Stray - feeling guilty to release after TNR

frankiecatsle

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I apologize in advance if this gets long, I only know how to write novels, I'm sorry!

So, two days ago I found a litter of kittens under my car. Four babies, all black, approximately three weeks old. I "knew" the mama cat, she's a stray that's been around for a while and stays in a vacant lot on my street, I think everyone has brought food over to her (and another TNRed stray) at some point or another. We always knew Mama Cat was pretty friendly, definitely never a feral, but still a little shy. After putting the babies in a box, we managed to get Mama Cat in a cat carrier, just took a can of wet food.

Now here's where it gets tricky. I have two cats of my own and we're due to get a kitten in exactly one week. I've had plans to get this kitten since the day it was born (long story, but a friend of my sister has too many cats and needed a home for this little guy). I've only got one spare room, it's already waiting for the new little guy so he can be properly introduced, etc, etc. So without any room for this Mama and her babies, my mom volunteered to take them in temporarily as she had adequate space and a spacey room to quarantine them from her resident cat.

Mama Cat is scheduled to be TNRed in August once the kittens are weaned, and the people at the TNR place have made arrangements to take the kittens after that as well so they can fixed, vaxxed, put up for adoption, the works. They can't take the mom cat though, for whatever reason. My mom says the mom cat settled in quickly at her place. She never hid from them, she always comes out for pets/treats, she just really seems to be loving the indoor life and adapted astonishingly fast. To be honest, I was kinda hoping my mom would fall for the mama cat and keep her but long term, it's probably not a great idea. Her resident cat is 15 years old, blind, and cranky as all get out! Needless to say, I completely understand why my mom doesn't wanna add in a new cat.

I can't keep her either. Not only are three cats (my two plus the new kitten) my max that I feel like I can comfortably afford but I can't imagine introducing two new cats to my resident cats so quickly - again, the new kitten plus Mama Cat later on. But I feel SO guilty at the idea of releasing this girl back into the neighborhood after hearing how well she's loving being inside. I feel like I've gotten her hopes up and once she's spayed, it's back to the streets for her. Of course, I'm gonna try to line up a home for her before it comes to that but IF it does, what does everyone think? Is this just...cruel? Let her stay inside while her kittens are growing then tossing her back out once she's spayed? That's how it feels to me and it's eating me alive. My neighbor said she's probably been a stray on our street for about four years so she's definitely used to the outdoor life but it just feels awful. Animal Services here will only allow owner surrenders if the animal came from the facility and is less than five years old (or get put on a very long waiting list until they have space). There's two other rescues in the area but one only takes owner surrenders and I haven't heard back from the other.
 

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Has your mom said that, or are you guessing? There isn't any reason the mama cat couldn't stay in that room after the kittens are weaned, to help keep the resident cat feeling more calm if necessary.

try to line up a home for her before it comes to that
If at all possible she deserves, and needs, an indoor life :vibes::crossfingers::redheartpump:

Try Nextdoor . com (I'd suggest avoiding craigslist)

and also this may help;
“kittens To Good Homes” – How To Find A Good Forever Home For Your Kittens – TheCatSite Articles
 
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Jcatbird

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Any chance your mom could have a catio put up for mom cat? If she is happy there, that would give her safety, care and attention without upsetting her elder cat. You know, there is a chance that her older cat might enjoy having a bit of company too if she isn’t under foot. Maybe he would be less cranky. I have had that happen with some of my rescues. Since she is not a feral, putting her back out could be a bit of a shock to her. She is now a social kitty. Even ferals have a shorter lifespan most of the time. The risks outside are tough. Finding her a home somewhere would certainly give her the very best chance at a long and content life. Keep trying the rescue groups. Sometimes it takes repeated pleas to them to get an adult cat into the system. Animal Services may not be a great option. There are probably lots of kitties there waiting and hoping for a family. If it is no kill, she could spend her life in a cage. If it is a kill shelter, her time could run out before finding a home. Don’t give up! I got dozens of rescues adopted and it really surprised me. Keep looking and asking at each rescue,” if you can’t take her, can you suggest somewhere else I can try?” It’s a good way to get networked.
Do you know about catios? They can be a great solution in some cases.

Here’s one link. RE: Some New Catio Designs
 
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frankiecatsle

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Unfortunately, yeah. So far my mom has made it quite clear they(mom and stepdad) aren't looking to add another cat. I'm extremely grateful she took in Mama Cat and the kittens so I don't blame her for not wanting to be a permanent solution but I can dream, right? I'm still holding out hope because they've got another month together but at the moment it's not looking promising. I don't really know if they'd be open to the idea of a catio but they live out in the country, lots of wild animals, would that still be safe?

Thanks for suggesting for nextdoor! I forgot that website existed and I already have an account there - I'll definitely put out feelers.

I've got about a month to line up a place for this girl and I'm just terrified it's not going to happen. Part of me wishes I'd never agreed to the kitten so I could give this girl a home but that's a horrible thing to say and I don't really mean it, I've already fallen for this kitten through updates/pictures. I just really want to find her a place, she deserves it. My mom said she runs to the door to greet them when they come into the bedroom to play/feed her and she's purring and making biscuits. This girl is not street cat material.

Question - I DO have a screened in porch. If the worst happened and no home was ever lined up - ya think it could be an appropriate place to attempt to keep her until other arrangements were made? Seems weird to lock a cat on a screened porch but I'm just troubleshooting at the moment lol.
 

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A screen porch can be a wonderful home! It’s much like having a catio. You can make her comfortable out there and , if needed, it will buy you time to look for a home.
A catio can be made very safe. Using metal mesh hardware cloth should keep out most predators. I don’t know what kind of predators you have there but if the catio is put where she could escape into an open window or garage door, she could retreat further. Are we talking coyotes, bears, dogs? Try tapping on the link to that other thread and then tap on the link to look at the catios. They can be made to fit any situation. Plans to build your own are available and they can be bought as a kit you just assemble. It really depends on your needs as to what you get. If you post on that thread about catios, the person who started the thread is very good about providing helpful information in cases like yours. tarasgirl06 tarasgirl06 may be able to give you the best advice on all this.
 

tarasgirl06

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I apologize in advance if this gets long, I only know how to write novels, I'm sorry!

So, two days ago I found a litter of kittens under my car. Four babies, all black, approximately three weeks old. I "knew" the mama cat, she's a stray that's been around for a while and stays in a vacant lot on my street, I think everyone has brought food over to her (and another TNRed stray) at some point or another. We always knew Mama Cat was pretty friendly, definitely never a feral, but still a little shy. After putting the babies in a box, we managed to get Mama Cat in a cat carrier, just took a can of wet food.

Now here's where it gets tricky. I have two cats of my own and we're due to get a kitten in exactly one week. I've had plans to get this kitten since the day it was born (long story, but a friend of my sister has too many cats and needed a home for this little guy). I've only got one spare room, it's already waiting for the new little guy so he can be properly introduced, etc, etc. So without any room for this Mama and her babies, my mom volunteered to take them in temporarily as she had adequate space and a spacey room to quarantine them from her resident cat.

Mama Cat is scheduled to be TNRed in August once the kittens are weaned, and the people at the TNR place have made arrangements to take the kittens after that as well so they can fixed, vaxxed, put up for adoption, the works. They can't take the mom cat though, for whatever reason. My mom says the mom cat settled in quickly at her place. She never hid from them, she always comes out for pets/treats, she just really seems to be loving the indoor life and adapted astonishingly fast. To be honest, I was kinda hoping my mom would fall for the mama cat and keep her but long term, it's probably not a great idea. Her resident cat is 15 years old, blind, and cranky as all get out! Needless to say, I completely understand why my mom doesn't wanna add in a new cat.

I can't keep her either. Not only are three cats (my two plus the new kitten) my max that I feel like I can comfortably afford but I can't imagine introducing two new cats to my resident cats so quickly - again, the new kitten plus Mama Cat later on. But I feel SO guilty at the idea of releasing this girl back into the neighborhood after hearing how well she's loving being inside. I feel like I've gotten her hopes up and once she's spayed, it's back to the streets for her. Of course, I'm gonna try to line up a home for her before it comes to that but IF it does, what does everyone think? Is this just...cruel? Let her stay inside while her kittens are growing then tossing her back out once she's spayed? That's how it feels to me and it's eating me alive. My neighbor said she's probably been a stray on our street for about four years so she's definitely used to the outdoor life but it just feels awful. Animal Services here will only allow owner surrenders if the animal came from the facility and is less than five years old (or get put on a very long waiting list until they have space). There's two other rescues in the area but one only takes owner surrenders and I haven't heard back from the other.
Hello frankiecatsle frankiecatsle ! Thank you for caring and posting. The screen porch is ideal! and as far as introducing a kitten to an elder cat, sometimes it can give new life and purpose to the older cat. There are many accounts of elders adopting kittens and caring for them.
Releasing a cat into the streets is absolutely irresponsible unless that cat is feral and has a safe area and colony. Two excellent resources I recommend to everyone are Best Friends Animal Society and Alley Cat Allies. There are many links and lots of help on each site. bestfriends.org will get you to Best Friends' homepage and you can navigate from there. Get Help may be of help as well.
 
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frankiecatsle

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Thanks for the suggestions/help/links everyone!

We're still reaching out and trying to find a place for her. I talked to the TNR place again this morning and they're adamant they won't take the kittens until they're eight weeks unlike earlier the first person I spoke with said they may take them sooner if they're weaned. But because Mama Cat is allowing the kittens to be handled and played with, etc, all parties involved have decided to keep them together until eight weeks which buys me a little more time. Mama Cat will still be spayed around their 7th week but she'll be reunited with them afterwards until they're ready to go.

My husband and I had a long chat last night. We're going to see how our resident cats handle the introduction of this new kitten and maybe (huge maybe) consider the possibility of keeping her for a stretch if nothing else works. We get the new kitten this Friday and then have approximately four weeks until Mama Cat is ready to go, so if we can get the new kitten out of the safe room in that time frame, we could actually keep her in there until other arrangements were made. Either way, I feel a bit better today and I think we'll be able to work out something one way or another.

I attached a pic of her with her pile of kittens behind her, hopefully it works! My mom just sent me some updates, the kittens are already a lot steadier on their feet and when they pet Mama Cat, the kittens come over for some attention too!
 

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tarasgirl06

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Thanks for the suggestions/help/links everyone!

We're still reaching out and trying to find a place for her. I talked to the TNR place again this morning and they're adamant they won't take the kittens until they're eight weeks unlike earlier the first person I spoke with said they may take them sooner if they're weaned. But because Mama Cat is allowing the kittens to be handled and played with, etc, all parties involved have decided to keep them together until eight weeks which buys me a little more time. Mama Cat will still be spayed around their 7th week but she'll be reunited with them afterwards until they're ready to go.

My husband and I had a long chat last night. We're going to see how our resident cats handle the introduction of this new kitten and maybe (huge maybe) consider the possibility of keeping her for a stretch if nothing else works. We get the new kitten this Friday and then have approximately four weeks until Mama Cat is ready to go, so if we can get the new kitten out of the safe room in that time frame, we could actually keep her in there until other arrangements were made. Either way, I feel a bit better today and I think we'll be able to work out something one way or another.

I attached a pic of her with her pile of kittens behind her, hopefully it works! My mom just sent me some updates, the kittens are already a lot steadier on their feet and when they pet Mama Cat, the kittens come over for some attention too!
Oh, what a beautiful tortoiseshell! Black and torti are my favorite colors of cats, though of course I love them all.
 

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I apologize in advance if this gets long, I only know how to write novels, I'm sorry!

So, two days ago I found a litter of kittens under my car. Four babies, all black, approximately three weeks old. I "knew" the mama cat, she's a stray that's been around for a while and stays in a vacant lot on my street, I think everyone has brought food over to her (and another TNRed stray) at some point or another. We always knew Mama Cat was pretty friendly, definitely never a feral, but still a little shy. After putting the babies in a box, we managed to get Mama Cat in a cat carrier, just took a can of wet food.

Now here's where it gets tricky. I have two cats of my own and we're due to get a kitten in exactly one week. I've had plans to get this kitten since the day it was born (long story, but a friend of my sister has too many cats and needed a home for this little guy). I've only got one spare room, it's already waiting for the new little guy so he can be properly introduced, etc, etc. So without any room for this Mama and her babies, my mom volunteered to take them in temporarily as she had adequate space and a spacey room to quarantine them from her resident cat.

Mama Cat is scheduled to be TNRed in August once the kittens are weaned, and the people at the TNR place have made arrangements to take the kittens after that as well so they can fixed, vaxxed, put up for adoption, the works. They can't take the mom cat though, for whatever reason. My mom says the mom cat settled in quickly at her place. She never hid from them, she always comes out for pets/treats, she just really seems to be loving the indoor life and adapted astonishingly fast. To be honest, I was kinda hoping my mom would fall for the mama cat and keep her but long term, it's probably not a great idea. Her resident cat is 15 years old, blind, and cranky as all get out! Needless to say, I completely understand why my mom doesn't wanna add in a new cat.

I can't keep her either. Not only are three cats (my two plus the new kitten) my max that I feel like I can comfortably afford but I can't imagine introducing two new cats to my resident cats so quickly - again, the new kitten plus Mama Cat later on. But I feel SO guilty at the idea of releasing this girl back into the neighborhood after hearing how well she's loving being inside. I feel like I've gotten her hopes up and once she's spayed, it's back to the streets for her. Of course, I'm gonna try to line up a home for her before it comes to that but IF it does, what does everyone think? Is this just...cruel? Let her stay inside while her kittens are growing then tossing her back out once she's spayed? That's how it feels to me and it's eating me alive. My neighbor said she's probably been a stray on our street for about four years so she's definitely used to the outdoor life but it just feels awful. Animal Services here will only allow owner surrenders if the animal came from the facility and is less than five years old (or get put on a very long waiting list until they have space). There's two other rescues in the area but one only takes owner surrenders and I haven't heard back from the other.
I am known by my family and friends as the crazy cat lady. I have 10 indoor cats. Two are my original cats, age 15 and 10 years old. The others started with me bringing in a mommy cat, who was born in our shed along with 3 other siblings but she, Baby, was the only one who let me get friendly with her. It took over 6 months. I starting feeding all of them because I never saw their mother. Unfortunately Baby ended up getting pregnant before I could bring her inside. She had 3 kittens, when they were about 6 weeks old I brought all of them inside. They have been inside ever since. But Baby was pregnant a second time before I had brought her in. This time she had 6 kittens. I found homes for 3 of them and kept the others. Now I had 9 indoor cats. But that’s fine because I got attached and love them all. I did have to separate them because of my older cats. I have 6 in one section and 4 in another. The oldest cat basically stays in my bedroom. In early Spring we found 3 kittens born in our shed..I started feeding them and their mother. Sorry, I know a lot of people would say that was a mistake but I can not sit by and let them go hungry. After awhile the mother cat wasn’t hanging around so I was left with her 3 kittens. I brought one inside because it looked like he was hurt, took him to the vet. He was fine so I ended up keeping him inside and he got all his kitten shots done. Will be getting him neutered soon. All my other indoor cats have been spayed and neutered when they were kittens. The 2 other kittens that are outside suddenly started to let me pet them, they follow me around the yard and I’ve been feeding them. One is a boy, another is a girl. They are about 16 weeks old. Now I’m worried they will start to wander off and the girl will get pregnant. I haven’t taken them for shots before now because they wouldn’t let me pet them. Now that I can I would like to get them fixed but I don’t know if they can get fixed without getting their shots first but I can’t keep them inside until the shots are complete but I’m afraid there will be more kittens, which I can’t deal with. I know animal shelters are over loaded now and I wouldn’t want them to put them to sleep if they can’t find homes.
i guess I got off track on what I wanted to say, I hope your mom can find it in her heart to take in the mommy cat and give her a home.
 

tarasgirl06

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I am known by my family and friends as the crazy cat lady. I have 10 indoor cats. Two are my original cats, age 15 and 10 years old. The others started with me bringing in a mommy cat, who was born in our shed along with 3 other siblings but she, Baby, was the only one who let me get friendly with her. It took over 6 months. I starting feeding all of them because I never saw their mother. Unfortunately Baby ended up getting pregnant before I could bring her inside. She had 3 kittens, when they were about 6 weeks old I brought all of them inside. They have been inside ever since. But Baby was pregnant a second time before I had brought her in. This time she had 6 kittens. I found homes for 3 of them and kept the others. Now I had 9 indoor cats. But that’s fine because I got attached and love them all. I did have to separate them because of my older cats. I have 6 in one section and 4 in another. The oldest cat basically stays in my bedroom. In early Spring we found 3 kittens born in our shed..I started feeding them and their mother. Sorry, I know a lot of people would say that was a mistake but I can not sit by and let them go hungry. After awhile the mother cat wasn’t hanging around so I was left with her 3 kittens. I brought one inside because it looked like he was hurt, took him to the vet. He was fine so I ended up keeping him inside and he got all his kitten shots done. Will be getting him neutered soon. All my other indoor cats have been spayed and neutered when they were kittens. The 2 other kittens that are outside suddenly started to let me pet them, they follow me around the yard and I’ve been feeding them. One is a boy, another is a girl. They are about 16 weeks old. Now I’m worried they will start to wander off and the girl will get pregnant. I haven’t taken them for shots before now because they wouldn’t let me pet them. Now that I can I would like to get them fixed but I don’t know if they can get fixed without getting their shots first but I can’t keep them inside until the shots are complete but I’m afraid there will be more kittens, which I can’t deal with. I know animal shelters are over loaded now and I wouldn’t want them to put them to sleep if they can’t find homes.
i guess I got off track on what I wanted to say, I hope your mom can find it in her heart to take in the mommy cat and give her a home.
You are a caring and responsible cat lover and I thank you so much! As for the "some people" -- they are heartless and I won't continue because I might get reprimanded. But decent, kind, caring people do what you do. Because when someone needs help, especially someone defenseless and blameless, you help them!!!
I have also cared for large cat families. My current cat family are 17, 16, and 13, indoor only, rescued, and spayed/neutered of course!
 
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