Territory Question

MagdalenaT

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I have a problem I hope someone can help me with. Last year, I was able to trap and get a kitten spayed, and she has been making her home in my garage and on my property since then. I've basically adopted her, with the hope of one day getting her inside, but we're just not quite there yet. Yesterday, another female apparently moved her kittens into my garage and now the cat that lives there has been "kicked out". She wouldn't even come down to the house last night for her dinner. How do I get the mom and kittens to move on and get my spayed girl to come back? This is her home. I'd love to get this other group trapped and taken to the vet, but that could take time, and I'm worried about "my" girl in the meantime. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
 

fionasmom

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I have had this happen when another cat displaces the original one. It is often a bully male cat who is not fixed, but your situation is another example. Her space is now crowded and noisy, probably, and as a spayed female she ranks the lowest in the cat hierarchy anyway.

A lot of this may depend on what your property looks like and what is possible for you to do. Can you create a new space for the original cat with some kind of shelter and a new food location? Is it possible that you can work with her on coming in now? If so, you can get a lot of help here on making that transition.

How old are the kittens do you think? What is their food source? How many cats are we talking about? Can you encourage the mom and litter to move to another place so that the garage can go back to the original cat? I have successfully moved even unfriendly ferals by moving their food source alone.
 
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MagdalenaT

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Thank you so much for your reply. I'm happy to report that the spay did come back this morning, so I was able to give her breakfast.

As to your questions:
I'm guessing the kittens are probably around 6 weeks old, and I think there are 3-4 of them. I haven't been able to do a count, though, because I just catch glimpses of them. I don't know if they're fully weaned or not, either. I saw them for the first time yesterday. The mom has been coming and eating for several weeks, but I thought she was just a neighbor's cat (no idea she had kittens). I would love to encourage them to eat somewhere else, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

As regards the original cat, I'm willing to do just about anything to help her out. Ideally, I'd like her to get the garage back. It was all set up for her, and she loved it in there. However, if she won't, then I'll try to find other options. It would be difficult to bring her in right now, but I will rather than have her displaced and homeless. The main issue (on my end) with that is that I have several indoor cats already, and she would have to have a quarantine space, etc. I'd thought about trying to get her to go in my basement around the back of the house, but she doesn't seem very interested in going there. That would be my second choice after the garage. I'm concerned that anywhere I move her outside will just set up a repeat of what's happened with her garage. Plus, I'm concerned about raccons, etc. The garage was perfect for her.
 

fionasmom

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I do see your point about the garage. Getting a mother cat to move her litter when she sees you as a food source is not going to be easy. I have been there. Three years ago I fed a stray cat, trapped her in what I thought was time and got her fixed, only to find that the babies had already been born. One of them is my avatar. Those are the cats that I did get to relocate to another feeding spot but it was when the kittens were older and more curious about the world, so harder for the mother to contain under my neighbor's house where they were born.
 
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