my 2 feral tomcats are disappearing

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Hi all,
I have around 20 feral cats, some have come and gone since 2017, and I have now noticed something: almost all the male mature cats don't last long. I noticed that they either wander off and never come back or get run over, despite the fact that I feed them everyday wet and dry food. Im pretty sure this is due to an outsider cat who always attacks them. I dont know if any other factors come into it, but all i know is that cat was responsible for wearing out one of my tomcats to the point to where he died (don't know if it was through stress, or lack of sleep, etc). I found his body underneath a trailer nearby my house in July. I felt so bad that I had to heighten my care for my ferals, and do what i can to protect my males from the outsider cats. It has been working but now the outsider cat is becoming more comfortable in being in my males' territory (both of my males are friendly and i never seen them fight each other, although the other one sprays a lot) and now I see both of them not eating, or even showing up when I call for them for feeding time.. i find them laying by a tree or under our cars. Last night I picked up the one that sprays and a let him spend the night in my garage with my other 3 semi-feral cats. They seem to be tired of something, and I fear that the outsider cat will hurt them more, and drive them away.. I REALLY dont want that happening again, I failed my past male cats who i cared so much for and I DONT want this happening again. Can anyone please give me some tips/advice on what to do? I plan on taking them to the TNR program once the clinic i go to reopens.

many thanks in advance
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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This is one of the problems when cats are not tnred, the males get into vicious fights over mating and territory. I know that one viscious male that came on my block some years back fought like crazy. One male cat that just started coming to me before this cat arrived on the scene was found dead (hit by a car) one day. I found out from someone that the bully cat chased that cat right in front of a car and was killed instantly. 😥

If it looks like the place you get the cats tnred won't open anytime soon (there is a lot of uncertainity with the Corona Virus lockdown). Then I would get a hold of local tnr groups who may have their own vet (where they get discount on services) and ask for help. Any female cat you suspect is pregnant needs to go first, followed by females going into heat. At least you can stop unwanted kittens being born on the streets.

Until you are able to get the males neutered. You may have to feed the the non aggressive males at a different area. I am doing this right now because I have several territorial backyard kitties, so I have a group of kitties I feed in the front because it. If there is another feeder in the area that you are on good terms with, perhaps you can work something out with that person. When you are able to get the males done, try to see if you can get the most aggressive cats first, as well as the sprayers. Maybe things will calm down a little until you are able to get the whole colony done.

I felt like a ton was lifted from my shoulders when the cats on my block got tnred. While I do have b.y. kitties that do have a territorial streak, the fights are nothing like it was before. Overall, it has gotten much better on the block. Believe me, you will feel a great relief when the colony is tnred.

I wish you all the best.🙂
 

tatonka1233

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Hi all,
I have around 20 feral cats, some have come and gone since 2017, and I have now noticed something: almost all the male mature cats don't last long. I noticed that they either wander off and never come back or get run over, despite the fact that I feed them everyday wet and dry food. Im pretty sure this is due to an outsider cat who always attacks them. I dont know if any other factors come into it, but all i know is that cat was responsible for wearing out one of my tomcats to the point to where he died (don't know if it was through stress, or lack of sleep, etc). I found his body underneath a trailer nearby my house in July. I felt so bad that I had to heighten my care for my ferals, and do what i can to protect my males from the outsider cats. It has been working but now the outsider cat is becoming more comfortable in being in my males' territory (both of my males are friendly and i never seen them fight each other, although the other one sprays a lot) and now I see both of them not eating, or even showing up when I call for them for feeding time.. i find them laying by a tree or under our cars. Last night I picked up the one that sprays and a let him spend the night in my garage with my other 3 semi-feral cats. They seem to be tired of something, and I fear that the outsider cat will hurt them more, and drive them away.. I REALLY dont want that happening again, I failed my past male cats who i cared so much for and I DONT want this happening again. Can anyone please give me some tips/advice on what to do? I plan on taking them to the TNR program once the clinic i go to reopens.

many thanks in advance
It may be a territorial issue, but the other way around. I've had a few male cats wander into my property and they then mate with my female cats that roam outside, (I would get them spayed but they are just too feral and I don't want to injure my self trying to get them into an enclosed container), The male cat usually will go someplace else after and come back when it knows the females are in heat again. Your male cats may have feline leukemia, and spreading it to each other when grooming each other. If I were you, I would try to get the male cats that are nicer and try to get them to become more inside cats rather than outside. Once you bring them in and either get them neutered or they feel comfortable enough in the house you can then worry more about the other male. Hopefully the other male will go away.
 

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I know you are limited in what you can do. I can’t remember if you tried contacting other rescue groups or not. If you google feral cat rescues and then you location, it may give you some groups. Sometimes I got help from other places. As long as the females come into heat, the other cats will keep coming and fights can happen or the less dominant males may leave. Also, as the females have kittens, the number of cats increases. Many groups have their own safe traps. I wish you could find a helper somewhere. I chose to TNR the oldest females first as I knew they would be likely to have many kittens survive. If I caught a male, he went too though. I know your parents are not involved here but if you got help, it would relieve you some. TNR and rescue groups can often get TNR and adoption priorities over the rest of us. Get put on any waiting list you can for spays and neutered for now. You can always cancel if you can’t manage it.
As for the current situation, feeding at different places as Whenallhellbreakslose Whenallhellbreakslose mentioned is a good thing. I used boxes, tarps and other things to hide feeding stations and also spread them out. It helps. Would your parents allow the feeding in the garage so you can feed the aggressor outside? Shut him out maybe? Feed the aggressor as far from the others as you can. Are there any other people near you who like cats? Maybe they would allow the aggressor to be fed there? Spreading the cats out as much as you can should help a little. I know you are really working hard to help these kitties and your efforts are greatly appreciated.any of us here would be glad to help locate help if any is near you. Don’t post your address, just a general location. State, country, county. You can send it in a private message too. Next door.org might be a way to find humans near you who like and help cats. There are also cat rescue groups on Facebook. If they pitched in, maybe your parents would not mind. Our hearts are with you.:heartshape:
 
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moreknow

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yes, I have tried helping the cats by isolating them with their own food and tried bringing them inside. However, I went outside today and looked at both cats (yellow/white shorthair, and black shorthair), the yellow/white cat, who i call niño, is appearing more healthy and ate a meat i tossed at him, and he scratches trees and follows me where he can but I haven't been able to pet him yet. The other cat, who i call negro (spanish word for the color black), seems to only lick off the wet food (barely eat it), and drinks water. I can pet him at the base of his tail and he'll prop up like he always does. But his behavior appears more to the point that I feel that he has some illness. Probably the FeLV, because in comparision to other male shorthairs that i have, his coat is really short I can almost see his skin in some spots, and he's skinnier than most of my other cats. I will try everything i can to schedule a tnr appointment soon, but are there any at home remedies that can help him eat and treat whatever he may have?
b.jpg

he was sitting/laying at my porch practically all day after i let him out of my garage this morning. i moved him around, and he typically sits like this. It stresses me out b/c i feel this is their only possible comfortable position when they're in pain or something.
 

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Since I am not a vet, I can only tell you what I give my cats. I use L-lysine for my Felv cat. It MAY boost the immune system on cats. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your cats have Felv. It’s passionless but there are many other possibilities. Number one is fleas and worms which are often found outside. You can get worm treatments and flea treatments combined in a tube. You apply it to the back of the neck. I use Advantage two for these cats. Chewy has it and it can also be found at places like Walmart. Check around for prices. Chewy often has sales too. If you absolutely can’t get flea treatment you can try a flea comb. I use one and Dollar General often has them. Most pet sections in other places have them. If you cannot get one, simply use a regular brush or comb and in between brushing, dip it in Water mixed with Dawn dish liquid to kill any fleas. Don’t leave the kitties wet if it gets cold there though. Dry the brush or comb between strokes. Sometimes just rubbing them with a white washcloth or towel will show the presence of fleas. Black matter will come off. If kitties sleep on a blanket, be sure to keep it clean since parasites can drop stuff. Flea eggs can hatch. If you just want to deworm, most pet supply places have dewormer. My vet suggested one made by Bayer. Let me see if another member that knows a lot about home remedies is around. It may take some time since many of us are in different time zones.
You could try boosting their nutrition too. If you google kitten glop, you will find a recipe for a remedy used a lot on sick kitties or kittens. It’s simple to make. Let me know if you cannot find it.
Can you get Goats milk? That might help the ones you worry about.
catsknowme catsknowme Are you online? Any suggestions to help until the kitties can get to a vet? Furballsmom Furballsmom and kittychick kittychick any immune system boosters or tips?
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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That kitty could have anything. While FEVL and FEV is definitely a threat to outdoor cats' health so are conditions like Pancreatitis and Kidney Disease to name a few. There is also FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) which is a deadly viral disease. Also, outdoor cats can suffer from debilitating dental disease.

If you can please get a hold of baby food ( with only meat and broth, some brands add corn starch which is not great, but if that is all you can get- buy it). Feed the cat the baby food, if he has dental or GI issues this is easier for him to eat. Baby food doesn't have all the nutrition cats need, but it is just to ease their stomachs and get something into them. You can also try those soup's they are now selling in pet stores for cats. I use to give this to my sick outdoor cats then when they got better, I slip some powdered multivitamin in the food to make up for the nutrients they lost out on being sick.

Please do contact someone in rescue in regards to this cat. I reached out to rescuers and they gave me medicines like antibiotics when I had sick or injured cats. Maybe you can have one come out and they can access what could be the problem (only a vet can tell you for sure, but a rescuer with their experience has a bit of a trained eye and can give you an idea what could be wrong with this cat.)

Well, I got to go. I wish you the best. I hope you get the help you need with this situation. Goodnite. 🙂
 

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Do you know if this aggressor cat is actually feral? I've had a problem with someone's outdoor cat (he has a collar that jingles and isn't looking for food, so he likely isn't a stray) terrorizing and chasing the timid feral I feed, and had many fights with an aggressive male feral that I wasn't able to catch before he disappeared. I could see where a healthy indoor/outdoor cat that has a potentially more reliable food source and somewhere warm to sleep being more energetic and able to keep up the fighting.
 
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thank you guys so much for the feedback :DDD
and yes i have some cat lysine powder and i gave it to him in a wet food can, and he licked only the surface but didn't eat. I will try to buy some cat products off amazon and ill try to look for and use y'all's recommendations. He's hiding inside the ditch that runs underneath my driveway... i have to bring him into my garage where he'll be safe from the outsider cat (im pretty sure he's feral since he wanders all over the place, and has no collar or anything), im going to try to attract him with a bag of leftovers from the restaurant i work at, which has always caught his instant attention before
 
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Hi all,
sorry for delay, i been studyin and working on a paper
update on both cats: i brought negro inside on Wednesday, and he's spent every night in my garage since. Everything in his behavior apprears to go back to normal; he gradually went back to his normal eating habits, and ive been trying to feed him more than before. He typically rolls around and he's been spraying, like he always has. :) i plan on taking him to get fixed in December
niño has spent everyday outside, sleeping by his tree daily,, don't know what caused him to disappear briefly but since i believe he is not the dominant cat in my colony (possibly negro), the outsider doesn't attack him.. everything is normal in his eating and playing behavior. I might take him to get fixed in January
However it seems that i am frequently confronted with new obstacles in my cat colony as i had a younger male cat, blanco (white in spanish) get injured in his front left foot to where he was limping, and also a female get injured in her front right :gaah:. Blanco has been ok and back to running and jumping since saturday, after i brought him into my garage overnight.. but the female was just now hurt today and she doesn't let me get close so Im sorta worried. She can kinda walk on it, but I will do what i can to isolate her and give her more food and lysine powder, should i let her be and let time heal?
Thanks so so so much for y'all's feedback, i am always thankful for this site, so many amazing and cat-caring people 🧡
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

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I am so glad to hear that the kitty you were worried over is returning to his old self. That is good news. I am also glad to hear that you are taking him next month to be tnred.:yess: In regards to the female with an injured leg. Keep a close eye on her. I have seen numberous incidents of cats with sprained legs. I was in full panic over a cat I thought had a broken leg. In every case it turned out to be a sprained leg, in the case of the case of cat just mentioned a bad one. I took him in for around 5 days and kept him off that leg. He was back to himself in no time.

Once again keep a close eye on the situation, as the leg may heal by itself, if it gets worse (cat is in obvious pain) or their is no improvement than intervene. Best of luck. 🙂
 

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I would contain her if you can to make sure she doesn't injure it further, and then keep an eye on it. If possible, put her in a smaller space alone, like a bathroom, without many places she can climb and jump from so that its really allowed to rest.

Sounds like Negro was potentially very, very stressed outside. Do you plan to keep him inside now until your interloper is fixed?

Try to get everyone fixed before spring if at all possible, or else your colony is going to get a lot bigger! Look into cat birth control if you have to delay because of the clinic or finances!
 

moxiewild

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I've had a few male cats wander into my property and they then mate with my female cats that roam outside, (I would get them spayed but they are just too feral and I don't want to injure my self trying to get them into an enclosed container),
You don't have to handle a feral cat to get them fixed! There are traps that are made for this so that you (or the cat) won't get injured! And there are also typically low cost spay/neuter clinics that will offer to fix and vaccinate at a reduced cost and sometimes for free if that cat is feral! If you can give us your general area, we can help you find resources.

Trapping is not difficult, and you can usually borrow these traps from your local animal control, rescues, or even the spay/neuter clinic (and sometimes feed stores!) for a fully refundable deposit!

You're going to have a lot more cats and kittens around come spring if you don't! Plus, for both males and females, it helps prevent disease and other health issues, reduces injury from fighting or mating, and dramatically decreases hormone-related stress.

You can google "TNR" for more information, and post your own thread here if you have any questions or concerns!
 

tatonka1233

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You don't have to handle a feral cat to get them fixed! There are traps that are made for this so that you (or the cat) won't get injured! And there are also typically low cost spay/neuter clinics that will offer to fix and vaccinate at a reduced cost and sometimes for free if that cat is feral! If you can give us your general area, we can help you find resources.

Trapping is not difficult, and you can usually borrow these traps from your local animal control, rescues, or even the spay/neuter clinic (and sometimes feed stores!) for a fully refundable deposit!

You're going to have a lot more cats and kittens around come spring if you don't! Plus, for both males and females, it helps prevent disease and other health issues, reduces injury from fighting or mating, and dramatically decreases hormone-related stress.

You can google "TNR" for more information, and post your own thread here if you have any questions or concerns!
I currently am living in Cass County Michigan near the state line. Over the past couple of years I have had many cats come and go. There are some that will come up to me and they are fine with me picking them up and I have taken them in to get fixed at clinics when they are doing a spay/neuter thing where they lower the price of it so that I am able to get 5-10 done at one time. The ones who I haven't been able to spay/neuter have either ended up in the road, been a victim of my pool in the summer, prey to other animals that lurk around my house at night, wandered off or they have been badly injured in a fight and they end up dying from their injuries if I don't find them quick enough. I have become known in my area for taking in cats off the street, injured or disabled cats in and getting them spay/neutered and then taking care of them until they are able to go back out and survive for a couple more years or keeping them inside my home if they get attched/used to living in a warm house with a steady source of food.
 
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I currently am living in Cass County Michigan near the state line. Over the past couple of years I have had many cats come and go. There are some that will come up to me and they are fine with me picking them up and I have taken them in to get fixed at clinics when they are doing a spay/neuter thing where they lower the price of it so that I am able to get 5-10 done at one time. The ones who I haven't been able to spay/neuter have either ended up in the road, been a victim of my pool in the summer, prey to other animals that lurk around my house at night, wandered off or they have been badly injured in a fight and they end up dying from their injuries if I don't find them quick enough. I have become known in my area for taking in cats off the street, injured or disabled cats in and getting them spay/neutered and then taking care of them until they are able to go back out and survive for a couple more years or keeping them inside my home if they get attched/used to living in a warm house with a steady source of food.
I feel you. I have seen cats come and go and I used to have this young male white and yellow longhair that I found as a kitten August of last year, I considered him to be a reincarnation of a similar cat I had that same year who never came back after being persecuted by 2 other outsider cats.. I loved him so much but i never got to the point where i kept him inside and on New years eve of last year I let him outside at night and I went to go do things that I probably should never do even though it was NYE and the next morning he never came back. I took it as God's punishment for my acts of the night before, and not a day goes by where i feel some sorrow and pain for him. Not just for him but every cat that has existed in my colony. but we live and we learn and everyday I try to take a little more extra care for my cats, Im saving up to make little cat houses around my house, hopefully have a catio in my back porch by next year, take attendance everyday (lol) and watch every cats' behavior.
 
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I would contain her if you can to make sure she doesn't injure it further, and then keep an eye on it. If possible, put her in a smaller space alone, like a bathroom, without many places she can climb and jump from so that its really allowed to rest.

Sounds like Negro was potentially very, very stressed outside. Do you plan to keep him inside now until your interloper is fixed?

Try to get everyone fixed before spring if at all possible, or else your colony is going to get a lot bigger! Look into cat birth control if you have to delay because of the clinic or finances!
Yes he spent last night in my garage in a little bed by the door :) In the beginning of the week he was desperate to not be in the garage because he didn't seemed stressed out anymore. He's still normal, rolling around and eating. Unfortunately the TNR program i went to isn't taking any spots for December so I'll have to wait till January. I will have to protect my cats better throughout the winter, and so far everything is going smooth. The injuries have gone away, but it's been raining so ill have to feed them at the end of the day and I always get a little anxious to see if anyone caught a cold or something
 
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It seems like every week something bad happens to my colony
It's been raining all day today so i couldnt go out to feed the cats and i went just now to check on all of them, and there's this one young male longhair, who i call bonito (pretty in spanish), and he's completely wet. all the other cats are dry, but he's soaking wet and has some mucus on his nose, I tried drying him and he responds normally, and doesn't seem to be sick so far. But why would this happen? There's many places in my area that have cover, why wouldn't he go and find it? Or is it a thing to where some cats like water? I will dry him the best i can and try to keep him in my garage tonight and give him wet food with lysine

edit: im just frantically posting this because i panic and I think of all the worst things that eventually end up happening to him, i don't know vets who would work with ferals :( im from houston area
 
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