Feral cat advice needed(6 Posts)
About a year ago an emaciated cat appeared in my garden, he was very “wild” looking (dirty patchy coat). He started trying to steal my cats food - he was in such a desperate state I started giving him a plate of food whenever he showed up. I love cats and would have taken him in and given him a home (my other 2 cats ignore him and wouldn’t have minded) but he is very wild and the the most he will let me do is stroke his head when he eats. He is not neutered. His teeth look quite strong and white so I don’t think he is that old. He is in much better shape now (at least not starving) but I don’t know what to do now...what if I move house? I feel responsible now and don’t think I could just go and leave him to starve again. Any advice?
Hi, Where I am cats protection will pay for free neutering of ferals. You could approach them and ask them if they will help or if they know a cat charity that could.
If you move just take him with you and let him live in the shed or convert an old rabbit hutch into a little cat den. You can get them free on Freecycle.
You sound very caring, thanks for helping this cat out.
Where do you live? CP might be able to help and some areas have other charities that deal with ferals. I can guarantee that none of them will be able to take him in, but they will be able to trap/lend you a trap and neuter/vaccinate.
Are you planning to move? Between now and when you eventually do move he could easily become a tame pet. If he doesn't, then you will just have to leave him to take his chances. It's awful but that is life for millions of strays.
And yes, a shelter is a very good idea.
If you're feeding him can you gradually move the food towards the house, as in 6" a week till he's eating inside? And then slowly let him at least feel comfortable in the room nearest the door. But if/when you do make sure he has an alternative, visible, escape route. He might not be a true feral, possibly just an unsocialised stray, in which case he might come round of his own accord, albeit very slowly. Ime cats born feral in the uk are good enough hunters/ scavengers to feed themselves, which indicates he probably isn't. Hence will adapt in time.
I have one that turned up injured and emaciated. She's a hunter, so the emaciation was down to injury. I had to hide drugs in her food at first. It was well over a year before she'd even come within touching distance, let alone before I could stroke her, but at least with us she is now incredibly cuddly, and loves her home comforts. She still hunts her own food, and most people don't even know we own her as guests don't ever see her, and nobody but dd or I are allowed in touching distance. Plus she won't go, let alone sleep, anywhere without clear escape routes. But if I filmed her with us now, you could easily believe she was a friendly, sociable house cat.
Id trap him and bring him in to tame, I've tamed several adult ferals and the process takes about three months. Providing you have a room you can keep him in during that time he should be fine, the ferals I took in were terrifyingly scary but it is all fear based and soon settles when they begin to trust you. Neutering is always done the minute I trap them so I don't have to get them into a carrier too soon after they begin to trust. If you can stroke his head I doubt he is truly feral. The website thecatsite has some good info on taming ferals.
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