Semi - Feral Momma I'm conflicted

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
moxiewild moxiewild Whenallhellbreakslose Whenallhellbreakslose Jcatbird Jcatbird fionasmom fionasmom Furballsmom Furballsmom and all you other more experienced in TNR.

Recently I trapped momma cat and her three kittens, and planned to release all of them. The kittens are still young and I just cannot send them out to the cold winter around cars so I plan on socializing them.

The conflict is Momma Cat I still have her as I wanted to wait at least 2 full weeks for her to heal before releasing her, yet I have been contemplating allowing her to live in my outbuilding for the winter and releasing her in the Spring. I know she has lived outside for a long time, but it's really difficult for me to send a cat back with the cold winter coming.

Some articles I've read say I should wait because she will not remember her territory so I really need some sound advice in this matter.
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
7,162
Reaction score
36,703
Location
Southern U.S.
If it were up to me and the outbuilding is a fake place, I would wait. A feral released after spay can be scared and take off for a bit. Also, when relocating ferals it takes time for them to know more about where they are. A couple of months would be suggested but in hard winter, I would not put her out. Van she be warm enough in the outbuilding? It is also possible to socialize her with the kittens. Mom cats see the interaction between human and kittens and can understand that the human is good and safe. I did that with my most fierce of mom cats. I went from calling her Vicious to naming her Flowers. She lives with me now and can be petted, handled and is very loving. She is reunited with her male love and it is the sweetest thing to ever see.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
464
Reaction score
1,405
First off, I want to congratulate you for getting this done. You are stopping the vicious cycle of homeless kittens being born on the streets. I am also am very happy that you plan to socialize these kittens and considering doing the same for their Momma. I think that that is the right thing to do. Jbirdcat, inquired about your out building? Is that a safe place for the cat to recover? Momma cat needs to be in a quiet place where pretty much it is just you visiting her. Feral cats get very stressed out with being in a place with too much noise and people. So it is imperative that this is a quiet, safe place for her. If you are going to have her in for 3 or more weeks, I would suggest she be transferred into a crate. I have done this for late spay cats in recovery and for sick cats. I have used multiple trap dividers to create a barrier between me and the cats, so I can clean up and feed. I have used those grabber sticks you see in grocery stores to grab things in the crate when the cat was super fiesty (Just some tips to help you out). I have never held late spays past a week. However, since the weather is getting colder out there and winter will be here in no time, there is the problem of letting a spayed cat with no fur on stomach out. I personally, don't like tnring female cats in late fall or winter because of this problem. Now if you decide to release this cat, maybe you can put a nice warm winter shelter out for this cat, but with other cats on the scene anything could happen. That is why I usually put extra shelters out, so nobody is left in the cold.

Do you think that this cat can be socialized? If you think so and you have the setup, time, and patience to do this-then do it! I have socialized kittens passed the age of socialization and socialized semi-ferals of different ages. This can be done, but it takes work building trust. Now taking a true feral in is another story.

The way I look at your situation is that you got nothing to lose trying to socialize the momma. If you given it some time and it doesn't work out, you can release her ( and provide her with a shelter) Hopefully, by then her fur will have grown back. You are going to have your work cut out for you with the kittens and Momma, but hopefully everything works out and all become socialized indoor kitties who will find their furever homes❤. All the best to you and don't hesitate to post updates and questions. :lovecat::lovecat::lovecat:

6 Steps to Taming a Semi-Feral Cat
How to Tame a Feral Cat
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
fionasmom fionasmom Jcatbird Jcatbird Whenallhellbreakslose Whenallhellbreakslose
Thank you for your responses and I have more 'questions' etc..

1st momma will be safe in the outbuilding, she will have a heated water bowl and food daily and a warm bed. I will probably put the cat shelter out there with her.

2nd she has been in a X-Lg Dog crate for 1 week and 2 days so I have not let her out and do not know how she will react.

3rd her babies are still out in the same building, but after I get the combo test and it's negative I hope to bring them inside for socialization (I also have a rescue trying to help me find ppl to take them to socialize them).

4th I was going to release her in the same place I took her from since she knows the area and has lived her life out there. I don't know where she goes in the winter she just would come to my place of work when she was pregnant.

5th I really just cannot take in any more cats so completely socializing seems counterproductive.

So, with all this said, it will probably be a week or two before I can move the babies into my house which means she will stay in the crate until I remove them.

At my house she is 5 miles away from my place of work, so are you suggesting if I need to release her in the Spring I do so at my home? work? Will she be confused?
 

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
7,162
Reaction score
36,703
Location
Southern U.S.
There is a process to be followed for her release. You need her to stay there to be safe right? She needs at least a couple of months to acclimate to a new location or she may try to leave. Leaving can have bad results. We will all be glad to help you through the process. For now, keep her safe and healing. Sorry I must be off but I had kitty appointments and a re rescue today and need to attend to others. If you want to keep her there as a feral, we can tell you the best way to help her out. With Winter upon us, sounds like she is much safer there. If you also need tips to socialize the kittens, that can be addressed too.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
There is a process to be followed for her release. You need her to stay there to be safe right? She needs at least a couple of months to acclimate to a new location or she may try to leave. Leaving can have bad results. We will all be glad to help you through the process. For now, keep her safe and healing. Sorry I must be off but I had kitty appointments and a re rescue today and need to attend to others. If you want to keep her there as a feral, we can tell you the best way to help her out. With Winter upon us, sounds like she is much safer there. If you also need tips to socialize the kittens, that can be addressed too.
Okay, I will probably keep her inside during the winter and then need guidance as to whether to release her at my home or back at work. Thank you.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
464
Reaction score
1,405
Okay. That is the issue with socializing ferals. You need to have time, patience, and the set up. If there is no where to place Momma after socialization then you need to place her back in her colony or where you found her. If you want to release her by your home the protocol is she needs to be in a crate outside for 3 weeks getting use to the environment and get use to colony cats (if that is the case). Sadly, just planting a cat in an new environment doesn't always have a good outcome, so that is why that protocol is in place.

Question. Just how cold are the winters in your area? If, let's say you live somewhere like Southern U.S. where the temps are usually well above freezing I would release the cat as long as I have adequate winter shelters for her. I use microwavable discs and sometimes I put hot hands in an old pillow cases (tied) during the coldest nights here and the cats lie on it. I pet a some of my outdoor kitties and when they came out of their winter shelter their bellies were warm. If the weather is too cold and/or you don't think this cat will fare out well than do keep her in. The biggest problem you have to address is keeping her in is that she may get depressed or go stir crazy. The longest I held a cat who was to be released was over 3 weeks and I had to come in and play with the cat (who went from being a shy boy to a love bug). I brought toys in for the cat for stimulation. I tried to keep the cat's spirits up as best I could.

In regards to the cat being reintroduced to the colony in the Spring. It could go either way. I have seen cats get rejected after returning to the colony months later and I seen acceptance. I can't give you a definite answer there. If their are cats that are intact in the group then their is mating issues and Momma Kitty could be driven away. Most of the cats I seen driven out of a group were young males due to mating or territorial issues. Thankfully, all the cats on the block are tnred, so it is more peaceful. My b.y. kitties are territorial so other cats get chased around from time to time.

Well, I hope all goes well. Thank you for going above and beyond for the feral kitties in your area. Keep us updated.🙂
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
Okay. That is the issue with socializing ferals. You need to have time, patience, and the set up. If there is no where to place Momma after socialization then you need to place her back in her colony or where you found her. If you want to release her by your home the protocol is she needs to be in a crate outside for 3 weeks getting use to the environment and get use to colony cats (if that is the case). Sadly, just planting a cat in an new environment doesn't always have a good outcome, so that is why that protocol is in place.

Question. Just how cold are the winters in your area? If, let's say you live somewhere like Southern U.S. where the temps are usually well above freezing I would release the cat as long as I have adequate winter shelters for her. I use microwavable discs and sometimes I put hot hands in an old pillow cases (tied) during the coldest nights here and the cats lie on it. I pet a some of my outdoor kitties and when they came out of their winter shelter their bellies were warm. If the weather is too cold and/or you don't think this cat will fare out well than do keep her in. The biggest problem you have to address is keeping her in is that she may get depressed or go stir crazy. The longest I held a cat who was to be released was over 3 weeks and I had to come in and play with the cat (who went from being a shy boy to a love bug). I brought toys in for the cat for stimulation. I tried to keep the cat's spirits up as best I could.

In regards to the cat being reintroduced to the colony in the Spring. It could go either way. I have seen cats get rejected after returning to the colony months later and I seen acceptance. I can't give you a definite answer there. If their are cats that are intact in the group then their is mating issues and Momma Kitty could be driven away. Most of the cats I seen driven out of a group were young males due to mating or territorial issues. Thankfully, all the cats on the block are tnred, so it is more peaceful. My b.y. kitties are territorial so other cats get chased around from time to time.

Well, I hope all goes well. Thank you for going above and beyond for the feral kitties in your area. Keep us updated.🙂
It can get below 0 here it can be as warm as 50 or as cold as below 0. Usually lots of rain and ice and occasionally an inch or two or snow.

Here’s the thing, there isn’t a colony and I know her and the daddy come to my work in the Spring. I’ve never had to feed her in the winter she goes off around town. If I wait til next year I’m concerned she won’t remember the area.

I had planned on releasing her this month with a shelter but last time I put up a shelter nobody used it.

I also don’t know if she will go beserk when I let her out of that crate and have free reign of the out building.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,157
Reaction score
3,344
Location
Los Angeles
My experience with cats is that they don't really go crazy and get destructive but might be more inclined to hide. Did someone take care of her during the winter in town that you knew about? I have relocated cats, but it did require keeping them inside for a long stretch, like 4 weeks so that they got used to the area.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
My experience with cats is that they don't really go crazy and get destructive but might be more inclined to hide. Did someone take care of her during the winter in town that you knew about? I have relocated cats, but it did require keeping them inside for a long stretch, like 4 weeks so that they got used to the area.
Not to my knowledge. I work at a nursing home and next door is the dollar store and there are business around us. There is a subdivision nearby as well. A few times I have seen her across the highway.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,157
Reaction score
3,344
Location
Los Angeles
No one took care of her. If she had a regular source of food, even the most hardened feral would hang out there and not range around the area.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
My experience with cats is that they don't really go crazy and get destructive but might be more inclined to hide. Did someone take care of her during the winter in town that you knew about? I have relocated cats, but it did require keeping them inside for a long stretch, like 4 weeks so that they got used to the area.
Also, of her babies that I've brought home they all climbed the curtains and tried to get out windows and doors. It's an old building with 'real' glass 'the old kind' I've put screens up over them for fear they would get hurt. One of the first ones I put in there clung to me, but escape thru an area in the door that has since been fixed.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

CatladyJan

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2020
Messages
272
Reaction score
495
No one took care of her. If she had a regular source of food, even the most hardened feral would hang out there and not range around the area.
Sorry, not understanding.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
464
Reaction score
1,405
It can get below 0 here it can be as warm as 50 or as cold as below 0. Usually lots of rain and ice and occasionally an inch or two or snow.

Here’s the thing, there isn’t a colony and I know her and the daddy come to my work in the Spring. I’ve never had to feed her in the winter she goes off around town. If I wait til next year I’m concerned she won’t remember the area.

I had planned on releasing her this month with a shelter but last time I put up a shelter nobody used it.

I also don’t know if she will go beserk when I let her out of that crate and have free reign of the out building.
Well, since this cat goes off somewhere else in winter, and you are dealing with the unknown in regards to who feeds her. I would consider keeping her in. You don't know if this other person has a shelter for her in the first place. The fact that Momma cat was not tnred may be very telling. The feeder may be very ignorant regarding tnr. Perhaps, this is an older person on a fixed income who doesn't know where to begin.

As mentioned, I think you should keep Momma in for winter. Please continue socializing her babies and hopefully they will be adopted out soon or go to a foster to prepare for their furever homes.

Best of luck to you. 😺😸😺
 
Top