Life Span And Survival
Without human assistance
Adult feral cats without human assistance have been found in surprisingly good condition. In Florida, a study of feral cats admitted to a trap-neuter-return program concluded that “euthanasia for debilitated cats for humane reasons is rarely necessary”. A further study of over 100,000 community cats admitted to TNR programs in diverse locations of the U.S. resulted in the same 0.4% rate of euthanasia for debilitating conditions. The body condition of feral cats entering a TNR program in Florida was described as “generally lean but not emaciated”. However, many community cats had suffered from parasites such as fleas and ear mites before entering TNR programs.
With human assistance
Feral cats in managed colonies can live long lives. A number of cats in managed colonies in the United Kingdom died of old age.:522
A long-term study of a trap-neuter-return program on a university campus in Central Florida found that, despite widespread concern about the welfare of free-roaming cats, 83% of the cats studied had been present for more than six years, with almost half first observed as adults of unknown age. The authors compared this result to a 1984 study that found the mean life span for domesticated cats was 7.1 years.
How Do You Help A Stray Cat In Extreme Heat
Outdoor cats Place their beds in shaded areas, keep the water bowls filled with fresh water, and toss in plenty of ice cubes. A lickable ice block can be a long-lasting treat even on the hottest days. Feral cats If you feed feral cats, be sure to keep wet food moist as it will dry out in the heat.
Cat Had Kittens Outside Take Your Time And Youll Find Them
If a cat had kittens outside, its important to find them right away.
No amount of preparation on the mothers part can fully protect her or her kittens from predators, parasites, or the elements.
If she is your cat, youll want to be able to watch her and the kittens.
If shes feral, she and her kittens will need to be properly cared for as soon as possible to ensure the highest possibility of their survival.;
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What Is The Right Age To Take In A Feral Cat
The perfect age to take in a feral cat is between the age of 8 weeks and 3 months of age. At this point, a feral kitten can still be socialized with humans, and learn how to live a domesticated life. If a feral cat is already 6 months or a year old, it will be extremely hard for them to become acclimated with you and your home. However, it is not impossible. You should start by regularly feed the feral cat, and there is a chance it will begin to trust you.;
How Do Most Feral Cats Die
These small animals die from repeated puncture wounds and from being crushed by cats jaws. Unfortunately, many cats spend a great deal of time playing with their dying, convulsing prey, whose suffering is intense. Many of these animals are then left to die slowly when they stop struggling but remain alive.
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How Do You Know If Your Mother Cat Is Rejecting Her Kittens
If you see that the mother ignores certain kittens, refusing to allow them to nurse, she is rejecting those kittens. Another sign of rejection is when a mother moves one or more of the kittens to a different location from the nest to isolate them. She also may hiss at the kittens or try to bite them.
Do Mother Cats Leave Their Kittens
A Mother cat will leave her kittens for hours at a time. She will NOT return if you are standing over her kittens. The mother cat offers her kittens best chance for survival, so wait and watch as long as you can. If mom returns and the area is relatively safe, leave the kittens alone with mom until they are weaned.
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Get In Touch With The Pros
If it seems like the kittens are abandoned because they are unhealthy, inform a local rescue group or animal shelter. Sadly, not all agencies have a program for sick neonatal kittens some do not have a program for any neonatal kittens at all. When looking for help, approach an agency thats equipped for the job.
On Moving And Relocating Outdoor And Feral Cats: A Quick And Dirty How
For some reason, my email inbox gets more play on the issue of moving outdoor and feral cats than just about anything else .
People perhaps view me as someone who would actually know more about moving and relocating felines than the average Joe. And thats probably true. However,; Id be willing to bet that more than a handful of Dolittlers regular readers are far more attuned to this topic than Ill ever be.
Yet as someone whos had cause to move ferals around when their habitats were being destroyed , Ill provide you my two pennies in this post. Here goes
The one thing you can rely on is that cats will generally stay around their new location as long as theres food to be had and there isnt any more competition for it than there was before.
That goes for moving the tamer variety outdoor kitty, too. While it may be stressful to move cats from one outdoor environment to another, and though some attrition may well take place , the majority of cats will comply with your human interventions.
Nonetheless, here are a few helpful suggestions to those of you considering a move and electing to move your outdoor adoptees along with you.
1-Consider: Are these cats truly feral or the sweet outdoor types who happened to adopt your porch as their territory?
2-Outdoor kitties who can be picked up and lugged around but whom youve been unable to bring inside for whatever domestic reasonare the ideal candidates for relocation when moving to a new home. But consider:
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Why Do Feral Cats Move Their Kittens
After extensive research, we have found some common reasons why feral cats move their kittens. The exact frequency of the relocation depends on the factors given below. The main reasons feral cats move their kittens are:
- If a cat finds that she is living in a place where there is noise that disturbs her kittens.
- Shortage of food and water.
- The kittens are at greater risk of being affected by external elements.
- Humans and other animals try to catch or see her kittens.
- The place is dirty or smelly.
- Unfavorable weather conditions. For example, too hot or too cold temperatures.
- There is presence of predators
Taming The Kittens Of A Feral Cat
Once the little ones of a feral cat are already in their natural weaning period, its time for you to spring into action. After all, it wont take long before their mother leaves them to survive on their own. But just because the kittens are ready to turn their backs on breast milk and look for food doesnt mean that they will surely live.
The good news is that socializing the kittens of a feral cat to turn them from uncontrollable to lovable isnt that difficult. For the most part, its just like taming the youngsters of a stray or house cat.
Here are some of the steps you may take to tame a feral cats kittens
- Before anything else, be very patient. Its true that some feral kittens can be tamed in two weeks. As a matter of fact, some may feel comfortable being handled by humans within just a day. However, some may take several months to become accustomed to their new life.
- Take the kittens to the vet for a couple of reasons. First, its to have them neutered or spayed . This can help reduce inappropriate behaviors in male cats and prevent heat cycles and the accompanying erratic behaviors in female cats. In animal shelters, neutering and spaying are commonly performed at eight weeks of age to sterilize the kittens before they get adopted. Second, its to get them vaccinated and dewormed, too, by the vet.
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Why You Should Leave Feral Cats Alone
- They control the vermin populace
- They usually are sentient and are clever with taking out these creatures
- They are great if you have a mice and rat problem
- They usually are just living their own life, and arent going to harm humans
However, lots of times animal control places believe that they should kill these types of feral cats since they think that their lives are horrible. Yet, usually, they are looking at cats that are sick and abused, rather than cats that are just working on living life. Killing feral cats is like killing wildlife, and something that you shouldnt do.
When Do Feral Cats Leave Their Kittens
Feral cats are different in a lot of ways from domestic cats. They are not cuddly, loving animals that spend their days snuggled up on the couch. Instead, they are wild animals that need to live on defense, so they can survive, but why do they leave their kittens?
Feral cats leave their kittens at about five weeks old with the weaning process, though they dont leave them outright. The mother restricts nursing, encouraging them to go out on their own and hunt. Eventually, the kittens become older and independent enough that they stop returning to the nest.
Read on to learn more about the relationship between feral cats and their kittens, including the mother and the father. Find out whether you can adopt a feral kitten and what you should do if you find a litter of street cats.
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When Do Feral Cats Abandon Their Kittens
Feral cats dont abandon their kittens. They care for their kittens for a certain amount of time until they encourage them to fend for themselves. A feral cat may leave her kittens unattended for a short time while she goes hunting and finds food, but she doesnt simply leave her kittens for good.
Feral cats stay with their kittens for the majority of the first two weeks of their life full-time, for the babies are blind and deaf for the first fortnight of their lives. After that, the mama will venture out to find food for herself to stay strong while continuing to nurse her babies. At about four weeks, the mother will start to wean her kittens, and by the end of the fifth week of their lives, they are expected to eat solid food and be starting to find it on their own.
Bringing Mothers Indoors For Extended Periods Is Inhumane And Misguided
As people who love and empathize with animals, seeing catsand particularly kittensoutdoors tempts us to launch into action to find ways to help them. This compassion is a good impulse, but we must always remember that what we do should be in the cats best interest. And science and best practices show us that even though we might want to bring a cat or kittens indoors, that is frequently not the best course of action.
Cats who live outdoors are called community cats. They may be friendly or feral. Spayed or unaltered. Claimed by someone or not. Community cats can raise a number of questions. How best to help these outdoor cats should be guided by science, professional experience, and compassion.
Animal protection is constantly evolving and improving. We are continually learning and striving to apply new evidence-based findings to help animals as best we can. Those of us who have dedicated our careers to saving and improving the welfare of cats have come to agree on a few things.
First of all, Trap-Neuter-Return is the only humane and effective approach for outdoor cats. This means trapping unaltered cats, spaying/neutering them, vaccinating them against rabies and feline-specific diseases, and returning them to their outdoor homes. TNR allows the cat to live out her life without reproducing, while reducing calls to animal services and creating a healthier population.
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Providing Shelter To Feral Cats
Feral cats that are living out in the open can benefit from a shelter that provides shade in summer, warmth in winter, and protection from rain, wind, and snow.
You can build cat shelters from wood or repurpose other things like large plastic storage containers flipped upside down with a hole cut in the side for an entryway. Straw is recommended as bedding inside the cat shelter as it provides warmth and stays dry even in damp conditions.;
At the time of the spay or neuter, the vet removes the tip of one ear so people know the cat has been fixed.
Do Mother Cats Recognize Their Kittens After Being Separated
As soon as they leave the nest, they pick of scents of their new environment. If Mom sees her kitten even a few weeks after separation, its likely shell see him as a stranger. Cats depend on scent, not vision, to recognize each other. For a few days after her kittens are gone, she may look for them around your home.
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Will A Mother Cat Abandon Her Kittens If You Touch Them
A mother cat will not abandon its kittens if humans touch them. It may be able to detect the humans scent on its babies alright, but it wont necessarily reject and desert them. However, a mother cat may move its kittens to a different place if it believes that they are in danger.
Observing feral kittens is perfectly fine. However, touching feral kittens is a completely different matter. This is especially true if their mother is right next to them or watching from afar.
If you attempt to touch, pick up or cuddle feral kittens and their mom is around, consider yourself lucky if all their mom does is growl and hiss at you. Consider yourself unfortunate if it scratches and bites you. If that happens, immediately wash the area with soap and water and meet with a doctor.
Getting a tetanus shot after being scratched or bitten by a feral cat is recommended for your protection. And if you live where cat rabies is common, getting a series of rabies shots is of utmost importance.
Why Do Feral Cats Leave Their Kittens
The act of rescuing too soon may result in kittens being taken from their mothers without necessary cause, which can even lead to some of these kittens death. Most cases of a feral cat mothering a litter are characterized by the litter being left alone for several hours at a time, which can often cause onlookers to assume that they have been abandoned.
However, feral cat mothers need to leave their kittens at some point to find food and nourishment for them, after which she would return and care for them. This is particularly because feral cats survive off of rodents, birds, edible rubbish, and carcass remains, which necessitates hunting to acquire.
Sadly there are some situations where it is clear that feral kittens have no mother caring for them, which is not always due to mothers abandoning their young. While there are some cases of cats abandoning their kittens, this is not normal for feral cats, and there may be circumstances that result in the mothers inability to return to her young. This can be due to various situations, such as the mother feral cat being injured, attacked, or hit by a car.
In some cases, the kittens may be witnessed as dwelling alone, but the mother may even be scared off by the presence of concerned humans since feral cats are not accustomed to humans as domesticated cats are.
You may wonder if feral cats need a water source.; Check out my article on if feral cats need water:;
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How Do You Feed Them
While feeding ferals at your place, make sure you keep plenty of freshwater aside. Also, keep the bowls clean so that it does not proliferate algae. If you are offering them dry cat foods, they must be free from any debris or dirt.
Before every meal, it is recommended to clean the bowl regularly. It will help you maintain a hygienic feeding practice. The best way to keep your neighbors away from complaining is by cleaning the feeding stations every day.
Besides, keeping feeding bowls clean is also healthy for both your cat and the surrounding environment at your place. The best way you can feed them is by maintaining a cycle of feeding at the same time every day. Daybreak and the time of dusk are considered to be the best time to feed ferals.
What Happens When You Do Feed Them
Feeding feral cats is a huge controversy. You can look it up online, and see so many articles about why you shouldnt. This is a controversy, because hey, we think that these cats need food, so we should go feed them. Problem is, that actually can be a problem in some cases.
Feral cats can take care of themselves. Remember, they eat a lot of various critters including the following:
- Other animals they may like
The truth is, cats know how to hunt if theyre feral. They know how to not go hungry. If youve ever seen a cat that is a barn cat, they know how to catch rodents, to the point where they are controlling the population of the farm, and getting a meal. Sometimes, we may feel bad when we see the cats because we think theyre hungry when in truth, theyre totally fine. Lots of times, there are even local ordinances forbidding this, but lots of times, people will feed these cats anyways.
But here is the problem, youre starting to domesticate them. Here is exactly what happens when you feed them.
- Youre now the caretaker of them
- You have to be responsible
- Youre going to get a lot of other kitties to come forward
- The feeding stations will grow
- You also may attract the cops if youre doing this
So yes, it is a bit of a problem. While you may feel bad that theyre not even eating or something, at the end of the day, its best to watch out for this.
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