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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
nak

we've got a feral cat hanging around the house that dp and i have become quite fond of

it's either a female or an altered male (we can't tell if his ear is clipped or injured), and we think s/he's probably 1/4 bobcat, so built bigger than an average cat but very malnourished/skinny

we can't really get near him/her; when s/he first showed up and was pretty much starving, we did manage to scratch his/her ears when we brought out food, but now that s/he's built up some strength, we can't get near him/her

s/he has one very injured looking eye, is extremely thin, walks a little shakily, doesn't seem to hear well or track where sounds are coming from, and has been sneezing a lot today

on the other hand, s/he's got a great appetite, seems to be the dominant feral/stray cat in our yard, and moves quickly when s/he figures out where "danger" (noises, people) is coming from

so, my question: can we do anything for this cat aside from putting out food & water? (i've just been putting out the cheap dry food and canned friskies we feed to all the neighborhood strays -- perhaps a higher quality food?)

i realize s/he's probably doomed since i don't think we're going to manage to get him/her to the vet, but i'd love to hear any suggestions

thanks!
 

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You could find a trap-neuter-release program in your area. If the cat is feral it won't be easily handled, but the fact that you've been feeding them they more fond of your territory at this point and I would think would be more easily trapped in that area. They can trap the cats, take them to the vet, vaccinate, de-parasite and neuter/spay them and they will be returned to their habitat.
 

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I just want to mention that the likeliness of that cat being a wild hybrid is extremely, extremely rare. There is little scientific proof that lends to the theory of wild cats breeding with ferals and tame domestics on their accord. It happens in captivity by people seeking to create hybrids, but in the "wild", not so much. Does the cat have a tail? If it's really large boned and just has the ear tufts, it's probably something a long the lines of a Main ****. Even Bengals can appears wild looking from a distance. There are actually quite a few common domestic cats that can resemble something more primitive.

And I would definitely find a TNR group to help you get this cat trapped, and at the very least vetted. There's a ton of low cost/free feral programs, so if you can find one of those and get the cat in, it can cost as little as 10-20 bucks to get a rabies vax and sterilization, which would be the bare minimum. If you can afford to get it tested for FIV/FLV, dewormed, and all of that, even better. But if you trap the cat and it's in tact, you really can't ethically release without sterilization and rabies.

I would also be careful about how/when you're feeding it. If possible, get it onto a day time feeding routine, otherwise you may run the risk of feeding raccoons and possums along with the cats, which can of cause fights. Then you'd have to trap an injured cat and get them stitched up after a brawl with a ****, which is not fun.

This is a good link, it has a ton of resources.

http://www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html

ETA: Another link..

http://www.alleycat.org/NetCommunity...d=191&srcid=-2
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, everyone.

We've been keeping the live-trap option open as a last resort simply because we have so many stray/feral cats, neighborhood indoor/outdoor cats, raccoons, possums, and who knows what else roaming through our neighborhood/yard. (Eugene is a college town with a temperate climate, so that should give you some idea of the huge numbers of wee beasties that pass by our house on any given day.)

The reason that I brought up the part bobcat issue is because I wasn't sure if cats on that scale did better with a higher fat and/or protein diet than your average 10 pounder -- the bobcatness of this cat was only offered up to give others an idea of this cat's size and feralness.

And while I understand that the documentation of domestic and wild cats interbreeding is not readily available, I chalk this up to people not bothering to get their barn cats genetically tested (whereas there was a specific reason for, say, the originator of the pixie-bob breed to "prove" whether or not her cats were part wildcat). I know of two cats who were definitely half-bobcat (one in West Virginia, one in Northern Michigan). For what it's worth, this cat has a bob tail, ear tufts, facially looks like a bobcat, and is approx. 50% larger than my biggest indoor guy (who weighs 16 lbs.).

North_Of_60, I do appreciate your advice and understand that you're just trying to get the info out here that is best for this kitty, but I do want to mention that your post made me feel both ignorant and irresponsible. I'm well aware of the differences between wild and domestic cats, as well as the difficulties of distinguishing between the two; I'm well aware of the importance of helping this cat be healthy and not reproducing; I'm well aware of the other animals in the neighborhood and how to avoid feeding them while watching out for this kitty.

Basically I was looking for options somewhere in between just putting out food/water for this cat and forcibly trapping him/her (again, because of the complexities of doing this in my particular situation). I realize that these are probably my only two options, but I was hoping for a magic bullet, y'know?

Thanks again!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boadhagh View Post
North_Of_60, I do appreciate your advice and understand that you're just trying to get the info out here that is best for this kitty, but I do want to mention that your post made me feel both ignorant and irresponsible. I'm well aware of the differences between wild and domestic cats, as well as the difficulties of distinguishing between the two; I'm well aware of the importance of helping this cat be healthy and not reproducing; I'm well aware of the other animals in the neighborhood and how to avoid feeding them while watching out for this kitty.
Guess there was no point in my response, then. Good luck to you and your kitty.
 

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If you have the time to sit outside when you put the food out this may work for you. My friend gets alot of strays around her house some are friendly some scared. She puts the food out then walks away and sits down, close enough to be seen, far enough not to be a threat. All the cats want to eat, so don't mind her to much. The friendly ones will make their way over to her for some after dinner lovin, the scared ones eye her suspiciously and move away. Every few days she moves just a little closer, until even the scared ones are ok with her, and she can reach out to touch them. You can always move back, if it seems like your to close to fast. This can take several months and you really need enough time to sit until all the cats have eaten, and walked away. You don't want to scare the one you want to catch, b/c then trust is harder to get. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, Alicia; we've been trying something similar, but we'll take some more time when we can.

Frog, I believe that I was kind to North. So, I will try to speak more plainly: I have learned a lot browsing through this forum, but I hardly ever post because the responses to people new to the forum are often rude; the default position of those who post to Pets often is that newbies with questions are here asking a question because they are either ignorant or irresponsible or some combination of the two.

The parentage of this cat does not matter; I explained why I brought it up. What does matter is that a couple of responses to my question assume from the get-go that I am ignorant of certain aspects of the situation. I simply find it insulting that the baseline here isn't "this person is caring and intelligent until proven otherwise." Again, for what it's worth, the cat isn't a Maine ****.

I won't say that I will never post the this forum again, but I will say that this experience has only reinforced my own prejudices about the forum.

ETA: I'd just like to reinforce that my feelings about this are prejudiced; intellectually I know that most people here are kind and helpful and respectful and that I've benefited from those things. I've also been hurt by posts here and seen others hurt as well, and these are the ones that tend to stick emotionally.
 

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I don't think North was trying to be insulting at all. Many posts are written not only for the OP's benefit, but also for all the other people that read them. You've had 95 individual people reading your thread. I'm sure that not all of them are experts on TNR and feral cat care. But now hopefully some of them are more educated.

For example, I'm now more educated about the chance of wild cats and ferals/strays breeding together.

So please don't feel hurt or talked down to. I'm sure that wasn't anyone's intention. It's hard to know how educated posters are, and as many issues in this forum can be quite serious, it seems to me that it's better to put out more information than less in the hopes that more people will be educated.

We would love for you to stay around and help others with your experiences and education!

~Julia
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jlutgendorf View Post
I don't think North was trying to be insulting at all. Many posts are written not only for the OP's benefit, but also for all the other people that read them.
Yeah, I thought I posted a helpful, some what educational post, only to be told I was insulting, and that the OP'er was well aware of everything I took the time to type out. What a giant colossal waste of time that was. Was it because I don't know how much knowledge the OP has, making my redundant post came across as insulting (which is weird because I don't know what the OP knows and what she doesn't)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Naking, so please bear with me.

North, I prefaced my original comments to you with this: "North_Of_60, I do appreciate your advice and understand that you're just trying to get the info out here that is best for this kitty," and I still believe this to be true, but I specifically found your post hurtful for these reasons:

(I'm going to bold your quotes 'cause I find the quote function especially difficult while nursing.)

I just want to mention that the likeliness of that cat being a wild hybrid is extremely, extremely rare. There is little scientific proof that lends to the theory of wild cats breeding with ferals and tame domestics on their accord.

You begin your post with the assumption that I am wrong about the provenance of this cat. If I was posting in Special Needs with a question about an autistic child, I don't think you would have begun your post by stating that statistically it's unlikely for my child to have autism. The beginning of your post put me on the defensive and probably colored how I read the rest of it, but I'll continue with why I felt the way I felt.

But if you trap the cat and it's in tact, you really can't ethically release without sterilization and rabies.

I found this sentence condescending. Rereading now, I was probably over-reacting, but, again, I was insulted by the assumption that I would not do or know to do the "ethical" thing.

I would also be careful about how/when you're feeding it.

Again, re-reading I'm sure that I over-reacted, but (and again) the reason for my reaction (exaggerated or not) is that this sentence (again) implies that I'm not being careful with feeding this cat.

I am sure and do hope that the info you posted is helpful to others who might read this thread.

I should have been clearer and more specific with my original question: I was looking for specific information about helping this cat based on the problems he/she seems to be having (sneezing, bad eyes, hearing loss, malnutrition). I wanted to offer a clear explanation of this cat's size and potential ferocity; I probably just should have left it at "large" and "extremely feral." I should have detailed in my original post why I don't think trapping this cat, in this situation, is a good idea. In writing my original post, I made the mistake of assuming that most people are aware of TNR programs and that most people would assume that I tacitly understood this as an option. I also should have been clearer about my diet question, so I will do that now:

We feed lots of stray/feral cats in our neighborhood. I wish that I could afford to buy them higher quality food, but I usually just feed them whatever's on sale at the grocery store (Cat Chow, store brand dry food, etc.). I also give some of our stray/feral kitties (the ones that we feel particularly attached to) some canned food a couple of times a day. Again because of financial considerations, this canned food is usually Friskies or similar.

Based of this particular kitty's size and health problems, I was wondering if anyone could make some food suggestions.

In general I think this kitty's doing a little bit better; still very hungry, still very skinny, but I did see him/her scratching and then climbing a tree yesterday; something other than sleeping or running away was good to see.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boadhagh View Post

We feed lots of stray/feral cats in our neighborhood. I wish that I could afford to buy them higher quality food, but I usually just feed them whatever's on sale at the grocery store (Cat Chow, store brand dry food, etc.). I also give some of our stray/feral kitties (the ones that we feel particularly attached to) some canned food a couple of times a day. Again because of financial considerations, this canned food is usually Friskies or similar.

Based of this particular kitty's size and health problems, I was wondering if anyone could make some food suggestions.
As I am sure you already know, you cannot ever feed stray/feral cats without taking the responsibility for spay/neuter of the whole colony. Just in case someone else is reading this, feeding a stray/feral colony provides them with enough nutrition to breed. The population will explode and there will actually be more cats starving to death than if you hadn't fed the original group in the first place. Feral cat management must never include feeding without comprehensive sterilization/ear marking and I think most would say that you must provide shelter/nesting as well.

So I am assuming here that you have an established feral colony with complete spay/neuter. In that case, there are feral cat alliances that will help you with food. That will allow you to feed a higher-quality ration to those few that need it. High-quality cat foods include Felidae, Wellness, Wellness CORE, Solid Gold, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
As I am sure you already know, you cannot ever feed stray/feral cats without taking the responsibility for spay/neuter of the whole colony. Just in case someone else is reading this, feeding a stray/feral colony provides them with enough nutrition to breed. The population will explode and there will actually be more cats starving to death than if you hadn't fed the original group in the first place. Feral cat management must never include feeding without comprehensive sterilization/ear marking and I think most would say that you must provide shelter/nesting as well.

So I am assuming here that you have an established feral colony with complete spay/neuter. In that case, there are feral cat alliances that will help you with food. That will allow you to feed a higher-quality ration to those few that need it. High-quality cat foods include Felidae, Wellness, Wellness CORE, Solid Gold, etc.
Since I can't tell if this is snarky or not, I'm just going to say good-bye for now. I guess I don't get the feel of this fourm, and that's fine. I'll just check with my vet in the future.

Thank you for the food advice, and I'll check this thread again to see if there's any more advice forthcoming, but I'm going to leave it at that. Again, I guess I just don't really understand the vibe here.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boadhagh View Post
Since I can't tell if this is snarky or not, I'm just going to say good-bye for now. I guess I don't get the feel of this fourm, and that's fine. I'll just check with my vet in the future.

Thank you for the food advice, and I'll check this thread again to see if there's any more advice forthcoming, but I'm going to leave it at that. Again, I guess I just don't really understand the vibe here.
Honestly, it was because I felt that there was information missing and I didn't know how to make sure you had that information without you being offended.

You have to understand that what many people do, coming into this forum, is not like announcing that they have an autistic child. It's more like announcing that they have a "retarded" kid and they're spanking him a lot but his behavior isn't improving. And I don't think that's an exaggeration.

So we do tend to flood everybody with a lot of information and yes, often we do say "you're doing that wrong." I hope you stick around long enough to see that we are actually committed very deeply to helping the pets be happier, healthier, better trained, and hopefully therefore not abandoned. But you're absolutely right that we're not committed to stroking pet owners.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boadhagh View Post
Since I can't tell if this is snarky or not, I'm just going to say good-bye for now. I guess I don't get the feel of this fourm, and that's fine. I'll just check with my vet in the future.

Thank you for the food advice, and I'll check this thread again to see if there's any more advice forthcoming, but I'm going to leave it at that. Again, I guess I just don't really understand the vibe here.
I can say, posting here for likely years now that these people aren't being "snarky" it's really not in their nature.

It's tough posting on a message board where people can't see body language or expressions. But having been here for a long time, I know these are posters with integrity.

These ladies are just providing information and I'm sure that there are people out there who have feral cat populations in their areas who will read this thread and will learn from it. That's primarily what this forum is about, sharing empowering information so that people can make the best decisions for caring for their pets/animals.
 

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I know I learned something from TheKimballs and North of 60 's posts.

I think the key is if you post asking for help, and you might be doing things wrong, don't get offended when the "experts" in this forum tell you as much. Just take the advise given and do what you want with it.

But I would advise you listen to their expertise on these matters. They really know what they are talking about. And truly care about animals (which is why they are here for us in the first place).

Maybe read my thread in this forum about helping me pick a puppy. I might have read snark in their posts if I was looking for it. But I think because I was looking for an honest opinion (and I got one or two) I didn't get offended when they told me I was going about things all wrong. In fact, they were right and my new puppy is happier because I took their advise.

JMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dp is at the vet right now having this kitty euthanized. When we woke up this morning, he was patiently waiting for his breakfast with blood pouring out of his mouth. Through a lot of luck and timing, we got him into a cat carrier, and dp drove him into the vet.

Per the vet, he's (approx.) a 10 year old intact male (incredible for a stray/feral cat). What we thought was an ear clipping was an injury and his testicles were just very small. The source of the mouth bleeding hasn't been found because it's pretty far back, and possibly in the esophagus or stomach. He is FIV+, so we've opted not to pursue any other treatments as the possibility of finding a home for a 10 year old, FIV+, stray/feral cat is nil. (We have 4 cats, 3 with chronic health problems, 1 who already requires sequestration, and a very small house, so we cannot take him in.)
 
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