A strange cat has turned up in our garden. We know most of the cats hereabouts and this one's new. It's a sweet little thing - tortoiseshell, very skinny, quite friendly, and very loud-miaowed. It was insistently howling at our conservatory door yesterday; I gave it a bit of food and it wolfed it down. It was still there by nighttime, and I was a bit worried about it, so I put some food and a cardboard box with bedding into our greenhouse, to give it a bit of shelter. It's still there now. Poor little scrap, when I picked it up to "show" it the bed, it was light as a feather.
If we didn't already have two huge thuggish tabbies I'd invite it in
What's the best course of action if it's still here tomorrow? Ask around the neighbours, or ring CPL? (Our immediate next door neighbour didn't recognise it either.)
I don't think it's a feral (we have a few round here) as it's so friendly.
Well it sounds as though it's a stray. And if it's tortie that means it's female and very possibly unneutered. So you do need to do something, otherwise you'll soon have a garden full of feral kittens.
I would say the first course of action would be to get her to a vet to check for a chip. Vets generally do this for free. Then (assuming not chipped) contact CPL. They may be able to help you with the cost of getting her checked for a spay scar/spayed and then hopefully with rehoming. One way or another the spaying/checking for scar needs to be done very soon as kitten season is now upon us.
In the meantime though do keep putting the food down so she doesn't wander off.
I don't think there's much point in putting notes round as if she belonged to anyone nearby she would have a) gone home b) not be so hungry/thin.
if shes friendly take her to your nearest vets they will scan her to see if theres a chip if no chip get her on as many lost and found sites as you can , ie catchat.org, the local lost and found pets for wherever you are on facebook, rspca lost and found site, and all the local rescues will have a lost and found register and feed her because if shes a lost domestic she might not have the skills to hunt for herself and the food you give her may be all shes getting, put cards in vets and local shops saying found cat with enough identification but only enough that the real owner would know who she is, ie dont put age or exact colouring just general ie female tortie and make your greenhouse corner somewhere she will go to as at least that way she has somewhere sheltered and warm to sleep in
Thanks all. I'll see if I can get her in at our vet tomorrow. Unfortunately I work 4 days a week and have little DC so probably won't have time for much else. She can stay in the greenhouse as long as she likes, and I'll keep an eye on the weather in case she needs a heated pad in there.
If she's still with us on Tues I'll knock up a few posters on the office colour copier and put them round the village. It's a very small one (no shops) so unless she's been dumped, hopefully her home is close by.
Hopefully the DC will think it's a bit of an adventure to take the visiting cat to the vet!
Natasha - yes all torties are females and most gingers (though there are some rare exceptions) are male.
And I think you're confusing 'strays' with 'ferals'. A stray is a cat that once had a home but somehow became lost or abandoned. Such a cat will be friendly, although those that have been stray a long time time do tend to gradually become more wary of people. A feral is a cat that is born outside of a domestic environment, probably to a stray mother, and is effectively a wild animal.
OP that's great. If you can't track down an owner will you at least get her checked for a spay scar/spayed quite soon?
I never knew that about torties, I did know that most ginger cats were. Interesting!
Sceptical face? I'm posting from my phone, it was intended to be a sad face. If it has an owner I hope you find it soon. We have a large community of feral cats here (in the US), our neighbourhood likes them around as they keep the rat population down, but our vet warned us that they may carry FIV and other diseases, so you're right not to let this one inside.
Natasha - transmission of FIV to neutered cats is very rare indeed. I've had a lot of FIV positive cats living alongside my many other cats, and not one of the previously FIV negative cats ever contracted it from them. And if a cat is vaccinated there isn't really much it has to fear from coming into contact with a stray.
Both my mogs are vaccinated so I was less worried about that. More that if I let little tortie in, they'd beat seven shades of shit out of her. They're currently ignoring her in the garden/greenhouse but inside would likely have been a different matter.
Have discovered I need to drop in at the vet tomorrow anyway - my boy cat needs worming (I found this out in the most unpleasant way possible ) so I'll take little tortie with me (assuming I can get her boxed) when I go to buy the tablets.
Just got back from the vet. Little Tortie is not chipped . Vet also thinks she may be quite elderly (which I'd suspected) and/or hyperthyroid. She's probably not been straying long though; there's evidence of dental treatment and she's also been spayed.
So I'll put some posters up and if I haven't heard anything by this time next week, I'll contact Wood Green/CPL. Meanwhile, she can stay in the greenhouse with plenty of food and a heated pad.
Wherever this little cat has come from, she has recognised me for the soft touch I am when it comes to felines . If it wasn't for the cats I already have, I'd adopt her. (And DH muttered something about "it's a shame we can't keep her" last night too, soppy old git.) I do have form for stealing taking in cats; our old moggy was always hanging round in all weathers even though we knew where it lived, so we started letting it come in out of the rain, then giving it a bit of food, then letting it stay the night on our bed, then taking it to the vet for various expensive operations and treatments... and when we moved house we, ahem, took it with us. Its owners hadn't attempted to care for it or even find it in the whole 4 years we were looking after it before we moved, so I'm afraid I felt it was finders keepers.
Our tabbies have muttered at Little Tortie a bit but nothing major. Maybe they don't see her as a threat (and given she tipped the vet's scales at 2.9kg - she's truly tiny - and they are 6kg bruisers, that's entirely possible). They're still taking lumps out of any other cat which dares to poke its nose into our garden so it's not like they're getting soft.
I've got some posters printed so will try to put them up round the village later.
thecatneuterer, our vet wondered if she was a dump due to her age and medical condition - even though the vet told us that it was unlikely another vet would have proposed a treatment for the hyperthyroidism.
fishandjam that exact same thing happened with our old lady cat, she was our neighbours, but she was out in all weathers and 'was an outside cat' (which was just nonsense!), we started taking her in, feeding her, vets trips and now she is well and truly part of our kitty family. But compared to our other two, she is tiny too, 2.9kg, same your tortie, so they just leave her be.
Can we have a picture of the little lodger? Do keep us updated!
I agree with cozie, it does sound as though she's moved in. I just had a tiny 2.6kg old lady cat turn up on my doorstep a few weeks ago. None of my (20 odd) other cats have even looked at her askance. Nothing. She was just instantly accepted. However when I introduce a big male cat there is always a couple of weeks or so of hissing and posturing before things settle down, so OP I think you could be right about your cats accepting her as she doesn't appear to be a threat.
Yes I know rightsaidfred. In fact I think she was around 1.8kg when she turned up. By the time she was weighed at 2.6kg I'd already had her a week and she'd put on a huge amount in that time. Now she must be 3 point something. She is demanding Felix sachets and Gourmet Gold Pate. All my other cats make do with Butcher's Classic and Jameswellbeloved dry.