

I did ask to be put on a cancellation list with the vet. The receptionist said that if I happened to catch him early, I could bring him in and they could keep him in a cage there til they could get him in. I'm not sure what the vet would think about that, or how terrifying that would be for this...or if it would increase his chances of being tested and neutered sooner? I'll call again tomorrow.
 

shadowsrescue

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He is definitely not a feral. He is most likely a formerly owned cat that was dumped or left behind. I think at this point, you could just pick him up and put him a carrier.

If you have access to a medium sized dog cage you could try to put him in there and then just be sure it fits in your car.

A trap is definitely safest, but I bet you could lure him into a carrier.

The first feral cat I brought inside my house to socialize, I had already done TNR on so he was neutered and had some vaccines. Once I brought him inside, he still needed a vet check, other vaccines and also FELV and FIV testing. For 3 weeks, I fed him in a soft sided medium dog carrier. Each day I inched the food back just a bit until he was eating in the back. On the morning of the appointment, I put just a tiny bit of food inside the carrier. I had a sturdy chair pad ready and once he was inside, I blocked the exit with the chair pad and zipped him up. It worked beautifully.

I just know you will catch him!
 
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Buffster7

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He is definitely not a feral. He is most likely a formerly owned cat that was dumped or left behind. I think at this point, you could just pick him up and put him a carrier.

If you have access to a medium sized dog cage you could try to put him in there and then just be sure it fits in your car.

A trap is definitely safest, but I bet you could lure him into a carrier.

The first feral cat I brought inside my house to socialize, I had already done TNR on so he was neutered and had some vaccines. Once I brought him inside, he still needed a vet check, other vaccines and also FELV and FIV testing. For 3 weeks, I fed him in a soft sided medium dog carrier. Each day I inched the food back just a bit until he was eating in the back. On the morning of the appointment, I put just a tiny bit of food inside the carrier. I had a sturdy chair pad ready and once he was inside, I blocked the exit with the chair pad and zipped him up. It worked beautifully.

I just know you will catch him!
Do you think the trap would be safer than a pet taxi? Do you mean once he got to the vet? I was wondering if the trap would be too traumatic for him, and if he would do better in a carrier - should I stick with the trap?

The way he allowed me to pick him up today gave me hope that I might be able to get him in a carrier, but I should think also about what will be less traumatic for him and easier for the vet. I welcome your thoughts!
 

shadowsrescue

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I think either is fine. It's about what is safest for you. A trap is definitely safer. You might go ahead with the trap and then take the carrier with you to the vet. If he does well, he could come back to you in the carrier instead of the trap. That way he would be so much more comfortable.

I had another feral I brought inside one year. He was doing really well with socialization and really liked my 2 other cats. I figured he was probably a stray who had developed a lot of feral tendencies. He had a urinary blockage 6 months after coming to live inside. He had to spend 5 days at the emergency vet hospital after under going surgery. He was not at all happy there and struggled with all of the humans. But in the end he did just fine. Once back home, he forgot all about the trauma and was happy to just be loved and in his room again.

Most cats will readjust fairly quickly after being trapped or trips to the vet. With this kitty, the biggest thing is to hopefully keep him from getting back outside. He really needs you!
 

Jcatbird

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I knew you had the right instincts! You may have some anxiety but you need to trust your feelings about how to handle him. They have proven right! He already loves you and trusts you. Cats are very intuitive. So are you. You have done wonders by earning the love of this beautiful kitty! Please get him inside as soon as possible and to the vet. Your vet may have a preference as to carrier or trap transport. Some places require ferals to be in traps. Personally, I think you can soon, if not now, get him into a carrier. I use hard sided carriers for security during transport. I have taken ferals and strays in for vet time. Some for longer periods than others. I brought them back to stay for socializing and did NOT let them back outside. They were so glad to be back with me and in their home territory, they quickly forgot about the vet. The gratitude of a cat shows! I think you will see that he is so relieved to be back near you that even an extended vet time will be forgiven. Do whatever you can to get him in to see the vet. He needs to get all that stuff behind him so he can begin a happy life. The love and desire he shows in the photo tells me that he really needs you. Thank you so much for following your instincts with him today. You were right on the money when it came to reading his body language. Just keep doing what you are doing. You’ll get him! You have my heart with you as you go! :redheartpump:Bravo! :clap2:
 
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Buffster7

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Everything certainly changed since trap night. He used to hang out on my back porch all day long. Since that night he doesn't hang around here at all. I had to coax him back the following day, and then yesterday he only showed up to eat dinner then left immediately after.

Last night, quite late, Charlie puffed up and ran from one window to another. Now, he doesn't puff up when outdoor kitty comes around, so I went to the window to see what upset him. I had left the pet carrier on my back porch and there was a big Maine Coone sniffing around it.

Now, there used to be a giant Maine Coon that lived in the drainage system - this boy was enormous. My heart always went out to him with all that fur. I wonder if this guy in my yard last night was offspring. Anyway, it ran when I came out and ran toward the side of my house where my doggy door into the garage is.

This makes me wonder if perhaps the food I've been leaving in my garage at night is attracting neighborhood strays, and if some of these big ferals are keeping little cat away. I wonder if I should close my garage up for now?
 

Jcatbird

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Oh boy. I know the routine with others showing up. I think I would make it my only priority to get Charlie tonight. If you can still get him into the trap, do it. If not, you can sit with him while he eats to reassure him and he may stay longer. You can’t leave food down or the other cats will show up. After Charlie eats, pull the food dish up. Do you think the Maine Voon could have been eating in the garage before now? A big guy like that could evade the trap better than Charlie so I am wondering if he is the one who tripped it. That might also explain why Charlie came to you afterwards. Asking for protection from the one he trusts. You may need to clean the cage of any possible scent from the Maine Coon cat. If you can put Charlie in a carrier, that would work. I think you need to try and shut Charlie up while you can still get him. If a rescue is willing, you could send the Maine Coon for TNR and try to get Charlie while he is gone. Once spayed or neutered, it will be less of a threat to Charlie too.
 
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Buffster7

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Oh boy. I know the routine with others showing up. I think I would make it my only priority to get Charlie tonight. If you can still get him into the trap, do it. If not, you can sit with him while he eats to reassure him and he may stay longer. You can’t leave food down or the other cats will show up. After Charlie eats, pull the food dish up. Do you think the Maine Voon could have been eating in the garage before now? A big guy like that could evade the trap better than Charlie so I am wondering if he is the one who tripped it. That might also explain why Charlie came to you afterwards. Asking for protection from the one he trusts. You may need to clean the cage of any possible scent from the Maine Coon cat. If you can put Charlie in a carrier, that would work. I think you need to try and shut Charlie up while you can still get him. If a rescue is willing, you could send the Maine Coon for TNR and try to get Charlie while he is gone. Once spayed or neutered, it will be less of a threat to Charlie too.
Okay, thank you! I wasn't sure if other strays and ferals would be a problem and it sounds like they might be. Charlie is my indoor guy who alerted me to the maine coon's presence outside last night. Little stray doesn't have a name yet. But I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since he disappeared directly after dinner yesterday. We're having a heatwave with heat index in the triple digits now, so I'm concerned for him. Wonder if I should close my garage door tonight, disable the doggy door, and prepare to carry kitty in there if he shows up.

The garage has windows with screens I can open for air flow overnight. Perhaps try to lure him into the trap from there. He hasn't had any food so he should be hungry. I only hope the maine coon isn't using the garage as shelter and hiding in there. If you could see my garage, you'd understand. Think storage unit, filled with boxes upon boxes stacked. He could be hiding anywhere.

Now I'm just babbling.. Friends think I'm nuts for trying to have anything to do with this cat, so I find myself coming here to run thoughts by you guys. You get it. ;)
 

shadowsrescue

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I think catching this new kitty soon should be your priority. Yet I do worry about you putting him in a hot garage with screens open. With it being so hot with triple digit heat indexes, a garage can get so very very hot. Screens are good. Yet if you give him free reign of the garage, he might try to escape. If you keep him in a carrier or trap and he starts to overheat he would have no way to escape.

Do you have a basement or spare bathroom?
 
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