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Bringing a stray indoors overnight prior to spaying

(18 Posts)
CatKnitter Tue 02-Oct-18 18:14:26

I have a nervous stray cat in the garden who is the proud mummy of six kittens. I want to get her spayed, and later get the male cats fixed too.
I have an appointment with the vet for 9:30 tomorrow morning and they've asked that she fasts from 8 pm tonight.
Do I try to bring her in and leave her in the utility room with a litter tray? She'll be totally freaked out. Any advice for me?

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Tue 02-Oct-18 19:55:49

Firstly, it's great that you're doing this.

So where are the kittens? You can't bring her in and leave the kittens outside. Assuming the kittens are no longer around then it would be an idea to bring her in, but you could leave her outside tonight (just don't feed her) as long as you can be confident you can get hold of her tomorrow.

However she will have to stay in for a few nights after the op, so yes a litter tray in the utility room sounds a good idea - just make sure all windows are firmly closed (even if you think they are too small/high up - still close them - and not just pushed shut - properly shut).

CatKnitter Tue 02-Oct-18 20:23:56

Thanks for that advice. The kittens are maybe 12 weeks old and still hanging around. The mummy cat is growling at them now. I'm hoping the local rescue will take some.
My neighbours leave food out for the cats so unless I keep her in I can't guarantee that she'll be fasting.
I've been calling for the last while and there's no sign of her so the spaying might get called off if I can't find her tonight.

OP’s posts: |
EachandEveryone Tue 02-Oct-18 20:34:19

Does she let you touch her?

CatKnitter Tue 02-Oct-18 20:49:30

She lets me rub her head a little but is very jumpy. I've called and called but there's no sign of her this evening. The kittens aren't around either.
There are three adult cats and five of the kittens to deal with. I took in one of the kittens myself and he's getting on well with my existing cat. Picture attached!

OP’s posts: |
viccat Tue 02-Oct-18 23:39:38

Have the kittens been handled and got used to humans? They will turn feral soon if not, the ideal socialisation window is around 4-8 weeks. I hope you've been in touch with local charities about them already?

Do you have a plan to catch her and get her into a cat carrier if she doesn't let you pick her up? It would certainly be a lot easier if she's confined to one room indoors. If you leave the carrier in the room, she might just go into it voluntarily - put a large towel in so it seems like a comfy hiding place.

CatKnitter Wed 03-Oct-18 00:04:41

Unfortunately, two of the kittens are well on the way to being feral. They haven't come in to my garden at all. I just see them out of the window sometimes. The others are well socialised.
I've been in touch with a local rescue but they already have 100 cats in fostering at the moment. I hope they'll take some of the kittens but I can tell that they are overrun right now.
Between the rescue and the local vet I've organised discounts for fixing and vaccinations.
My first attempt to get one spayed is not working out. I can't find the cat tonight. I'll try again tomorrow if I can get another appt with the vet.
That's a great idea about getting her familiar with the carrier. I'll put some treats inside it along with something snuggly.

OP’s posts: |
Rebecca36 Wed 03-Oct-18 00:22:35

You're doing a good job. Keep her in with a litter tray in the utility room.
I had a mother cat and three kittens many years ago, she fed them (not all the time obviously, just in the evening), until they were 16 weeks by which time they were independent and she really wasn't interested in them any more.

I had her spayed when the kittens were about five weeks old I think and later on had the kittens spayed.

She will be fine after spaying and probably go out to either bully or take care of her kittens.

Wish there were more people like you.

thecatneuterer Wed 03-Oct-18 12:15:46

Did you manage to get her spayed today?

So if you can only see the kittens from the window where are they? In someone else's garden? Are you leaving a permanent food source out to attract them?

I think you are asking the wrong question of the rescues. Don't ask them to take them in. That is going to be almost impossible, particularly if they are now semi feral. You need help with trapping and neutering all the kittens. If you don't manage to do that then the situation will quickly become out of control.

Can you tell me where you are in the country please?

CatKnitter Wed 03-Oct-18 13:34:40

The mummy cat appeared again this morning as usual. I'll try again this evening to bring her in.
The kittens were born in a garden several doors down from me. I didn't know about them for about a month. The neighbours and I have adjoining gardens backing on to an overgrown urban park so plenty of room to roam.
I have been leaving water out for the cats but not food. None of them is underweight so the neighbours are feeding them but no-one is taking responsibility for them.
I get what you are saying about the rescue centre but 10 cats outside is really too much.
I love cats but for the last 20 years I've had the same rescue cat until she died in the spring so I know nothing about kittens or managing wild cats.
I live in Ireland.

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Wed 03-Oct-18 13:55:00

Oh. I can't make any recommendations about Ireland unfortunately. Yes ten cats in gardens is too much. But if you are waiting for them to be taken in, and that proves impossible, then you will soon have 20, then 50, then 100. So try to get some help with trapping and neutering. Then work on trying to find homes (but really, if they are feral that won't be possible)

thecatneuterer Wed 03-Oct-18 13:55:49

And speak to the people whose gardens they are in to make a plan. For trapping you will need to establish a regular feeding pattern.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Wed 03-Oct-18 16:24:28

Apologies for going off topic - but love your grey cat grin.
And good on you for looking after the local strays!

Rebecca36 Thu 04-Oct-18 00:39:14

Blue cats are amazingly intelligent and gentle. We had one who co-parented the kittens our little black stray cat had, they adored him.
(My husband adored him so much I didn't think he'd ever get over it when he died.)

The blue in your photograph looks like our one.

BackToTheFuschia7 Thu 04-Oct-18 00:50:49

Glad you’ve said that Rebecca all of the grey cats I’ve known have been gentle and smart too. I thought surely their personalities can’t be related to their coats but it does seem there’s something in it!

OP, well done for taking the initiative to sort this. TheCatNeuterer is right, you’ll be overrun in no time if they aren’t all snipped and spayed asap. I hope you succeed with the mother cat and can have some assistance with catching the others before they start breeding too.

CatOwned Thu 04-Oct-18 01:07:44

Definitely try to make the crate a safe space so she either goes in willingly or doesn't freak out once she's in. What's the weather like in Ireland? If cold/wet, make it comfortable with blankets and maybe some food.

Also, could you speak to the vet and see if they have a place to keep her until the appointment? If the mamma cat is friendlier during the day, it might be worth trying to catch her during this period and delivering her straight to the vet so there's no more attempts to get the cat inside the crate, etc.

CatKnitter Thu 04-Oct-18 03:42:56

Catowned, that's exactly what I need to do because I've failed to catch her again tonight. I'll ask the vet if I can bring her in during the day.
The blue cat is a stray, clearly lost from some loving home. He's very intelligent. He's followed my finger when I point. He is gentle and I love his long legs and smooth coat, he's gorgeous. The only thing is he nips me to educate me on how to behave. He'd never break the skin but he's not messing around either.
The kitten lovingly head butts me and the blue cat but I've also seen him do the same to kitchen cupboards. Cute smile

OP’s posts: |
Beaverhausen Fri 05-Oct-18 08:02:25

It might be an idea to explain to your vets the situation and that she is stray, what they might do is not charge you for an overnight and if you are able to catch her the day before.

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