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The litter tray

Back again for advice on another urchin that has 'found' me!

83 replies

Applecrumbly · 01/12/2013 14:22

Hi to everyone that helped me a few months ago when I found a kitten and kept it and was literally shellshocked at the madness of a new kitten ,having only ever had dogsHmm.But our little Cleo is now 7 months,been spayed and we love her to bits and is much calmer(well thats what I thought until we put the xmas tree upGrin).
Last Tuesday however,I found a large tabby crying pitifully in the garden-we are rural so surrounded by fields etc) - and of course I fed her and off she went,except of course she didnt go anywhere and was back the next day and is still here.She is really friendly and keeps rubbing herself round my ankles and pushing her head into my hand to be stroked and purring etc.She seems to be very vocal,crying even when she has been fed etc.
I have made a bed for her in the woodshed,under a table and lots of blankets etc because heres the thing..I think she might be pregnant.Im not sure but I think so.She is eating an awful lot...approx 3 pouches a day and lots of dry also.
What will I do? Is it ok to just carry on like this,providing shelter and food.Will she be warm enough? I cant bring her indoors as we have a dog and an indoor kitten and if she has kittens we will be over run with cats and I dont really want that.
She is a large tabby and is really lovely and friendly.
Sigh!Why do they always find me?

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 01/12/2013 15:13

What you should do is get her to a vet immediately and get her spayed/aborted. If you can't afford it ask about RSPCA/Blue Cross vouchers or speak to your local Cats Protection.

It would be a disaster if she were to have a litter of kittens outside. If they survived and weren't eaten by foxes(which is unfortunately very likely) they would go on to form a feral colony and the only thing that would then keep the numbers down would be predators or starvation.

The best thing for her and for the cat population in general would be an abortion. At the same time they can check for a microchip.

Immediately after the op she would need to be kept in for about five days. Do you have a spare room? Even the bathroom would be fine.

After that (and this is of course all presuming she doesn't have a chip) then I'm sure she would be fine outside with shelter and food and well done to you for caring. But please, please get her to a vet this week.

Fluffycloudland77 · 01/12/2013 15:14

Could you take her to your vets to scan for a chip? It's a free service at my vets, they probably all do it for free.

If she's not too far along would you consider spaying & aborting the kittens?

cozietoesie · 01/12/2013 15:17

Yes - my vet would do it for free.

Applecrumbly · 01/12/2013 16:59

Oh thanks for all the advice...I will go to the vets in the next couple of days so.I didnt realise they could spay/abort etc if not too far along.I was wondering about the kittens and foxes etc so if the worst comes to the worst then I will bring her indoors and she can have them indoors and I will keep herself and the kittens inside.I will do my best to rehome the kittens.Not ideal but I wouldnt leave her outside if its that dangerous now that I know.
Thanks again for the advice.Iwill keep ye posted[tchsmile].

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 01/12/2013 17:19

That's great. I'm really glad you posted.

Most vets will abort until very close to the due date so unless she is so big she can barely walk at the moment you should be fine on that.

It's great that you are able and willing to help her.

sashh · 02/12/2013 05:23

you could always post her to Sparkling

Applecrumbly · 02/12/2013 19:05

Grin sashh.
Well I am very grateful for the advice yesterday as it made me act immediately and she is booked into the vets for spaying on thursday.
I decided to bring her indoors last night after all but she wouldnt come in so what do you all think are the chances of keeping her and her settling in....She is very affectionate when either myself or dd,16,go out to the shed and if we kneel down she climbs on to our laps.But theres no way she will let us pick her up.I tried all sorts of treats etc at the back door again today but no good..she is too nervous to come in.
I think I will keep her if I thought she would settle in happily but Im not sureHmm.We have a collie/retriever cross who is very friendly and a 7 month old house kitten who is very cheekyGrin.
Today dd took little kitten out to the shed just to see what would happen but the stray hissed and spat at her.She also seems very scared of the dog whenever the dog is outside barking which is only natural I suppose.
She seems to really like her little arrangement in the shed but I feel its too cold for her.I have put a litter tray in there and she has used it so I think I will close the shed door tonight in case a fox gets in.I will have to bring her inside after her surgery on Thursday but whats the best way for me to do this ?Dog sleeps in kitchen.Kitten is confined to spare room overnight with all her food/litter tray/water etc.
What is the best way to bring this urchin indoors and help her to feel safe and happy here?The weather is supposed to get very cold at the weekend too so I would be very glad of any helpful tipsSmile.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 02/12/2013 20:24

She's probably all full of hormones and instinctive behaviours if she's pregnant so I wouldn't necessarily take what she's doing now as a complete map of what she'll do later on. The fact that she's friendly to you and your DD is a good sign, I think. And that she's used a tray. I think she's an ex-pet.

You've pretty well got to take her in to the house on Thursday when she gets back from the op because she'll be completely irresponsible with the GA - but haven't you also got to take her in on Wednesday evening? (To ensure she doesn't eat anything after 22.00 as well as to make sure she's around to be taken for her op on Thursday morning.) Could you maybe redesignate the spare room? I'm also wondering whether you should think of borrowing a dog crate for her to use and then you could leave that in the spare room.

thecatneuterer · 02/12/2013 22:41

Yes I was going to say exactly the same as Cozie about taking her in on Wednesday evening.

The ideal solution (assuming of course that you don't have lots of extra rooms) would be a dog crate in the spare room with the kitten. That way they could get used to each other while both feeling safe. I'm sure they will all get along fine eventually - a little bit of hissing and spitting to start with is quite normal.

If you don't have another room and can't get a dog crate then perhaps the bathroom? Or maybe the kitten could go in the kitchen with the dog and the cat could have the spare room? For getting them all used to each other purposes though a dog crate for a couple of weeks would be ideal (they are big enough to put a cat bed and litter tray in).

If she does end up back in the shed once she's recovered from the op then you don't really need to worry about foxes. Foxes eat small kittens but its very rare indeed for them to attack adult cats.

Good luck with her and it's great that you're looking after her.

cozietoesie · 02/12/2013 22:54

PS - if you're minded to use a dog crate (simply because it gives her plenty of room and you should be able to fit in her own tray) then why not phone and ask the vet if they have any to borrow or rent. Some vets do - and if that was to be the case, you could bring it home after taking her in on Thursday.

cozietoesie · 02/12/2013 22:57

PPS - Did you get the chip checked? (Or lack of one.)

Applecrumbly · 02/12/2013 23:56

I didnt take her with me today cozie -I simply had a chat with the vet.I have now closed the shed door (I had been leaving it slightly ajar in case she wanted to get out) seeing as she is using a tray and it will keep the little shed a bit warmer and safer for her.So,I can ensure she will fast from approx 9pm on wednesday night.The vets are indeed lending me a crate if I need it so I think I will go for that .
I was actually furious with dd for (a) taking kitten outside and (b) just plonking kitten on ground in front of big stray cat to 'see what would happen'.Stray could have really attacked her and dd would be bloody useless if that happened.I was out when she did it-honestly you'd think a 16 yr old would have senseHmm.
We actually do have plenty of rooms so I will confine her to one now she is using a tray.I am relieved to hear about foxes and cats -I wasnt sure but its good to know.For the time being I will keep her confined at nightime and we will see what happens after thursday.
Thanks so much for all the hints and tips.I will continue to update.Thanks.

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 03/12/2013 07:34

Not many people introduce cats to each other properly.

Shorty & Kodi on youtube has a video about it, there owner is brilliant and needless to say shorty and kodi love each other despite kodi being a newcomer.

Applecrumbly · 05/12/2013 22:06

Ok I have an update for you.Well,stray cat is not pregnant and has actually been spayedXmas Blush.They found the scar as soon as they shaved the fur.She is approx 2 yrs old and in great health.Vets have put her on their lost and found register so if anyone reports a similar cat lost they will contact me.She is not chipped either.
In the meantime I have brought her indoors and she is on a blanket in the living room behind the sofa snuggled up against the radiator.I cannot leave her in the shed anymore...its too cold!
I need more advice though please experts.
The problem now seems to be that 7 month old female kitten will not leave her be.She keeps going up very close to stray and staring at her and stray keeps hissing and 'growling' and I am terrified that there will be a catfight.Can female cats get along ok indoors?And what about the dog?She is just ambling around keeping out of the way really.I have ,for the past hour or so ,kept kitten and dog out of living room and will do for rest of the night but what will I do tomorrow?Its the kitten is the one making me nervous really as she doesnt seem to have the sense to stay awayXmas Confused.
Is it ok to just let them all amble around tomorrow and sort it out themselves or what?
I am going to leave stray in living room tonight as she feels secure there now and leave dog in kitchen as usual and kitten in box room as usual.
Bloody hell,all these bloomin animals!
I would be really grateful for advice peopleXmas Smile.

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 05/12/2013 22:11

It sounds like kitten wants to be BFF & stray isn't coming to the party.

Cat fights aren't the end of the world, it's sorts out pecking order. It's no wonder the dogs keeping out of the way with two cats in the house now.

cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 22:17

A collie/retriever cross? He'll be butter in her/their paws although it's best to keep him out of the way for a day or two (as he's doing instinctively) so as not to spook her.

It doesn't sound too bad to me with the cats. Supervise them tomorrow when they meet up in the morning and make sure you have lots of Dreamies to hand so that they associate the other animal with good things.

Good luck.

cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 22:18

She - I don't know why I had it in mind that the dog was male.

Applecrumbly · 05/12/2013 22:55

Oh thank you all-such quick replies.Xmas Smile.Cozie I will do as you advise and have the dreamies to hand.Fluffy,I watched that youtube clip and it is so sweet to see them getting on so well at the end.
So what is the worst that would happen if the stray 'went' for kitten if kitten wont leave her be? Its funny,but thinking about it the kitten has never seen a real cat before and is instinctively drawn to the cat.I found her at 6 weeks old and have kept her indoors because we are on a really busy main road.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 23:05

She'll almost certainly have seen a real cat before - just not for a long time. I don't know/remember where you found her but I'm assuming it was on the side of a road somewhere - or something like that (rather than being hand reared from birth.) If so, she'll have been raised to 6 weeks by a female cat ........and then something happened.

Hissing and growling isn't too bad. There's often a lot of posturing and she's young enough not to pose a bad threat to the stray. If the new girl gets real fed up she'll likely biff her rather than doing any real damage with claws or teeth. But best to keep a gentle eye on things at the beginning. (Doesn't mean you have to sit with them - in fact it's probably better if you're getting on with your own business and just being a 'presence'.)

Applecrumbly · 05/12/2013 23:14

Yes cozie I found her on the roadside..yes I had forgotten she was raised by her mum to 6 weeks probably.I will take your advice tomorrow and supervise closely.ThanksThanks.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 05/12/2013 23:25

Well supervise generally but not cloyingly close. I think the thing is to keep the emotional temperature fairly cool - eg nothing wrong with sitting in the same room reading a book or doing some work but I wouldn't, myself, be on top of them all the time with stroking.

Best of luck.

thecatneuterer · 06/12/2013 00:03

That's great that she's not in fact pregnant. (It reminds me of a similar situation I had last week. I was called to a report of a heavily pregnant stray cat in someone's garden. When I got there it was just a very fat and very well-cared for cat that was luckily chipped and only a few yards from home:))

As Cozie said, cat fights aren't the end of the world, and it's very unlikely it would end up with a full on fight in any case. It sounds as though the kitten just wants to be friends and the stray is feeling a bit wary. I'm sure it will all soon be fine.

cozietoesie · 06/12/2013 08:53

I'm amazed they called CH rather than just checking with all the neighbours. Such is modern life, eh?

How is it going this morning, Apple ?

Remember to keep an eye open for beasties. As she's been 'on the road', you'll need to be thinking about de-fleaing and de-worming for all residents as soon as practical.

I take it you're going to be keeping her if it turns out she doesn't have a home and Cleo and she reach an accommodation?

thecatneuterer · 06/12/2013 16:44

I know Cozie, but the fact is I'd rather be called out for any number of false alarms than for people to not alert us to a cat that really is pregnant.

cozietoesie · 06/12/2013 17:16

Of course, TCN.

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