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’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.
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.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.
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?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!
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.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.