New feral scaring away the cat we intend to adopt. Help?

Psyche

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Hello! My fiance and I have been attempting to adopt the cat that has been coming to us since late October. Our cat is always alone. Recently we have been seeing another black cat hanging around, never at the same time as our kitty. I have a feeling this cat is scaring ours away, as we woke up this morning and this new feral was sleeping where our cat usually does, and a few other incidences like this. We have a pretty regular routine and ours has missed breakfast today. I feel terrible but I don't want this cat scaring ours away, I know it can get food from the neighbor so I am not worried about that. Is there a way of getting this new one to go and keeping our cat? I never feed this cat either, so I am not sure what else I can be doing to discourage it to come over here.
 

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Hello! My fiance and I have been attempting to adopt the cat that has been coming to us since late October. Our cat is always alone. Recently we have been seeing another black cat hanging around, never at the same time as our kitty. I have a feeling this cat is scaring ours away, as we woke up this morning and this new feral was sleeping where our cat usually does, and a few other incidences like this. We have a pretty regular routine and ours has missed breakfast today. I feel terrible but I don't want this cat scaring ours away, I know it can get food from the neighbor so I am not worried about that. Is there a way of getting this new one to go and keeping our cat? I never feed this cat either, so I am not sure what else I can be doing to discourage it to come over here.
By "adopt", do you mean make your cat an indoor/outdoor cat, or will he strictly still be outdoors?
The problem with taking care of ferals is that word travels fast when there's food, shelter and safe places to nap. If you're going to keep yours outdoors all the time, you might end up having more cats than you bargained for. I'm sure other members will chime in soon, but I'd suggest putting out enough food and adding more safe spaces so there's no competition between the two.
 
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Psyche

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Preferably make our semi-feral/long time stray a strictly indoor cat. So if I put food out away from where I feed our kitty, that should help? We have a cat shelter as well that the cat naps in in the morning but I think our cat sleeps under the house. We found out the last workman to come didn't close the door to the crawl space under the house and it is a few degrees warmer under there. Do you recommend getting another shelter or closing the door? I was concerned I would drive our cat away if we closed it off.
 

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Preferably make our semi-feral/long time stray a strictly indoor cat. So if I put food out away from where I feed our kitty, that should help? We have a cat shelter as well that the cat naps in in the morning but I think our cat sleeps under the house. We found out the last workman to come didn't close the door to the crawl space under the house and it is a few degrees warmer under there. Do you recommend getting another shelter or closing the door? I was concerned I would drive our cat away if we closed it off.
How much interaction are you getting with your kitty? Can you pet him? Does he play with toys? Has he ever been inside of your house? Just trying to figure out if bringing your kitty inside now is a viable option.
 
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Psyche

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Recently something seems to have changed because he's been coming 4-5 times a day and coming into the house to check around. Yesterday he came to lay on a blanket I put out for him for a while, which was new. He won't let me pet him yet, but I have been able to get closer to him than before. He is very smart and won't let us get close to the door to close it behind him and we have tried trapping him twice but he knew exactly what was up hahaha
 

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Recently something seems to have changed because he's been coming 4-5 times a day and coming into the house to check around. Yesterday he came to lay on a blanket I put out for him for a while, which was new. He won't let me pet him yet, but I have been able to get closer to him than before. He is very smart and won't let us get close to the door to close it behind him and we have tried trapping him twice but he knew exactly what was up hahaha
Do his trips indoors include food and water? If not, try adding that near his blanket. Also, do you have the ability to build an outdoor catio?
 
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Psyche

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Yes, we feed him daily. He would come twice a day for food but recently has been coming for food and to hang out. We have a deck. Would that work for a catio? Will this help us get him inside?
 

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Yes, we feed him daily. He would come twice a day for food but recently has been coming for food and to hang out. We have a deck. Would that work for a catio? Will this help us get him inside?
Cats who are used to being outside seem to do better when they still have some type of access to the outside. If you built an enclosed area on your deck, one that you could let him in but no other cat could get to, he may feel much safer. His "house" and his food would safe from other cats. You could even make the entrance to the catio come from inside your house. Sometimes it can be a daunting task, but I'll let others who have built catios share their pictures and tips on them.
 
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Psyche

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Thank you so much for the advice. I will talk to my fiance about it. In the meantime, I will look into another shelter for the new cat. In your opinion, do you think I should close the door to under my house? I am very new to cats in general and really don't know how to interpret them yet and our cat is very skittish
 

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I agree that you should move on getting your cat into the house permanently. Start the steps to making that happen and it will give you much more control of the cat situation around your house. A catio is a good idea if it works for your house and you are inclined to do it.

As for the opening under the house...that is an accident waiting to happen. Three years ago, same story exactly, a workman on my neighbor's house left an opening unscreened and a litter of four kittens was born under there. Long story short, it got resolved, everyone got a home or is now a feral TNRed and on my property but it was a huge worry and certainly an extra problem to be resolved. Make sure no one is under the house before you close up the opening.

As Mr. Meow Mr. Meow said, word travels fast that there is food and shelter. A brave cat will often step up and intimidate others and ferals intuitively know when there is an "opening."
 

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Hello Psyche Psyche and family, and welcome to TCS What a gorgeous feline you are adopting! I love all cats, but black and tortoiseshell cats are my favorites aesthetically speaking.
fionasmom fionasmom gave excellent suggestions/advice. Top priority is MAKE SURE NO ONE IS UNDER THE HOUSE before you close that trapdoor. You don't want to place anyone in danger of being trapped under there!
And yes, if possible, bring your adoptee in for good ASAP. If (s)he is at least 2 pounds in weight, (s)he can be spayed or neutered, and should be ASAP. Do you have access to a good veterinary practice and can you get an appointment for a general checkup, a Kitten Pak (these are baseline innoculations) and spay/neuter? During this pandemic, a lot of services have been put on hold, delayed, or made appointment-only, so you need to research this using your search engine and/or neighborhood feedback (neighbors' word of mouth, neighborhood websites, Yelp, or other).
Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, "The Cat Daddy" on Animal Planet's MY CAT FROM HELL, YouTube videos, books, and other sites such as hauspanther.com, is a wonderful source of information on ALL things feline. You may want to follow him on YouTube and check out his show, books, videos etc.
As for catios, they are wonderful and every cat should have one if possible. It's not always possible, but there are modular cat enclosures sold pre-fab or DIY that can provide some much-wanted "outdoor" time while keeping cats safe. catioshowcase.com has a lot of profiles of families with them, what they look like, how to build them, etc. Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin (of hauspanther and catioshowcase fame) have collaborated on several books including CATIFICATION, which is all about catios and living with cats, at various socioeconomic levels. You can keep it simple and not spend $$$, on up.
And yes, a shelter for OBC (Other Black Cat) would be very considerate of you. (S)he could shelter in it in bad weather without impacting your adoptee.
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If you own and you like to design and build, you can do something like this. We had a glass insert and a screen insert into our slider, as you can see. Our cats loved this and would be out there almost all the time except when I had to close it due to snow or sandstorms. There was a litterbox out there and a snack station with dry food and water. Lots of toys and beds and a floor-to-ceiling activity center shaped like a cactus.
 
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Psyche

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Thank you tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 ! Those are great suggestions, a great catio, and some very cute cats. Kitty has been TNR'd before so all he needs is an update on his vaccinations and a checkup. I have been in touch with our local shelter, and the vet is open again. I've been watching Jackson Galaxy and Kitten Lady and reading as much as I can on ferals/semi-ferals. Never heard of hauspanther, will check it out. We had a good laugh at OBC. This morning my fiance opened the door and saw what he thought was our cat, and then looked closer and was *shook*.
As always, fionasmom fionasmom , thank you! I forgot to update but we called the animal shelter for help trapping and tried twice with no luck. He wouldn't go near the thing. Just stared at me. But! He has become so much more comfortable being in the house. A skittish one he is, but he's coming around. We decided today on a new plan and are going to Lowes tomorrow to get supplies. Will close the door tomorrow as well.
 

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Thank you tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 ! Those are great suggestions, a great catio, and some very cute cats. Kitty has been TNR'd before so all he needs is an update on his vaccinations and a checkup. I have been in touch with our local shelter, and the vet is open again. I've been watching Jackson Galaxy and Kitten Lady and reading as much as I can on ferals/semi-ferals. Never heard of hauspanther, will check it out. We had a good laugh at OBC. This morning my fiance opened the door and saw what he thought was our cat, and then looked closer and was *shook*.
As always, fionasmom fionasmom , thank you! I forgot to update but we called the animal shelter for help trapping and tried twice with no luck. He wouldn't go near the thing. Just stared at me. But! He has become so much more comfortable being in the house. A skittish one he is, but he's coming around. We decided today on a new plan and are going to Lowes tomorrow to get supplies. Will close the door tomorrow as well.
TUNA, or salmon, in trap. Cover the trap with towels or branches to make it concealed somewhat. Good luck and hoping you get all the necessary supplies. Thanks for nice words!
 
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Psyche

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TUNA, or salmon, in trap. Cover the trap with towels or branches to make it concealed somewhat. Good luck and hoping you get all the necessary supplies. Thanks for nice words!
We tried tuna the first time with a blanket and then the second time we called the shelter's trapper and put tuna, salmon, and regular food in and at that point it had been more than 24 hours since he had eaten because the trapper was late. He wouldn't budge. Wouldn't even take the trail of food outside the trap. 😒 And then he avoided us for a day or two after that. We are hesitant to even try a drop trap because he seems to recognize the metal as a cage.
 
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Quick question: we went under and found it's bed. Of insulation. Should we just place it under the deck? It's damp down there. Or if we bring it inside, will it feel more comfortable being in the house? Obviously temporarily. Feel so bad taking away it's dry home 😭 but it's for the best, of course.
 

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tarasgirl06

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Quick question: we went under and found it's bed. Of insulation. Should we just place it under the deck? It's damp down there. Or if we bring it inside, will it feel more comfortable being in the house? Obviously temporarily. Feel so bad taking away it's dry home 😭 but it's for the best, of course.
Some insulation has asbestos in it, which is a deadly carcinogen. I don't know what this is made from, but I would throw it out in a secure location where no cat can access it. I would put toweling, old Tshirts or other safe textiles as bedding. Even paper would be better than something dangerous.
 
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